My old seminary president, Dr. Albert Mohler, has weighed in on the Fr. James Martin debate. Dr. Mohler will forget more today than I’ll ever know about theology and philosophy. Marcus Grodi once told me that Baptists think they’re intellectuals, but they’re not. I didn’t say it, but an academic match between him and Mohler wouldn’t last two seconds.
Though I rejected Mohler’s Calvinism, and some of the tactics used to overtake the leadership of the seminary, I could never dismiss Mohler’s brilliance as a scholar, intellectual and theologian. Plus he’s a good guy. I had the pleasure of having dinner with him years ago, and he was genuinely fun to be with. He was also a humble fellow, the kind of person who would open the door for, and converse with, a janitor despite being a college president, while the others he was with just walked on through.
So let it be established that Mohler is not a villain, a beast, a person who throws banana peels in front of nursing homes or college campuses. And he is quite brilliant.
Therefore, his rebuke of Fr. Martin and defense of Catholic doctrine is one that is based on careful analysis and thoughtful consideration. It’s also worth noting that he is correct. Right now, it’s impossible to miss that the Church is working overtime to find ways of compromising with the modern secular left. Why is up for grabs. But that it is happening is difficult to deny.
Fr. Martin assumes the narrative of the LGBT movement, that telling the truth is offensive and hateful, therefore we must not tell the truth. We must change our definitions to conform to those embracing sin. Those who are embracing sin who matter at least. That’s a very common, modern viewpoint. Yet one that will ultimately lead to changing other definitions, and others, and others, until like many liberal expressions of Christianity, it will barely be recognizable to those who knew it only decades ago.