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.”
As the old saying goes, if the only tool you have is a hammer, everything looks like a nail. The ascendancy of critical theory among evangelicals in recent years has led to a thinning of our tool collection and a consequent restriction of our conceivable responses to diverse situations. When individuals are reduced to group identities, and those groups are (as the script calls for) assigned their white hats and black hats, it’s not difficult to foresee how the plot is going to unfold.
Critical theory’s hammer is calling out oppression of minority groups wherever it lurks (namely, everywhere, all the time, in every conceivable and inconceivable way). Oppression need not be proven in any individual case because it is the pervasive presupposition that defines the inherent structure of human society. Human beings are, according to critical theory, anonymous units of larger identity groups. Those identity groups are defined by power dynamics in relation to other identity groups, and thus all human relationships are viewed through the lens of a struggle for power, either in terms of solidarity (between the oppressed) or in terms of antagonism (between oppressor and oppressed).