CRT and Intersectionality: Just Analytical Tools?

What are these concepts? Where do they come from?

Not only, does CRT not allow for the biblical truth of the existence of only two meaningful categories of people—believer and unbeliever—it claims that a generally-defined group of people, “white” people, are inherently evil, or at a minimum unethical, by nature of their congenital ethnic and ancestral makeup, while others, any person not considered “white,” is a victim by nature of a similar broad stroking—the utilization of absurd philosophical categories.

 

During the Southern Baptist Convention (SBC) Annual Meeting held June 11-12 in Birmingham, Ala., messengers approved a resolution “On Critical Race Theory And Intersectionality.” What are these concepts? Where do they come from? And what does it mean that the SBC corporately affirmed them?

Resolution 9 states that some evangelicals have expressed concern over “frameworks such as critical race theory and intersectionality,” categorizing the former as “a set of analytical tools that explain how race has and continues to function in society” and the latter as, “the study of how different characteristics overlap and inform one’s experience.”

“It is our aspiration in this resolution simply to say that critical race theory and intersectionality are simply analytical tools. They are meant to be used as tools, not as a worldview,” said Curtis Woods, chairman of the SBC Resolutions Committee during the annual meeting.

Following the meeting, Albert Mohler, president of The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, addressed the resolution in the June 14 edition of his podcast, “The Briefing,” calling into question the committee’s view and arguing that critical race theory (CRT) and intersectionality cannot be accurately defined as “merely” analytical tools.

“It is not fundamentally wrong to say that intersectionality and critical race theory are analytical tools. What does that mean? It means that they are tools of analysis. Of course they are. They emerged as analytical tools, but they were never merely analytical tools … both critical race theory and intersectionality are far more than analytical tools,” said Mohler.

Marxist theories?

Both CRT and intersectionality are at heart Marxist theories with inherent political components, Mohler argues. One doesn’t have to agree with every single aspect of a theory or school of thought in order to learn from it, but “the problem is, as Christians understand, that analytical tools very rarely remain merely analytical tools. Ideas, as we know, do have consequences.”

The chief consequence of critical race theory and intersectionality, according to Mohler, is identity politics, which he argued is fundamentally “antithetical to the gospel of Jesus Christ.”

Mohler’s comments on Resolution 9 came two days after the annual meeting in Birmingham concluded. Obviously, Mohler, a longtime figure in SBC politics and guardian of conservative evangelical theology, had concerns with the approval of the resolution but he did not share his insights with messengers impacting its approval.

Tom Ascol, senior pastor of Grace Baptist Church, Cape Coral, Fla., and president of Founders Ministries, a reformed Baptist ministry associated with the SBC, voiced his concerns regarding Resolution 9 during consideration of the resolution.

In an effort to “add strength to” the resolution and to make it “clearer and more explicitly theological,” Ascol proposed amending the language of Resolution 9 to include, “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 emerged from a secular worldview and are 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.”

The SBC Resolutions Committee declined to accept Ascol’s amendment and messengers eventually voted to approve Resolution 9 based on its original language recommended by the committee.

Tom Buck, senior pastor of First Baptist Church, Lindale, Texas, who also spoke against Resolution 9 during floor debate at the annual meeting, argued that not only were tactics of CRT and intersectionality already at work in SBC life, but that most messengers who voted in favor of Resolution 9 did not understand what they were voting to approve.

“We’re already employing the concepts of Critical Race Theory and Intersectionality…people are not aware of it…and now we voted in a resolution that says it’s okay. I think they [members of the SBC] need to wake up,” Buck told Matthew Garnett of the thefederalist.com. “I think they need to educate themselves on what critical race theory and intersectionality is (sic)…they need to realize that the messengers voted for something that we likely don’t understand and we need to understand the gravity of it.”

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