Intersectionality and Christianity

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).RaceClassAndGender

– 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.RaceClassAndGender

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…)

 

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Dialogue between ex-Christian who converted to humanism and Christian

 

Website- https://www.premierchristianradio.com/Shows/Saturday/Unbelievable/Episodes/Unbelievable-Bart-Campolo-Sean-McDowell-Why-Bart-lost-his-faith-why-Sean-kept-his

MP3- http://s50.podbean.com/pb/40243c769c0dacdbc83f5eb87a34c15c/5adf3c6d/data1/fs72/1391480/uploads/unbelievable_07_April_bart_campolo_and_sean_mcdowell_full_show.mp3?pbss=81f28c0d-2952-b90c-d17e-7592578860f3

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Saturday 7th April 2018 – 02:30 pm

Bart Campolo is the son of high-profile Christian speaker, author and sociologist Tony Campolo. Bart became a Christian in his teens and went on to run an inner city Christian youth ministry. However Bart recently announced that he had lost his faith altogether and become a Humanist chaplain.

Justin interviews Bart alongside Sean McDowell. Sean also has a well-known father in ministry – Josh McDowell. But when Sean experienced his own crisis of faith he found the rational basis he needed to support his faith. Justin chats to Bart about the reasons for his deconversion as spelled out in a recent documentary ‘Leaving My Father’s Faith’, and Sean responds to Bart’s newly adopted Humanist perspective.

Interesting Perspective on Compromise in the wake of Florida High School Shooting

Peggy Noonan is former presidential speechwriter and current columnist and author wrote a recent article called The Parkland Massacre and the Air We Breathe. Noonan perceptively identifies the degradation of our society starting with the dissolution of the family as well as cultural inputs which are negatively impacting all of us.

Near the end of her article she proposes a compromise in public policy goals between Republicans and Democrats when she says,

The idea: Trade banning assault weapons for banning late-term abortion. Make illegal a killing machine and a killing procedure.

In both cases the lives of children would be saved.

Wouldn’t this clean some of the air? Wouldn’t we all breathe a little easier?

It is a provocative and innovative proposal that is likely meant to call both the Republican’s and Democrat’s bluff rather than be taken seriously as a piece of legislation. However, I can see this type of idea being more popular among voters as the debate on guns moves forward.

Noonan clearly sees that each group wants the opposition’s purported rights eradicated on moral grounds.  However, her case is a bit too simplistic in that the moral analogy of banning a gun versus banning the killing of an unborn child are not, in my opinion, equally weighted. The analogy further slips when comparing the two in light of the Constitution whereas one right is explicit and pervasive since the founding and the other is interpreted as implied and added late. However, I see the merit in offering her argument as an olive branch in hopes of some change.

Response to Zeno’s Paradox

If you have ever been thoroughly befuddled by Zeno’s paradox on the impossibility of motion, then you might find William Lane Craig’s response below very helpful. This is also discussed in this book “Reasonable Faith” 3rd edition.

Ostler indicts this argument as “a slight-of-hand trick like Zeno’s paradoxes, for even though a baseball must pass through an infinite number of halfway points to reach the catcher’s mitt, somehow the baseball actually makes it to the mitt.”155 He thereby fails to note two crucial disanalogies of an infinite past to Zeno’s paradoxes: whereas in Zeno’s thought experiments the intervals traversed are potential and unequal, in the case of an infinite past the intervals are actual and equal. Ostler’s claim that the baseball must pass through an infinite number of halfway points to the mitt is question-begging, for it already assumes that the whole interval is a composition of an infinite number of points, whereas Zeno’s opponents, like Aristotle, take the line as a whole to be conceptually prior to any divisions which we might make in it. Moreover, Zeno’s intervals, being unequal, sum to a merely finite distance, whereas the intervals in an infinite past sum to an infinite distance. Thus, it remains mysterious how we could have traversed an infinite number of equal, actual intervals to arrive at our present location.

Read more: http://www.reasonablefaith.org/creatio-ex-nihilo-a-critique-of-the-mormon-doctrine-of-creation#ixzz4pMhxeFUl