Some helpful resources on the current cultural crisis….
Grove City College historian, Carl Trueman, has some great observations about the author of the Harry Potter series, J.K. Rowling, and her recent “fall from grace” from the explosively emerging “critical theory” crowd, sometimes called “cancel culture,” that grew up on her children’s books. Calling out people on social media appears to be the favored method of humiliation by the technological savvy among the “cancel culture.”
I blogged about the troublesome trend in my review of Douglas Murray’s book, The Madness of Crowds. Murray opened my mind to a lot of the madness going on in our culture today. Murray is not an evangelical Christian, but Carl Trueman is, and Trueman offers invaluable theological insight into the problem that Murray identifies. This quote from Trueman stands out to me: “in a world where critical theory increasingly drives how the world is conceptualized, today’s victim can very easily become tomorrow’s oppressor.” This split within the “LGBTQ” movement is indicative of the trend.
In a nutshell, as a tool, “critical theory” can indeed be useful, for correcting injustice. But as an ideology, “critical theory” is an intolerant religion, completely opposed to the Gospel of Jesus. But Trueman puts it better than I can. I look forward to Trueman’s up and coming book on the topic of the “The Rise and Triumph of the Modern Self.” In our troublesome times, Trueman’s Christian perspective is helpful for all of us.
A couple final thoughts, particularly on the race conversation…: It is becoming harder and harder to distinguish between legitimate cases of injustice and protest motivated by blinded rage. As a result, the temptation on one side is to play down legitimate concerns, and on the other, to wildly overreact. Related to the question of police brutality and racism, this essay by John McWhorter, an African-American intellectual, is highly recommended. McWhorter argues that while race is sometimes a component of police brutality, the issues involved are far more complex. This is the type of conversation needed today…..
Confused by how we all got into this mess, especially with race? Two helpful videos: First, from Jemar Tisby, author of The Color of Compromise, on how racism adapts over time, and then Phil Vischer, of the Veggie Tales fame, giving some of the historical background, which has fueled the contemporary interest in “critical theory.”