Trueman: The Goal Of Critical Theory Is The Destruction Of Transcendent Truth

The essay reminded me of the many years I spent trying to understand the various approaches to culture that fall under the umbrella term of Critical Theory. Queer Theory is one of the most significant of these approaches. Wading through the pretentiously written and interminably opaque prose always left me wondering: What exactly is the endgame here? What do these people want in terms of positive philosophical and political construction? I eventually concluded that the answer was really quite simple: The purpose of critical theory is not to establish anything at all. Rather, it is to destabilize as potentially oppressive any claim to transcendent truth or value. Its target is the destruction of all metanarratives, and thus the bombastically rebarbative prose is itself part of the “argument.” Leaving readers hopelessly confused about even the simplest things is an important part of the game, pellucid simplicity being one way the oppressors made their oppression seem natural.

Carl Trueman,Queer Times.”


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  • R. Scott Clark
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    R.Scott Clark is the President of the Heidelberg Reformation Association, the author and editor of, and contributor to several books and the author of many articles. He has taught church history and historical theology since 1997 at Westminster Seminary California. He has also taught at Wheaton College, Reformed Theological Seminary, and Concordia University. He has hosted the Heidelblog since 2007.

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  1. I thought the article interesting, but not entirely novel. After all he is describing anarchism in an academic venue, not unlike the anarchism being pursued in many cities in our country. Of course it will continue, and likely, escalate. The public is now “ready” to have their way of life burned down and rebuilt along the new lines … whatever they are. This is of course, the real goal: burn the house down.

    But aside from that, tthe best part of the article is his use of vocabulary – I got 4 new words I had never read before!

  2. Thank you for posting Carl Trueman’s review of Darel Paul’s, ‘Under the Rainbow Banner.” The analysis raises the question: how do we, Christians, engage people in a cultural crisis that rejects the Gospel, the Power of God for the Salvation of those who believe. I know it begins with prayer, and must rely on the Holy Spirit, but we also must know and understand the crisis.

    I appreciate Carl Trueman’s closing statement: ‘Therein lies our challenge. And the first step in meeting it is to make sure that Christians are aware of exactly what we are facing. The debate over LGBTQ issues is not a debate about sexual behavior. I suspect it is not really at this point a debate with the L, the G, or the B. It is the T and the Q that are carrying the day, and we need to understand that the debate is about the radical abolition of metaphysics and metanarratives and any notion of cultural stability that might rest thereupon. Until we clarify that and adjust our strategy of engagement accordingly, we cannot develop the arguments needed to persuade our fellow Christians of the truth, let alone anyone else. Given this, Darel Paul’s article is most welcome as a signal contribution in pointing us in the right direction.”

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