Post-Modernism is an odd movement of our time. As it affects theological reflection it has both its good and bad aspects. The good news is it takes less atomistic approaches to the Bible. For example, it is concerned with canonical theology as a whole, Biblical theology as whole. These are not bad things in themselves. But there is an under current to much of the post-modern stuff that I read from A.K.A. Adam and others that is disturbing at several levels.
Here is a link so you can read some things about post-modern criticism and philosophy as it applies to the Bible---
Let's take the issue of epistemology first. Post-modernism in so far as it has helped caused a shift in epistemology is deeply indebted to people like Stanley Fish formerly of Duke but now at the law school at Florida International, believe it or not. Fish is a thorough-going reader response kind of guy. He is the type of person who is likely to smile when you say "meaning is just in the eye of the beholder". He does not really believe texts have meanings. He believes that active readers give texts their meaning.
I was always taught to call this eisegesis-- the inappropriate reading into the text of something that is not there. He is not at all interested in arguments about "the intention of the author". He thinks those intentions, whatever they were can't be known and don't matter. Meaning happens-- its not encoded in texts, and the issue of authorial intent is a moot point. The funny thing about this is that when some people have misread his own work on John Milton, and totally misrepresented what he said--- he objects "but that is not what I said or meant." But he doesn't have a leg to stand on. He gave up claims about objective meanings in texts and authorial intent. As for me, I would much rather listen to Kevin Van Hoozer on these subjects (see his "Is There a Meaning in This Text?") or more remotely E.D. Hirsch's classic study "Validity in Interpretation".
Why is this important when it comes to the study of the Bible? There is a simple answer--- THIS IS GOD'S WORD. I do not get to decide for myself what God's Word says or means. It would be arrogant for me to think so. It is for me to discover the meaning of the text encoded in the sentences and paragraphs, for it had an objective meaning long before I ever looked at the text or studied the text. God through the vehicle of various inspired human beings put that meaning there. Post-modernism has problems with objective truth claims, especially texts that make claims on us before we can even begin to make claims about them. It likes to use the pejorative term 'foundationalism' when people start talking about objective truth claims. Frankly, this seems to me to be yet one more human ploy to hold the truth claims of the Bible on us all at bay. Put simply most post-modern theory involves an epistemology that violates the whole Biblical theory and reality of 'revelation'-- a truth conveyed by God through human vehicles to us in perspicuous words that involve truths that not merely relative but absolute and makes an absolute claim on us all.
The second problem with thoroughly post-modern Biblical interpretation is it tends to be docetic. What do I mean by this? It wants to suggest or imply that historical issues are not really all that important to theology with rare exceptions. It doesn't really much matter whether there was a historical Moses or not, we have these books that appeal to the name of Moses called the Pentateuch and since they are part of our canon they have authority for us, whatever degree of historical substance there may or may not be to the historical claims in the text.
Some would suggest that we treat the Bible as pure story, pure narrative, indeed there is a whole school of approach which wants to treat the Gospels as ancient works of 'true fiction', with the term 'true' defined in almost purely theological terms. What is wrong with theologizing, or doing canonical theology in this way? What is wrong with treating the NT in a 'history of ideas' kind of way-- as if the resurrection was just an interesting idea played with in different ways by different NT authors? The answer is simple. Christian faith is a faith founded on a certain irreducible number of historical events. Like Judaism it is an historical religion, such that without the history, there would be, or at least should be, no religion.
That's the difference between historical religions and pure philosophies of life. A good example of a religious philosophy of life, not grounded in historical events, would be Mary Baker Eddy's Christian Science, which in its original essence was a mind over matter philosophy of life. Her theory, even though she herself was often a physically very sick person, is that physical illness is an illusion of the mind, and if one knows how to practice mind over matter, then one can be well. You don't need medicine. Sometime you should read Mark Twain's famous and detailed critique of this religion-- it is simply called "Christian Science" and it is published by Prometheus Books. It is quite the expose. Why do I bring up this example? Because it shows where docetic use of the Bible and docetic approaches to theology can lead. Denude the Bible of its historical substance, boil it down to just stories or just a pile of philosophical principles or just a collection of theological and ethical ideas and what have you got?? You've got something that bears no resemblance to the presuppositions and actual theologizing that is being done in the NT or OT.
Listen for a minute to Paul. He puts it this way to his Corinthians who had docetic tendencies--- " If Christ has not been raised, your faith is futile: you are still in your sins. The those who have fallen asleep in Christ are lost. If only for this life we have hoped in Christ, we are the most pitable people on earth." (1 Cor. 15.17-19). He goes on to add 'If the dead are not raised, then 'let us eat and drink for tomorrow we will die'" (vs. 32). Did you catch what he just did? He just suggested that both Christian theology and Christian ethics are founded in and grounded in an historical event-- the resurrection of Jesus. If that did not happen then far from Christianity being a spiritually beneficial thing, or a comfort it is to be seen as a delusion, and its practitioners pitiable. If Christ isn't raised then the basis for good conduct between now and death is undercut. We should instead embrace hedonism. Oliver O' Donovan's wonderful work on 1 Cor.15 has shown just how much Paul's theology and his ethics are grounded in the Christ event.
"My hope is built on nothing less than Jesus' blood and righteousness..." Indeed, and this means we dare not do theology as if we were just tossing about a bunch of interesting ideas and seeing what permutations and combinations we can come up with. The meaning of these texts matter theologically and ethically because the history which they enshrine actually happened. Revelation came in the form of events and words and deeds in real time in real space involving real persons. This ought to be obvious to Christians for whom salvation is not a Gnostic self-help program by which if we just gain the right insider knowledge and are enlightened we can save ourselves. No, salvation is something that took place outside of our own cerberal cortex through the life, death and resurrection of Jesus. If those things did not happen, there is no salvation-- period. Not for anyone.
Those who suggest "its true because it is in the canon" and then say "lets do canonical theology" have got the matter completely backwards. It's in the canon because its true-- some of it is historically true, some of it is ethicaly true, some of it is true in other senses, including theological ones. But it isn't true just because its in the canon. Its true because a truthful God inspired various writers to write these books especially to tell the truth about Jesus Christ and other important historical figures in the Jewish and Christian story of salvation history. Thus, color me post- post-modern. I hope you are as well.