Allow me to start with a little historical fiction. I think most historians of American history in the 19th century would agree with me here. If Jackson had not been killed by friendly fire in early May at Chancellorsville, and had been present to lead his troops the first day at Gettysburg, the battle would have been very different. Historians recognize that the men who took his place were not nearly as eagle-eyed, or aggressive, as Jackson, and it was these men who plainly failed on the first day of the battle to take the high ground on the Confederate left, hence allowing the Union troops to secure that position and control the field, anchored on two sides on “the high ground.” The resultant grave error by Lee in ordering the charge on the third day broke the back of the Confederate forces, from which they never recovered.
It is obvious why high ground mattered in 19th century warfare. It is hard to send troops uphill against withering fire coming down from above. But there is another advantage we do not think of as much anymore as we have become accustomed to accurate maps, aerial pictures, even drones. The high ground gave you the advantage of sight. You could see the best routes of advancement, and you could see the enemy coming before he could see you. Having the high ground did not always mean you would win, but more often than not, it was the key to victory.
Revelational High Ground
Ever since I graduated from Fuller Theological Seminary back in the 1980s I have pondered the incoherence of the left, and that specifically on the topic of the nature of Scripture. I had many professors—well, almost all of my professors at Fuller—who were to my left. Some were tremendous teachers and I learned much from them. But I could never understand how they could, on one hand, plainly profess their faith in Christ, their dependence upon His saving work, while at the same time functionally saying that Jesus’ view of Scripture was, well, naïve. Most just did not touch the subject but chose to just “live” with the “tension” (another common term at Fuller in those days). But I think others had thought it through and saw where that road lead: the only way to rescue Jesus from naïveté was to blame the authors of Scripture for it; that is, you had to say, “Jesus did not hold those old views of Scripture, and probably knew better, but the writers of Scripture did not know better, so they put those views into Jesus’ mouth.” Once you take the first step down that road, history shows us, there is no turning back.
In today’s world—the world of naturalism, the world of atheism, the world of mankind as nothing but a cosmic accident, no transcendent meaning, no final judgment, everything is random chance—there is no revelation, there is no guidance, there is nothing above the mind of man. The light that flowed from the empty tomb that gave guidance and direction to the development of Western nations has, for the elite of our day, been extinguished by (ironically) the “Enlightenment,” which, in hindsight, was the Endarkment, presuppositionally speaking. The abandonment of the Christian worldview, which had so deeply influenced the entirety of human thought (however inconsistently it was applied), was slow in bringing about its inevitable result. Darwin’s advent accelerated the process greatly, and provided the key to finally unlocking society-wide atheism. It provided a naturalistic “revelation,” a claim to wisdom that, when it is played out, destroys knowledge.
The indoctrination system globally (what we used to call the educational system, but it stopped working that way years ago) is meant to blunt the sense of the divine, to dull the natural desire for a word from God, and most importantly for our day, to cause mankind to despair of finding consistency and harmony in creation itself. That is, mankind made its greatest advancements when functioning upon the foundational reality that there is purpose, harmony, consistency, and unity because there is a Creator and His creation is coherent. This presuppositional starting point allowed man, as God’s creature, to think His thoughts after Him.
The View in the Valley
Darwin showed man the path to the valley, so that now we are surrounded by high mountains that limit our views to the chaotic, the anarchic, the natural, the material. Who could have imagined that eventually man would think the greatest wisdom is to view himself as a bag of fizzing chemicals with no future, no past, and no meaning? But here we are, and surely we are reaping what the descent into the valley has sown.
This brief recounting of the great descent has a purpose. It is all the rage now to, well, rage against critical theory in all its forms, though, mainly, CRT, Critical Race Theory. But the reality is “critical theory” as a system is an epistemological cancer that, in hindsight, was an inevitable mutation of the disease of naturalistic materialism. What defines critical theory in its application? Whatever you put between that “c” and that “t” is doomed, and that purposefully. Why? Because of the source, the well-spring of the system of thought. To be a critical theorist is to begin with the presupposition of disunity. You can create “intersectionality” only because you can do away with purpose, unity, and harmony. You break everything down into its constituent parts and emphasize disconnectedness because the worldview that gives critical theory birth has no place for divine purpose, divine unity, and a divine goal. Fizzing accidental chemical reactions cannot provide a foundation for unity and harmony, hence critical theory is a destructive but expected mutation that flows naturally from the rebellion against divine order that is the rage of the day.
Whatever you subject to critical theory, that is, whatever you put between the “c” and the “t,” is doomed to atomization because God Himself has been banned from that space. Put race in the doomed space and every human loses the status of a common humanity; you cannot have commonality and unity between ethnicities, but what is worse, you cannot have it within them either, for further categories exist for more division, more disunity, until man is atomized down to the individual. Put gender in that space and the resultant insanity is now our every day experience and the most basic categories of human existence (and necessary continuance) are destroyed. Put the law there and anarchy ensues. And so it goes. Whatever field of human endeavor and study you wish to destroy, put it between the “c” and the “t” and it will disappear as quickly as water on a sidewalk in Phoenix in June.
The Cross on the Hilltop
Thankfully, we do not have to stay in the valley. Right now, of course, those profiting from imprisonment in the dark valley of critical theory are doing everything they can to keep us all here with them. But look up: there is a cross on the hilltop. Christ is the great unifier because Christ is the Creator, the God-man. In Him, the Incarnate One, the eternal meets the temporal, holiness meets mercy, grace overflows. Notice how the Christian message is the opposite of that of critical theory:
He is before all things, and in Him all things hold together.Colossians 1:17
The purpose of critical theory is to break everything apart. Christ holds all things together. He is the One in whom unity, harmony, and purpose is to be found. Critical theory, then, is fundamentally, inalterably, definitionally anti-Christ, for its ultimate purpose is to undo what Christ accomplishes.
Our calling in these dark and difficult days is to point to the cross on the hilltop, to set out on the tough climb, to bring our families along with us, to teach our children about the beauty and value of the cross on the hilltop, and to exhort everyone to join us in moving toward the cross. A great flood is coming to the valley, from which there will be no escape. We must leave the valley of the shadow of critical theory death to find the light of life in the Incarnate One. In His majestic person we will find that which brings true unity, true peace, true harmony.