(slight revisions 5/11/21 to make critique section a little less snarky. Corrected an attributed quote, 10/12/21)
This was a much anticipated, much-hyped anti-social justice, anti-CRT book that I had hoped would be a good and fair critique of a flawed movement (every movement has its flaws). I wanted to like this book. I wanted to have a book that I could recommend to friends who are ‘all in’ in the CRT/Social Justice movement. I wanted a book that was fair, balanced, biblical, and culturally and historically attuned. This book fell woefully short of that. I gave it three stars on GoodReads because some chapters were good, yet others painfully bad; however, as I’ve ruminated on the book and seen how it’s been used as a conversation stopper, I’ve downgraded my review to two stars, believing it to be deeply polarizing, toxic, and “sloppily dogmatic.”
A chapter by chapter would be great…but who has the time to write or read that! Here’s the good and the bad.
The section entitled “Thought Lines” and the Intro outline the roots of the CRT movement and define key terms like hegemony, critical theory, critical race theory and intersectionality. It’s helpful to know we are using key terms in the same way. This is a fair representation of these ideas as he defines them in their own words, quoting extensively from critical theory sources. The Introduction lays out Baucham’s thesis clearly – as CRT and the broader social justice movement has infiltrated the evangelical church, an irreparable fault line has developed. It is along this fault line that the church’s looming catastrophe is coming. Our problem is that the “current concept of social justice is incompatible with biblical Christianity. This is the main fault line…[that] threatens to split evangelicalism right down the middle” (5). Further, he states outright that America is on the verge of a race war “if not a complete cultural meltdown” (5). The tensions are so high because those on the side of the social justice movement portray their opponents as being opposed to justice. Baucham believes the church needs to understand and live out a more biblical (read, less Marxist) view of justice.
The personal narrative in chapters one and two is helpful and compelling. In essence, Baucham lays out his bona fides to write a book about race. He is an African American who “grew up poor, without a father, and surrounded by drugs, gangs, violence, and disfunction in one of the toughest urban environments imaginable” (19). The picture Voddie paints of his mother is of a dedicated, hard working, tough-loving woman who protected her son from the violence, from the downward vortex, and from himself. In the end, the author claims “I didn’t just survive; I thrived! Not because of government programs or white people ‘doing the work of anti-racism’; I thrived in large part because, by God’s grace, my mother protected me, sacrificed for me, advocated for me, and disciplined me” (20). Chapter Two, “A Black Christian,” continues the narrative. The chapter opens with a discussion of how one identifies – “the proper order of faith and ethnicity is critical” (21). Beautifully true, Baucham asserts, “The Gospel is not something that merely sits on top of our identity. When we come to Christ, our identity is transformed completely” (22). The chapter recounts his conversion in 1987 during his freshman year at New Mexico State University, his move to Houston Baptist University, and finally Southwestern Baptist Seminary. At some point (partly as a result of Promise Keepers movement in the 90s), Baucham felt convicted that he and most fellow black pastors have pursued segregation in the church rather than reconciliation. He states, “I was not aware of, nor had I ever met, a black pastor who was working or even passionate about racial reconciliation.” (34). Baucham began working in a white church, but was often criticized for “robbing the black church.” In 2006 the author made his first trip to Africa which he describes as life changing, and in 2014 he moved to Zambia to serve as president of the African Christian University. This move gave Voddie a new perspective: “a renewed appreciation for God’s providence…broadened my perspective on slavery…and broadened my perspective on social justice” (37). These two chapters of personal narrative set the stage for the following chapters, situating Voddie as someone who has seen poverty, racial injustice, segregation (on both sides), church politics, etc.
In addition, Baucham does good work in exposing some of the false narratives and misleading use of statistics regarding police shootings, a flashpoint in the current culture. Chapter Three, “Seeking True Justice,” provokes thought and debate. It begins by asserting, rightly, that real justice must be built on truths, not half truths or falsehoods. This chapter includes a lengthy discussion of Colin Kaepernick and his anthem protests. Most of us think Kaepernick was protesting the killing of Trevon Martin or Michael Brown or Tamir Rice, and the author comments “even if that were the case, I did not see his protest as valid” (42). But, according to an NBC interview with the QB, he was protesting the deadly shooting of Mario Woods in San Fransisco. Baucham writes, “the fact that Kaepernick and others saw the Woods case as a legitimate cause for protest is quite telling” (42). The truth of the matter was that Woods was “neither innocent nor unarmed” (43). Baucham sees this kind of misrepresentation of truth as endemic to the racial justice/social justice movement. “Today, people are rioting and demanding justice before knowing the facts,” Buacham contends, “because the standard of justice upon which their pleas are built does not come from the God of the Scriptures” (45). The chapter exposes the hyperbolic tweets of Lebron James, wrestles with the overused phrase “unarmed black man” as well as the underused “unarmed white men,” and unravels the oft repeated statistic that “the police are two and a half times more likely to shoot and kill a black man than a white man” (47). The bare statistic assumes that whites and blacks “have equal exposure to situations that result in FOIS [fatal officer involved shootings]” (49). When you dive deeper, studies reveal that “anti-Black disparities in FOIS disappear or even reverse” (49). In other words, because blacks are more often in confrontation with police, the ration of 2.5-to-1 misleads; in fact, “it is white people who are actually shot at a disproportionately higher rates when the number of interactions with police is tallied up” (49). Further, Baucham claims that using the 2.5-to-1 ratio would actually prove, if we used the same logic, that police have an anti male bias, or an anti young person bias (50). Moreover, police killed in ambushes are evenly split between white and black perpetrators; but, the author reminds us that white men make up a far greater portion of the population. The chapter also compares the deaths black men and women we all know about (George Floyd, Tamir Rice, Philando Castile, Micheal Brown, Breonna Taylor) with similar instances that went unreported in the media because the victims were white (Tony Timpa, Dylan Noble, Devon Guillford, and Ciara Meyer). The deaths of these black men and women, according to the author, are tragic but not unique, and not racially relevant. As said above, this chapter was thought provoking, exploring the truth of so many of the narratives and statistics I have to come to accept.
Secondly, this book does a good job of describing key concepts like whiteness, white privilege, white supremacy, white complicity, and white fragility in terms of how CRT advocates use them. In addition, he helpfully distinguishes between the older definition of racism from sources like Webster’s Dictionary, “A belief that race is the primary determinant of human traits and capability and that racial differences produce and inherent superiority of a particular race” (81) and newer definitions like the one advanced by Christian author Morrison, “as a system of advantage based on race, involving cultural messages, misuse of power, and institutional bias, in addition to the racist beliefs and actions of individuals” (82). Understanding how these words and concepts are being employed goes a long way to ensuring we are not talking past one another. Additionally, I think the author does an admirable job in showing how these concepts come together to provide not just a tool or a theory, but a worldview – “a system, a theology” (83) – one that runs counter to the Christian worldview. Needless to say, Baucham rejects these concepts and finds the newer definition of racism to be problematic and unbiblical.
I do think Baucham addresses something that, to be honest, I hear few addressing – the pressure that is brought to bear on any who disagree with the anti-racist or social justice movement. In his chapter “The Ground is Moving” he mentions several people, who remain anonymous in his book, who privately spoke to him in favor of the Dallas Statement (an ‘anti social justice’ statement spearheaded by John MacArthur), but didn’t want to deal with the backlash. Careers have indeed been derailed as those who criticize CRT or the social justice movement are deemed racists, hostile to minorities, etc. This is true even in evangelical circles and it is chilling. This same chapter details how a SBC resolution, “Resolution #9 on Critical Race Theory and Intersectionality” passed committee and was voted in at the annual convention (2019). I’m glad I’m not a part of the SBC and the picture he paints is not a pretty one. This trend is not one in which healthy dialogue can happen, and is then hostile to the liberal democratic spirit.
His chapter “The Damage” is good in exposing four flaws in the current social justice movement, especially as revealed in evangelicalism: 1) circular, question begging logic, 2) repudiating large swaths of research, 3) condemnation of biblical truth and well established preaching tradition, 4) feeds into victimization mindset (153). On point one, he suggests “the argument goes something like this: systemic racism is the cause of disparities. If you doubt that, it is because you are a racist who wants to protect your power and keep those disparities in place” (155). This is a problematic, common, yet dangerous line of reasoning. On the second point he takes issue with the “sameness premise” – a premise that “a properly run society, people of all human groupings will have similar life outcomes.” Baucham quotes Glenn Loury who suggests that there is a middle course – “acknowledging antiblack biases that should be remedied while insisting on addressing and reversing the patters of behavior that impede black people from seizing newly opened opportunities to prosper” (157). This has, according to Baucham, been the historic message of the black church, but it is a message that is now being silenced. He contends, “any preacher who intends to make a statement to a black audience or about the black community from a biblical text that addresses personal responsibility will have to spend the lion’s share of his message doing so much apologizing and explaining that the force of his admonitions will die the death death of a thousand qualifications “(158). He holds up a speech offered by Barack Obama in 2008 and points out that this message would not longer be received. Moving on the ‘victim mindset’ Baucham really helped me here. So much talk recently has centered on over policing of African Americans and the tough sentences that they have received. Baucham reminds the reader of the history of the drug epidemic and accuses those who assert that reforms to the criminal justice system in the 70s were an attempt to undo the civil rights movement of doing revisionist history. In reality, in the wake of the crack epidemic, which followed the heroin epidemic, “black officials exhibited a complicated and sometimes overlapping mix of impulses. Some displayed tremendous hostility towards to perpetrators of crime, describing them as a ‘cancer’ that had to be cut away…Others pushed for harsher penalties but acknowledged that these measures would not solve the crisis…some even expresses sympathy for the plight of the criminal defendants” ( 171, quoting Forman’s Locking Up Our Own). Increased police presence, stiffer sentences, prescribed penalties, etc., were often demanded by black communities and their leaders as the crack epidemic was tearing their neighborhoods apart.
Lastly, in the good column, I think he does a good job of exposing the BLM organization. It’s roots are indeed anti-Christian, anti-family, Marxist and Pro-LGBTQIA+. He goes so far, farther than I’d go with him, in saying “I oppose BLM and have refused even to say the phrase” (217). BLM is problematic as an organization and I think Christians need to be aware of that. Having warned of the nature of the BLM organization, he goes much farther that I would when he condemns all those who have participated in BLM marches (I did, in fact, attend one). He writes, “It is unacceptable for Christians to partner with, celebrate, identify with, or promote this organization.” I could list a lot of unbiblical aspect of, say, the RNC. Does that mean we cannot support Republicans in any way (or Democrats either)? Again, I think his comments on the BLM organization are true and should be heard, but there is something to be said for co-belligerency even with organizations we cannot fully support.
In the chapter I noted was good and thought provoking (on police shootings and statistical data), Baucham does not pause in this chapter to ask why black men interact with the police more often than whites. Are they more heavily policed? More prone to criminal activity? If so why? I’m left with the unanswered question, “why are black men more frequently in encounters with police officers?” The authors assumption seems to be “because they commit more crime.” But, again, why? Because they are living in more impoverished, crime ridden neighborhoods? Why? He seems unwilling to look beyond personal responsibility as the answer to these questions, unwilling to accept that any systemic issues may exist out of fear of falling into the victim-hood mentality he loathes.
While the author does a good job, as mentioned above, of showing how anti-racist/CRT concepts form a unified worldview, I think a major flaw in his work is that he fails to recognize that some of these insights are valid and can be adopted by Christians without buying the whole package. Science is a key component of a naturalistic worldview. I can accept the validity of science and of specific scientific discoveries without adopting a naturalistic worldview. For example, he demonstrates that white privilege is a core tenet of “the cult of antiracism”, yet he does not discuss if, in fact, white people are afforded certain privileges because of their whiteness. Nor does Baucham offer any theologically nuanced interaction with these ideas, he simply dismisses them. He notes, for instance, that one definition of white supremacy “mirrors the orthodox doctrine of total depravity” (76). I agree that, in some CRT authors, it does have that ring to it. But, is it possible that in some cultures or among some groups the fall has manifested itself in particular ways? One group may be more given to pride, another to sensuality, another to devaluing of life. And maybe, another is given to privileging their skin color over others and treating others as inferior? In addition, Baucham seems to reject or be unable to comprehend that racism has manifested itself differently through different periods – if racism doesn’t look like the antebellum south, Jim Crow or the KKK, then it doesn’t exist. Moreover, there seems to be an absolute unwillingness to accept the notion of corporate sins, but zero theological reasoning as to why.
Buacham rejects the notion that justice requires equitable outcomes. By and large, I agree, if we are talking about individuals. It is not unjust, necessarily, for someone to do better than me in school, get a better job that has healthcare benefits, and own a nicer home than me. But, there is a difference when you compare segments of the population. If women make less then men, when all other factors are taken into account, it may be a problem. When Latinos receive far less education than other segments of the population, it may be a problem. When Black Americans are more prone to poverty or have more conflicts with the police or their wealth is more precarious than other segments of the population, it may be a problem. Certainly, if Black man A is less wealthy than White man B, or Latino woman C is less educated than White woman D, that isn’t necessarily unjust. But when whole demographics repeatedly show up on the underprivileged or under-performing side of the ledger, it seems we should consider that maybe, in some way, the deck is stacked against them.
Logical fallacies abound. Here is one that frustrated me in particular. He writes, “If DiAngelo and Morrison are right and 1) racism is corporate as opposed to individual, 2) racism is America’s sin, and 3) racism is connected to whiteness, then it follows that as a black man, I am not only exempt from racism, but I am also not an American” (82). He builds on this line for reasoning for the next page or two. But point one is clearly a false dichotomy – while the authors mentioned would certainly contend that racism is corporate, they would not, in any way, deny that it can also be individual. All of these points considered together still do not lead to his conclusions that he is exempt from racism or that he is not an American. For instance, to say that Israel was an idolatrous nation does not mean that Elijah, a faithful prophet who didn’t bend the knee to Baal, wasn’t an Israelite. But idolatry was a stain on his nation just as racism is a stain on ours. Or to say, as the Lord does, that Israel was oppressing the poor doesn’t mean that the poor couldn’t, at the same time, also be guilty of oppressing others – may be abusing their wives or oppressing foreigners. So, while I’d say Baucham is exempt from the guilt over the white-supremacist type of racism that has plagued America since its birth (the kind of racism DiAngelo and Morrison are addressing), he is a) still an American, and b) could potentially be guilty of other forms of racism.
In the same chapter, Baucham criticizes Ibram X. Kendi, “Kendi’s solution [to systemic racism] is legal rather than spiritual” (89). I know little about Kendi, but this criticism is disingenuous (though it will play to a certain audience). Later in the book Baucham admits he is concerned, even angered, that the anti-racist movement has distracted the church from the anti-abortion movement. But, being anti-abortion isn’t enough. Seeking remedies that fall short of overturning Roe aren’t enough. He lambasts Pro-Life Evangelicals for Biden (Ron Sider, Richard Mouw, Richard Foster, and John Perkins) for a statement that suggests other issues like poverty and lack of health care are also pro-life issues. He writes, “I agree wholeheartedly that being pro-life should go beyond just being anti-abortion. However, it must start there” (192). In other words, don’t just be prolife, be prolife the same way I am. And don’t just seek to reduce abortion by offering free health care or childcare, make it illegal by voting for people, like Trump, who promise to overturn Roe. But he criticizes Kendi for offering a legal instead of spiritual solution?! What a clear and unfair double standard.
The chapter entitled “A New Priesthood,” takes aim at “ethnic gnosticism,” the idea that “people have special knowledge based solely on their ethnicity” (92). Baucham does highlight some obviously erroneous views. For example, George Lukacs writes, “the knowledge yielded by the standpoint of the proletariat stands on a higher scientific plane objectively” (92). This is non-sense. But, rejecting this untruth does not mean that we should undervalue lived experience. Baucham also reject the perfectly reasonable statement by Delgado, “The voice-of-color thesis holds that because of their different histories and experiences with oppression, Black, American Indian, Asian, and Latino writes and thinks may be able to communicate to their white counterparts matters that the whites are unlikely to know” (92). Lukacs and Delgado are not saying the same thing, but Baucham conflates the two. He does, helpfully I think, warn against assuming a singular black perspective and the trend of dismissing disparate minority voices. But his stubbornness or naivete forces him into a corner where he denies that cultural blind spots exist. “David Platt,” he accuses, “bowed to these forces when he said, ‘I want to sacrifice more of my preferences as a white pastor…I need to grow…I I do not want to speak from the Bible on issues that are popular among white followers of Christ…And I know, as a white pastor, I have blind spots, so I am part of the problem” (102). He is concerned because, for example, Phil Vischer says, “We need to listen to voices who study the issues and have had the experience” (99). But, in what world is experience not helpful! If I’m going to visit Paris, I consult people who’ve been there. If I want to build a treehouse, I seek advice from people who’ve done it. If I want to know what it is like to sit on a crowded plane when you are obese, I don’t ask a skinny guy! Certainly, some theorists take this too far and say things like “the quest of objectivity is tantamount to white supremacy” (100). But, rejecting that does not mean, cannot mean, devaluing people’s on-the-street experience. Part of the reason he rejects the lived experience is “that those stories so often are proven wrong” (106). Of course, we should not support untruthful story-telling, but is it only black Americans who are prone to shade the truth? He offers a few examples where accusations against police by black motorists were proven false. How about some examples where claims to innocence by white police officers were also proven false?
This leads to another even more serious flaw. The attacks on those Christian leaders who do accept some aspects of CRT (i.e. that white privilege exists or that there is such a thing as systemic racism) are frequent and ungenerous in the extreme, often reading them in the worst light possible. Matt Chandler is called out for acknowledging that he has “grown up with the invisible bag of privilege” (73). Heartrendingly, in a paragraph that calls out David Platt for his his 2018 Together for the Gospel sermon (which I watched and was deeply moved by), Baucham asserts, “it is the antiracists who have abandoned the Gospel since, in their view, there is no good news of grace. There is only law” (88). This is a bald faced misrepresentation of Platt’s sermon and of the many Christian antiracists he calls out. Nowhere did Platt suggest there was no forgiveness for the racist. Platt would most definitely extend the gospel of grace to all who repent. Does he preach law (“do this,” and “don’t do that”)? Of course! Every Christian preacher should preach law – we still tell people don’t lust, don’t be greedy, strive for justice, love your neighbor, AND don’t be a racist! Paul’s gospel-saturated letters still make demands of people, still call them to right living vertically and horizontally. Our preaching should reflect this still today, as Platt’s sermon does, and to suggest that doing so is a betrayal of the gospel is grossly unfair.
Following on this, Baucham seems very reluctant to accept truth that doesn’t come directly from the Bible, writing, “If it doesn’t come from the Bible, where is it coming from?” (111). That is very different than saying, “we subject all claims to truth to the light of God’s word.” He is saying, in essence, if you can’t show me chapter and verse, it isn’t true. Issues of bioethics? If it doesn’t come from the Bible, then where? Penalties for legal infractions? If it doesn’t come from the Bible, then where? Correct tire pressure for my car? If it isn’t coming from the Bible, where is it coming from? I’m making light of this line of reasoning in Baucham’s book, but it leads him to a serious, stubborn refusal to listen, not only to the insights of other disciplines but even Christians who draw on other disciplines. It has an old-school fundamentalist smell to it, which I’ll return to further down.
The chapter on the “New Canon” is especially egregious in this refusal. The chapter calls out Christianity Today for publishing a reading list in an article “The Antiracist Curriculum White Evangelicals Need.” While the author does not object to reading broadly and even reading extensively those whom you would disagree with, he contends, “I see this as another fault line” (117). He provides several case studies, accusing Christians of serious theological errors for embracing aspects of what this list represents. John Onwuchekwa is targeted for comments he made on a podcast. John O. said, “You start to read books outside of the Bible and they help you understand what’s being said in the Bible…it’s like this, unless you had science, the Bible wouldn’t make sense. Archeology is a science. If we did not have archeology, much of your Bible would not make sense…The problem is when we start to talk about social sciences and history, now all of the sudden, those are out of bounds” (118). Honestly, I’m not comfortable even with the parts of the statement Baucham accepts. I tend to approach the canon as “a closed world” – everything you need to know to interpret Scripture is provided in the canon (I believe this approach is attributed to John Sailhammer). I cringe whenever I hear someone say, “You don’t understand this text without knowing the culture or geography of Ephesus or Jerusalem…” But, Baucham’s accusation that John O. “impugned the sufficiency of Scripture” is way off base. He no more impugned the sufficiency of Scripture than a pastor who relies on The Life and Times of Jesus the Messiah and believes cultural background is important. Baucham continues, “In no area does God require me to walk in a level of righteousness for which the scriptures do not equip me – including any and all aspects of justice” (119). I question whether Voddie would consistently apply this rule. I may feel I should take care of the earth, but I still discard old batteries in the trash until I read a scientific article that demonstrates how bad this is for God’s earth! This extrabiblical source has helped me understand the implications of a biblical truth. Or, take the abortion issue again (his favorite). Does the Bible tell us what happens at conception to qualify the fetus as a life? Does it tell us how to vote on such matters? Should we even look outside scripture to know how to apply scriptural principles – like at the party platforms of given candidates? Still, Baucham rails “the Bible neither needs nor finds authority outside of itself (120). Neither I nor John O. would debate that. But, is it wrong to turn to outside resources to help understand the Bible or how it applies to our time? Apparently, Baucham thinks it is (and yet, he’s written a book to help us understand how to apply biblical principles of justice).
His “Case Study” on David Platt was, to be honest, infuriating. I almost quit reading. I’m no fan of Platt; Radical is a bad book. But the ungenerous tone of these pages made me go and listen to the sermon in question, a sermon delivered at the 2018 Together for the Gospel Conference. I would HIGHLY recommend you give this message a listen! The sermon, based on Amos 5, runs almost an hour. If this was a usual sermon, I’d say a) too long, and b) too much time spent on application. About 70% is application to our current context, 30% exposition of Amos 5. Here, he is accused of reading “foreign ideas into the text” (122). The “sermon fell short of exegetical standards” and one professor complained, “If he had done that in my class, I would have given him a ‘D'” (123). Platt’s crime? He drew upon a book, recommended to him by Mark Dever, written by Michael Emerson and Christian Smith, Divided by Race: Evangelical Religion and the Problem of Race. I’ve read this book, and it is excellent. Baucham writes, “My point here is not whether Divided by Faith has merit. I think it does. My point is this: If someone like David Platt can go off the rails and start reading things into Scripture during a sermon delivered at one of the largest and most influential conferences in evangelicalism due to the influence of a sociology text, what do we think is going to happen when we create a new canon in the form of an ‘antiracist curriculum’ for white evangelicals” (123). His blindness to his own double standard is mind-boggling. In his conference message given Coral Ridge Presbyterian Church, he opens by drawing approvingly on economist Friedrich Hayek. He reads from Micah 6 with far less exposition than Platt. He draws on those who have defined the new social justice movement (i.e. William Young, Peggy McIntosh, authors in ‘grievance studies’, etc.), albeit disapprovingly, but to help his listener understand why this new movement is so bad and how we should apply the Bible to it. And, at the beginning of this book, he touts his sociology degree as making him uniquely qualified to tackle this issue!
Baucham, again and again, comes back to the abortion issue, contending that it is a justice issue. I agree with him on that. But he makes it THE justice issue. He worries that those who are cozying up to social justice warriors now on the race issue will soften on the abortion issue and warns that “bad company ruins good morals” (182). And yet, he offers no criticism for those who’ve cozied up to Trump or the other Republicans like Matt Gaetz or Marjorie Taylor Greene – will being in their company corrupt the Christian Republican’s character, or does that only work against Christian Democrats? (Baucham does acknowledge he is often disappointed with his behavior and that Republicans are not above reproach, but he is “grateful to God for having put him where he is, for such a time as this,” pg 199). He criticizes Tim Keller for suggesting that voters shouldn’t be single-issue voters. Keller wrote, “The Bible tells me that is a sin and great evil, but it doesn’t tell me the best way to decrease or end abortion in this country, nor which policies are most effective” (184). He criticizes Keller for his comment “If you have white skin, it’s worth $1 million over a lifetime,” and “I am the product of and standing on the shoulders of other people who go that through injustice…the Bible says you are involved in injustice…even in if you didn’t actually do it” (186). Baucham complains that Keller is clear on race but equivocates on abortion. But, that is simply not true. He called abortion and racism evils and offered solutions to neither because he understands they are difficult and nuanced. Likewise, Baucham attacks Platt (again) for suggesting (correctly) that abortion isn’t the only issue in the 2020 election. A large portion of the chapter “Aftershock” is devoted to denouncing the DNC as a pro-abortion, Marxist, CRT loving, immoral party with no redeeming qualities who “omitted the words ‘under God'” in several of their convention meetings (196) when saying the Pledge of Allegiance.
There are many other flaws in this book (i.e. his attempt to debunk the 3/5 person myth written into the US Constitution). In the end, this book made me sad because of its unwarranted attacks on other Christian leaders. He laments that we no longer engage ideas but merely attack people. But, here’s a partial list of people he attacks: Latasha Morrison, Jemar Tisby, Eric Mason, Jim Wallis, Matthew Hall (provost at SBTS), Matt Chandler (Acts29), Mark Dever (9Marks), David Platt, John Piper, Ligon Duncan (RTS professor), Tim Keller, Thabiti Anyabwile, Phil Vischer, Russell Moore, Anthony Bradley, John Onwuchekwa, 9Marks, Gospel Coalition, Together for the Gospel, PCA, SBC, SBTS, and Christianity Today. Some deserve correction for overstatement or uncareful words, but he, in essence, calls them all cowards or sell outs. He believes we “are at war” and anyone quoting from a CRT scholar, believing there may still be systemic injustices, or pushing for social justice in ways he doesn’t agree with, are the enemy. In fact, it’s worse as he likens these men to those who bowed the knee to Baal in the days of Elijah (205).
In the end, Baucham seems to conjure up the spirits of old-school fundamentalists, suggesting that the way forward is simply to preach the gospel. Obviously, the gospel holds the only real, lasting, profound solutions. But it cannot be an either-or situation. We both preach the gospel and work in the context of our societies legal and economic structures to build a better society, to seek the good of the city.
A critical review of Fault Lines by Bob Stevenson on Mere Orthodoxy.
A more positive review by Neil Shenvi.