Albert Mohler on Calvinism
I was reading FIDE-O when I came across the article “Patterson, Mohler: Calvinism shouldn’t divide SBC” by the Baptist Press (BP), which is the daily national news service of Southern Baptists. Albert Mohler has made an excellent case for Calvinism’s strong impact on evangelism during the 2006 SBC Pastors' Conference, which was held on 11 and 12 June 2006. In a sense, all true believers affirm some, if not all, of the doctrines of Calvinism, whether they want to openly admit it or not.
- "In your local church, when you send out an evangelism team, you don't say, 'Good luck,'" he said. "You pray that God will open hearts and open minds. When we listen to ourselves pray, we really do hear a strong confidence in the sovereignty of God."
- " … The doctrine of election explains why we go with confidence to share the Gospel -- because God does call sinners to Himself, through the blood of Jesus Christ. "
- "As the parable of the sower of the soil makes clear, we cannot read the human heart. We do not know who is the fertile heart and who is the resistant heart. … We just know there are sinners who need to hear the Gospel, and thus we preach the Gospel to all persons, knowing that God does save."
- “Why do we go?” he asked. “We go because we honestly believe that whosoever calls upon the name of the Lord shall be saved. … God always blesses the preaching of the Gospel. And He does so because He is not a spectator, but He is the God who saves through the means of the Gospel.”
- “The Lord’s will –- as the initiating will -– wills the human will to will what the Father wills,” he said. "… When Dr. Patterson shares the Gospel and when I share the Gospel, we do so honestly and urgently believing that if that person to whom we shared the Gospel of Christ responds in faith, she or he will be saved.”
- "The question is, how is the atonement limited and by whom?" he said. "… I would prefer to speak of particular redemption. I do believe before the creation of the world God determined to save sinners -- and not just in a general sense, but in an actual sense, persons who would come to faith in the Lord Jesus Christ."
- "I feel no accountability to John Calvin. I feel an indebtedness to him, but I'm not accountable to him nor would I wish to wear his name, nor, I believe, would he wish anyone to wear his name,” Mohler said. “[Calvinism] is a categorization which I don't deny if you're talking about a strain of theology. But I am accountable to the Word of God and the Gospel of Christ. "
- "It is not healthy to have a person who will drive across the state to debate Calvinism but won't even drive across the street to share the Gospel," he said.
- A belief in the inerrancy of Scripture. "It is not by accident that there are no great Arminian testimonies to the inerrancy of Scripture," Mohler said. "… We really do believe that God can work in such a way that the human will wills to do what God wills that will to do. And that is exactly why we believe in the inerrancy of Scripture. We do not believe that the Apostle Paul was irresistibly against his will drawn to write the Book of Romans.”
- A belief in the substitutionary atonement. The logic of this doctrine fits only within “the umbrella of a Calvinist scheme.” "The entire worldview in which substitution makes sense is a worldview in which the sovereignty of God and the righteousness of God and the saving purpose of God are vindicated in the cross of the Lord Jesus Christ."
- Affirming the "omniscience of God." "At the very least … God created this world knowing exactly who would come to faith in the Lord Jesus Christ," Mohler said. "Some of us believe more than that, but certainly none of us here believes less than that.... If that be so then … the precise identity of all the persons who would come to faith in Christ was known by the Father before the world was created.”
- A belief in the eternal security of the believer. "Once this work of salvation is accomplished in the life of a sinner, and that sinner is transformed by the grace and mercy of God, He can never fall away," he said.