Words matter. Truth counts. Or do they in the postmodern age in which we live?…
Christian apologist, Kirby Anderson identifies the problem we face as a culture in this way:
The worldview of the twenty-first century is postmodernism, and the dominant ethical system of the last two centuries has been relativism.
To understand this changed view of truth, we need to consider the story of three baseball umpires. One said, "There's balls and there's strikes, and I call 'em the way they are." Another said, "There's balls and there's strikes, and I call 'em the way I see 'em." And the third umpire said, "There's balls and there's strikes, and they ain't nothing until I call them."
Their three different views of balls and strikes correspond with three different views of truth. The first is what we might call premodernism. This is a God-centered view of the universe that believes in divine revelation. Most of the ancient world had this view of true and believed that truth is absolute ("I call 'em the way they are"). By the time of the Enlightenment, Western culture was moving into a time of modernism. This view was influenced by the scientific revolution, and began to reject a belief in God. In this period, truth is relative ("I call 'em the way I see 'em"). Today we live in what many call postmodernism. In this view, there is a complete loss of hope for truth. Truth is not discovered; truth is created ("they ain't nothing until I call them").
American culture is profoundly polarized in the 21st century. The political arena, which is characterized by extreme hyper-partisanship, is only a microcosm of the larger cultural divide. The electorate continues to hope that there is a candidate who will be able to wave a magic wand and bring us all back together. But, there is little hope that we will be able to refashion a political or cultural consensus until we can agree on what is true and how to define it.