June 4, 2010

Kevin Bauder Discussing: Al Mohler’s “Occasional Inconsistency?”

Recently Dr. Kevin Bauder made some brief personal remarks about T4G leader, one of the so-called “conservative” evangelicals, Dr. Al Mohler and his signing the Manhattan Declaration. I have listened to and transcribed those remarks. Dr. Bauder's commentary was recorded on April 27, 2010 at the Foundations Conference.1

Al Mohler felt liberty to sign the Manhattan Declaration. Other conservative evangelicals not only did not feel that liberty, but were critical of Mohler for doing that. Personally I think that in signing the Manhattan Declaration Mohler is acting inconsistently with his own principles, but I think we give a man a certain amount of liberty for an occasional inconsistency. Which of us isn’t occasionally inconsistent? I don’t think the occasional inconsistency is what establishes a position. I think we take Mohler and others in terms of their overall conduct not in terms of a single episode.”
In December 2009 I produced the second in a series of articles that addressed the Manhattan Declaration (MD) and a number of issues in regard to it. That article is Al Mohler Signs the Manhattan Declaration : Was This a First Time Foray Toward Ecumenism?2

In that article I provided irrefutable documented evidence of a long running pattern of “inconsistency” in the ministry of Al Mohler. Kevin Bauder is not unaware of these incidences in Mohler’s ministry. Signing the MD was NOT a “single episode” of inconsistency. Kevin Bauder knows it is not Mohler’s first or only episode of “inconsistency with his own principles.”

Al Mohler signed the MD, which gave Christian recognition to the deadly “enemies of the cross of Christ” (Phil. 3:18). Al Mohler entered into fellowship, a common cause with Roman Catholic priests, new evangelicals and apostates through the MD, which compromised the Gospel. None of this was worthy of so much as a mention by Bauder.

If Mohler were a novice Christian signing the MD might be excusable. He is, however, a seasoned pastor with an established track record of missteps, such as have been documented in Al Mohler Signs the MD: Was This a First Time Foray Toward Ecumenism. Missteps such as:

Billy Graham School of Missions and Evangelism
Al Mohler became president of Southern Baptist Theological Seminary (SBTS) in 1993. In all fairness, therefore, arrangements for honoring Graham, the high-priest of ecumenical evangelism, by naming the school for him in 1994 probably preceded Mohler’s presidency.

Honoring a Liberal Theologian
In June 2009 SBTS celebrated its 150th anniversary. Following Dr. Mohler’s message, the seminary honored its seventh president Duke K. McCall by announcing the dedication of its new pavilion in his honor.
Billy Graham Crusade in Louisville, KY.
Dr. Al Mohler served as chairman for the 2001 Billy Graham Crusade in Louisville, KY. Billy Graham has turned thousands of (alleged) converts over to Roman Catholic and modernistic churches. Mohler knew this when he accepted the chairmanship of Graham’s Louisville crusade.
To these we can also add that Al Mohler has for years and still today sits on the board of directors of Focus on the Family.3

Later this year Al Mohler has another opportunity to demonstrate whether or not his established pattern of inconsistency will continue. He is one of the keynote speakers at John Piper’s Desiring God conference in October. John Piper also invited Rick Warren as a keynote speaker.4

Will Al Mohler join Rick Warren on the platform at Desiring God?

At the end of the day and this discussion: There is nothing occasional about Dr. Al Mohler’s “inconsistency [and] overall conduct.” Closing with the addition of an excerpt by Gordon from the first comment in the attached thread,
I disagree with Dr. Bauder that Dr. Mohler was inconsistent to his own principles in the matter. On the contrary, I believe that Dr. Mohler revealed to us his principles by signing the MD.”


Addendum (12/26/13)
The closing quote from the original article above was prophetic. To the list of Mohler’s ecumenical compromises above you can add:

To date (12/26/13) Dr. Kevin Bauder has continued his pattern of either ignoring or giving his blessing to these each. Kevin, furthermore, joined Mohler in cooperative ministry, and heaps “lavish praise” upon him. 

For a related article please continue to, A Pure Church or a Pure Gospel: Does it Really Matter?

1) Foundations Conference
See Conservative Evangelicals & Fundamentalists for the audio recording. The transcribed portion begins at 3:58 ending at 4:40.

Al Mohler Signs the MD: Was This a First Time Foray Toward Ecumenism?

3) Focus on the Family is, “a component of the American Christian right, it is active in promoting interdenominational work toward its views on social conservative public policy.” (Wikipedia, [accessed, June 4, 2010].)

John Piper to Feature Rick Warren at 2010 Desiring God Conference

From D.A. Carson’s For the Love of God, volume 2, Jan. 23 entry:
One of the most striking evidences of sinful human nature lies in the universal propensity for downward drift. In other words, it takes thought, resolve, energy, and effort to bring about reform. In the grace of God, sometimes human beings display such virtues. But where such virtues are absent, the drift is invariably toward compromise, comfort, indiscipline, sliding disobedience and decay that advances, sometimes at a crawl and sometimes at a gallop, across generations.

People do not drift toward holiness. Apart from grace-driven effort, people do not gravitate toward godliness, prayer, and obedience to Scripture, faith, and delight in the Lord.

We drift toward compromise and call it tolerance; we drift toward disobedience and call it freedom; we drift toward superstition and call it faith. We cherish the indiscipline of lost self-control and call it relaxation; we slouch toward prayerlessness and delude ourselves into thinking we have escaped legalism; we slide toward godlessness and convince ourselves we have been liberated
.” (bold added)
I could not help but recognize that Carson’s comments (in bold above) describes the drift we are seeing from men like Kevin Bauder and Dave Doran when it comes to the men and actions of the so-called conservative evangelicalism.

To dismiss Al Mohler and Ligon Duncan signing the Manhattan Declaration as merely a, “wrong decision based on bad judgment,” (Doran) and “occasional inconsistency…single episode,” (Bauder) has the look and feel of a “downward drift toward compromise” of the Scriptures (2 Thess. 3:6, 14-15; Rom. 16:17), in the form of tolerance for the sake of fellowship.


  1. Lou,

    Here are a few thoughts about Dr. Bauder's reported comments.

    Has he properly framed the matter concerning Dr. Mohler's signing of the MD in describing it in terms of "liberty," "his own principles," and "inconsistency"? I think not. As a man who has publicly criticized Fundamentalists for not taking Scripture serious enough and for respecting men more than the truth, this statement of his is indeed odd.

    According to Dr. Bauder's reasoning, which in the political realm would be heralded as clever spin, it would seem that the real offenders are those of us who would criticize Dr. Mohler by not giving him liberty for an occasional inconsistency. However, Dr. Bauder errs two-fold in saying that.

    First, while it is true that we are all too inconsistent in living up to our personal principles, the Scriptures implicitly warn us all that "whatsoever is not of faith is sin." Even if this was the case, it still would be our duty as believers to admonition Dr. Mohler to live up to his principles. But I disagree with Dr. Bauder that Dr. Mohler was inconsistent to his own principles in the matter. On the contrary, I believe that Dr. Mohler revealed to us his principles by signing the MD. The same is true in regards to his honoring of Dr. Duke McCall.

    Secondly, signing a document is not akin to making a one-time statement. A signature is a continuing blemish that repeats itself over and over again. It could be removed upon reflection and contrition, but by refusing to remove it the blot remains and a legacy is made.

    Finally, Dr. Mohler could not have felt at liberty to sign the MD because the Scriptures afford him any such liberty. If, as Dr. Bauder suggests, he indeed felt liberty to sign it, it was from his Biblically inconsistent friends where that feeling of freedom to so gravely err without fear of consequence came.

  2. And indeed, Dr Bauder revealed to us his principles as well, by giving a pass for Dr. Mohler's consigning of the MD.

    Lou is right, it may have been somewhat overlooked had a novice Christian signed it, but Mohler was experienced enough to know better.

    These men in their high positions of leadership have gravely erred concerning the truth of the Gospel.

    Lou is doing a good work here by exposing them.


  3. Gordon:

    Thanks for your extended comments, with which I thoroughly agree.

    On the contrary, I believe that Dr. Mohler revealed to us his principles by signing the MD.”

    You are right! I knew, but did not consider that angle for this article. This needs to be recognized and acknowledge by men who continually tolerate, excuse, allow for and/or run interference for the evangelicals who do these “contrary” things.

    Since I referenced Piper’s invite of Rick Warren to DG, may I say: It is telling that that issue has to date been completely ignored by Kevin Bauder and select others.

    Kevin has been “lavish in his praise of conservative evangelicals,” but can't seem to find his voice to recognize, criticize and bring the Scriptures to bear on their obvious doctrinal aberrations, ecumenical compromises and worldliness in methods of ministry. Why?


  4. There certainly seems to be inconsistencies, but I hope and pray that Mohler would call out Warren during the concference, since it's a good opportunity to do so.

    Committed Christian

  5. CC:

    Al Mohler at T4G did not "call out" John Piper for inviting Rick Warren. No one in that group did! This is why I'm fairly certain Mohler will say nothing to or about Warren at DG.

    Based on his track record of compromise and ecumenism he IMO likely has no real problem with sharing a platform with Warren in the first place.

    My greater concern, however, is with men like Bauder who claim to be a separatist, but can't find their voice for separatism or to "admonish him" (2 Thess. 3:14-15), which is clearly called for when it comes to certain star personalities of evangelicalism.

    Thanks for chiming in.

  6. Today Sam H. informed and linked me to a report from Nov. 209 that Al Mohler had withdrawn from the 2007 Reclaiming Christ for America conference, sponsored by Coral Ridge ministries. This was reported by another blogger, Chris Anderson, who was addressing Mohler having signed the Manhattan Declaration. Here are the opening paragraphs as they appear at the other blog.

    In light of Dr. Mohler’s decision to sign and rationale for signing the Manhattan Declaration, I thought a reposting of some correspondence I had with him over a similar situation a couple years ago might be of interest to those thinking through the issue. In short, Dr. Mohler withdrew from a friend’s political/morality conference because speaking on the same platform as a Roman Catholic priest under a “Christian” moniker would unnecessarily muddy the waters regarding the meaning of the Gospel. He defended co-belligerence, but not at the expense of Gospel clarity.

    Faced with a similar (and far more public) circumstance now, Dr. Mohler has come to a very different decision. I continue to think highly of Dr. Mohler, but I think he is making a significant mistake, allowing important cultural similarities to trump essential gospel differences, all under the eternally significant term “Christian.”



  7. Lou,

    Here is what Dr. Bauder wrote back in 2007 about indifferentists in part six of a series on the Gospel:

    "To put it plainly, an indifferentist (who believes the gospel) commits a serious error by extending Christian fellowship to an apostate (who denies the gospel). That does not mean that indifferentists lose all standing as Christians, but they do become guilty of egregious conduct. To become complicit (to fellowship, 2 Jn. 11) in the evil deeds of the apostates is one of the worst things that a Christian can do. It is no exaggeration to suggest that this demeaning of the gospel is just as scandalous as drunkenness, adultery, or murder.

    The question is, What are we supposed to do about the Christian who is indifferent to the importance of the gospel? At minimum, I think we can say this. In the nature of the case, indifferentists betray an appalling lack of discernment and integrity. Such people should never be placed in positions of Christian leadership and should never be pointed to as models for other Christians." [Emphasis added.]

  8. Gordon:

    Powerful comments by Bauder, with which I agree.

    commits a serious error by extending Christian fellowship to an apostate (who denies the gospel)…. guilty of egregious conduct… one of the worst things that a Christian can do… demeaning of the gospel is just as scandalous as drunkenness, adultery, or murder… an appalling lack of discernment and integrity… never be placed in positions of Christian leadership and should never be pointed to as models for other Christians

    All of which fits Mohler signing the MD. Why, in Bauder's first and only comments on the MD, are these powerful statements not applied to Mohler signing the MD? Selective application? Too big to fail?


  9. To one of your questions Lou, since Warren & Mohler are both teachers in good standing under the same, big SBC tent, I can't see why Mohler could have any qualms about public fellowship with the Purpose Driven Master.

  10. Hugh:

    Thanks, makes sense.