We had the great opportunity to be on the Launch Team for Dr. Voddie Baucham’s new book titled Fault Lines. Below is my review of the book.
Taking Thoughts Captive
The apostle Paul warns us in Colossians 2 verse 8, “See to it that no one takes you captive through philosophy or empty deceit . . .” (italics mine). Unfortunately, that is exactly what seems to be happening not only within our culture but in our churches as well. In the last several years there has been a growing segment within the Evangelical church that has become swept up in a movement which, though it seems to be promoting reconciliation on the surface, is nothing more than a deceitful and divisive Trojan Horse that has its roots in anti-God, anti-Biblical philosophies and ideologies. This movement is the Social Justice Movement, otherwise known as Critical Social Justice or Critical Race Theory.
In his book, Fault Lines, Voddie Baucham uses the analogy of the looming threat that fault lines are of impending earthquakes, which can cause devastating damage to cities or towns, with the tensions and animosities that have been exposed within the church regarding race relations creating fault lines within the Body of Christ. To anyone that has been paying attention, this comes as no surprise. However, as more and more Christians become aware of these issues, those tensions are getting higher and the “fault lines” within the church are becoming more noticeable, and unavoidable.
Though I believe this book is a few years too late, it is most assuredly welcomed and needed, and Voddie does a fantastic job in not only addressing the issue, but also making it relatable and understandable for those who may not be up to speed on all of the philosophies behind the movements we are seeing run rampant in our streets, our classrooms, and yes, tragically even in our Seminaries and Sanctuaries.
Critical Theory is the means by which Social Justicians have infiltrated our institutions and are undermining the foundations on which those institutions were built upon; namely the Judeo-Christian worldview, and the nuclear family. Some have argued that though it was derived from within the Marxist philosophy, Critical Theory is nothing more than an analytical tool. This book not only dispels that argument by showing that it is more than an analytical tool, “it is a philosophy, a worldview,” but more than that, it is a new religion (xiv). Baucham warns, “I believe the concept of social justice is incompatible with biblical Christianity (5).”
Early on in the book, he gives a brief history of the godless worldviews and philosophies that have given birth to Critical Theory and the Social Justice Movement. While I do believe that more could have been said to flush out just how utterly opposed to the Biblical worldview these philosophers were, I do appreciate what information was given. Another thing that I appreciated was that this book was heavily footnoted so that anyone who wishes to do their own homework would have a place to start, and if anyone wished to fact check the information or the statistics given (of which there are a ton) they could do so as well.
While Critical Theory is the root of the philosophy covered in Fault Lines, the primary branch that is the focus throughout is that of Critical Race Theory/Critical Social Justice/Intersectionality (CRT/CSJ/I). Specifically the antiracist movement of which, “has many of the hallmarks of a cult,” writes Baucham, “including staying close enough to the Bible to avoid immediate detection . . .” He goes on:
. . . hiding the fact that it has a new theology and a new glossary of terms that diverge ever-so-slightly from Christain orthodoxy . . . this allows the cult to appeal to the faithful within the dominant, orthodox religions from which it draws its converts . . . this new body of divinity comes complete with its own cosmology (CT/CRT/I); original sin (racism); law (antiracism); gospel (racial reconciliation); martyrs (Saint Trayvon, Mike, George, Breonna, etc.); priests (oppressed minorities); means of atonement (reparations); new birth (wokeness); liturgy (lament); canon (CSJ, social science); theologians (DeAngelo, Kendi, Brown, Crenshaw, MacIntosh, etc.); and catechism (“say their names”) . . . in case you’re wondering about soteriology, there isn’t one. Antiracism offers no salvation—only perpetual penance in an effort to battle an incurable disease (67).
He then lays out his case using the very words of the Social Justician’s, whom he calls the new priesthood, to litigate his arguments.
Though he does spend several chapters digging into and dismantling the myths behind the narratives that are thrown around today such as America’s “systematic racism” or, that white cops are “hunting down” and “killing unarmed black men,” I believe it is when he begins to show how this new orthodoxy poses an imminent threat to the unity within the Body of Christ, which will be most beneficial for the church; and people need to be informed when it comes to this topic. These myths do need to be addressed and dispelled, and Baucham does a great job at doing so, however, if the church divides over this issue, and sadly it is looking as though that may happen, then there will be very little light that we as Christians would be able to bring into this darkness. Part of that darkness is the Black Lives Matter movement, which is addressed as well, from the founder’s radical Marxist roots to their involvement in witchcraft, and their crusade to “dismantle” many of our God-given institutions.
Critical Social Justice theorists are presuppositional in their apologetic, something that Christians ought to be as well, but whereas our foundation and presupposition is the Truth found in the Bible, Critical Social Justician’s foundational premise is that racism and white privilege exist and that it is their calling to prove it and expose it in our society. It isn’t enough to not be racist, one must be anti-racist. This is the fundamental foundation of their faith, just as the Word of God is ours, and there is no neutrality (73,87)! To them racism is “the new original sin,” he writes, “[it] also happens to be the new unpardonable sin (80).” One for which there is no atonement, only perpetual penance. This ideology is extremely divisive, destructive, and can only lead to more racism, animosity, and oppression if followed through to its logical conclusion. It most certainly does not belong in the Body of Christ, it is antithetical to biblical Christianity and must be repudiated.
This fight is coming your way whether you’d like it to or not. The real question is: which side of the fault line will you end up on? I believe that after reading this book that choice will be distinctly clear. I would suggest reading this book with your children as well, as they too are being indoctrinated with this wickedly divisive Critical Race nonsense in their schools. This is the world that we live in and our children need to be equipped to engage the lies that the enemy sends their way as well. I would also recommend buying this book for your pastor, your small group leader, and anyone else in leadership within your church as there are wolves living among the sheep, some of which are called out by name in this book, and they are to be marked and avoided, and some of these wolves might take your pastor by surprise.
These are dark times, but we have been called to shine the light of the Gospel of Jesus Christ into this world to dispel the darkness (2 Corinthians 4:6). Critical Theory seeks to divide and dismantle, but we have been given weapons for the tearing down of strongholds, for demolishing arguments (2 Cor. 10:4-5) so that we will not be taken captive by philosophies or empty deceit (Col. 2:8) but rather take our thoughts captive in obedience to Christ (2 cor. 10:6). Critical Race Theory claims that there is no justification for the racism that you (or your ancestors) are guilty of because according to CRT you are guilty whether you know it or not, in fact denying you are racist is racism.
But we know “that there is therefore now no condemnation for those that are in Christ Jesus (Romans 8:1), and that through Christ we have been freed from all things (Acts 13:39). Even if our ancestors were guilty of the gross sin of racism, according to Ezekiel 18:20, “The son shall not suffer for the iniquity of the father, nor the father suffer for the iniquity of the son,” so we are not responsible for the sins of those who came before us, and for that matter neither was Jesus, yet for our sake, God made Him that knew no sin to be sin, so that we might become the righteousness of God (2 Cor. 5:21). The Social Justice “gospel” condemns, Christ’s Gospel forgives and brings life.
I cannot recommend Fault Lines highly enough. I want to leave you with one last quote from Baucham:
As shepherds, we must defend the sheep. We must repel the wolves . . . this one is within the gates and has the worst of intentions . . . Recognize the difference between the voice of the Good Shepherd who calls you to love all the sheep and the voice of the enemy that tells you some of them are guilty, blind, ignorant oppressors and that others are oppressed—all based on their melanin. (231)