Many of you ask me to recommend books that will help you understand critical race theory. So in light of Voddie Baucham’s latest book—Fault Lines—I’ve decided to share my top ten books on critical race theory.
There are four types of books on my list: books by critical race theorists, helpful books by non-Christian authors, books by Christian critical race theorists, and helpful books by Christian authors.
Therefore, this list includes both good and bad content about critical race theory. Some of these books are written by critical race theorists. They are horrible books. I am not endorsing them. I am not encouraging you to read them so you would agree with them—I am encouraging you to read them so you would understand them.
There are plenty of great books against critical race theory that aren’t on this list for a variety of reasons. This includes Stephen R.C. Hicks’ Explaining Postmodernism. That book is incredible. Hicks manages to explain a very convoluted ideology in a refreshingly simple manner. As crucial as the book is, I didn’t include the book in the top ten because although it’s impossible to understand critical race theory without first understanding postmodernism—Hicks doesn’t explicitly address critical race theory at length. And one of the books in my top ten addresses postmodernism at length, anyway.
Also, I gave away my copy of Carl Trueman’s The Rise And Triumph of the Modern Self to a friend before I finished reading the book. And I’m currently reading an advanced copy of Owen Strachan’s upcoming book, Christianity and Wokeness—and I absolutely adore the book so far. But since I haven’t yet finished these two books, though I highly recommend them to you, I’ve decided to leave them outside my top ten for now.
And please consider that the critical race theory books in my top ten are not necessarily what I consider the most crucial and exhaustive books from critical race theorists. If that were the case, Derrick Bell’s Faces At The Bottom Of The Well, Kimberlé Crenshaw’s Critical Race Theory, Michelle Alexander’s The New Jim Crow, Charles W. Mills’ From Class To Race, and Angela Davis’ Women, Race, & Class would be featured on the list.
However, the books by critical race theorists on this list will give you the simplest and most relevant books to help you understand critical race theory. So with all that said, here is my list of the top ten books on critical race theory:
Books By Critical Race Theorists
Critical Race Theory: An Introduction
This book by one of the founders of critical race theory, Richard Delgado (and his wife Jean Stefancic), is probably the critical race theory book I recommend most. The book is a simple and short read, and it covers the origins and core components of critical race theory.
How To Be An Antiracist
Ibram X. Kendi is one of two of the most influential critical race theorists today. Kendi’s evolved version of critical race theory is shaping how our culture understands racism today. If you want to understand what critical race theorists mean when they say “racism” and “antiracism”, read Kendi’s book.
Robin DiAngelo is the other member of two of the most influential critical race theorists today. She’s actually more influential than Ibram Kendi. Her book, White Fragility, is the best selling critical race theorist book of all time. And her content and supposed expertise is the basis for many diversity and racial sensitivity programs today. She’s cunningly branded herself as an expert “white ally” and marketed herself to wealthy, progressive white women. She’s become so influential, some critical race theorists call her, “the new racial sheriff in town”.
White Christian Privilege
This book by Khyati Y. Joshi is the least read book on this list. However, as you’ll discover when I share my review the book in a few weeks, it’s a very important book. For years, I’ve warned that Christians who embrace privilege theory (especially white privilege) are embracing ideologies designed to deconstruct and destroy we Christians’ influence or “hegemony” and “privilege” in our culture. Critical race theory isn’t primarily against white people—it’s primarily against Christians and our lord: Jesus Christ. If you want to understand why I’m concerned critical race theory could be used to persecute Christians, read this book.
Helpful Books By Non-Christian Authors
Cynical Theories is written by Helen Pluckrose and James Lindsay, and it’s probably the most informed and most comprehensive book against critical race theory. Critical race theory is just one of many social justice theories today, and this incredible book details its origins and relationship with the other social justice theories evolved from critical theory and postmodernism. I consider James Lindsay the authority on critical theory today, so this book is essential reading.
Critical Theory: The Key Concepts
This book by Dino Franco Felluga is one of the most treasured books in my library. This is because critical theory is notorious for all its complex and and innumerable terms. Felluga’s book lists and explains nearly all the key critical theory terms you’ll encounter as you study the topic.
Books By Christian Critical Race Theorists
How To Fight Racism
When Ibram X. Kendi announced he had hired Jemar Tisby as his Assistant Director of Narrative and Advocacy at the Center for Antiracism Research, I wasn’t surprised. It was inevitable. Jemar Tisby seems to be modelling himself after Ibram Kendi. Tisby’s first book, The Color of Compromise, is incredibly similar to Kendi’s first book, Stamped From The Beginning. Tisby is one of the featured writers on Kendi’s book, Four Hundred Souls. And especially, Tisby’s latest book, How To Fight Racism, is essentially just like Kendi’s How To Be An Antiracist—except with Bible verses. How To Fight Racism is an important book about the antiracist and antichrist framework influencing many Christians today. I’ll share my review of the book sometime this month.
Be The Bridge
Latasha Morrison’s book is probably the most read and recommended book on racial reconciliation within the Church today. However, the book actually encourages white Christians to alienate themselves from Christ in order to “reconcile” with black Christians. Therefore, this book creates disunity and division, not reconciliation. I’ll share a longer review of the book soon.
Helpful Books By Christian Authors
This book by Thaddeus Williams is simply one of the best books on critical race theory and social justice today—and I’m not just saying that because I received the opportunity to write a small section of the book. In Confronting Injustice, Williams delivers one of the greatest comparisons between biblical justice and social justice you’ll ever read.
Voddie Baucham is a hero to me and many others, and Fault Lines: The Social Justice Movement’s Emerging Threat to the Gospel is yet another heroic service to the Church. Packed with research and Reformed theology, Voddie Baucham has delivered a passionate, precise, and personal book about one of the most dangerous worldly philosophies threatening the Church today. Fault Lines is simply the best book yet on critical race theory. If you want to understand—and help others understand—biblical justice so they can hold fast to the gospel, this is a must-read book.