Concerns About Dr. Matthew Hall and Critical Race Theory
This webpage is concerned with the penetration of Marxist ideology into the evangelical church. The example provided below represents thousands of similar circumstances in academia and the pastorate, whereby the “woke” individuals seem unable to discern the negative impact of that ideology on themselves, or the people – students, peers, church members, public – that they influence.
The promotion of Dr. Matthew Hall to Provost of Southern Baptist Theological Seminary (SBTS) in 2019 was protested by some on the faculty, in part with the accusation that he promoted Critical Race Theory (CRT). Several of the SBTS faculty members who expressed their concerns about his promotion were terminated by the seminary in the Spring of 2020.
(If you are unfamiliar with some of the details of Critical Race Theory, here’s a fairly brief tutorial.)
In late May of 2020, an interview of one of the fired faculty members was posted on YouTube:
Within two days of that posting, the Seminary released an interview of Dr. Hall wherein among other things he stated that CRT was not compatible with scripture:
[Note that this video is queued to where the discussion turns to CRT.]
Example of Dr. Hall Speaking in CRT Terms
However, Dr. Hall seems to contradict his rejection of Biblical support for CRT when discussing matters dealing with race among students and peers. The following 44 second clip from a video focusing on Dr. Hall was posted in 2019. The question at hand is whether or not he is unconsciously exhibiting his acceptance of Critical Race Theory in what he expresses.
An annotated transcript in bold italics follows the video.
Here’s the transcript from this video where Dr. Hall confesses that he is a racist (my comments in bold italics):
…think more Biblically. And what I mean by that is: I have a pretty historic and I think Pauline or Biblical view of the power of sin. The problem is a lot worse than we think. What I mean by that is both individually, like: I am a racist. Ok, so if that freaks you out, if you think the worst thing someone can call you is a racist, then you’re not thinking Biblically. [In other videos, Dr. Hall is seen talking passionately to black students, and he seems greatly sympathetic to disadvantages that have accrued for blacks from actual and great past sins committed by some whites such as slavery and Jim Crow. It seems unlikely that someone who is actually in their heart a “racist” would care about that terrible history. Yet he says that he struggles with racism in his heart. What might be the case is that he has overly internalized the CRT dictum that whites are irredeemably racist.] Because, guess what? I am going to struggle with racism and White Supremacy until the day I die and get my glorified body, and a completely renewed and sanctified mind. Because I am immersed in a culture where I benefit from racism all the time. [Dr. Hall seems to conclude that he is a racist in part because he supposedly profits from what he labels “White Supremacy”. Again, that’s a CRT dictum, that whites suffer from a kind of “original sin” that is exclusive to their race. In sub-Saharan African countries where a few non-blacks reside, it is unlikely that black Christians struggle with racism and Black Supremacy until the day they die. CRT posits that only whites can be racist. Also, while Dr. Hall says he benefits from racism all the time, is it really racism? Or is it another example of internalizing a CRT dictum? Isn’t it simply that he lives in a multi-ethnic society where there are advantages to being a member of the majority ethnicity? That might be an advantage, but it’s difficult to associate that advantage with personal sin.]
A dark thought might be that by confessing that he is a racist he is actually performing a kind of virtue signaling, perhaps because he deeply wants to confess to his black colleagues and students that as a white person his supposed “racism” is part of the “racial divide” problem. Further, I’m guessing that he teaches his white students to feel the same way. The confession of racism against blacks by whites is happening throughout Western academia, where Marxist ideology including CRT is taught, essentially unopposed.
However, what does Dr. Hall do with black students who support the thinking of conservative blacks such as Candace Owens or Larry Elder, and thus maintain that they are NOT victims? As part of his penance for his sin of racism, does he attempt to persuade those conservative black students that they are wrong, and should understand that they really are victimized by whites? At least that would be consistent, even if somewhat evil.
This is not the only example of what appears to be internalization by Dr. Hall of CRT concepts while insisting that the ideology is unbiblical. Consider another video where three SBTS professors who seemingly support CRT are meeting with a group of seminary students:
[The transcription below starts at 5:41 – Dr. Matthew Hall is speaking mostly to the white students]:
Transcript (my comments in bold italics):
Everything that you assumed or thought was normal in the world, everything you thought about your tradition, your denomination, your own family, there’s a whole…I’m going to pull the veil back. And what looked like this beautiful narrative of faithfulness and orthodoxy and truth and righteousness and justice? I’m going to peel that back and I’m going to show you the rotting corpse of White Supremacy that’s underneath that surface. [Quite a blanket indictment. Is that REALLY the case? Is it everywhere? What statistics support that accusation? Tradition? Denomination? Family? All white Christian families are rotting corpse white Supremacists when you really peel back the veil? No exceptions? It’s quintessential Marxist Class Guilt, and it’s difficult to see where there is Biblical support for that assessment. However, once again it appears to be an additional internalizing of a CRT dictum by Dr. Hall. What is distressing is that he seems to be laying a CRT-influenced “guilt trip” on his impressionable young white students, who themselves most likely have been indoctrinated for many years in Marxist-dominated public schools.]
But I think it’s clear we will as joint heirs of Christ we will exercise a ruling with Christ in the age to come, and that power will not be allocated in ways to make you comfortable. [Make all whites uncomfortable? Wouldn’t that vary from person to person? And why would it necessarily have anything to do with race? It’s unfortunate that his students have to once again be subjected to what appears to be CRT-influenced thinking.] So it’s not going to be, “well, you get to retain more power because you’re a part of the white majority, and you get a little less power because you’re the black or the brown minority. [More CRT-influenced thinking. There’s so much wickedness in the world today, much of it from the Marxist Left. Christians need all the help they can get. Students of any color should not be shamed by CRT concepts. It’s too bad that Dr. Hall cannot find anything negative to say about CRT to the students, even though in his interview above, he states that CRT is not based on scripture.] So you might as well just live now, preparing yourself for the age to come, in your local church ministries. So how can you look for ways – under the authority of scripture – what God plainly and clearly states to be required and proscripted for the local church. But outside of that, how can you actively seek to share power with your brothers and sisters in Christ? [Power! That’s it. CRT is about power. The way Dr. Hall expresses himself, the assumption is that whites are powerful and blacks are not. Thus, the whites must be magnanimous and share “their power”. Again, CRT. Blacks as powerless victims. How defeating. Why not let God direct? Let the Holy Spirit call the shots. Let hierarchies of competence rule. Of course, CRT forbids such hierarchies.]
In the analyses above, what seems apparent is that even as Dr. Hall (in the May 27 Southern Seminary interview) decries Critical Race Theory and similar, he has actually internalized their beliefs, for example in his repeated use of the term “White Supremacy”. There is serious disconnect, and it is not helpful for true racial understanding and reconciliation, in part because Critical Race Theory is about power and not racial harmony.
Finally, the greatest problem is that when white people – who are otherwise kind and sympathetic – confess their “racism” to supposedly help with racial reconciliation, they are causing real and lasting damage to the people that – I think – they really care about, because it reinforces a victim mentality that is perhaps the most debilitating problem of all for many blacks. If Dr. Hall is “racist” simply because he’s white, and he is speaking as a Christian leader, then what could be more damaging for racial reconciliation?
It’s painful to listen to Dr. Hall as he passionately indoctrinates students in some of the essence of Critical Race Theory, while in the interview setting publicly disavowing the ideology. And he’s not the only one who teaches one thing and lives another. The Evangelical movement is being spilt apart over various “woke” initiatives. In reality, are these Marxist concepts not the 1 Tim. 4:1 “doctrines of demons”?
The problem is not “White Supremacy”, it’s “Marxist Supremacy”. There is no longer “Systemic Racism” in the US, but there is growing and seemingly permanently installed “Systemic Marxism”. How many decades might it take to de-program millions of teachers, and replace thousands of textbooks? Not to mention all the millions of students that they have indoctrinated.
Wherever Marxism gains ascendancy, there is evil, mayhem, totalitarianism, death. Yet it is now on the ascendancy even in Christian Higher Education, including seminaries. What is needed is a de-Marxification process set in motion, similar to the de-Nazification programs undertaken in Europe after WWII. There is no reason why that process couldn’t begin immediately within the Evangelical movement. Then the techniques employed and materials produced could be adapted for the wider culture. Why not start with the Body of Christ?
A Heuristic Construct of What Is Labeled “White Supremacy”
It is suggested that what Critical Race Theory attributes to White Supremacy is actually Judeo-Christian Supremacy; namely, the more “Christian” individuals are, and the more of them that there are in a nation or an ethnic group, combined with the more that Christian concepts are manifested in cultural norms, the more “successful” those societies/cultures become. If that is the case, then where did the “white” aspect of Christianity originate?
Since Christianity started in Jerusalem, which directions would be most favorable for its spreading? I think two factors are VERY important: geography and climate.
Which direction would be easiest to travel long distances? To the West, by boat, in the Mediterranean. Not too hot, and not too cold. To the East and South of Jerusalem? Desert. To the North? Mountains, and cold. Sure, to the Northwest, there would ultimately be the Alps, but you’re getting closer to the Atlantic Ocean, and its moderating effect. Straight North? Too cold. Northeast? Siberia. Also, on the Mediterranean, to the South? The Sahara. To the North from the Mediterranean, the Atlantic is your friend.
Finally, with the emergence of Islam in the 7th century and their ultimate conquest of North Africa and the Mideast , it would seem that Western Europe was the “best” place for Christianity to thrive, influenced by favorable geography and climate, and not by “race”. And there were already dynasties there in Greece and Rome. Melanin count for the people? Low. Lower than the Mideast, even.
Thus the most successful Christian communities were European, and they were white. Yes, the missionary movements ultimately spread Christianity around the globe, but they mostly came from Europe, and then VERY RECENTLY (last couple hundred years) from the Americas, especially North America.
White people. Geography and Climate, plus Greek thought and Roman roads prior to the Christian era. Christian Supremacy. But mostly white.
Of course there has been plenty of sin in ALL races/ethnicities. American slavery, for example, as well as Islamic slave traders.
The Smithsonian Museum of African American History and Culture Folies
In July of 2020, attention was called to the removal of a display at this museum which described traits of White culture, which by inference suggested that these traits were absent in Black culture:
- hard work
- delayed gratification
- being on time
- reliance on the scientific method
- rugged individualism
- the nuclear family
Here are links to a couple videos that provide sad details:
One would think from its content that this display was produced by white racists, but in fact it was the product of Marxists who support Critical Race Theory (CRT). In another presentation, similar traits (i.e., “white” traits) were characterized as “the master’s tools”.
Incidentally, even though this particular display was removed, the remainder of the museum is in conformity with CRT ideology.
Also in mid-2020, a scathing review in The Atlantic of white Leftist Robin D’Angelo’s “White Fragility” by black Libertarian academic John McWhorter highlights the infantilization of blacks that CRT actual teaches.
It’s actually unbelievable that the creators and maintainers of Critical Race Theory support such demeaning views of black culture.
What is Needed?
But it’s even more unbelievable that confessing, believing Christians who are highly placed in academia and the pulpit nevertheless want to be as “woke” as possible, thereby being active participants in the promotion of what surely are doctrines of demons. And added to that is the fact that some of the harshest recent criticism of all the Critical Theories come from atheists, as seen for example in an October 2020 interview with two “Grievance Scholars” by Evangelical Christian Charlie Kirk, or in a series of interviews in 2019 by Sovereign Nations.
Note that an October 2020 Sovereign Nations conference entitled “The Great Awokening” exposes the drastic inroads that Marxist thinking has made into the Evangelical church, also includes one of the Grievance Scholars as a speaker.
It’s difficult to imagine how the current ascendancy of Marxist thought in the US can be dealt with. But as noted above, surely the one place to start would be with the Evangelical church, where the Marxist propaganda has been so powerfully creative that it appears that even some of the Elect have been deceived.
Note that there’s plenty of material available, including videos, books, articles and conservative institutions such that re-education efforts could be undertaken with material already readably available.
Clearly, this re-education must start with prayer, and be guided all along the way by the Holy Spirit, but we cannot remain inactive.
Finally, what should happen in situations such has been outlined above at SBTS? Obviously the first step is for the Seminary to commit to consideration of Marxist ideology as an anathema. And that will require a related commitment to allow discerning points of view to be considered and internalized. What would be the impact if a Dr. Hall would one day realize his damaging use of CRT concepts, and publicly repent? What would be even better would be if black faculty (who have also apparently internalized CRT) would do the same?
If some kind of turnaround does not take place, the future for the Seminary and thus the denomination would be dismal indeed. Mixing the Gospel with doctrines of demons can only lead to disaster.