Richard Albert Mohler, Jr.
Birthplace: Lakeland, FL
Denomination: Southern Baptist
Education: Samford University (B.A.)
The Southern Baptist Theolgical Seminary (M.Div.)
The Southern Baptist Theolgical Seminary (Ph.D.)
Richard Albert Mohler, Jr. (born 1959) is a conservative Baptist evangelical. He presently serves as the ninth President of Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville, Kentucky. He has been a member of the board of James Dobson's Focus on the Family since August, 2004. Dr Mohler is a frequent conference speaker and host of his own radio program. His blog focuses on cultural issues facing society today, and he brings a Christian perspective to current affairs. He is married to the former Mary Kahler and they have two children.
Early life and education
Mohler is a native of Lakeland in central Florida. As a child he attended Lake Yale, a Florida Baptist campground. During his Lakeland years he attended Southside Baptist Church.
Mohler attended college at Florida Atlantic University in Boca Raton, Florida as a Faculty Scholar. He then received a B. A. from Samford University, a private, coeducational Baptist-affiliated college in Birmingham, Alabama. His graduate degrees, an M.Div. and Ph.D. in "Systematic and Historical Theology," were conferred by Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, also known as Southern Seminary. Mohler's 1989 dissertation was titled, "Evangelical Theology and Karl Barth: Representative Models of Response."
Southern Baptist Theological Seminary
Mohler joined the staff of Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville, Kentucky in 1983 as Coordinator of Foundation Support. In 1987 he became Director of Capital Funding, a post he held until 1989. While still a student he served as assistant to then-President Roy Honeycutt.
In February 1993, Mohler was appointed President of the Seminary by conservatives on that institution's board of trustees, succeeding Roy Honeycutt. The seminary soon saw a wholesale shift towards conservative theology (characterized by Mohler as a move toward "confessional fidelity") and a rapid exodus (both voluntary and compulsory) of more than 60 percent of the faculty.
Other conservative Baptist leaders were elated at the movement: Paige Patterson, another Southern Baptist seminary president, said Mohler's leadership “will mean that they recover their evangelical emphasis there” and that Mohler's Presidency meant that “the worst of the problems” were over: “Al Mohler," he said, "has the brains of Erasmus and the courage of Luther.” ^[ citation\ needed]^
The "Conservative Resurgence"
Mohler was also instrumental in the mid-1990's restructuring of the Southern Baptist Convention, which saw the Convention shift from a mixture of moderate and conservative voices to a solidly conservative base.
He was involved in the drafting of the controversial 2000 revision of the Baptist Faith and Message, which added an exhortation to wives to "submit graciously" to their husbands, and removed a clause referring to Jesus Christ as the standard by which the Bible is to be interpreted.
A deadline was set for foreign missionaries to confirm their allegiance to the Baptist Faith and Message in written form. Those who did not were dismissed or resigned.
Together For The Gospel
Al Mohler's unlikely circle of strong friendship with Mark Dever, C.J. Mahaney, and Ligon Duncan has given rise to a movement which aims to prioritize our agreement over the gospel without pretending other differences don't exist. The 2006 Together For the Gospel conference was the natural outworking of these relationships which have also led to a wider circle of friendships as the men have been introduced to each others friends.
Mohler described this event in a blog interview with Adrian Warnock:
"Together for the Gospel represents a centering in my life and ministry. At the most basic level, it is established in the friendship of four men who share so many common commitments and a common vision. The time spent with Lig, C. J., and Mark has been one of the best investments of my lifetime. I would wish for other Christians what I have found in these three friends—a genuine friendship, accountability, fraternity, and fellowship that the world can neither sever nor understand. Out of this friendship of four has grown an extended network of friendships, for which we are all grateful. The focus of our greatest concern is the health of Christ’s church in this generation. We are, as our name suggests, together for the cause of the Gospel."
The following is a list of books that Dr. Mohler has written (newest first):
- The Disappearance of God: Dangerous Beliefs in the New Spiritual Openness
- Desire & Deceit: The Real Cost of the New Sexual Tolerance
- He Is Not Silent: Preaching in a Postmodern World
- Atheism Remix: A Christian Confronts the New Atheists
- Culture Shift: Engaging Current Issues with Timeless Truth