Should we applaud Al Mohler speaking at Brigham Young University?

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KenFields's picture

Mohler is a theological liberal who fails to laud the authority and sufficiency of Scripture.

I guess we should have known it all along ..............

 

Ken Fields

Jay's picture

I come as a Christian theologian to speak explicitly and respectfully as a Christian—a Christian who defines Christianity only within the historic creeds and confessions of the Christian church and who comes as one committed to the Gospel of Jesus Christ and to the ancient and eternal Trinitarian faith of the Christian church. I have not come as less, and you know whom you have invited. I come knowing who you are—to an institution that stands as the most powerful intellectual center of the Latter-Day Saints, the most visible academic institution of Mormonism. You know who I am and what I believe. I know who you are and what you believe. It has been my great privilege to know friendship and share conversation with leaders of the LDS church, such as Elder Tom Perry, Elder Quentin Cook, and Elder Todd Christofferson. I am thankful for the collegiality extended by President Cecil Samuelson at this great university. We do not enjoy such friendship and constructive conversation in spite of our theological differences, but in light of them. This does not eliminate the possibility of conversation. To the contrary, this kind of convictional difference at the deepest level makes for the most important kind of conversation.

I mean, I suppose he could have taken the invitation to attack the theology of the LDS leadership, the LDS church, the graduates of BYU, and the families there to celebrate the students' achievements (and rightfully so), but he wasn't there to talk about theology.  He was there to:

...[with you] to push back against the modernist notion that only the accommodated can converse. There are those who sincerely believe that meaningful and respectful conversation can take place only among those who believe the least—that only those who believe the least and thus may disagree the least can engage one another in the kind of conversation that matters. I reject that notion, and I reject it forcefully.

With 'friends' like these...

"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

Brenda T's picture

If one supports Dr. Mohler's belief that he can have a meaningful, respectful conversation that matters with Mormons, then certainly you would also have that same type of conversation with or about Don either here or at his blog.

Jay's picture

The comments are closed at P&D, Brenda. 

"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

TylerR's picture

Editor

The speech was excellent in every respect. However, if this is but a prelude to some sort of cooperative endeavor to stand for traditional values with Mormons, then that is going too far. Believers must not be yoked together with unbelievers. Future plans aside, the speech was good.

Tyler is a pastor in Olympia, WA and an Investigations Manager with a Washington State agency. He's the author of the book What's It Mean to Be a Baptist?

jimcarwest's picture

While some feel Mohler should have spoken at  BYU, and it is hard to criticize his desire to have something to say to Mormons as an evangelical, one wonders exactly if his goal was achieved.  And shouldn't Mohler now feel ethically bound to invite a prominent Mormon leader to speak at Southern Baptist Seminary?  That's the way ecumenical dialogue works, isn't it?  I try to influence your thinking, and you try to influence mine -- thesis and antithesis, and who knows, we may reach a synthesis.   I personally think that all that needs to be said can be said in books, bulletins, and blogs.  Paul's discourse on Mars Hill with non-Christian, Greek philosophers was clearly an attempt to convert them.  He highlighted the one thing that challenged their thinking -- the resurrection and the need to repent and believe on the Christ of revelation.  Some understood and were saved.  But none were left doubting what his purpose had been, it seems to me.  I am not sure Mohler had the same objective or even left the Mormons with a clear idea that conversion to the Christ of Scripture was the point.

Chip Van Emmerik's picture

TylerR wrote:

The speech was excellent in every respect. However, if this is but a prelude to some sort of cooperative endeavor to stand for traditional values with Mormons, then that is going too far. Believers must not be yoked together with unbelievers. Future plans aside, the speech was good.

Tyler,

Where exactly are you going to draw this line? We are essentially already "yoked" together as citizens of this country. Does your application of this verse preclude the believer from voting? Can we "yoke together" in membership in Sam Club since it is filled with unbelieving members and owned by a secular company? How did you justify your previous "yoking" with unbelievers in the military? You see where I'm going with this? I am not sure this verse would prevent me from joining a political pursuit with a Mormon, or with any other lost conservative.

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

Dave Doran's picture

I am assuming that Don is reading over here, so I'd like to put forth a question to try to understand his thinking on this matter a little more fully. Given your suggestion that the idea of Mohler (an evangelical) speaking on a cultural-political topic in a non-religious convocation at a Mormon institution (BYU) is not acceptable, how would you view a non-evangelical speaking on a similar topic in a non-religious convocation at an evangelical/fundamentalist school?

I ask this sincerely and, as I've stated elsewhere, from a stance that sees an academic context differently than an ecclesiastical one. I've not objected when a Catholic politician or lawyer speaks to evangelical/fundamentalist student body regarding matters of politics and law. It seems that you would, though. Or at least that you'd subject the exercise to the same set of questions. Am I mistaken or misunderstanding something?

DMD

TylerR's picture

Editor

Chip:

When I say this, I'm speaking from the context of the local church. The local church has a responsibility to not engage in cooperative endeavors with unbelievers, or those with deviant Christian beliefs. When I first saw Don's article on his blog, I knew immediately the battle lines would be drawn around the issue of separation, and this is what has happened. I am a Baptist, so understand where I'm coming from here:

The spheres of civil government and the church are clearly separate (Mk 12:13-17), and Baptists have historically recognized this disjunction, so your analogy of voting is void.

Your military example is likewise specious, because a military man is not engaged in ministry pursuits, but merely living his life. We are called to separation, not isolation, after all (Jn 17:15-16).

Cooperative ministry with unbelievers gives them legitimacy. It also undermines the Gospel; where is your justification for combating secularism? Isn't it the Scriptures? Mormons are not Christians; they are polytheists. Therefore, any sort of cooperative ministry would necessarily involve engaging in vague platitudes about "shared values" rather than Biblical truth, to avoid offending any party. This is madness.

Again, I liked the speech and Dr. Mohler's uncompromising stand for Biblical truth. If a future cooperative endeavor with Mormons is in the cards, however, than that is too much. I seriously doubt any such thing is planned, though.

Tyler is a pastor in Olympia, WA and an Investigations Manager with a Washington State agency. He's the author of the book What's It Mean to Be a Baptist?

DavidO's picture

Believers must not be yoked together with unbelievers.

Does that mean believers must depart membership of any political party?  After all, many members of a given party, which is essentially a "cooperative endeavor to stand for [shared] values", may/will have wildly differing bases for those values.

Don Johnson's picture

Dave Doran wrote:

I am assuming that Don is reading over here, so I'd like to put forth a question to try to understand his thinking on this matter a little more fully. Given your suggestion that the idea of Mohler (an evangelical) speaking on a cultural-political topic in a non-religious convocation at a Mormon institution (BYU) is not acceptable, how would you view a non-evangelical speaking on a similar topic in a non-religious convocation at an evangelical/fundamentalist school?

I ask this sincerely and, as I've stated elsewhere, from a stance that sees an academic context differently than an ecclesiastical one. I've not objected when a Catholic politician or lawyer speaks to evangelical/fundamentalist student body regarding matters of politics and law. It seems that you would, though. Or at least that you'd subject the exercise to the same set of questions. Am I mistaken or misunderstanding something?

Hi Dave

I've been in a meeting all day so unable to get on here. Going through internet withdrawal symptoms...

 

To answer your question, I think we have to ask ourselves in what capacity and for what purpose was Dr. Mohler speaking at BYU. There are probably several different scenarios that could be proposed but I'll suggest three, there could be more, I suppose.

  1. Was he speaking as a politician for a political purpose, to gain votes or support for a political cause?
  2. Was he speaking as an academic in his field of expertise to inform the students about a particular academic subject?
  3. Was he speaking as a Christian minister to speak to matters of common ground on an issue where there is some potential of cooperation in promoting a religious cause?

As I said, perhaps there are other alternatives, but you can see how I see it, no doubt.

As a corollary to those questions, I have another:

What common ground do Christians have with Mormons on the issue of marriage given the egregious false doctrine Mormons hold to on marriage?

 

Maranatha!
Don Johnson
Jer 33.3

Don Johnson's picture

I should mention that while we do not have open discussion at P&D, I have created a referrent article on www.oxgoad.ca that provides for moderated discussion of my article. Yes, I am the moderator. Yes, my moderation is subject to my fair and balanced whims.

Maranatha!
Don Johnson
Jer 33.3

DavidO's picture

Don Johnson wrote:
What common ground do Christians have with Mormons on the issue of marriage given the egregious false doctrine Mormons hold to on marriage?

 

They both believe in the traditional version of marriage like most other conservatives.  This, IMO, is the genius of Mohler's speech.  He carves out the great and fixed theological gap, then reasons from the light of nature re: an issue of common concern.  Rather 2K of him, and, if one must go about co-belligerency, might just be the way to do it without making common Christian cause.

 

Or can Christians make no common political cause with other non-Christian conservatives?

 

DaveMarriott's picture

Was anyone else bothered that Dr. Mohler referred to the LDS as a "church?" I understand that within first century Rome, multiple assemblies existed, thus giving the word some overall flexibility; that said, hasn't the word taken a theological significance since that time, making it rightfully reserved for those that preach the gospel, rightly practice ordinances, etc? Nevertheless, since his comment came in the context of contrasting the "Christian church" with the "LDS church," I'm willing to give his comments a charitable reading.

Besides my quibble with that single statement, it seems that our brother has navigated these rough waters without wrecking the ship, i.e. compromising the faith at any level. Seemingly, his success in this regard should be an opportunity for us to rejoice, even if we question the wisdom of his participation or would not have accepted it ourselves. 

 

Don Johnson's picture

DavidO wrote:

Don Johnson wrote:
What common ground do Christians have with Mormons on the issue of marriage given the egregious false doctrine Mormons hold to on marriage?

 

They both believe in the traditional version of marriage like most other conservatives.

Hi David, see this article. Tell me if you think there really is common ground between the Mormon view of marriage and the Christian view.

DavidO wrote:
Or can Christians make no common political cause with other non-Christian conservatives?

I am not sure about this. I think that it is one thing to do politics in the political arena, but quite another to do politics in the quasi-religious arena, as this seems to be.

However, you have to realize that I am one who opposed the Moral Majority. While the Moral Majority did contribute to some good results, I think the long term effect, especially the spiritual effect, was negative. 

 

Maranatha!
Don Johnson
Jer 33.3

DavidO's picture

Hi Don,

Don't have time to read the article right now, but I suspect the basic Mormon view today is that marriage is between a man and a woman.

I'm not much one for Christian political activism either.  Point being, we can only go so far in demanding believers un-yoke from unbelievers in common moral/ethical cause because of differing bases for those causes.  

Chip Van Emmerik's picture

TylerR wrote:

Chip:

When I say this, I'm speaking from the context of the local church. The local church has a responsibility to not engage in cooperative endeavors with unbelievers, or those with deviant Christian beliefs. When I first saw Don's article on his blog, I knew immediately the battle lines would be drawn around the issue of separation, and this is what has happened. I am a Baptist, so understand where I'm coming from here:

The spheres of civil government and the church are clearly separate (Mk 12:13-17), and Baptists have historically recognized this disjunction, so your analogy of voting is void.

Your military example is likewise specious, because a military man is not engaged in ministry pursuits, but merely living his life. We are called to separation, not isolation, after all (Jn 17:15-16).

Cooperative ministry with unbelievers gives them legitimacy. It also undermines the Gospel; where is your justification for combating secularism? Isn't it the Scriptures? Mormons are not Christians; they are polytheists. Therefore, any sort of cooperative ministry would necessarily involve engaging in vague platitudes about "shared values" rather than Biblical truth, to avoid offending any party. This is madness.

Again, I liked the speech and Dr. Mohler's uncompromising stand for Biblical truth. If a future cooperative endeavor with Mormons is in the cards, however, than that is too much. I seriously doubt any such thing is planned, though.

Tyler,

I think the key, if I read you correctly, is the idea of cooperative ministry. How would you see this as a possible beginning to cooperative ministry that unbiblically yokes believers with unbelievers instead of an acceptable civil activism among like-minded citizens that is more akin to your service in the military? In other words, what would make this "ministry" within the realm of the church in your mind instead of simply citizenship?

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

Jay's picture

How would you see this as a possible beginning to cooperative ministry that unbiblically yokes believers with unbelievers instead of an acceptable civil activism among like-minded citizens that is more akin to your service in the military?

I think that this is the key question.  Tyler and probably Don see this as the beginning of 'cooperative ministry'.  I don't think that Dr. Doran, Chip, or myself do.  Personally, unless it's formally declared as 'cooperative ministry' - or there are clear instances of joint ministry - I find it hard to describe it as such, which is why I had the reaction that I did.

"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

Dave Doran's picture

Don,

Thanks for your answer. I hate to read into it, but it seems as if you're saying that the real point of my original question (should an evangelical/fundamentalist school have in someone who is not a believer to address cultural or political issues) is moot because Mohler isn't a politician or an academic expert on marriage. Am I right about that?

Just to clear up any question of what I think about Mohler speaking there, I am not a fan of it. The LDS have been very clear about their desire to be perceived as genuine Christians and welcoming well-known evangelicals to a platform they provide helps them craft an image. While I greatly appreciate the distinction that Mohler drew between his beliefs and Mormonism, this has the potential to be a win for the LDS in terms of their image with nominal "Christians" (i.e., the kind of "Christians" they are seeking to win over to Mormonism). Most of those people will never read what Mohler said, but they will hear about Mohler's presence. Further, this was not Paul at Mars Hill--it is a massive stretch to tie the purpose and content of Paul's message to Mohler's.

All that said, whether I like it or not really isn't the point. The main part of my question was whether separatist institutions have violated separatist principles to host speakers in a manner similar to what Mohler did at BYU.      I have never thought so and benefited significantly from hearing lawyers and public policy leaders speak while I was a college student (including tackling religious freedom issues though not all the speakers agreed on what the Bible taught about the gospel). While not fully a neutral context, it was not an ecclesiastical context, so I thought it was permissible. So, Don, giving it a broader scope, what are thoughts about whether there is a legitimate place for a believer to step into a context like Mohler did or for a school to have someone from across the theological aisle speak on a subject of public interest or common good?

DMD

TylerR's picture

Editor

I thought the speech was good. I only said that if this went to the next step and included some kind of cooperative endeavor in support of traditional values, then it goes too far:

Again, I liked the speech and Dr. Mohler's uncompromising stand for Biblical truth. If a future cooperative endeavor with Mormons is in the cards, however, than that is too much. I seriously doubt any such thing is planned, though.

Tyler is a pastor in Olympia, WA and an Investigations Manager with a Washington State agency. He's the author of the book What's It Mean to Be a Baptist?

Pastor Joe Roof's picture

I remember an FBF leader a couple of years ago saying the Mormon Mitt Romney best represented people with conservative values in light of the Presidential election.

 

Al Mohler did not pull a Dave Barton and embrace the Mormons in the way Barton did.

There is room to agree or disagree with his decision to speak at BYU.

The observations Mohler made were powerful.  His description of the thinking in this late modern age is helpful and sobering.  His point that we are experiencing an unprecedented decline ought to drive us to pack out our churches and seek the Lord's help in prayer at a time when most church prayer meetings are on life support.

 

 

Greg Linscott's picture

Whether or not you agree with Mohler's decision, I think you have to acknowledge that if a Christian is going to speak in that kind of a forum, Mohler exemplified how it should be done. He did nothing to affirm their beliefs- in fact, he made it very clear not only that he believed them to be in error, but what the eternal consequences of continuing that error would be.

Co-belligerence can be a messy thing. BJU received their fair share of criticism several years ago when they invited devout Roman Catholic politician Alan Keyes to address the student body. While Mohler isn't a politician, I think in similar fashion, he intentionally uses his influence in arenas broader than specifically ecclesiastical settings.

I think Mohler's behavior in this setting can and should be commended, especially in light of previous decisions where things did not appear to be as clear as they are in this setting (Manhattan Declaration).

Greg Linscott
Marshall, MN

Jay's picture

TylerR wrote:

I thought the speech was good. I only said that if this went to the next step and included some kind of cooperative endeavor in support of traditional values, then it goes too far:

Again, I liked the speech and Dr. Mohler's uncompromising stand for Biblical truth. If a future cooperative endeavor with Mormons is in the cards, however, than that is too much. I seriously doubt any such thing is planned, though.

Ah - I see now.  Thanks for clarifying, Tyler.

The way I see it, there are a couple of ways to view this event.  Here's the list of options.

  • Appearance at BYU constitutes an endorsement of cooperative religious efforts that violates Biblical norms (Is this you, Don?).  Theology trumps all other concerns, so purity is the utmost priority.  Think resistance cells in Nazi-occupied France...all cells wanted France liberated, but they may or may not collaborate as a means to achieving their goal.
  • Appearance at BYU to discuss the secularist threat to both parties as acceptable as a matter of social concern but does not equate theological cooperation (Me).  This does not necessarily mean that we are co-belligerents, although we would both oppose the secularist norm.  Other concerns may be shared as a result of differing theological beliefs, but encouraging each other on one topic does not necessitate cooperative efforts.
  • Appearance at BYU is fine, theologically speaking. To borrow the famous line - "No doctrines were violated in the making of this speech" (and no one should care even if they were).  I think we'd all disagree with this.

"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

Don Johnson's picture

Dave Doran wrote:

Don,

Thanks for your answer. I hate to read into it, but it seems as if you're saying that the real point of my original question (should an evangelical/fundamentalist school have in someone who is not a believer to address cultural or political issues) is moot because Mohler isn't a politician or an academic expert on marriage. Am I right about that?

Yes, I think that is correct. Apples and Oranges and all that.

Dave Doran wrote:
Just to clear up any question of what I think about Mohler speaking there, I am not a fan of it. The LDS have been very clear about their desire to be perceived as genuine Christians and welcoming well-known evangelicals to a platform they provide helps them craft an image. While I greatly appreciate the distinction that Mohler drew between his beliefs and Mormonism, this has the potential to be a win for the LDS in terms of their image with nominal "Christians" (i.e., the kind of "Christians" they are seeking to win over to Mormonism). Most of those people will never read what Mohler said, but they will hear about Mohler's presence. Further, this was not Paul at Mars Hill--it is a massive stretch to tie the purpose and content of Paul's message to Mohler's.

So to further clarify, you are basically agreeing with me in questioning Mohler making this move, right?

Dave Doran wrote:
All that said, whether I like it or not really isn't the point. The main part of my question was whether separatist institutions have violated separatist principles to host speakers in a manner similar to what Mohler did at BYU. ... So, Don, giving it a broader scope, what are thoughts about whether there is a legitimate place for a believer to step into a context like Mohler did or for a school to have someone from across the theological aisle speak on a subject of public interest or common good?

Quite frankly, appearing on the Mormon's turf is not simply "across the theological aisle". They serve a different god. They preach another gospel. The only legitimate message you can bring in such a context is the full gospel. Mohler made a statement: I don't think you are going to heaven. He never told them how to get there.

Ravi Zacharias spoke at the Mormon Tabernacle a few years ago. He defended it by pointing to D. L. Moody preaching in the same venue in 1899. If you read Moody's own account (click on link, search page for 'Mormon'), you'll find it, I think, pretty unimpressive.

That is the best anyone has ever done on the Mormon's turf. Perhaps you can justify Moody or Zacharias (certainly can't justify Mouw, who appeared with Zacharias and apologized for Christian treatment of Mormons), but it seems to me that even their efforts were failures as well.

So, no, I don't subscribe to the notion that "I'll go anywhere to preach the gospel" because most who claim it never do. Mohler certainly didn't, erudite and intelligent as his speech was.

Maranatha!
Don Johnson
Jer 33.3

Mike Harding's picture

In my reading of the speech there were some brilliant lines of argumentation.  I think Mohler made it clear where he stood.  Mohler is correct that theistic people of many stripes will be prosecuted in the future for opposing the militant secularists in government and education.  Mohler's purpose I am certain was noble.  The question regards BYU's purpose.  Are they attempting to appear mainstream by bringing in someone of Mohler's stature?  Perhaps so.  For that reason alone I wouldn't go myself (nor would I ever be asked).  Mohler is a cultural icon of sorts and is attempting to mold public opinion  in his various communications.  He is pushing back hard against the secularists and pagan influences.  I didn't think BJU was wrong for bringing in Keyes as a potential presidential candidate.  Everyone knew the purpose and distinctions of that meeting.  This one is not quite so clear.

Pastor Mike Harding

Dave Doran's picture

Don,

You didn't answer my question, but I'll leave it alone rather than keep trying.

I think I made it clear that I don't think speaking at BYU is a good move, but my thinking that isn't really that important. The crucial question is whether this constitutes a violation of Scripture. There is some room between unwise and unbiblical. Lots of people do lots of things that I wouldn't do for prudence reasons, but it takes it to another level if one suggests they have violated the Scriptures. For me, I don't think I can make the case that speaking in a context like he did on a topic like the one assigned violates the Scriptures. Same basic point regarding the Christian institution that brings in an unbeliever to speak on a topic like that in a context like that. (And for the record I really don't see Catholicism as being on the same side of the aisle as biblical Christianity). 

I think you shifted the argument unfairly at the end of your last post. I have not seen anywhere that Mohler claimed he went to BYU to preach the gospel. He addressed the topic that, I'm sure, he was asked to address. To do something other than that would have been unethical and in violation of the biblical principle that "we have regard for what is honorable, not only in the sight of the Lord, but also in the sight of men" (2 Cor 8:21). You have erected a false standard for evaluating the speech in two ways: (1) judging it as a gospel message when it wasn't one; and (2) thinking that the Bible is only used if it is quoted or cited (cf. the way in which Paul uses OT Scripture in his sermon in Acts 17--all allusions and use of biblical language without quotation or citation).

Well, got to go, so I'll bow out now.

DMD

Greg Linscott's picture

I understand Mike's reluctance to accept the invitation were it extended to him, because I do not doubt for one minute that BYU has an agenda. If you doubt that at all, read this article in the Deseret News. There have been other prominent evangelicals around the campus, like Richard Land, Ravi Zacharias, and Richard Mouw. I actually think, though, that is why it was wise for Mohler to attend, if for no other reason that to make this kind of explicit statement:

I'm not here because I believe we're going to heaven together. I do not believe that. I believe that salvation comes only to those who believe and trust only in Christ and in his substitutionary atonement for salvation. I believe in justification by faith alone and Christ alone. I love and respect you as friends and as friends we would speak only what we believe to be true, especially on matters of eternal significance. We inhabit separate and irreconcilable theological worlds, made clear with the doctrine of the Trinity...

That's not something that other figures have always made clear. He did, and it needed to be said.

Greg Linscott
Marshall, MN

Don Johnson's picture

Dave Doran wrote:

Don,

You didn't answer my question, but I'll leave it alone rather than keep trying.

Dave Doran wrote:
So, Don, giving it a broader scope, what are thoughts about whether there is a legitimate place for a believer to step into a context like Mohler did or for a school to have someone from across the theological aisle speak on a subject of public interest or common good?

Do you mean this question? But it is really two questions, isn't it? I think you are trying to ask a "gotcha" question with the second part. But to answer the first part of the question again, I think there really is no place for a believer as such doing what Mohler did. If he was a politician seeking votes, the question entirely changes. But he was not, he was appearing on the platform of one of the chief institutions of a cult as a Christian theologian/preacher/leader. I think lending credibility to cultists falls under 2 Corinthians 6.

As for the second part of your question - I think I have answered in posts above. If someone is speaking on a matter of their expertise on a subject promoting the common good, that may be permissible. Or if someone as a politician is seeking votes, I think such events are also possibly legitimate.

But really, your second part of the question really is not the issue at hand.

Dave Doran wrote:

I think you shifted the argument unfairly at the end of your last post. I have not seen anywhere that Mohler claimed he went to BYU to preach the gospel. He addressed the topic that, I'm sure, he was asked to address. To do something other than that would have been unethical and in violation of the biblical principle that "we have regard for what is honorable, not only in the sight of the Lord, but also in the sight of men" (2 Cor 8:21). You have erected a false standard for evaluating the speech in two ways: (1) judging it as a gospel message when it wasn't one; and (2) thinking that the Bible is only used if it is quoted or cited (cf. the way in which Paul uses OT Scripture in his sermon in Acts 17--all allusions and use of biblical language without quotation or citation).

My point in "shifting the argument" is this: If there is any legitimacy to appearing at such a venue, it would be to preach the gospel, a la Paul on Mars Hill. Previous attempts, in my opinion, have fallen short, so I am dubious that any figure could pull it off today.

What Mohler did in making his appearance was make common cause with cultists and didn't come close to preaching the gospel. In my view that would be the only thing that would make such an appearance legitimate. I agree that if he had done so without announcing his intentions ahead of time, that would be unethical, but I wouldn't accept any invitation that implied directly or indirectly that I was barred from preaching the gospel.

I never said Mohler's speech was a gospel message. I am saying that if it could have legitmacy, it should have been.

With respect to #2 above, my criticism was that Mohler constantly cited human authorities rather than the Bible in his message. It is a small part of my criticism, but the point is that someone on the other side can make a similar speech likewise citing human authorities and all you have is two competing opinions. When you cite the Bible, you have The Authority and all the authority you need.

I, too, have to go, so that will be all for now.

Maranatha!
Don Johnson
Jer 33.3

RBurns's picture

 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.    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?  Can we not assume this brother, this well trained brother, was led by the Spirit of God to go?    And could that same Holy Spirit not hindered Brother Mohler had the case warranted it?  

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