• Christianity,  Social Justice

    A Christian Podcast with a Positive Outlook on CRT

    Mike Bird alerted me over the weekend to The Two Cities Podcast dealing with Critical Theory (CT) and its offshoot Critical Race Theory (CRT). I share it not to commend its positive outlook on CT and CRT but to show how Christian defenders of Critical Theory tend to make their case. I don’t think that any of the speakers are proponents of CT/CRT per se. Rather, they seem to be defending CT/CRT against Evangelical “paranoia” about them. For them, Evangelical alarm about CT/CRT is unjustified. Below is a brief summary, which I offer without comment. Obviously, all summaries are reductive, and there is much more to the podcast than what…

  • Christianity,  Culture,  Social Justice

    Can we eat the meat and spit out the bones of CRT?

    I think Todd Pruitt is exactly right about the “eat the meat, spit out the bones” approach to Critical Theory and its offshoots. It’s not that you can never find the occasional insight. It’s that there is no insight there that can only be found there, and it’s a dangerous source to send people to. Pruitt writes: ‘Few (if any) would say that there are no true statements or insights to be found within Critical Theory or its offshoots. The question is whether Critical Race Theory offers unique and helpful insights without being laden with the profound errors of Critical Theory. I say no. Consider the prosperity gospel. Kenneth Copeland says…

  • Christianity,  Politics,  Social Justice

    Assessing Blame for the Insurrection without Partiality

    Christianity Today published an opinion piece on Thursday by Tish Harrison Warren addressing the aftermath of the insurrection at the Capitol. There were a handful of passages in her essay that I believe are worthy of some reflection and critical feedback. Warren writes: For me, the worst part of yesterday’s insurrection is how it represents an utter failure in the American church. This anti-epiphany reveals the horrid outgrowths of Christian nationalism, faulty spiritual formation, false teaching, political idolatry, and overriding ignorance. Though it saddens me deeply, it must be clearly admitted: Yesterday’s atrocity was in large part brought to us by the white, evangelical church in America. Further, The responsibility…

  • Book Reviews,  Christianity,  Culture,  Social Justice

    Taking on the Revolutionary Program of Ibram X. Kendi

    Anyone reading this site over the last several years has probably noticed my growing alarm about leftist “social justice” ideologies. I had already become somewhat acquainted with queer theory while doing research for my book on sexual ethics in 2012-2013. A 2016 lecture on intersectionality by David French, however, helped me to see that queer theory was but one strand of a multi-faceted leftist identitarian movement. I had heard of identity politics, but now I was beginning to understand some of its ideological underpinnings. More and more, it appeared to be a kind of religion. I began writing informally about intersectionality in this space in 2017 and began to see…

  • Book Reviews,  Christianity,  Culture,  Social Justice,  Transgenderism

    Could you be convinced that 2 + 2 = 5?

    In high school, I remember starting George Orwell’s 1984 and Aldous Huxley’s Brave New World but never finishing either one of them. I thought they were boring and—what’s worse—morose. So I gave up on them. That was then, and this is now. In the last few months, I restarted and completed each of them. First, Brave New World and then 1984. This time, I was very much engaged. Both books read like totalitarian prophecies that have or at least are on the verge of coming true. Both of them forecast dystopian futures dominated by totalitarian regimes. One totalitarianism maintains power by appealing to human desire for pleasure (Brave New World)…

  • Culture,  News,  Social Justice

    Attorney General Daniel Cameron Announces Charges in Breonna Taylor Case

    Kentucky Attorney General Daniel Cameron announced a grand jury indictment in the Breonna Case. The Grand Jury indicted one officer for several counts of “wanton endangerment,” but the Jury did not indict any officer for murder. Every person in the country should read or listen to the statement that Attorney General Daniel Cameron made earlier today. The statement mourns Taylor’s death as a great tragedy while also arguing for the rule of law, due process, and justice—the stuff that civil rights, freedom, and democracy are built upon. You can watch or read the AG’s statement below. Remarks by Kentucky Attorney General Daniel Cameron Press Conference Regarding the Grand Jury Proceedings…

  • Christianity,  Social Justice

    The Dead-end of Research Justice

    I’ve been reading through Helen Pluckrose’s and James Lindsay’s new book Cynical Theories: How Activist Scholarship Made Everything about Race, Gender, and Identity–and Why This Harms Everybody. I’m sure I will have more to say about this book in coming days, but I thought I would highlight one particular item that the authors address in the early chapters—research justice. In Cynical Theories, the authors demonstrate that modern Critical Theory is essentially applied post-modernism. Applied post-modernism involves a number of ideological commitments including: Skepticism about whether objective knowledge or truth is obtainable. A belief in cultural constructivism. A belief that society is formed of systems of power and hierarchies, which decide…

  • Christianity,  Culture,  News,  Social Justice

    Can we weep with those who weep?

    Last week, The Wall Street Journal published an op-ed by Heather MacDonald titled “The Myth of Systemic Police Racism.” In the essay, MacDonald provides compelling empirical evidence to prove that blacks are not shot or killed by police at a level disproportionately higher than whites. She writes: In 2019 police officers fatally shot 1,004 people, most of whom were armed or otherwise dangerous. African-Americans were about a quarter of those killed by cops last year (235), a ratio that has remained stable since 2015. That share of black victims is less than what the black crime rate would predict, since police shootings are a function of how often officers encounter…

  • Christianity,  Culture,  Politics,  Social Justice,  Theology/Bible

    Critical Theory, Social Justice, and Christianity: Are They Compatible?

    Neil Shenvi is a scientist with a Ph.D. in theoretical chemistry from Berkley, but in recent years he has become a budding Christian apologist. He is a member of The Summit Church in Durham, North Carolina (where JD Greear is pastor) and has been putting out some really insightful, accessible material critiquing critical theory and social justice. At a conference earlier this year, he delivered a message titled “Critical Theory, Social Justice, and Christianity: Are They Compatible?” Shenvi shows that critical theory (along with its larger social justice project) is an alternative worldview that is incompatible with Christianity. It is really well done, thorough, and devastating to the claims of…

  • Book Reviews,  Social Justice

    Is social justice unjust?

    I want to post a brief note about Noah Rothman’s new book on social justice titled Unjust: Social Justice and the Unmaking of America (Regnery, 2019). I just finished it a couple days ago and found much that is helpful in it. Rothman outlines a brief history of social justice movements and argues that its current incarnation has collapsed into identity politics. In short, social justice is not about notions of individual liberty and justice but about righting historical wrongs committed against various identity groups. Rothman is not denying that certain groups have experienced injustice. On the contrary, he argues that certain classes of people have in fact experienced historic…