Al Mohler: Reformed and Reforming

Discussion in 'Baptist Colleges / Seminaries' started by Rhetorician, Oct 2, 2010.

  1. Rhetorician

    Rhetorician
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    To all who have ears to hear:

    For full disclosure purposes before I begin:

    I am a Southern Baptist,
    I am a conservative-evangelical,
    I am a "fundamentalist" (if you let me define the term),
    I am a "trench warrior" of the SBC "Conservative Resurgence" (my credential is my Mid America degree),
    I am a grad of The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary (since Al Mohler has been president),
    I am a "cradle roll" Southern Baptist,
    I am a "Five Point (Dortian) Calvinist," et al.

    Most of you know me. Having said all of that I want to post, what I think, is one of the best articles I have read in Christianity Today in a very long, long time.

    I think the article is accurate (from my perspective). I think it is even handed. I think it is well written. All of these testimonials are considered from my view as an insider.

    I am posting it here to get some feedback, especially from those who may not be SBC. I would like the article to generate some lively discussion concerning any of the issues I have cited or the article itself cites. Here you are, and happy (or not so happy) reading:

    http://www.christianitytoday.com/ct/2010/october/3.18.html

    Let me hear from you, whatever your opinion. :smilewinkgrin:

    "That is all!"
     
  2. dwmoeller1

    dwmoeller1
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    Just a point of interest...

    My father (our name is Moeller - pronounced the same as Mohler) was an assistant paster of the church where Al Mohler grew up. Al Mohler's dad was my 1st grade Sunday School teacher. My father did some discipling with, at the time, teenaged Al Mohler. At that point in his life he intended to become President. He certainly had the skills, intelligence and drive to make that a realistic goal. Over time his goals changed, but in the end, he did become President...of Southern Seminary. :)

    FWIW, I am thrilled to see Al Mohler is having some influence in helping to restore Southern Baptists to their doctrinal roots.
     
  3. Tom Butler

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    This part of the article stood out to me:

    If these Calvinist graduates are having difficulty finding pulpits in the Deep South, maybe they ought to look elsewhere. Many states west of the Mississippi River have a sparse SBC presence. They are, in fact, mission fields. The same for the Northeast. Sounds like good places to plant churches with a Reformed foundation.

    It sort of reminds me of those early Christians in Jerusalem , who were forced to flee persecution. But wherever they went, they carried the gospel.

    Could it be that God will use this antagonism to Calvinist thought to spread the gospel into parts of America which sorely needs it. Those folks who are laboring in those pioneer mission fields certainly need the help.
     
  4. Greektim

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    I enjoyed the article, though at times it seemed to cover much more than just Al Mohler.
     
  5. webdog

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    This thread might be better suited for a debate forum...unless you only want to discuss what you want to hear :D
     
  6. Greektim

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    What in the article would you like to debate?
     
  7. webdog

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    With a 10 page article, I'm sure we can find some things. Oh, something along the lines of
     
  8. GBC Pastor

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    That pretty much sums up my impression of Dr. Mohler.
     
  9. Bob Alkire

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    Never mind.
     
    #9 Bob Alkire, Oct 4, 2010
    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 4, 2010
  10. Tom Butler

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    I believe that what I believe about scripture is true, and that the system of though I use to navigate the scripture is also valid.

    I assume that all of you also hold that your own doctrines and practices are scripturally-based. And I assume that if you didn't, you'd junk what you believe is wrong.

    Does certainty about what you believe make you elitist?

    Is uncertainty the new badge of honor these days?
     
  11. GBC Pastor

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    Eiltism is not a lack of certainty or confidence in one's beliefs. Elitism is viewing others as less than when they do not share your view. Elitism is believing you have all the answers when clearly there is only One who does. Elitism is holding to a view that if "people were just more informed and educated they would see things my way" when many very well educated people do not see things your way.
     
  12. Tom Butler

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    I know Dr. Mohler. There is no question that he has an abundance of intellectual firepower. I also have no doubt that he is certain that the views he holds are correct. Unfortunately, that makes those who disagree with him wrong.

    I have watched him in action, in give and take. I do not believe he has an elitist bone in his body.

    By definition, if two people disagree with each other, one is right and one is wrong (unless both are wrong and there's another answer). Both believe they're right.

    Peter Singer is a bioethics professor at Princeton University. He supports abortion, euthanasia and sex with animals. His intellectual firepower greatly exceeds mine. He is still wrong. He probably thinks those who oppose his views are not educated or smart enough. That doesn't make him elitist.

    I think some people are wrong because they're stupid. That doesn't make me elitist.
     
  13. TomVols

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    Moderator's Warning

    This is a fellowship/discussion forum, not a debate forum. As such, honest discussion will be permitted. However, anything that takes the form of strident posts or attacks on any level will be deleted and punishment will be follow. Rancor has no place in fellowship forums and the Administrative Council has no stomach for it.

    Carry on.
     
  14. GBC Pastor

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    There is much in your post Tom B. that I would be willing to debate with you on. However, I will respect the Administrative Council and refrain from doing so here. If you would like to discuss the idea of what makes someone "elitist" we can start a thread and do so.
     
  15. sag38

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    So, this one can only be a one sided discussion then. Non-Mohler fans need not apply here.
     
  16. TomVols

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    Y'all misinterpret. Discussion is allowed. However, if you've seen the debate in the Theology, Bible Version forums, etc., you have seen how nasty it can get. Just be advised: the bar is set much lower in here. Discuss and debate all you want. Hash out an issue. But the moment it turns even towards the same zip code as attacks, nasty rhetoric, impugning of motives, ad-hominem, etc., we come in with the hammers. This is a fellowship forum. It's a place for discussion of the pros and cons of issues. But we do it with civility and respect and we leave the rancor and vitriol for the debate threads. If that bugs you, then so be it.

    Carry on.
     
  17. Tom Butler

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    Here's the definition of "elitist" from the American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language:

    Here is how the Christianity Today article defines elitism:


    I'm rethinking this elitism thing.

    By he first definition, I'm definitely not elitist. Shoot, I'm not even among the elite.

    But by the CT definition, I think I qualify. I am certain that what I believe is the truth.

    So here is my new conclusion. It is okay to be elitist if you are sure you are right. But don't be smug about it. I'm not, because what I believed to be the truth 20 years ago is not what I believe to be the truth today.

    So yes, Dr. Mohler is elitist, because he's sure he's right. I know he's right because he agrees with me.

    Since we're discussing the CT article now, and not Dr. Mohler, my observation is that CT thinks Dr. Mohler is elitist and crafted a definition of elitist to fit its conclusion.

    It reminds me of a comment by one of my pastors years ago, when he said "If you'll let me define sin, I can live above it."

    Note to TomVols. I'm trying to discuss the CT article within the rules. I don't want to cross the line, so I will trust you to advise me if anything in this post does so and to edit it accordingly. And please do it publicly instead of by PM, because your comments will be helpful to all of us.
     
  18. TomVols

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    Thank you for your generous spirit. Nothing out of bounds at all. You're one of the bright spots around here, friend.
     
  19. glfredrick

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    Dr. Mohler could only be considered elitist if what he said were not true. Even in debates here on this board, I am impressed (negatively) at the naiveté of some of the debaters. You'd think that cracking open a book once in a while is criminal the way some folks present their arguments. I've seen similar from many a pastor.

    Note that I am certainly not an elitist... I work for a living.

    One quick quip... I love to ask fellow pastors one simple question when we get together. "What was the last book you read apart from the Bible." About 80% or more have no good answer. Their eyes roll back into their heads if I mention Aquinas, Plato, et al.
     
  20. GBC Pastor

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    As I said in my earlier post I have no issue with anyone having certainty in what they believe. I do not think that defines someone as elitist necessarily. Since we are discussing the article and not the dictionary, my comment was that Dr. Mohler in the times I have heard him speak seems to fit the description given in the article.

    If you're not being smug about it then you're not being elitist.
     

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