Dissecting Fault Lines: Chapters 7-9

The first posts in this series can be read here and here. Today, we will look at the next three chapters in Voddie Baucham’s Fault Lines.

In chapters 7-9, Voddie Baucham begins to outline some of the sands which have begun to shift within the American church in earnest over the past several years. As the social justice movement kicked into high gear throughout the culture, these shifts have caused untold damage, and the aftershocks of these developments have permeated almost every area of life in the 21st century.

Chapter 7: The Ground is Moving

One of the things that has struck me while following some of the reaction to this book, is the number of detractors who deny that there are fault lines shifting in the church on top of these issues. It really makes you wonder how they are interpreting what some of us are seeing.

My favorite portion of this chapter is on page 132, where Baucham makes the case that a large part of what is happening now is due to a refusal of believers to debate the ideas we are all being presented with. Debating these ideologies on the basis of Scriptural truth can be a pathway to healing and truly Biblical unity. Unfortunately, that is not allowed to happen. He writes:

I am a debater; I always have been. But in the current climate, debate is becoming a lost art-partly because of the general decline in the study of logic and rhetoric, but mostly because of the general feminization of culture and its consequent disdain for open verbal combat.

Gone are the days of Luther and Erasmus slugging it out over the question of original sin. Today both men would be accused of being petty (for daring to split hairs over such theological minutia), mean-spirited (for daring to speak so forcefully in favor of their own position and against the other’s), and downright un-Christlike (for throwing around the word “heresy”). I have often said, “The Eleventh Commandment is ‘Thou shalt be nice’…and we don’t believe the other ten.”

The major thrust of chapter 7 is an unfolding of the events taking place in the ostensibly conservative Southern Baptist Convention and its seminaries, where Baucham got his start and rose to prominence as a preacher. To say that the convention has been infiltrated would be an understatement.

Chapter 8: The Damage

Chapter 8 explores the damage that has been done as a result of the preaching and embracing of the victimology mindset. He begins with examining the weapons used by critical theory advocates to double down in the face of critique and their subsequent tendency to use those weapons to shut down the conversation. Ironically, those of us who counter their emotive, experienced based arguments with statistics and facts are also often accused of trying to shut down the conversation.

This chapter also surveys the tangible, quantifiable damage done to poor and minority communities as a result of abandoning the principles of excellence, education, hard work, and morality. Principles, he hastens to clarify, which used to be consistently and boldly preached from the pulpits of majority black churches. I can attest that this is true.

There is nothing to be gained from teaching any person or group of people that their destinies rests on the repentance, benevolence, and “allyship” of people who are their supposed oppressors. How is this not the definition of white supremacy? Further, what healing is there to be found in an ideology built on such a sick, vicious cycle? The only ones benefiting from this are the grifters releasing the “curriculums” we’re supposed to believe will lead us to nirvana.

Chapter 9: Aftershock

Chapter 9 was, for me, by far the most enlightening of these three chapters. Bro. Baucham demonstrates the absolute folly demonstrated by Christian leaders who believe that they can embrace critical social justice theory on the issue of race and sex without being tainted by the issues of sexuality, abortion, and transgenderism. All of the aforementioned cars are a part of the same train, heading in one direction.

As is his custom, Voddie Baucham doesn’t hesitate to quote and call out by name those pastors who are flirting with this toxic ideology. It is this dynamic that is causing the most uproar in the reformed community over his book. However, he does this with the care and concern of a brother in Christ, not in a condemning, mean spirited way. It needs to be done, as many of these pastors need to examine their rhetoric and the things they are embracing under the light of Biblical truth. Of particular interest to me is the weirdness spouted by the formerly sane Pastor Tim Keller, on p. 186:

Keller goes on to clarify that white Christians must conclude, “I am the product of and standing on the shoulders of other people who got that [privilege] through injustice…the Bible says you are involved in injustice…even if you didn’t actually do it.”

Remember, he is speaking about having “white skin”. Your family never owned slaves? Doesn’t matter. You have family who fought and died for the Union in the Civil War? Doesn’t matter. Your family came here after slavery, segregation, and Jim Crow? Doesn’t matter. You are descended from Jews who immigrated to the U.S. to flee oppression after World War II? Doesn’t matter! The only thing that matters is “white skin.”

Baucham makes the point here that this kind of rhetoric (never mind the faulty theology) can only lead to more and more damage. He’s right.

As always, remember that I can’t even begin to scratch the surface of everything he touches on in the book. I am hoping that you are intrigued enough to buy it and have any blanks filled in for yourselves.

Until next time…

9 thoughts on “Dissecting Fault Lines: Chapters 7-9

  1. Curly Sue says:

    I’ve read through Chapter 3 at this point. One thing that stands out about Baucham’s childhood is that even though there were a lot of opportunities to go down the wrong path, having a wise mother who had high expectations of him had a big impact. It reminds me of Dr. Ben Carson’s childhood experience in that respect, and reflect’s God’s attitude towards all His children. God expects me to do my best, even if those around me are just “phoning it in.”

    I also respect his mother for realizing she needed help and was willing to move her family to get it. She didn’t feel the need to be a “strong independent woman” who could do everything on her own and had it all figured out.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Elspeth says:

    Yes, Curly Sue. I really appreciated that Bro Voddie got a little personal and told a bit of his story. All too often, the reaction to black people who don’t tow the leftist line is something like, “You lived a privilieged life”, or “You had a different experience”.

    Nope. That’s not always true. It’s not even true most of the time. Most of us (particularly over the age of 40) had a thoroughly typical black experience growing up, with all the *stuff* that goes along with that.

    We just happened to have parents who didn’t believe that victimization or even genuine encounters with racism should be an excuse not to do our best in life.

    Looking forward to hearing about your thoughts as you delve into the more scholarly and theological portions of the book.


  3. Maea says:

    A reason why debate isn’t happening today is because people have turned to the “Twitterverse” (and social media in general) as their debate platform. One of my former coworkers is married to a professor of philosophy at a Christian college, and he’s commented how online debates are the worst way to talk about these issues. It gives people an easy out to resort to logical fallacies, personal attacks, etc.

    Another thing is a lot of pastors within Christendom have chosen the easy path to avoid offending people. If they offend people (aka, make them THINK), then their churches will lose warm bodies and money as a result. I say that people need to remember that many are called, but few are chosen.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. Elspeth says:

    @ Maea:

    Yes, this is true. That 11th Commandment Voddie mentioned: ‘Thous shalt be nice”? It has taken over the theological discourse.

    We are all the poorer for it.


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