“If you listen to Dr. Mohler’s retelling of his early battles at Southern Seminary, you will find that every liberal professor claimed to assent to orthodoxy. Dr. Mohler had to go beyond mere assent to evaluate their actual teachings against the orthodoxy which they professed. The issue at stake is the health (or lack thereof) of the doctrine being taught. If I were to start teaching that “salvation is by grace, after all that we can do,” it would not matter how much I said that I denied works-righteousness, or even how much I sincerely believed that I denied works-righteousness. I would still be teaching works-righteousness.”
(Jacob Brunton – Christian Intellectual) Dr. Albert Mohler has been one of the most trusted men in the conservative evangelical world for decades. Much of that is due to his role in the latter stages of the conservative resurgence, in which he is rightly credited with bringing Southern Seminary back from the depths of theological liberalism.
In a message entitled The Cost of Conviction, he recounts how he was elected President of Southern Seminary at just 33 years old; how he had to face down, oppose, and eventually fire many older men and women who had poured into his life as his professors; how he and his family were hounded relentlessly by the liberal faculty, the liberal students, and the liberal secular media; and how he knew that the only way to recover the theological integrity of Southern Seminary was to enforce orthodoxy among the faculty—rather than trust in the mere verbal (or written) assent to it.
As I re-listened to that message, and as I contemplated the fact that I am now the age that Dr. Mohler was when he entered that battle, I was struck with a renewed sense of awe, of respect, and of gratefulness toward him. Even then, he was in many ways my better—my elder brother in the faith. But that renewed sense of awe only serves to make the writing of this difficult piece all the more burdensome.
No man of God takes pleasure in openly challenging his heroes of the faith. Neither, though, does any man of God shrink back from doing so when it is clear that it must be done. That tension produces in one a particular blend of fear and trembling. It is with such fear and trembling that I say what follows.
HT Pulpit & Pen