In this article from Ronnie Floyd’s Advancing the Vision series, Floyd writes, “The future is not in having cultural conversations apart from the Bible. This will always lead to division. Southern Baptist pastors, leaders, and churches need to be having biblical conversations about cultural matters.”
Detractors from the overall program of ensuring that the Southern Baptist Convention does not forsake the principles regained during the Conservative Resurgence often note the absurdity of believing that Southern Baptists believe in anything less than the authority and infallibility of the Bible. In doing so, they miss the current point of contention. The concern is not, and has never been for the past twenty years or so, whether or not Southern Baptists are giving up on their stated belief in the inerrancy of the Bible. Nor is the worry over whether or not we have left behind the fundamentals of the faith, like the virgin birth and penal substitutionary atonement of Christ. Rather, the problem is something like this: we say we believe them while failing to apply them to all areas of life.
Todd Benkert’s recent piece on Critical Race Theory and Intersectionality (CRT|I) at SBCVoices.com is helpfully clarifying in at least three ways. First, Benkert straightforwardly admits that both he and others within the Southern Baptist Convention are using Critical Race Theory and Intersectionality. Benkert indicates they are not merely using the language of CRT|I, but its concepts, and intentionally so. Second, Benkert admits that these individuals are using CRT|I despite the fact that CRT|I is “dangerous.” Third, Benkert mounts a defense of CRT|I and the infamous Resolution 9, which he believes speaks of CRT|I in positive fashion. He would not change anything about Resolution 9, and does not believe it should be rescinded. Indeed, he believes doing so will actually set the SBC back in terms of “reconciliation work.”
Although Benkert attempts to take a middle way in his post, positing CRT|I as both an analytical tool and a dangerous ideology, his examples of using CRT|I as an analytical tool exemplify why CRT|I is such a dangerous ideology. This observation is not meant to impugn Benkert’s motives. Nevertheless, some (not saying this is true of Benkert) seem unaware of how far down the ideological rabbit hole they have gone. This series (Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4) will attempt to highlight some of the difficulties with doubling down on CRT|I in response to recent posts and podcasts pointing out its problems. This second of four posts will address the first clarifying point noted above. Namely, Benkert straightforwardly admits that both he and others within the Southern Baptist Convention are using Critical Race Theory and Intersectionality. Benkert indicates they are not merely using the language of CRT|I, but its concepts, and intentionally so.
In this article for Themelios, non-SBC author Robert S. Smith explains, “While majoritarian systems always have the potential to become tyrannous, and the track-record of Western civilization is far from unblemished, to demonize the key elements and attainments of Western culture—e.g., Christian morality, family, hierarchy, loyalty, tradition, the rule of law, sexual restraint, universal suffrage, property rights, patriotism, capitalism, and technology—is both myopic and ungrateful. Furthermore, criticizing an imperfect system when you have no idea how to build a better one is more than idealistic; it is irresponsible.”
In this podcast episode of Christ the Center, non-SBC author, “Darryl G. Hart speaks about J. Gresham Machen’s classic work, Christianity and Liberalism. In becoming familiar [with] the content and historical context of this book, people will gain an understanding not only of twentieth century Presbyterianism but also of global Christianity to a degree. And in contemplating the lessons of this era, people will also be better equipped to meet the challenges that face the contemporary church.”
In this podcast episode, the hosts focus on, “Ideas like: intersectionality, whiteness, and privilege, among others. All of these ideas have their roots in something called Critical Theory. Today, we talk with Neil Shenvi and Matt Warner, who discuss whether Critical Theory is a threat or is something that can be edifying for Christians to employ.”
In this article, SBC author Bart Barber makes plain the contours of the complementarian discussion in relation to the issues of Scripture and abuse, writing, “Beth Moore asserted in her remarks that certain corruptions of complementarianism lead to or exacerbate the abuse problem that the Southern Baptist Convention faces. I think that perhaps I agree in part and that I disagree in part.”
This post is the fifth in a series addressing New Liberalism and the Southern Baptist Convention. “New Liberalism” is a catch-all term for what some see as a theological threat similar to the liberalism of the previous century. This series does not assume that New Liberalism is in the SBC, but is intended to more clearly delineate the concept of New Liberalism in relation to the SBC.
Psychology and sociology most often function as all-encompassing, transcendent, ideological approaches to understanding the world, operating upon assumptions decidedly opposed to God. One sees this as much in Jordan Peterson as one sees it in Critical Theory. The conclusions may be different from one another, but their foundations are the same. Scripture appears in both, but not as Scripture appears in conservative Christian theology. The difference between secular psychological or sociological approaches to Scripture and conservative Christian theology is not the use of Scripture and religious language, or lack thereof, but the way in which Scripture and religious language are used as either building upon a secular theory or as bedrock for an explicitly Christian theology. We are not saying that those promoting the former set of ideas are not Christian. We are saying that what they promote is not Christian. And we are concerned about which will be preached from our pulpits.