Owen Strachan, Christianity and Wokeness: How the Social Justice Movement is Hijacking the Gospel—and the Way to Stop It (Salem, 2021)
While there have been, many excellent books published in recent years critiquing the social justice movement—e.g. By What Standard, Why Social Justice is Not Biblical Justice, and Fault Lines: The Social Justice Movement and Evangelicalism’s Looming Catastrophe—Strachan’s book is definitely a stand out, if not the best of them all.
In keeping with his previous published works, Strachan writes in a clear and engaging way. However, while he has the gift of being an oral communicator, his writing never comes across as ‘preachy’ or judgmental. This is especially important on a topic as heated and controversial as social justice. And it is this irenic tone which will make the book all the more effective in winning over hearts and minds.
Christianity and Wokeness does a masterful job at presenting both the context of this cultural moment as well as applying the Scriptures to it. Modelling how to do ‘public theology’ is definitely one of Strachan’s greatest strengths – a subject that Strachan and Kevin J. Vanhoozer have written upon before. In short, this is a wonderful example of what it means to ‘speak the truth in love’ (Eph. 4:16).
Strachan also does a masterful job at synthesising the teaching of Critical Race Theory and making it understandable to anyone studying the subject. This is no mean feat, and Strachan is to be commended not only for his depth of research, but also for the fairness in which he allows those with whom he disagrees with to have each of their respective voices heard.
But probably the most helpful aspect of all in Christianity and Wokeness is Strachan’s handling of the Bible. As with his excellent book, Reenchanting Humanity: A Theology of Mankind (Mentor, 2019) Strachan models what it means to handle the word of truth faithfully (2 Tim 2:15). His chapters on what the Old and New Testaments teach on the subject of identity and ethnicity are worth the price of the book alone.
John Macarthur writes in the foreword to the book, “This volume will be helpful to anyone striving to understand these things. It is the perfect resource to hand to anyone who wonders what all the fuss is about. Tolle lege.” I couldn’t agree more. Strachan has provided the church of Christ with an excellent resource to help guide God’s people through potentially one of the most divisive and destructive false teachings of this generation.
– Mark Powell