THE DISAPPEARANCE OF GOD: Dangerous Beliefs in the New Spiritual Openness
R. Albert Mohler Jr.
R. Albert Mohler Jr., president of The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, offers thoughtful Christian readers a stern and timely warning on correctly interpreting the signs of the times. Mohler, consistently rational, logical and well-studied, presents Christ followers with an overview of how dangerous our society's beliefs (or lack thereof) are becoming for those who ascribe to biblical inerrancy and Gospel truth. He details in 23 brief chapters how Christians and their belief systems are being rapidly dismantled and destroyed, often without the majority of believers' awareness.
Mohler opens his text with a call for Christians to quickly determine a discipline of theological triage that sets in motion a specific pattern of urgently needed steps for change before it reaches the critical or terminal stage. Similar to the corresponding medical triaging found in a local emergency room, this sorting out by priority of life/death matters is what Mohler terms as imperative. His basic triaging looks like this. First-level theological issues are those that are essential to the Christian faith --- Trinity, full deity and humanity of Jesus, justification by faith, and authority of scripture. Second-order doctrines are those issues that will divide believers into different denominations and congregations, such as modes of baptism and women serving as pastors. Third-order doctrines are those in which believers can disagree and yet still remain in close fellowship with each other, such as eschatology, the debate over when (in time) Christ will return again.
Readers will appreciate Mohler's comprehensive and enlightening discussions on the perseverance of doctrine, the disappearance of sin, the place called Hell, what exactly the "emerging" church is, the demise of church discipline, and our society as a post-Christian age filled with postmodern minds and a post-compliant church. Finally, Mohler closes out his work with a chapter on re-establishing an urgency of preaching.
While each and every chapter is compelling and instructive, Christians might find themselves on the short end of the learning curve as Mohler skillfully handles the topic of beauty. In three parts, he does a lovely job of describing what truest beauty is as created by God. Mohler quotes Augustine, "Christians uniquely understand that the good, the beautiful, the true, and the real, are indeed one, because they are established in the reality of the self-revealing God --- the triune God of Father, Son, and Holy Spirit." Explains Mohler, for the Christian, beauty goes well beyond a "mere matter of taste.” It is rather a "matter of truth to which taste is accountable." Concludes Mohler, real beauty comes by recovering humility, recovering truth, recovering the good and the real, by the power of God.
THE DISAPPEARANCE OF GOD examines difficult topics and principles, yet Mohler does so with the layperson in mind. No one need be a seminarian or pastoral student to study these truths and understand them. Christ followers, one and all, should read this book.
--- Reviewed by Michele Howe, author of STILL GOING IT ALONE: Mothering with Faith and Finesse, and Single Parenting Columnist (http://www.bizymoms.com/experts/michele-howe/index.html)
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