A great, chapter by chapter review by: Pastor Sims Jones, For His Glory and Holiness Ministries, McAllen TX. "...I am not writing this book to stop the divide. I am writing to clearly identify the two sides of the fault lne and to urge the reader to choose wisely." (Pg. 6) "I want this book to be a clarion call. I want to unmask the ideology of Critical Theory, Critical Race Theory, and Intersectionality in hopes that those who have imbibed it can have the blinders removed from their eyes, and those who have bowed in the face of it can stand up, take courage, and 'contend for the faith that was once for all delivered to the saints'" (Pg. 230) These quotes from the beginning and ending of the book sum up the important task Voddie Baucham has taking up in Fault Lines: The Social Justice Movement and Evangelicalism's Looming Catastrophe. In 233 pages over 11 chapters, not including Appendices, Dr. Baucham clearly defines the nature of Critical Social Justice, shows how and why it is different than Biblical Justice, and offers a roadmap to guide pastors like myself who must address this issue. First he gets personal.
In Chapter 1 Dr. Baucham tells his own story, describing the poverty and racism he expressed. He talks of growing up in a single parent home, but with a mother committed to his success. He lived through desegregation and busing. He was robbed at gunpoint and lived in a rough neighborhood. Voddie has seen injustice and the worst of society, yet ultimately prospered because of the favor of God and a caring mother. His life shows that society or "the system" is in fact not the final determiner of one's outcome.
In Chapter 2 Dr. Baucham tells of how is came to Christ and sent many years in and Afrocentric Christianity. He worked in various group homes with kids whose upbringing matched his own. He speaks of being welcomed and promoted in the SBC until he made two errors: Supported a boycott of Disney over its pro-LGBT agenda (pg 30) and identifying as a Calvinist (pg 32). The response to Voddie proved he was anything but a token. What truly caught Voddie's attention was when the SBC apologized for racist history in 1995. This brought conviction to Dr. Baucham because he realized no black pastors were passionate about racial reconciliation. Finally his trip to Africa was life changing.
Voddie wrote all of this to make the point that he has walked the walk, not just talked the talk. He has "lived experience". He is not blind to the reality of “racism” or the ways of this sinful world. Yet he understands, and seeks to help us understand, that the solution offered by Critical Social Justice does more harm than good. Let us get into the meat of the book.
In Chapter 3 - Seeking True Justice - Voddie begins by making it clear that God hates both injustice and falsehoods and lies. Biblical Justice demands truth. Critical Social Justice entails both of the evils hated by God. To demonstrate this point, Voddie examines well known cases such as George Floyd and Michael Brown and Breonna Taylor among others, as well as cases with similar circumstances but with white victims. His point is that CSJ advocates don't care about all cases, just those that fit their narrative. He also shows the danger of univariate analysis to make arguments when more complex analysis is needed. CSJ also takes aim at objective truth and facts, condemning them as "white supremacy" and oppressive. CSJ like to ignore facts of consider such principles such as what is laid out in Proverbs 18:13,17 and Leviticus 19:15. He makes the important point that "People are ignoring these principles because the standard of justice upon which their pleas are built does not come from the God of the Scriptures" (Pg. 44). CSJ is antithetical to true justice.
In Chapters 4 – 6: Voddie lays out the contours of this new religion, and make no mistake it is a new religion, for us to understand. CSJ has its own anthropology – BIPOC are oppressed and whites are oppressors, original sin or racism, law of antiracism, gospel of racial reconciliation, canon of scripture comprising CSJ literature, prophets like DiAngelo and Kendi and so forth. The new priesthood consists of minorities who are the sole meditators of truth based of skin color, “oppressed” status, and “lived experiences”. He introduces and / or reintroduces the term he coined a few years ago, “Ethnic Gnosticism”. He points out the racist notation of the sole black perspective and how this must be maintained at all cost.
In Chapters 7 – 9: He details the damage CRT can do / has done. He shows how it ignores the greatest evil of our time, abortion. He knocks down the myth of the single-issue voter and how the setting aside of the abortion issue to support candidates how condone evil is the natural consequence of CRT/I. He makes the important point that there is a lack of clarity and charity at both sides and reviews the Dallas Statement on Social Justice and the story the SBC resolution 9 of CRT/I, specifically how it was watered down.
In Chapters 10 – 11: He provides guidance for restoration and repairing the damage CRT/I CSJ has done. He shows how CSJ is opposed to Christianity and how BLM, both the organization and the phrase, at based on lies. He closes with encouragement that the gates of hell will not prevail against the church of Christ.
I was pleased to be a part of the Launch Team. Dr Baucham writes in an irenic, pastoral style with a lost for those who have been taking in by this false gospel. He is careful to cite primary sources, not press the data beyond where it can go, and provides the best introduction for those seeking to understand this ideology and / or are confused by its redefinition of gospel terms. I heartily commend this book to all and will use this material in any sermon / teaching I do one CRT/I CSJ with my congregation. God bless All.