Black Pastor Demolishes Critical Race Theory In New Book – Fault Lines

Printed from:

Fault Lines:  The Social Justice Movement and Evangelicalism’s Looming Catastrophe
by Voddie Baucham

Salem Books
270 pages
April 2021


If you do not know what Critical Race Theory is, you better learn about it fast. This Marxian theory of race that divides all people into either oppressor or oppressed is currently wreaking havoc at every school, college, and non-profit organization that embraces it. It is also being mainstreamed in public schools throughout our country. And even worse — if that is possible — it is infecting the church in America.

Yet does Critical Race Theory help or even resonate with all of the supposedly oppressed people it claims to represent?

Apparently not, as we learn in Fault Lines, a tour de force written by Voddie Baucham, an African-American pastor who is currently serving as dean of theology at the African Christian University in Lusaka, Zambia. In the book, he lays bare the falsehoods and lies of the social justice warriors who are propagating Critical Race Theory. Moreover, he predicts a wounded and broken church – a “looming catastrophe,” as he calls it, unless the Evangelical and Catholic communities understand the pernicious nature of Critical Race Theory and learn how to oppose it.

Fault Lines, which is partly a memoir, recounts Baucham’s experiences growing up in South Central Los Angeles during the 1970s and 1980s. Baucham is able to trace his heritage on both his mother’s side and father’s side to slaves in the South between 1835 and 1860. One of his grandfathers was white. His other grandparents were black. He was brought up by a single mom, and in third grade he was bused across town to an elementary school in Pacific Palisades. He grew up poor, and by his own account, surrounded by drugs, gangs, violence, and dysfunction in a tough urban environment. He experienced many of the same difficulties that confronted poor black boys in American cities during those years.

What saved Baucham was the love, strength, and discipline of his mother. His mother moved their family across the country to Buford, South Carolina, where they lived with her oldest brother, who had served twenty-two years in the United States Marine Corps and survived two tours in Vietnam. That move made all the difference for Baucham, who developed into a star athlete and top student. Baucham went on to receive two bachelor of art degrees at Houston Baptist University and a master’s degree and doctorate at Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary; he later did post-graduate work at Oxford University in England.

In Fault Lines, he takes the reader back to the origins of Critical Race Theory in 1989, quoting from original documents and sources. According to the theory, the oppressor in a country like America does not use force or violence to dominate and control the oppressed, but rather social conditioning. The “Critical” in Critical Race Theory comes from an influential group called the Frankfurt School, in Germany, whose main goal was to address structural issues causing what they consider inequity. To accomplish social transformation, the theory’s supporters say, revolutionary political change is needed – not reform.  For example, they say, we don’t need to reform policing; we need to “defund” or abolish the police.

Critical Race Theory, when applied to race in America, has several key presuppositions:  that racism is prevalent and “normal”; that racism advances the interests of both white elites and white working class people; and that knowledge based on facts and statistics about race is less important than the experiences and narratives of blacks.

Thus, it just about impossible to disprove Critical Race Theory with facts, because its supporters aren’t interested in facts. Instead, the narrative drives the conversation.

So how do we know the theory is true?  Start with the assumption, and then look at everything as if the assumption is correct.

Here’s how the UCLA School of Public Affairs puts it:  “CRT recognizes that racism is engrained in the fabric and system of the American society. The individual racist need not exist to note that institutional racism is pervasive in the dominant culture. This is the analytical lens that CRT uses in examining existing power structures. CRT identifies that these power structures are based on white privilege and white supremacy, which perpetuates the marginalization of people of color.”

What about elevating your performance to surpass any obstacles in your way?

Forget about it, because it’s an illusion.

“CRT also rejects the traditions of liberalism and meritocracy,” the UCLA School of Public Affairs says. “Legal discourse says that the law is neutral and colorblind, however, CRT challenges this legal ‘truth’ by examining liberalism and meritocracy as a vehicle for self-interest, power, and privilege.  CRT also recognizes that liberalism and meritocracy are often stories heard from those with wealth, power, and privilege. These stories paint a false picture of meritocracy; everyone who works hard can attain wealth, power, and privilege while ignoring the systemic inequalities that institutional racism provides.”

Critical Race Theory posits that all whites are guilty of racism even if a white individual has never acted in a racist manner or had no ancestors who were slave traders or slave owners. Perhaps you are a white immigrant to America during the past several decades and have had nothing to do with the racial injustices in America during past centuries. Are you therefore not guilty?

No. Critical Race Theory calls you “racist” because you are white in a “systemically racist” country. Your otherwise clean hands, good will, and good deeds, if any, are just about irrelevant.

This idea, of course, is totally anti-Christian. There are many passages in the Bible that tell us that the sins of the father do not extend to the innocent son or daughter. For example, the following passage in Ezekiel 18:20:  “The soul that sins, it shall die. The son shall not bear the inequity of the father; neither shall the father bear the inequity of the son.” Children sometimes suffer the effects of the sins of their forbears – “to the third and fourth generation,” as Numbers 14:18 puts it – but not the guilt that their ancestors incurred. God, as St. Paul says in Romans 2:6, “will repay everyone according to his deeds.”

It is not the Christian way to ascribe the sins of racial injustice and oppression in America of 60 years ago to you now – and certainly not because of the amount or lack of melanin in your genetic makeup.

Thus, for Christians to embrace Critical Race Theory is nonsensical, as Baucham points out. Fault Lines stresses that the church needs to focus on biblical justice – not so-called social justice. Biblical justice means truth-telling, and Baucham shows how social justice warriors have over and over again used false narratives and lies to push their narrative.

It’s relatively easy now, for instance, to debunk Colin Kaepernick’s claims about Mario Woods, a black man who stabbed another man in San Francisco in 2015 and was shot later that same day by police when he refused to drop a knife and approached a police officer with it. It’s clear to anyone who studies the death of Michael Brown, a black man shot by a white police officer in Ferguson, Missouri in 2014, that Black Lives Matter dealt in distortions of the incident, since Brown had tried to take the police officer’s gun from him before the shooting. The tragic shooting of Breonna Taylor by police in March 2020 in Louisville, Kentucky is more complicated, since she, unlike the other two, is a true victim — but it’s clear that police didn’t go to her apartment intending to kill anyone, however flawed their actions were, and that they started shooting only when they were in fear for their lives.

The big picture also tells a different story about police from the one we’ve been hearing. As Baucham shows through judicious use statistics about crime, killings of unarmed white men and black men by police, and killings of police that the data don’t support claims that police in America tend to target black people for violence and death. Instead, Baucham shows how enemies of police use propaganda skillfully (and facts sparingly) to hoodwink large sections of the public.

In a vital part of the book, he dissects in a devastating manner Black Lives Matter, its founders, and what the organization stand for. The false-guilt-ridden owners of all those BLM signs in elite, white suburbs need to read this chapter in Fault Lines.

So do clerics. Baucham is an evangelical pastor, and his biggest concern is that the church will buy into Critical Race Theory. Christians are attracted by notions of justice for the oppressed. They prefer to help self-identified victims rather than investigate them. Yet discerning Christians can’t just be “innocent as doves,” as Jesus puts it in Matthew 10:16 – they also need to be, as Jesus says, “wise as serpents.”

Critical Race Theory can’t withstand such scrutiny. It also has nothing to do with Christianity. Several chapters of the book demonstrate that Critical Race Theory has become a new religion — and of course, the new religion, really a cult, has its own canon. It also has its own priests and priestesses – such as Robin DiAngelo, author of White Fragility; Jim Wallis, founder of Sojourners magazine; and Ta-Nehisi Coates, author of “The Case for Reparations.”

Critical Race Theory also has targets, having declared war on Americans who are white, male, able-bodied, identify with their biological sex, are native-born, and are Christian.

Christians famously believe in forgiveness, something not touted by Critical Race Theory. Yet forgiveness is the hallmark of a Christian, as it is of the author.

In the closing section of the book, Baucham offers a powerful passage about his journey to live and work in Africa, which I quote in full:


I thought about the fact that my ancestors once inhabited the continent of Africa. That was, until for one reason or the other, other Africans sold them into slavery – probably after taking them as slaves themselves. I thought about the horrors of the Middle Passage and the indignities of bondage in America.

Then I thought about the moment at hand, and something switched.  Suddenly I realized that I had traveled thousands of miles from the place of my ancestors’ oppression to the place of their betrayal. And for the first time in my life, I forgave.  I forgave because I was overcome by the weight and majesty of God’s providence.

By God’s providence, my ancestors survived their ordeal. By God’s providence, one of their descendants (me) had returned – not as a slave of men, but a slave of Christ. By God’s providence, I was born a free man and a citizen of the greatest Republic in the history of mankind. By God’s providence, I was numbered among the healthiest, freest, most prosperous people (of any race, not just black people) on the planet. By God’s providence, I had received the best theological education available in the world. And by God’s providence, He had brought me back to Africa to bless the descendants of the people who sold my ancestors into slavery. So I forgave.


Baucham says that he wrote the book to unmask the ideology of Critical Race Theory and Intersectionality (which seeks to unite all left-wing social causes) in the hopes that those in the church who have imbibed it can have the blinders removed from their eyes, and that church will not be divided by the fault line of Critical Race Theory.

Fault Line is a must-read for anyone who wants to learn how to counter the cultist claims of Critical Race Theory and the Big Lie of “systematic racism” and “racial injustice” in America. If it is not vigorously opposed, Critical Race Theory will undermine and perhaps topple large portions of the church in America. Voddie Baucham deserves our respect, admiration, and profound thanks for exposing it.


Robert H. Bradley is Chairman of Bradley, Foster & Sargent Inc., a $5.2 billion wealth management firm that has offices in Hartford, Connecticut and Wellesley, Massachusetts. Read other articles by him here.


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