Lamber Zuidervaart thinks that Christian scholars have a “modernity complex” (Religion, Truth, and Social Transformation, 222). He illustrates with quotations from writers from Groen van Prinsterer to Merold Westphal, and concludes that Christian scholars need “a nuanced sifting of what is intrinsically worthwhile and intrinsically problematic in supposedly ‘secular' ideas. We also need equally careful judgments about the better or worse roles these ideas play in society” (223).
He ends his essay with an exhortation to be “postmodern without being antimodern, and to recover medieval humility and ancient wonder without embracing the narrow parochialism and rigid stratification of a premodern world” (236). We shouldn't forget “the dark side of Greek philosophy: how its notions of logos and order ratify a social hierarchy built on slavery and the oppression of women.” And, whatever we admire in medieval Christendom, we need to remember that “medieval wonder at God's mysteries” occurred in “a world where illiteracy, poverty, disease, and human servitude ran rampant” (234).
He puts in a good word for modern subjectivity, and for Descartes, arguing that neither Heideggerian nor the poststructuralist critiques of modernity “would be possible without the modern construction of the epistemic subject.” Further, “modern subjectivism puts a heavier emphasis on human responsibility than one finds in medieval or classical culture, and it gives an impetus to cultural self-criticism of the sort that postmodern thinkers can only continue.” Spiritually, “although modern subjectivism seems to move us away from trust and reverence toward that which sustains and renews all creation, nevertheless it also powerfully awakens us to the creative potential that God has given to even the most ordinary of human beings” (235).