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Review: Christianity and Wokeness

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Owen Strachan’s Christianity and Wokeness[1] is a great read and you should read it because it takes a complex topic and presents it in a clear manner. 

Not everyone will agree with Strachan, but we must ask ourselves where we disagree and why (as we should with any work). I say this because, unlike some responses to “wokeness,”[2] his book is strictly Christian. This book lays the “woke” worldview beside the Christian one (the Bible)—ultimately, he argues the gospel is opposed to “wokeness.” Overall, Strachan puts forward a convincing argument.

The title is an accurate summary of the book. Strachan’s introduction admits he strongly critiques the “woke” worldview from a Christian worldview. In fact, this work will be of little consequence for those who disregard the gospel, because it is so thoroughly Christian in its response. Chapters 1 and 2 introduce the concepts of “wokeness.” Chapters 3 and 4 give a Christian response to the system. Chapters 5 and 6 provide a positive presentation of the biblical understanding of ethnicity. Finally, chapter 7 concludes the book by covering relevant and difficult questions in the evangelical discussion.

The great strength of this book is the way it is organized. The broader arguments are easily referenced by looking at the headings. His arguments are consistently numbered and listed in the chapter headings which makes the content easy to follow and review. So, these headings make the book clear. The clarity goes beyond the headings because he addresses a pure view of “wokeness,” rather than trying to present all of its shades. He supports his understanding with good sources and lays that understanding beside a robust view of the biblical gospel. Finally, his glossary and especially his recommended reading should not be missed.

However, I expect some will not enjoy this work and will walk away saying, “I agree, the gospel is the only basis for unity with God and between man. But I still see racial disunity in the church.” In fact, I thought the answer to this question was missed and should have been included in chapter 7 when I read it. But I finished late at night and the answer to that question is included. Owen simply argues, even here, in the midst of the church’s failings, the answer is to call people to live in light of gospel, which offers not only forgiveness, but also restoration with God and between man. Ultimately, the whole book is arguing this one, well made, point: The gospel is the only hope for unity and if you add anything to it (like “woke” ideology), you will find the disunity you are trying to solve—so, don’t look outside the gospel for unity; rather, proclaim the true gospel inside and outside the church.

Others, who may even agree with Strachan, will hear of this book and not read it simply because of topic fatigue. In the midst of reading this book, Strachan released an episode of The Antithesis Podcast entitled, “Every Christian to the Wall: Opposing Our Generational Challenge.” I had a similar response to that episode that this group is prone to have to Christianity and Wokeness. But then I read,

We are not prepared for the “hard postmodernism” that is now dominant in our culture. Unlike the earlier form of ten to thirty years ago, hard postmodernism presents a very carefully framed argument, many oughts, a clear good group and a bad group, and maintains that science—like all disciplines—is shot through with Western rationalism borne of white supremacy. If you do not know this, however, good your intentions may be, you are equipped for a different struggle than the one that is knocking on your door. Wokeness is not soft postmodernism; wokeness is hard postmodernism.[3]

This connection of wokeness to postmodernity, especially an advanced form is extremely significant. It should be the wake-up call that, even though fatigued, we must engage—by showing the superiority of the gospel and the brokenness of darkened thought. This is the Christian calling (Col 2:8; 2 Cor 10:5). In the end, I encourage you to read this book, because, whether you agree with Strachan, or not the topic is not going away, even though you may want it to.

[1] Strachan, Owen. Christianity and Wokeness: How the Social Justus Movement Is Hijacking the Gospel—and the Way to Stop It. Salem Books, Washington, D.C.: 2021.

[2] I am placing wokeness in quotations, because I intend to use it in the same capacity Strachan does. For his explanation see: xxvfn3.

[3] Pg. 90. Also see 90fn4 and 5.