Pastor, do you have time to read the near 500 pages of Critical Race Theory: The Key Writings That Formed the Movement?” Maybe you have time between weekly sermon preparation, pastoral responsibilities, and any administrative tasks that accompany your particular ministry setting. Try as we might to be aware and versed in every developing subject, it is not possible.
Think of it like this. Many of us entered seminary with the goal of learning the Biblical languages. We enter small church pastorates where the time needed to translate and exegete those passages diminished as we served as preacher, pastor, music leader, and discipleship coordinator while giving time to our families. Bible software like Accordance and Logos provide us with quick tools, shortcuts, to those textual resources. We trust the developers to take account of the most recent scholarship with regular updates of our preferred Greek New Testament, for example. Should we learn their product offers shoddy parsing or less than robust dictionary entries, we look elsewhere; or not.
At this point we are assigning those sources with an authority on which we plan sermons, Bible studies, and other writing where we will take up textual nuance as important. We do this with other subjects about which we know little.
Take for instance the current controversies circulating around Critical Race Theory. We look for those from whom we may learn since we don’t have the time to give to reading original sources. What matters is who we choose as our authority on the subject. If our authority has never read an original source then maybe we should look for another.
Enter Bradly Mason. The pandemic gave Mason the opportunity to give a year to reading original sources related to Critical Race Theory. EDIT: Bradly has been writing on Critical Theory and Critical Race Theory for at least two years. This past year provided more time than usual given the pandemic restrictions. It should also be noted here that per my last podcast episode with Carl Raschke, Critical Theory and Critical Race Theory have different genealogies (origins). Armed with a degree in philosophy and logic he has assessed the brouhaha over CRT and found it lacking in substantive critique. The issue: many are critiquing something about which they know too little. As you will find in our first conversation, it seems quite an ethical tar baby to at once offer a critique of something you read about from secondary sources who utilize ideas for an altogether different purpose.
Think of bearing false witness. Mason wants no part of breaking that commandment, even if @Asloacarpenter has been accused of such in the Twitterverse. Most of the pushback on Mason has come from those who have read his articles. And, it is also true that his critics have inspired him to respond with posts that address specific issues.
Here are some places you may find Bradly’s writing:
Bradly Mason’s personal website: https://alsoacarpenter.com
Front Porch Series on CRT begins here: The Christian and Critical Race Theory (A Series)
Bradly Mason on Twitter
If you find the podcast helpful, share it with your friends. Share it with your pastor friends as well as folks you know involved in leadership that touches on the pastoral. Also, consider heading over to iTunes, login, search for patheological and give us a five-star rating and a kind review.
2 comments on “The Dangers of Mediating Ideas: A Conversation with Bradly Mason”