Fault Lines: The Social Justice Movement and Evangelicalism's Looming Catastrophe

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USA TODAY BESTSELLER! The Ground Is Moving The death of George Floyd at the hands of police in the summer of 2020 shocked the nation. As riots rocked American cities, Christians affirmed from the pulpit and in social media that “black lives matter” and that racial justice “is a gospel issue.” But what if there is more to the social justice movement than those Christians understand? Even worse: What if they’ve been duped into preaching ideas that actually oppose the Kingdom of God? In this powerful book, Voddie Baucham, a preacher, professor, and cultural apologist, explains the sinister worldview behind the social justice movement and Critical Race Theory—revealing how it already has infiltrated some seminaries, leading to internal denominational conflict, canceled careers, and lost livelihoods. Like a fault line, it threatens American culture in general—and the evangelical church in particular. Whether you’re a layperson who has woken up in a strange new world and wonders how to engage sensitively and effectively in the conversation on race or a pastor who is grappling with a polarized congregation, this book offers the clarity and understanding to either hold your ground or reclaim it.            

SKU 1684511801-1622144186 Category

Description

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

VODDIE BAUCHAM, JR. is a pastor and church planter who is currently serving as dean of the School of Divinity at African Christian University in Lusaka, Zambia, where he and his family have lived since 2015. Voddie and his wife, Bridget, have been married for more than thirty years, have nine children and two grandchildren, and are committed home educators.

Additional information

Publisher

Salem Books (April 6, 2021)

Language

English

Hardcover
ISBN-10

1684511801

ISBN-13

978-1684511808

Item Weight

15.9 ounces

Dimensions

6 x 0.9 x 9 inches

4 reviews for Fault Lines: The Social Justice Movement and Evangelicalism’s Looming Catastrophe

  1. Lorraine Swartzentruber

    Great analysis of an issue affecting the church now
    Full disclosure, I am part of Voddie’s book launch team so I read his book knowing I needed to review it online before it is released. First, I want to say that Voddie Baucham is a prophetic voice in the church. For years he has been warning the church that America is going down the path of cultural Marxism and we need to be prepared to face it. I was able to see Voddie speak in person this year, and I can tell you, the only thing more compelling than his physical build-he was a tight end in college- is his passion for following and teaching a Biblical worldview. Normally the race of an author need not be mentioned. However, I will here since it has a bearing on his perspective. Voddie is a black man. He grew up in a Buddhist single parent home in California, was a fan of Malcolm X and became a Christian in college. After seminary he was a pastor in Texas for a predominantly white church. He now lives in Africa with his family and helps run a Bible based University there. This straddling of cultures has given him eyes to see the truth of the new “social justice” movement in the church. In Fault Lines, Voddie argues that currently in many churches, the gospel has been hijacked by the culture’s obsession with Critical Theory. At the beginning of the book he defines this theory and gives a brief background of its beginnings. Critical Race Theory (CRT) assumes that racism is built into American society and that most people of color experience it. It claims that white people only work towards racial equality when it benefits them. It also insists that truth about racism is obtained by listening to the stories of the oppressed. Voddie would argue that these arguments themselves are racist and ignore Biblical truth. He would say it assumes that any time a black person feels someone is being racist they are to be believed. In a later chapter, Voddie breaks down statistics to disprove some of the racial narratives that are pitched to our society by political activists. For example, instead of clumping all police shootings into one category, he reminds us we need to look at each on a case by case basis before we lay judgement as to whether it was race based. He also calls out the BLM organization whose beliefs are opposed to Biblical principles. (Look at their legacy mission statement here.) Voddie goes on to say that the church has formed its own subdivision which he calls “the cult of antiracism” that is not based on the grace and forgiveness of the Bible. This ideology offers no solution other than a continual condemning of “white privilege” of which all white people must repent of. This has many implications that are harmful to believers. The main one being this movement puts the sin of racism at the forefront of our faith. It twists the gospel in that we need not change man’s hearts, but change American systems including the white church. Because of course due to their skin color, white Christians are unaware of their bias and if they are not fighting for social justice, they can’t be considered antiracist. By default, white people are not allowed to debate whether something is racist and if they do they are showing their “white fragility.” Therefore, they are put in a game where, “(They) can’t win. (They) can’t break even. And (they) can’t get out of the game.” (from “The Wiz.”) Voddie argues that this assumption elevates black Christians and disregards any wrong doing of their own. This goes against the Bible’s principle that all believers are on the same level. In Ephesians 2, Paul writes:For he himself is our peace, who has made us both one and has broken down in his flesh the dividing wall of hostility by abolishing the law of commandments expressed in ordinances, that he might create in himself one new man in place of the two, so making peace, and might reconcile us both to God in one body through the cross, thereby killing the hostility.While the Bible does tell us to speak up for the oppressed, that should be done without pitting one race against another. In conclusion to combat this drifting of the church into the culture’s ideology, Voddie prescribes:Listening with discernmentConfronting lies and holding to the truthTaking every thought captiveDestroying arguments and speculationsVoddie reminds us that only Jesus offers true justice. And while antiracism “offers endless penance, judgement, and fear,” Christianity teaches us forgiveness and reconciliation among believers. Many denounce Voddie by saying he is a shield for white Christians to deny racism exists or admit slavery has had any long term effects. These critics obviously do not know the breadth of his philosophy and may have only listened to one of his many sermons on the subject. He does not deny that racism exists, but tells us that instead of it being THE sin Christians should focus on, we should be spreading the gospel to all men. Loving ALL men equally. Not that we shouldn’t fight injustice, but that we need to focus on what is at the root of injustice, that is- a heart that has not yielded itself to God.

  2. James P. Monast

    The truth will set you free–but, first, it will make you miserable.
    Thinking is hard.Critical Race Theory (CRT) is an outgrowth of Marxist philosophy. It’s difficult to untangle as much of the literature on the subject is shrouded in dense theoretical language and inter-disciplinary references that leave most of us scratching our heads. Analysis is further complicated by Critical Theory’s denial of objective truth. For years, CRT was largely confined to higher education. More recently, it’s permeated lower education and “woke” corporations, the federal government and, now, the church.The belief is that the United States, and now the church, is inherently racist; that racism is endemic, not aberrational. In the struggle for racial and social justice, American legal ideals of neutrality and color-blindness have replicated rather than undone racism. Personal experience and historical studies should inform analysis. CRT takes the widespread principle of racial colorblindness and flips it on its head: neutral rules support a culture of white supremacy, so people of color (POC) must mobilize to empower themselves. Culture, including education, corporate America and now the church, must become woke to the white hegemony.Voddie has addressed this topic over the years in various sermons and articles, discussing what he’s coined “ethnic Gnosticism”, an argument whereby POC assert they have “secret knowledge” or world-view, based on their life experiences, that non-POC cannot know. Essentially, as Jerry Lewis said at the end of one of his yearly MD telethons “For those who understand, no explanation is necessary; for those who don’t, no explanation will suffice.” Non-POC cannot escape their inherent racism even if individuals don’t see themselves as racist; POC cannot be racist.Thomas Sowell addressed the political implications caused by the divide between those who view man as perfectible and those who don’t in A Conflict of Visions. In secular settings, James Lindsay addressed CRT in Cynical Theories as did Douglas Murray in The Madness of Crowds. Gad Saad’s Parasitic Mind also explores how common sense is being killed by “an epidemic of idea pathogens” coming from progressive safe zones. Civil rights leader and Woodson Center Founder Bob Woodson of 1776unites.com says, in calling out the race grievance industry, “Don’t use blacks as an excuse to destroy this nation.”Voddie Baucham shows how CRT’s pernicious ideology is infecting the church and exchanging the Gospel of Christ for one of Marxist wokeness. Quoting John MacArthur who called CRT “the greatest threat” to the Gospel in his lifetime, he presents Critical Theory as a man-made philosophy, a worldview, attractive to some groups and ministries because of their desire to fight what they see as a problem of racial injustice. While Voddie sees growing ethnic tension as a problem, he says it is not the main problem: Christians who forget Christ, creator of the “new man”, is our answer, not man-made solutions. Reconciliation is through Christ, not the competing ideology of CRT.The problem is the fundamental assumptions of the incompatible world-views: are we perfectible through our own efforts or through Christ? “Those belonging to the social-justice crowd present themselves as the only ones pursuing justice; to the exclusion of all who disagree with their assessments—who, by that definition, are pursuing injustice.” He continues “perhaps the most troubling aspect of the current struggle is that it mischaracterizes Christians that way too. On one side are ‘compassionate’ Christians who are ‘concerned about social justice.’ On the other are ‘insensitive’ Christians who are ‘not concerned about justice.’ This is wrong.”Voddie believes the current concept of social justice is incompatible with biblical Christianity.Voddie’s goal is to address this looming trouble in the church between the two competing worldviews, Critical Social Justice and Biblical Justice, saying “there are plenty of sincere, though perhaps naïve Christians who, if they knew the ideology behind it, would run away from the term ‘social justice’ like rats from a burning ship.” We must be certain we pursue justice on God’s terms, not man’s. “Today, people are rioting and demanding justice before knowing the facts, and in most cases, without ever considering [God’s] principles. And here is the key: People are ignoring these principles because the standard of justice upon which their pleas are built does not come from the God of the Scriptures. While that may be fine for others, those of us who claim to know Christ are held to a different standard.”Voddie addresses the false narrative and double-speak used to mislead and promote this insidious ideology, particularly as used in several high-profile shootings in the news cycle over the past few years. He describes the new religion—or new cult—of antiracism that borrows from the familiar and accepted and infuses it with new meaning. He demonstrates how it stays close enough to the bible to avoid immediate detection, hiding the fact it is a new theology and new glossary of terms that diverge ever-so-slightly from Christian orthodoxy.Fleetwood Mac said “tell me lies, tell me sweet little lies”. Someone else has written “some ingredients of truth with pure lie makes the perfect lie.” But the secret of a beautiful lie lays in an ugly truth: social justice and antiracism “offers no salvation–only perpetual penance in an effort to combat an incurable disease” and “as tools to be used for political purposes” where “it is a denial of guilt that is seen as proof of guilt.”Denied by CRT proponents is that racism, the new unpardonable sin, is a human condition, not a “white” condition. Providing examples throughout history and nations, Voddie states “my goal here is to help the reader see that these ideas [about racism] are part of a system, a theology. Christians have been using the terms regularly of late, and in most cases, using them the same way the secular antiracists use them”, only to be accused of not having done their homework and expressing their internalized racism. “According to Critical Social Justice, without social science, the Bible doesn’t make sense.”Wading through the CRT propaganda flooding the church without a guide is treacherous. Good people, wanting to do the right thing but not thinking deeply about these issues, may unintentionally mislead or be misled. We are an instant society and often defer to “experts” to do our deep thinking for us. And our memories are short: we forget we’ve seen the results of societies blaming one group or another as the source of all problems throughout history, or think “this time it’s different.”Fault Lines is an important contribution to the CRT discussion, the first I know of to address the looming catastrophic divide in evangelicalism. I believe it should be widely read and discussed. People of goodwill may disagree with Voddie’s conclusions or thinking. But we should be examples of thoughtful consideration and rational discourse and at least be able to acknowledge and define the issues. More importantly, we need to be aware of the divides on either side of the fault lines and choose whom we will serve. We are, after all, supposed to be Christ’s representatives on earth.

  3. AngieB

    Great book! Highly recommended!
    Very timely and based on Scripture and logic. Enjoyed reading it, money and time invested well. Praise God for Voddie Baucham.

  4. RB1

    Excellent book!!! A MUST READ!!!
    Voddie Baucham does an excellent job unpacking the subtle yet troubling impact Critical Theory, Critical Race Theory & Intersectionality are having in Conservative & Evangelical churches.The position Voddie takes is unpopular among ‘Woke’ Christians, but is faithful to (and consistent with) the teachings of biblical Scripture.He carefully defines and explains the above terminologies (CT, CRT/I) from both a sociological standpoint and provides a thorough analysis of how it contrasts with Scripture.He appeals to readers to not mindlessly embrace these harmful social theories but to think critically about their impacts not only on the church but on Western society as well.Being black and reformed myself, I find Voddie to be a voice of reason & clarity amidst the barrage of woke ideas and Left-Leaning agendas that have been increasingly making inroads to biblically faithful church movements. The Black Church needs an alternative perspective that is radically different from what it’s been given over these years, and biblically faithful black voices like Voddie provides that perspective: one that’s foundationally sound, rich in substance, heavily researched, logically consistent, historically accurate, and most of all, honoring to Christ.

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