Having recently taken in documentaries by Matt Walsh and Candace Owens, as well as two Carl Trueman books, all in the span of two days, here’s what I have to say about them.
First, ‘What Is a Woman?’ This film made me both sad and angry for what has been lost, squandered, and even systematically made war against in America and the West over the past century, particularly where such has done so much harm to women and children.
But Matt Walsh and the folks at The Daily Wire did an excellent job here. Walsh comes across as genuinely wanting to listen to what folks who disagree with him have to say, which is a good example to us all. Meanwhile they that Walsh interviews come across as the lunatics and charlatans they are when they refused to agree that women are real, known, and objective quantities, using all manner of dodges to get around the very simple question that makes up the title and premise of the film.
To quote Larry the Cucumber, “I laughed, I cried. It moved me, Bob.”
But what is a cucumber? And do cucumbers exist, or do we just assign them that name at birth in a presumptuous way? Maybe vegetables are a social construct.
Either way, let us set that question aside and talk about red meat for conservatives, like the more recent documentary put out by DW, ‘The Greatest Lie Ever Sold’ with Candace Owens. This one was also good, though not great, in my opinion.
Nevertheless, if you or someone you know still has lingering questions about the legitimacy of the Black Lives Matter movement, or recent allegations of misappropriation of funds by the same, or how George Floyd and Derek Chauvin were portrayed by the media, politicians, and trained activists, there is a benefit to watching Ms. Owens navigate the timeline and interview people in the know about both Floyd’s and Chauvin’s lives prior to the abrupt end of them which has been so much in the public eye in recent years.
Speaking personally, I lost a lot of friends over the BLM, CRT, woke, social justice business, especially since the death of George Floyd; and besides that, several important family relationships were put under immense strain as I tried to write about this. Yet I could not resist, and those who did not want to be reasoned with seemed incapable of resisting either the conclusions they came to.
Remember that there weren’t just insinuations of racism casually thrown at anyone who questioned the Leftist mainstream media narrative. There were those, but also lives were lost; businesses were destroyed; communities were ravaged; and the social fabric of America was torn in two about it.
Owens focuses a lot of time on how the $80 million donated to BLM has been spent. And, yes, it is shocking and scandalous that Patrisse Cullors and others have purchased lavish mansions or themselves in some of the wealthiest neighborhoods in America. Yet the underlying claim at the heart of BLM and the George Floyd riots was always a lie, however well or poorly the money was appropriated.
Peddled by mercenaries, anarchists, trained activists, mountebanks, sycophants, and the brainwashed masses who were either unwilling or unable to stop and question the evidence, Critical Race Theory has always been the real scandal here. Therefore, there was no way in which the money could have been spent that would not have been fraudulent, given the premise on which the donations were solicited and made. So I wish more time had been spent on that, though what was produced instead will surely be worthwhile for some who need reasons to question CRT before they’ll be ready to dig into why it’s a fundamentally flawed and defective analytical tool.
Speaking of analytical tools, I read ‘Strange New World’ by Carl Trueman later in the same day as I watched Candace Owens documentary. So I have at least two words for you from that, and those two words are ‘Social Imaginary.’
What that is, which Trueman talks about for a good bit in this book, you could do worse than this 12-minute YouTube video of Ellie Hain explaining on the channel ‘The World We Create,’ not least because she has an absolutely gorgeous accent.
Yet the short version is that, where all was theological before, when theology was “Queen of the Sciences,” now all is politics, economics, and psychology, as the upending of the old world order necessitates secularizing and personalizing everything.
For those who also read ‘Rise and Triumph of the Modern Self’ by Trueman, a lot of what is in this book will be familiar, but not tedious for its repetition or rephrasing, as there is new info and analysis mixed in here.
For instance, Trueman tells of a recent conversation with his friend and fellow Christian intellectual, academic, and author, Rod Dreher, concluding that we ought not to be either overly optimistic or fatalistic about the bleak circumstances facing the American Church. Rather, it is good to hope, and to put our hope in Christ, and to continue striving to be faithful to God in building up and strengthening our families and local churches in the timeless truths of God’s Word, come what may.
And to think that Mark Noll wrote his famous book criticizing evangelical Americans for not engaging the culture, and not cultivating their intellects. “The scandal of the evangelical mind is that there’s not much of one,” he famously said. But according to Carl Trueman, ‘The Real Scandal of the Evangelical Mind’ is that there’s not much of an evangelical. As he says, this is because we can’t seem to agree about what the evangel is, but neither are we free to openly disagree and debate our differences, lest in doing so we break up coalitions which are deemed useful politically, socially, and economically.
Christian pastors, teachers, professors, authors, and intellectuals have for decades been undermining their testimony and witness, not so much by opting out of spaces they are either thrown out of or not invited to in the first place. But where works like Noll’s shift the onus from those who are gatekeeping institutions on the basis of theological liberalism and secularization to those who are being locked out, further delaying rectification of the fatal error, Trueman assigns the blame where it belongs, back on the liberals and secularists whose conclusions are forgone that conservatives have nothing to contribute and should therefore not be allowed a respectable seat at the table.
It’s like a big brother who’s so much stronger than his little brother saying “Stop hitting yourself” as he clubs him with his own hand. And just like in that too-familiar plight, there is no point in explaining to the bigger boy that he is actually the one hitting us, since he knows full-well what he is doing. Rather, the only thing for it is to either hit him back, get away, or find someone bigger than him who is willing to help.
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