The incompatibility of Critical Theory and Christianity

May 20, 2019 by

By Neil Shenvi, The Gospel Coalition.

Over the last few years, new terms like “cisgender,” “intersectionality,” “heteronormativity,” “centering,” and “white fragility” have suddenly entered our cultural lexicon—seemingly out of nowhere. In reality, these words and concepts have been working their way through academia for decades, perpetuated by disciplines such as Post-Colonial Studies, Queer Theory, Critical Pedagogy, Whiteness Studies, and Critical Race Theory, among others. These fields can be placed within the larger discipline of “critical theory,” an ideology more popularly known as “cultural Marxism.”

But what is critical theory? And what should Christians think about it?

[…] Christianity provides us with an overarching metanarrative that runs from creation to redemption: We are creatures made in God’s image, who have sinned against him, who need to be rescued through the atoning work of Jesus, and who are called to love both God and neighbor.

In contrast, critical theory is associated with a metanarrative that runs from oppression to liberation: We are members either of a dominant group or of a marginalized group with respect to a given identity marker. As such, we either need to divest ourselves of power and seek to liberate others, or we need to acquire power and liberate ourselves by dismantling all structures and institutions that subjugate and oppress. In critical theory, the greatest sin is oppression, and the greatest virtue is the pursuit of liberation.

These respective metanarratives will vie for dominance in all areas of life. Consider, for example, the question of identity: Is our identity primarily defined in terms of our vertical relationship to God? Or primarily in terms of horizontal power dynamics between groups of people?

Or consider the question of our fundamental problem as humans: Is our fundamental problem sin, in which case we all equally stand condemned before a holy God? Or is our fundamental problem oppression, in which case members of dominant groups are tainted by guilt in a way that members of subordinate groups are not?

Read here

See also: Should we stop talking about Cultural Marxism? by Andrew Symes, Anglican Mainstream

We cannot be both Christians and Marxists, by Jason Morgan, Public Discourse

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