The scandal rocking Al Mohler’s Southern Baptist Theological Seminary (SBTS) threatens Mohler’s legacy. It has exposed him as a political dissembler—a man willing to force desperate former employees turned out of work during the height of the Coronavirus Pandemic to sign a secret NDA muzzling them for life.
Or, as Dr. Robert Gagnon described such moves, Sub-Christian.
Dr. Russell Fuller posted something that helps outline and simplify the allegations against Mohler and SBTS:
The liberal drift of Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville, Kentucky has resulted in the seminary knowingly hiring, maintaining and supporting false teachers who have taught and published works supporting;
1. mythology in the Bible,
2. postmodernism denying the objective/stable meaning of a text and the provability/verifiability of the text (including a denial of a messianic paradigm),
3. social justice heresy designed to replace the gospel, and
4. critical race theory and intersectionality promoting secular values and corrupting the gospel,
while refusing any accountability or justification for allowing anti-Christian instruction, beliefs and conduct contrary to the Seminary’s Abstract of Principles.
These four points summarize the three video interviews of Dr. Fuller released by Jon Harris. Dr. Fuller alleges and provides evidence of his points that for standing against Critical Race Theory and Intersectionality that he was first reprimanded and then fired by Al Mohler’s Southern Baptist Theological Seminary.
As a member of a Southern Baptist church, it is stunning that SBTS reprimanded Fuller for exercising his right as a member of an SBC church to write the head of an entity about issues involving that entity. This raises an important question: Does a church member surrender their right to petition our entity heads if they accept a job at one of our entities? If so, why do we allow entity employees an even greater political power of sitting as messengers at the SBC’s Annual Meeting?
Frankly, there is something wrong in allowing entity employees (and especially entity heads) to sit as Messengers and vote on trustees—the very people who will be assigned to supervise them.
Anyone drawing a salary, particularly a six-figure salary, at an SBC entity should not sit as a messenger.
However, we allow that, but reprimand Dr. Fuller for writing a letter to Al Mohler.
It highlights Mohler’s view of himself—as sitting above the rest of his employees and the SBC. He can’t be bothered by the little people.
This is all about Critical Race Theory at the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary
What got Dr. Russell Fuller into trouble with SBC Elites was the stand against Critical Race Theory.
Let’s not deceive ourselves—it is clear that if Fuller’s complaints centered only on disputes over interpretation of the Book of Job and the objectivity of hermeneutics he would have been tolerated and not reprimanded. What irritated Mohler was Fuller’s attack on Critical Race Theory at Southern.
“Russell, you are an idiot,” Mohler yelled at Fuller in front of about 30 professors because Fuller attacked Provost Matthew Hall’s use of CRT.
Mohler’s dissembling & Critical Race Theory
Al Mohler said that Critical Race Theory and Intersectionality are Identity Politics and as such are “antithetical to the Gospel.” Yet, it is clear that Hall promotes and holds CRT views.
There is video evidence. See it here:
However, there is also Al Mohler’s witness against Hall.
Mohler removed a video posted by SBTS and scrubbed some of Hall’s writings. Mohler admitted this to The Federalist.
However, Hall never repudiated these words—only wrote an essay that did not address the key claims against him.
The key point here: Mohler knew Hall was promoting CRT and was not concerned about the actual teachings but only the impression of the public.
This is political dissembling of the highest order. It is why I compare Mohler to the vivid historical personage Winston S. Churchill described as Mr. Speaker Harley. Someone willing to do anything to gain and hold power. If you are unfamiliar with Harley, he is a vivid character throughout Churchill’s four-volume Life of Marlborough biography. (Churchill’s Life of Marlborough is one of the greatest works of history ever written.)
But, back to Mohler.
Mohler’s actions toward Fuller, Dr. Jim Orrick and Dr. Mark Coppenger speaks volumes about Mohler’s commitment to truth. Mohler weeded out conservative voices and promoted voices spewing the talking points of Identity Politics.
Mohler’s actions. Mohler’s dissembling. Mohler’s maneuvers. Mohler’s insults. These are the key parts of the SBTS scandal.
Dr. Fuller details his points about Critical Race Theory/Intersectionality and Social Justice in Video 3. There is even a montage of Matthew Hall, Jarvis Williams and Curtis Woods available here.
Dr. Fuller said, “Here’s the bottom line: CRT or any other secular philosophy cannot coexist with the gospel. We can love the one, but not the other. CRT corrupts and destroys the gospel.”
The postmodernism claim focuses on Dr. Jonathan Pennington’s alleged assertions that a text
Dr. Fuller said, “In his book, Reading the Gospels Wisely, he (Pennignton) writes, ‘That is, if meaning is supposedly stable and objectifiable from a text, obtained by using certain methods, then why does one rarely if ever find two interpreters who agree with each other – even contemporary interpreters with similar convictions, let alone diverse ones? Additionally, if the objective meaning of the text according to authorial intent could be discerned once and for all, then certainly we would have done so by now, wouldn’t we?’ This quote, and many others like it, places the interpretation and the authority of Scripture in doubt.
Let me add one thing about this quote. Pennington’s argument here is flawed. Because people disagree does not mean there is not an absolute meaning in a text. Also, it doesn’t mean that such a meaning cannot be extracted. Rather, disagreement is proof of nothing but disagreement. People disagree about all sorts of things: the Resurrection, morality, etc. However, it would be absurd and logically flawed to claim that because there are disagreements we could never judge moral claims.
As for the mythology claim, Dr. Fuller alleges that Dr. Hernandez teaches the author of the Book of Job included mythology in Scripture, denied the historicity of Job and asserted there are contradictions in Scripture. Fuller’s case is outlined in this document.
Of note to this discussion, Dr. Herandez writes in his dissertation: “Therefore, the idea that Job provides wisdom in presenting the contrary to that which was generally considered to be wise in the Bible and ancient Near East deserves further investigation.” (p. 289)
And, “The understanding of just retribution in the eschaton and the dichotomy between light and darkness to differentiate between good and evil emerge in early Christianity as well, which is evident in the writings of the New Testament (cf. 1 Cor 3:12-15; 2 Cor 5:10; Jn 1:5; 3:19-21; 8:12; 9:4-5; 11:9-10; 12:35-36, 46). Just retribution theology did not fade after Job—despite his harsh words against the doctrine.” (p. 289)
This appears to teach the Book of Job contradicts other parts of Scripture and is a key part of Dr. Fuller’s allegations.
Unfortunately, Dr. Fuller said that not one person at SBTS took the time to attempt to refute or correct his understanding of Dr. Hernadez’s work.
Helping the fired professors
Circling back to the key story in all of these subplots is this: Al Mohler offered severance to employees with decades of service to SBTS in exchange for a secret agreement that would muzzle them for life. A few months of pay and benefits and all they had to do was sacrifice their convictions.
We know Dr. Russell Fuller and Dr. Jim Orrick rejected such a bargain. They chose principle over lucre.
You can help them. Dr. Tom Ascol created a GoFundMe to help the fired professors. As of this morning, $16,899 was raised out of the $40,000 goal. If you care about truth, you should give something to aid these brave men.
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