Is there any use in attempting to understand our society as under the law, when most of us no longer accept the existence of a law-giver?
Oswald Bayer thinks that we can...
Precisely the individualistic antinomianism of modernity and postmodernity ends up being legalistic. Individuals want to think of themselves as different, but they act in masses.They want to follow the ideals of freedom and diversity of options, but the anticipation of new experiences, the anxiety of missing something and the imperative of incessantly having to choose and decide drives them afresh to competition and to being overburdened
The fulfillment of the law is [...] presupposed to have occurred already in principle: the human being is free, good and spontaneous. In this sense, modernity and postmodernity are antinomian.
The new human beings of modernity and postmodernity, however, always must yet become, under the compulsion of realizing it by themselves, what they already are. The generally asserted gospel of freedom places human beings simultaneously under the compulsion of realizing themselves and fulfilling their potential, since from birth itself it is theirs already. If, however, freedom is not announced and communicated from without, but rather belongs to me from the very start, then I as both an individual and collective subjectivity am burdened with the fulfillment of the promise given to me by myself—not liberated for freedom, but "damned to be free" (Sartre); I am not allowed to be free, I rather must free myself.
Even if this human being—precisely according to modern and postmodern transformations—no longer directly recognizes the one who speaks in the law, perhaps, indeed, does not even hear a voice, he or she nevertheless experiences more or less anonymously the inescapable demand: "Here you and no other are addressed. Here you are responsible. If you evade it, you are guilty." The human being is ultimately responsible: that is the element of truth of Kantian anthropology and ethics, in which it—against postmodern diffusion and covering of tracks—is the ally of theology.
(pp.7-9, "With Luther in the Present", Lutheran Quarterly, Spring 2007 Volume XXI, Number 1)