There’s an earthquake coming, and according to one author, if we don’t know where the fault lines are, we won’t survive it. I’m Joel Fieri. This is What You’ve Been Searching For on Christian Podcast Central. Stay tuned.
If you joined us for our last couple podcasts, you know the first one I did was a review of the video American Gospel: Christ Crucified. And in this video, it highlighted the two camps currently in Christianity, or the two major camps. One being the conservative more Bible believing traditional Christian camp represented by pastors like John MacArthur and Phil Johnson and several others, Paul Washer, Alistair Begg. And on the other side was the more progressive wing of Christianity. The remnants of the emergent church movement of about 20 years ago, guys like Bart Campolo, Tony Jones, Richard Rohr, and even Oprah Winfrey. Because Oprah was in that video, I decided to answer the most searched for question on the internet that we found, and that is, is Oprah a Christian? And if you saw that video, you know my conclusion was that if you’re asking that because you’re wondering if you should follow her lead, if you should join her on her spiritual journey with guys like Richard Rohr and Rob Bell, I said no, please don’t.
I would recommend you not. Don’t listen to her. Don’t listen to the people that are working with her on that. So it occurred to me if I told you not to listen to Oprah, I should probably tell you who you should listen to right now. Right now in the current cultural situation we’re in and the state of American Christianity, in regards to those two camps since that video was made, I think it’s gotten a lot more severe. The divide has gotten a lot more severe between the progressive and the more conservative traditional Christians. One of the people in that video, they didn’t highlight a lot, but I think he is the person who we should be listening to right now in our current cultural moment. His name’s Voddie Baucham. Voddie is a black pastor from Texas, and if you don’t like me calling him black, if you think I should call him African-American, I just want you to know Voddie doesn’t like the term African-American. He prefers to be called black.
And he’s a very big man who could hurt me, so I’m going to do what he says. But Voddie has for the last few years been in Africa, teaching in Zambia, a seminary there. He recently came back to the United States because of heart problems. He’s had severe heart problems. He is fighting for his life. He’s recovering right now, but prayers please for Voddie. As I said, he is probably the voice we need to be listening to right now. He’s come out with book recently called Fault Lines. And if you caught my intro, you know that I said there’s an earthquake coming and we need to know where the fault lines are. Well, Voddie named his book Fault Lines because if you know anything about plate tectonics and earthquakes, you know that fault lines are where two plates of the earth meet and they’re in opposition to one another and they’re working against each other, creating a lot of friction and a lot of tension.
And that is a very good mental picture of what’s happening now in Christianity. In this book Voddie focuses on a critical theory. Now in the video, the American Gospel video, we didn’t deal a lot with critical theory. That was a couple of years ago. But in the past couple of years, critical theory, critical race theory, intersectionality, identity politics have become probably the major component in our culture today. The major political force and social force in our society, and has crept into the church, especially in the last year with the pandemic shutdowns, the George Floyd incident that just recently hopefully got resolved. Critical race theory, intersectionality, critical social justice theory is really the umbrella that it’s all under. For years Voddie has been talking about this and warning the church that this is going to start invading the church. And in the past year, we found that it has in a very big way.
Lots of evangelical pastors are embracing critical theory, specifically critical race theory, but also social justice and changing their theology and changing the way they pastor their churches. So in the book he does a very good job of breaking down what critical theory is and why it’s invading the church and how critical theory is a worldview that is not compatible with the Christian worldview. I always use the analogy of fitting a square peg in a round hole. Basically what Christians who are embracing critical theory are trying to do is fit basically what is really in reality a Marxist theology or Marxist worldview into Christian theology. They’re trying to fit the square peg of Christianity into the round hole of Marxism, and it’s not going to work. Marxism is an atheistic worldview. There is no room for God or Jesus or Christianity at all, but people are trying to do this.
And this is what Voddie is speaking about mostly in his book. He’s also done some videos that are available on YouTube on dealing with things like social justice, identity politics, things like this. One of the main arguments he makes in the book, and this was also highlighted in the American Gospel video, and what stuck out most to me is the idea of, is scripture sufficient? Is the Bible sufficient to deal with these kinds of problems? Or do we need to look at other worldviews, other sources to interpret the Bible and fit it into the spirit of the age?
The Bible tells us that all scriptures inspired by God and useful for teaching and correction and training and righteousness. So Voddie’s view is that we don’t need any extra sources to interpret the Bible and to interpret the Bible’s solution to some of the problems and issues we have in our society. Those Christians who are trying to integrate critical race theory into their teachings and into Christian theology are following, there’s a couple books that Voddie mentioned that they’re following. One is called How to Be an Antiracist by Ibram Kendi, and the other is White Fragility by Robin DiAngelo. They’re having a huge influence in society as a whole and they’re having an influence in the church also. Voddie’s argument is we don’t need books like that. He calls them sociology texts. We don’t need outside texts like that in order to interpret the Bible or to correct our beliefs on what the Bible says. The Bible is sufficient.
And that really is the main divide in Christianity today. And that is the main fault line in Christianity. Are you a Christian that believes the Bible is sufficient? Or are you a Christian that believes the Bible, we don’t really like some of the things the Bible says. We really don’t like the way God is pictured in the Bible. He doesn’t fit into the spirit of the age, our modern perception of what God should be, and that’s the fault line. Another thing Voddie stresses is he’s not trying to prevent this earthquake from coming. He says the crisis is coming, you can’t stop it now. But the more we know about what’s going to cause this crisis, cause this major earthquake in Christianity, the better chance we have of emerging from it as a unified body of believers.
So if you’re interested in taking my advice and reading Voddie’s book, we’ll put a link in the description below. And if you’re reading, it’ll be in the text, it’ll be in the transcript. As always, look us up, Christian Podcast Central on YouTube and Rumble and Parler, and some of the other social media platforms that we’re going to try and be on here in the future. Look us up on Spotify or Apple Podcasts or wherever you get your podcast from. Most of all, go to our website, christianpodcastcentral.com for more good content like this. Next week we’ll be further exploring the major divide in Christianity that we have to get right. I’m Joel Fieri. Thanks for listening.