Guest / Limited Access /

At age 15, R. Albert Mohler Jr. had a crisis of faith. Two years earlier, his family had moved from the conservative idyll of Lakeland, Florida, to the other end of the world: Pompano Beach, 200 miles south, where Christian faith was by no means universal and the fleshpots of Miami beckoned. In Lakeland, life had revolved around Southside Baptist Church, a traditional congregation that treasured its "tall steeple, pipe organ, and things done decently and in order," says Mohler.

He entered the church rolls while still in the womb, as "Baby Mohler," and later joined every age-appropriate church activity, from the Royal Ambassadors to summer camp at Lake Yale Baptist Conference Center. "It was an intact culture, so the messages I was receiving at home and church were the same messages I was receiving in public school," he says, "and I just considered that's the way the world was and always would be." In Pompano Beach, torn from everything he knew, Mohler found himself in class sitting next to the children of rabbis and Roman Catholics, the high-school honors curriculum stirring in his mind the biggest questions of existence.

The curious teen's youth pastor offered the diversions of his megachurch's bowling alley and gymnasium, but had no answers to his questions. He took the boy to meet the minister of a fast-growing congregation down the highway in Fort Lauderdale: Coral Ridge Presbyterian Church. D. James Kennedy listened to Mohler and knew just the antidote to his anxieties. Francis Schaeffer's He is Not Silent "had an absolutely determinative impact on my life as a young teenager," Mohler says. "Not that I understood everything that Schaeffer was saying, but it came with incredible assurance that there were legitimate Christian ...

Subscriber access only You have reached the end of this Article Preview

To continue reading, subscribe now. Subscribers have full digital access.

Read These NextSee Our Latest
RecommendedThree Controversial Christian Colleges Learn Their Accreditation Fate
Three Controversial Christian Colleges Learn Their Accreditation Fate
Southern Baptist schools recently made headlines for finances, presidential changes, and teacher turnover.
TrendingReligious Freedom vs. LGBT Rights? It's More Complicated
Religious Freedom vs. LGBT Rights? It's More Complicated
The legal context for what's happening at Gordon College, and how Christians can respond despite intense cultural backlash.
Editor's PickWhat We Talk About When We Talk About 'Birth Control'
What We Talk About When We Talk About 'Birth Control'
Meaningful debate requires us to define the terms of discussion.
Leave a Comment

Use your Christianity Today login to leave a comment on this article. Not part of the community? Subscribe now, or register for a free account.

Christianity Today
The Reformer
hide thisOctober October

In the Magazine

October 2010

To continue reading, subscribe now for full print and digital access.