One year after announcing his willingness to be nominated for SBC president during the 2020 Southern Baptist Convention meeting set for Orlando last June, R. Albert Mohler Jr., president of Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, has announced that he will be nominated during the 2021 SBC meeting in Nashville, June 15-16. The 2020 meeting was cancelled because of COVID-19 and Mohler says his reasons for being willing to serve the convention in this way have not changed.
“Anything that has happened in the last several months has only amplified the reasons I was willing this year to be nominated and now next year since the convention was delayed,” he told the TEXAN, “I think Southern Baptists face some incredible challenges and some very real issues, and I think we need to have the kinds of conversations that will clarify issues and bring Southern Baptists together. And we’ve got to address some questions of urgency, as the SBC moves into the 21st century. I would hope to serve Southern Baptists by helping the right conversations to take place in the right way.”
Mohler told the TEXAN in a January interview that he was concerned but optimistic about the future of the SBC. That optimism remains, calling Southern Baptists, “incredibly committed and generous and focused on the gospel,” though he believes circumstances related to the pandemic have prevented Southern Baptists from addressing some issues, while also increasing tension.
“When you think about the national conversation right now, everything appears to be reaching a feverish boil almost instantly. And Southern Baptists have demonstrated over time an incredible faithfulness in being deliberate and careful and biblical. And so, to put it bluntly, the future of the SBC can’t be woke and it can’t be mean,” he said.
“We’ve got some very real theological and moral issues to deal with just in terms of our engagement with the culture and where we stand. There are some ideologies set loose in the larger society that will be absolutely toxic to biblical Christianity. Southern Baptists need to be very clear that many of these ideologies, including critical theory, have no place in the Southern Baptist Convention and are antithetical to the confessional basis of our denomination. At the same time, we’ve got to show that we are a gospel denomination of biblical Christians who are committed to talk to one another about these things with respect and to seek agreement.”
Mohler is a member of Third Avenue Baptist Church in Louisville, Kentucky. In 2019, the last year reported, Third Street gave $66,000 through the Cooperative Program, which is 6.1 percent of the church’s $1,075,000 in undesignated receipts.