Subjectivity can be defined as judgments that are based on individual experiences and feelings rather than external facts. For the Christian, the external facts are as The Westminster Confession of Faith 1.6 says: “The whole counsel of God concerning all things necessary to his own glory, the salvation of man, faith, and life, is expressly set forth in the Scriptures, or for good and good intentions”. The necessary consequence may be deduced from Scripture: to which nothing at any time is to be added, either by new revelations of the Spirit, or by traditions of men.”
In subjectivism, individuals are governed by emotions, feelings, intuition, and mystical experiences. Subjectivism often manifests itself when you hear something like “I feel” instead of “I know.” As stated above, the Christian must abide by the teaching of the Scriptures. The Christian must always ask, what does God say about this in the Scriptures? If Scripture is not used as a standard, one cannot know with certainty how the Christian should live. The Christian will be plagued with an inability to make Biblically based decisions if subjectivity is allowed to creep in. We want to know what the Word of God says for our life and act accordingly.
Postmodernism is basically a new expression of subjectivism, which has become theoretical for many disciplines, including literature, art, economics, philosophy, and theology. Similar to subjectivism, postmodernism is based on feelings and experience on objective biblical principles. In postmodern subjectivism, a person’s feelings wrongly define what is thought to be true. Postmodernism can be described as a sophisticated form of disguised subjectivity. Furthermore, postmodernism is influenced by relativism. Relativism is the idea that there is no absolute truth. Anytime relativism is attached to a philosophical system, it’s only a matter of time until skepticism takes over. Some try to escape this by adopting various forms of mystical irrationalism. After all, mystical irrationalism is like getting lost in a bottomless ocean.
Instead of using the objective standard of Scripture, a manifestation of the guiding principle of the postmodern subjectivist has become the “feel good about it” approach to arriving at the truth for life decisions. Using the “feel good” approach as a guiding principle is nothing more than personal emotions or feelings influencing decisions. It is not honoring God to lay at his feet (figuratively speaking) our feelings and emotions and attribute them to Him in the area of guidance and understanding of the truth. Tragically, the “feel good” statement has been used as a pretense for all sorts of biblical misinterpretations and false applications. For example, many professing Christians “feel” that it is okay to have sex outside of marriage. However, it doesn’t matter where you worship as long as you worship somewhere (like at home watching football or fishing in the mountains).
The Danger of Subjectivity in the Interpretation of the Bible:
Biblical objectivity is undermined when subjective feelings and experiences influence the interpretation of Scripture. When a subjective experience or feeling is allowed to influence the understanding of Scripture, it is not surprising that sound doctrine gives way to interpretations of Scripture that are influenced by these very experiences and feelings. One can easily see the circular reasoning that plagues this approach. In the area of understanding biblical truth, for the subjectivist, the Bible is interpreted in such a way as to support their experience-oriented interpretations of the Bible. Therefore, the subjectivist assumes that this must be what the Bible teaches, since they have felt, seen, or experienced it. This is nothing more than a dangerous subjectivist circle of interpretation. The roles of Scripture and experience are reversed, experience and feelings thus gaining the upper hand. This is nothing more than reading into the scriptures what you want it to say instead of submitting to the teachings of the scriptures.
The inherent contradiction of postmodern subjectivism:
Postmodern subjectivism has a problem with the certainty of knowledge given its reliance on experience and feelings that differ from person to person. One insurmountable problem is that when the subjectivist postmodernist says, “there is no such thing as absolute truth.” A statement like this falls apart because of its own self-refuting internal contradiction. “There is no absolute truth” is clearly a statement that affirms the absolute truth. So we can ask; Is your claim that there is no “absolute truth” true? We can also ask; Is your truth relative or does it even exist? Is a concept like relative truth true? If truth is relative, all we have are arbitrary social conventions and it wouldn’t matter if one baba told another baba to sit in the back of the bus. Even the postmodern subjectivist lives in such a way that he evidences that he believes in some kind of truth. All human beings speak of good and evil. Why try to find the truth if it doesn’t exist? The non-Christian may well conclude that riotous living is the best option. The Christian has a better way.
The Christian believes that Biblical truth is the basis for determining right from wrong. If the truth does not exist, it would not be right or wrong either. Talking about evil and morality from a consistent postmodern subjectivist point of view would be nothing more than irrational nonsense. Silence is the only consistent option of his. This is impossible, so his position is refuted. Subjectivist philosophy rejects the certainty of truth and ends up with self-refuting internal contradictions. Furthermore, as already mentioned, biblically speaking, holding philosophical beliefs that contain self-refuting internal contradictions is an expression of irrationalism.
How do we protect ourselves against subjectivism?
As Christians, we must be aware of our worldview. How do we do this? As Christians we need to be epistemologically self-aware. Epistemology is the study of how we know things. It is generally understood that there are three types or theories of obtaining knowledge, 1. empiricism (a view that experience, especially the senses, is the only source of knowledge), 2. rationalism (a view that appeals to independent reason of man as a source of knowledge). knowledge) and 3. dogmatism, or scripturalism (all knowledge must be contained within a system and deduced from its initial principles, in the Christian case, the Bible). It is easy to see that the first position mentioned, empiricism, is inherently fraught with subjectivism given its reliance on experience. The second position is nothing more than fallen man asserting his autonomy. We need to understand and hold to a distinctively Christian theory of knowledge as explained in the third position.
The guiding principle in Layman’s terms:
No longer conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by renewing your mind. Then you will be able to prove and approve what is the will of God, his good, pleasing and perfect will. Romans 12:2 (NIV)
Now the Bereans were of a nobler character than the Thessalonians, for they received the message with great enthusiasm and examined the Scriptures every day to see if what Paul said was true. Acts 17:11 (NIV)
Jesus promises that we can come to the knowledge of the truth in John 7:17. We can “know the truth” if we seek the truth by searching the Scriptures. See John 8:31-32. We know from the Scriptures that God reveals the truth. See my Pagan Philosophy, Unbelief, and Irrationalism at:
and The importance and necessity of special revelation in against world.
The Bible is our sufficient rule for faith and practice:
To those who challenge us we must always say; show me that this is what the Scripture teaches, I am not convinced by experience or feelings. Only the inspired Word of God not misinterpreted by feelings, experiences, or hunches.
The principle of Romans 12:2 must always be in action, with our minds being transformed by the Word of God. Furthermore, we must remember Acts 17:11 and follow the example of the Bereans, evaluating each new teaching, each new thought, each new experience with the Scriptures. We must never allow our experiences and feelings to interpret the Scriptures for us. On the contrary, we must change and conform to Christ, we interpret our experiences and feelings in harmony with Scripture. Following this principle will protect us from the dangers of a subjective misinterpretation of the Bible.