Albert Mohler is the President of Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville, Kentucky and the author of numerous books, including Atheism Remix and He is Not Silent. The following are my notes from Dr. Mohler’s second session at the BOLD Church Conference in Columbus, Nebraska on October 1, 2012 (paraphrased).
[Just as a baby comes out of his mother’s womb with a robust package of medical immunizations, culturally,] we received as a birthright an enormous set of immunization—an immune system that by our birthright was healthy. And instead of passing strength, we’re passing along one that became weaker and weaker.
What caused this? Sociologically speaking, it’s secularization. That gradually over time the belief in God will push further and further into the background. . . . My program Thinking in Public deals with these kinds of questions and a couple seasons ago, I was able to speak with Peter Berger, one of the leading figures in the secularization movement. And he’s lived long enough to retract it, although not completely.
He wrote an article explaining how the theory is exactly wrong—that while the secularization pattern is exactly right for Europe and the American university, but there’s been a resurgence of belief in God. . . . But Peter Berger had an amazing insight that’s amazing to me as a Christian about what happened in America, and it’s pluralization. It’s not the abandonment of belief, but the creation of a God who is more palatable.
The exchange of the God of the Bible for a “in case of emergency break glass” kind of God.
There’s been a massive moral and cultural shift in America, but before that happened there had to have been a massive theological shift—because these shifts would be impossible if you believe in the God of the Bible, the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. This is not the God that most Americans believe in when 90 percent say they believe in God.
It’s theologically incorrect to overstate how “Christian” America is. It’s not that our founding fathers were all Christians—many were not—but they inherited a Christian worldview that made sense. Their basic ideas of truth and morality… the liberties we enjoy—all were informed by this worldview.
When I was a boy in 1972, we lived in a world where it made sense that a 13-year-old boy would not know the term “homosexual” and to not get an answer. But today, we’ve got 5-year-olds learning about how Sally’s got two moms… we’re reaping the eclipse of the Christian worldview.
But as Christians, our job is not to convince others of the Christian worldview. That’s not evangelism. There are many people who are going to be in Hell who hold to a “Christian worldview”… But this eclipse is like the weakening of the immune system, where it’s just becoming weaker and weaker and weaker.
This morning, we’re looking at the defense of life. And this is just an amazing thing, where in the beginning of the great American experiment, there was this great value placed upon life, the individual… And yet today, we’re not even sure what “life” means.
We need a biblical framework for answering this question. To do that, we’ll look at Psalm 139.
You come to the 139th Psalm, and you find this symphonic declaration of God’s omnipresence. David begins with the personal knowledge of God – “you have searched me and known me.” And the internal knowledge —“you discern my thoughts from afar.” And David declares that there’s nowhere where God is not there.
We now live in a surveillance society. If you live in London (UK), you’re under constant surveillance if you’re outside of a private residence. . . . It’s harder and harder to get away with something, which is not necessarily a bad thing. But David knew this thousands of years ago. [Read more…]