Danny Akin, the president of Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary — one of the most prestigious Southern Baptist Seminaries — recently appeared on a podcast version of the seminary’s chapel messages to defend the Southern Baptist Convention’s adoption of Resolution 9 in 2019. During the conversation — which you can watch in its entirety here — he defended the resolutions committee, which included one of his own professors, Walter Strickland, who were behind the push to adopt the resolution affirming the use of Critical Race Theory.
Critical Race Theory (CRT) is a heretical worldview that is incompatible with biblical Christianity. It emerged as an offshoot of Critical Theory, a neo-Marxist philosophy that has its roots in the Frankfurt School and its methods are drawn from Karl Marx and Sigmund Freud. CRT teaches that institutional racism exists within every structure of society and that these structures are intrinsically designed in such a manner as to protect and preserve “white supremacy” in our culture. Further, CRT does not rely on factual statistics or objective evidence to support the theory, rather it relies on anecdotal evidence and personal experience.
Closely related to Critical Theory is another Marxist worldview that emerged out of a feminist movement called Standpoint Theory. Standpoint Theory, also known as Standpoint Epistemology teaches that knowledge and insight, at least in part, emerges from one’s social status. In other words, people from different cultures, upbringings, hardships, and personal experiences will give a special ability to glean truth from various sources.
Interestingly, Danny Akin, a well-respected Southern Baptist leader says that he teaches this exact same thing when it comes to interpreting the Scriptures. While at least acknowledging that the Scriptures only reveal one truth, the idea that he’s pushing people to interpret the Scriptures through the lens of personal experience as though there is any special power in understanding truth that is gained that way is troubling. This is antithetical to how the Scriptures actually teach us to understand the truth — the truth is universal and is to be rightly understood in its original authorial intent.
Further, Akin should know that our epistemology — or our understanding of our source of knowledge — does not stem from any personal standpoint. As Christians, we understand that our knowledge comes from God Himself. Bringing people together from different backgrounds to interpret Scripture does not help us unlock any unrevealed truths in Scripture. This is classic Cultural Marxism and should be rejected.