A blog for Christian men "going their own way."

Monday, April 28, 2008

Mohler Can't Let It Go

Adam (aka "Puritan Calvinist") has just posted an excellent review of a recent radio program by Albert Mohler on evangelicals and their disinclination to accumulate wealth. Mohler suggests that evangelicals are making some sort of religious statement when they marry and have children early, but there's more than meets the eye. I especially applaud Adam's following comment about Mohler's broadcast:
What I find most fascinating is that 95% of conservatives would disagree with him that delay of marriage is a sin, and that children are mandatory to a marriage [a fact he conveniently never mentions]. Yet, they still marry early, and have children. Why is that? Could it be that it is not necessary that it be mandatory in order for people to do it? Could it be that the sheer goodness of the responsibility of marriage and children will naturally cause people to want to do it, even though it is not mandated by the Bible? Indeed, far from upholding Dr. Mohler's beliefs, it is actually the strongest refutation of his beliefs. People do not need to hold his views to be conservative, and they don't need to hold his views to have early marriage and children.
Indeed. As it is, why should I believe that evangelicals are necessarily marrying young and having large families due to their beliefs when the study cited in the radio program mentions other factors: lower levels of income and education? Is Mr. Mohler confusing correlation with causality or something like that?

Another matter worthy of consideration is that I did not hear any scriptures for the "marry and get pregnant early" gospel Mr. Mohler was hinting at. Radio broadcast after broadcast--blog entry after blog entry--this man tells us the right thing to do is to marry and bear children, but he isn't very forthcoming with book, chapter, and verse for his sermonizing. If he's ever bothered to cite what the Bible teaches on marriage and children, then I have easily missed it.

Final note: Adam mentions Andreas Köstenberger as one of several evangelical scholars who take issue with Mohler's marriage mandate theology. I might add that Mohler's view on married people needing to have children is not universal among evangelical scholars either. Case in point, read "Be Fruitful and Multiply" in the November 2001 issue of Christianity Today by Raymond C. Van Leeuwen.


singleman said...

Thanks, Anakin, for bringing Adam's post to our attention.

Regarding Dr. Mohler's point about Christian couples and child-bearing, I wonder if he'd expect someone who doesn't marry until middle age to bring children into the world. I turn 50 next year and I'm dealing with some health issues. Should I ever marry, I don't want Dr. Mohler or anyone else lecturing me about my alleged responsibility to be a father.

Anakin Niceguy said...

According to Mohler's biography at Wikipedia, he has two children -- that's below the demographic replacement level and the Gen 1:28 statement to "multiply" (literally "increase"). If this man really believes "children are a blessing" regardless of context, then he should, at the very least, adopt more children. Will he put his money where his mouth is?