Although many people may not be familiar with terms like critical race theory (CRT), critical social justice (CSJ), or their grandfather, critical theory, they will recognize its presence in the pervading culture of the day. From the omniscience of Black Lives Matter (BLM), the politicization of sports, and the firing of academic professors or canceling of popular figures like Piers Morgan, Chris Harrison, and Sharon Osbourne- the underlying tectonic shift of which Fault Lines bases its metaphorical name can be felt everywhere.
Baucham’s book then is the perfect tome for people who have felt this underlying shift in the culture, particularly in the church, yet lack the ability to verbalize what feels so off about it. Through a mixture of storytelling, data, and Scripture, Baucham outlines perfectly the origins of CRT/CSJ, their core tenets, and their absolute incompatibility with the Bible.
Baucham writes with an easy, straightforward style, a tone that seeks not to “destroy, but to expose,” (230). It posits a reconciliatory voice, laced with the warning of a forthcoming and (unfortunately) inevitable split. As Baucham puts it, “This book, among many other things, is a plea to the Church. I believe we are being duped by an ideology bent on our demise. This ideology has used our guilt and shame over America’s past, our love for our brethren, and our good and godly desire for reconciliation and justice as a means through which to introduce destructive heresies. We cannot embrace, modify, baptize, or Christianize these ideologies. We must identify, resist, and repudiate them” (204).
Fault Lines is a well thought out treatise that examines the origins of these heresies, the nature of their heretical leanings, and their goals within anti-racism literature, or the “new canon,” as Baucham refers to them. Those new to this discussion will come away from the book packed with knowledge, and with a very long reading least in pursuit of further study.
Those who have been more familiar with Dr. Baucham and his fight against “cultural marxism” and “ethnic gnosticism,” will be more familiar with some of the background information he provides, yet will gain a deeper insight from his many statistics, citations, and plethora of Scripture. And, although the book is aimed at issues of the church, it would be a valid resource for anyone who has watched cancel culture and attacks on America’s foundations with a growing sense of dread.
Fault Lines provides much needed insight, with the caveat of a bittersweet truth: the split between those who accept, either implicitly or explicitly, the worldview of critical race theory and those who hold to the sufficiency of Scripture is inevitable; what matters is knowing which side you will land on. “As I said at the outset, the goal here is to be on the right side of the fault line when the catastrophe comes,” writes Baucham. On the one side is antiracism and the new religion of “doing the work” and of life long white guilt, paid for by endless iterations of reparations.
On the other side, is a side of forgiveness and peace made possible only by the power and Spirit of Christ: “I forgave the Africans who took my ancestors’ freedom. I forgave the Americans who bought and exploited them. I forgave the family that replaced my identity with their German name. I just forgave! I did not harbor any ill will. I did not feel entitled to any apologies or reparations… I couldn’t but remember Joseph’s words: ‘As for you, you meant evil against me, but God meant it for good, to bring it about that many people should be kept alive, as they are today,’ (Genesis 50:20),” (228). One cannot imagine Jemar Tisby, Latasha Morrison, Robin DiAngelo, or Ibram X Kendi writing these words. They are filled with the Spirit, a spirit that will not reside in the empty, anti-Christian doctrine of CRT that Baucham lays out.
An important and enlightening read, Fault Lines is the quintessential starting point for beginners and seasoned alike for discernment in confusing times. As Baucham admonishes towards the end of his book: “Recognize the difference between the voice of the Good Shepherd who calls you to love all the sheep and the voice of the enemy that tells you some of them are guilty, blind, ignorant oppressors and that others are oppressed- all based on their melanin.” (231).