A Response to Critical Theory Concerns

To our readers,

As the Radi-Call team, we thought it would be appropriate to post a response to the feedback on our critical theory article. Although we firmly believe critical theory to be incompatible with a biblical worldview, we acknowledge that racism and oppression happen in the church and the world. Our article was not written in reaction or to contradict the other Anabaptist groups addressing the issue of racism. As Christians, we should be concerned about social issues. We posted the article, not because we aren’t concerned about justice, but because critical theory offers an unredemptive and inadequate solution to the very good cause of biblical justice. 

We believe the Gospel is God, through Jesus Christ, reconciling believers to himself. This gift of salvation brings freedom from sin and a changed life to the glory of God. God does not guarantee believers justice in this life; in fact, we are called to forgive others, love those around us even when they don’t deserve it, and trust God to bring justice in his time.

However, we do believe reconciliation between people flows out of the gospel. Social justice (equality of treatment, not equality of outcome) is not the gospel; rather, it is a result of the gospel. We seek to understand and include all people, not to meet diversity quotas, but because Christ loves all people. In Ephesians 2 and Galatians 3, the apostle Paul describes the wondrous mystery that all people – Jew and Gentile, slave and free, black and white, men and women – are one in Christ. 

This unity comes from understanding the gospel. We are all equally created in God’s image, all equally dead in sin, and all equally forgiven in Christ. Critical theory doesn’t “break down the dividing wall of hostility”; it embraces it. The justice of critical theory is punitive, but only the justice of the gospel is redemptive. Only the gospel gives us the desire and ability to understand, apologize, and forgive our brothers and sisters in Christ. 

Practically, as believers, we should serve in our communities to bring about the end of racism.  Diversity in the churches is good, and churches should lovingly hear those both in and outside their congregations who are different, with the goal of making the necessary changes. Our concern is that critical theory syncretism hinders true justice by mixing the reconciling gospel with postmodern ideology.  

The Radi-Call Team

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