R. Albert Mohler Jr. took questions for nearly two hours at the University of Southern California addressing a range of hot-button issues.
The event was the third stop on the Ask Anything Tour, a series of public question-and-answer forums with Mohler, president of Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, on university campuses around the United States.
At USC, some 500 students crammed into one of the historic auditoriums on campus. Previous events took place last year at the University of Louisville and at UCLA in a partnership between Southern Seminary and the discipleship organization Ligonier Ministries.
— Gospel and social justice
Early on, a student asked Mohler about recent discussions among evangelical Christians about the nature of the Gospel and its relationship to social justice. Before answering the question, Mohler emphasized that debates about this question can make differing “sides” seem further apart than they are in reality. He gave an example of a hungry child in need of food, pointing out that any Christian would feel a responsibility to intervene and help the child.
“If we stop trying to frame these [questions] as ‘issues’ and just think about reality, it gets clarified,” Mohler said, noting that the debate about the Gospel and social justice is exacerbated by a moment in American society in which almost everything is politicized and put into binary categories.
“We’re in an age in which people want to line up,” Mohler said. “But I think we have to step back as Christians and ask, ‘What is the Gospel?’
“The Gospel is the good news that salvation comes to anyone who believes.”
Mohler distinguished between Christian action and the Gospel, describing a tendency among Christians to use the word “gospel” for all sorts of Christian thought and activity. “There are many good things in the Bible that are not the Gospel,” he said.
He clarified that whether or not particular instances of justice are intrinsic to the Gospel, Christians have an obligation to pursue justice — an even greater obligation than the world around them.
“We have to be more for justice than the fallen world because justice comes from God,” Mohler said. “What we have to make sure first and foremost is that the Gospel is clear.”
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Source: Baptist Press