Mohler calls for gospel action ‘while there’s time’ at Southern Seminary convocation
Cultural hostility to the gospel should compel Christian ministers to proclaim God’s message with faithfulness and urgency while there is still time for repentance, said President R. Albert Mohler Jr. during The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary’s Aug. 25 fall convocation.
“More is hanging in the balance than the horror of human terrorism,” Mohler said after recounting the courage of the three Americans who prevented the Aug. 21 attempted mass shooting on a train in France. “The time is coming when the wrath of God will rise up and there will be no remedy. And while there’s time, act. Do. Wring everything out of every course, wring everything out of every test, do everything you do to the glory of God.”
In his convocation address, “Until There Was No Remedy,” Mohler preached from 2 Chronicles 36:15-16, in which the kingdom of Judah persists in rejecting God’s prophets until the Lord judges his people through Babylonian captivity. Mohler said the reality of God’s judgment means seminary students must prepare to act with eternal consequence for those who have not believed “because at some point there will be no remedy.”
“We’re actually preparing a generation of young ministers, church planters, missionaries, and Christian leaders to go out and suffer being mocked and to be the object of scoffing,” Mohler said, referencing cultural rejection of God’s Word.
In addition to those who refuse to profess faith in Jesus as Lord, Mohler said mainline Protestant denominations and their seminaries appear to be “beyond remedy” because of apostate leadership. Mohler expressed his gratitude for the conservative resurgence in the Southern Baptist Convention in the 1980s, which turned the nation’s largest Protestant denomination back to biblical orthodoxy, saying, “A generation ago, Southern Baptists acted while there was still an opportunity for a remedy.”
Prior to Mohler’s convocation address, two professors elected to the faculty during the spring trustee meeting signed the Abstract of Principles, the seminary’s confession of faith. The professors signed the original document drafted and signed by founding faculty James Petigru Boyce, John A. Broadus, Basil Manly Jr., and William Williams, along with every subsequent faculty member of the school.
Mohler said the Abstract remains a vital part of the seminary’s tradition because it represents a commitment to fend off the theological liberalism that claimed historically Christian institutions, as well as Southern during a majority of the 20th century.
“We go back not just to traditions of Christian higher education in a generic form, we go back to some very specific disciplines and patterns and commitments represented by Southern Seminary,” Mohler said. “None of those is more important than the public signing of the Abstract of Principles.”
Signee numbers 254-255 of the Abstract were Douglas K. Blount, professor of Christian philosophy and ethics, and Joseph R. Crider, Ernest and Mildred Hogan Professor of Church Music and Worship. Blount has previously served on the faculty at Dallas Theological Seminary, Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, and Criswell College. Before coming to Southern in 2011, Crider served as associate dean of the College of Arts and Sciences at Liberty University and minister of music and worship at First Baptist Church, Roanoke, Virginia.
At the start of the ceremony, Mohler also introduced new trustees and five incoming faculty members: Blount, who began his role July 1; Jonathan Arnold, assistant professor of Christian theology and church history at Boyce College; David Bosch, associate professor of business administration at Boyce; Ayman S. Ibrahim, assistant professor of Islamic studies and senior fellow of the Jenkins Center for the Christian Understanding of Islam; and J. Stephen Yuille, associate professor of biblical spirituality.
Audio and video of Mohler’s convocation address are available online at sbts.edu/resources.