Saturday, February 10, 2007

SBTS Collegiate Conference: General Session 1 (Al Mohler)

In the First Session, Al Mohler laid the biblical foundations of a Christian worldview, and in particular the relationship between creation, sex & marriage. I summarise:

Unless we are engaging on the level of worldview, we remain unready to give a reason for the hope that we have.

We can’t just say “you are wrong about sex, because the preacher, my mother and I say so.” This claiming of the moral high ground is ineffective, firstly, because those with radically different worldviews are claiming moral high ground over and against a Christian worldview. So, for example it is now those who hold homosexuality to be wrong are seen as morally deficient, not those who are practicing it. but, More significantly, by merely engaging at the level of morality rather than worldview, we fail to present the beauty of a Christian morality that results from its display of the gospel.
He went on to outline five areas which any worldview must be able to account for.

1) How did we all get here?
2) How did the world get broken?
3) How can it be fixed?
4) Where is it all going?

To these central questions, we must also be able to add,

5) What is the significance of sex?

In each of these we must not only assert the Christian perspective, but argue how the Christian worldview's response to each of these questions makes the most sense of the world in which we live. The Christian worldview is robustly ready to talk about sex. The Christian worldview doesn’t begin with the act of sex, but with the significance of humanity: part of what it means is that we are the only creature consciously able to know, worship, obey him. We are also the only creature to be capable of understanding the meaning of sex.

In Genesis 2 Adam realises that he has a need. It is the natural state of a man even before the fall, that he needs a bond even closer than the parental bond in order to fulfil the mandate to live for the glory of God.

Thus, even now, God’s plan for sex is so perfect that keeping ourselves for marriage & in marriage is as close as it gets in this world to being naked & not ashamed: they were not just naked in front of each other & not ashamed they were naked before God, and not ashamed.

I appreciated the talk. Genesis 1-2 are clearly foundational for an understaning of marriage (hence Jesus goes straight there in Matthew 19).
The only thing that I was a little concerned with was the response of the audience to a time when Mohler was ridiculing an explanation of the existence of music from the perspective of natural selection. I agreed with Al's analysis. I was uncomfortable with ridiculing as a good approach to model in a conference on apologetics.
Other than that it was an excellent exploration of the sexual implications of creation. I recommend getting hold of a copy of the talk. It was also announced that MP3s of the talks are available for $10, including all the elective sessions. $35 gets you all the sessions from the last 7 years. This isn't quite as good a deal as it first sounds. (a) the conference themes repeat frequently. (b) You can download 2001-2004 for free here

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