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Resurgence Turned Divergence in the Southern Baptist Convention, Part 2

The Christian Worldview / David Wheaton
The Truth Network Radio
January 17, 2020 7:00 pm

Resurgence Turned Divergence in the Southern Baptist Convention, Part 2

The Christian Worldview / David Wheaton

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January 17, 2020 7:00 pm

The Southern Baptist Convention (SBC) is the largest Protestant denomination in the U.S. Having turned from theological liberalism in the 1980s in an era known as the “conservative resurgence”, the SBC is now in another bellwether battle over three issues, all centered around the question of whether Scripture is sufficient in all matters of life and faith…or not.

Last week in part 1, we discussed the first issue of women teaching men, or more broadly, women exercising authority of men in the church and home (1 Tim. 2:11- 15 [Open in Logos Bible Software (if available)] ). There is a great divide taking place in the SBC over this, with Beth Moore, asserting that complementarian theology (i.e. God has established separate yet complementary roles for men and women) paves the way for men abusing women.

In part 2 today, Tom Ascol, pastor and producer of the documentary film By What Standard?, joins us again to examine the second issue being debated—race and the worldview of Critical Race Theory. A resolution on Critical Race Theory was passed at the 2019 SBC annual meeting resolving that the Marx-based, oppressor v. oppressed worldview could be used as an “analytical tool”...

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Resurgence turning divergence in the Southern Baptist Convention. Part 2 of our topic today here on the Christian Reel of Your Radio program where the mission is to sharpen the biblical worldview of Christians and to share the good news that all people can be reconciled to God through faith in Jesus Christ. I'm David Wheaton, the host, and our website is Well, thank you for joining us today as we're in the midst of this three-part series on the happenings within the Southern Baptist Convention. Now, we said last week that the SBC or Southern Baptist Convention is the largest Protestant denomination in the U.S. Having turned from theological liberalism in the 1980s in an era known as the conservative resurgence, the SBC is now in another bellwether battle over particularly three issues, all centered around the question of whether Scripture is sufficient in all matters of life and faith or not. So last week in Part 1 we discussed the first issue of women teaching men, or more broadly, women exercising authority over men in the church and the home.

That's from 1 Timothy 2, 11-15. There's a divide taking place in the SBC over this with Beth Moore, a popular teacher, asserting that complementarian theology, or to define that, God has established separate yet complementary roles for men and women that complementarian theology actually paves the way for men abusing women. So in Part 2 today, Tom Askell, who is the pastor and producer of the documentary film we're discussing, By What Standard, is the title, joins us again to examine the second issue being debated, race and the worldview of critical race theory. A resolution on critical race theory was passed at the 2019 SBC Annual Meeting, resolving that this Marx-based oppressor-versus-oppressed worldview could be used as an, quote, analytical tool.

What exactly is critical race theory, and is it wise to use a humanistic worldview to understand race in broader society? Be sure to tune in today as these issues being debated within the SBC are likely to arrive at your church soon, if not already there. Let's get to the second part of the interview with Tom Askell. Let's go on to the issue of race that's taking place within the Southern Baptist Convention. You mentioned some of the history there, some of the churches and professing Christians back in the day, you know, a hundred and so years ago or more than that, who were Christians and supporting slavery, and then there was a battle over that, and that took place. But now today, you fast forward to today, and in the film, you give some examples, just a smattering of voices from those who are within the Southern Baptist Convention. You had Matt Hall, who's a provost of the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary.

You also had Robin DiAngelo, she's an author of a book called White Fragility, and a couple others. And I'm just going to play this compilation for about a minute and a half of what is being said with regards to the issue of race, and particularly whiteness. As a result of being raised as a white person in this society, I have a racist worldview. I have deep racist biases. I have developed racist patterns. And I have investments in the system of racism because it's served me really well.

It's comfortable. It's helped me overcome the barriers that I do face. And I also have an investment in not seeing any of that, for what it would suggest to me about my identity and what it would require of me. Whiteness is the default factory setting on your whatever product. And then shades of other race, racial identities, and racializations are kind of modifications to the default. So we sometimes, without even realizing it, in our churches, and I say this as an elder at a local Baptist church in Louisville where it is an all-white elder board, we often, I think, assume, well, we want to be diverse, but we want to have diversity on our terms. The reality is that whiteness is rooted in plunder, in theft, in slavery, enslavement of Africans, genocide of Native Americans. Southern Seminary, this is a very white institution. And I don't just mean by, I don't mean by that only look at the student enrollment by race and ethnicity. I mean, the culture of the institution is remarkably white, like so white.

One of the reasons why I love Dr. Hall is because he's well versed in critical race theory and history. Okay. Now, Tom, if I had heard this soundbite, this compilation of different voices, and I believe all of those voices were from people who affiliate with the Southern Baptist Convention. Correct me if I'm wrong. Yeah, no, not Robin DiAngelo. Okay. Not the first woman who spoke, the author of White Fragility, but the other one. And not the Ekemini Uwan who's speaking at the Women's Sparrow Conference.

Okay. But Matt Hall, the provost, was in there. And also the other guy who spoke at the end about critical race theory, Curtis Woods as well. If I had heard this soundbite somewhere else, I would have thought, well, this is from some leftist academic institution somewhere.

But some of these voices are reiterating what's said in this leftist Marxist critical race theory worldview. What is your response to this leavening of this worldview in the SBC? Is it really taking hold? Is this a pretty popular notion within the SBC?

Well, I don't think it's very popular yet, but it is here. And it is here in places of influence as that clip you just played demonstrates, which we've tried to demonstrate in the documentary itself. The reason we juxtaposed those different clips together was to show here's what leftists are saying. And it sounds very similar to what is being said in some of our own colleges and seminaries in the evangelical world.

Now, we're not accusing Matt Hall or Curtis Woods of being equal to Ekemini Uwan or Robin DiAngelo. But we are saying, whenever you're sounding just like them, shouldn't alarm bells go off? Shouldn't we back up and begin to say, wait a minute, are we aware of how closely we're tracking with people whose worldview and whose regard for God's word is such that we would reject it outright? That's our concern. And yes, it is here.

Is it popular? Well, in more academic circles, it's more popular than it is in the pew. But I still believe that Baptists in our churches, our membership, most of our pastors, if they understand the issues and are made aware of its presence, these ideologies having come in, that they will rise up and stand against it and say, we are not going to take this, we must renounce this at once. And that's part of the whole motivation for making this documentary. Tom Asco with us today on The Christian Worldview. You spent a lot of time in this documentary by what standard, and we'll tell listeners how they can get it in just a moment here, about the issue of critical race theory or critical theory and intersectionality.

I'm going to ask you to define those terms. But I want to play a soundbite first from the man you just mentioned, Curtis Woods, who's a professor at Southern Seminary, who was the man at the convention last year where this resolution about critical race theory was being integrated into the Southern Baptist Convention, felt like this should be CRT, as it's called, critical race theory, intersectionality. Let me play the soundbite to get an idea of how it was explained by him as to why it was necessary. The reason why you see this resolution on critical race theory is because we as a committee believe that we have the responsibility not to be taken captive to vain philosophies or alien philosophies that seek to exalt itself against or above obedience to Jesus Christ. When you read this resolution, you see a resolution that says that we must keep the gospel of Jesus Christ above all, and any theory or epistemology has to be subordinate to scripture. And this resolution is very clear in the way that we have approached the discussion of critical race theory and intersectionality.

There's not one member of this committee who would consider himself or herself an apologist for critical race theory or intersectionality. We have been called to defend the faith that was once for all delivered unto the saints. And you can believe that the seat that we're most concerned about in terms of evaluation will be the Bema seat of Christ. And this resolution stands strong to teach individuals how to engage the culture, keeping the gospel above all. Okay, so if you listen to Curtis Woods, the professor at Southern, talk about critical race theory, this resolution, now this is all about the gospel.

And this is really important that we have this as a resolution. Maybe you could give some context, Tom, on why this was such a significant moment for the Southern Baptist. I mean, this made news in the regular Christian world when this occurred, I believe it was last summer. Tell us more about this and why what he was saying maybe isn't what it appears to be.

This caught me off guard. I was not expecting, I don't think anybody at the Southern Baptist Convention was expecting to have to address critical race theory and intersectionality when we showed up in Birmingham last June. What happened is a pastor out in California, Stephen Feinstein, submitted a resolution on critical race theory and intersectionality to the resolutions committee.

Let me back up and explain the process. Every year the president of the SBC, so JD Greer this year, appoints a committee of people who will entertain resolutions and bring out resolutions to the floor for the messengers who are gathered at our annual convention to consider and vote on. Most of the time the resolutions are brought out from the committee or just automatically adopted.

Sometimes there's debate, but usually not a lot of debate because they're mostly not too controversial. This year, or last year, Stephen Feinstein submitted a resolution on critical race theory and intersectionality, which basically rejected, not basically, it thoroughly rejected critical race theory and intersectionality. But what the committee did was took his resolution and they had the option to just dismiss it, not bring it to the floor of the convention. That's something that is done regularly with submission, so it's not anything unusual. Or they can bring it largely unedited to the convention as is and say, this is a resolution from a messenger, we recommend its adoption.

Or they can change it themselves or they can combine it with other similar resolutions or write a resolution themselves similar to it. But what they did with this one is that they got his name on this as it was submitted. They completely rewrote it to say basically the opposite of what he submitted it to say and then brought it out.

And when I saw it on that Wednesday morning, I think it was, I was just blown away. I couldn't believe that we were being asked to adopt a resolution like this. So, Al Mueller texted me and wanted to know if I was going to amend this resolution. So I agreed to do that if he would speak against it. And we began to work on it. Other men began to work on it to see if we could somehow come up with a way to make this more palatable and not so onerous and not so undermining of what we understood the Bible to be teaching. Some folks, Tom Buck spoke against it to say, let's just reject this resolution when it came to the floor. I offered what I hoped would be received as a friendly amendment to strengthen its theological understanding, to uncover its historic origins and to warn about the godless ideologies embedded in them.

And that was rejected. Which are, go ahead and explain what it is. So listeners who maybe aren't familiar with critical race theory, intersectionality are, why is it so undermining and so unbiblical? Okay, Tom Askel will explain what exactly critical race theory is after this break and why it's so undermining to Christianity.

We'll hear that when we come back. Also, you can view this documentary film by what standard by going to our website,, or you can pre-order the DVD. Go to our website,, or just give us a call at 1-888-646-2233.

The critical race theory and intersectionality are simply analytical tools. They're meant to be used as tools, not as a worldview, not a transcended worldview above the authority of scripture. And we stand by the strength of this resolution. Is the Southern Baptist Convention diverging from biblical orthodoxy over issues of women teaching men, homosexuality and critical race theory?

Is this a bellwether of what's coming to your church? By what standard is a 110-minute DVD documentary about the battle taking place in the SBC? You can receive the DVD for a donation of any amount to The Christian Worldview. To order, go to or call 1-888-646-2233 or write to Box 401, Excelsior, Minnesota, 55331.

Be sure to take advantage of two free resources that will keep you informed and sharpen your worldview. The first is The Christian Worldview weekly email, which comes to your inbox each Friday. It contains a preview of the upcoming radio program along with need-to-read articles, featured resources, special events and audio of the previous program. The second is The Christian Worldview Annual Print Letter, which is delivered to your mailbox in November. It contains a year-end letter from host David Wheaton and a listing of our store items, including DVDs, books, children's materials and more. You can sign up for the weekly email and annual print letter by visiting or calling 1-888-646-2233.

Your email and mailing address will never be shared and you can unsubscribe at any time. Call 1-888-646-2233 or visit Welcome back to The Christian Worldview radio program. Our topic today is resurgence turned divergence in the Southern Baptist Convention.

This is part two of our three-part series. Our guest is Tom Askel. He's a pastor and also the president of Founders Ministry.

Their website is and he's also the producer of the film. We're talking about the documentary, nearly two hours long, entitled By What Standard, showing some of these issues that we're talking about last week and this week and then next week as well. And before the break, I was asking Tom about this issue of critical race theory and why it's so undermining.

Let's get back to the interview with him. Go ahead and explain what it is. So listeners who maybe aren't familiar with critical race theory, intersectionality are, why is it so undermining and so unbiblical? Yeah, well, these things come out of the world of sociology and legal theory, these ideas. There's a history that goes back to Marxism.

That's where the origins are. Karl Marx, Max Engels viewed the world in terms of the haves and the have nots. So classic Marxism is materialistic and it's the people who are the producers who do the work and those who have their hands on the levers of power who get the rewards from that work. So they're the owners and they're the workers. And they believe the workers would rise up and overthrow the owners ultimately. Well, some of Marx's disciples saw that that didn't happen in England, it didn't happen in America. Places where it did happen was very, very bloody.

And so they said, what went wrong? And they developed a theory that was still Marxist, but was more sociological, that it's not haves and have nots, it's oppressed and oppressors. And so that's the way you view the world between these different groups.

However, they're identified, you have oppressors and those who are oppressed. Critical race theory is basically a movement that is committed to not just studying race relationships and racism, but to transforming relationships along the lines of race and power. Richard Delgado and Jean Stefancic, whose book was highly recommended by Jarvis Williams, who's a New Testament professor at Southern Seminary, said every Christian ought to read this book so that we can understand race relations better and get a leg up on what's going on. Their book's called Critical Race Theory, an Introduction. It says that critical race theory is trying to change the social situation that we find ourselves in the nation today, not just by understanding how society organizes itself along hierarchies and power structures and racial lines, but to transform that. And so embedded in this theory is the idea that there is oppressed classes and oppressive classes, and that the oppressive classes need to be overthrown if there's going to be justice shown to the oppressed classes. So there are presuppositions that if you are not a part of the oppressed class or classes, then you are complicit in the oppressive class or classes and that you are part of the problem. All relationships are understood in terms of power dynamics, those who are marginalized and those who are privileged, those who have the power and those who do not have the power. And the structures that exist in society have been designed to keep those who have power in power, to keep those without power out of power, to keep those who are oppressors where they can continue to oppress to their advantage, and to keep the oppressed in oppression to their disadvantage. And racism or race then is looked at through this lens and it's, oh, okay, we've got to overthrow the structures.

We've got to deconstruct society if we're really going to deal with racism as a problem. Well, there's so many things wrong with that. I mean, it doesn't view the world the way the Bible tells us to view the world. The Bible doesn't tell us to look at relationships primarily in terms of power dynamics. The most significant relationship we have in all the world is our relationship with God.

We're all creatures. And so there's a commonality that we share as creatures. As Christians, we have a greater commonality through the blood of Jesus Christ, being that we are in union with him and therefore in union with one another. And the racial divides, the ethnic divides, the socioeconomic divides that would normally keep us apart have been destroyed. That's what Paul argues in Ephesians chapter two, that this dividing wall of hostility has been brought down by the cross of Jesus Christ.

And he's taken the two people, Jews and Gentiles, he's speaking up there, but it applies across the board, and he's made of them one new man, one new humanity. Critical race theory ignores that, makes no room for that, and says, no, you are implicitly racist. So Robin DiAngelo, who's very much a proponent of this, says we need to quit asking the question of, am I a racist, and start asking the question, how am I a racist? When you put forward what you hope to be a friendly amendment to it, it was deemed unfriendly. We see this in the film by Curtis Woods, the professor of Southern.

And he responded that critical race theory for the purpose of this amendment was nothing more than a quote, analytical tool. How will this resolution now play out? What effect is this going to have now that the Southern Baptist Convention has recognized and voted in favor of this resolution?

And why is it insidious? First of all, resolutions have no binding authority on any Southern Baptist agency, institution or church. So every Southern Baptist, individually, every church, corporately is free to completely reject and ignore this resolution. All it does is it expresses what messengers at any given time, whenever a resolution is passed, affirm.

So that's it. There's no authority in a resolution. That doesn't mean it's unimportant, but there's no binding authority to it.

It's insidious because it insinuates now into our conversation and into people listening or watching the idea that Southern Baptists have affirmed critical race theory and intersectionality, which on one level is very true. Now, the Resolution No. 9 itself has caveats and nuances in it, which are good, saying that the scripture is supreme, it's authoritative, and everything else must be brought under its authority and rejected if it violates scripture at any point. Oh, that's right, good and true. However, the tool that you choose to accomplish a work matters.

If you choose the wrong tool to accomplish something, then you're going to have some very difficult and maybe even devastating results. For example, here in Southwest Florida, we are infected with what we call no-see-ums, these little things that bite like mosquitoes, but you can't see them. And man, they'll just eat you alive if you're at the wrong place at the wrong time. Well, whenever the no-see-ums invade, I take it personally, I get upset, I want to smash them. I don't want to just get rid of them, I want to smash them. Well, as I said, okay, let me grab this hammer to smash no-see-ums.

Well, I could probably kill a few, but in the process, I'm going to wreak havoc on structures that I hit with a hammer and on my own bones, on the bones of other people that I'm trying to protect from no-see-ums. The tool that you use matters, and critical race theory is a faulty tool. It cannot deal biblically with the issue of racism or ethnic superiority ideas or bigotry.

It cannot do it. Only the gospel can deal with those things. And critical race theory, to be brought in and to be elevated, even at a level of an analytical tool, is unhelpful.

It's insidious because it's subtle. It will take some people down bad paths who say, oh, okay, well, we heard critical race theory can be a good analytical tool, so let me use it to start assessing relationships between races and how we ought to advocate for justice in race relations. I actually read the resolution, Resolution Number 9 that you have been discussing, and I won't go into it now. It's available online for someone who wants to look it up, Resolution 9, Southern Baptist Convention Annual Meeting 2019, that this is not above scripture. We're under the judgment of God on this, and that that's the most important thing to us. That's who we answer to, and critical race theory is underneath the perspective of a biblical worldview. Some people might hear this, Tom, and think, well, what is the problem with this resolution on critical race theory? The problem is that critical race theory has embedded within it ideas that are incompatible with the gospel.

The assumption is, of course, there's racism, and the majority culture is always oppressive, and those that are in minority camps are always being oppressed. Once you put those glasses on, you can say, man, we're going to keep the gospel above all. We're going to keep the Bible as the supreme authority, but you've already adopted presuppositions that are antithetical to the gospel, and antithetical to the Bible, because the Bible tells us that by creation, we are all created by God, for God, so everybody, regardless of your ethnicity, is a creature, an image bearer of God, responsible to him as our creator. When Adam sinned, the whole world sinned with him. In Adam's fall, we fell off, and so by sin, we are all condemned before God, regardless of ethnicity, regardless of where we are in the historical timeline, regardless of whether you're male or female, or it doesn't matter, you're a sinner before God. And then by God's grace, through Jesus Christ, when you turn from sin and trust Christ, you are united to God in him, you are in union with Christ, your identity gets changed from whatever you once were, you are now made new. In him, all things are made new. We are new creations in Christ, which means now because Christ is our savior, God is our father, we are all in the family. We are brothers and sisters together in Christ, and that's the most significant thing about us. Critical race theory says, no, it's not. Okay, you're listening to an interview with Tom Askel today, the pastor of Grace Baptist Church in Florida. He's also the president of Founders Ministries. We're talking about some of the issues going on within the Southern Baptist Convention, specifically today, the issue of critical race theory. This is extremely important to understand, not only for what's going on in the Southern Baptist Convention, critical race theory or critical theory move it beyond race to other oppressed groups is the whole shoot and match right now in society.

This is the division in this country, those who view the world in the way of critical theory oppressed versus the oppressor or the other way around oppressor versus the oppressed will come back. We have much more on this so stay tuned. David Wheaton here to tell you about my boy Ben, a story of love, loss and grace. Ben was a yellow lab and inseparable companion at a stage of my life when I was single and competing on the professional tennis tour. I invite you to enter into the story and its tapestry of relationships with Ben, my aging parents, with a childhood friend I would finally marry and ultimately with God who caused all things, even the hard things to work together for good. Order the book for your friend who needs to hear about God's grace in the gospel or the one who has gone through a difficult trial or loss or just the dog lover in your life. Signed and personalized copies are only available at or by calling 1-888-646-2233.

That's 1-888-646-2233 or The mission of the Christian worldview is to sharpen the biblical worldview of Christians and to share the good news that all people can be reconciled to God through Jesus Christ. For when Christians have a stronger faith and when unbelievers come to saving faith, lives and families and churches, even communities, are changed for the glory of God. The Christian worldview is a listener supported ministry. You can help us in our mission to impact hearts and minds by making a donation of any amount or becoming a monthly partner.

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Our website is I forgot to tell you the last segment. I ran out of time there about how you can watch this film. It's titled By What Standard. It's about these issues being battled over within the Southern Baptist Convention. Very interesting documentary, 110 minutes long, really help you understand the issues taking place there. But it's so much broader than just the Southern Baptist Convention. It's in churches and colleges and Christian colleges all over the country and in broader society as well.

So it's really good to understand this. You can watch the film online. Just go to our website, There's a link to watch the film online. Or if you'd rather have a DVD, we can send you one. It's pre-ordered. They're coming out next month. So you can pre-order it. You'll get on the list and we'll just send it to you when we receive them. And you can just pre-order that by going to our website again, You can call us at our office number, 1-888-646-2233. Or you can write to us.

Send a donation of any amount to Box 401, Excelsior, Minnesota, 55331. Okay, Tom was in the middle of an answer at the end of the last break. So let's get back to that. We have a few more minutes with him. And then we have a whole bunch of sound bites for the rest of the program explaining, talking about critical race theory, who the founder of it is, and so much more.

So let's get back to the remaining moments with Tom Askel. Because Christ is our Savior. God is our Father. We are all in the family. We are brothers and sisters together in Christ.

And that's the most significant thing about us. Critical race theory says, no, it's not. The most significant thing is where you fall in terms of the power dynamics vis-a-vis race. So if you're a part of a racial minority, you're oppressed, you're part of a racial superior group or majority group, you are oppressive.

Well, the foundation's wrong. And as I said earlier, the tool that you choose to address a problem matters. And whenever you pick up the wrong tool to address the problem of racial, sinful prejudices, partiality that is rooted in sin, which are real problems, real sins, but whenever you pick up the wrong tool to address them, you're never going to get the right solution. It's rightly understood that he who identifies the problem is the one who will first get to try to identify the solution. And if you misdiagnose or if you diagnose the problem and then apply the wrong tool to try to fix it, you're going to wind up on the wrong pathway.

And it's going to take you away from what the remedy is. What's the remedy for sin? It's a savior who shed his blood for sinners. And what's the remedy for living well in God's world? It's recognizing we're creatures made in his image who have obligations to him.

Now, praise God, I believe Curtis when he says, man, we're going to keep the gospel above all, we're going to keep the word of God above all. My contention in response to that is you cannot do that and employ this tool the way that it's designed to be employed. If you want to twist it and pervert it beyond its intent, my question is, why then would you pick it up?

Why would you use it if you're not going to use it the way that it is inherently designed to be used? And some of the arguments, they strike me as naive. They strike me as historically ill-informed, because this is the same type of reasoning that was taking place in the last part of the 19th century, the early part of the 20th century, when higher criticism was coming in to the Protestant evangelical world. And we had people saying, of course, we believe in the authority of scripture, but we need to take note of these evolutionary scientific theories that are informing how we understand the world and how we understand the Bible. And we can still maintain the authority of scripture and affirm the authority of scripture and say that Isaiah was written by two or six or seven different authors, and that Moses didn't really write the first five books of the Old Testament, and that Jonah was just a mythological tale. But we're not denying the authority of scripture. We're keeping the authority of scripture above all.

You can't employ the tools of higher criticism and maintain the integrity of God's word as the inscripturated word of the living God. And we've seen that. We saw how it played out in the early 20th century. And my fear is that that same type of naivete may be at work today in some who really do believe, and they are firm on the gospel.

They're firm on the authority of God's word, and yet they're saying, oh, these tools can be useful. I think that was well explained. Tom Askel with us today on The Christian Worldview, talking about our topic of resurgence turned divergence, potentially, in the Southern Baptist Convention. Okay, we've talked about the issues that are being contended over, women teaching men. We've talked about race and critical race theory, that worldview that you've been describing. And then one more issue that's been taking place is the issue of professing Christians who have homosexual desires.

Okay, that was a little preview for next week's program. We're going to talk about that issue with Tom Askel next weekend on The Christian Worldview. But the third issue there, that you can be a Christian and consider yourself to be gay.

But celibate, is that really based on scripture? So Tom will get into that topic next week. But for the rest of the time today, I'd like to go back into the background a little bit more about where this issue of critical race theory and intersectionality comes from. Intersectionality, that word basically means the compatibility of the oppressed groups, the union of the oppressed groups. In other words, all these oppressed groups, whether they're LGBTQ, women, minorities, religious minorities, the working class, those that have been labeled oppressed, there's a compatibility there and they must band together. There must be an intersection of those, intersectionality, to be able to rise up against the oppressor. So that's what that word intersectionality means. One more quick definition. When they were talking in the interview about messengers at the Southern Baptist Convention, that's what they call their attendees, or maybe some people call them delegates or something, but people who come to the Southern Baptist Convention, the various churches and representatives and pastors are called messengers.

So just not to confuse with that particular term. Okay, where does this issue of critical race theory come from? Well, it's been developed, usually one humanistic philosophy is built on another. So yes, it goes probably all the way back to Karl Marx, as Tom Askel was saying.

And then from there, I went to Antonio Gramsci, the Italian communist, and then from there, I went to the Frankfurt School. And then I think an important influencer in this was a man named James Cone. And we have a soundbite coming up from a professor at Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, I think, or maybe Southeastern, one of the one of the SBC seminaries talking about the influence of James Cone. And here's who he was.

He was an American, according to Wikipedia, he died, by the way, in 2018 at age 79. He was an American theologian best known for his advocacy for black theology and black liberation theology. So I would say that critical race theory is really built on the foundation of black liberation theology.

I mean, it's pretty much almost identical. It's about liberating, you know, blacks and other broader now used critical theory, take out the race part, critical theory, freeing the oppressed groups from the oppressors. His James Cone's 1969 book, Black Theology and Black Power, provided a new way to comprehensively define the distinctiveness of theology in the black church. His message was that black power, defined as black people asserting the humanity that white supremacy denied, was the gospel in America. Jesus came to liberate the oppressed, advocating the same thing as black power.

He argued that white American churches preached a gospel based on white supremacy, antithetical to the gospel of Jesus. Cone's work was influential from the time of the book's publication, and his work remains influential today. And that is absolutely the case.

It's very true. You'll hear this man's name, James Cone, come up over and over again. His work has been used and critiqued inside and outside the African American theological community. He was the Charles Augustus Briggs Distinguished Professor of Systematic Theology at Union Theological Seminary until his death.

Okay, so that's who he is. Now, he has been a great influence on many and particularly now, even specifically within some of those who are within the Southern Baptist Convention, some of the professors. Now, I just want to play a sound bite here before the break and let you actually hear from James Cone himself and some of the messages that he has given over time. And this was actually in the film.

This is the sound bites are taken from the film by what standard. Here's James Cone talking about how he developed his black liberation theology from Martin Luther King and Malcolm X. King interpret the gospel in such a way in which the blackness of his identity was not at the center. Malcolm, a Muslim, rejected Christianity because it did not address his blackness. So I wanted to bring the blackness of my identity together with the faith that I had learned in the church. And it was that that brought me to want to interpret the Christian gospel. So in black theology, which I developed, the blackness in that phrase comes from Malcolm X. The theology in it comes from Martin King. So I bring Martin and Malcolm together, the civil rights movement and the black power movement together in order to develop a black theology of liberation. Well, you can see where that kind of theology is going to end up completely a rejection of the true gospel and a perversion of everything that God desires for ethnicities and and everything else. Just you can see how you're going to diverge if you go down the roads he just described.

But he's the influencer of all of this. Coming back more in the Christian worldview after this. There's an abundance of resources available in Christian bookstores and online.

But the sad reality is that many of them, even some of the most popular, do not lead to a sound and strong faith. A key aim of the Christian worldview is to identify and offer resources that are biblically faithful and deepen your walk with God. In our online store, we have a wide range of resources for all ages, adult and children's books and DVDs, Bibles and devotionals, unique gifts and more. So browse our store at and find enriching resources for yourself, family, friends, small group or church. You can also order by calling our office toll free at 1-888-646-2233 that's 1-888-646-2233 or visit The critical race, theory and intersectionality are simply analytical tools. They're meant to be used as tools, not as a worldview. Not a transcended worldview above the authority of scripture.

And we stand by the strength of this resolution. Is the Southern Baptist Convention diverging from biblical orthodoxy over issues of women teaching men, homosexuality and critical race theory? Is this a bellwether of what's coming to your church? By what standard is a 110-minute DVD documentary about the battle taking place in the SBC? You can receive the DVD for a donation of any amount to The Christian Worldview. To order, go to or call 1-888-646-2233 or write to Box 401 Excelsior, Minnesota 55331. Okay, final segment of the day here on the Christian Worldview radio program. I'm David Wheaton, the host and the website is

Again you can get this film we're discussing by what standard. It's viewable by going to our website. You can click on the link and or you can just pre-order the DVD at or just by calling us in our office or writing to us donation of any amount and we'll give out the information in this segment or immediately following the program. I was thinking during the break that you know this sort of worldview thing we're talking about today with critical race theory, this is not something that you can just hear a quick sound bite and just say oh I get it. This is something that takes some you know some attention more than just a quick sound bite and so hopefully if you just joined us today that you can go back and listen to the entire program and get the how one thing builds upon another and getting the history of this how it's manifested today. It will really help you understand what is taking place in our society today understanding this worldview of critical race theory or critical theory, intersectionality. This is all part of the social justice worldview. Social justice is the it's always a battle for the language they always try to capture certain words and language social justice who could possibly be against that but this is all part of that worldview that is going on in our society today. It informs the political divides we see today between the left and the conservative side.

This is the whole deal to understand what's taking place. It shouldn't be used as an analytical tool but Christians should understand what it is. So let's go back to James Cone another sound bite from James Cone and we've he's the father of black liberation theology which I believe is very similar in into critical race theory.

I think critical race theory is probably built on James Cone's theology of black liberation because when you play when I play this next sound bite you're going to hear the similarities about it's all about power it's all about power and the oppressed and so that's what he says and his message here again another sound bite from the film here's James Cone talking about everything is about distributing power. If you read me I'm as hard on the black church as I am on the white church. It's just the white church got more power.

They can do more harm. The more power you have the more harm you can do and that's why the white church need to be critiqued and white theologians need to be critiqued. It has to do with power it has not to do with biology and that's why the redistribution of power is so essential. If you're not talking about redistributing power you're just joking around you just want to feel good.

It's not about feeling good it's about distributing power. Okay there it is from the man who founded black liberation theology who's influenced a whole generation and not only that but then listen to what professor Walter Strickland from Southeastern. He's the associate vice president for kingdom diversity at Southeastern Seminary.

Again this is a Southern Baptist Convention Seminary. Listen to the influence of James Cone with that worldview with that ungodly unbiblical divisive worldview that focuses so much almost entirely on skin color and redistributing power. Listen to what the professor from a Southern Baptist Convention Seminary has to say about James Cone. He's prolific he's written monograph after monograph like hitting you every year especially the beginnings of the movement and then also most recently he came out with a I think is his most beautiful monograph which is the cross in the lunching tree. If you have not gotten that you need to read that it'll challenge you it'll stretch you you may agree with more or less of what he says but either way you'll be blessed by that and so because of that he's this sort of seminal powerful figure almost like a wrecking ball right he is sort of trying to deconstruct and blow up this sort of stranglehold that white men have had on academic theology in America. Professor Southeastern Seminary part of the Southern Baptist Convention promoting James Cone.

If that's not troubling then you're beyond being troubled to hear something like that. He talked about this recent book that James Cone and James Cone's dead now he died in 2018 but I don't know when that particular sound bite was taken from but James Cone talked about the aspect of what the cross of Christ actually is. Listen to this sound bite about how he reinterprets the cross of Christ again James Cone father of black liberation theology great influencer and now it's morphed or this may be a different name for black liberation theology of critical race theory. The cross as I said is God taking the side of the victim.

It's a symbol of that. God making ultimate identification with the powerless. Now if the powerful in our society the white people if they want to become Christians they have to give up that power and become identified with the powerless. If you're going to be a Christian you can't be identified with the powerful and also Christian at the same time.

That's a contradiction of term. Now how do I how do I know that you're really identifying with the victim? Well if you're identifying with the victim you not only want to feel good about that you also have to pay back that which you took. You just don't say please forgive me now the only way in which your repentance your forgiveness can be can be authentic your reception of it can be authentic your repentance can be authentic is that you give back what you took and white people took a lot from black people. Okay so now you're wondering where did all these these people within the Southern Baptist Convention and elsewhere professing Christians start calling for reparations for slavery and so forth.

Well you could just hear it there in the soundbite. You can't be a Christian and be identified with the oppressed or the powerful. Where does it say that in scripture in other words his whole soundbite that whole worldview is critical race theory. He sees the world purely in terms of skin color and who has power and that's it and if you have power you need to be toppled because you're not a Christian if you if you have power and don't redistribute that power. It's a very very insidious dangerous and by the way divisive worldview this does not bring unity to people this does not change people's hearts this creates animosity between peoples and that's not what scripture says. Galatians 3 says for you are all Christians sons of God through faith in Christ for all of you were baptized into Christ have clothed yourself with Christ there is neither Jew nor Greek either slave nor free neither male nor female for you're all one in Christ Jesus.

Nothing about these power structures and redistributing. Thanks for joining us today I hope you'll get this DVD by what standard you can pre-order it at our website there's also a link to watch it online. Stay tuned we have much more coming up next week on this Resurgence Turns Divergence in the Southern Baptist Convention and more broadly until next time think biblically and live accordingly. We hope today's broadcast turned your heart toward God his word and his son to order a CD copy of today's program or sign up for our free weekly email or to find out how you can be reconciled to God through Jesus Christ go to our website or call us toll free at 1-888-646-2233. The Christian Worldview is a weekly one hour radio program that is furnished by the Overcomer Foundation and is supported by listeners and sponsors request one of our current resources with your donation of any amount go to or call us toll free at 1-888-646-2233 or write to us at Box 401 Excelsior Minnesota 55331 that's Box 401 Excelsior Minnesota 55331. Thanks for listening to the Christian Worldview until next time think biblically and live accordingly.
Whisper: medium.en / 2024-03-22 14:52:30 / 2024-03-22 15:10:57 / 18

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