Albert Mohler again addresses Brigham Young University

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Jim Welch's picture

I am not sure why Al M. is being invited to give these type of speeches at BYU; but I am glad for the content of Dr. M's speech.  I will leave the topic of separation to someone else.  I give Mohler an A plus on content.  

Chip Van Emmerik's picture

Jim,

That sounds very charitable, but message is impacted by context. I can give you the same content (eggs, milk, flour) in different contexts and entirely change the meaning conveyed by the content (think grocery list, recipe, trash container). I am not necessarily saying the context here is wrong, but I do think it's wrong to dismiss the context altogether without thorough analysis. I agree that the content thus far has been excellent on its face, but the discussion on context is important.

Why is it that my voice always seems to be loudest when I am saying the dumbest things?

Jim Welch's picture

Chip,

I don't know the why of these speeches.  (context)  I do know that our nation is experiencing what our President promised us - fundamental change.  Mohler's speech addresses why our nation is following the path of Western Europe into secularism.  (context)

I wish I knew more about what is going on at BYU.  

 

Jay's picture

I don't know about BJU, but he is going to Northland later this year for Founders' Day.  It's on April 28-29.

"Our task today is to tell people — who no longer know what sin is...no longer see themselves as sinners, and no longer have room for these categories — that Christ died for sins of which they do not think they’re guilty." - David Wells

Larry Nelson's picture

Would your reaction be the same if Mohler had delivered the identical speech (exclusive of site references, of course) at Harvard or Notre Dame?  Why or why not?

Mike Harding's picture

Jim,

Dr. Mohler on his own visited the BJU campus last summer unannounced and was very impressed.  I thought the content of the speech was very good and I appreciated his emphasis on the gospel, particularly toward the end of the speech.  How the students/faculty interpret his gospel comments is perhaps a different story.  Mohler touched on the key theological issues.  I have church planters from my church in Utah and I am waiting to get their impression from this most recent visit.  Two areas are still problematic.  One would be the necessary accolades one tends to cast to the host in these kinds of venues.  I am very uncomfortable with those comments.  Secondly, as much as I appreciate the conservative politics and cultural values that many Mormons hold, I can't help but wonder if the Mormons are playing the SBC leaders to get Christian recognition.  They are a cult after all. I briefly spoke to Dr. Mohler a few months ago at his home while we were being given a tour of his personal library in his basement.  He has about 50,000 books down there piled everywhere, even on the steps as you are walking down.  I mentioned that if he did return to BYU that he should give the gospel very clearly.  I think he tried to do that.  I also handed him my personal material on music and worship and he told me he would read it.  He is a gentleman and a gracious host.  He is a gospel centered man and a gospel bounded man.  He believes that gospel centrism without an equal emphasis on gospel boundaries is quite dangerous.  Nevertheless, Southern builds monuments to men that I would clearly have to ecclesiastically separate from such as the Billy Graham School of Evangelism, et. al.

Pastor Mike Harding

Greg Long's picture

Mike, I was also in his basement...very impressive, huh! As I wandered around one passageway I saw a small desk with a computer on it and said to those around me, "Oh, this must be Dr. Mohler's home office?" "No," I was informed, "this is the desk of his personal librarian." Then later we found Dr. Mohler at his actual desk in the basement (it's hard to find as it is surrounded by stacks of books), and he was typing away on his computer having a Twitter war with Dr. Moore over Opera vs. Opry (someone had snuck down in the basement on Dr. Moore's behalf and turned on some country music over the stereo system, which Dr. Mohler despises, as he usually listens to opera).

As highly as I think of Dr. Mohler's ministry, I'm not sure I find it helpful or wise for him to speak at BYU. As others have stated, it seems to give them undue credibility.

-------
Greg Long, Ed.D. (SBTS)

Pastor of Adult Ministries
Grace Church, Des Moines, IA

Adjunct Instructor
School of Divinity
Liberty University

Larry Nelson's picture

Greg Long wrote:

As highly as I think of Dr. Mohler's ministry, I'm not sure I find it helpful or wise for him to speak at BYU. As others have stated, it seems to give them undue credibility.

In that same vein, does BJU inviting Dennis Prager to speak (see my previous post) give credibility to Judaism?

Matthew J's picture

Somebody ought to send Ravi Z. this speech. This was done well, and for the record, I am a pastor in Utah. Although I too think that the Mormons are using Al Mohler-and that bothers me, I rejoice that Christ is preached. Many don't realize just how weak Mormonism has become as a religion. They tout success and proliferation, but Mormons are leading the fold in droves. Their main converts are illiterate peoples in third world countries. I believe their attempt to use the SBS and Mohler will backfire and in so doing, they are providing an unprecedented hearing of the Gospel. A recent newspaper article here in Utah defined Mormonism as a cultural ethnicity, not primarily a religion. Just another attempt at salvaging their religion/cultic control that was far more believable in 19th century America than today. 

Jim Welch's picture

What in the world are all of you guys doing in Mohler's baement, ha!

Mike,

I do share your concerns.  I minister in western CO.  Our community is about 30% Mormon.  Like Matthew, I have seen the LDS cult begin to crumble in our area as well.  We have several young adults who were LDS who are now followers of our Lord Jesus Christ.  I go back to not knowing the WHY of Mohler's speech.

Some have asked if I would object to Mohler giving this speech at another instituion.  I would not.  I am not saying that I object to his giving the speech at BYU.  Like Chip, I wonder what the context of the speech is.  BTW Mike, I believe that he took your advice to preach the gospel because his declaration of the Gospel was clear, powerful and in the context of speaking to a LDS audience uncompromising.

Our church is very committed to church planting in the intermountain west.  For many years, I have tried to be supportive of the men an women who are pioneers for Christ in this area.  We have often prayed that God would open the hearts of the Mormons to the Gospel.  I trust that God is answering prayer.

Greg Long's picture

Larry, you are looking at it from a different perspective. You are looking at the speech by Dennis Prager at BJU from BJU's perspective, and from that perspective I don't have a problem with it. But we are looking at Mohler's speech at BYU from a Christian, conservative evangelical perspective (not from BYU's perspective), and I'm not as sure it makes sense. In other words, BYU seems to gain but I'm not sure how conservative evangelical Christianity (or even Mohler personally, or SBTS, or the SBC) does.

-------
Greg Long, Ed.D. (SBTS)

Pastor of Adult Ministries
Grace Church, Des Moines, IA

Adjunct Instructor
School of Divinity
Liberty University

Larry Nelson's picture

From a "Christian, conservative evangelical perspective," if BJU wanted somebody to speak about "The Consequences of Secularism" (Prager's speech title/topic), why not invite someone like, say, Mohler; who is in fact a Christian, conservative evangelical---and who is widely regarded as something of an expert on that very topic.  Why instead invite a Conservative Jew?

From an outsider looking at the BYU situation, it seems inconceivable to me that a few months ago they would invite someone in to speak who adamantly pointed out the fact that the emperor has no clothes, and then invite him back to do it once again.  What do they gain from that?   I may be hopelessly naive in this regard, but to me that seems like the hand of God at work. 

 

Matthew J's picture

I wonder if the gain is a Gospel hearing. If I were invited to BYU (I know, pretty silly statement), I would delight in the opportunity to unashamedly proclaim the gospel and view it as gain for the kingdom of God. That is not to say context never matters, yet BYU is an academic institution that has a variety of academic speakers there. It is not primarily a religious education school, not all of its students are Mormon. I view his speaking there as nearly identical to any other private academic, religious based institution. 

Mike Harding's picture

Larry,

 

The leadership forum is not a religious event per se.  Inviting Mohler would have given the impression that it was.

Pastor Mike Harding

Jay's picture

I don't know what motivated Dr. Mohler to speak at BYU, but I am delighted that Mohler was pointed in his remarks on salvation and the Bible in the bastion of Mormonism (Latter Day Saintism?):

But as I come among you, and I as am honored by this opportunity to address you, I come as a friend among friends to speak as who I am and of what I believe. As a Christian, my ultimate confidence does not rest in marriage, or the family, or civil society, or human rights, or any human affirmation of human dignity, not matter how robust.

 

My confidence is in the Lord, the unchanging God of the Bible, who revealed himself in the Bible and who redeems sinners through the atonement accomplished by his Son, Jesus Christ, who was both fully human and fully divine. My confidence is in the Gospel revealed by Christ and preached by the Apostles — the Gospel of salvation by faith alone in Christ alone. I believe in the saving acts of Christ in his death, burial, and bodily resurrection from the grave. I believe that the Bible is our sufficient written revelation, inerrant and infallible and unchanging. I believe that God’s promise of salvation will be fulfilled and that all he has promised in Christ will be given. I believe in the truth unchanged and unchanging, because I believe in the God who tells us in the Bible that he never changes.

I can close my eyes at night and I can open them to face each day because I know that my Redeemer lives, and that history is in the hands of the triune God, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. I know that I, along with all who come to him by faith, are safe in Christ. I can trust that he, as the Apostle Paul stated so famously, will be faithful to the end.

Good for Mohler.  Who else will get these kinds of invitations - and is able - to preach the Gospel in the stronghold of false teaching? Methinks fundamentalists gripe too much.  

Whatever happened to Philippians 1:12-18?

I want you to know, brothers, that what has happened to me has really served to advance the gospel, so that it has become known throughout the whole imperial guard and to all the rest that my imprisonment is for Christ. And most of the brothers, having become confident in the Lord by my imprisonment, are much more bold to speak the word without fear.

 

Some indeed preach Christ from envy and rivalry, but others from good will. The latter do it out of love,knowing that I am put here for the defense of the gospel. The former proclaim Christ out of selfish ambition, not sincerely but thinking to afflict me in my imprisonment. What then? Only that in every way, whether in pretense or in truth, Christ is proclaimed, and in that I rejoice.

"Our task today is to tell people — who no longer know what sin is...no longer see themselves as sinners, and no longer have room for these categories — that Christ died for sins of which they do not think they’re guilty." - David Wells

Larry Nelson's picture

Mike Harding wrote:

Larry,

The leadership forum is not a religious event per se.  Inviting Mohler would have given the impression that it was.

So what you are saying is that, under certain circumstances, it is actually preferable to invite a non-believer to address the college, rather than a believer?

Greg Long's picture

Jay, that is a good post, and well said.

-------
Greg Long, Ed.D. (SBTS)

Pastor of Adult Ministries
Grace Church, Des Moines, IA

Adjunct Instructor
School of Divinity
Liberty University