Presenter and Affiliation: Brandon Knight, Ph.D., Assistant Professor of Communication, William Carey University
Description: Dr. Voddie Baucham warned of fractures within the evangelical community when delivering a sermon at the 2019 Southeastern Founders’ Conference introducing a newly coined concept called “Ethnic Gnosticism.” To Baucham and other leaders, the current social justice zeitgeist, is ideological in nature and rooted in ideas antithetical to the gospel. As a means to better understand and clarify the differing voices in the debate on social justice, I analyze the unfolding disagreement within evangelicalism and the boundary work currently ensuing. Through a brief review of James Cone’s black liberation theology and its direct relationship with the religious discourse of anti-racism and social justice, evidence mounts to the formulation of a new religious orthodoxy within evangelicalism. Due to this communal disruption, I utilize Sullivan’s (1999) rhetorical exposé to describe Baucham’s translation of Ethnic Gnosticism and its contents before interlocutors to ultimately create disassociation via a scapegoat in an effort to purify the community of heresy.
Link to recording here: https://vimeo.com/652583910
Learn more about Dr. Knight here: https://www.wmcarey.edu/contact/brandon-knight