From Story Power Podcast, With Jen Kinney: “Demystifying Critical Race Theory with Brad Mason”

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I had the great pleasure of discussing Critical Race Theory, its historical development, our current period of racial retrenchment, the ongoing anti-CRT “culture war,” and much more with Jen Kinney over at the Story Power Podcast!

Please have a listen and let us know what you think!

Link: “Demystifying Critical Race Theory with Brad Mason

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From Patheological: “Common Places: A Conversation with Brad Mason”

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In my latest discussion with Dr. Todd Littleton on Patheological, we take a deeper dive into the social construction of race thesis, exploring its many implications. We discuss how the social construction thesis necessitates many of the other commonplaces of Critical Race Theory, including differential racialization, intersectionality, and the embedded nature of racism in American society.

Let us know what you think! We’d appreciate any feedback, including critique, to help us cover the topics and questions most on listeners’ minds.

Link to audio: “Common Places: A Conversation with Brad Mason

And if you need to catch up:

Link to Part 1: “The Dangers of Mediating Ideas: A Conversation with Bradly Mason

Link to Part 2: “When the Law Does Not Deliver: A Conversation with Bradly Mason

Link to Part 3: “Can Two Walk Together? More with Bradly Mason on CRT

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A Christian Chop Session on Critical Race Theory: Part 1

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Prelude: Our Aim

As fears of Critical Race Theory (CRT) spread across the United States—including within US churches—many of us find the common descriptions of CRT unrecognizable. What is CRT, really? Dr. Nathan Cartagena and I, Bradly Mason, have developed this series of dialogs, or “chop sessions,” to answer this and related questions. Our goal is fourfold: (1) accurately present CRT, situating it in the movement’s historical context; (2) relate CRT to our shared faith; (3) explore CRT’s impact on our own lives within our own differing social locations; and (4) help other brothers and sisters interact honestly and redemptively in our deeply racialized and stratified culture. ¡Bendiciones en Cristo!

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From Patheological: “Can Two Walk Together? More with Bradly Mason on CRT”

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In my latest discussion with Dr. Todd Littleton on Patheological, we take a deep dive into the social construction of race thesis, our specific national history of racial construction, and what it means for our understanding of racism today, including systemic and institutional racism, differential racialization, intersectionality, etc. We hope that by understanding the nature of “race” itself, as a social, historical, and political entity, we can find common ground to examine the larger social implications.

Let us know what you think! We’d appreciate any feedback, including critique, to help us cover the topics and questions most on listeners’ minds.

Link to audio: “Can Two Walk Together? More with Bradly Mason on CRT

And if you need to catch up:

Link to Part 1: “The Dangers of Mediating Ideas: A Conversation with Bradly Mason

Link to Part 2: “When the Law Does Not Deliver: A Conversation with Bradly Mason

Follow @AlsoACarpenter

From Patheological: “The Dangers of Mediating Ideas: A Conversation with Bradly Mason”

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I had a great conversation with Todd Littleton over on his podcast, Patheological!

We broached Critical Race Theory, the difficulties surrounding having these discussions in the Church, I believe there was a Robin DiAngelo rant, a friendly critique of Tim Keller and his apologetic method, some salty words about the Western liberal tradition, and more. Have a listen and let me know what you think!

 Link: “The Dangers of Mediating Ideas: A Conversation with Bradly Mason

More to come!

Follow @AlsoACarpenter

The Christian and Critical Race Theory, Part 1: A Survey of the “Traditional Civil Rights Discourse”

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Though I’ve covered Critical Theory generally, I’ve begun a new series on Critical RACE Theory proper, over on The Front Porch! I’m attempting to approach the subject in a more historical manner that I hope will facilitate greater understanding of the subject.

As a layman, I find that learning a subject through its actual historical milieu helps me not only remember the right words, phrases, and concepts, but, more importantly, helps me understand them. And it is understanding which seems most lacking in evangelicalism when it comes to Critical Race Theory (CRT). As such, I hope over the next few posts, in the most conversational manner possible, to not only provide the nuts and bolts of this broad ideology as presented by its chief advocates, but to also, as it were, tell the story of CRT, before moving into any critical assessment.

So grateful they were kind enough to publish it! Please take a look and let me know your thoughts!

Part 1: “The Christian and Critical Race Theory, Part 1: A Survey of the ‘Traditional Civil Rights Discourse’

Part 2: “The Christian and Critical Race Theory, Part 2: The Segregationist Discourse and Civil Rights Retrenchment

Part 3: “The Christian and Critical Race Theory, Part 3: A Bridge: Dr. Derrick Bell”

Part 4: “The Christian and Critical Race Theory, Part 4: Alan Freeman and the Contribution of CLS

Part 5: “The Christian and Critical Race Theory, Part 5: A Misalignment of Frames: Integrationism

Part 6: “The Christian and Critical Race Theory, Part 6: A Misalignment of Frames: The ‘New Right’

Part 7: “The Christian and Critical Race Theory, Part 7: A Race Intervention Into Critical Legal Studies

Part 8: “The Christian and Critical Race Theory, Part 8: the Harvard Story and the Birth of ‘Critical Race Theory’

Interlude: “The Christian and CRT, an Interlude: The Most Segregated Hour and Liberal Integrationism

More to come!

Standpoint Theory is not Anti-Christian

Perspectives

Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself (Lev. 19.18). That is the second commandment, like unto the first (Matt. 22.39), and therein the whole law is fulfilled. This love proves to be such a mercy to the weak and oppressed, to the poor, the strangers, the widows, the orphans, to men-servants and maid-servants, to the deaf, the blind, the aged, and the like, as no other law of antiquity knows. It has been rightly said that Israel’s moral code was written from the viewpoint of the oppressed. Israel never forgot that it had been a stranger and a servant in Egypt. (Herman Bavinck, Our Reasonable Faith, pp.69-70)

What Standpoint Theory/Epistemology Is and Is Not

Contrary to much current demagoguery, Standpoint Theory (or, similar, “Standpoint Epistemology”) is in fact rooted in empiricist, evidentialist, epistemology. The epistemic relevance of Standpoint Theory has to do with evidence and justification, not the nature of truth, its objective character, nor its public accessibility. Rather,

The claim is that members of marginalized groups are more likely to have had experiences that are particularly epistemically salient for identifying and evaluating assumptions that have been systematically obscured or made less visible as the result of power dynamics. (Kristen Intemann, p. 791)

Or, in Ozlem Sensoy and Robin DiAngelo’s words,

Minoritized groups often have the widest view of society, in that they must understand both their own and the dominant group’s perspective—develop a double-consciousness—to succeed.” (Is Everyone Really Equal?, p. 70)

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The “World,” the Social Pathology of Sin, and the Comprehensive Solution : A Brief Reflection

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As Christians, we should be very aware of the pathological nature of both individual and social ills. That is, social ills are not just easily individualized and conceptually isolatable bad actions, ideas, practices, policies, or stereotypes. Rather, just as a pathological liar lies habitually and without even taking note of it, or just as a disease can infect a whole body with looming death yet appear perfectly healthy, so economic exploitation, racism, sexism, and the like can be embedded within whole social systems, producing symptoms that may even seem quite normal and ineradicable, though we feel the existential burdens of their bitter fruit. And this pathology affects even reason itself, both individually and collectively.

We call it sin, and we recognize its far-reaching effects. Not only has sin brought about spiritual and physical death, but sin has broken man’s community with God (Gen. 3:24-25), broken his community with neighbor (Gen. 3:16; 4:1-8; Gal. 5:14-15), corrupted his economic activity (Gen. 3:17; Isa. 3:5; Mic. 2:2), corrupted his habitation and environment (Rom. 8:19-21), and has even distorted his very mind and reason (Matt. 15:19; Rom. 1:28; Eph. 2:1-3; 4:18). The Scripture shows that this corruption of mind and reason is in fact much more radical than even the “instrumentalized reason” of the dreaded critical theorists, such that we are commanded,

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