Faith Debate: September 20th, 2020

Critical Theory Inside the Church

This marks the fourth installment of a four-episode arc of shows featuring the same three men on the panel.  Each episode has opened with commentary on a political video produced by Phil Vischer, the creator of Veggie Tales.  Please don’t misunderstand, the show likes Veggie Tales, and likes Pill Vischer. However, the cartoons do not represent Christ the way that most seem to think. And neither does Phil.

Many Christian families look at Phil and his Veggie Tales creation and trust him as a biblical voice for the Gospel.  Actually, exactly because of Phil Vischer’s work on Veggie Tales he cannot be a trustworthy voice for advancing the biblical Gospel.  Many Christian kids have seen all the videos.  Many Christian parents have laughed alongside their children while imbibing most of the videos themselves.  These animated short stories are examples of good clean fun, highlighting messages of moral behavior.  This is good, particularly when compared to most of what passes for children’s entertainment these days.

However, the Veggie Tales universe is a kindhearted moralistic universe.  It is not a Christ-exulting, cross-centered universe.  Let the body of Christ never forget, moralism is not the biblical message.  The Gospel is the biblical message.  Vischer’s 17-minute political video is well-crafted and advocates for his point of view very effectively.  Yet, as committed Bible students who are humbled by the Good News, the video doesn’t resonate with many followers of Christ because Phil’s not talking to them.  At best Phil’s talking at them, which is about all that Critical Race Theory allows.

Undoubtedly Phil means well, and without doubt you do, too, if you’re one of the thousands who have shared the video with others.  But Phil’s video offers no solution because Jesus Christ, the Son of God, is the solution… and Phil’s video does not offer Him.  And this is a snapshot of what’s going on in today’s world.

The panel:

Troy Skinner.  Pastor of Household of Faith in Christ.

Jonathan Switzer.  Founder of Crossed Bridges in Frederick, Maryland.

Jonathan Harris.  Writer of the blog, host of the “ConversationsThat Matter” podcast, author of the new book “Social Justice Goes to Church”.

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