Trueman: The Psalms Are Better For What Ails Us Than Critical Race Theory

Does critical race theory contain some truths? Yes. Neil Shenvi recently pointed this out. Does it offer helpful insights that cannot be better found elsewhere? I have yet to see any. Indeed, I consider the Psalter itself to offer a far better way, in terms of metanarrative, method, and mood, of addressing the experience of the church in exile in a fallen world. So why not root our critical theory of society and justice in the Psalter? More disturbing, CRT seems increasingly to be used as a means of avoiding basic demands of Christian discipleship, such as love for fellow Christians, regardless of skin color (Ps. 15:1–3).

In the real world beyond the undergraduate seminar room, reputations are ruined, careers are destroyed, and lives are shattered by slander. If your approach to interpreting the world leads you to call someone a racist who isn’t one, if it leads you to disparage the faith of fellow Christians simply on the basis of their skin color, or if it allows you to feel justified in insinuating that a policeman is akin to James Earl Ray before you have access to the facts of the case, then you are not behaving in a manner consistent with biblical ethics—whether that is the result of your metanarrative, method, or mood. And when the fog of academic obfuscation clears, it really is as simple as that. Read more»

Carl R. Trueman, “Critical Psalm Theory,” First Things (May 14, 2021)


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