Whenever a horrendous earthquake occurs, the ground begins to tremble, move, and eventually completely separate underneath you. At one moment you are standing on solid ground, in the next, you have likely lost your life because the ground you thought was stable crumbles to pieces. A fault line is a fracture zone between two blocks of rock that allows the blocks to move.1 In his landmark book Fault Lines, Dr. Voddie Baucham contends evangelicalism is standing on a fault line that threatens to split it right down the middle. Personally, I believe this book is not only vitally important but has the potential to serve as one of the most important and clarifying works of this century to be remembered by Christians through the ages. What is the fault line that Dr. Baucham addresses?
This fault line is the issue which causes evangelicals to scold people because of their “whiteness.”2 It is what causes pastors to say churches must have a certain level of diversity in their congregation before they are faithful. This issue makes individuals like Tim Keller to say Christians have freedom of conscience to vote for the Democratic party which supports abortion?3 How is it that professors at conservative institutions like the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary can promote false ideologies? Dr. Baucham explains to us in his new book:
“There are groups and ministries that have embraced CRT, and those are problematic. But there is a larger group that is sympathetic to it because of their desire to fight what they see as a problem of racial injustice. Most of the groups I will mention in this book fall into the latter category.” -Voddie Baucham 4
The run towards Critical Race Theory and the major tenets of the modern social justice movement is driving all of these issues and many more.5 According to Dr. Baucham our problem is not ultimately ethnic tension or political division, but ultimately it is the distinction between biblical justice and social justice.
Robust Definitions and Factual Discussion
One of the areas where Dr. Baucham’s book excels is in providing thorough definitions. If you have wondered what is meant by terms like social justice, critical race theory, intersectionality, and such, then this book is perfect for you. He quotes vigorously from proponents of these ideas to show clearly what they mean. Additionally, he spends much time breaking them down and quoting from leading critics of these viewpoints. I found myself not only walking away from this book understanding the issues more proficiently but also I am now armed with more sources to bring into this conversation through Dr. Baucham’s work. The key to this entire conversation around the modern social justice movement is understanding what is meant by “social justice” and the worldview that drives this idea. In the modern movement, social justice does not mean more fairness or equality in society but instead it references society being divided among social groups including, race, gender, sexuality, and so forth, and that inequality is deeply embedded into society.6
Dr. Baucham accurately shows the distinction between these two definitions in his book. He praises the objective of transforming culture as a “laudable and worthwhile goal.”7 However, Dr. Baucham’s entire book seeks to show the issues within the modern social justice/critical race theory worldview. This point is vitally important to understand. Dr. Baucham and others (like myself) who are opposed to the modern social justice movement are not actually against true justice. We are opposing the modern social justice movement precisely because it is not true justice but instead injustice. It is not justice to demand people pay reparations for sins they never committed. It is not justice to spread lies about police reports in order to promote a narrative. Dr. Baucham makes clear he is for biblical justice and against the false worldview known as the modern social justice movement.
Fault Lines also contains an avalanche of factual evidence to help substantiate Dr. Baucham’s case against CRT. He dives into multiple police shootings that have been labeled as “racist” by the mainstream media and debunks all of the myths spread by the culture. He takes much time to develop these areas and engages in substantiated statistical analysis. I greatly appreciated this section of the book as it was both clarifying and helpful to see a theologian of Dr. Baucham’s caliber use his skill set to address this issue. He gives something which many do not in our day and age, he gives an argument supported with facts and delivered with great tact.
Contending For The Faith
Dr. Baucham comes from a background where he was the prime target to become ensnared in these ideologies, a theme he rightly discusses in the book. However, by the grace of God, he was not taken prey by these false ideas. He writes this book to warn evangelicals about the catastrophe these unbiblical worldviews will cause and he brings a great amount of clarity to the discussion. In his closing chapter, he writes, “Love your brothers and sisters enough to contend with them and for them.”8 This book written by a masterful theologian will help you in gaining the knowledge to engage with these false ideas. It is a robust, yet accessible resource written by a man who faithfully preaches the truth of Christ. I would highly encourage you to pick it up, I believe it is one of the most important books you can currently read. Fault Lines will help you possess clarity in an ever dizzying world full of chaos.
Here is a link to Dr. Baucham’s book, it is not an affiliate link. I was blessed to be a part of the launch team which means I got to read the book early. It releases on April 6th of 2021:
2 You can find Dr. Keller’s quotes here where he contends Christians have liberty of conscience on political voting because the Bible does not specifically say how we should handle abortion or the best way to end it: https://twitter.com/timkellernyc/status/1306433746606977024 ?lang=en
3 Baucham, Fault Lines, p. 71
4 Baucham, Fault Lines, p. 3.
5 Here is an article I wrote dealing with some aspects of the worldview of Critical Race Theory: https://thechristianmanifesto.org/242/the-disturbing-trend-of-everything-being-labelled-racist/
7 Baucham, Fault Lines, p. 38.
8 Baucham, Fault Lines, p. 231