Southern Baptists Keep Quarreling Over Critical Race Theory

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Even among Christians who agree Scripture comes first, there’s a debate over whether to learn from or reject secular theories that see racism as structural.

A year and a half after passing a controversial resolution on critical race theory, Southern Baptists are debating the topic again.

Seminary presidents issued a statement last week saying that “affirmation of Critical Race Theory, Intersectionality and any version of Critical Theory” is incompatible with the Baptist Faith and Message, the denomination’s core beliefs.

Their statement launched another wave of discussion around the place of critical race theory in Christian discourse and teaching, with fellow Southern Baptists and Christian leaders outside the denomination weighing in.

The term “critical race theory” (CRT) is frequently ill defined. According to scholars, it is an approach to the issue of racism that analyzes systems and biases embedded in social structures.

In the resolution approved at the 2019 annual meeting, the Southern Baptist Convention (SBC) referred to the theory as “a set of analytical tools that explain how race has and continues to function in society” and clarified that it could only be employed “subordinate to Scripture.”

“Some in our ranks inappropriately use the label of ‘CRT!’ to avoid legitimate questions or as a cudgel to dismiss any discussion of discrimination. Many cannot even define what CRT is,” tweeted SBC president J. D. Greear on Thursday. “If we in the SBC had shown as much sorrow for the painful legacy that sin has left as we show passion to decry CRT, we probably wouldn’t be in this mess.”

To certain Southern Baptists, the SBC has not done enough to dismiss critical race theory, allowing secular thinking to overtake a biblical worldview. Concerns over the influence of critical race theory …

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