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The Christian & Social Justice (Part 2): 25 Resources For Un-Masking the Social Justice Movement

(This is Part 2 of a series on the Christian & Social Justice. If you missed part 1, Click Here).

Imagine that you are meeting a friend for lunch, and as you approach your table, you notice a familiar face in the back of the restaurant.

It's your husband.

He's with someone.

As you get closer, you realize that he's with a woman who looks like you. She speaks like you. She dresses like you. She's almost identical to you. 

But she's definitely NOT you. 

As you ponder the strangeness of this situation, you suddenly realize 

...Oh, my goodness....he thinks he's with me....

How long do you think it would take before you start to feel awkwardly uncomfortable with the realization that your husband doesn't know you well enough to recognize when he's with an impostor? 

Fortunately, this bizarre situation isn't likely to unfold in the real world, but I see it happening in the spiritual world all the time. If we're not careful, we can absorb unbiblical ideas without recognizing that they're masquerading as Truth.

In the same way that earthly husbands and wives would know the genuine article from a fake, I feel pretty certain that Jesus longs for His people to know Him so well that they no longer confuse Him with something He isn't (John 17:3).

The latest installment of such a sneaky little idea is today's current Social Justice ideology. Granted, contemporary social justice has some reasonable pursuits in mind, but it lacks the worldview to deliver what it promises.

In my last blogpost, I introduced you to the history of current social justice thinking,  and showed you how it's inconsistent with Scripture. 

In today's post, I want to help you get familiar with Critical Social Justice Theory yourself, so that you can be prepared to recognize the errors before you accidentally embrace them. Then, we can all work together to unmask the counterfeit ideologies behind the current social justice movement.

Here is a quick snapshot of the things you need to know about Social Justice issues today as compared to Scripture:

  • If our view of people primarily classifies them according to group identity, rather than as an individual Image-Bearer of God, it isn't consistent with Scripture.
  • If our view of a person's guilt or innocence is due to their group identity rather than individual moral agency, it isn't consistent with Scripture.
  • If the solution to oppression violates God's moral prescription for human conduct, it isn't consistent with Scripture.
  • If our view of utopia involves human perfectibility and can be accomplished strictly through human means, it isn't consistent with Scripture.

I've been burdened with the desire to set the record straight, because I believe Critical Social Justice Theory to be destructive to a person's faith.

With that in mind, I've been scouring the interwebs looking for resources that will give you a crash-course on Critical Theory and its incompatibility with Christianity. I've come up with 25, so far, and they're listed below. If you want a jump-start on the ones which I believe to be the most user-friendly, you can't go wrong with #6, #8, #12, #15, #20, and #26 (it's a BONUS!).

 Articles  on Social Justice and Critical Theory:

1. Herbert Marcuse: The Philosopher Behind the Ideology of the Anti-Fascists.

This is a really great article from the Foundation of Economic Education. You’ll learn a great deal about the Marxist Roots of today’s social justice movements and why we shouldn’t support them:

  • “The problem is that if you view the world through the obfuscated lens of conflict, then you see little other than power dynamics, and the only way to restore power imbalances is to use force.”
  • “Restoring power means that the oppressed become the oppressor and that leads to nothing but an infinite power struggle, a Marxist conception in its own right.”

Link to Article

 

2. Christian Millennials and the Lure of Socialism, Part One: How Biblical Concern for the Poor Can Turn Into an Unbiblical Understanding of People 

In this post, Dr. Thaddeus Williams writes specifically about socialism, rather than on Social Justice in its broader context, but it still contains important themes for consideration.:

  • “And since bad ideas about people have bad effects on people, this is no trivial concern….If we get human nature wrong, then the very policies we endorse to help God’s image-bearers will end up hurting them”

Link to Article

 

3. Christian Millennials and the Lure of Socialism, Part Two: How Biblical Concern for the Poor Can Turn to an Unbiblical Understanding of People

This post continues from Part One by focusing on what’s at stake. Progressive social policies tend to address only the earthly issues which defaults to government coercion. Plus, there’s this:

  • “Once we abolish God, the government becomes God.” – G.K. Chesterton

Link to Article

 

4. Social Justice: Not What You Think It Is

This little gem of an article was written in 2009 by the late Michael Novak for the Heritage Foundation. It contains a number of wisdom nuggets, but these stood out to me:

  • “In this way, the common good becomes an excuse for total state control. That was the excuse on which totalitarianism was built.”
  • ”This is really a dreadful change, because where people take equality very seriously, they soon insist on uniformity.”
  • “We must not allow that beautiful term "compassion" to blind us. There are true forms and false forms.”

Link to Article

 

 5. Critical Theory and Christianity

This is an earlier work by Drs. Shenvi & Sawyer, writing for Free Thinking Ministries. This blogpost is a fairly thorough breakdown of the principles of Critical Theory and why they simply contradict and undermine core Biblical Truth, which in turn, will erode our commitment to Christianity.

Link to Article

 

6. How Should Christians Think About Social Justice

This blogpost features an interview between Dr. Sean McDowell, and Dr. Thaddeus Williams, both of Biola University. Dr. Williams compares and contrasts current Social Justice thinking with principles of Biblical Justice, in order to demonstrate just how different they actually are:

  • “It [Marxism] claimed to be about justice and compassion. Where a biblical worldview built orphanages and hospitals to help the marginalized and broken, Marxism gave us the killing fields of the Khmer Rouge. Where the Gospel led to the abolishing of the human dumps of the Roman Empire and brought society’s unwanted into loving community, Marxism endorsed the systematic termination of society’s unwanted. Where biblical Christianity set slaves free, Marxism sent millions to the gulags. Where Christianity inspired the Oxfords and Cambridges into existence to pursue knowledge to the glory of God, Marxism inspired thought-policing. Where Jesus transformed deep racial tensions into a new, beautiful, reconciled community, Marxism helped spawn identity politics and all the divisiveness, suspicion, and racial stereotyping that go with it.”

Link to Article

 

7. The Incompatibility of Christianity and Critical Theory.

This is a straight-up, kind of short, no-frills dissection of Critical Theory and it’s divergence from a Christian Worldview, written by Dr. Neil Shenvi and Dr. Pat Sawyer, writing for the Gospel Coalition in May of 2019.

Link to Article

 

8. Why the Culture’s Definition of Social Justice Isn’t Biblical

Fellow Biola Alum and apologist Claudia Kalmikov breaks down Social Justice and Critical Theory in everyday, commonsense language. She also includes the highlights from Dr. Neil Shenvi’s work, and adds some specific Biblical passages to round out her easily accessible blogpost.

Link to Article

 

9. Is Socialism Compatible with Christianity

In this blogpost, Claudia veers away from Social Justice/Critical Theory to explore Socialism vs Christianity. But she hits on some of the basics of Marxist ideals and contrasts them with Biblical principles, which makes for a quick and solid overview of this topic.

Link to Aricle

 

10. White Fragility: Behind the Worldview by Neil Shenvi

In this article, Neil Shenvi, writing for Ed Stetzer’s The Exchange, outlines the main themes behind Robin D’Angelo’s White Fragility, and why it is deceptively mistaken.

Link to Article

 

11. A Biblical Critique of Secular Justice and Critical Theory, by Tim Keller

This essay by Tim Keller covers more than just Critical Theory, but its assessment of the ideology and its flaws are right on:

  • “You cannot insist that all morality is culturally constructed and relative and then claim that your moral claims are not. This is not a flaw that only Christians can see, and this may therefore be a fatal flaw for the entire theory.”

Link to Article

 

Interviews for the Christian Interested in Social Justice:

12. ATT#61 Confronting Injustice Without Compromising Truth || 6/27/2020 INTERVIEW WITH THADDEUS WILLIAMS

Theology Mom. Krista Bontrager, co-hosts a weekly show, called ‘All The Things,’ with Monique Duson of the Center for Biblical Unity. On this episode, they interview Dr. Thaddeus Williams, author of Confronting Injustice Without Compromising Truth, due out December of 2020. Dr. Williams brings great discussion to the table, but his reason for choosing to get knee-deep in the academic literature regarding Social Justice and Critical Theory says it all:

  • “The reason I got involved in social justice, in thinking deeply about that…was seeing alot of my students at Biola University get wrapped up into contemporary social justice movements that turned them from bright-eyed, gospel-proclaiming young men and women of God, into chronically triggered, suspicious, resent-fueled students.”

Link to Video

 

13. Hijacking Social Justice

From Mortification of Spin, this is a podcast interview which explores the competitive relationship between the Gospel of Jesus and the Social Justice Movement. It’s a friendly but open dialog which is clearly concerned with fidelity to Scripture and the Gospel. It contains these really important points that you won’t want to miss:

  • “What's the best way to promote a virtuous citizenry with a common morality? By the transformation of the hearts of people by the gospel.”
  • “When social justice is divorced from its biblical context, it can become, at best, a distraction from the heart of the gospel, and at worst, an unbiblical agenda covered with a Christian veneer.”
  • Michael Novak quote: “In most modern progressive usage, the cry for social justice is not a cry for greater virtue on the part of the citizenry. Indeed, the citizenry is deemed to lack sufficient virtue to such an extent that the state must intervene in effect, by coercion, the redistribution that individuals lack the virtue to effect on their own.”

Link to Podcast

 

14. Exposing & Opposing Social Justice Theology | Guest: Dr. Voddie Baucham | Ep 282

In this interview on Relatable With Allie Beth Stuckey, you’ll learn about Dr. Voddie Baucham’s remarkable testimony, and his explanation of Critical Theory as a worldview which competes head-on, and undermines, the Christian Worldview.

Link to Video

 

Videos, Lectures and Presentations on Critical Theory & Social Justice:

 

15. Critical Theory Is BiblicalThis is an animated and super user-friendly video dealing with the faulty notions of Critical Theory.

Link to Video

 

16. Neil Shenvi  – Social Justice, Critical Theory and Christianity: Are the Compatible LIVE at Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary.

This one is one of my favorites, because he makes such a case for the ability of social justice to have a corrosive effect on the faith of the individuals who pursue it.

Link to Video

 

17. Voddie Baucham – Defining Social Justice

Dr. Baucham presents the basic tenets of social justice.

Link to Video

 

18. Voddie Baucham – Ethnic Gnosticism

This is an interesting look at the claims that “lived experience” of victims or the oppressed find some sort of special access to truth that should not or cannot be challenged.

Link to Video

 

19. Race, Injustice, and Critical Theory with Monique Duson at Living Truth Christian Fellowship

Monique is a former Critical Race Theorist who has left the ideology for a Biblical Worldview. Here she teaches about Critical Theory at Living Truth Christian Fellowship.

Link to Video

 

20. The Truth About Critical Methods - James Lindsey

This is an eye-opening look at Critical Methods from a secular perspective. Despite the fact that he does not have the same theological objections that Christians do, he still comes to the same conclusions as Drs. Shenvi, Sawyer, and Williams.

Link to Video

 

Websites & Blogs For the Christian & Social Justice:

21. Neil Shenvi ApologeticsDr. Shenvi is establishing himself as an authority on Critical Theory, especially with regard to its corrosive effects on faith, and its fundamental opposition to a Biblical Worldview. He’s got several helpful articles including a glossary, book reviews, and an e-book written for Ratio Christi. Find him at:

Link to Shenvi Apologetics Website

 

22. Center for Biblical Unity  -- This organization was founded by Monique Duson, a former Critical Theorist who now embraces a Christian Worldview.

Link to Center For Biblical Unity Website

 

23. Theology MomKrista Bontrager is a theologian who frequently discusses current events in relation to a Biblical Worldview on her YouTube Channel. In particular, she hosts a weekly show with Monique Duson (of the Center for Biblical Unity) called “All The Things” which has great discussions involving Critical Theory. 

Link to 'All The Things' YouTube Channel

 

Books on Social Justice:

24. Social Justice and the Christian Church

Written about 30 years ago, theologian Dr. Ronald Nash debates the merits of the social and political scene with great depth and  from a Biblical Worldview.

Amazon Link to Book

 

25. Poverty and Wealth

An academic and theological treatment by the late Dr. Ronald Nash. 

Amazon Link to Book

 AND A BONUS SOCIAL JUSTICE RESOURCE!!!

26. MamaBear Apologetics Chapter 13 - Marxism

Author Hilary Morgan Ferrer devotes an entire chapter to Marxism using her signature wit and wisdom. Very readable.

Amazon Link to Book

 (By the way, I do not have affiliate relationships with any of these book recommendations.) 

And that's all for now! I'll keep you updated as I run across new sources to add to the list! Happy reading, listening, and watching!

 

Photo Credit: Image by annecapictures

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