A Clear and Present Danger: Religious Liberty, Marriage, and the Family in the Late Modern Age — An Address at Brigham Young University
However, I wonder whether Paul would have gathered with Gnostics to praise them for any commonly-held beliefs while opposing the political policies of Rome. While it is true that Mormons may embrace a respect for marriage and an opposition to gay marriage, do they come at the problem and the solution in the same manner, or do they and we simply share a common opposition to the legalizing of such a practice? Mohler is to be commended for making clear the theological distinctions between us and Mormon. It takes courage to speak the truth where there is obvious opposition. What was his purpose in being there, however? Was it to commend Mormons for their position on marriage? He could have done that on his blog. Was it to generate warm feelings between Mormons and Bible-believing Christians on issues upon which they agree? A noble attempt indeed. Was it to show boldness for going into the mouth of the lion, something like bicycling-missioners do every day when they come to our doors? Probably, it didn't accomplish all much. Was it to marshal a joint defense against a common enemy? Then it might contribute to a political move against a well-entrenched enemy, i.e. against secularism. Was it to expose Mormons in their own parameters of scholarship to a statement from those who adhere to the biblical view of salvation? We could pray that such a forthright statement of our convictions may be used by the Holy Spirit to illumine hearts. Was it to simply recognize that religious freedom is under attack? I think both we and Mormons fully understand that along with fellows citizens who are Roman Catholic. Frankly, I don't think anything of importance was gained by speaking in their presence that could not be accomplished through published documents. The authorities whom we hope to impress are smart enough to add up the numbers of Americans who oppose their policies.
Contrary to the first poster, I commend Mohler for going into the "enemy" camp with truth. I doubt anyone in that auditorium would read a thing written by Mohler but for a few minutes they were somewhat compelled to listen. Perhaps one or more listeners would desire to seek the truth for themselves. God has His ways of doing business and uses people to get it done. Mohler is fully equipped to handle the environment and has the stature to hold his own. I suspect many Christians cast their vote for a Mormon candidate in the last election unless they stayed home out of conscience. Most I know say they voted for the Mormon. I will also suggest this. I'd rather have Mormon neighbors than a good many Baptist people I know. We have no way to know what the Lord's purpose behind Dr. Mohler's presence at BYU but I am glad he went. I also think the Apostle Paul would gladly engage anyone in any forum to communicate truth. Our Lord did as much with the despised Samaritans and the tax collectors and the Centurions. Can Mohler do less?
My comment: Brilliant!
Information on Jim
I get the queasies about Mormonism, but I think he was squarely working in the right realm of non-theological cobelligerency. He wasn't asking or giving agreement on anything theological. It takes a very particular kind of man to do what he did the way he did it. So let's take this as a pattern not of what WE could do, but simply realize that it's possible that some can do it right if very few.
This is a profound speech. I appreciated the caveats cited by Jim. Nevertheless, the leader of the world's largest protestant seminary should not have delivered his speech at BYU. Setting that issue aside for a moment, the content of the speech is amazing in its insight to current culture and human history. What an articulate attorney arguing his case. There is much content in the speech from which I can benefit.
Pastor Mike Harding
I minister in Salt Lake City. I thank God that Dr. Mohler spoke at BYU with the clarity he did. As Mike said, his speech content was amazing. Although BYU is indeed a Mormon university, it is not only a religious training institution. In fact, it is secondarily a religious training institute (note that Mormons are not really trained in their religion at all). So it is no counterpart to BJU or Maranatha, or DBTS. The Y (as it is called here) is obviously predominately mormon, but they actually have no requirement you be a Mormon to attend. The closest equivalent I would say would be like that of Notre Dame. Now, BYU would have a greater percentage (i am speculating) of Mormon students than Notre Dame would have catholic enrollment. But BYU is a mainstream NCAA Div. I School that provides a solid education on a variety of subjects. They have a chapel and a strict moral code. But Mohler was invited as was George Will, and other well-known individuals like that to speak on philosophy, culture, marriage, politics, and chiefly religious liberty. He did not seek a pulpit to preach there, he was invited on an academic basis and responded on that basis, while still holding forth the true Gospel. Several years back, we had Ravi Zacharias and a group of ecumenical individuals from local area and Fuller who spoke at the Mormon Temple Sqare. Ravi was okay (though not great), but everyone else did painful backbends to create a bridge between their versions of Christianity and the Mormons. I was so grateful that Dr. Mohler in accepting this invitation to speak, recognized that his responsibility in the invitation was to communicate what he was asked to, while still holding out the Gospel. This actually is a historical Baptist position, to defend other religions from persecution and to call for all religious liberty.
My two cents from one nearby
Greg Linscott wrote:
I created a Filing for this address. Please use this new link for comments on Mohler's return to BYU