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Mohler: Follow the wisdom of the cross, not the world
May 05, 2003
By Erika Nelson
In a culture of confusion, the Christian should follow the wisdom of the cross instead of the wisdom of the world, said R. Albert Mohler Jr. in a chapel message at Boyce College April 16.
Preaching from 1 Corinthians 2:1-5, Mohler said there is no way to talk about the cross in terms of worldly wisdom. The Christian celebration of Easter especially brings this truth into focus.
“This week [of Easter] brings a very necessary collision between the wisdom of God and the wisdom of the world,” said Mohler. “The imposition of the cross and resurrection in a secular world is never going to be received as a non-threatening message. It threatens everything the secular world holds most precious.”
The threat of the cross to the secular world is the reason why Christians must always preach the Gospel in weakness and fear and trembling, said Mohler.
“This is a message that is ours by God’s grace,” said Mohler. “We did not come up with this; it is nor our human wisdom, but the wisdom of God.”
Mohler closed with a quote from Martin Luther: “He is the true theologian who sees all things through the Lord Jesus Christ, and without the cross, knows no things.”
Following the message, Mohler held a question and answer session with Boyce students. He answered questions on issues ranging from the use of alcohol to how many books he reads each week to how to avoid burnout in ministry.
“Wow,” Mohler said when presented with the question regarding alcohol. “If you ask me whether the Scripture, speaking only of alcohol demands total abstinence, I would have to say honestly no. But the Scripture speaks more than those texts speaking just to alcohol. It speaks about Christian responsibility, Christian discipleship and the life of the church lived out in faithfulness together. And so I hold to a total abstinence policy.”
Mohler said he believes it right for all Southern Baptists, as a denomination, to expect its institutions to hold to a total abstinence policy, as well. One main reason he said is the indulgence of even moderate or occasional alcohol would be a stumbling block to those in the church who would be radically offended.
“That offense in itself would make it sin,” said Mohler. “And that is a word we need to use.”
Mohler closed his time at Boyce chapel answering the question of how to avoid burnout in ministry.
“I think burnout is a loss of perspective in terms of God’s glory and faithfulness, and it’s a loss of input,” said Mohler. “Most people who have professional burnout are busy doing the wrong things. If we’re busy doing the right things, they restore us rather than deplete us.”
Students Michele Cummings and Katie Magee enjoyed the question and answer time with Mohler and both said they would like to see the same thing again.
“I wish we would have had more time for him to answer questions,” said Cummings, a B.S. student from Youngstown, Ohio.
She added that the format of the service gave students the chance to ask questions they would not have asked Mohler in another environment.
Magee, a BS student from Louisville, Ky., said he was encouraged by Mohler to read and study theology outside of school assignments.
Mohler urged students to read one major systematic theology and have a historical book project each year. He said that he reads, on average, five to eight books a week and also four and five biographies a year.
“I was encouraged to hear Dr. Mohler say he reads and studies to be on top of our culture,” Magee said. “That impacted me to see we as believers are not to be ignorant.”