About a month ago I read a five-part article by apologist Neil Shenvi and found it to be the most relevant analysis regarding the cultural conflict in America that I have read this year. I highly recommend reading A Long Review of Race, Class, and Gender when you have time. Read all five parts as parts 3 through 5 cannot be missed.
Here is a sampling:
Part 3 – the Ugly
Critical theory summarized
Critical theory unifies the essays in this anthology. Since critical theory is an interdisciplinary project that spans decades and dozens of distinct fields, defining it can be challenging. Moreover, since it often functions as a worldview (that is, as a comprehensive, interpretive framework for understanding reality), its tenets are often implicitly adopted rather than being explicitly stated. However, I’ll try to list a few of its fundamental assumptions, providing quotes from the book to illustrate each point (see below; more available on request).
– Premise 1: human relationships should be fundamentally understood in terms of power dynamics, which differentiates groups into ‘oppressors’ and ‘the oppressed’
– Premise 2: Our identity as individuals is inseparable from our group identity, especially our categorization as ‘oppressor’ or ‘oppressed’ with respect to a particular identity marker
– Premise 3: All oppressed groups find their fundamental unity in their common experience of oppression
– Premise 4: The fundamental human project is liberation from all forms of oppression; consequently, the fundamental virtue is standing in solidarity against the oppressor
The four principles outlined above are not a random assortment of disconnected beliefs. Instead, they form a unified, coherent framework for viewing everything about our lives, from our identity, to our fundamental problem (oppression), to our fundamental moral duty (fighting for liberation), to the basis for unity between individuals (common oppression/solidarity). If we adopt them, they will dramatically influence how we think about many important issues, from poverty to abortion to human sexuality.
Part 4 – Critical theory and Christianity
In the last section, I gave several general reasons to reject the tenets of critical theory. In the next few sections, I’ll focus on reasons for Christians in particular to reject critical theory.
Both Christianity and critical theory are worldviews; that is, they are comprehensive, coherent ways of looking at reality. However, I believe that they are mutually incompatible. To the extent that a person adopts a Christian worldview, they will have to abandon the basic tenets of critical theory if they are to remain consistent.
The first conflict between critical theory and Christianity relates to the issue of identity. Identity (that is, how we view ourselves and others) plays a tremendously important role in critical theory and in postmodernism. Critical theory would insist that gender, race, ethnicity, class, age, etc… are fundamental components of our identities. However, from a Christian perspective, there are three far more fundamental categories of identity which critical theory ignores. What is more, this omission is not accidental; it is a consequence of critical theory itself. As a result, we cannot simply tack Christianity on to critical theory, or vice versa. One will have to be rejected.
The three categories I have in mind are: 1) human beings as the imago Dei, 2) human beings as sinners, and 3) human beings as united in Christ. (continued…)
The data continues to confirm lack of thought diversity among academics. My question is regarding whether this disparity is due mostly to discrimination or not. There are likely various factors contributing to this including “Republicans” lack of interest to become a professor. We know from Thomas Sowell that discrimination is only one possible explanation for unequal outcomes and that people will naturally order themselves when left alone. See his new book Discrimination and Disparities.
Justin hosts a public dialogue between Christian Andy Bannister and atheist humanist Justin Trottier, live on stage at the Apologetics Canada conference in Abbotsford, British Columbia.
In front of an audience of 1,400 they debate whether Christianity or naturalism provides a better foundation for the concept of universal human rights, followed by questions from the floor.
Andy Bannister of Solas CPC will be speaking at Unbelievable? The Conference 2017 and is behind a number of short films critiquing atheism.
He debates the subject of one of the films called “What are human rights based on?” with atheist and human rights campaigner Peter Tatchell.