Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Mohler on Protestantism


On his blog for Tuesday, August 26, 2008, Dr. R. Albert Mohler, President of Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, states:

"The health of the church is a far greater concern than the health of the nation. The primary injury caused by mainline Protestant decline is not social but spiritual."

Dr. Mohler's blog is entitled, From Mainline to Sideline -- The Death of Protestant America, and he reviews an article written by Joseph Bottum in the August/September 2008 issue of First Things.

Dr. Mohler focuses upon the theological liberalism as the cause of the Protestant decline, and again neglects the more significant "spiritual" root problem with Pedobaptist Protestantism -- infant baptism and infant church enrollment by which the spiritually unregenerate are added to the church membership. Apostasy is the inevitable result of adding the unregenerate to the church membership.

How Mohler can attribute the Protestant decline to liberalism while continuing to ignore the more predominant factor of infant baptism is rather paradoxical. He continues to promote Pedobaptist Hybrid Calvinism at Southern Seminary and continues to embellish pedobaptist ministers and churches by his intimate association with them in various ways.

C. H. Spurgeon recognized the primary problem within Pedobaptist Protestantism, saying,

"I do not know an error which causes the damnation of more souls than that at the present time. . . . Sacramental efficacy and baptismal regeneration, ALL SPRING FROM THE FIRST ERROR OF INFANT BAPTISM" (New Park Street Pulpit, Volume 6, page 168).

Spurgeon traced the "Down Grade" in his own time to the Pedobaptists. In an article published in The Sword and the Trowel magazine (March 1887) the "Down Grade" in Spurgeon's day is associated with

"The Presbyterians were the first to get on the down line. They paid more attention to classical attainments and other branches of learning in their ministry than the Independents, while the Baptists had no academical institution of any kind. It would be an easy step in the wrong direction to pay increased attention to academical attainments in their ministers, and less to spiritual qualifications; and to set a higher value on scholarship and oratory, than on evangelical zeal and ability to rightly divide the word of truth. . . .

"The principal cause of the quicker descent on 'the down grade' among the Presbyterians than among other Nonconformists, may be traced . . . to their rule of admitting to the privileges of Church membership. Of course their children received the rite of baptism, according to their views of baptism, in infancy. They were thereby received—so the ministers taught, and so the people believed—into covenant with God, and had a right to the Lord's table, without any other qualification than a moral life. Many such children grew up unregenerate, and strangers to the work of renewing grace; yet they claimed to be Christians, and to be admitted to all the privileges of the church, and their claim was not disallowed. To such the earnest appeals of faithful ministers of Christ would be irksome and unpalatable." (The Down Grade Controversy, page 5. Collected and Unabridged materials from Spurgeon, published by Pilgrim Publications).


At Wednesday, August 27, 2008 10:23:00 AM, Blogger Rick said...

I don't think it exclusively Protestant--I think it's across the board.

When one factors in all the research that has been done by scholars the past hundred years on the authenticity of Scripture and the redactors work coupled with a healthy dose of incredulity one might very well take a step backward and reflect very hard upon the reality or un-reality of the worlds' religions.

Mohler has reason to be concerned.

The dicotomy between the perceived "sanity" of believers and those who are skeptics is ever-widening.


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