The Denison Forum Podcast Season 1, Episode 6 show notes
Release date: 1/28/2022
This episode is a recording of The Coming Tsunami live seminar, where Dr. Mark Turman and Dr. Jim Denison discussed the origins of Critical Race Theory and the “five lanes” of how Christians should respond. They closed by addressing questions from the audience.
First, Mark and Jim discuss the context and summary of Dr. Denison’s new book, The Coming Tsunami (available to order now). They point out the need for Christians to understand the culture and the time we live in. Jim’s designation of four earthquakes helps us understand the rising cultural backlash against Christianity.
As they narrow in their discussion to focus on Critical Race Theory (CRT), they consider the formation of Critical Theory by examining Max Horkheimer and Karl Marx. While Marx argued that oppressed and oppressor economic classes of people define society, Horkheimer expanded that vision by arguing that oppressed and oppressor distinctions exist in every area of life and in every institution. CRT comprises those ideas but is applied more narrowly to America and race.
After they establish a solid understanding of CRT, they consider the good and the bad in it. In regards to Marxism, Jim discusses his time in communist Cuba and the consequences that ideas have. Some of the principles of CRT are opposed to the Bible, and some are not.
We can consider CRT a box of ideas that we must sort through with discernment. For instance, contrary to the Bible, Marxism and CRT argue that there is no personal sin or individual responsibility. CRT is right to point out that racial inequalities still exist and are pervasive to this day. While many social issues persist in America, Christians are stepping up to improve people’s lives and fight against inequities.
They then conclude by extrapolating the five lanes of personal application of CRT according to Dr. Denison:
- Does systemic racism exist? Yes, and Jim discusses some evidence supporting this point.
- Does racism (prejudice) exist in my life? We need to examine ourselves for the potential of this sin and include accountability partners if we can.
- Do I need to give personal reparations to those I’ve harmed? Certainly, just as Zaccheus gave reparations to all those he stole from. If we’re convicted to right the wrongs of our personal prejudice, we absolutely should.
- Do I need to give cultural reparations for those being harmed? No. The Bible only holds individuals guilty for their own sins.
- Do I need to give cultural reparations to those who have been harmed? No, again for the same reasons as above.
After this, Jim answered three questions from the live, online audience.
- “How Can Christians best work against the misapplication of CRT in current debates and in current public places?” Jim and Mark respond from various angles.
- “Which earthquake does Dr. Denison consider the most imminent?” To which Jim responds by discussing the Equality Act and the ramifications of the second earthquake, that biblical morality is intolerant.
- “Is it important to share this coming tsunami with non-believing friends?” While Jim believes that this message is critical to changing the tide, the book is for Christians, first and foremost. It wasn’t written to convince non-believers, but to warn believers.
Instead of being warriors in the culture, we need to be missionaries, speaking the truth in love, and using our influence to spread the good news. That will lead to revival and change the tide.
P.S. Jim’s most pivotal book to date, The Coming Tsunami, is now available on Kindle, hardcover, and audible. As of writing these show notes, it has risen to #4 in Christian social issues on Amazon. Order yours today!
Resources and further reading:
- “Can We Still Reason Together?” – Robert P. George,
- “Continuing Change in U.S. Views on Sex and Marriage” – Gallup Polls
- “A Threat to Ministry in Canada” – The Gospel Coalition
- “Critical Race Theory: Plundering the Egyptians or Worshiping Ba’al?” – Bruce Ashford
About the hosts
Dr. Jim Denison CVO and cofounder of Denison Forum and a cultural scholar. He received his Ph.D. in philosophy and Master’s in Divinity from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary.
Dr. Mark Turman is the executive director of Denison Forum. He received his DMin from Truett at Baylor and previously served as lead pastor of Crosspoint Church.