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Critical Race Theory Critical Theory Intersectionality Racism Scripture Social Justice

Critical Race Theory and Intersectionality in the Southern Baptist Convention: Danger (Part 3 of 4)

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 He would not change anything about Resolution 9, and does not believe it should be rescinded.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) attempts to highlight some of the difficulties with doubling down on CRT|I in response to recent posts and podcasts pointing out its problems. This third of four posts addresses the second clarifying point noted above. Benkert admits that both he and others within the Southern Baptist Convention are using the language, concepts, and arguments of CRT|I, and are doing so intentionally, while recognizing its dangers. So it is worthwhile to examine how Benkert believes we can avoid the dangers involved in using CRT|I.

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Critical Race Theory Critical Theory Intersectionality Racism SBC Author Scripture Social Justice

Critical Race Theory, Intersectionality, and the Gospel (Tom Ascol)

In this post from Founders Ministries, Tom Ascol argues, “CRT (along with every other Marxist ideology) cannot be reconciled with what the Bible teaches about sin and salvation. First, to view all relationships in terms of power dynamics requires that people be seen in terms of the powerful (privileged, oppressors) and the powerless (marginalized, oppressed). Apart from striking out against God-ordained hierarchies and authority structures (by evaluating them as oppressive power structures), this way of viewing the world fails to evaluate people in their primary relationship, which is as creatures made in the image of their Creator.”

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Critical Race Theory Critical Theory Intersectionality Racism Scripture

Critical Race Theory and Intersectionality in the Southern Baptist Convention: Doubling Down (Part 1 of 4)

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 post 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.

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Racism SBC Author

James Cone and Charges of Heresy (Denny Burk)

In this tweet thread, Denny Burk writes, “We don’t measure theological convictions by the color of their proponents’ skin. We measure all truth claims by God’s revelation in scripture. And by that standard, Cone’s teaching falls woefully short.”

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Christology Critical Race Theory Critical Theory Gender Intersectionality Non-SBC Racism Social Justice

Choose this day whom you will serve: Jesus or skin color (Lisa Spencer)

In this article, non-SBC author Lisa Spencer asks, “Does Jesus really need to look ‘just like us’ in order to be acceptable to us? Do we really need to circumvent the reality of sin so that it doesn’t offend our sense of ethnic affirmation? We don’t have to dismiss ethnicity, nor should we, but we certainly can’t let it govern our theology.”

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Critical Race Theory Critical Theory Gender Homosexuality Intersectionality Social Justice

Identity Politics, Localism, and the SBC

I love the word “community,” but I hate to see it bastardized into such phrases as “the ________ community” (fill in the blank: white, black, gay, female, non-binary, Christian, minority, etc.). Whenever you put a modifier in front of “community” to define it as a demographic, you have actually changed the meaning of the term. A true community is a local establishment of households who share physical spaces and community traditions. They are invested in local history and institutions. They have flesh-and-blood interactions with one another. They eat together, do business together, send their children to school together, go to town hall meetings together, worship together, attend local public library events together, and thousands of other activities that are entailed in living one’s life locally. A city or town is itself a large community that is further subdivided into communities that exist at smaller levels: districts, neighborhoods, schools, churches, etc.

My point here is simply this: there is no such thing as a “community” of people who are grouped together on the basis of a demographic indicator (skin color, sexual orientation, sexual identity, etc.). The moment we speak of “the gay community,” for example, as a way of linking together gay people across 3.8 million square miles between our national borders, we are speaking of people who do not share common spaces and institutions, who do not (and cannot) have interactions with one another, and who therefore cannot in any meaningful sense constitute a community.

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Critical Race Theory Critical Theory Gender History Homosexuality Intersectionality Non-SBC Racism

The Evergreen State College – PART THREE: The Hunted Individual

WARNING: The following film is from a non-SBC, non-Christian source and contains obscene language and disturbing scenes, but is provided here as an important piece of the social justice and Critical Theory/Critical Race Theory discussion.

__________

According to the video description, this is, “The third and final chapter of a series of short films about Bret Weinstein & Heather Heying’s harrowing experience at Evergreen State College.”

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Critical Race Theory Critical Theory History Intersectionality Racism SBC Author

Coffee and Cream Podcast Episode 29: Is Critical Theory A Threat? with Neil Shenvi and Matt Warner (Neil Shenvi)

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.”

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Abuse Critical Race Theory Critical Theory Gender History Homosexuality Intersectionality Methodology Racism Scripture Social Justice

The Spirit of Conservatism

The Conservative Resurgence (CR) of the Southern Baptist Convention, an organized movement among grassroots churches to reclaim their institutions from a liberal drift, left us with a convention that is conservative in theology. The revisions to The Baptist Faith and Message from 1998 and 2000 testify to that reality.

But conservatism is about more than theology. It is also about a mindset, or even a “spirit,” that guides our perception of the world. As a teacher, I make a distinction between the ability to memorize information and the ability to synthesize that same information and apply it to new, unforeseen questions. Most students can memorize a list of facts from a study guide and repeat them on a test, but those who truly learn what they have studied can also apply their knowledge to questions that weren’t on the study guide.

Did the CR leave us with a conservative denomination only in the sense that we know how to check all the right theological boxes? Or did it leave us with a denomination that knows how to address new challenges from a posture of conservatism, i.e., in a manner consistent with a deep understanding of our theological confession? The former would be a hollow shell of a short-lived denominational reformation, but the latter would leave us with lasting generations of faithfulness. Which one we will ultimately become remains to be seen.

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Critical Race Theory Critical Theory Intersectionality SBC Author

California SBC Fails to Guard Against Critical Theory (Stephen Michael Feinstein)

In this video, Stephen Michael Feinstein explains how his California Southern Baptist Convention failed to guard against the threat of Critical Theory.

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sMKYgHPMSzM&w=560&h=315]