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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The velocity of the moral revolution steadily increasing

Al Mohler’s daily briefing podcast reviews three events this week contributing to the moral revolution.

Web page: https://albertmohler.com/2018/04/20/briefing-4-20-18/

Audio: https://mohler-media-5ox2mshyj.stackpathdns.com/Podcast/20180420_TheBriefing.mp3

Stories:

California set to enact legislation barring sale of any books expressing orthodox Christian beliefs on sexuality

Christians no longer welcome? What’s really behind the line of questioning in a Senate committee hearing

Army chaplain under fire after refusing to facilitate a marriage retreat for same-sex couples

Article: “Dutch may allow assisted suicide for those who feel life is over”

Dutch may allow assisted suicide for those who feel life is over”  (Reuters)

The Dutch government intends to draft a law that would legalize assisted suicide for people who feel they have “completed life,” but are not necessarily terminally ill, it said on Wednesday.

The Netherlands was the first country to legalize euthanasia, in 2002, but only for patients who were considered to be suffering unbearable pain with no hope of a cure.

In a letter to parliament, the health and justice ministers said details remain to be worked out but that people who “have a well-considered opinion that their life is complete, must, under strict and careful criteria, be allowed to finish that life in a manner dignified for them.”

Albert Mohler comments here on how every time a piece of legislation like this is passed, the proponents of the bill will declare that the bill will never lead to further radical misuses in the future.  In this case it is easy to see that opening the door to assisted suicide will lead to a broader cultural acceptance and encouragement of suicide for non-medical reasons. An actual slippery slope.