August 24th, 2009
Mohler, R. Albert. The Disappearance of God. Colorado Springs: Multnomah Books, 2009. 194 pp. $14.99.
Dr. Albert Mohler is the president of the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary and is perhaps the foremost authority on a biblical understanding of how we as Christians are to respond to our culture around us. You can read more of his thoughts at his (highly recommended) website, AlbertMohler.com.
In The Disappearance of God, Dr. Mohler details twelve ways in which God is slowly (though not as slow as one would think) disappearing from our culture and from within Christian churches. He takes a candid look at the loss of the doctrine of hell and eternal punishment, the disappearance of even the concept of sin from our pulpits and the distortion of a biblical understanding of true beauty. He discusses at some length the dangers of the Emergent Church as well as the loss of church discipline.
Mohler introduces these twelve reasons for the disappearance of God as a wake-up call to the church. We can no longer stand by and allow God to be removed from our lives. He looks at how things have progressed to this point and how we, as a called-out people, can reclaim God.
While some have labeled Mohler’s works as “too thick for the average Christian” I would argue that they are not. This book, in particular, is written as a conversation piece to open the eyes and ears of the so-called “average” Christian. Yes, he uses “big” words, but that should not be a challenge to anyone who wants to learn–and every Christian should always want to continue to learn. In The Disappearance of God, Mohler shows the importance of understanding cultural trends in and out of the church and reconciling what the eternal, never changing Word of God has to say about how we are to respond.
Basically, Mohler’s message for today is the same message of old, Christ alone will save us from ourselves. I believe everyone who reads this book will unmistakeably find themselves at some point on the pages. It is amazing how we allow, ever so slightly, false attitudes of God into our minds.
I would like to address a charge that has been circulating around the Internet regarding some of Dr. Mohler’s writings. It is true that you can find a good portion of this particular book on his blog. It is also true that when the book was edited, some things were changed from the original post. In no way does the fact that some of these chapters were originally blog posts alter in the least the need for this book to be in print.
First, while Mohler wrote quite a bit of these chapters four and five years ago, they were not brought together to give one stream of thought at one given time in one given setting. It is one thing for a skilled archer to shoot many arrows at different times from his quiver in the hopes of hitting one target. It is another to have that one archer shoot many arrows at the same time at one target. The immediate impact is felt deeper and resonates longer.
Second, it would be time consuming to search for each individual post and bring them together to be able to “read” this book on-line. This book is worth money to be able to own and write in. The more you read it, the more you will begin to see just how prophetic a voice Mohler has regarding these issues. The fact that some of these chapters were written three and four and five years ago goes to show how prophetic a voice Albert Mohler has become within Christendom today.
I would highly recommend this book to pastors, Sunday School teachers and any Christian seeking to make a difference in the church or his community. We must get off the fence and “choose this day which God you will serve.” Mohler has helped us to focus our efforts on the problems at hand and to elucidate a biblical response by the everyday Christian.