It is a real pleasure to welcome to my blog again today, Dr. Albert Mohler. Dr. Mohler should need no introduction to most of my readers, but I include a link to his biography for any who need to know more, as well as a link to my Together for the Gospel Conference Round Up Post.
This interview is being serialised over several days. In the first and second parts of this interview, we explored the wide range of roles that Dr. Mohler performs – he is one busy person. So it may seem surprising that he became involved in yet another organization – Together for the Gospel. So I decided to ask him about that.
Can you tell me, in your own words, just a bit about how Together for the Gospel first came about? What sparked it off?
The movement truly grew out of our friendship. The friendship came first, and as we grew together and invested untold hours and days in conversation, a clear sense of common concern and urgency emerged. I think I might have first suggested that we consider a conference, but it was Mark who ran with the idea and it was Mark, along with C. J. and his team, who really brought organizational shape to the conference. The conference, and the larger movement, grew out of our friendship and common concerns.
How did the four of you decide that you can work together with each other and not with other people? Was it just a natural development of friendship or were their conscious decisions made – perhaps connected with theological positions – that said I can unite with someone who believes this, but not that?
Of course, the theological issues were always at the forefront. These issues were especially related to the integrity of the Gospel. Of necessity, we had to begin with the issues of biblical authority, inerrancy, and the proper bounds of interpretation. To this we would add our character, common to all four of us, as confessing evangelicals, bound to specific confessions of faith and to a confessional heritage. Everything else grows out of those commitments.
This notion we have spoken about of a core of an event or organization being birthed in the friendship of four very different guys intrigues many of us. Is this very different from other groups or organizations that you are involved with?
As a matter of fact, it is different than other organizations of my involvement. In the first place, most of the organizational relationships I know and fulfill are based in institutions or organizations that existed long before I was born. The seminary I lead was established in 1859. The Southern Baptist Convention was established in 1845. These are just indicative of the fact that, in the main, we walk into established institutions and programs. Like Israel, we drink from cisterns we did not dig and eat from vineyards we did not plant.
The fact that Together for the Gospel grew out of our friendship is very special to us, if not unique. I am sure that such partnerships were common in the time of the Reformation and at other turning points in church history.
Continued in Part Four . . .