Will the Real Modernists Please Stand Up?
It is in the tradition of classical liberalism that we are committed to offering conservative perspectives on sundry issues. No, we don’t believe there is just one conservative take on many of these issues. Nor do we regard ourselves as absolute authorities on anything. We’re simply defending our conservative views for the benefit of the TU community in the prayerful hope that: (1) those who share our convictions will be encouraged, edified, and bolstered by what we have to say, (2) those who disagree with us will be challenged and come to a deeper understanding (if not an appreciation for) the rational grounds for our positions, and (3) further substantive debate about ideas will be generated at TU (as is fitting in an academic community).
Several decades ago, it was conservatives who dogmatically affirmed their views in the public square and insisted that there are no reasonable alternative perspectives. Meanwhile, liberals pushed back with the postmodern contention that all truth claims are “interpretations” so a variety of views must be heard in the public square. But things have changed—completely reversed, in fact. Today it is leftists who are far more likely to dogmatically declare theirs are the only reasonable views, even to the point of shutting down conservative voices on many college campuses. And it is conservatives who challenge this dogma, arguing that diverse perspectives must be heard on college campuses and in the public square. It is for this reason that the term “liberal” (in the sense of openness to diverse ideas) seems less applicable to leftists than to those on the right! So, today, strange as it sounds, the real modernists are the leftists, and conservatives are the true liberals.