Roger Marsh: Greetings and thank you for listening to Family Talk! I'm Roger Marsh, and today you're going to hear the conclusion of Dr. Dobson's fascinating, two- part conversation with Dr. Owen Strachan on the topic of Critical Race Theory. Dr. Strachan is the author of Christianity and Wokeness: How the Social Justice Movement is Hijacking the Gospel - And the Way to Stop It. Let's listen now to this important program from our 2021 Best of Broadcast collection, right here on Dr. James Dobson's Family Talk.
Dr. James Dobson: Dr. Strachan, are you deeply concerned about what you see happening to our country as a father?
Dr. Owen Strachan: Yes. Yes, I am absolutely alarmed by what I see happening both in our society and in the church. I was asked last fall, fall 2020, to give a few lectures on critical race theory, and that really pushed me in going to this church in Minnesota to get up to speed and equipped. And honestly, Dr. Dobson, I'm sure you've had this over the course of your career. You're asked to engage in issue and the more you get into the issue, the more it's like a horror movie soundtrack is playing in the background. And it's far, far worse than you realize. The lies, the ideology that is being promoted in the public square today, and also in the church, is much deeper as a problem than you realize.
And this ideology, people think it's against racism and it's a way forward for us. They don't realize this is going to train white people to hate themselves. This is going to set people of different skin colors at odds from one another, and that's the kind of ideology that is actually not against racism. That's not anti-racism. Truthfully, that is neo-racism, and it's actually going to revive a lot of problems from the past. And so, I have no idea what I'm going to be able to get done with my humble little efforts, but I'm trying to take what stand I can for God's glory.
Dr. James Dobson: I just wrote a monthly letter. I sent it to about a million people, and it's on this subject because it is deeply concerning to me. I could weep when I think about what's happening to my country. And I said in that letter, I wonder if you feel the same way, that this may be the greatest threat to this nation and to its people, and especially future generations, that has ever occurred in our history. This has the potential for destroying the very foundation, especially when you talk about its impact on the church and on what Jesus Christ taught us and is teaching us. Is that an overstatement to where we are?
Dr. Owen Strachan: I don't think it's an overstatement. It's right in line with what John MacArthur, who wrote the foreword to Christianity and Wokeness, has said. He has said, this is the greatest threat to the gospel he's seen in six decades of ministry. Tommy Nelson, a well-regarded pastor in Denton, Texas, I'm sure known to you.
Dr. James Dobson: He's been on this program many times.
Dr. Owen Strachan: I'm sure he has. He has said much the same thing. I think, Dr. Dobson, the way to ground that claim is to recognize this is Marxism. You and I have discussed this a little bit prior, but that is why this is such a threat. People don't understand, especially the younger generation, how bad Marxism is. Marxism is history's most successful bad idea. The hearses trailing Karl Marx and his body of ideas number in the hundreds of millions. Over a hundred million people have died in Marx-driven revolutions and rebellions.
And I think these ideas that you and I are discussing and have been discussing are a remixed form of Marx's ideas. People don't realize that. They think, oh, these people say they're against racism. They say they're for equality and equity, so it must be good. I'm a Christian. I'm for those things. They don't understand that this all has a Marxist foundation that actually divides people from one another. It sets the oppressor against the oppressed and it trains the so-called oppressed person, in this case, racially oppressed people, against the oppressors. White people are read as oppressors, no matter whether they have done something definably racist or not. And that is why, in line with what you said in your mailing, that is why this is such a dire threat because of those deeply anarchist underpinnings.
Dr. James Dobson: It's really interesting that although it comes out of the African-American community, or at least in part, they're opposed to Martin Luther King and what he said and the way he described when he spoke at the Lincoln Memorial in 1963. And what he said there has resonated as a basis for the understanding between the races and they are opposed to it. Explain what's going on there.
Dr. Owen Strachan: Yeah. This is a really fascinating part of wokeness that I uncovered in studying it deeply. People don't know this, but you are dead right, Dr. Dobson. The anti-racist woke movement, so-called, social justice, you can call it different things, actually is severely critical of Martin Luther King because Martin Luther King promoted what is sometimes called colorblindness. In other words, he wanted his children, he famously said, "judged not by the color of their skin, but by the content of their character." And that is sometimes called colorblindness.
Well, the woke argue that that is actually the exact opposite way people should be thought about. Instead of saying, "Well, I don't see color or I don't judge people by the color of their skin," you should recognize that the color of your skin makes you either an oppressor or an oppressed person, according to that Marxist paradigm that Black Lives Matter has claimed explicitly.
And so, Martin Luther King, according to woke voices, is actually the taproot of the problem before us, because Martin Luther King has baptized us all into this naive vision of race and skin color where it doesn't matter, when the woke are trying to convince us that skin color actually matters more than anything. And that is poisonous ideology. That is absolutely antithetical to the gospel. That is the very problem that slavery and Jim Crow promoted. And that shows how it is just foul, Godless ideology that we must reject.
Dr. James Dobson: When you speak along in these terms in evangelical churches, what's the reaction of the people, especially if it's a mixed racial setting? Do people get very angry at you and shout at you? What is the reaction?
Dr. Owen Strachan: Honestly, when I speak in churches, I tend to get very strong, positive responses. Yes, there are some negative responses, there are, but I tend to have people say, "I've been getting hit from every angle in my job and my workplace and my corporate boardroom, in the military, in my college, in my public school, in my church, from the pulpit. And I am so thankful to learn, if I'm a white person, that I'm not a white supremacist, that I'm not inherently guilty of racism just based on my skin color." And if they're a person of color, they're so glad to hear that they actually have gospel unity through the shed blood of Jesus Christ, with all who placed their faith in Jesus Christ. They're thrilled, many of them, to learn that they don't have to hold onto this anger and they don't have to see people as divided from them because of their skin color.
It's fascinating, Dr. Dobson, because the left, the media, is not going to promote people of color who questioned wokeness today, but actually a voice like Voddie Baucham, for example, in evangelical circles is really the strongest voice in recent years against wokeness critical race theory and intersectionality. And voices like Daryl Harrison, Virgil Walker on the Just Thinking podcast, these are men, strong, godly men that the Lord has raised up, who are unequivocal about the evil of wokeness.
And so, I actually think there's a counterrevolution, or even better, a counter-reformation that is happening right now, and much of it is being led by black people. And I give thanks to God for that, because these ideas are not racially conditioned. The truth has no skin color. The truth is God's truth, and many of varying backgrounds and pigmentations know that and believe it.
Dr. James Dobson: So that's why I got so excited about your book, because it is a voice crying in the wilderness. It's encouraging to me to hear you say that there are other voices out there, that there is a counter movement to oppose these Godless Marxist ideas that I'm encouraged to know that there is at least a hope that we can regain our footing here somehow.
Dr. Owen Strachan: Well, I believe there is, Dr. Dobson. We all know, frankly, that oftentimes when evil advances, I mean in force, I mean an army terrible and banners, we tend to think, "Oh no, we're going to need hundreds. We're going to need thousands of voices." And look, we'd love that if we could get it. But really so often in history, including in church history, Christian history, there's not many people who speak up, and yet God uses those humble, humble few, someone like me, a nobody like me. A short, white guy with glasses from Maine, coastal Maine, and yet God convicts me of this issue and blesses me with the time to read up on this. And then, I get to write a book for Salem Books, Christianity and Wokeness. And what happens when just a few people speak up, so many other people are strengthened.
I in no way, compare myself to Winston Churchill, I guess except for by virtue of being short like him. But you think about Churchill in the thirties, when he was one of the only figures, really the only establishment figure in Britain who called Hitler what he was, this evil, tyrannical overlord. And history has completely vindicated Churchill, and a whole movement developed around him by God's grace. So oftentimes we actually don't need thousands of people to speak up. The tide starts to turn with even just a few voices.
And truthfully, honestly, Dr. Dobson, I believe that is happening today. I believe in the church and in society, the tide is starting to turn against wokeness and we are standing with King Jesus. And therefore, we are on the right side of history. There is no doubt about that. And tons of Christians, Dr. Dobson and tons of Americans, if I can generalize in that way, actually enjoy diversity. We're not at each other's throats when you go to the gas station, when you go to Walmart, when you show up at a football game in your local community.
Yeah, there's sin. There's plenty of sin. Let's not misunderstand. But in God's common grace, actually a fair number of people, a lot of people are not bigoted when it comes to people who look different from them. This is part of the evil of this system, if I may. It is whipping us up into a frenzy. This is what Marxist thought does. It creates a conflict.
It's like the person who gets into the boys' table in the lunchroom and creates a conflict out of nowhere, and nobody even realizes it. That's what Karl Marx specialized in, and that's what is happening today. People of color are being set against white people, and it's evil, it's division. It's because there's a devil who tries to divide people in general, and who especially tries to divide the church of Christ. And yeah, I'm here. I am ready to pay the price in taking my small stand against this ideology because it is bankrupt and it is not telling the truth.
Dr. James Dobson: Well, let me refer to your book again. It's called Christianity and Wokeness: How the Social Justice Movement Is Hijacking the Gospel - and the Way to Stop It. Let's talk about those last five, six words, how to stop it. You're making your statement, then I hope that our listeners are paying attention here because it's so critically important, but how can they deal with this? People are intimidated. They're afraid their words will be interpreted as racist. Nobody wants that, or at least in the people that I know and love, and the people in the church, but that's being used to intimidate us. What do you suggest?
Dr. Owen Strachan: Yeah. Great question. Let's go back to your hero and mine, or at least one of them. Let's get Churchillian. Let's not be ready to stand. That's not right. Let's stand now. Let's speak the truth. Let's, in the church, claim the reality that we're not trying for racial reconciliation. It's not on our shoulders. It's already happened. Paul says in Ephesians 2:11-22, that the church is one new man, Jew and Gentile, who had far hotter divisions and far greater hatred for one another. We're united by the blood of Jesus. That is true today. If you are a Christian, you are my brother or my sister. If we will claim that unity, we'll be a long ways down the road to doing what we need to do to oppose this ideology further.
The way to stop this is very simple. It's to speak up. It's to show up at the public school board hearing. It's to talk to your kids' teachers, whether it's public school or private school or Christian school or college or university or Christian college or seminary, whatever it is. Be an engaged father or mother. Don't assume everything is hunky dory in your kid's education. Learn what they're being trained to believe. Have conversations at the dinner table about what the curriculum is teaching them. And if you get a hint that there is this so-called anti-racist sociology working its way into your kids' brains and hearts, then you need to oppose that.
Also, be ready to make the hard decisions. If your church has a pastor who is standing up and talking about white fragility and systemic racism and pervasive inequality and white guilt and white supremacy in the terms that you and I have been discussing, Dr. Dobson, then you need to have a conversation with your elders, with your pastors, and you need to implore them to repent of such teaching and turn away from it. And if they won't, if they do not stop teaching this godless ideology, leave. Leave in a Christian way, but leave in a clear way and find a church that is sound. My overall word of exhortation though is, very simply, take your stand.
Dr. James Dobson: Yeah. Does that mean taking your kids out of public schools if that's what's required?
Dr. Owen Strachan: Absolutely, it does in my mind.
Dr. James Dobson: Does it mean homeschooling for some?
Dr. Owen Strachan: Yeah. I think it's a fantastic time for you to evaluate public school education or any education. If these ideas have seeped into the school system, then I think Christian fathers and mothers need to sit down at the kitchen table when the kids are in bed and have that hard conversation, because life is too short to let our kids be indoctrinated by Godless Marxism.
Dr. James Dobson: I have your book open in front of me. You have a chapter called, "How Wokeness is Entering the Church." How does that happen?
Dr. Owen Strachan: It happens primarily through pulpits, through weak men who are allowing themselves to be taken captive by these lies from the devil. And what happens is that pastors, who in many cases used to preach the word of God, used to preach expository sermons from biblical passages, now start preaching sociology. And listen, even though critical race theory is a complex discipline with its own texts and body of literature and journal articles and et cetera, and so on, the sheep know when their pastor is starting to preach sociological garbage rather than the word of God.
But you don't need a minute of seminary. I heard about a church in Minneapolis where the pastor literally called people from the pulpit, big church, large church, well-known church, to repent of their complicity in white supremacy. And the people were just shocked because that's evil. But here's the good news of that story. They realized that's not found in the word of God, these concepts. This is sociology. This is secular critical race theory. Again, engage your leadership in a gracious way. If they're going to stand on the sinking sand of man's opinions, it's time to go.
Dr. James Dobson: I tell you, I'm sitting here listening to you and I'm cheering in my spirit that somebody's got the courage to say, this is wrong, this is unbiblical, this will destroy us. And it will also destroy your children.
Dr. Owen Strachan: That's exactly right. I did not at all raise my hand five years ago when we started seeing these ideas and ideologies creep into the American bloodstream in the church. I didn't know the extent to which this was a body of Godless ideology. I didn't know. I hadn't read critical race theory books. But I got equipped in successive years, and I believe that this is the generational threat of our time to the Gospel of grace and to the church. Obviously more threats will come, but this is the threat now. And the only way forward is clarity and conviction, speaking the truth in love, Ephesians 4:15. That is our way forward. There's nothing else to do.
Dr. James Dobson: What did publishers say to you when you brought this book to them and they said they didn't want to publish it?
Dr. Owen Strachan: Most publishers said very little. They just indicated a pass, a hard pass. A few, thankfully Christian Focus was willing to, and I'm very thankful for them. And then, yes, Salem Books was the only other one to actually offer. So Christian Focus and Salem. And Salem really had enthusiasm for this project. They had acquired Voddie Baucham's book Fault Lines, an excellent, excellent text, and they saw this as a kind of one-two punch with Voddie Baucham's book. And I pray that those books will work together. And I'm so thankful for Salem Books and their courage, because it is no easy thing to publish an unwoke text in 2021.
Dr. James Dobson: Voddie Baucham is Dean of the School of Divinity at African Christian University, and he's the author of Fault Lines, as you just indicated. This is what he says about your book. "Owen Strachan has done a great service to the church, not only about taking aim at one of the most dangerous foes, wokeness, but also by pointing her again and again to her all-sufficient Savior and head. Few men possessed the mix of intellect, winsomeness, academic rigor, pastoral sensitivity, and raw courage that drips from every page of this book." He is himself African-American, is he not?
Dr. Owen Strachan: He is.
Dr. James Dobson: And he and you have been in touch? You've talked about this?
Dr. Owen Strachan: Yes, we make a very unlikely pairing because Voddie Baucham is a six foot five, former division one tight end in college football, and I'm a five foot seven, glasses-wearing white guy from Maine, 150 pounds dripping wet, so I would not fare well against him on the gridiron. But in matters of truth, much more important things than sports, we are at one. We're not the only ones in the evangelical world who are speaking against this. Tom Buck, Tom Ascol, Josh Vice, John MacArthur, other names I could mention.
But Voddie and I are two of the figures who have had the time, like another man named Jeff Johnson, to write books. Jeff Johnson's book is called What Every Christian Needs to Know about Social Justice, an excellent book. And so, Voddie and I, together with Salem have, have really found a common cause. And we were at the NRB in Dallas a month ago. And man, we were thick as thieves. And it was such a blessing from God to be with this Moses-voiced man who has faced racism in his life, knows that there is real sin out there. And yet, Voddie altogether rejects woke ideology.
Dr. James Dobson: I would like you to consider me part of that common cause. I see things the way you see them and it's a pleasure to have you on the program these two days. I hope that you sell a million copies of this book, and I hope our listeners will go out and get it. I appreciate so much your being with us yesterday and today, and for speaking so boldly on a subject that's controversial because many people don't understand it. You've helped with that understanding.
Dr. Owen Strachan: I am so honored to have talked with you today, and I do count you a fellow comrade in this fight. And I'm so thankful for your legacy of faithfulness and for you taking a stand on a very difficult issue at this stage in your career. I give thanks to God for you. So thank you for having me.
Dr. James Dobson: Well, right is right. And something is biblical and right, you stand for it. If people don't like it, then that's too bad. We have to have the courage of our convictions. Thank you, sir, for being with us. I've enjoyed talking to you. And again, one last time, Christianity and Wokeness: How the Social Justice Movement Is Hijacking, that's an important word, Hijacking the Gospel - and the Way to Stop It. Get a copy. God bless your friends. Say hello to your family for me.
Dr. Owen Strachan: I will, Dr. Dobson. Thank you.
Roger Marsh: You just heard the conclusion of Dr. Dobson's important conversation with Dr. Owen Strachan, author of the book, Christianity and Wokeness: How the Social Justice Movement is Hijacking the Gospel - And the Way to Stop It. This broadcast was another installment in our 2021 Best of Broadcast series. Every day for the next several weeks, we will be airing some of our most popular programs from 2021. You'll hear interviews featuring Dr. Jack Graham, Kim Meeder, Allie Beth Stuckey, and more! Now, if you miss any of these favorite interviews, or if you would like to have your own copy of the entire collection, we've got you covered. Just visit drjamesdobson.org/bestof2021 to request your copy of the entire 6 CD set. It features eighteen interviews in all, and it's yours for a suggested donation of $50 to the Dr James Dobson Family Institute. Again, our web address again is drjamesdobson.org/bestof2021.
Also, during this month of December, thanks to the generosity of some special friends of our ministry, we have a matching grant in place, which means right now, your donation of any amount to the Dr. James Dobson Family Institute will be doubled. It will have twice the impact on families all over the world. To make your donation online, visit drjamesdobson.org. That's D-R James Dobson dot O-R-G, or you can give a gift over the phone when you call (877) 732-6825. Thanks so much for listening to Family Talk today. I'm Roger Marsh. Be sure to join us again next time for another edition of Dr. James Dobson's Family Talk and have a blessed weekend.
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