How to Deal with Critical Race Theory
See to it that no one takes you captive by philosophy and empty deceit, according to human tradition, according to the elemental spirits of the world, and not according to Christ.
We need to be equipped to deal with CRT - it is both bad theology and empty deceit. It’s hold is cracking a bit due to its inconsistency and irrationality and the idiocy of the left in the United States but these kinds of things usually take time to die and they usually go down swinging. So we need tools to recognize CRT and its dangers. Here are some suggestions.
Be aware of CRT around you in the world AND the church
CRT has been welcomed into the church by some. Even in some places you would not expect. So be aware. Read carefully and deeply.
In our society we see it in many, many more places - in the news, our kids' education, our HR departments, etc. Most of the time CRT will not declare its presence, but will find its way into our spaces in subversive ways. CRT is like a parasite - it will latch onto something and inhibit its proper use. So we need to be on the lookout for the key terms and ideas of CRT. You won’t often hear the technical terminology of CRT which we have reviewed in this blog series but you need to be aware of certain ideas that indicate its presence. Be careful when:
Issues are racialized - people or issues are divided into black and white (literally) - when really shouldn’t be.
White people are singled out - or males, or heterosexuals, etc. - as the problem in a particular instance or in the world in general.
The stories of ‘oppressed’ individuals or groups are elevated then forced upon all as the norm for society.
Equity (or subtly redefine equality) is the major concern - remember equity deals with outcomes. It is a socialist construct. CRT wants everybody to get the same outcome and doesn’t care about real justice.
Reparations are more important than justice. This is not justice, but an attempt to placate past wrongs. It is not true justice.
Debate or discussion is shut down (or opposing views are shouted down) because one or more members of the discussion are part of an oppressing group.
The perspectives of the perceived oppressed are valued more highly than the actual pursuit of objective truth.
Things turn into labelling or name calling. CRT loves to put labels on things so that they can attack those things more easily. It is often the epitome of the straw-man fallacy.
Inform yourself if you aren’t sure how to recognize it
I have tried to outline the big picture stuff in these blogs, although much more could be said. So reread them and ask questions if you have them. (My email is available on the website.) If you desire to dig deeper into CRT on your own let me offer the following resources to you. These books will give you the tools you need to recognize and engage with CRT both in and out of the church. These are books written against CRT.
Woke Racism by John McWhorter (Non-Christian) - An intelligent critique from an intelligent commentator that doesn’t pull any punches.
Cynical Theories by Helen Pluckrose and James Lindsay (Non-Christian) - If you are going to read one book from this list, read this one.
Fault Lines by Voddie Baucham - A very easy read and filled with anecdotes of the impact of CRT. Start here if you are just getting into the issues CRT presents.
Wokeness and Christianity by Owen Strachan - Theologically and philosophically sound. The glossary in this book is very helpful.
Be theologically minded
Know sound biblical theology. In particular, you need to understand God’s justice and righteousness and biblical anthropology - the doctrine of humanity. Remember God’s designs for humanity are the only ones we are to seek and they are the only ones that will bring harmony to humanity. He defines race, race relationships, justice, equality, etc. Any lesser definitions or deviant understanding of these ideas will make us vulnerable to CRT or other incomplete views of humanity.
Let me give you a few places to start in building a proper theology:
On general theology - The Christian Faith by Michael Horton
On the doctrine of God - The Existence and Attributes of God by Stephen Charnock
On biblical humanity - Created in God’s Image by Anthony Hoekema
On God’s righteousness and justice - “The Righteousness of God” by Fred Vaspel (The Righteousness of God - The Gospel Coalition); The Holiness of God by R.C. Sproul
On the theological critique of CRT - Christianity and Wokeness, chs 3, 5, 6
Be kind to those who disagree with you but stand firm
CRT likes to call names. It embraces irrational thought. It demands things without demonstrating the need for them. It accuses the innocent. It is inconsistent, erratic in application and often capricious. It is very frustrating to be around. Don’t be like CRT. Don’t be goaded into ad hominem arguments or the many logical fallacies and cognitive biases of which CRT is guilty. There is enough negativity out there; don’t contribute to the anger and angst in the world. Be the solution and not the problem. Be intelligent. Argue with both conviction and humility. Disagree without being combative; argue without being argumentative. Remember Paul’s instructions to Timothy in dealing with bad, threatening philosophy,
“...wage the good warfare, holding faith and a good conscience.”
Like all bad philosophy, aberrant theology, and false religion CRT will eventually be exposed for the evil that it truly is. It is self-defeating and completely useless as the religion or worldview that it is. CRT is, at best, a house of cards being built outside on a windy day. But we can, and need to, expedite its demise. Part of our Christian witness to the world is to make sure we are NOT simply standing idly by while CRT seeps into our mindsets and our churches. We must stand firm against CRT but in a way that sheds light and demonstrates love of neighbor. Be constructive, not just deconstructive. Preach the gospel as an answer to the errors of CRT. Offer the light of Jesus Christ in the world of darkness.
Soli Deo Gloria