Albert Mohler–The Integrity of Words and Our Confession of Faith

Theological education is a deadly serious business. The stakes are so high. A theological seminary that serves faithfully will be a source of health and life for the church, but an unfaithful seminary will set loose a torrent of trouble, untruth, and sickness upon Christ’s people. Inevitably, the seminaries are the incubators of the church’s future. The teaching imparted to seminarians will shortly be inflicted upon congregations, where the result will be either fruitfulness or barrenness, vitality or lethargy, advance or decline, spiritual life, or spiritual death.

Sadly, the landscape is littered with theological institutions that have poorly taught and have been poorly led. Theological liberalism has destroyed scores of seminaries, divinity schools, and other institutions for the education of the ministry. Many of these schools are now extinct, even as the churches they served have been evacuated. Others linger on, committed to the mission of revising the Christian faith in order to make peace with the spirit of the age. These schools intentionally and boldly deny the pattern of sound words in order to devise new words for a new age ”” producing a new faith. As J. Gresham Machen rightly observed almost a century ago, we do not really face two rival versions of Christianity. We face Christianity on the one hand and, on the other hand, some other religion that selectively uses Christian words, but is not Christianity.

How does this happen? Rarely does an institution decide, in one comprehensive moment of decision, to abandon the faith and seek after another. The process is far more dangerous and subtle. A direct institutional evasion would be instantly recognized and corrected, if announced honestly at the onset. Instead, theological disaster usually comes by means of drift and evasion, shading and equivocation.

Read it all (emphasis mine).


Posted in * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, America/U.S.A., Religion & Culture, Seminary / Theological Education, Theology

2 comments on “Albert Mohler–The Integrity of Words and Our Confession of Faith

  1. Terry Tee says:

    There is much here to challenge and even inspire us. But reading it I had an uncomfortable recollection of an earlier era, the Modernist controversy in the Catholic Church ca 1900, when it would be no exaggeration to say something like a sense of paranoia reigned. This particularly struck me with regard to the solemn declaration referred to by Al Mohler, signed by professors in SBC seminaries. It reminded me of the anti-Modernist oath that Catholic clergy had to sign, designed to rule out any equivocation in matters of faith. It may have stopped a move to a liberalism that undermines. But historians now concede that it froze theological reflection and led to repetition of old formulas without seeking ways to make them speak to the challenges of the age.

  2. MichaelA says:

    This seems sensible. The seminaries are usually where liberalism makes its inroads. Much effort and resources should go in to protecting them.