Author Ann Tatlock

Living in a Postmodern Culture


In recent years, I’ve become increasingly concerned about the state of our culture here in America. We are living in what some people have dubbed “postmodern times.” That simply means we have gone beyond “modern times” into something new.

Modern times, which roughly began with the Age of Enlightenment, was characterized  by an emphasis on science and rationalism. God was dismissed as superstition. People believed in only what could be seen or otherwise known through the senses. Human beings, though merely cosmic accidents, became the measure of all things, and science became the means through which all questions could be answered and all progress would be made.

Postmodernism is a backlash to modernism. We discovered we are more than machines; we realized we are more than body and mind. We are spiritual creatures. This shift back to spirituality is a good thing. We understand there is more to creation than what we can see.

But the downside to postmodern thought is the loss of absolutes. We didn’t swing back toward the God of Christianity; He had already been dismissed as obsolete. And so we began to fill our need for the spiritual without any set standard for truth. Truth has become relative to one’s own culture, language and desires. Now, as we endeavor to satisfy our spiritual selves, we’ve come to believe that all paths lead to God.

As Christians living in postmodern times, we need to be firmly grounded in the Bible, as well as aware of what’s happening in the culture around us. For this reason, when I was invited to teach annually at the Blue Ridge Mountains Christian Writers Conference (, I decided to teach not so much how to write but who we’re writing to. My class is titled, “Telling the Truth: Christian Writing in a Postmodern World.”

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