Fault Lines by Voddie Bauchum (A Review)
To begin with, I did receive an advanced digital copy of Fault Lines in exchange for an honest review. That said, I’ve recently been reading Fault Lines by Pastor Voddie Bauchum as a part of his review team.
Well, the Critical Social Justice (aka: CSJ) narrative isn’t going away any time soon. In case you aren’t aware, there are branches that grow on this CSJ tree. And Critical Race Theory (CRT) is one of those branches.
With accusations being flung all over about how some individuals see others, I think Voddie’s book is an essential read. Specifically, Fault Lines addresses this problem among Christen brethren. For these reasons, I think it’s important for parents to consider what Voddie Bauchum has to say.
Fault Line Origins
In the beginning of his book, Voddie explains the origin of Critical Social Justice. As someone who is looking for the solid definition of it, I appreciate that he gives the definition by its creators. No one appreciates others putting words into their mouths. Right? In addition, he explains the stages of Critical Social Justice’s development—giving credit where credit is due. Of note, each of these stages are like mild earthquakes building up to the big one.
Since it’s significant to consider worldview, internal-to-external, and cause-to-effect, Voddie has readers consider these things. Certainly, the origin of any thing has purpose behind it, so these aspects cannot be overlooked. Therefore, as readers we need to ask the question: “Who or what is behind this?” And, we also must ask the question: “What is the spirit behind it?” Of course, I know that my readers are already aware of this from other articles here, like the Words Matter article. Voddie helps us to discover the answers to these questions.
The Root Problem
There’s always at least one principle behind an issue. The issue, he explains, is not justice. But rather it’s the world’s view of Critical Social Justice vs. Biblical Justice. He breaks these down into two opposing worldviews on justice. His metaphor of a fault line is an excellent visual representation of what is happening—especially among Christians who don’t hold to the same worldview on justice. As such, he helps readers to contrast Biblical principles of justice to those of CRT.
Ideas Have Consequences
Do you know that it’s common for black Christian brethren (who are evangelical) to question if they should prioritize their blackness or their Christianity? Are you aware that there is such an idea as Black Nationalists and that they think that Christianity is the ‘white man’s religion’? Is it known to you that there is such an idea as Afrocentric Christians? Well, these ideas do exist and he explains the thoughts behind them. Furthermore, he explains how Black Nationalism when paired up with Malcom X’s ideas about Christianity results in anti-Christian sentiment.
These ideas may cause one to wonder at how the [false] idea of Christianity being the ‘white’ man’s religion’ has grown among some black Christian brethren. After all, the Gospel originates in Asia—the Continent of Origins. And it has spread to the setting of Africa as well. In fact, not only do we see this in the Old Testament, we also see it in Acts 26:8-40 (the historical account of an Ethiopian man who came to salvation through Jesus Christ).
That said, I think it’s pertinent to note that there isn’t any emphasis on one’s skin color throughout the Bible. Rather, we learn of the nation from which individuals are from. This, I believe, helps us to see that the Gospel was not kept only to one location on the globe. Salvation is come to all—which Voddie beautifully shares about in relation to his personal testimony.
Considering Africa’s History
I appreciate that Voddie addresses his personal experience living in America and living in Africa:
“Living in Africa has given me a new perspective on many things. First, it has given me a renewed appreciation for God’s providence. I see His hand in American history in ways I hadn’t appreciated before—not only in establishing what I believe is the greatest Republic in the history of the world, but also in allowing me to be born, educated, and trained for the ministry there. Most Africans would give all they had to get to America. Ironically, I didn’t have to do that because my ancestors were forced to give all they had as African slaves.”
-Fault Lines © 2021 by Voddie T. Baucham Jr., p. 37
Additionally, I appreciate him addressing the true history of slavery. In order to do so, one must consider the whole context of what was happening in history at that time regarding slavery:
“I have also broadened my perspective on slavery. A visit to the Slave Tree in Ndola, Zambia, poignantly reminded me that, contrary to popular belief, white slavers did not come to Africa and track through the bush to find and capture slaves; they bought them from other Africans who had already enslaved them. It was sobering to realize that my ancestors—far from being kings and queens—were actually debtors, criminals, or conquered people who were sold to Westerners by their own kinsmen. And thank God they sold them to the Westerners and not the Arabs! The Arab slave trade lasted more than thirteen centuries and was far more brutal; few Africans sold to the Arabs even survived the journey.”
-Fault Lines © 2021 by Voddie T. Baucham Jr., p. 38
Focusing on God’s Providence Stops Quakes
Of course, we know from the Bible and Ancient History sources besides that slavery goes much further back than America. Plus, we know that it involves all people of all skin tones. This is important to note because, again, at the root of every issue is at least one principle. Slavery is counter to the Biblical principle of Liberty.
What Voddie Bauchum is considering is God’s Providential Hand. Some sinful men in history enslaved other men. Conversely, some sinful men in history worked toward liberty for all men. As a good friend of mine once pointed out: America was taking steps in the right direction to end slavery. We know, however, that it took time to be able to bring liberty state-by-state for each individual. Point in fact, slavery in this context has come to an end in America. And, it’s because of the Biblical principle that all men are created equal. Compare and contrast this to the end of slavery in other nations in the context of history at this time, and you will see that America is the first to end slavery in this way.
Justice is Biblical
But, the Social Justice Movement is not Biblical. The Social Justice Movement as a whole breaks God’s Ten Commandments. In particular, Critical Race Theory bears false witness against one’s neighbor. Voddie wisely addresses this matter with Biblical reasoning. Christians, this is significant to make note of because God takes this very seriously. It is a lie. Be aware of those trying to dismantle language and meaning. Webster’s 1828 Dictionary gives us a Biblical definition of lie,
“1. A criminal falsehood; a falsehood uttered for the purpose of deception; an intentional violation of truth. “
It cannot be emphasized enough how important it is to expose the false narratives being given to usher in Marxism. Voddie does an excellent job exposing the false narratives with critical thinking skills.
In Chapter Four, Voddie expresses:
“My goal in this chapter is fourfold. First, I intend to lay out a picture of what I see as the theological underpinnings of the theology and world-view of Critical Social Justice. Second, I hope to help the reader see that this worldview stands in direct contradiction to the biblical worldview. Third, I will give examples that show the prevalence of this worldview within broader evangelicalism. Finally, I hope that this will all help the reader understand why identifying the elements of this worldview, far from being a tactic designed to “shut down conversation,” is actually fundamental to having a genuine and God-honoring conversation about race at all.”
-Fault Lines © 2021 by Voddie T. Baucham Jr., p. 66
Firstly, it’s of importance to note Voddie’s motives. In contrast, CRT advocates do aim shut down conversation.
Secondly, he breaks down the ‘new lexicon’ of this religion which ‘supports its own divinity’ complete with ‘its own cosmology.’ He takes the reader through an examination of some of these aspects in later chapters. But—to help give you an idea of what this looks like—here is a brief list on CRT, A New Cosmology: In the Beginning. On the . . .
- First day, white people created whiteness.
- Second day, white people created white privilege.
- Third day, white people created white supremacy.
- Fourth day, white people created white complicity.
- Fifth day, white people created white equilibrium.
- Sixth day, white people created white fragility.
- New Original Sin: Racism
- A New Law (the “Work” of Antiracism)
- And A New Priesthood
Fault Lines’ Table of Contents
Before ordering his book, one may prefer to read through the Table of Contents. Undoubtedly, this gives just a tiny glimpse of a general overview. But, I’d like to assure you that there is in-depth content under each heading.
- Thought Line
- A Black Man
- A Black Christian
- Seeking True Justice
- A New Religion
- New Priesthood
- A New Canon
- The Ground is Moving
- The Damage
- Restoration and Mitigation
- Solid Ground
- The Dallas Statement on Social Justice and the Gospel
- Original Resolution on Critical Race Theory and Intersectionality
- SBC Resolution 9 on Critical Race Theory and Intersectionality
Buy Fault Lines Here
(This is not an affiliate link for me. It’s a link directly from Voddie’s launch team website page.)
My readers may greatly appreciate how Voddie explains the ‘New Religion of Antiracism.’ Especially necessary, Voddie has readers consider if there is a message of salvation in CRT. Or, is there ‘only perpetual penance in an effort to battle an incurable disease’? Either way, how does it line up with Scripture?
If you are looking to help equip your students to think and reason Biblically on this topic, I highly recommend Fault Lines by Voddie Bauchum.