By Al Mohler (July 27th 2004): The 20th century witnessed an increasingly energetic revolt against doctrine. A denial of specific formulations of classical Christian doctrine has been evident in some quarters, while others have rejected the very notion of doctrine itself. Doctrine has even fallen on hard times even among those who call themselves evangelicals. Some evangelical historians now argue that the defining principles of evangelical identity are not specifically theological–at least beyond the most general affirmations. If true, that judgment would be a disgrace to any people of God. As it is, however, evangelicals have a proud doctrinal heritage and have historically given careful attention to confessions of faith and doctrinal issues. Doctrine is, quite literally, the teaching of the church–what the church understands to be the substance of its faith. It is no substitute for personal experience. Evangelical Christians have given clear witness to the necessity of personal faith in Jesus Christ, but that personal faith is based
Al Mohler: Must one believe in the Virgin Birth to be a Christian? This is not a hard question to answer. It is conceivable that someone might come to Christ and trust Christ as Savior without yet learning that the Bible teaches that Jesus was born of a virgin. A new believer is not yet aware of the full structure of Christian truth. The real question is this: Can a Christian, once aware of the Bible’s teaching, reject the Virgin Birth? The answer must be no. Read the entire article HERE.
Keynote Panel Q&A featuring John MacArthur, Rick Holland, Steve Lawson, Al Mohler, and CJ Mahaney, at the recent Resolved 2010 Conference. (HT: Gospel Coalition]
By Al Mohler. Preaching has fallen on hard times. So suggests a report out of Durham University’s College of Preachers. The British university’s CODEC research center, which aims to explore “the interfaces between the Bible, the digital environment and contemporary culture,” conducted the study to mark the fiftieth anniversary of the College of Preachers. The report is not very encouraging. As Ruth Gledhill of The Times [London] reports, “Sermons, history shows, can be among the most revolutionary forms of human speech. From John Calvin to Billy Graham, preaching has had the power to topple princes, to set nation against nation, to inspire campaigners to change the world and impel people to begin life anew.” Indeed, preaching is the central act of Christian worship, but its great aim reaches far above merely changing the world. The preaching of the Word of God is the chief means by which God conforms Christians to the image of Christ. Rightly understood, true Christian preaching is
Albert Mohler’s comments are worth quoting at length: Does God hate Haiti? That is the conclusion reached by many, who point to the earthquake as a sign of God’s direct and observable judgment. God does judge the nations — all of them — and God will judge the nations. His judgment is perfect and his justice is sure. He rules over all the nations and his sovereign will is demonstrated in the rising and falling of nations and empires and peoples. Every molecule of matter obeys his command, and the earthquakes reveal his reign — as do the tides of relief and assistance flowing into Haiti right now. A faithful Christian cannot accept the claim that God is a bystander in world events. The Bible clearly claims the sovereign rule of God over all his creation, all of the time. We have no right to claim that God was surprised by the earthquake in Haiti, or to allow that God
The following paragraphs are the conluding remarks of Al Mohler’s artcle: Why Moralism Is Not the Gospel — And Why So Many Christians Think It Is […] Just as parents rightly teach their children to obey moral instruction, the church also bears responsibility to teach its own the moral commands of God and to bear witness to the larger society of what God has declared to be right and good for His human creatures. But these impulses, right and necessary as they are, are not the Gospel. Indeed, one of the most insidious false gospels is a moralism that promises the favor of God and the satisfaction of God’s righteousness to sinners if they will only behave and commit themselves to moral improvement. The moralist impulse in the church reduces the Bible to a codebook for human behavior and substitutes moral instruction for the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Far too many evangelical pulpits are given over to moralistic messages rather
Al Mohler’s latest book, “The Disappearance of God”, can be ordered HERE . From the Publisher: For centuries the church has taught and guarded the core Christian beliefs that make up the essential foundations of the faith. But in our postmodern age, sloppy teaching and outright lies create rampant confusion, and many Christians are free-falling for ‘feel-good’ theology. We need to know the truth to save ourselves from errors that will derail our faith. As biblical scholar, author, and president of The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, Dr. Albert Mohler, writes, “The entire structure of Christian truth is now under attack.” With wit and wisdom he tackles the most important aspects of these modern issues: Is God changing His mind about sin? Why is hell off limits for many pastors? What’s good or bad about the emergent movement? Have Christians stopped seeing God as God? Is the social justice movement misguided? Could the role of beauty be critical to our theology?
Dr. Mohler takes on this question. His answer? “The answer to that question must be a decisive No. Those who deny the virgin birth reject the authority of Scripture, deny the supernatural birth of the Saviour, undermine the very foundations of the Gospel, and have no way of explaining the deity of Christ.” Read the whole thing here. (HT: Tim Challies)
Al Mohler comments: The Church of England faces yet another theological challenge as it prepares for the meeting of its General Synod in July. This time the issue is the Gospel itself and the specific question concerns the evangelization of Muslims. In the end, the outcome of this debate may, more then anything else, determine the future viability of the Church of England. Paul Eddy, a lay theology student from Winchester who aspires to the priesthood, has entered a Private Member’s Motion and has secured the signatures necessary to force the General Synod to deal with his motion. The text of his motion sets the issue clearly: ‘That this Synod request the House of Bishops to report to the Synod on their understanding of the uniqueness of Christ in Britain’s multi-faith society, and offer examples and commendations of good practice in sharing the gospel of salvation through Christ alone with people of other faiths and of none.’ Mr. Eddy’s motion
Biblical preaching is declarative not suggestive. From Al Mohler: The inaugural issue of Christianity Today, dated October 15, 1956, featured an article by Billy Graham entitled, “Biblical Authority in Evangelism.” The thrust of the article was clear — without an unhesitant “thus saith the Lord” authority in preaching and evangelism, the message lacks all authority. The only authority that matters, Dr. Graham insisted, was the authority of the Bible as the Word of God. Indeed, this confidence in biblical authority was, at least in part, the reason for the establishment of Christianity Today as the flagship journal of American evangelicalism under the editorship of Carl. F. H. Henry. Now, over a half-century after the publication of that article, Angie Ward of Leadership magazine began with Dr. Graham’s article and then asked five preachers — What, if anything, has changed? I was pleased to answer her questions and to participate in the project. She also interviewed David Anderson, pastor of Bridgeway
Next week I’ll be heading out to Louisville, Kentucky, for the T4G conference. This has been made possible by some good friends. To whom I’m very grateful! Many of my favourite preacher/teachers will be speaking. It’s a mouth watering prospect indeed, but more importantly I’m expecting it to be a life changing encounter. You can check out the titles of the sessions here. Here’s some highlights from the last conference in 2006. I’m also booked in for the Band of Bloggers luncheon. Should be fun!
Marriage and the Glory of God By Al Mohler “Dearly beloved, we are gathered here in the sight of God and in the face of this congregation, to join together this man and this woman in Holy Matrimony; which is an honorable state, instituted by God in the time of man’s innocency, signifying unto us the mystical union that is betwixt Christ and his Church.” That familiar language from the Anglican Book of Common Prayer, recited thousands of times each week in various forms, presents a vision of marriage as a deeply Christian institution–even a necessary portrait of the love that unites Christ and His church. As marriage signifies this “mystical union,” it points to an understanding that takes us far beyond the relationship of the husband and wife. Do most Christians have even the slightest understanding of this? It is bad enough that the secular world has discounted marriage into a quasi-legal contract that, like other voluntary contracts, can