When The Gospel Isn’t Enough
When discussions of race come up among evangelicals, you can be sure that two things will happen.
First, the threat of critical race theory will be raised to that of a nuclear exchange between the superpowers.
What is CRT?
It’s an academic framework for understanding how race works in society.
In essence, critical race theory states that U.S. social institutions (e.g., the criminal justice system, education system, labor market, housing market, and healthcare system) are laced with racism embedded in laws, regulations, rules, and procedures that lead to differential outcomes by race.
While I find this a reasonable conclusion based on history and reality, it has become the one stop shop for all your culture war needs.
The most progressive proponents of CRT will be quoted and it will be made the terror of good white people just trying to get by.
The second thing that will happen is that “the Gospel” will be proclaimed as the only cure for racial injustices.
What damn fool Christian would dare argue against that precept?
That would be me…
Let me introduce you to R.L. Dabney.
Robert Lewis Dabney was one of the foremost Presbyterian scholars of the American South in the 1800’s.
His theological works are still cited today among Reformed and Presbyterian thinkers.
R,L. Dabney was also Stonewall Jackson’s chief of staff during the Civil War and wrote astounding “biblical” defenses of slavery .
The hoary old Banner left that part out…
R.L. Dabney was a racist and proud of it…and believed that God affirmed him in it.
He has had a lot of company in American history.
Did R.L. Dabney believe in and preach the Gospel?
You would be hard pressed to deny that he did.
The Gospel itself simply wasn’t enough .
It’s not enough today, either, as corruption, abuse, idolatry, and yes, racism are still part of the church.
Every scoundrel and abuser we’ve chronicled here was supposedly a proponent of the Gospel.
The Gospel is just the beginning…it is the seed from which transformation into the image of Christ comes…without that transformation it is no more than intellectual assent to a precept that has no more power than the precepts of CRT.
There are no easy answers to the cultural ills that have plagued us for centuries and plague us today.
CRT can help define problems, but it has no solutions…or poor ones, if offered.
The Gospel contains the seed of transformation that lead to solutions, but the seeds are too often killed by planting them in the ground of political gain and culture wars.
When the day comes when we desire transformation by the Gospel through the Spirit…then we may change the world.
Until then…rage on.