Trevin Wax, who served on this year’s Resolutions Committee, gave some thoughts yesterday on Resolution 9. There’s been some criticism of that resolution, which speaks to the issues of Critical Race Theory and Intersectionality. You can find the thread on Twitter here. I thought it would be helpful to compile the material here for ease of access and for future reference. This is what Trevin said:
I had the privilege this year in serving on the #SBC19 Resolutions Committee under the leadership of Dr. Curtis Woods. I’ve been surprised by all the conversation surrounding Resolution #9, and I’d like to add some clarity as to the deliberations of the committee.
The Committee received a resolution on this issue and decided to speak to it in a way that warned against absolutizing CRT/I as a worldview and yet remained cautious to not condemn all insights that could be gleaned from CRT/I (subordinate to Scripture).
I’m baffled by headlines that claim the Committee was praising, or promoting, or pushing CRT/I. This is simply not true. Words mean something, and to twist the resolution’s words in this way misrepresents the Committee’s work.
There are limited insights we can receive from fields of psychology (which, ideologically, is often outside a Christian worldview) or statistical analysis or sociology, etc.
When missiologists do demographic and statistical work, they must understand the overlapping identities or perspectives of the people they seek to evangelize. The resolution’s carefully qualified limited use of CRT/I is speaking to descriptive analysis; not ideological analysis.
In no way was the Committee adopting or promoting CRT/I as a worldview. The resolution makes that clear. Everyone—and I emphasize this fact—on the Committee would agree that the origins of CRT/I come from worldviews opposed to the gospel. No disagreement there whatsoever.
Still, that does not mean that every observation issuing from CRT/I is wrong, sinful, or unhelpful for how Christians understand the world. Hence the language of “truthful insights” the resolution employs. Discernment requires the careful sifting of what is good from what is bad.
The resolution as it stands is explicit that biblical sufficiency trumps any misuse of CRT/I. Any use of CRT/I that would seek to subvert a category of Scripture would be forbidden.
Hence, where CRT/I may speak of “oppression,” the resolution would grant that the category of oppression is present in Scripture (i.e., the Jews were oppressed in Egypt) but that “oppression” as a category is insufficient to see the world through or to understand one’s identity.
A friendly amendment that simply pointed out the origination, not just the appropriation of CRT/I would likely have been accepted. The amendments proposed were lengthy and introduced more terms and phrases that would have needed explanation.
Much of the online chatter seems to me an exercise in hyperbole and projection. The resolution is being used to confirm the narrative that the SBC is trending in a troubling direction. This should not be the case.
No one on the Resolutions Committee drafted this resolution with nefarious motives nor considers themselves apologists for CRT/I. Assume the best of your brothers and sisters.
And please take a good look at Resolution 6. We will need this kind of culture if we are to fulfill the Great Commission together. http://www.sbc.net/resolutions/2305/resolution-6–on-the-promotion-of-a-cooperative-culture-in-the-southern-baptist-convention-for-mission-advance
One last thing — Resolution 9 clearly establishes human identity in the image of God and for all redeemed humanity, our common identity, together eternally united to Christ, acknowledging the Bible addresses people based on individual characteristics.
Thus, it would repudiate all forms of identity politics and any ideology that establishes fundamental human identity on anything other than our created dignity in God’s image.
I was confident in the makeup of this Resolutions Committee from the start. And I continue to believe that this resolution presents a balanced statement that’s overwhelmingly against Critical Race Theory while avoiding the extreme position that its opponents seemed to be demanding.
One strong critic of Critical Race Theory is Neil Shenvi, who responded to Trevin’s thread with the following:
This is a very helpful summary, @TrevinWax. @tomascol, @clbolt, and I had a very helpful discussion of Resolution 9 on the @RegReformedGuys podcast and we agreed on three main points: 1/
— Neil Shenvi (@NeilShenvi) June 20, 2019
@TrevinWax This is a very helpful summary, @TrevinWax. @tomascol, @clbolt, and I had a very helpful discussion of Resolution 9 on the @RegReformedGuys podcast and we agreed on three main points: 1/
1) the language of non-Christian individuals ‘appropriating’ CRT/I for their non-Christian worldview should have been replaced with CRT/I ‘originating in’ non-Christian worldviews. 2/
2) Apart from that modification, nothing in the resolution was technically false. It included several important statements about ‘repudiating’ the worldview of CRT/I and also rejected some of the most dangerous aspects of the worldview of critical theory: human identity, etc. 3/
3) The resolution could have been benefited from more warnings about the worldview of CRT/I. In particular, when ‘CRT/I’ is encountered in the media or even in academia, it does not usually refer to a narrow, nuanced ‘analytic tool’; 4/
far more often, it refers to the ‘worldview,’ with all of its unbiblical presuppositions. Thus, Christians should be especially mindful of the dangers it poses. 5/
While we were split over our support for the final resolution, I think our agreement on these points was significant and encouraging. For those interested, it’s available here: http://www.regularreformed.com/2019/06/19/episode-64-resolution-9-from-the-sbc/
So I’m pleased with the resolution as it was passed by 80-90% of the messengers at the convention, and I believe that a lot of the negativity during and after the debate was misplaced for one reason or another. The committee deserves to be commended, in my view, for this year’s resolutions–which covered some really important topics with care and biblical balance.