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Archive for April 20th, 2009

This is a work by the President of Southern Seminary, Al Mohler. Most people know him through his blog, where he writes on topics concerning our culture, society and secularism. This book is in the same vein, where he addresses various topics from the abortion debate, the legality of torture, “tolerance”, and public education. Some of the chapters address current event that is still fresh in the public memory, for instance the Tsunami in late 2004 and the unfolding of Katrina. He also reflects on the past, from the event in Hiroshima to the racism of the South. It is evident from the book that Al Mohler is a big reader, with his familiarity of liberal authors, idealogue, etc. I enjoyed his chapter on “soft v.s hard america”, and also the chapter on the weakening of the next generation. The approach Dr. Mohler takes in this book is for the general readership, and I hope that as time goes on Dr. Mohler will write more work with hard hitting insight refuting unbiblical worldview and also provide the blueprint of a Christian worldview in society. On a lighter note, I did appreciate Dr. Mohler autographing my copy during the Shepherd’s conference. Gives this book a bit more of a personal touch.

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In his book, “A History of Christianity In the United States And Canada”, Mark Noll gives his assessment of the impact of the early part of the 2oth Century’s “Modernism”:

“Modernism has had a long-lasting influence on the academic study of religion” (376)

In contrast to Modernism’s effect in the field of academia, Noll observes of “Modernism”  lesser impact in the pews:

“Modernism had less impact among the church-going population, although its promotion of the Social Gospel helped keep alive a concern for social reconciliation in the large Protestant denomination of the North” (376)

And then he gave this interesting point:

“Ironically, modernists may have had the greatest impact on their polar opposites, the fundamentalists, who were intensely preoccupied with the effort to refute modernist reinterpretations of the faith” (376)

I disagree.

Noll seems to miss “Modernism’s” greatest effect is the blurring of the gospel, and the hinderance of the gospel from being preached clearly.  “Modernism” is not a monolithic movement and its various theological shades which deny the essential core of the Gospel in academia would only cripple the cause of the gospel when it comes to training the leaders of the church.  Even if the gospel is not explicitly denied, the confusion would at least take away the centrality of the Cross.

This amounts to the training of preachers/leaders who are not clear when it comes to the gospel.

And that is the most tragic effect of “Modernism” as one can see where the Mainline denomination is at today, with their spiritual and number decline.

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