The United States is the midst of big change. First, it was COVID-19 and all the changes around which everyone had to adopt. Then, it was economic shock. And now it has moved to public protests, demonstrations, and civil unrest.
Now, it has moved even further with changes in police departments, sponsorships, corporations, and many public institutions.
What are disciples and disciple makers to do in such times?
Natasha Crain recently published a very helpful post entitled, “5 Ways Christians are Getting Swept into a Secular Worldview in This Cultural Moment.” As she points out, many people around us are jumping on a bandwagon of some kind, and the dominant bandwagon is not rooted in values consistent with a biblical worldview.
As I pointed out in my blog on this topic last week (click here), we must be aware of the cultural moment in which we are living and realize that we must do what the apostle Paul described in 2 Corinthians 10:5—and take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.
But how do we do that?
I would like to recommend twelve key resources that can help guide us as disciples and disciple makers of Jesus.
1. Podcasts on Emotional Health, we must engage at an emotional level to understand and listen. Our friend Pete Scazzero has a couple of great podcasts on why we must get under the surface and empathize with our hearts at the level of hurt, emotion and grief. As Pete points out, if we do not carefully enter in at this level, then we will likely not be able to talk meaningfully about practices or beliefs or the worldviews that may be guiding the narrative. Check out Pete’s June 8th and June 15th podcasts at emotionallyhealthy.org/podcasts.
2. An Empathetic Biblical Posture, I want to mention a great conversation I had recently with a friend of mine who is an African American. She pointed out why so many African Americans are attracted to Critical Race Theory (which is a sub-set of Critical Theory) and the book White Fragility.
She said, “It describes our narrative.”
She said that Critical Race Theory (White Fragility) explains the experience of African American better than anything else she has seen out there. It is hard to listen to another perspective if it does not adequately describe your personal narrative. She wants church leaders to show her a better lens – she wants a Biblical perspective that connects with her experience. I believe that it is important to listen to her. It is important that we do not come across as being opposed to understanding their systemic mistreatment and experience, as we look at the important underlying philosophical factors at work in our society.
There are two resources that I recommended to her. The first one is Tony Evan’s book, Oneness Embraced: Reconciliation, the Kingdom, and How We are Stronger Together. Tony is a widely respected African American preacher and he does a good job describing the teaching of God’s Word in light of the black experience in America—you can click here to look at his book.
The second is a draft church position paper that the leaders in our church have been working through as we seek to provide an alternative posture to the world based upon the teaching of God’s Word (click here to read).
A Big World-View Problem
The vast majority of pastors, leaders, and disciple makers do not even understand the underlying philosophical change that we are witnessing in our society. In the words of a friend, “we have to help church leaders and disciple makers to easily go to school so they can understand what is happening.”
To help us all “go to school” on the new dominant philosophy that is being revealed in these times, I hope the following resources will be helpful to you. I start with those that are the most accessible for quick understanding up through the most in-depth (the last links).
3. Short Video—“Is Critical Theory Biblical?” by the Colson Center—click here. This short, animated video is the best simple introduction to Critical Theory and its conflict with biblical teaching that I have found. We showed it in church recently. (5 mins.).
4. Blog Post—5 Ways Christians are Getting Swept into a Secular Worldview in this Cultural Moment, by Natasha Crain—click here. A great summary of how the events of the last few weeks cause more and more people to be discipled into Critical Theory. (8 mins.)
5. Podcast—Critical Theory and Intersectionality: What Christians Need to Know, by Alisa Childers and Neil Shenvi—click here. Alisa hosts an excellent regular podcast, and in this episode, she gets Neil Shenvi to introduce the key points of Critical Theory. The podcast ends with a great discussion on race. (58 min.)
6. YouTube Discussion—Race, Injustice, and the Gospel of Critical Race Theory, by Alisa Childers and Monique Duson—click here. This is a dynamic interview and discussion by Alisa Childers with Monique Duson, an African American woman and former Critical Theory devotee. Monique describes the attraction and consequences of Critical Theory. (56 min.)
7. YouTube Presentation—“Social Justice, Critical Theory, and Christianity: Are They Compatible?” by Neil Shevni—click here. The best expanded explanation of Critical Theory I can find on the web, with a focus on the strengths and weaknesses. (1 hour and 15 mins.)
8. Six-Part Blog Post—“Social Justice, Critical Theory, and Christianity: Are They Compatible?” by Neil Shevni (exact written copy of the video presentation)—click here. These short posts explain in a simple by comprehensive way what Critical Theory is and how it is in conflict with the Bible. (20 mins.)
9. YouTube Presentation—Defining Social Justice, by Voddie Baucham—click here. This presentation by an African American preacher is an excellent discussion of social justice as the term is used today, as well as how people use it to twist it away from Bible teaching and how it is now being used against biblical teaching. (37 mins).
10. YouTube Presentation—White Privilege: The New Original Sin, by Thomas Ascol—click here. This teaching contrasts the teachings of Critical Theory on White Privilege with what the Bible Teaches. (33 mins.)
11. YouTube Presentation—Cultural Marxism, by Voddie Baucham—click here. This presentation by an African American preacher is an excellent discussion of the underlying philosophical battle that is occurring in our culture (1 hour and 5 mins.)
12. YouTube Presentation—The Trojan Horse, Episode 1: Deconstructing Communities, by Peter Boghassian and James Lindsay, hosted by Michael O’Fallon—click here. This is the most substantive source of information on Critical Theory. It is an interview with two atheist philosophers (Ph.Ds.) who are experts in Critical Theory. They were asked to describe the results of the Southern Baptist Denomination affirming part of Critical Theory (as they did in 2019). They describe the decision as a “Trojan Horse” because the adoption of Critical Theory will destroy the denomination. It may be the most important, substantive and terrifying presentation on Critical Race Theory you will ever hear. (1 hour and 35 mins.)
We believe the Jesus Christ is the Way, the Truth, and the Life. Let’s follow Jesus and help other people to turn away from harmful human-made philosophy to follow Jesus with us.
We want to be disciples of Jesus who love people enough to help disciple their minds in this important cultural moment.