Mohler Elected President of ETS
Southern Seminary President Albert Mohler was elected president of the Evangelical Theological Society Thursday during the organization’s 72nd annual meeting. Due to the pandemic, the meeting of evangelical scholars met virtually this week. The meeting was originally scheduled to meet in Providence, Rhode Island.
Previously, Mohler had served as vice president of ETS, having been elected to that office during the 2018 annual meeting in Denver, Colorado.
“I am deeply honored to serve as president of the Evangelical Theological Society," Mohler said. “As a young evangelical, I came to respect and admire this society for its identity as a society of evangelical theologians that would demonstrate the highest quality of theological and biblical scholarship."
“Formed by men of the stature of Carl F. H. Henry and others, this has been the central point of scholarly conversation for evangelicals in the United States for well over half a century. I’ve been pleased to serve as an officer of the society and I’m now very honored to be its president.”
Mohler is the third member of the Southern Seminary faculty to serve as ETS president in the past 11 years. Bruce Ware—T. Rupert and Lucille Coleman Professor of Christian Theology— served in that role in 2009 and Tom Schreiner, James Buchanan Harrison Professor of New Testament, was elected in 2014. Gregg Allison, professor of Christian Theology, is the current secretary of ETS.
“Southern Seminary has had a deep and abiding commitment to ETS and leadership roles in the society as seen by the fact that several of our faculty members have also served as president and each annual meeting sees dozens of our faculty and students presenting important papers defining and defending conservative evangelical scholarship,” Mohler said.
Serving in ETS leadership is an important stewardship, Mohler said, because of the way the society helps frame the conversation among conservative evangelicals. It is vital that ETS continue to promote scholarship built upon the inerrancy of Scripture and a commitment to biblical orthodoxy, he said.
“It’s important to realize the Evangelical Theological Society is first and foremost a society of evangelical theologians, not merely a society devoted to interest in American evangelicalism. It is a confessional society in which every member must annually affirm a commitment to the inerrancy of Scripture.”
Southern Seminary has seen its role in ETS grow virtually every year over the past decade. This year, many SBTS professors and students presented academic papers on a wide range of topics and Ayman Ibrahim, Bill and Connie Jenkins Associate Professor of Islamic Studies, delivered one of the society’s keynote addresses. The 2020 theme was Christianity and Islam.
“In recent decades the ETS has been a forum for the discussing and debating some of the biggest controversies in contemporary evangelical theology from the openness of God to questions of the nature of the Trinity and the shape of biblical ethics.
“This kind of conversation is sure to continue and it will be vitally important that the society maintain its evangelical convictions and not allow itself to become an amorphous collection of scholars who merely claim some kind of evangelical identity. At the same time the strength of the ETS and the size of its membership and exploding participation in its annual meetings points to the vigor and theological vitality found among American evangelicals and for that we must be most grateful.”