We Cannot Be Silent, R. Albert Mohler Jr. (Thomas Nelson 2015, $24.99)
In the span of three months in the summer of 2015, three headlines marked historic events that generations of Americans past could never have imagined. First it was former “world’s greatest athlete” Bruce Jenner debuting his gender transition on the cover of Vanity Fair. Next the Supreme Court legalized same-sex marriage in all 50 states. Within a few weeks Americans witnessed the horrors of abortion in a series of undercover videos purporting to show Planned Parenthood profiting from the illegal sale of aborted baby parts and organs.
Written in late 2014, Southern Seminary President R. Albert Mohler Jr.’s We Cannot Be Silent issues a call for faithful, biblical witness that is ever more urgent in the wake of these landmark events.
“Our Christian responsibility has not changed,” Mohler writes in a special word to the reader penned after the SCOTUS decision. “We are charged to uphold marriage as the union of a man and a woman and to speak the truth in love. We are also commanded to uphold the truth about marriage in our own lives, in our own marriages, in our own families, and in our own churches.”
While Southern Baptist leaders like David Platt and Russell Moore recently have written about cultural change at large, Mohler focuses specifically on the sexual revolution. He examines the rise of the homosexual movement, the path to same-sex marriage, the emergence of transgenderism, the revolution’s implications for religious liberty, and a theology of marriage and sexuality.
The rapid pace of the sexual revolution has left many evangelicals and conservative Americans wondering how this happened. Mohler places the root of the sexual revolution in the cultural acceptance of contraceptives, no-fault divorce, reproductive technologies, and extramarital sex.
“The sexual revolution began when a significant number of people in modern society decided to liberate themselves from the inherited sexual morality that had been derived from Christianity and informed the cultural consensus throughout human history,” Mohler writes.
Where that leaves American culture, according to Mohler, is a nation subverting and marginalizing marriage to the point that some teenagers have never witnessed a wedding. And what that means for evangelicals is a government threatening the right to be a Christian as erotic liberty and religious liberty clash in the public square.
“This new revolution presents a particular challenge to Christianity, for a commitment to the authority of Scripture and to revealed truths runs into direct conflict with the central thrust of this revolution,” Mohler writes. “We are facing nothing less than a comprehensive redefinition of life, love, liberty, and the very meaning of right and wrong.”
Despite this challenge, Mohler urges Christians to take charge of their moral responsibility and engage the culture with “the compassion of truth,” using every opportunity to proclaim God’s Word.
“When it is demanded that Christians respond with compassion at the expense of truth, we must understand that any compassion severed from truth is false compassion and a lie against the truth,” Mohler writes. “Scripture teaches that the truth is itself compassionate.”
Church leaders will find immensely helpful Mohler’s inclusion of 30 hard questions, which covers topics like attending a same-sex wedding, understanding sexual orientation, and determining the relationship of body and gender. Overall, Mohler’s comprehensive worldview and theological analysis cements the book as a vital guide for our journey into the storm of this moral revolution. (Thomas Nelson 2015, $24.99)