Friday, February 28, 2014

Strengthen the Things that Remain: Human Dignity, Human Rights, and Human Flourishing in a Dangerous Age — An Address at Brigham Young University

An address delivered as a Forum Lecture in the Marriott Center Arena at Brigham Young University by R. Albert Mohler, Jr., President of The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary on Tuesday, February 25, 2014.

I am honored once again to visit Brigham Young University and to address both faculty and students at this great institution of higher learning. When I visited last October to speak in a different BYU context, I had the honor of meeting with members of your faculty and administrative leadership and I deeply appreciated the conversation we shared.  I also had the privilege of spending time with some of the General Authorities of your church, including Elder Tom Perry, Elder Quentin Cook, Elder Dallin Oaks, and several others. I am glad to know these men as friends. We face many challenges, and we face many of those challenges together. As always, BYU has extended the most gracious hospitality and welcome, and I am very thankful for the honor of being with you once again.

The presence of the president of The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary behind the podium at Brigham Young University requires some explanation. I come as an evangelical Christian, committed to the Gospel of Jesus Christ and to the trinitarian beliefs of the historic Christian faith. I come as one who does not share your theology and who has long been involved in urgent discussions about the distinctions between the faith of the Latter Day Saints and the faith of the historic Christian church. I come as who I am, and your leaders invited me to come knowing who I am. I have come knowing who you are and what you believe and my presence here does not mean that the distance between our beliefs has been reduced. It does mean, however, that we now know something that we did not know before. We need to talk. We can and must take the risk of responsible, respectful, and honest conversation. We owe this to each other, and we owe this to the faiths we represent. And we had better talk with candor and urgency, for the times demand it.

My presence here is indicative of one of the strangest and most ironic truths of all — that the people who can have the most important and the most honest conversations are those who hold the deepest beliefs and who hold those beliefs with candor and engage one another with the most substantial discussion of the issues that are of most crucial importance to us. And thus the president of The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary is thankful to be among you at Brigham Young University. You are a university that stands, as all great universities stand, for the importance of ideas and the honor of seeking after the truth. I come to honor the importance of ideas and the centrality of the search for truth with you.

Read the entire address by Albert Mohler here.

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