Mohler's Amnesia

September 19, 2007

I was sad to read today that Southern Baptist Theological Seminary president Al Mohler has been struck with a serious case of amnesia. At least, I guess that must be the case considering recent comments he made. The Baptist Press reported today:

R. Albert Mohler Jr., president of Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, speaking on behalf of the presidents of the SBC's various entities, noted to the Executive Committee that "there is an unprecedented level of attack upon some of our own leaders ... in the form of innuendo and smear and caricature and character assassination." Mohler also noted, "Two of our own have suffered in particular along these lines," referencing Paige Patterson, president of Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, and his wife Dorothy.

Mohler stated that the SBC entity presidents have committed "that we will not ourselves tolerate personal attacks upon one of our colleagues," and Jerry Rankin, president of the International Mission Board, then led in a time of prayer for the Pattersons.
Thanks for the laugh, Mohler! He has apparently forgotten all the "innuendo and smear and caricature and character assassination" that Paige Patterson and others committed over the past thirty years. Let's see, there was W.A. Criswell calling people "skunk[s]" and "infidels," Tom Eliff calling people "barnacles," Roger Moran's numerous guilt-by-association attacks, and many more incidents. Even Mohler himself got into the action when he and other seminary presidents attacked Herschel Hobbs as "duped" when he led the writing of the 1963 Baptist Faith & Message. And if anyone missed the irony of Mohler's claims, they should have been reminded when Rankin then got up and prayed for the Pattersons. Rankin, after all, has been a target of Patterson's innuendo and attacks.

Why, then, should anyone be surprised by the level of incivility among some Southern Baptists today? They are, after all, just following the tactics they were taught by their leaders. If Mohler and other leaders really feel that such attacks are wrong, then they should repent and apologize for their taking part in similar attacks in the past. In the meantime, I sure hope Mohler gets his memory back soon!