I've not known Dr. Mohler for very long, perhaps three or four years. I first met him during a visit to Washington, D.C. He spoke at a Henry Forum and took a ton of questions afterward.
Because Mark Dever is who is, some of his friends have become my friends. I am grateful to count among the men who have influenced me--sometimes from a distance, other times close--Dr. Mohler.
Here's why I am grateful to God for Al Mohler.
1. The man has a big brain.
He's easily one of the smartest men I've ever met. Do you remember Cliff Claven from the TV show Cheers? Cliff was full of trivial information always awkwardly injected into some otherwise edifying conversation. Well, Dr. Mohler is like Cliff Claven--except what is stored in his mind and heart are the always relevant and edifying treasures and precious truths about the Lord Jesus Christ our Savior. Open almost any subject and he's read about it, thought about, written a commentary on it, or included it in a talk somewhere or some time. He's a walking encyclopedia. The last time I saw him, he actually recommended a couple books on the history of darkness and light in Europe! Who reads about darkness and light and how candles and electric lights changed society?! Al Mohler. And write it down, that seemingly obscure knowledge will one day surface in a powerful illustration or commentary that changes how we think about an issue or culture. I am grateful, deeply thankful, that the Lord has given the Church an Al Mohler who loves the Lord with all of his mind.
2. The man is steadfast.
I'm searching for the correct adjective here, but "steadfast" keeps coming to mind. Many of you will know of Dr. Mohler's part in the "conservative resurgence" in the SBC. And some of you will know of the tremendous heat and pressure that comes along with any movement of that sort. And still others, even if you know nothing of the resurgence, will know that Al takes a lot of hits because of his engagement with the culture and ideas of our day. Homosexual advocates on the left. Moderates and liberals in the convention. Secularists on TV. Intellectuals in ivory towers. The man faces slings and darts from all around, and he does it by God's grace with biblical resolve and steadfast commitment to the gospel of our Lord. He's not moved by changing opinions and faddish winds. He's steadfast in the Lord.
3. The man is tireless.
I'm learning from Dr. Mohler that I can run harder, longer, and at times faster for the Lord. The Lord has worked in him a unique stamina and endurance. Dr. Mohler is a full-time husband and father, a university president. host of a syndicated radio talk show, author, and blogger! He's no stranger to hard work and he is redeeming the time, and I am grateful for his example.
4. The man is funny.
Trust me. When the smoke settles for the day's battles, you want to be in earshot of Dr. Mohler. A quick, sometimes satirical, sometimes anecdotal, always side-splitting humor emerges. I appreciate men who can laugh and who can make others laugh. Of the times I've been around Dr. Mohler, I can't think of one where I didn't hear a truly funny story or an occasional impression.
5. The man is caring.
This should be evident, but sometimes I think this gets lost when we think about public figures and the various causes they're addressing. I appreciate Dr. Mohler's deep gospel-centered and practical compassion for people. He appears to me to be moved by Christian love, empathy and concern. The most recent and moving example of this for me came at a Southern chapel back in March. Homosexual activists had staged a surprise protest on the campus the day before. The campus was abuzz from the day's events. The following day was chapel. I can imagine 100 ways that the situation could have been mishandled or poorly addressed. The protestors could have been met with any number of unkind comments, cold stares, or angry rants. Instead, Dr. Mohler closed the chapel service with words that at once convicted the assembly of its need for a much deeper, Christ-like compassion and stirred affection and concern for the lost. He could have "run for the door" or left the gathering unsettled and undirected. But with great pastoral warmth and care, he led us well with words of instruction and a time of rich prayer. I'm deeply grateful for his example of compassion and grace.
There aren't many Al Mohlers in the world as far as I can tell. That the Lord has placed him among us as a champion for the gospel should make us deeply grateful. And, indeed, I am grateful for our brother.
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