Conversation: R. Albert Mohler Jr.
America’s culture shift
R. Albert Mohler Jr. is the host of a daily Christian radio
program and the author of a daily Internet commentary on moral, cultural and
theological issues. His new book is Culture Shift: Engaging Current Issues with
Timeless Truth. Mohler, 48, recently spoke with TPE News Editor John W.
tpe: What do you see as some of the major signs of a coming
moral collapse in this country?
MOHLER: The biggest sign is the absence of a shared moral
language. Americans find it difficult to even talk to one another on some of
the most significant moral issues before us because we’re operating from
different starting points. Whereas Christians begin with an understanding that
we are accountable to a Creator, many others start from a viewpoint of simple
tpe: Are most Christians unaware of the culture shifts you
describe in the book?
MOHLER: Most evangelicals know something big has changed in
the culture, but putting their finger on it may be difficult for some people.
As they look at the headlines, watch the news and listen to their kids come
home from school, they are hearing something that sounds very alien, troubling
Evangelical Christians are busy doing what Christians are
supposed to do: We are involved in our marriages, raising our children, ministering
in the name of Christ, building our churches. But we also have to step back,
take a look at the culture, understand the signs of the times and be ready to
tpe: Is it too late for Christians to wield influence?
MOHLER: It’s never too late for Christians to wield
influence. Christians sometimes are the last people standing because of our
concern for people and commitment to the gospel. Our responsibility is to
minister in season and out of season regardless of the cultural context.
tpe: You point out how Christians have become marginalized.
Why is there such an effort to eradicate the Christian viewpoint from the
marketplace of ideas?
MOHLER: It’s not a conspiracy, but an open effort on the
part of those who genuinely believe a secularized culture is the only way to
preserve liberty. They see the gospel and the Christian church as a threat to
that personal autonomy.
tpe: How can Christians overcome a media image of being
MOHLER: We can’t always have a great deal of influence over
how we’re presented. The best thing we can do is to be caught doing what is
Christ-honoring. If the media catches us doing what Christ would have us do,
then there are significant limits to how embarrassed we can be.
tpe: You say in your book that the time has come for
Christians to develop an exit strategy from public schools. What do you mean?
MOHLER: I do not mean that all Christian parents should
remove their children from public schools right now. But the trajectory of
public schools is in the hands of those who largely do not share our values.
More directives are coming from federal authorities, with ideological
influences that many Christian parents find antithetical to our own
convictions. We bear the primary responsibility for educating our children in a
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