Critical Theory and Christianity

Critical Theory and Christianity

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Greg Koukl of Stand to Reason interviews Neil Shenvi on the worldview implications of Critical Theory and how it relates to Christianity. Listen to the entire podcast here:

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18 thoughts on “Critical Theory and Christianity

  1. Silver Sadie

    I work for a Government building in Canada.

    We are now mandated to do online classes on Critical Theory except they call it Foundations of Cultural Differences. Right now anti black racism is the focus but its heavily mixed with CRT.

    The tenants in my workplace’s document on the Pilar of anti black racism (45 pages) is full of watered down rhetoric that to you see on BLM mission statement (that was taken down). It’s about dismantling every “norm” , even the idea that heterosexuality is the norm because it’s offensive/discriminatory to the the LGBTQ community. Don’t get me wrong, it also highlights things we need to look at.

    I was doing the mandatory online “class” but couldn’t pass the one slide that asked me what I had most problem with and because of my Christian world view, I couldn’t honestly answer because one of the answers they wanted me to choose.

    I was not allowed to skip it. In order for me to proceed, I would have to give an answer that was a lie and not reflective of my beliefs.

    I told my boss this made me feel uncomfortable and I won’t lie just in order to finish this. I told him I am 💯 on board with examining what’s going on in our organization…if hiring processes need to be different etc. I’m 💯 on board with listening to my black coworkers and learning about what they have been experiencing and how we can make things better. I told my boss I want to comply with all this but I draw the line when my worldview and thoughts are now being dismissed and I’m being forced to lie and affirm this other world view.

    This is very serious to me and I’m a bit nervous of what is ahead . I know full well What’s ahead. So I am preparing to give a loving, informed answer as to why I am against all oppression and at the same time, also against CRT being the worldview which we measure everything by.

    In my organization I am seeing Christian voices trying to be silenced and any voices against crt being shamed. I am seeing censorship under the guise of Social Justice. I see the halt of free speech and open dialogue because it’s not in line with the narrative. This really concerns me. We are basically told that the reason we think like this is because of our white privilege. In other words, White people do not have insight and other races have this knowledge or ethnic gnosticism that Whites do not have. There is no individuality…just group think.

    Btw, my boss was ok with me not continuing. He left it up to me. He is very supportive. I’m am preparing for higher management to confront me one day.

    I’m not alone in this. I told my boss that one day I’ll probably need to have this discussion with the higher ups because there are others that have the same view as me.

    I’ve lost sleep over this. It’s very important for me to acknowledge oppression and injustices but only from God’s perspective. I’m not down with dismantling what is in God’s word.

    I’m setting up a meeting with my pastor. He’s part Jamaican and he’s familiar with racism. He also rejects CRT. I need my eyes to be open more and I’m hoping for more insight.

    I have long been interested in Christian apologetics and Identity Politics/Critical Theory. And here I am now.

    Pray for me please. I have a feeling I’m going to be a voice at work. I can’t stop thinking about it. I am confident that God will prepare me for this and give me the words and in the meantime, I’m using resources such as this to get all my details in line.

    Thanks 🙏

    July 30, 2021 at 11:45 pm Reply
  2. Anthony Stars

    ..from the book by Tony Tymstra titled : What is possible, what is impossible and what is probable? Proof that God exists.

    Here is a chapter you might find interesting….


    Life in the Universe is unique

    The Theory of One suggests that everything in the Universe is

    an essential substructure used to create and support life here on

    this planet. Every single thing in the Universe is connected, and

    everything in it is needed or was needed to produce this unique

    place we called Earth. All the stars, all the galaxies, all the

    planets, everything in the Universe helped produced this single

    outcome. The Earth and the Universe are one place.

    The Theory of One examines three principal elements for life

    in the Universe to be unique.

    1. Requirements.

    2. Essential Conditions.

    3. Necessary Connections and Cosmic Relationships.

    A simple example of a Requirement for life is the need for

    "sunlight." The Sun, which is a star, produces a broad spectrum

    of energy in the form of charged particles and electromagnetic

    radiation. Sunlight is only a small part of that spectrum. Plants

    use sunlight directly by turning carbon dioxide into sugars in a

    process called photosynthesis.

    But deep in the ocean, there are some autotrophs, a type of

    bacteria that do not need direct sunlight. They use the energy

    from the Earth's hot core. These bacteria use chemicals like

    methane and hydrogen sulfide emitted from hydrothermal

    vents on the ocean's floor to make their food. They need the

    Sun's energy indirectly; without this sunlight, the Earth would

    not have enough of its own heat to sustain them.

    The second principle element is the Essential Conditions, and

    as such, this "required sunlight" needs a unique sun. This sun

    will need to be the ideal candidate. We do not want a sun that

    produces intense bursts of deadly gamma rays or x-rays for


    The third element is the Necessary Connections and Cosmic

    Relationships that exist among all objects, both directly and

    indirectly. Continuing to follow through with this sunlight

    example, it would mean that this ideal sun and its delicate

    attributes have established a unique relationship with this

    planet. The Earth's magnetic field interacts with this "sunlight,"

    providing a protective shield. This magnetic field is dependent

    on the structure of the planet's molten core. And as such, the

    Sun has a complicated relationship with Earth. It generates our

    weather patterns, produces the albedo effect, and even helps to

    develop vitamin D in the human body. The Sun's

    electromagnetic radiation plays a role in a countless number of

    other natural events here on Earth.

    The emerging consequences from examining these three key

    elements suggest that the "Requirements" for life are extremely

    precise and that the "Conditions" are seemingly endless. More

    importantly, these "Connections and Relationships" are

    extraordinarily demanding and far-reaching. The Theory of One

    goes on to say that these three principles produce an expanding

    relationship and profound connective dependence, which

    ultimately includes everything in the Universe. The Earth and

    the Universe are indeed one place.

    What are some of the logistical requirements for life to emerge

    on Earth? Here on this planet, we have acquired the proper

    blend of chemical elements needed to develop life. This correct

    chemical balance was only possible because of this planet's

    remarkable location in the Milky Way Galaxy. This planet's

    position is critical because if the Earth formed closer to the

    center of the Milky Way, then we would have acquired too

    many of the lighter elements, and the existence of life would

    have become highly unlikely. If, on the other hand, this planet

    was formed farther out in the galaxy, we would then have too

    many of the heavier elements and the possibility of life evolving

    and flourishing would also be highly unlikely. We can continue

    to expand on these aspects and requirements. For example, we

    also need the Moon, but not just any moon. We need this Moon

    and its exact properties.

    The Moon stabilizes the Earth's motion producing a needed

    steady and reliable weather system. The Moon also affects

    Earth's plate tectonics, which in turn plays a role in our carbon

    cycle. The Moon also produces the tides, which ultimately

    helped develop life. Our Sun is 93,000,000 miles away (150

    million kilometers), for life to exist on this planet we depend on

    this Sun. It is an exceptional Sun; it is one which is not too hot

    and not too cold. This Sun needed to be in a stable state and in

    the proper stage of development long enough for life to develop

    on Earth. Not only do we need this Sun to be the right type and

    size of star, but we also need it to be in the correct position and

    distance. Now, if the Sun were just a fraction of a distance

    closer, then Earth's water would have eventually evaporated

    into space. And yet, on the other hand, if it were a fraction of

    the distance further away we would have become a cold dead

    planet of ice.

    This Sun has its' own vast complex requirements and "far off"

    external influences. Those cosmic interactions ultimately

    complement and support our existence. And those "far off"

    external influences and interactions demand their own

    requirements. Furthermore, we need a solar system with

    massive planets like Jupiter and Saturn. These planets protect

    us. They shield this planet from incoming asteroid disasters and

    comet impacts—these giant planets "sweep clean" our solar


    We needed and still need their size and gravitational strength

    to prevail, even though these planets are millions upon millions

    of miles away. But it doesn't end there. Just these two planets

    alone have many of their own cosmic prerequisites. They have a

    vast number of critical conditions and precise requirements,

    which are also complicated and far-reaching. All these

    conditions and requirements are time-sensitive; they all need to

    be created within a similar time period. That requirement alone

    is an incredible plight.

    We can continue to expand the idea behind the Theory of One.

    The Milky Way Galaxy, which we are located in, has its own

    vast complex requirements and correspondence. As such, it

    interacts with other galaxies, which in turn have their own

    interactions and conditions. These direct and indirect

    relationships support our existence and extend the connection

    to everything in the Universe. It is truly remarkable. This

    network does not stop or fade away with distance.

    In conclusion, The Theory of One suggests that everything in

    the Universe is connected and is required to support life here on

    this planet. Is it possible for life to exist elsewhere in the

    Universe? I can imagine it, but the necessary conditions to reoccur somewhere else would be astronomically rare, with an

    outrageously small probability. We are probably unique.

    Author's note:

    The possibility that life on Earth might indeed be unique

    should not be considered as a bad thing or desolate idea. It would mean this planet

    is extremely precious. In much the same way, you are also truly

    unique. There is only "one of you," and there will never be

    another "one of you" in the future, as there was never

    "another one of you" in the past. That might sound confusing at

    first, but it is just a way of saying you are unique in the ultimate

    sense of the word, making life on this planet and you very, very rare.

    July 30, 2021 at 11:45 pm Reply
  3. Eric Haddix

    🤔💭 Here is how I understand Critical Theory or Social Justice Ideology.

    🏡 Its Foundation: Postmodernist Existentialist Experientialism, which holds that objective truth is unknowable and, thus, experience is all that matters, holistically, to one.

    🏟 Its Central Concept: Its central concept is that, within society and as a society, power and how it is distributed is the core component of society, how it works, and how people experience society. Therefore, its central belief and goal is that power, in all of its manifestations, must be evenly redistributed to all people (think the very spirit of Marxism, here), in order for all people to experience society properly.

    How? From a Materialist point of view, reducing individuals and groups to their essential material characteristics, which generate their personal experiences (think the Mechanistic Materialist concept of man, here), and, then, using various material means (think the solutions of Dialectical Materialism, such as Reverse Discrimination, Quotas, and Speech Codes, here) to evenly distribute power between them and, in doing so, fully empower each of them to fully generate and fully enjoy their personal experience (think using Narcissistic Identity Politics, enforcing Multicultural Relativism and Do What Thou Wilt Freedom, and other such things, here).

    So how is it that Critical Theory becomes infinitely complex? It becomes infinitely complex in its attempts to explain exactly how to do what it aims to do. However, if we stick to seeing it and refuting it on a fundamental level, then we can keep it simple (think the K.I.S.S. Principle here) and deal with it effectively.

    🤓💬 Now, in light of this and in application of this, here are the key weaknesses of it, which I see and use against it.

    1. On its foundation of Postmodernist Existentialist Experientialism: It is a philosophy which holistically rejects the Truth, God (or Yehovah), and, by extension, the truth he establishes, and, conversely, it is self-contradictory in proclaiming its denial of objective truth as objective truth, from its start and throughout it.

    2a. On its central goal of evenly distributing all power between all people: It is a holistic rejection of how God (or Yehovah) governs, on all levels and in all ways. Conversely, it is, quite simply, practically impossible to do: even it, itself, has no practical, clear, detailed vision of what doing this actually looks like.

    2b.  On how it tries to accomplish its said central goal: It denies that mankind is made in the image of God (or Yehovah), mankind are immaterial souls with immaterial spirit bodies, and, thus, mankind transcends his physical characteristics, accordingly, therefore mankind is full of unique individuals, who defy categorization by their physical characteristics. Conversely, it is, quite simply, practically impossible to do, in all of its stages: even it, itself, defaults to using a gridwork of hasty generalizations and one size fits all policies, which always suffer from a fatal level of exceptions and, in doing so, practically backfire.

    July 30, 2021 at 11:45 pm Reply
  4. leon reign

    Least your honest…partially..

    July 30, 2021 at 11:45 pm Reply
  5. Nixon Coming

    We are fast approaching the logical resolution of our present cultural upheaval. When the one side sees the other as irremediable in its evil and so believes they are entitled to their wealth, war will be declared.

    July 30, 2021 at 11:45 pm Reply
  6. One United Nation 1

    إِذَا السَّمَاءُ انفَطَرَتْ
    When the sky breaks apart
    وَإِذَا الْكَوَاكِبُ انتَثَرَتْ
    And when the stars fall, scattering,
    وَإِذَا الْبِحَارُ فُجِّرَتْ
    And when the seas are erupted
    وَإِذَا الْقُبُورُ بُعْثِرَتْ
    And when the [contents of] graves are scattered,
    عَلِمَتْ نَفْسٌ مَّا قَدَّمَتْ وَأَخَّرَتْ
    A soul will [then] know what it has put forth and kept back.
    يَا أَيُّهَا الْإِنسَانُ مَا غَرَّكَ بِرَبِّكَ الْكَرِيمِ
    O mankind, what has deceived you concerning your Lord, the Generous,
    الَّذِي خَلَقَكَ فَسَوَّاكَ فَعَدَلَكَ
    Who created you, proportioned you, and balanced you?
    فِي أَيِّ صُورَةٍ مَّا شَاءَ رَكَّبَكَ
    In whatever form He willed has He assembled you.
    كَلَّا بَلْ تُكَذِّبُونَ بِالدِّينِ
    No! But you deny the Recompense.
    وَإِنَّ عَلَيْكُمْ لَحَافِظِينَ
    And indeed, [appointed] over you are keepers,
    كِرَامًا كَاتِبِينَ
    Noble and recording;
    يَعْلَمُونَ مَا تَفْعَلُونَ
    They know whatever you do.
    إِنَّ الْأَبْرَارَ لَفِي نَعِيمٍ
    Indeed, the righteous will be in pleasure,
    وَإِنَّ الْفُجَّارَ لَفِي جَحِيمٍ
    And indeed, the wicked will be in Hellfire.
    يَصْلَوْنَهَا يَوْمَ الدِّينِ
    They will [enter to] burn therein on the Day of Recompense,
    وَمَا هُمْ عَنْهَا بِغَائِبِينَ
    And never therefrom will they be absent.
    وَمَا أَدْرَاكَ مَا يَوْمُ الدِّينِ
    And what can make you know what is the Day of Recompense?
    ثُمَّ مَا أَدْرَاكَ مَا يَوْمُ الدِّينِ
    Then, what can make you know what is the Day of Recompense?
    يَوْمَ لَا تَمْلِكُ نَفْسٌ لِّنَفْسٍ شَيْئًا ۖ وَالْأَمْرُ يَوْمَئِذٍ لِّلَّهِ
    It is the Day when a soul will not possess for another soul [power to do] a thing; and the command, that Day, is [entirely] with Allah.

    July 30, 2021 at 11:45 pm Reply
  7. Guido Salvetta

    it's been 2000 years we've been told of Him, and what the many churches believe Him to be has already shaped most of western history and beyond, sometimes for the best (like, accidentally, with art and music, made by artists often more penniless than faithful) but mostly for the worse (predation over Nature taken as a heirloom from Him and to our disposal, incessant crusades in His name, and the destruction of all cultures standing in His way). So, whether He got misunderstood, manipulated, failed to exist or, worse, didn't care, I don't think we can reasonably expect any positive change from Him or any-One divinely related. Can't say we didn't try though. Let's believe in ourselves (collectively) for a change, shall we ?

    July 30, 2021 at 11:45 pm Reply
  8. 1 KoolKat

    Maybe a lack of understanding in the two natures of God distorts thinking. A belief that God is patient kind and loving is easy to accept.
    However, a God of wrath, anger, hatred and vengeance; Well, I rarely hear anything discussed about that.

    July 30, 2021 at 11:45 pm Reply
  9. Lynn Baber

    Love hearing this discussed! Critical Legal Theory has transformed western cultures since the last 1980s. The movement and its effects are chronicled in the book, "Fifteen Minutes into Eternity-The War Between the Human Spirit and the Holy Spirit."

    July 30, 2021 at 11:45 pm Reply
  10. Mike Sprott

    This is excellent!!!

    The problem arises when one has shown they love people and they hate racism, but the observers believe their ideology over their viewable observations! Ideology / false doctrine trumps experience.

    This is why our primary defense isn’t our experience it is the Scriptures. God has spoken on this issue of the oppressed and oppressors. What He says however is not what the flesh wants to hear! Pick up your cross and follow Him!

    July 30, 2021 at 11:45 pm Reply
  11. Jon

    If oppression is often expressed in standards and the imposition of those standards upon sectors of a society, or upon a society entirely, how is the standard "You shall not oppress" itself not a form of oppression? I mean, if simply being a standard to which people ought to conform constitutes being oppressive, then one cannot urge others to cease their oppression without being oppressive oneself. This reminds me of the Buddhist who desires to eschew all desire, or the person who says there is no absolute truth.

    July 30, 2021 at 11:45 pm Reply
  12. vKaran12

    Biblical justifications for slavery

    Luke 12:47-48

    The servant who knows the master’s will and does not get ready or does not do what the master wants will be beaten with many blows.

    Exodus 21:20-21

    Anyone who beats their male or female slave with a rod must be punished if the slave dies as a direct result, but they are not to be punished if the slave recovers after a day or two, since the slave is their property

    Colossians 3:22

    Slaves, obey your earthly masters in everything; and do it, not only when their eye is on you and to curry their favor, but with sincerity of heart and reverence for the Lord.

    Ephesians 6:5-9

    Slaves, obey your earthly masters with respect and fear, and with sincerity of heart, just as you would obey Christ. Obey them not only to win their favor when their eye is on you, but as slaves of Christ, doing the will of God from your heart.

    Leviticus 25:44-46

    Your male and female slaves are to come from the nations around you; from them you may buy slaves. You may also buy some of the temporary residents living among you and members of their clans born in your country, and they will become your property. You can bequeath them to your children as inherited property and can make them slaves for life, but you must not rule over your fellow Israelites ruthlessly.

    July 30, 2021 at 11:45 pm Reply
  13. Captainbinkman

    I actually disagree with the guests. These people won’t listen to you because they say your speech is equal to physical violence and they must oppress you. They oppress while at the same time claim to be the oppressed. How to rationalize with irrational people?

    July 30, 2021 at 11:45 pm Reply
  14. Ancel

    God is the source of goodness.
    When God isn't with someone, degeneracy of mind and body follows.

    July 30, 2021 at 11:45 pm Reply
  15. noshoes

    Thank you for your work! There must always be an authority. God is the only righteous authority.

    July 30, 2021 at 11:45 pm Reply
  16. deezynar

    Violence is the behavior that reveals the decadence of a group's thinking.

    July 30, 2021 at 11:45 pm Reply
  17. ezy x

    One minute in and Greg just hit the nail right on the head for me. As a Social Psychologist, I have been involved in the study and application of Critical Theory and this is exactly how I've been feeling: that my field of study is vastly different at best, and even hostile at worst, to my faith. I have been struggling to find my footing between my faith and my career, and at one point considered just leaving my academic career for good.

    July 30, 2021 at 11:45 pm Reply
  18. anonymous Gamer


    July 30, 2021 at 11:45 pm Reply

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