Albert Mohler

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
  (Redirected from Al Mohler)
Jump to: navigation, search
R. Albert Mohler, Jr.
Al Mohler.jpg
Born Richard Albert Mohler, Jr.
(1959-10-19) October 19, 1959 (age 55)
Lakeland, Florida
Residence Louisville, Kentucky
Nationality American
Occupation Seminary president, scholar, theologian
Years active 1983–
Theological work
Era Late 20th and Early 21st Centuries
Language English
Tradition or movement

Richard Albert Mohler, Jr. (born October 19, 1959), is an American theologian and the ninth president of Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville, Kentucky.

Education and personal life[edit]

Mohler is a native of Lakeland, Florida. As a child he attended Lake Yale, a Florida Baptist campground. During his Lakeland years he attended Southside Baptist Church.[1] Mohler attended college at Florida Atlantic University in Boca Raton in Palm Beach County as a Faculty Scholar. He then received a Bachelor of Arts from Samford University, a private, coeducational Baptist-affiliated college in Birmingham, Alabama. His graduate degrees, a Master of Divinity and Ph.D. in "Systematic and Historical Theology," were conferred by the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, also known as Southern Seminary.[citation needed]

Career[edit]

In addition to his presidency at SBTS, Mohler is the former host of the The Albert Mohler Program, a nationwide radio show devoted to engaging contemporary culture with Christian beliefs.[2] He is a member of the board of Focus on the Family and a member of the Council on Biblical Manhood and Womanhood.[3] Christianity Today recognized Mohler as a leader among American evangelicals, and in 2003 Time called him the "reigning intellectual of the evangelical movement in the U.S."[4] Mohler has presented lectures or addresses at a variety of conservative evangelical universities, including Samford University.[citation needed]

Southern Baptist Theological Seminary[edit]

Mohler joined the staff of Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville, Kentucky in 1983 as Coordinator of Foundation Support. In 1987, he became Director of Capital Funding, a post he held until 1989. While still a student he had served as assistant to then-President Roy Honeycutt.[citation needed] In February 1993, Mohler was appointed the ninth President of the seminary by the institution's board of trustees to succeed Honeycutt.[citation needed]

In 2004, Mohler hosted a symposiusm at Southern Seminary honoring Paul Pressler, the former judge from Houston, Texas, who was a prime leader in the Southern Baptist Convention Conservative resurgence that began in 1979, a movement which ultimately toppled the moderate faction from its control over the SBC. At the symposiusm held on the 25th anniversary of the Conservative resurgence, Pressler attributed rank-and-file church members for reversing the trend toward theological liberalsism in the denomination. Mohler said that without the Conservative resurgence, the SBC would in time have become as liberal as the Episcopal or the Methodist churches. Mohler said that because members of local churches are the ultimate decision makers in the denomination, the concerned laypeople were able to reverse the direction of the SBC.[5]

Media and editorial work[edit]

Mohler served as editor of The Christian Index,[6] the biweekly newsletter of the Georgia Baptist Convention. From 1985 to 1993 he was Associate Editor of the bi-monthly Preaching Magazine.[7] Mohler also served on the Advisory Council for the 2001 English Standard Version (ESV) of the Bible. Mohler blogs on Crosswalk.com, a web site maintained by Salem Web Network of Richmond, Virginia.[8] Mohler blogs on his website[9] and hosts "The Briefing," a daily podcast on current events from the Christian perspective.[10] Mohler also hosts "Thinking in Public," an extended interview podcast on theological and cultural issues.[11]

Theology and other faiths[edit]

In 2008, Al Mohler did not sign An Evangelical Manifesto, publishing a lengthy explanation for his decision.[12] Mohler is an evangelical and an exclusivist, which means that he believes Jesus is the only way through which an individual can attain salvation or have a relationship with God the Father. As a Calvinist, Mohler believes that human salvation is a free gift from God which cannot be earned by human action or will and is only given to the elect. He has publicly advanced this position with respect to Judaism, Islam,[13] and Catholicism.[14] He recently stated that "any belief system, any world view, whether it's Zen Buddhism or Hinduism or dialectical materialism for that matter, Marxism, that keeps persons captive and keeps them from coming to faith in the Lord Jesus Christ, yes, is a demonstration of Satanic power."[13] He believes Muslims are motivated by demonic power[13] and in the months after the September 11, 2001 attacks, Mohler characterized Islamic views of Jesus as false and destructive:

I'm no specialist in Islamic theology. I'll let those who are debate whether or not there is that kind of militancy and warrior culture within Islamic theology. But I want to say as a Christian theologian, the biggest problem with Islamic theology is that it kills the soul.

The bigger problem with Islam is not that there are those who will kill the body in its name, but that it lies about God [and] presents a false gospel, an un-gospel… These are difficult things to say. This is not polite.[15]

The secular world tends to look at Islam as a function of ethnicity which means seeking to convert these people to Christianity is an insult to them. But Christianity is a trans-ethnic faith, which understands that Christianity is not particular to or captured by any ethnicity, but seeks to reach all persons.

The secular world tends to look at Iraq and say, well, it's Muslim, and that's just a fact, and any Christian influence would just be a form of Western imperialism. The Christian has to look at Iraq and see persons desperately in need of the gospel. Compelled by the love and command of Christ, the Christian will seek to take that gospel in loving and sensitive, but very direct, ways to the people of Iraq.[4]

Media appearances[edit]

Mohler appeared on MSNBC's Donahue on August 20, 2002.[16] The subject was Christian evangelization of Jews. The show's host along with members of both Catholic and Jewish clergy criticized Mohler's insistence that salvation lies exclusively in the personal acceptance of Christ before the afterlife.

On April 15, 2003, Mohler was interviewed by Time[17] on the subject of evangelizing Iraqi Muslims in the form of Christian aid groups.

On May 5, 2003, Mohler appeared on NPR's Fresh Air with Terry Gross to ponder the issue of evangelization of the Iraqis. At issue was whether the coupling of evangelizing with basic human aid relief might be perceived as aggressive or coercive by the Iraqi people, and whether such a perception, if widespread, might place other relief workers in jeopardy. Mohler argued that biblical, evangelical Christianity is not uniquely American, but exists as a movement throughout the world, so that Christian witnessing is not, in his view, to be interpreted as a move on the part of any single nation against the religion of another. At the same time, however, Mohler acknowledged the need for "sensitivity," and distanced himself from the idea that religion coerced. When pressed, Mohler expressed support for the idea of religious freedom as a theoretical matter of law.[18]

On December 18, 2004, Mohler debated retired Episcopal bishop John Shelby Spong on Faith Under Fire, a program hosted by Lee Strobel and appearing on PAX, a Christian television network. The subject was the historicity and truthfulness of the Bible.

On December 19, 2013, Mohler appeared on CNN to discuss the controversy surrounding comments made by Phil Robertson of Duck Dynasty. GLAAD National Spokesman Wilson Cruz was also on the program.[19]

Speaking engagements[edit]

On November 8–9, 2004, Mohler spoke at the annual meeting of the Florida Baptist State Convention.[20]

On May 21, 2005, Mohler gave the commencement address at Union University in Jackson, Tennessee. Mohler told graduates they could display the glory of God by telling and defending the truth, sharing the gospel, engaging the culture, changing the world, loving the church and showing the glory of God in their own lives.[21]

On February 25, 2014, Mohler delivered a Forum Lecture in the Marriott Center Arena at Brigham Young University in Provo, Utah. The title of Mohler's lecture was, "Strengthen the Things that Remain: Human Dignity, Human Rights, and Human Flourishing in a Dangerous Age."[22]

Justice Sunday[edit]

Mohler is on the board of directors of Focus on the Family. In this role he was one of the principal organizers of Justice Sunday, a nationally televised event broadcast from Highview Baptist Church, Mohler's home church, in Louisville on April 24, 2005. Mohler shared the stage with Charles Colson and Focus on the Family founder James Dobson. U. S. Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist appeared at the event via videotape. Another host of the program was Family Research Council president Tony Perkins.

The purpose of the broadcast was to mobilize the conservative base in lobbying the United States Senate to curtail debate on the nominations to the federal judiciary made by George W. Bush.

We want to communicate to all that we are not calling for persons merely to be moral. We want them to be believers in the Lord Jesus Christ, because we don't just need instruction, we need salvation. Now, because of that, something has to explain why we would take this time on a Sunday night to talk about something like the federal judiciary. I want to make clear why there is such a sense of urgency that we would do this. It's because so much that is precious to us, so much that is essential to this civilization, this culture, this great democratic republic is in the hands of the courts. And we know that means that much is at risk. Because we have been watching. And we have been learning. For far too long, Christians have been concerned to elect the right people to office, and then go back home. We have learned the importance of the electoral process, and yet we're also discovering that that third branch of government, the judiciary, is so very, very important. We have been watching court cases come down the line. In 1973, Roe v. Wade [declared] a woman's right to an abortion. We now know in the aftermath of that decision, that Justice Harry Blackmun, who was the author of the majority opinion, even has admitted that they were determined to legalize abortion, and they just went to the Constitution to try to find an argument that would get them where they wanted to go. And they did. Now, that was a wake-up call for Americans to say, now wait a minute, there's nothing in the Constitution about abortion. By no stretch of the imagination did the founders of this nation and the framers of that document intend for anyone to be able to read those words and find a right to kill unborn children.

—Albert Mohler, April 24, 2005[23]

Notable views[edit]

Roman Catholics and the Pope[edit]

During a 2000 television interview on Larry King Live, Mohler said of the Holy See and the Pope:

As an evangelical, I believe that the Roman Catholic Church is a false church. It teaches a false gospel. And the Pope himself holds a false and unbiblical office.[24][25]

And during a March 13, 2014 podcast of The Briefing:

Evangelical Christians simply cannot accept the legitimacy of the papacy and must resist and reject claims of papal authority. To do otherwise would be to compromise biblical truth and reverse the Reformation.[25]

Deliberate childlessness[edit]

Mohler spoke in June 2004, about married adults who choose not to have children.

The Scripture does not even envision married couples who choose not to have children. The shocking reality is that some Christians have bought into this lifestyle and claim childlessness as a legitimate option. The rise of modern contraceptives has made this technologically possible. But the fact remains that though childlessness may be made possible by the contraceptive revolution, it remains a form of rebellion against God's design and order.[26]

Mohler has also been critical of birth control methods that prevent implantation of the fertilized egg, which he believes "involve nothing less than an early abortion." He has attempted to bring about a new reflection on the topic within Evangelical opinion.[27]

Ecumenical relations[edit]

Mohler asserted that he was one of the original signatories of the Manhattan Declaration because it is a limited ecumenical statement of Christian conviction on the topics of abortion, euthanasia and gay marriage, and not a wide-ranging theological document that subverts confessional integrity. He emphasized that he signed the document in spite of the fact that he has deep theological disagreements with the Catholic Church.[28]

Abstinence from alcohol[edit]

In 2005, Mohler spoke at a forum at the Southern Baptist Seminary on the subject of "Alcohol and Ministry." While he agreed that the Bible does not explicitly condemn alcohol, he gave the following practical admonition to his audience, most of whom were seminary students:[29]

I can assure you of this: if you are associated with the use of beverage alcohol, I think I dare exaggerate not to say that 99% of all doors of ministry in the Southern Baptist Convention will be closed to you. And I do not believe that is an exaggeration. And let me tell you why… you may think, 'That just shows high-bound [hidebound] and unthinking the Southern Baptist Convention is.' Why should the Southern Baptist Convention or a local church take a risk? Why should it be in the position of deciding whether this is a problem or not. I mean, you have to understand, why would the church take that on?

Mohler has praised the efforts of Daniel Akin, President of the Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary, who, like many Southern Baptists, is opposed to even moderate consumption of alcohol.[30]

Buddhism, Hinduism, Islam and Marxism[edit]

According to Albert Mohler, Buddhism, Hinduism, Islam and Marxism are "demonstration[s] of satanic power."[13]

Yoga[edit]

According to Mohler, yoga practice is not consistent with Christianity.

When Christians practice yoga, they must either deny the reality of what yoga represents or fail to see the contradictions between their Christian commitments and their embrace of yoga. The contradictions are not few, nor are they peripheral. The bare fact is that yoga is a spiritual discipline by which the adherent is trained to use the body as a vehicle for achieving consciousness of the divine… The embrace of yoga is a symptom of our postmodern spiritual confusion…[31]

Mohler was surprised by feedback from Christian proponents of yoga.[32]

Resources[edit]

Selected bibliography[edit]

Books authored by R. Albert Mohler, Jr.[edit]

  • Atheism Remix: A Christian Confronts the New Atheists ISBN 978-1-4335-0497-6
  • Culture Shift: Engaging Current Issues with Timeless Truth (Today's Critical Concerns) ISBN 978-1-59052-974-4
  • He Is Not Silent: Preaching in a Postmodern World ISBN 978-0-8024-5489-8 (September 1, 2008)
  • Desire and Deceit: The Real Cost of the New Sexual Tolerance ISBN 978-1-60142-080-0 (September 16, 2008)
  • The Conviction to Lead: The 25 Principles for Leadership That Matters, expresses the view that leadership stems from conviction and moral character (2012).[33]

Books edited by R. Albert Mohler, Jr.[edit]

Books to which R. Albert Mohler, Jr., has contributed[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Speakers say heart of Gospel is to show God's glory". Florida Baptist Witness. 2004. Retrieved 2008-01-21. 
  2. ^ "The Albert Mohler Radio Program". Archived from the original on 19 February 2008. Retrieved 2008-02-23. 
  3. ^ "Board of Directors". Council on Biblical Manhood and Womanhood. Retrieved 31 December 2010. 
  4. ^ a b Liston, Broward (2003-04-15). "Interview: Missionary Work in Iraq". Time. Archived from the original on 11 May 2008. Retrieved 2008-06-16. 
  5. ^ "Jeff Robinson, Pressler: Conservative resurgence was grassroots movement, March 30, 2004". Baptist Press News. Retrieved September 30, 2013. 
  6. ^ "The Christian Index". 
  7. ^ "Preaching Magazine". 
  8. ^ Mohler, Albert. "Christianity" (blog). Crosswalk. Archived from the original on 12 October 2007. Retrieved 2007-10-11. 
  9. ^ "Albert Mohler". 
  10. ^ "The Briefing". Albert Mohler. 
  11. ^ "Thinking in Public". Albert Mohler. 
  12. ^ Mohler, Albert (2008-05-12), Comments on An Evangelical Manifesto .
  13. ^ a b c d The O'Reilly Factor, Fox News Channel. March 17, 2006.
  14. ^ "Mohler calls Catholicism 'false church'". Baptist Standard. 2000-03-03. Retrieved 2008-06-16. 
  15. ^ "Speak about Islam clearly & without fear, Mohler says". Baptist Press. 2001-10-19. Retrieved 2008-06-16. 
  16. ^ "Christ the only way for both Jews, gentiles, Mohler says on 'Donahue'". Baptist Press. Retrieved 2010-05-24. 
  17. ^ Liston, Broward (2003-04-15). "Interview: Missionary Work in Iraq". Time. Retrieved 2010-05-24. 
  18. ^ Debate Over Christian Aid to Iraq Nationally Aired in The Christian Post
  19. ^ Albert Mohler on "Duck Dynasty" Suspension: He's "Unquestionably Faithful to the Scripture" Youtube. Retrieved on 2014-02-01.
  20. ^ Speakers say heart of Gospel is to show God's glory. Florida Baptist Witness. Retrieved on 2011-12-10.
  21. ^ "Largest class graduates from Union University - News Release | Union University". Uu.edu. 2005-05-23. Retrieved 2010-05-24. 
  22. ^ "Strengthen the Things that Remain: Human Dignity, Human Rights, and Human Flourishing in a Dangerous Age — An Address at Brigham Young University". AlbertMohler.com. 2014-02-25. Retrieved 2014-02-26. 
  23. ^ Democracy Now May 5, 2005
  24. ^ Blumenthal, Max, Republican Gomorrah, p. 141 .
  25. ^ a b "SBC leader denounces papacy", ABP news .
  26. ^ Mohler, R. Albert Jr (2004). "Deliberate Childlessness: Moral Rebellion With a New Face". Gender news. Retrieved 2008-01-13. 
  27. ^ "Can Christians Use Birth Control?". Albert Mohler. 2006-05-08. 
  28. ^ Mohler, Albert. "Why I Signed the Manhattan Declaration". Cross walk. 
  29. ^ Transcription from McCoy, Steve (2005). "SBTS: Alcohol and Ministry Audio". Archived from the original on 10 December 2007. Retrieved 2008-01-13. 
  30. ^ "A Statement from the Heart — Danny Akin on Alcohol". Conventional thinking. 2006. Retrieved 2008-01-13. 
  31. ^ "The Subtle Body — Should Christians Practice Yoga?". Albert Mohler. 2010-09-20. Archived from the original on 6 October 2010. Retrieved 2010-10-07. 
  32. ^ "Southern Baptist leader on yoga: Not Christianity". Associated Press. Google. 2010-10-07. Archived from the original on 11 October 2010. Retrieved 2010-10-07. 
  33. ^ Author Mohler: Conviction Is Key to Leadership. Bethany House. December 2, 2012. ISBN 0-76421004-1. Retrieved December 4, 2012. 

External links[edit]