At the recent Annual Meeting of the Southern Baptist Convention (SBC) a number of resolutions were adopted concerning issues facing the churches today. On the website containing the list of this year’s resolutions, they define a resolution this way:
A resolution has traditionally been defined as an expression of opinion or concern, as compared to a motion, which calls for action. A resolution is not used to direct an entity of the Southern Baptist Convention to specific action other than to communicate the opinion or concern expressed. Resolutions are passed during the annual Convention meeting.
So, it is important to remember that, although such resolutions are not binding on any particular church, they do reflect the thinking of many in the SBC. And the SBC is a denomination with a great deal of influence. This is why I am disturbed and saddened by a particular resolution adopted this year: Resolution 9 – On Critical Race Theory and Intersectionality. I was initially made aware of this resolution when I read an article by Josh Buice entitled The Woke Tools of the SBC: A Review of Resolution 9 on Critical Race Theory and Intersectionality . I recommend reading the article, in which he reacts in particular to this statement from the resolution:
WHEREAS, Critical race theory and intersectionality alone are insufficient to diagnose and redress the root causes of the social ills that they identify, which result from sin, yet these analytical tools can aid in evaluating a variety of human experiences …
Josh aptly observes that:
If CRT [Critical Race Theory] and intersectionality are insufficient alone to diagnose social ills, what about the Scriptures—are they insufficient alone to diagnose social ills? In a day where we’ve already watched the evangelical world attach woke to church—now the SBC has attached woke to the Scriptures.
You cannot attach identity politics to the sufficient Scriptures and still claim to be champions of sufficiency. God’s Word must stand alone. Like a confident lion walking in the afternoon sun on the African plains—it doesn’t need assistance to diagnose and address the social ills of a depraved society. What the SBC did, in passing this resolution, is make a clear statement to the watching world that we believe the Bible is not quite capable of addressing the lived experiences of broken people and may need the assistance of CRT and intersectionality.
Josh then concludes that “in the resolution that was adopted on CRT and intersectionality—it affirms the sufficiency of Scripture and denies it at the same time. It’s a theological disaster and filled with logical contradictions.”
After having read the resolution myself, I agree that there is inconsistency in the document and that this inconsistency threatens the very sufficiency of Scripture that it is seeking to affirm. For example, the document doesn’t specify in what way “Evangelical scholars who affirm the authority and sufficiency of Scripture have employed selective insights from critical race theory and intersectionality to understand multifaceted social dynamics.” How may this legitimately be done? What possible insights are there from CRT and intersectionality that are the slightest bit necessary for us to know in light of what Scripture teaches us about human beings? It seems to me that the moment one starts to suggest ideas for how insights from such theories might be utilized, it is pretty hard not to bring notions along that either deny some important Scriptural truth or add to it in a way that violates its sufficiency. After all, these theories are based upon unbelieving assumptions that are antithetical to Scripture.
Again, when the resolution states that, “Critical race theory and intersectionality alone are insufficient to diagnose and redress the root causes of the social ills that they identify, which result from sin, yet these analytical tools can aid in evaluating a variety of human experiences,” it doesn’t tell us in what way CRT and intersectionality can help us, nor does it indicate why such ideas are in any way needed to in order to “aid” us, “in evaluating a variety of human experiences.”
As I see it, there are some holes here large enough to drive a leftist, social justice truck through. And, no matter how much those who adopted the resolution may decry in the future what they will no doubt claim to be a misuse of the document, they have left open a pretty large beachhead upon which the enemy of our faith may establish a base of operations. Thus I agree with Josh that it is a dangerous document. At best it is appears to be naive or historically forgetful as to how such errors have entered the churches in the past, and it has left plenty of room for today’s errors to enter in the same way.
The SBC would have done better to offer a clear statement of what is wrong with CRT and intersectionality, such as what Tom Ascol apparently encouraged them to do with his proposed amendments to the resolution. These amendments included the following statements:
WHEREAS, Critical race theory and intersectionality are godless ideologies that are indebted to radical feminism and postmodernism and neo-Marxism …
RESOLVED, that we remind Southern Baptists that critical race theory and intersectionality emerge from a secular worldview that is rooted in ideologies that are incompatible with Christianity; and be it further
RESOLVED that we repudiate all forms of identity politics and any ideology that establishes human identity in anything other than the divine creation in the image of God and for all redeemed humanity, our common identity, together eternally united to Christ …
I am thankful for men such as Josh Buice and Tom Ascol, both of whom were initial signers of The Statement on Social Justice & the Gospel, a document I have signed as well and one which I would encourage the blog’s readers to read and sign in support of a Scriptural stand against such cultural viewpoints that are a danger to the Christian faith.
May God give us grace and wisdom to avoid the tendency toward inviting such worldly ways of thinking into our churches, especially when there are so many of our brethren who seem bent on doing so.