As a result of this article run by Ligonier’s Table-Talk
my very little influence will be used to encourage people to withdraw their support of all things Ligonier including Reformation Bible College as well as Mid America Seminary where Dr. Eric Watkins is employed.
I encourage people to read the article for themselves. I will be critiquing the highlights (lowlights) of the above-linked piece here but people should read the piece themselves to determine if they think that I have treated Dr. Watkins fairly.
Let me say at the outset that the tone of the article is all wrong. The tone we as Christians should be taking against Critical Race Theory and Cultural Marxism should be less like some scholar wearing a tweed jacket, smoking a pipe while sitting in an overstuffed armchair by a toasty fire, and more like a Phineas driving a spear on a two for Tuesday special. We no longer have time to be “irenic” and “fair” with the enemy. “Irenic,” and “judicious” are not what one goes for when one is being scalped. Christians should be seeking to decapitate CRT and Cultural Marxism with all the violence they can muster and what Eric Watkins gives us is “Little House on the Prairie” analysis.
Now on to the picking apart of this scab of an article.
“At its core, critical theory perpetually challenges the notion of institutional authority and the idea that true freedom can be identified with any one system of thought—whether that be a particular religion, a stream of political thought, or an overarching view of the world.”
However, CRT also gives one system of thought that they insist must be followed in order to have true freedom. CRT does not escape what it accuses its intellectual and philosophical opponents of. CRT criticizes the idea that any particular religion can give true freedom all the while offering itself as a particular religion that can give true freedom. CRT is thus self-referentially self-contradicting.
“The overlapping timelines of Nazi ideology and the Frankfurt school are important to note, as the latter sat in stark contrast with the former. One was an ideology of oppression through totalitarianism; the other sought liberation for the oppressed through philosophical reflection on power structures and how change comes about. Both movements were highly political and were a threat to one another in different ways.”
Here we find a major mistake in EW’s analysis. Watkins asserts that Nazism was an ideology of oppression through totalitarianism while asserting that Cultural Marxism seeks liberation for the oppressed. Nothing could be further from the truth. Cultural Marxism is thoroughly totalitarian and is demonstrating that it is all about oppression. Both Nazism and Cultural Marxism were and are totalitarian movements stemming from ideologies of oppression. Watkins is correct that the two movements were a threat to one another but they were a threat to one another precisely because they were each a totalitarian movement desiring to go all totalitarian on those holding contrasting totalitarian ideologies to the totalitarian ideology they each espoused.
And what of Cultural Marxism identification of “power structures?” Are God, family, nation, and ethnos power structures that are totalitarian that men need to be freed from? Cultural Marxism says “yes,” and assiduously works to free men from these oppressive realities. Biblical Christians say “no.”
Watkins also uses the phrased “Judeo-Christian” in his piece thus demonstrating that he is not epistemologically self-conscious in general. Judaism (Talmudism) and Christianity have absolutely zero in common and for Watkins to slam these two words together is ignorance on stilts. Watkins also talks about secular and sacred as if secular thought is thinking that is not beholden to apriori religious commitments. This is also a major mistake in analysis.
“At the same time, critical theorists saw in Marxism yet another system of thought that proved unsuccessful in its attempt to bring equity to the world.”
Right… so they (CRT) became yet another variant of Marxism. CRT rejected one variant of Marxism but that does not mean, sans Watkins, that CRT isn’t thoroughly Marxist.
Once again, we witness proof that if professors are ignorant of Trotskyism and its influence, then Ph.D.’s are ignorant of the workings of Marxist tyranny, period. And the Frankfurt School was Trotskyism personified. Does Watkins understand that CRT and Cultural Marxism are just expressions of Trotsky’s desire for perpetual non-ceasing revolution?
Again Watkins here seems to fail to realize that CRT is itself yet another system of thought that is seeking to bring equity to the world.
We should also challenge the notion that equity is something that any Christian should desire. Equity (as well as its predecessor — equality) in this Marxist-CRT context are both Marxist concepts. Christians do not want to see CRT succeed in achieving equity.
Its (CRT’s) goal is human autonomy from any objective authority whatsoever.”
Not really. That may be what it says its goal is but its goal is human submission to the subjective authority of Critical Race theory. Watkins seems not to understand that CRT is a means to an end: the disruption and dismantling of whatever little is yet left of the Christian influence on Western civilization. CRT’s goal is the diminution of the White Christian man since the White Christian man is the one who by God’s grace alone has been the carrier of Christian civilization. Again, Watkins, by not seeing this fuller picture demonstrates that the man is out of his depth.
“At the same time, some critics of critical theory are able to agree with some of its tenants. This isn’t surprising, since “all truth is God’s truth.” Neil Shenvi, an evangelical critic of the movement, is one who finds some truth in critical theory. For example, he notes, “Critical race theorists affirm that race—as it has been defined historically and legally—is a social construct and not a concept legitimately rooted in human nature or human biology.”11 The Bible recognizes only one race—the human race. While we might distinguish between ethnicities, it is a misnomer to distinguish between races.12 If critical theory’s view of humanity stopped there, it would be easier to find more with which we could agree.”
Here Watkins demonstrates that somewhere along the way he has been drinking from the well of the Anthropologist Franz Boas who first insisted that race was not a stable category. Boas was not advocating that position from a Christian position.
The idea that race is not rooted in biology or human nature is just plain bull scat. To say this is an example of gaslighting at its best is to be far too generous. Pharmaceutical companies as well as forensic scientists as well as Doctors who do bone marrow transplants will all tell you that the statement that race is a social construct is a social construct. Watkins is just denying reality at this point and has entered into groupie gaslighting.
Second if “race is a social construct” then the idea that there is only one human race likewise must be a social construct. Race can’t be a social construct unless every usage of it is a social construct.
Third, my Bible recognizes race when the prophet Jeremiah asks if the Ethiopian can change his skin. But, maybe Professor Watkins also believes that the spots on a leopard are also a social construct? (See Jeremiah 13:23)
This has birthed new terms such as “whiteness,” “white privilege,” and “white fragility” and has ultimately led to an entirely secular reconstruction of the way in which conversations about racism are now being framed.15
It has not led to an entirely secular reconstruction. The conversations are being framed not by secular reconstruction but by a competing religious reconstruction that is hostile to Biblical Christianity. Watkins keeps using the word “secular.” I do not think that word means what he thinks it means.
“The church is thus a colony of heaven.27 It is where the faithful are gathered from every nation, tribe, and tongue and the earthly things that divide (race, gender, and class) are set aside as our identity and unity are ultimately found in Christ (Col. 3:11).”
Now, wait a ding-dong minute. Earlier in this article, Watkins insisted that race does not exist but now in his conclusion Watkins is saying that because of the Gospel race need not divide.
Which is it, Eric?
Secondly, here, note that Watkins goes all Gnostic here. It is true that ultimately our unity and identity are in Christ. However, that does not mean our creaturely identities as assigned to us by the creator go into eclipse.
Even after conversion, we remain male and/or female. Even after conversion, we remain yellow and/or black. Even after conversion, we remain in our various classes. Conversion does not make these realities go away nor does God require conversion to work so that our creaturely identities disappear.
I will agree though that the Church is a colony – an outpost of heaven and as a colony of heaven it should be geared up to fight the enemies of heaven — enemies like CRT and Cultural Marxism which have zero to do with the Gospel of Jesus Christ or the whole of Biblical Christianity.
Where have all the Christian warriors gone? You are sure as hell are not going to find them at Ligonier or Mid-America Seminary if they are offering this poisonous bilge to the laity rank and file.
“The church should be the safest place on earth for the oppressed and the victimized as the mercy and compassion of God are tangibly expressed.”
Do we think the pervert victims are going to declare the Church safe when the Church out of love for God and this putative “victim class” speaks of the coming wrath of God against sodomy, trannie-ism, and Lesbianism?
The mercy and compassion of God to the pervert class as expressed from the pulpit in the Church is the giving of God’s law. Somehow I doubt that Eric would agree with this.
Allow me to interject here that God does not have a special love for the oppressed who are enemies of God. Quite to the contrary, God’s opposition and wrath are foursquare upon those who are the enemies of God even when they are oppressed.
Q. Does God permit such disobedience and rebellion to go unpunished?
A. Certainly not. God is terribly angry with the sin we are born with as well as the sins we personally commit.
As a just judge, God will punish them both now and in eternity,1 having declared: “Cursed is everyone who does not observe and obey all the things written in the book of the law.”
The oppressed who are outside of Christ can only find one way to find relief from God’s just judgment of the oppression against them they may be experiencing and that is to flee to Christ.
The injunctions in the bible to protect the oppressed are to protect the oppressed who are in Christ. The antithesis in Scripture is not oppressed vs. oppressor but is between the elect and the reprobate.
In his famous “I Have a Dream” speech, delivered on August 23, 1963, Martin Luther King Jr. envisioned a world beyond racism in which people, including his own children, would be judged not by the color of their skin but by the content of their character.23 It is ironic that his hope for a colorblind, post-racial humanity has come under such serious criticism by critical theorists who suggest it has been co-opted in a way that encourages racism.24 MLK knew that his dream could not be accomplished by human effort alone, just as revolutions and riots can neither eradicate sin nor create peace. It was for this reason that MLK self-consciously distanced himself from the violent instigations of Marxism.25 God would have to “make a way . . . where there is no way.”
Once again we find this hagiographic lionizing of a great enemy of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. The dulcet hints of praise for MLK are grotesque in light of the following facts concerning MLK.
On page 62 of the 01/19/98 Newsweek magazine, we find the truth about MLK that Dr. Watkins is hopefully ignorant of;
January 6, 1964, was a long day for Martin Luther King Jr. He spent the morning seated in the reserved section of the Supreme Court, listening as lawyers argued New York Times Co. v. Sullivan, a landmark case rising out of King’s crusade against segregation in Alabama. The minister was something of an honored guest: Justice Arthur Goldberg quietly sent down a copy of Kings account of the Montgomery bus boycott, “Stride Toward Freedom,” asking for an autograph. That night King retired to his room at the Willard Hotel. There FBI bugs reportedly picked up 14 hours of party chatter, the clinking of glasses and the sounds of illicit sex–including King’s cries of “I’m f–ing for God” and “I’m not a Negro tonight!”
Note: What is not mentioned in this article is that Martin Luther King was having sex with three White women, one of whom he brutally beat while screaming the above-mentioned quotes. Much of the public information on King’s use of church money to hire prostitutes and his beating them came from King’s close personal friend, Rev. Ralph Abernathy, in his 1989 book, “And the walls came tumbling down.”
Not only this but it has been proven beyond a doubt that MLK was a plagiarizer. He plagiarized much of his Ph.D. thesis. He plagiarized his “I have a dream speech.” He plagiarized his “Letter from a Birmingham Jail.”
Then there is the fact that MLK was Christian the same way that Karl Barth and Dietrich Bonhoeffer were Christians. This means that they denied cardinal tenets of the Gospel.
MLK was a loathsome man propped up by his Marxist handlers. Watkins is either ignorant or is lying.
The visible Church is in a Babylonian captivity that makes Luther’s era look like child’s play. The current visible Church in the West — regardless of denominational flavor — is every bit as dead as was the Romish Medieval Church. The visible church is dead. Today’s clergy are every bit as pitiful as was the Roman Catholic clergy of the Medieval era. Long live the Church.