Al Mohler’s Reflections on Moderate Baptist Leader Cecil Sherman

I sent the following email around to the Southeastern family this morning. I also wanted to share it with our readers on this blog.

Dear SEBTS family,

My friend Al Mohler has written an important article on Cecil Sherman who recently passed away. It provides an excellent assessment of a very important figure in Baptist life. It also helps us understand why we needed a Conservative Resurgence that began in 1979. You will be well served to take a few minutes and read this. It will help you see why theology matters and why we must never compromise on the full truthfulness and authority of the Word of God, Dr. Mohler’s blog.

Danny Akin

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  1. Bryan Rabon   •  

    Dr. Akin,
    I read Dr. Mohler’s article earlier this morning and greatly appreciate his insights. I have been wrestling more so lately than usual with the question of whether or not someone who rejects large portions of the Bible, such as Cecil Sherman, can really be called a Christian. What are your thoughts on the matter?

  2. danny akin   •  

    Bryan, though I have grave and serious concerns with many of Dr. Sheman’s theological positions, I do believe he is a Christian brother who is now with the Lord Jessus. He affirmed the gospel. He believed Christ died for our sins and was raised from the dead. That is what we have to believe to be saved. Fortunately, we do not have to have a perfect theology in order to be saved. I suspect Dr. Sherman now has his theology in better shape than my own!

  3. Mike   •  

    Thanks for this insight. I had never understood why those who called themselves “new conservatives” were so mean-spirited in their accusations against traditional Baptists. I knew there was an attempt to wrest control over the funding of what had become (in the mid 70s) a financial powerhouse of denominational institutions and schools. I remember the heresy trials of those who did not know how long a day was in the time of creation. And I have watched the evangelical powerhouse known as Southern Baptists flat-line and then decline in proportional salvations and baptisms since the movement began. This article tells me the leadership of the “Conservatives” were willing to sacrifice evangelism of the nation in order to stop a few denominational preachers no one ever listened to anyway. The scorched earth strategy worked – you’ve kicked out the heritage and heart of the old Southern Baptist, and glory in the slowed pace of decline of this grand denomination.

  4. John   •  

    After reading this article, it seems to me that many of the issues that erupted into the fracas of 1979-c. 1985 resulted from the collective SBC ignorance of the early Church history. For example, the Church clearly articulated (in the Apostle’s Creed, among other statements) the Virgin Birth of Jesus based on the accounts in the Gospels.

    I remain puzzled at how much of the antagonism I see in the SBC revolves around issues solved centuries ago, but heaven forbid we accept any of the historical wisdom and authority of the early Church. Thanks to the Landmark movement, our theology and methodology resembles Microsoft’s philosophy for most of its products in the 1990’s: NIH (“Not Invented Here”) rules the day. If an SBC born-and-bred top theologian didn’t find a doctrine in the Scriptures, it obviously didn’t exist. God must have ceased His work at the close of the Apostolic Age and waited for the SBC to originate in 1845 before He began to redeem the world.

    We never teach our congregants about the history of the Church, so they don’t know our foundations. No one understands the Church has fought today’s heresies before and won. As a result, we fight the same battles each generation.

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