Dever: I think that this generation is used to thinking, "If you've got the gospel in common, you've got everything in common.I must stop there. There are a couple more quotes I'd like to share. Perhaps tomorrow.
Mohler's response: "I think the true scandal of denominationalism is not that we are a part of separate churches. It is that somehow due to our sin, and due to our deep embeddedness in interpretive traditions and all the rest, somehow, brothers who passionately and equally love the gospel have not yet in this age come to a like mind on some very important issues having to do with how you would constitute a church, how you would understand baptism, and many other issues. I don't see the scandal as institutional . . . I think the real scandal is that it is a humbling issue for us to recognize how much we need what only Christ can bring when we see him face to face and where we will find out that these issues really are more important than we understood them to be, and yet we will understood them fully.
Dever (to Duncan): I think it makes sense that I could have you come and preach but that you couldn't join our church. Now does that make sense to you?
Duncan: Yes, it does.
Mohler (in response to Dever's question about inter-church cooperation in evangelism: It certainly, from a New Testament perspective, can't be wrong to be about common cause in declaring the gospel. [Note: This statement will likely be interpreted as an "anything goes" approach to ecumenical evangelism. You'll want to listen to the last 15-20 minutes to hear Mohler clarify how to him, proclaiming the gospel means far more than just an evangelistic activity. Proclaiming the gospel inherently demands the purity of its proclamation]
Dever: I did a membership interview yesterday with a family who had beenthis guy had been made not a deacon in his local church because they sent their daughters to Liberty, and that was considered too liberal, so this man had been removed from his diaconal service in his church because of that. [Assuming this is the whole story, yikes.]
Mohler: One of my concerns is that we not cooperate in a way that would imply that someone's a believer when they don't believe that they are.
Mohler: If [any] of you heard me say something that you believed was injurious to the gospel, you would love me enough to tell me.
Mohler: Let me say say as a Southern Baptist, there are Baptist churches I would not want a lost person to visit because I would be unassured that they would be confronted with the saving gospel.
Mohler: I love what we do. When we talk about being together for the Gospel, it's because, you know, we're unashamed to say that I think at least some of my brethren in this room are just wrong on some issues . . . Dever: Oh, I have called Lig a sinner in the blogosphere that I rarely go into. Mohler: Well, and they're certain that I'm wrong, and I love them for believing I'm wrongfor loving the truth more than they love me and loving me enough to talk about the truth in this way. Duncan: But that's the difference between a genuinely Christian cooperation and a politically correct cooperation . . . that minimizes the truth. It's cooperation and unity at the expense of truth, not because of unity in the truth. And again, that's why I think that this kind of cooperation where commitment to truth is not compromised is a better witness to the world about the nature of true Christian cooperation than a kind that says, "Well, after all, it really doesn't matter what you believe about this or that."
Mohler: When we talk about the gospel, we're not just talking about how one is saved, we're talking about the gospel as the great good news of what God has done for us in Christ. And so there again, we're talking about thick gospel, not thin gospel.
Duncan: The relationships represented in this room have, because of the particularities of the convictions of each one of you, those have not been detriments to cooperation or to personal benefit. Those have been enhancements to cooperation and personal benefit. One, because there is a core commitment to what the Bible teaches about salvation in a comprehensive waynot in a minimalistic waybut in a comprehensive way. And that is so much on the battle line in the world in which we live, both inside the church and outside of it.
Wednesday, January 25, 2006
I want to whet your appetite to listen to a great conversation between two Baptists (Mohler and Dever), a Presbyterian (Duncan), and a Reformed charismatic (little c, at least in my opinion) (Mahaney). For some insightful analysis, you can read Ryan Martin's thoughts here. I'll stick to a few of the more pointed quotes. They are not contiguous, but scattered throughout the hour-plus conversation.
Posted by Ben at 1/25/2006