Friend: Interesting, I was sent these links from another church leader in town, saying, “This is an important appeal from a theologian and black pastor about how some CRT discussions can both demean the dignity and experience of black Christians while also being a distraction and deflection from grappling with the real challenges of ongoing racism and injustice.”
Pastor Troy: It is interesting. Not one Scripture reference in any of the articles. Meanwhile, most of those subscribing to these sorts of ideas choose to reject (or at least refuse to accept/support) what is written in the Dallas Statement, which is loaded with Scripture references. Statement on Social Justice
Friend: Right. No scriptures.
Stackhouse was editor for Christianity Today until 2018. I don’t doubt his scholarship about the definitions. However, it strikes me as a different problem. His high-level dissection of the “movements” involved seems to leave him out of touch with how CRT in particular (which he rightfully ends up rebuking pretty firmly) and his description of CRT’s offspring movements with gender, religion etc. (homophobia, islamophobia etc.) has metastasized in American schools, colleges, media, government, etc. The cancel culture’s ascendancy is precisely the concern. Very few on the left in government or media appear to be clearly rebuking the “new morality” and calling for free debate. If it is not rebuked it will continue to grow and define even those on the left who are not fully on board.
Also, perhaps he feels out of touch because he is Canadian and so not speaking from how things are “on the ground.” I find that most African American pastors I know are splitting important hairs. However, importantly, since George Floyd, many seem to be sucked into, intimidated by and possibly even supporting the cancel culture aspect of CRT. Silencing debate is not the right way to advocate for true justice.
Pastor Troy: Yep, it definitely struck me as an “ivory tower” piece. Had good scholarly aspects to it, but absent a “boots on the ground” feel.
I become more persuaded by the day of just how dangerous this cocktail of ideologies can be. It seems to have a particular controlling power over people who choose to “try it on for size”. Sort of like “my precious” in Lord of the Rings.
Friend: It feels to me like Stackhouse is trying to “make peace” with the Democrat side of the house here. As such, his only reference to the Conservative side is to say that we are misunderstanding the left and then that Trump’s fake news guys are now doing the same “New Morality” thing. What he has not done is accurately describe the right. Nor has he endeavored to recommend some of their benefits as he has done for these left-wing ideologies. Which seems to give him away as being partial to them?
It would seem to me that conservatives and the right are just as nuanced and that they do not fit his post-modern or critical theory definitions so well. Does he recognize the persistence of so many on the right to stay engaged in the discussions/debates? Does he recognize that the right’s persistence to do so has brought them to the place of needing to clearly identify the “fake news” approaches of both the CRT, post-modern and the New Morality guys of the left? Perhaps we are slower to adapt to a new worldview. Either way, from Limbaugh to Beck to Hannity to Cal Thomas, Dennis Prager, and others… there is a deep ongoing commitment to absolute truth and to debate as essential. Does Stackhouse recognize that?
Pastor Troy: Most often the “right” is dismissed (perhaps sometimes accidentally) as Neanderthals/bigots. When two experts are on the same show: the lefty expert is an “analyst”; the righty expert is a “conservative commentator”. Two schools: the lefty school gets easy accreditation; the righty school has to walk a tightrope for accreditation. Two cultural icon talk show hosts: the lefty (such as Oprah/Cooper/Lemon) is the queen/king of all things good; the righty (such as Rush/Beck/Ingraham) is an ambassador for dastardly “hate talk”.
I recently had a friend/acquaintance – a man who gives every appearance of being a thoughtful Christian — tell me that I was dangerous to the community because of my views that insist on evaluating truth claims in light of primary source evidence – as opposed to merely trusting the words of the “credentialed class”. All of this has me feeling that it’s time to be more on the offense, and less on the defense, at this moment in history.
The blog above was first published on the original version of this website. Since then the site has been completely reformatted and upgraded. With this change, the blogs needed to be re-uploaded to correct corruptions that occurred with the transition in 2023. While doing this, some additional information is added at the conclusion of many of the older blogs in a “postscript” section that might not have appeared in the first draft that was published on the first website. Think of this as “bonus material” if it’s brand new content.
Mosaic Church Link
On social media I tried posting an audio link as a sort of experiment. However, the link didn’t go directly where it was supposed to. The goal was to get you to a sermon message that I had the privilege to preach in 2013. Since the experiment failed, there is a work around. Simply go to the old Mosaic Church sermons page at Mosaic Sermons. This was the general “messages” page, so scroll down to the sermons delivered on 7/21/13 and 12/29/13 to find a familiar voice. This is the best we can do, I suppose, since Mosaic’s former web platform doesn’t provide a hot link connecting straight to the individual sermon messages.
Covenant Family Chapel Links
In the past I’ve also been asked to share a word at Covenant Family Chapel in downtown Frederick. In this link you can see my short remarks (which followed some words from my wife before Dr. Neil Acheampong’s sermon): Brief Remarks
Two months after being asked to speak for just a few moments at Covenant Family Chapel, I was invited back to preach a full sermon… on Christmas, no less. Here’s the link to that powerful message. You’re encouraged to listen to it and share it with others. Full Sermon
Poolesville Baptist Church Links
Much of my early preaching experience came while standing in the pulpit at Poolesville Baptist Church. The very first time I spoke there it was 2010; the message focused on the opening portion of the First Epistle of John. Over time I shared a number of First John messages at PBC, covering the entire letter. I also unpacked Second John and Third John. To this day I am thankful to the leadership at PBC for the opportunity to share God’s Word so many different times.
As it turns out, it required eight sermons focused on First John to result in a full series on this New Testament book. These were all posted online by the church, but the audio links are difficult to track down. So, for these messages (including a two-part series on Second John and multi-part series on Third John) you can try this link: Poolesville Audio. If the link won’t cooperate with you, all my sermons are now – or will eventually be – on SermonAudio.com and Odysee.com.
This elongated series covering the Epistles of John stretched out over about 8 years. To help you get started, this string of sermons begins with:
#1: Reason to Rejoice (1 John 1:1-4)
#2: Transparency by Trust (1 John 1:6, 2:15-17)
#3: Living in Light with Love (1 John 1:5, 2:7-14)
The first of the Second John messages was titled, “Truthers, Lovers, and Liars”. Another of them is titled, “Remember the Overcomer” (covering 1 John 5:1-12). Here’s a blurb that “teases” this particular sermon’s content:
A Blurb of Encouragement
Depressed much? Worried by the weight of the world? Wondering why you believe in Jesus Christ… or if you even do at all? In this sermon I have the privilege of bringing a powerful and encouraging message from the Apostle John. It is a message for all of us.
In 1 John 5:1-12 we read why we can and should have hope, and that we can be sure of what John writes to us because it is attested to by God Himself. Further, we discover that the trials which tempt us to quit are actually reminders of our victory in Christ.
Admittedly, the struggles are hard and real and painful, but the struggles are now being overcome and will one day be overcome because they have already been overcome. How is this possible? Only by the truth of the Gospel.
Jesus Christ is The Overcomer, and by our union with Him, we are also overcomers. Listen and hear the good news of Jesus the Messiah. If you’ve heard it before, you still need to hear it again. Trust me, you do. We all need to hear it again, and again, and again, and again, and again. . . .
One Last Word
While the audio from these Poolesville sermons is tough to track down, the church did happen to videotape one of the First John messages I shared from their pulpit. Here’s the link to that YouTube video: Poolesville Video
Many blessings to you,
Pastor Troy Skinner