The Disappearance of God: Dangerous Beliefs in the New Spiritual Openness

The Disappearance of God: Dangerous Beliefs in the New Spiritual Openness

by R. Albert Mohler

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781601420817
Publisher: The Doubleday Religious Publishing Group
Publication date: 05/05/2009
Pages: 208
Product dimensions: 4.70(w) x 7.30(h) x 0.80(d)

About the Author

Dr. R. Albert Mohler Jr., President of The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, is an esteemed authority on contemporary issues. A columnist, radio host, and blogger, Dr. Mohler has contributed to The New York Times and the Wall Street Journal and appeared on Larry King Live, The Today Show, The NewsHour with Jim Lehrer, and The O'Reilly Factor. Dr. Mohler has a Ph.D. in Philosophy from Southern Seminary and has done research at Oxford University. Dr. Mohler and family live in Louisville, Kentucky.

Read an Excerpt

In every generation, the church is commanded to “contend for the faith that was once for all delivered to the saints.” That is no easy task, and it is complicated by the multiple attacks upon Christian truth that mark our contemporary age. Assaults upon the Christian faith are no longer directed only at isolated doctrines.The entire structure of Christian truth is now under attack by those who would subvert Christianity’s theological integrity.

Today’s Christian faces the daunting task of strategizing which Christian doctrines and theological issues are to be given highest priority in terms of our contemporary context. This applies both to the public defense of Christianity in face of the secular challenge and the internal responsibility of dealing with doctrinal disagreements.
Neither is an easy task, but theological seriousness and maturity demand that we consider doctrinal issues in terms of their relative importance. God’s truth is to be defended at every point and in every detail, but responsible Christians must determine which issues deserve first rank attention in a time of theological crisis.

A trip to the local hospital emergency room some years ago alerted me to an intellectual tool that is most helpful in fulfilling our theological responsibility. In recent years, emergency medical personnel have practiced a discipline known as triage—a process that allows trained personnel to make a quick evaluation of relative medical urgency. Given the chaos of an emergency room reception area, someone must be armed with the medical expertise to make an immediate determination of medical priority. Which patients should be rushed into surgery? Which patients can wait for a less urgent examination? Medical personnel cannot flinch from asking these questions and from taking responsibility to give the patients with the most critical needs top priority in terms of treatment.

The word triage comes from the French word trier, which means “to sort.” Thus, the triage officer in the medical context is the front-line agent for deciding which patients need the most urgent treatment.Without such a process, the scraped knee would receive the same urgency of consideration as a gunshot wound to the chest. The same discipline that brings order to the hectic arena of the emergency room can also offer great assistance to Christians defending truth in the present age.

A discipline of theological triage would require Christians to determine a scale of theological urgency that would correspond to the medical world’s framework for medical priority.With this inmind, I would suggest three different levels of theological urgency, each corresponding to a set of issues and theological priorities found in current doctrinal debates.

First-level theological issues would include those doctrines most central and essential to the Christian faith.
Included among these most crucial doctrines would be doctrines such as the Trinity, the full deity and humanity of Jesus Christ, justification by faith, and the authority of Scripture.

In the earliest centuries of the Christian movement, heretics directed their most dangerous attacks upon the church’s understanding of who Jesus is, and in what sense He is the very Son of God. Other crucial debates concerned the question of how the Son is related to the Father and the Holy Spirit. The earliest creeds and councils of the church were, in essence, emergency measures taken to protect the central core of Christian doctrine. At historic turning points such as the councils at Nicaea, Constantinople, and Chalcedon, orthodoxy was vindicated and heresy was condemned—and these councils dealt with doctrines of unquestionable first-order importance. Christianity stands or falls on the affirmation that Jesus Christ is fully man and fully God.

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The Disappearance of God: Dangerous Beliefs in the New Spiritual Openness 2.8 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 6 reviews.
Justjenniferreading on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This book just rubbed me the wrong way, and I am a little disappointed as I thought it looked interesting when I read the synopsis. The author has some valid points, and while I do not agree with many of them I do understand that these are his beliefs and his ideals. To me that is what makes America great, the fact that we all have different beliefs and ideals. However what I didn't like was that this author seems to have no "margin of error" so to speak. I got the feeling that you're either with him, or you're part of the problem. His writing seems to be more of a rant than of him presenting his arguments. He bashes people, on multiple occasions, bashes what the country is becoming, bashes other churches: like I said, ranting. At one point he seems to be saying that the problem with America and new church movements is their open-mindedness. It is his belief that this new way of thinking is the downfall of the Christian church. The chapters were fairly short, and it didn't take me long to read it. I didn't care for the writing style, and found myself rereading lines because they seemed to make little or no sense to me. While I didn't agree with the author on most subjects, that is not why I didn't like the book. To me the writing seemed harsh, as if I was being degraded through the whole thing. I think there are those out there that will love this book, I just am not one of them. But the great thing about America is that we can each have our own opinions :-)
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
It seems that the other reviewers here are unwittingly infected with the postmodern virus Mohler describes in this book. He quotes D. A. Carson: "The postmodern ethos tends to be anti-absolutist, suspicious of truth claims, and wide open to relativism." Spot on. Now go and read the other reviews here. You'll see what I mean. Really, the book is easily grasped, and a quick study on a now huge problem in both the culture and the infected church. You want heady stuff: go for Carson's Becoming Conversant With the Emerging Churh or Well's Whatever Happened to the Truth.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
BookReviewsByDebra More than 1 year ago
Churches have adapted to cultural changes. At times this is appropriate but not if it means throwing out Biblical teachings. R. Albert Mohler, Jr. shares his views in his latest book The Disappearance of God. Mohler is a columnist. Much of this book is a compilation of his columns. Mohler discusses the church's trend to avoid acknowledging the existence of sin and hell. The Disappearance of God is not an easy read. The author's audience seems to be those with a deep theological background. While I agree with much of the author's opinion, I do think he should bring his message down a couple of levels and use more scripture to back up his statements. Mohler seems to be ranting and unfocused in The Disappearance of God. A more structured organization would make this book easier to comprehend.
ChristyLockstein More than 1 year ago
The Disappearance of God by R. Albert Mohler Jr is a stark look at how the church has been transforming into the image of popular culture instead of the other way around. Mohler tackles some tough issues like the emerging church, discipline within the church, and moral relativism. The book has some terrific points, but it felt much like a college lecture. I wanted Mohler to start speaking in layman's terms and create more of a conversation than a lecture. If you can wade through the high language, you'll find some excellent arguments about how the church is failing its people and vice versa. I learned a great deal about the emergent church and how church discipline is supposed to work. I am concerned with how Mohler is addressing this topic however. I think that a lot of older members of the church will love this book and it will be preaching to the choir. However, the younger members of the church do want a more loving, compassionate church. Generations X and Y tend to communicate in a different way than previous generations, and while that doesn't excuse forgetting about the core of what Christianity is about: Christ's divinity and the Trinity, the church does need to find a new way to speak so those members will listen and want to be a part of it. Mohler's church seems to exclude them and want to discipline them right out the door.
Jennmarie68 More than 1 year ago
This book just rubbed me the wrong way, and I am a little disappointed as I thought it looked interesting when I read the synopsis. The author has some valid points, and while I do not agree with many of them I do understand that these are his beliefs and his ideals. To me that is what makes America great, the fact that we all have different beliefs and ideals. However what I didn't like was that this author seems to have no "margin of error" so to speak. I got the feeling that you're either with him, or you're part of the problem. His writing seems to be more of a rant than of him presenting his arguments. He bashes people, on multiple occasions, bashes what the country is becoming, bashes other churches: like I said, ranting. At one point he seems to be saying that the problem with America and new church movements is their open-mindedness. It is his belief that this new way of thinking is the downfall of the Christian church. The chapters were fairly short, and it didn't take me long to read it. I didn't care for the writing style, and found myself rereading lines because they seemed to make little or no sense to me. While I didn't agree with the author on most subjects, that is not why I didn't like the book. To me the writing seemed harsh, as if I was being degraded through the whole thing. I think there are those out there that will love this book, I just am not one of them. But the great thing about America is that we can each have our own opinions :-)