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Why is Everything Today about Race, Gender, and Identity? [EPISODE 8]

by | Culture and Spirituality | 1 comment


Scott (founder) (00:00):

I have more in common with a Christian woman who’s a grandmother and lives in the jungles of Ecuador than I have with a white working class man living here in Canada. And the reason is because we’re United in Christ because it’s in Christ that our identity is established and our relationship to one another likewise is established in Christ. Welcome to another episode of prepared to answer podcast.

Shawn (host) (00:30):

I’m your host, Shawn Walker joined by Scott Stein and we’re excited to have you along. How are you doing Scott? Good. How are you, Shawn? Good. It’s been a little while since we’ve done one live.

Scott (founder) (00:39):

It has it’s it’s, it’s good to be back together to do a, an actual live podcast together. Yep.

Shawn (host) (00:45):

The last discussion that we had, which was actually back in July, was on, can you be gay and Christian, which is a sensitive topic, but it lends itself to what we’re talking about today, which is why does it seem like everything in the news revolves around race, gender, and identity. When we look at race, we know the protests that are happening not only down in the States, but here in Canada when we’re looking at gender, we’re talking about people wanting to be able to change their gender. And when we look at identity, we’ll see instances of people even wanting to change their identity on birth certificates. Why does this seem so predominant in news and in social media?

Scott (founder) (01:26):

Yeah. Well, I think that’s something that we all recognize happening right now. Shawn, it just seems like every story in the news or every story in terms of social discussion or social commentary has to do with issues around broadly speaking. I think there are issues around identity, whether that’s with respect to race or gender and I’d add sexuality in there too. Yeah. It’s definitely something we’re all seeing. And so that really frames the discussion we want to have today because we want to look into the reason for why that is. Is it just a phenomenon of changes in culture, the kinds of changes that typically happen or something else going on. And I really do think something else is going on that Christians really need to be aware of and need to start thinking about and talking about and getting informed on. So that’s what we’re going to discuss today.

Shawn (host) (02:13):

So what do you think that explanation is for what’s going on Scott?

Scott (founder) (02:17):

I think there’s a lot of, a lot of things we could talk about Shawn, but I think if we go to scripture, we can see at the most basic level, what is happening is the outworking of something that scripture tells us very clearly. And I think that’s always important because things change all the time. Discussions in culture can become really complicated, but God has made his word clear to us so that we can understand the nature of the human condition. And so here’s where I want to start maybe just in, in unpacking an explanation of, of what I see going on around us right now. And I look back to Romans chapter one, verse 25, which is such a foundational text, I think in terms of developing and clarifying a Christian view of the world. Because in the opening chapter of Romans, Paul really just gives a clear presentation of what is behind the human condition.

Scott (founder) (03:13):

Why is the world the way that we find it? And ultimately he points to this reality that that man is right now experiencing the progressive outpouring of, or the beginnings of the outpouring of the wrath of God because of human sin and the consequences of sin on our world. We can’t ever escape it. Here’s what Paul says in Romans chapter one, verse 25, he says for, they exchanged the truth of God for the lie and worshiped and served the creature rather than the creator who is blessed forever. Amen. So what Paul is saying is that one of the enduring conditions of humanity in our sinful fallenness is being left with the insatiable need that we all have for meaning in life. Then we’re trying to meet it alienated from the very one who can give our lives meaning, right? And so the history of human civilization apart from Christ is riddled with attempt after attempt, after attempt to answer the question of meaning without God questions, like how do we make sense of the world as we find it, what’s the best way to live and how can we achieve that or, or what’s true.

Scott (founder) (04:23):

And how can we know it? And the reason why it seems as if everything today is about race and gender and identity and sex, and so many other things, right, is because over the past couple of decades that we’ve encountered yet another major shift in how our culture, our culture as humanity in history, apart from God alienated in our sin is trying to answer these most basic worldview questions that are impossible to answer without God. So are you talking about a new worldview? Well, what I see certainly is maybe not a completely new worldview, but certainly a shift in the way a secular or a un-Christian culture thinks about the world. And specifically the shift that we’re experiencing right now, I think is being strongly influenced by a set of ideas that began taking shape in and around the 1920s, they were born in what was known as the Frankfurt school, which was a school of social theory in Frankfurt, Germany.

Scott (founder) (05:28):

And it was populated by a group of social theorists and critical philosophers. And the keyword here is critical. They believed that a true understanding of how human society works could only be attained through critique of society and its power structures. And this was a change because it really stood in contrast to what had up to that point. Been the prevailing approach that really relied more heavily on a modern scientific method. And in a way you can understand why they were critical philosophers. The Western world had really predominantly, the European world had risen to where it was on nearly 350 years of enlightenment era, modern thinking, which was enthusiastically optimistic. That human reason and scientific method would give us the knowledge that we needed to turn our world into a paradise, right. To find the ultimate answers that we needed about the world and to shape the world in the ideal way that we could live in it.

Shawn (host) (06:30):

So of course at the end of world war one, that was not the reality, right?

Scott (founder) (06:35):

Right. Basically the school began in 1918, between 1918 and 1933, which is the period of time just at the end of the first world war. So in their view, what had been the traditional ways of explaining human nature and behavior were inadequate because they assumed that reasoning and science would grant us access to the truth about human nature and the world as it truly is. And of course, they’re on the tail end of the first world war where they see, well, this is the by-product of that great

Shawn (host) (07:08):

You’re taking. So you can fully understand the desire for a new worldview.

Scott (founder) (07:12):

Well, you can certainly understand the reason to be critical of the old one, for sure. In addition, of course, the interwar years, that period between the first and second world war that they were living in, they were seeing an incredible move in political unrest and reaction to them, especially in Germany,uwhich, you know, which saw an attempt to establish communism that failed. And then ultimately you see the rise of fascism,uwith Hitler’s Nazi Germany. So out of this, anyway, the Frankfurt school developed a critical way of looking at the world, really simplifying a very broad and complicated school of thought, but there were two, I think, two key ideas that came out of this, this shift towards a critical view. The first was their rejection of the modern notion that we can gain objective knowledge about the world as it really is. And the second is that they adopted and adapted the philosophy of Karl Marx and his method of social analysis or critique in seeing really the workings of social dynamics as being a power trip.

Shawn (host) (08:15):

Was Karl Marx only economic though. Yeah,

Scott (founder) (08:18):

Well Marx, his theory was mostly focused on economic powers or means of production and those kinds of things. They felt that Marx didn’t go far enough. They extended his principle of this power struggle into other fields as well in terms of social dynamics in terms of psychology and other things. So they really took it beyond what Marx did and applied it to all areas of knowledge and social analysis.

Shawn (host) (08:45):

Well, that’s all very interesting Scott, but how does that apply to us almost a hundred years later,

Scott (founder) (08:52):

It’s difficult to make a really direct application that point to where we find ourselves today, Shawn, because it really serves as the roots of a certain set of ideas. And I don’t want to get bogged down with the history of the Frankfurt school, but what we need to recognize. And this is something I say many times is to realize that ideas never come out of a vacuum the world. Doesn’t all of a sudden just decide to change one day because people just get up and feel like they need to change. We inherit the ideas that come before us and ideas build upon other ideas that they build upon them or their reactions to them. So we need to realize that most people after that time, most people looked at the world or look at the world through the unfolding of events. And so if you look back to the 20th century, we think of events like World War II and the cold war and the sixties revolution and the hyper materialism of the 1980s and nineties.

Scott (founder) (09:53):

And we see those as the, those are kind of the surface movements of culture. And that’s where we all tend to look and see the changes that take place. But what we don’t see is that there are often ideas that are shaping the way we view the world under the surface. And so behind the scenes, really in academia through the 20th century where these ideas of these critical philosophers that were very much shaping the social science departments in virtually every Western university. So Western culture itself, which still bore many marks of Christian influence through the 20th century really came under the scrutiny of critical theories, right? Because that was their approach to understanding the way we know things and the power structures that function within society was to critique them. And so, in fact, the term critical theory is one that’s become very predominant in social debate right now, precisely because of the observation you made at the start, Shawn, that it seems as if everything has become about race and gender and sex, which our culture has really come to see as core markers of human identity. And it becomes so important because they’ve become politicized. And the reason they become politicized is because critical theory has now gone mainstream because it’s dominance in the universities in shaping the way social theorists think about culture and society. And reality, it’s really been solidified over the past 30 to 40 years. And now we have a, an emerging leading generation that has been schooled in the ideas of critical theory, whose view of reality has really been shaped by critical theory.

Shawn (host) (11:39):

It started in the 1920s with the Frankfurt school. And as you’ve described Scott with that philosophy that started in academia has really now manifested itself within our culture. So I guess the question is now that it’s within culture, where do we start? What do we look at? How do we examine it in light of what scripture says about these things?

Scott (founder) (12:01):

So I think to begin understanding this, this, and I’ll just call it critical theory. Some people refer to it as contemporary critical theory because it’s the, it’s kind of the outworkings of critical theory that we’re dealing with right now. It’s really challenging to nail down because critical theory as it’s called, isn’t just one theory. It’s a really broad body of knowledge that spans a lot of theoretical disciplines like feminism and theory and critical race theory, just to name a few. So it’s very broad in its scope and its contemporary form though. I think the best place to start is to look at what I see at least as the two main tenants of knowledge and power that we mentioned earlier coming out of the Frankfurt school. So, so let me just focus on this area of knowledge for a moment, because this is one of the core tenants of critical theory.

Scott (founder) (12:55):

And it’s the idea that objective knowledge about the world cannot be attained. What it maintains is that all knowledge is socially constructed and maybe the best way to unpack that is to quote some critical theorists to let them speak for themselves. This is a quote by Sensoy and DiAngelo. This is their introduction to critical theory. And so I’m quoting now all knowledge is taught from a particular perspective. The power of dominant knowledge depends in large part on its presentation, as neutral and universal in order to understand the concept of knowledge as never purely objective neutral and outside of human interests. It’s important to distinguish between discoverable laws of the natural world, such as the law of gravity and knowledge, which is socially constructed by socially constructed. We mean that all knowledge understood by humans is framed by the ideologies language, beliefs and customs of human societies, even the field of science is subjective. Okay. So how’s that for a, how’s that for a definition of what knowledge really?

Shawn (host) (14:10):

Yes. There’s a lot to unpack there. Maybe we can start by what are they essentially saying in everyday lingo?

Scott (founder) (14:19):

Well, in everyday lingo, what they’re saying is that there is no knowledge that we can have about the world that isn’t subjectively created. In other words, that doesn’t come from our own particular perspective in the world, right? I can’t step outside of my situatedness in the world in terms of the ideologies that have influenced the way I think the language that I speak with, you know, the words I used to describe the world around me the, I have about the world and the customs that I’ve grown up in. I can’t step outside of those in order to gain an objective or an unbiased view of the world. And so what they’re saying is that all human knowledge, including the field of science, which historically we thought of, well that’s neutral objective knowledge, right? No, even the field of science they would say is subjective. Scientists come to their object of study, possessing their own ideologies, their own language, their own beliefs, their own customs that they grew up in and they’re processing what they see through the lens of their own subjective experience.

Shawn (host) (15:30):

Could you give us a concrete example of, of, of what you were talking about?

Scott (founder) (15:37):

Well, I can give an example that they would use, and this comes from the book I just quoted by Sensoy and DiAngelo. For instance, they would say it’s typically taught as a fact in history classes that Columbus discovered America, but Columbus discovering America is a subjectively stated fact because while for Europeans, it may be a great discovery for the world, of course, to the indigenous population. It was anything but a discovery. And that’s fine. I think we can understand that from the point of view of indigenous North Americans, they would view the discovery of America through a very different lens in terms of an assessment of the goodness or merits of the actual event. Okay. But the problem is it’s one thing to say that, you know, people can have different perspectives of the same event. It’s an entirely different thing to say that people can’t know the truth about a particular event, that all, all truth and all knowledge about that event is subjective and perspectival.

Scott (founder) (16:38):

Right? And I think there’s a couple of really important implications. The first is that it ultimately allows all knowledge to be called into question. Even things that we might say are common sense could be dismissed as only common sense to you, right? Because it’s been shaped by your own interests or the interests of the prevailing social ideology. And there isn’t, it’s not that there’s not something legitimate to say that, you know what our perspectives really do shape the way we, you know, interpret certain events or value things. But it’s, again, it’s entirely different to then say that all knowledge becomes relative. I think the second implication is that you can see then why it becomes so easy to dismiss and reject what have been traditionally held beliefs and values. If everybody’s knowledge, particularly things like moral knowledge or knowledge about the best way to live or what’s best for society or what’s best for humanity, that kind of knowledge that may be traditionally held that it’s easy to dismiss it. Say, look at it. That’s constructed knowledge. That’s the way your particular has decided to construct its view of reality, but why should that dictate the way I do?

Shawn (host) (17:57):

So when we turn our lens or our focus to scripture, then how does this impact our view of truth as scripture relates to it?

Scott (founder) (18:08):

Well, yeah, that’s a great question immediately. What we should see is that this is absolutely opposed to a biblical view of knowledge where the beginning of knowledge, as Solomon said, is the fear of the Lord that there is objective truth, but it’s not our truth. It’s God’s truth. We can have real knowledge about the world because God has created us to live in this world and to know the creation we live in. And ultimately he’s created us to know the creator, to know him. And I think what’s important for Christians to recognize as beliefs and perspectives about the subjective nature of knowledge become more and more popularized that everyone has their own truth. The reason why Christians are confident in knowing that we have the truth, isn’t because we have attained some superior means of knowing it’s not because we’re smarter. It’s because the God who is true has revealed himself, right?

Scott (founder) (19:13):

The weeds, the reason why we can know the truth about God and the world is because God has told us. And that’s the only way we could know, because in one sense, it’s true. We can’t escape our own perspectives to, to know what is ultimately true about the world, but we don’t need to. We have the one who knows everything that’s true. And while he hasn’t told us everything, he has told us enough about what’s true of the world and of who he is and who we are in relation to him. And so I think that Christians need to just reaffirm that our confidence in knowing the truth is grounded in the revelation of God, God’s revelation through his word and ultimately through his son, our Lord Jesus, who has Paul said in whom are hidden all the treasures of the wisdom and knowledge of God.

Shawn (host) (20:05):

So we’ve just finished talking about how knowledge is a social construct as the first tenet of critical theory. And then we’ve looked at it in light of scripture. So can we move now Scott, to the second tenant that you were talking about power structures,

Scott (founder) (20:19):

The second tenant that critical theory maintains is that society, it should be understood as fundamentally driven by power. So this means that at its most basic level human social order can be broken into two groups. Those who have power and those who don’t. So those who have power and they’re often referred to as the oppressor, which is why the word oppression and being oppressed is so prolific in our public discourse today. So those who have power, who are the oppressors and those who live under the control of those with power, who are the oppressed, right? So there’s this oppressor, oppressed binary. That’s been created a couple of Christian writers who I think have been really helpful in the area of understanding critical theory from a Christian perspective are Neil Shen and Pat Sawyer. And this is a quote by,uShen V. He says from the perspective of contemporary critical theory, our experience of reality, our evaluation of evidence, our access to truth, our moral status and our moral obligations are all largely determined by our membership in either a dominant oppressor group or a subordinate oppressed group.

Scott (founder) (21:34):

Now it’s worth noting here that oppression, as it’s used here, isn’t really used in the typical sense of when you think of somebody being oppressed. You’re thinking of like a very active and adjuster, cruel action being committed against them, something physical it right, is something physical or tangible. And it’s not really used in that sense. Although it’s outworking can lead to that rather than the way they understand oppression and critical theory is in terms of what they refer to as hegemonic power and hedge Amani, which is not a word that people use very often. I’ll refer again, back to Sensoy and DiAngelo in defining hegemonic. And they were defined it this way, that hedge money refers to the control of the ideology of society. The dominant group, that’s the oppressor group maintains power by imposing their ideology on everyone else. Right? They go on to say in any relationship between groups that define one another, and here’s the examples they give men versus women able-bodied versus disabled, young versus old, the dominant group is the group that is valued more highly dominant groups set the norm by which the minoritized group is judged.

Scott (founder) (22:48):

There’s a lot of things worth unpacking from that, Shawn, but maybe for our purpose here in this rather introductory discussion of critical theory, it would be helpful to point out just two main implications. One, obviously since this view breaks down our most basic social identity to belonging, to either the oppressed group or the oppressing group, suddenly group identity becomes everything which is contributing toward an answer to our initial question of why is everything about race and gender and identity and sex right? Group identity becomes everything because the understanding of social structure is broken down into this oppressed oppressing binary, especially when it comes to issues of social justice. And since as the Sensoy and DiAngelo’s say it is relationships between groups that identify us, the more clarity I can get on where I fit in this relationship between groups, the oppressed versus oppressor binary, the more clarity I can have about my own moral situatedness and my own moral obligations. In other words, how I should live in relation to other people,

Shawn (host) (24:01):

It really gives us our meaning our purpose.

Scott (founder) (24:04):

Yeah. It gives us our meaning or it, or at least it situates us in terms of understanding our place in the world. And as Shelby said in the quote earlier, our moral obligations and it all has to do with understanding where we fit in these relationships of power, again, contributing towards why these issues of race and gender and sex all fit into this discussion. The second implication I see that’s maybe even more important than just realizing that group identity becomes everything to us. Maybe even more important is realizing how this notion of group identity and oppression changes the nature of moral guilt and moral obligation, where instead of being morally responsible as an individual, we become morally responsible as a group. And then the second thing that goes along with that is that it creates an imbalance then in moral guilt, since it’s only those who belong to the oppressor group, that can be guilty by virtue of belonging to the group, they are oppressors,

Shawn (host) (25:07):

Right? So if I belong to an oppressed group, then I’m not guilty.

Scott (founder) (25:12):

You’re not guilty of oppressing. Now that doesn’t mean you, you couldn’t commit a crime against someone and you would be guilty of course, of committing a crime. But in terms of the broader power struggle in terms of creating a just and fair society, only those in the oppressive group are the culprits in the injustices that society perpetuates. And of course that stands in real stark contrast to a biblical view of the world,

Shawn (host) (25:40):

Right? So if we do again, turn our lens or our focus to scripture, what would scripture say to this oppressed versus oppressor? Because I think there is scripture of a Scott that does talk to oppression.

Scott (founder) (25:56):

Absolutely. And there can be groups that do oppress and there can be social systems that do oppress. And I wouldn’t argue with that. The difference though, is that for the critical theorist, the source of oppression is the structural nature of society. So the, so the sin, if you will, is a structural sin, the problem is social stress

Shawn (host) (26:17):

Structure. It isn’t people in and of themselves right

Scott (founder) (26:21):

In and of themselves, of course, biblically the reason why societies become corrupted and structurally unjust to the extent that they are, is because of the sin of the individual human heart. It’s because human society is made up of sinful human beings, but that problem is universal. We’re all sinful. We all contribute the

Shawn (host) (26:44):


Scott (founder) (26:45):

And so the solution to the problem, while again, we, we can work toward creating more fair and just social structures. The real solution is to begin with me. I need to look at myself. I need to, I need to look at my own heart and make sure that my heart is right and then come to dealing with the issues at hand. And that’s true for everybody.

Shawn (host) (27:13):

So Scott, we’ve covered quite a bit of theoretical material today, which has been great, very informative, but let’s turn to application. How can we apply this to our walk?

Scott (founder) (27:24):

I think there’s a, there’s a few things I’d say about application Shawn. I realize when you’re looking at something that that is very theoretical, like critical theory, and you’re trying to understand it at the level of kind of those basic fundamental ideas that underlie how we view the world. It’s, it’s challenging to jump from there, to application in the everyday. But I think even just in the brief look, we’ve had a critical theory here. There are a few things I would want to say to brothers and sisters in Christ as we carry on in the world. We’re living in the first, I think I want to say is this, is that the issue surrounding race in particular race, but race and identity in our culture that there are injustices in our world. That oppression is a real thing. And God’s very concerned with these things.

Scott (founder) (28:14):

And so these are discussions we should be having. And I think if I could say one thing positive about critical theory is that it’s raising our awareness of these issues. And it’s kind of maybe shaking our culture out of its complacency of status quo. And we’re understanding that, you know what, there’s a plight to those who, who do face some real disparities in terms of fairness in our culture. And I think we should address those. And that’s, those are discussions we should be having in the church. Here’s one application that I would take away is that as Christians, as we discuss these kinds of things, and this is one of the reasons why I wanted to start addressing this issue of critical theory, I think we need to be aware of the kinds of underlying worldview ideas that are informing the soundbites of cultural dialogue, because oftentimes we inform ourselves by listening to the cultural debate and we can pick and choose some soundbites that are useful maybe in argumentation, but we can use them not realizing that as we use them, we’re reinforcing a worldview.

Scott (founder) (29:21):

That’s actually not biblical. That’s a takeaway I think we need to be aware of, which is why we really want to encourage you to start becoming more aware of some of these underlying ideas that are supporting the kinds of changes we’re seeing in our culture of why everything’s about race and gender and identity. So that’s one thing I’d say the second thing I want to say, Shawn, it’s just that we’d be aware of and cautious of the pressure in our culture or the tendency in our culture to establish our identity. According to which group we belong in, according to our social group, because I think that has a real danger of dividing the church because as Christians, our identity is not grounded in our race or our gender or any of those things. It’s grounded in Christ. The reality that I have more in common with a Christian woman, who’s a grandmother and lives in the jungles of Ecuador than I have with a white working class man living here in Canada. And the reason is because we’re United in Christ because it’s in Christ that our identity is established and our relationship to one another likewise is established in Christ. Like Paul said, there in Christ, there is no longer Jew or Gentile, slave nor free, male nor female, all are one in Christ. It doesn’t mean the obliteration of those categories. It means that they’re no longer barriers to sharing relational fellowship and relational unity with one another because in Christ

Shawn (host) (31:02):

What a great scripture in light of critical theory.

Scott (founder) (31:05):

Yeah, it really is. I think that’s, that’s a great go-to scripture in the face of what is becoming more and more. I think a fracturing movement in society. And my fear is that our, the culture around us will become more and more polarized around these kinds of group identities. And I think that this is an opportunity for the church to stand as a beacon of light, to shine the light of Christ by virtue of the fellowship we share in him to show the world a better way. The better way. Right?

Shawn (host) (31:41):

So in light of that, what would be some materials that we could recommend Scott to our listeners to further their understanding of critical theory and how it relates to Christianity?

Scott (founder) (31:51):

I think there’s some good introductory materials that I would point people to. We will post these on the episode page for this podcast episode, Neil Shenvi is a Christian apologist. I have found him tremendously helpful. He has a wealth of resources in terms of just unpacking critical theory from a biblical worldview. And he does a great job of introducing us to the subject. Matter of pointing us to some of the key source material to make ourselves better aware of kind of the underlying ideas behind critical theory, and to point out how they stand opposed to a biblical view of the world. I would point people to that one, as well as an introductory guide put out by ratio Christie. And it’s actually, co-authored by Neil Shenvi and Dr. Pat Sawyer, and the title is engaged in critical theory and the social justice movement. I think that’s a great resource, very readable, just a good introductory piece of material for Christians to get their heads around the main issues of concern with respect to critical theory. So those are two resources that, hor the time being that I would point people to Shawn.

Shawn (host) (32:57):

Wonderful. Thanks, Scott. And you know what, thanks Scott, for a great introduction to critical theory, would it be fair to say that we will probably be doing some more podcasts on critical theory? Yeah.

Scott (founder) (33:07):

Yeah. I think it just needs to become more of a subject for discussion among believers, Shawn, because it’s just become so pervasive in influencing the way our culture things. I’m not sure we’ll necessarily talk about technical parts of critical theory, but we’ll certainly be able to address how we’re seeing the practical outworking and understanding that in the light of scripture.

Shawn (host) (33:29):

Wonderful. Thanks. I look forward to it and as always, we thank you for joining the prepared to answer podcast, and we invite you to come to our website, prepared to If you have any questions we would love to talk to you. You can send us an email at [email protected] or through our website at So until next time, take care and God bless.

The preceding has been a part of the recording ministry of Prepared to Answer. For more resources to help you become more confident in living out and defending your faith in Jesus Christ, visit us at or on Facebook and Instagram @preparedtoanswer. Thanks for joining us and may the Lord bless and keep you.



The term “Critical Theory” has become very prominent in social debate right now. It seems as if everything has become about race, gender, and sex. These have become our culture’s core markers of human identity.

This shift that we’re experiencing right now has been influenced by a set of ideas taking shape around the 1920s. These ideas have impacted Western institutions through a “critique” of society and its power structures.

We now have a leading generation whose view of reality has been shaped by Critical Theory.

The resulting mindset holds to the conviction that society is fundamentally driven by power and rejects the notion that we can gain objective knowledge of the world.

The implications of such thinking are massive. As Christians in this culture, we really need to begin thinking carefully and biblically about these world-shaping ideas.

Join Scott and Shawn in this podcast episode as they explore the impact of Critical Theory on culture.

In this episode, you’ll discover—

  • The two main tenets of Critical Theory (knowledge and power) and their applications
  • How the notion of group identity and oppression changes the nature of moral guilt and moral obligation
  • How we as Christians’ should understand Critical Theory and respond to it in today’s culture

Website: Neil Shenvi –

Guide: “Engaging Critical Theory and The Social Justice Movement.” Shenvi and Sawyer.

Book: Is Everyone Really Equal? Ozlem Sensoy and Robin DiAngelo.

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1 Comment

  1. Brittany Greydanus

    Thanks for this Scott. You did a great job explaining it. I have been thinking alot about critical theory lately. It was a large part of my social work education in university. I hadn’t thought about it directly until the recent racial justice movement. I realised that while my support of the movement comes from my understanding of our Creator and the gospel, I have also been influenced by critical race theory farther than is healthy. I don’t believe I’ve adopted its “solutions” but have definitely used it at times to understand oppression in our current times. When you caution against using some of the “sound bites” from critical theory, are you speaking to ideas such as “white supremacy” or “white privilege”? Is it wrong to use this language to help break down a complex problem? I will say that I have noticed language associated with CRT has a tendency to shutdown conversation in certain circles. I wonder if that is because it is unhelpful or if it is because speaking directly to the issue of racism exposes sin? I have also been disappointed in the way that proposals for social justice by Christians are being criticized by other Christians as a “false teaching” due to some of the overlaps in ideas of oppression between critical race theory and the bible. I believe I have some work to do in using God’s word to be even more powerful than what culture is offering, and as a motivation to my fellow Christians to seek justice.


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