The Reformer

Christianity Today's cover story on Al Mohler ["The Reformer," October] was one of your best, providing good news to those of us who are concerned by the church's willingness to overlook biblical teaching to go along with the culture. I'm surprised by what one man has been able to do to redirect such a large body of believers.

By no stretch of the imagination can Mohler be called a "fundamentalist." Molly Worthen correctly notes Mohler's admiration for Carl F. H. Henry, whose The Uneasy Conscience of Modern Fundamentalism played a major role in the launching of neo-evangelicalism. Evangelicals, including Mohler, rejected the pugnacious stance of fundamentalists toward those they disagreed with. Many scholarly evangelicals believe in biblical inerrancy, complementary roles for men and women, and a seven-day creation. Though not shared by other evangelicals, these convictions do not amount to fundamentalism.

I am not a Southern Baptist and have never attended Southern Baptist Theological Seminary (SBTS). I don't have a dog in this fight. Nonetheless, I was disappointed with the tone and content of Worthen's profile of Mohler. Her thinly veiled condescension toward Mohler and his "fundamentalist" cronies was disturbing. A reader with no previous knowledge of Mohler, the Southern Baptist Convention (SBC), or SBTS would have walked away with a caricature of all three.

Worthen provided a fair and accurate summary of the SBC schism, recounting the controversy in such an insightful way, with such polar opposite perspectives on how and why it unfolded. However, it's impossible to capture the depth of pain for those who were marginalized by the new SBC. I left it in the late 1980s in part because it was so painful. The question ...

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