Vol. 33 Num. 13
First Published: March 14, 2000
Last week, I mentioned my recent visit (Tuesday, March 7) to Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in
Many of you may know that in the 1970’s a movement began to return the Southern Baptist Convention to its historic, conservative, evangelical roots. Liberals (who liked to call themselves “Moderates”) had taken over the denomination’s agencies and institutions. Rank and file Southern Baptists would have been shocked if they had known just how left-leaning were some of the theological “leaders” in those days. As a young self-consciously conservative Presbyterian, I attended a university that was then affiliated with the State Baptist Convention in
At any rate, that was often the case at Southern Seminary in those days. There were faculty members who denied fundamental Christian doctrinal truths, as well as a general anti-conservative spirit on the campus. Indeed, I had many friends that went from Furman to Southern to prepare for ministry, who had their faith in the Word of God weakened by their experience in the classrooms at Southern. For instance, the last time I stood on the platform in Alumni Memorial Chapel at Southern in
Into that situation, Dr. Mohler was called as President in the early 1990’s. He was only 33 years old at the time. He was hand-picked as one of the brightest young leaders in the Convention and as a conservative evangelical. Al determined, in humble reliance upon divine grace, to restore the original vision of the institution (as expressed in the Abstract of Principles). God has blessed his labors abundantly. Though Al has been brutally attacked and maligned by the secular press and by opponents of historic Christianity within the church, his mission has been prospered beyond our wildest dreams. Today, Southern is a bastion of evangelical orthodoxy and evangelistic missionary zeal. The campus has managed to achieve new heights of academic excellence and at the same time foster Bible-believing Christianity in the classroom. It was such an encouragement to see what is going on there.
I have known of Al, since he was the editor of “The Christian Index,” the State Baptist periodical in