Founders Journal | Belated Fall 2019 Edition

Welcome to a belated (!) Fall 2019 edition of the Founders Journal. We interrupt our ongoing exposition of the Second London Confession, for this special edition on Critical Theory with an emphasis on Critical Race Theory (CRT). It is about One and one-half the size of a normal Founders Journal. That is because of the valuable amount of energy and care put into the documentation of each point, claim, and characterization by footnoting the relevant sources. Taking time to search out the material in these footnotes is an education in itself. The article is a masterful and artistic examination of the anthropology of Critical Theory as compared to that of historic Christian theology. It is carefully constructed. The anthropological implications of virtually every facet of Critical Theory are explained and set in the context of its overall argument and purpose. The virtual indivisibility of the theory into discreet usable parts in isolation from the presuppositions of CRT as a whole highlight the difficulties of using CRT merely as a “critical tool” without adopting its worldview.

The writer is Timon Cline. This spring he will graduate J. D. at Rutgers and M. A. R at Westminster. He is married to Rachel (six years this June) who is from Naples, FL. They currently live in Philadelphia and attend Calvary OPC in Glenside, PA. Personally, he is Baptist, a devotee of the 1689 Confession. He was originally from Memphis and grew up in Senegal where his parents were IMB missionaries. Presently his father is a Southern Baptist pastor.

Timon’s work in law at Rutgers introduced him to critical legal theory. Soon he became aware of the far-reaching impact of Critical Theory in many disciplines and the implications it has for overhauling all the fundamental commitments of culture. Admitting that many areas of culture could stand a really purging overhaul, he saw that much more than a few corrections of culture was at stake. Critical Theory offered a world view—a religion—that sought to replace the major components of biblical theology with a different explanation. Anthropology, epistemology, hamartiology, soteriology, teleology, Christology would all undergo major revisions under the pervasive purpose of Critical Theory in all its extensive manifestations. This article demonstrates how CRT challenges a central Christian doctrine at the very core of its meaning.

We pray that this careful examination of the human will as it relates to sin, in the two CT’s (Critical Theory and Christian Theology), will provide edifying food for meditation and meaningful intellectual interaction.

Tom Nettles

Tom has most recently served as the Professor of Historical Theology at The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary. He previously taught at Trinity Evangelical Divinity School where he was Professor of Church History and Chair of the Department of Church History. Prior to that, he taught at Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary and Mid-America Baptist Theological Seminary. Along with numerous journal articles and scholarly papers, Dr. Nettles is the author and editor of fifteen books. Among his books are By His Grace and For His Glory; Baptists and the Bible, James Petigru Boyce: A Southern Baptist Statesman, and Living by Revealed Truth: The Life and Pastoral Theology of Charles H. Spurgeon.
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