Home Voices Voices With Ed Stetzer: A Missiological Assessment of Critical Race Theory IV

Voices With Ed Stetzer: A Missiological Assessment of Critical Race Theory IV

missiological assessment

A Note from Ed Stetzer: We are launching a series on Critical Race Theory. It’s an important conversation today, since many are using the description and meaning different things. At the Wheaton College Billy Graham Center, we are committed to help Christians know and engage the culture with biblical discernment, so we are launching a conversation with, well, different views. As Christians, we want to think through these things together, and the series will include not just one opinion, but several.

We started with a positive framing, and will include others who are more negative, and some in the middle. All will come from evangelicals. And, it is important that we hear from people of color, and, in this series, not all people of color will agree. It’s a conversation— mature, Christ-like, and God-honoring. We hope it serves you and your church well.

To start it off, I asked Sitara Roden from my team to give us a framing article. Now, we are dropping articles, pro, con, and others on a continuum, modeling Christian dialogue and learning. Our first contributor, who will be sharing a three-part article, was Dr. Pat Sawyer, with references to be shared at the conclusion. You can read part one here, part two here, and part three here. Now, we will be hearing from D.A. Horton, as he shares a four-part article of his examination of CRT. You can read part one here, part two here, and part three here. Pastor Horton is a latino missiologist, academic and author, and his latest book Intensional, delves into ethnic reconciliation. I will share my thoughts at the endof the series. 

A Missiological Assessment of IV

by D.A. Horton

In the final part of my series, I answer the five most frequently asked questions I receive about CRT. Before doing this, I want to unpack two nuances about my work. First, I view CRT as an available tool I, a Christian missiologist, can use when performing cultural exegesis.[1] My conscious is clear when saying I’m not compromising my assured salvation in Christ (John 1:12; 10:27-29; Rom 5:8; 2 Cor 5:21; 1 John 5:11-13) or Christian worldview when I engage CRT. CRT gives me opportunities to interact as a missionary in the field of education where Jesus has placed me (Psalm 25:4-5; 37:23-24; Acts 17:26-27). CRT gives me a platform to share gospel-infused solutions to its insightful questions, and calls me to address pressing social issues impacting the lives and communities I serve while developing resources Christian urbanites can use in their evangelism and discipleship work. I also acknowledge there have been times when CRT has called out ‘racism’ in society that’s been either ignored or practiced by Christians. To me, this is an opportunity to redeem our witness.

Second, in part-one I cite Habermas’ pivot of Critical Theory (CT) away from Marxism and his call for the inclusion of religious voices in civil discourse. I did this because, as a missiologist I see this as an invitation for Christian influencers in spheres such as the arts, economics, education, engineering, medicine, politics, the social sciences, et al to communicate God’s truth in ways the non-religious can understand and wrestle with. Accepting this invitation does not make me a Marxist. The work I produce is evidence I’m not a Marxist. More importantly, with God the Holy Spirit’s empowerment and supernatural work (Rom 8:9-13; John 3:3-8), the missiological efforts of my work can be a tool God uses to redirect eyes away from idols so they can be fixed on Christ![2]

Now I’ll share answers to the FAQ’s I’ve placed in two categories: blessings and burdens.

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D.A. Horton serves as an Assistant Professor and Program Director of the Intercultural Studies program at California Baptist University. He is also blessed to serve as an Associate Teaching Pastor at The Grove Community Church. He earned his B.S. in Biblical Studies from Calvary Bible College, his Masters Degree in Christian Studies from Calvary Theological Seminary and is working on his Ph.D. in Applied Theology with a North American Missions emphasis at Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary. He has authored eight books; G.O.S.P.E.L., DNA: Foundations of the Faith; Letters of the Revelation: To the One Who Conquers, To The One Who Conquers; Authentic Love; and Bound to Be Free: Escaping Performance to be Captured by Grace. He was blessed to co-author Enter The Ring: Fighting Together for a Gospel Saturated Marriage with his wife Elicia. His newest book is Intensional.