Christianity and Critical Race Theory
A Faithful and Constructive Conversation
"People interested in critical race theory and Christians concerned about faith integration and social justice will find this book to be very helpful."--Library Journal
Critical race theory has become a lightning rod in contemporary American politics and evangelical Christianity. This irenic book offers a critical but constructive and sympathetic introduction written from a perspective rooted in Scripture and Christian theology. The authors take us beyond caricatures and misinformation to consider how critical race theory can be an analytical tool to help us understand persistent inequality and injustice--and to see how Christians and churches working for racial justice can engage it in faithful and constructive ways.
The authors explore aspects of critical race theory that resonate with well-trod Christian doctrine but also that challenge or are corrected by Christian theology. They also address the controversial connection that critics see between critical race theory and Marxism. Their aim is to offer objective analysis and critique that go beyond the debates about social identity and the culture wars and aid those who are engaging the issues in Christian life and ministry. The book includes a helpful glossary of key terms.
Introduction: Critical Race Theory in Christianity
1. Creation: Community Cultural Wealth and the Glory and Honor of the Nations
2. Fall: Sin and Racism--the Ordinary Businesses of Society
3. Redemption: Critical Race Theory in Institutions
4. Consummation: The Beloved Community
Conclusion: Made to Be Image Bearers
"This book should be required reading for anyone seeking to explore the intersection of critical race theory and Christian Scripture. With the erudition of scholars and the care of pastors, Romero and Liou helpfully demystify the basic tenets of CRT, critique popular misconceptions, and highlight various points of resonance (and dissonance) with biblical truth. Firmly anchored in singularly Christian eschatological hope, Christianity and Critical Race Theory adds much-needed light to a public conversation that tends to be defined by the dimness of ignorance and the heat of reactionary culture-war passions."
Duke Kwon, coauthor of Reparations: A Christian Call for Repentance and Repair
"In Christianity and Critical Race Theory, Romero and Liou provide the first comprehensive, insightful, and timely story of the connection between Christian theology, Scripture, and critical race theory. This book is a significant contribution to the fields of critical race theory and liberation theology. Critical race scholars today and in the future will be served by this gift."
Daniel G. Solórzano, professor, University of California, Los Angeles
"Many Christians say, 'All truth is God's truth.' Robert Chao Romero and Jeff Liou heartily agree and invite us to consider how critical race theory contains important truths that help us understand the complexities of racism in our society. No mere apologetic, this book models how to have both deep appreciation and thoughtful critique while also seeking deep faithfulness to God and a faithful witness to the fullness of the gospel in our world. Instead of letting the winds of hype sway us one way or another, we should walk forward with clarity, courage, and hope."
Vincent Bacote, Wheaton College
"We need this book, and I hope it is widely read! Although there is angry rhetoric on both sides of this controversy, these authors carefully--and wisely--go after the truth."
Richard Mouw, senior research fellow, Paul B. Henry Institute for the Study of Christianity and Politics, Calvin University
"When tricky questions come up about critical race theory, Romero and Liou are the first people that I turn to. Their deep commitment to theological reflection and their nuanced understanding about race make them reliable, insightful, and helpful guides. Sidestepping the cultural mines that make conversations around race tricky, Romero and Liou help readers understand the larger dynamics, orient them in Christian ways, provide helpful insights, and bring clarity to complicated topics. Thank you for this resource!"
Nikki Toyama-Szeto, executive director, Christians for Social Action
"Romero and Liou combine their expertise and scholarship with decades of pastoral insight to help us as readers understand the intersection of biblical ideas and the tools offered by critical race theory. This deeply nuanced Christian reflection is desperately needed for the divisive time in which we find ourselves."
Sandra María Van Opstal, pastor, activist, author, and founder of Chasing Justice
"Based on several decades of interdisciplinary research, [the authors] find critical race theory to be a helpful tool in illuminating how racism in the United States has been systemic and structural, privileging those who are white. Yet the authors also write as committed Christians wanting to integrate these insights into a theological framework or a Christian worldview. . . . They argue that Christianity can provide resources that support and contribute toward racial justice. . . . People interested in critical race theory and Christians concerned about faith integration and social justice will find this book to be very helpful."
"A timely and invaluable contribution to our current national discussion on and about Critical Race Theory . . ., [this book] deserves the widest readership possible and is unreservedly recommended reading for clergy, seminary students, academia, political activists, and non-specialist general readers with an interest in the subject. . . . An essential and core addition to community, seminary, and academic library Religious Ethics, Social Issues, and Contemporary Race Relations collections and supplemental curriculum studies lists."
MBR: Wisconsin Bookwatch
"[Romero and Liou] are trustworthy sources on what CRT actually is, and Christianity and Critical Race Theory is a very helpful, and readable, primer. More importantly, their new book is an immense gift to the church."
Joshua E. Livingston,
Englewood Review of Books
"This is the first major book to read about CRT, bar none. . . . This really is the first comprehensive exploration from a theologically-informed, biblically-shaped, discerningly thoughtful Christian perspective and it is a masterpiece of good thinking and good writing."
Hearts and Minds Booknotes