Why We Need Critical Race Analysis or Something Like It, Part One

Josh McDowell is most famous for his apologetics book, Evidence Which Demands a Verdict. He made a business out of that book and subsequent books defending Christianity. Yesterday and today, he is famous for words he wants to take back.

Last night McDowell spoke at the American Association of Christian Counselors conference in Orlando, FL. He gave a speech titled “Six Epidemics in the Church.” McDowell said the first “epidemic” was critical race theory, followed by social justice. A friend of professor Aaron New who was at the conference and in McDowell’s plenary session related a stunning, offensive quote which Dr. New posted on Twitter. I got a recording of the talk and posted the clip. The whole thing set off a fire storm which led to a McDowell apology today. See the tweets below to follow the issue. In part one, I want to set the background for more comments in part two about why this episode illustrates the need for CRT or something like it.

After Aaron posted this, a scramble ensued to find audio of the talk. A conference goer sent it along and I clipped out the quote which demonstrated that it was in essence what Aaron and his conference friend reported.

In the clip, McDowell said:

Everybody says blacks, whites everybody has equal opportunity to make it in America. No they don’t, folks. I do not believe Blacks, African-Americans or other minorities have equal opportunities. Why? Most of them grew up in families where there is not a great emphasis on education, security. You can do anything you want; you can change the world. If you work hard, you will make it. So many African-Americans don’t have those privileges like I did. My folks weren’t very rich, in fact, they were a poor farming family. But the way I was raised, I had advantages in life ingrained into me. You can do it! Get your education! Get a job! Change the world! And that makes different opportunities.

After being thoroughly criticized for hours on Twitter, McDowell today issued this statement:

To me, this rings a little hollow since McDowell didn’t address his bombastic criticism of structural racism. In his statements, he completely ignored the actual reasons for lack of equity in opportunity. He told us in his apology what he didn’t mean, but he didn’t tell us what he did mean. He spent the first 10 minutes of his AACC speech blasting the concept of structural impediments to equity. So Mr. McDowell, what is the reason for lack of equal opportunity?

I hope this incident will be a teachable moment for white evangelicals who have mindlessly accepted the word of their talking heads about CRT. Brother Josh sees through a glass darkly, but he isn’t all the way to a clear view yet. I hope his awakening will be more than from a PR nightmare.

79 thoughts on “Why We Need Critical Race Analysis or Something Like It, Part One”

  1. This breaks my heart. https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/f7a0b7b58cdddf86de013e6d73e42d315117b268873ccc3dffd71f2d6d81dddd.jpg
    Now not only do Christians kill their wounded, but they also marginalize, ostracize and crucify those who speak the truth. We have become an intolerant people who have lost our frame of reference. We can no longer recognize that truth must be spoken in spite of how people receive it. Josh is not and cannot be held responsible for the pain that people experience when truth is spoken. To not speak the truth is to choose to lie, a pain and evil that will take years to fester, destroying their ability to know the truth. If there’s anyone who genuinely feels the pain of this cancer of racism, it is Josh McDowell. As his traveling assistant 43 years ago, I saw Josh in every circumstance as sincere without a hidden side. My respect for him is earned. I named my son after him. I can imagine the vitriol spewed upon him by the cowards on Twitter. 🤯
    In the picture, I am in the bottom left.

  2. A commenter below said to Warren Throckmorton, “Please have faith and patience.” That’s what the moderate White pastors once told Martin Luther King. I’m glad to see he didn’t buy it. I’m glad to see Throckmorton doesn’t either. No more do I. For another take, see


    Here, the author discusses how Josh McDowell both rejects CRT and reveals himself to be a racist, by saying the quiet part out loud!

    1. So, you are admitting that both you and Throckmorton are valuing secular ideology more than God and his Word. You are more than welcome to have and express your beliefs. This is all about freedom of speech. However, it becomes a problem for me when people like you are demanding that this secular ideology should be imposed on my nephews and nieces in schools and that their parents should get in trouble with the law if they consciously object to what is being taught to their children. Also, Christians who criticize CRT by the use of the Bible should not be subjected to persecution, like being fired from the jobs by being falsely accused of racism and white supremacy.

      FYI, if you look at my posts here, I fully support the Civil rights movement and equal treatment under the law of all people, thus I am in line with MLK. Unfortunately, Derrick Bell and people who followed him in the 1970s have created a spin out of what King did thus they distorted the Civil rights movement.

      1. what exactly are your nephews and nieces being taught about race that you are objecting too? I’m looking for specifics, i.e. lesson plans, books, course materials etc.

        Again, who has been fired simply for objecting to CRT? My experience in looking onto such cases are that the real reason they were fired, or arrested etc wasn’t because they “criticized CRT” but because they threatened someone, or trespassed or something far more serious than simply “speaking their mind.”

          1. That teacher resigned she wasn’t fired, and I’m assuming she wasn’t the teacher for your nephew and niece. Further, what did this “form” she refers to actually say? What about copies of the emails she references, are they available online to be read?

            Again, it has been my experience when you actually get into the details you find out the situation isn’t quite as it has been presented. Esp. when it is Fox News doing the presentation.

            Do you have actual, specific lesson plans being taught or course materials etc that are being taught to your nephew and niece that you object too?

          2. Nothing like what happened in Loudoun County has happened where my nephews and nieces are living. I was using that story as an example that they could be exposed to something similar in the future, that’s why concerned people need to speak up.

          3. Again, what, exactly, where children in Loudoun County “exposed to”?

            All you have given is a case of 1 teacher complaining about 1 diversity program, making comments without any context. For which you (nor your source) have done nothing to verify the accuracy of her statements.

            Now, maybe this is a case of a school board over-reacting. Or maybe this is a case of the teacher over-reacting. Or maybe something else entirely.

            Once again, you are accepting “evidence” not because you have researched it or that it comes from a reliable source, but because it fits your narrative. You use it to make vague or exaggerated claims, but when asked for specifics, you have none.

  3. I do not think anyone is going to like this comment, but as far as I can see it is the truth and so I will write it and annoy everyone. Anything with CRT in the headline has become popular clickbait to click on. It drives traffic to your site. Just look at the last post with its very few comments and compare it to a comment about the same man’s org and the words of a celebrity. This is the obvious point that should not be missed. This is a divisive issue that when analyzed makes little sense to me. If it were a solution to anything, it has been around for a long time, would it have not already fixed things by now? But I have noticed that politics is about a bunch of loud noise and about nothing else in general. I have been on this earth for decades and during my life I can think of exactly zero pop political movements that have actually made anything better in our world. They are all a bunch of hot air, a vain hope that people look to because they do not see Jesus as any kind of answer for anyone. Just one example is the pro-life movement with its big marches on D.C. What has that accomplished? Nothing. Jesus Christ is The Answer, not politics. Our politics are a problem that only tends to make things worse.

    When all of this noise started, I wondered what the heck is CRT anyway? So I went onto Wikipedia to see what people had written about it. It started as a civil war in the Progressive Liberal camp. Blacks were critiquing their rich white fellow liberals. This is why it went nowhere for a long time. The money was against it. Conservatives did not care because it was only creating internal friction in the other party. So this was not popular and was not getting attention until very recently. Do not believe me? Go and look up the history yourself. This only became popular during all of the stress created by the pandemic. It is like people want to fight online and blow off frustration at other humans on something unrelated to the actual problem the whole world is facing. That surface problem is the pandemic and all the ripple effects it has had. Yet God ordains times like these as wake up calls as everything is certainly not alright in the world.

    The real problem that has caused God to release the pandemic is us. Jesus is The Way, The Truth and The Life, not politics. Yet we lift up other people and expect them to take the place of God and fix things. They cannot. They are narcissists who do not give a damn about you personally. They just want your vote. Many are pushing this country towards a bloody civil war. That war will solve nothing. It will be worst on the poor. There will be more bitterness and anger than ever. More people dead and in the hospital than now and lots of property destroyed. And it will solve nothing about pandemics or other problems. The only solution is to return to Jesus Christ. Letting Him be Lord again over your personal life will fix your problems and nothing else. Christians and all else need to repent which means to acknowledge our own sin which is real and to turn away from it and start following Christ. He has a way out of this mess. CRT is just another empty distraction among many. But people do not want to repent. They want to rebel. Which is why we are in this mess in the first place.

        1. Obviously God ordained my post to offend you….

          You need to repent of your narcissism and apathy to your fellow humans.

    1. Educate yourself by reading peer-reviewed research in CRT. With four decades and counting of published research, you have plenty of sources you can begin reading today.

  4. I feel a lot like Winston Smith beavering away in the Ministry of Truth.
    Oceania has always been at war with East Asia.
    CRT has always been as true as the distributive property of multiplication (or so the party says).
    Now I gotta’ find a way to minimize the progress of blacks and other minorities who’ve entered the highest echelons of government, the medical and legal professions, and the entertainment and sports industries.
    It’s the only way I can see to make CRT true in all cases.
    Those advancements never happened.

    1. So in other words blacks living in ghettos with high poverty and incarceration rates don’t exist in your world.

      Sounds like something a white person would say.

  5. CRT may be very well politically correct, or politically appropriate tool to do justice in the current society, but it is so biblically incorrect. Think about it as similar during the times when Jesus was walking the earth as a human among the oppressed Jewish people living in the Roman Empire. Many Jews expected him to do a physical political revolution that would literally liberate them, yet what he did was quite opposite to it.

    1. Name the total number of book-length peer-reviewed publications you’ve read by a Critical Race Theorist. You haven’t read any, have you?

        1. This is quite a surprise. Then you would agree no CRT scholar claims CRT is some “savior” to replace Jesus. That’s simply not an argument found in CRT scholarship. It is, however, an argument you find among U.S. White Nationalist Evangelicals, what Dr. Throckmorton has previously analyzed as “Court Evangelicals.”

          1. The works written by these authors tend to serve an educational purpose, and if they are being taught to simply educate students, not to accept them as undisputed facts, then, I am all for it. I further explained on this thread, why I, as a Christian find works like these to be problematic, and if I will always be allowed to voice my constructive criticism without persecution for it, then, it’s no problem.

          2. You can drop your victimhood complex as well, since we are all responsible individually how we live our lives, and it’s up to us to make our lives the most productive. We all have problems, but blaming them on others, whatever perceptions we have of “others”, is nothing but an excuse to avoid living responsibly.

          3. What if your problems are caused by others?

            What if your problems are caused because others (mis)judge you by the color of your skin? What if these others, either unintentionally or deliberately, create a system that makes it virtually impossible to “live responsibly”?

          4. “we are all responsible individually how we live our lives, and it’s up to us to make our lives the most productive”

            Except that the Bible explicitly rejects this, and asserts quite strongly that the rich/privileged/haves have an obligation to help the poor/oppressed/have nots, and that the lack of success of the latter is often due to the exploitation and neglect of the former. See the vast majority of the OT prophets for concrete examples.

          5. Except that for far to many “christians” these days the bible says “whatever I want it to say”.

          6. Here, it’s totally fine to disagree between Christians and non-Christians and among Christians for as long as we are doing it civilly.

          7. Except it isn’t civil. Far too many christians take the attitude that if someone doesn’t interpret their bible exactly as they do, then those people are “evil, godless sinners” and can be treated as such.

          8. TV is opposed to civil discourse, as his obvious lies, false accusations, and childish projections have no place in it.

          9. While I agree with you about rich/priveleged/haves, the Bible also teaches per 1 Corinthians 6 that there are certain self-destructive behaviors that people choose, like greed and lying, that lead them to not inheriting kingdom of God, but instead inheriting broken lives thus becoming have nots. It should be noted that God does not compel people how to live our lives but rather gives us a choice which is beneficial, hence it deals with personal responsibility.

            2 Thessalonians 3 gives strong rebuke to those who are intentionally lazy and refuse to work. It tells me that God does not look too kindly on those who became poor and have not due to idleness.

          10. The more you write, the more you identify with the Pharisees – the enemies of Christ.

            You blame the victims for their own suffering – just like the pharisees did – “Who sinned that this man was born blind?”

            The story of the bleeding woman in Mark is ONE example where the author derides the religious laws which created suffering and alienation. That woman would’ve been ostracised from her community because “the Bible said…..’

            You use scripture to justify oppression and doing nothing.

            Your religion is worse than irrelevant.

          11. Paul never knew Jesus….

            It’s weird that you call yourself a Christian and place Paul over Jesus.

          12. Bahahahahahaha

            Here we have it….

            “Hey, it’s your fault you’re in concentration camps. Just show some individual responsibility and be like me”.

            Isn’t it great to see Christians speaking on social issues.

    2. So minorities should not have equity in the U.S. because God had other plans for the Jews? What happened then is not a template for how the U.S. is run under the Constitution now. Justice in the current society is the only issue of relevance to people in the U.S.

      1. Like I said, Crtitical Race Theory could be the appropriate tool to do human justice for minorities in the US. However, doing so will not solve REAL problems, which are that all people, not only whites, have sinned and fall short of the glory of God. This needs to be acknowledged and then it could lead to changing hearts and minds, in terms of how we see each other. I believe this is more important.

        1. Not all people are Christian nor are going to become Christian. Justice politically can’t wait until revival comes.

          1. It is very possible for individuals, households and even entire
            countries to become “better”, and to do so without the work of the Holy
            Spirit in regenerating them. Many people become better people without
            being saved. This is partly a good thing, as it shows God’s common
            grace. But they’re not getting to heaven without Christ. Let the
            government and society be the place where God enacts his common grace,
            and let the church and Christians be the ones who spread God’s saving
            grace. I’m saying this because too many Christians argue that the only
            way people’s lives can be changed for the better is through the Gospel.
            Of course the Gospel does change lives, and it also secures for those
            who have faith in Christ the assurance of eternal life, but there are
            plenty of things in our world that have improved people’s lives that
            aren’t gospel related.

          2. The victims of systemic racism cannot wait for a solution based solely on wishful thinking, and nor should they.

          3. I hope for a real theocracy, or what Warren calls a revival, meaning second coming of Jesus and its aftermath. This topic is being thoroughly discussed in the New Testament, particularly in Revelations. When that happens, all nations will cease to exist and God will be ruling the world. Until that happens, I plan to continue sharing my faith with others, and trying to change hearts and minds, that’s what we as Christians are instructed to do. I must admit that it doesn’t always work on my part, but I am doing it the best I can.

          4. So people have to suffer and wait because of your faulty interpretation of Revelation.

            What a piece of work!

            Revelation is not based in the future. It is solely based in the first century.

            These people will be suffering until the end of time according to you.

            Imagine you during the holocaust – Oh just wait until Jesus comes – he’ll sort em out. Nothing to do with me and my personal relationship with Jesus.

          5. “Please, have faith and patience.”

            He says to the victims in the concentration camps…..

            2 millennia later….

            “Hey, if you accept Jesus as your personal Lord and Saviour all this will just go away and your children won’t be forced into ovens.”

      2. I am sure you and I agree that people of all races should be treated equally under the law under the US constitution. Of course, I fully support all federal and state laws that help to ensure that, like Civil Rights and Voting Rights Acts of 1964. However, when people start to claim that the creation of the USA and its constitution themselves was racist and was all about white supremacy, I start feeling terrified.

    3. You mean the same Jesus who railed against the power structures of the religious and military class.

      Yeah I’ve heard of him.

      A shame you haven’t.

      You have no understanding of the kingdom of God on Earth at all do you?

      You’ve made Jesus completely irrelevant.

  6. Josh McDowell shows the world he doesn’t understand CRT. And he is equally ignorant about Scripture, hermeneutics, and biblical scholarship. If his “biblical worldview” can’t survive CRT, he’s just worshipping self-serving Whiteness.

  7. The biggest problem I have with CRT is that it seems to be too Black & White. I.e. it focuses on racism towards blacks, but not so much about other races: asian, native americans, latinx. And while whites are the majority, I haven’t seen much acknowledgement about racism between these various groups.

    Admittedly, most of my info comes from debates about CRT and I haven’t been able to see actual curriculums (or other specific materials based on it). Pointers to such would be greatly appreciated.

    1. So in other words you are ignorant….

      Must be why states are back to telling kids that killing Injuns was a good thing……

      Critical Race Theory: Bury my truth at Wounded Knee
      The American right’s war on history will have a chilling effect in Indian Country schools and classrooms

      “Genocide seems like a reasonably “divisive” topic, so I can only assume I am not allowed to discuss removal and the thousands of Cherokee deaths in the 1830s, or the Indian Health Service’s systematic sterilization of “perhaps 25 percent of Native American women of childbearing age” in the 1970s and 1980s.

      If I am no longer allowed to confront uncomfortable truths with my students, how will we discuss the Cherokee Training School, a boarding school that once existed on the boundary, or the nearly-forgotten mass grave of the children who were sent there and died in the 1918 flu epidemic?

      If neither racism or sexism can be discussed, how do we talk about the tragic crisis in our communities of Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women? In order to assure the comfort of white children, must I dishonor the memory of Native children?”

      Did the lesson on the Trail upset a white student? Turn the teacher in. Did the discussion of Doublehead and his battle against the theft of his ancestral homeland cause a white child to feel guilty? The teacher can be ratted out to Lieutenant Governor Torquemada. Do the words of early missionary educators such as John Gambold and Cyrus Kingsbury embarrass North Carolina’s white students? FACTS will be there to ensure those words are, like the broken bodies of the Cherokee children buried in the Brainerd or Springplace mission cemeteries, forever buried.

      I will teach Cherokee history—the good, the bad, and the ugly—come what may. I will do this because my voice is all I have in the fight to make certain that no Cherokee student will ever again face the abuse my grandfather faced. Teachers must not be silenced, and teachers in Indian Country must demand the right to teach the absolute and unvarnished facts about the relationship between the United States and the Indigenous nations trapped within her borders.

      Native American educators and educators of Native American students must let our governments know that if they come for one, they must come for all. We must make our motto the words attributed to Dragging Canoe. We must “run all risks, and incur all consequences, rather than submit.


  8. I grew up in an urban neighborhood that was a mix of working class, poor (at many different levels), and a few professionals (that would have been my parents, but we weren’t wealthy). Many of the really poor kids were black. They often didn’t have proper clothes, went to a school that was a part of the projects where they lived instead of the nicer school down the hill, and were often questioned by the police, even when they were hanging out. I realized at a young age that i had many more opportunities because my parents were able to expose me to more things. That was the little bit of margin economically that we had, but it made a big difference. If Christians would just open their eyes, they would understand what lack of privilege means, as wall as the results.White evangelical pundits are also neglecting to see an entire generation of white kids coming up in rural areas who also lack opportunities and are often underfed and under-educated. Maybe the emergence of that generation and their problems in the next few years will make CRT more credible to them. I don’t buy everything in CRT, but it’s not all hooey, either.

    1. “White evangelical pundits are also neglecting to see an entire generation of white kids coming up in rural areas who also lack opportunities and are often underfed and under-educated. Maybe the emergence of that generation and their problems in the next few years will make CRT more credible to them.”

      – no, they’ll just blame immigrants, or “liberal agendas”, or AOC or whatever boogeyman they can find to further butress the idea that their ‘white heritage’ is being erroded. Look at the anger that manifested so digustingly on 1/6/21

      1. Exactly. CRT is just the latest “boogeyman” to be taken up by the Evangelical Outrage Industrial Complex™. Because if they don’t have their Spirit of Fear, how will they be able to get up in the morning?

        1. …but I thought we weren’t supposed to live in a spirit of fear? That’s why they don’t wear masks you know 😉

          1. Right. U.S. Evangelicals refusing masks and quarantine will be deeply offended when they learn about face-covering and quarantine mandates as described in the Hebrew Scriptures.

      2. As an evangelical Christian, I would have a problem with any theory that negates the sinfulness of one group of people, while exposes the sinfulness of another. It has nothing to do with my skin color, which is white, but with the Bible. For instance, per Romans 3, no one is righteous and all people have sinned and fall short of the glory of God. That applies to people of all races, and whoever are thinking otherwise, they are fooling themselves.

        1. It is one thing to affirm the abstract sinfulness/brokenness/insert your favorite term for human nastiness here. But that’s not what CRT is for. CRT is about examining specific structural biases in our specific culture against specific groups. The theoretical sinfulness or righteousness of the specific groups involved isn’t really the point.

          1. I reject any ideology that considers one group of people to be righteous while the other not. It goes for whites, blacks, Jews, Greeks, Americans, Canadians, Chinese, Koreans, etc. Since you’re bringing up CRT, do you think it teaches not in terms of a conflict between blacks and whites in America, that it was always whites who have been unrighteous sinners while blacks never?

          2. I reject any ideology that considers one group of people to be righteous while the other not. It goes for whites, blacks, Jews, Greeks, Americans, Canadians, Chinese, Koreans, etc. Since you’re bringing up CRT, do you think it teaches that in terms of a conflict between blacks and whites in America, that it was always whites who have been unrighteous sinners while blacks never?

          3. So you reject christianity?

            Cause it is pretty much baked into the religion that they are “righteous” while the other religions are not.

          4. I don’t see Christianity as monolithic. Certainly, there are different religious denominations and all kinds of movement within Christianity. I personally agree with some and disagree with others as a reasonable human being. However, I accept the words of Jesus Christ and his apostles who preached numerous times that all people are sinners, regardless of what we believe, Romans 3 specifically says that no one among us is righteous, and this is why we need to follow Jesus.

          5. “all people are sinners”….

            So you reject the Christ who stood up for sinners against the power of the religious and military rulers because….”all have sinned”.

            The problem with you people is you are biblically illiterate. You’ve been conditioned to read the Bible like a white western male’s individual purity code. The whole of the “good news’ of Mark is the overcoming of power structures against the poor and marginalised eg the bleeding woman, lepers.

            There’s something wrong with your religion when you can’t even spot evil.

            Or refuse to acknowledge it because religion.

            It’s because of people like you, that evil and injustice reigns.

    2. I grew up in a similar neighborhood, and I can totally see how basic structural things can perpetuate racism. It’s things as simple as white people mostly knowing other white people – so when they hear that a friend’s child is looking for a job, they’ll give them an ‘in’ to the company that they work for for an entry-level ‘no relevant experience required’ job. They don’t *intend* to exclude minorities, it’s just that they so often don’t have enough close black/brown friends that they would think to point their kid towards a job. One by one it doesn’t seem so huge, but in the aggregate that’s got a huge impact.

Comments are closed.