Does Albert Mohler Compromise His Ethics to Keep Wealthy Donors Happy?

By | December 14, 2019


“A giant has fallen in Israel. The death of Dr. Duke K. McCall reminds us of the lengthened shadow one man can cast over a great denomination.  He, along with Drs. W.A. Criswell and Herschel H. Hobbs, brought the Southern Baptist Convention into the modern age.”
Dr. Albert Mohler, speaking after the death of Dr. Duke K. McCall in April 2013.
Source: The Christian Index 


I understand the inherent difficulties the President of the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary (admittedly the flagship seminary of the SBC) has of coddling wealthy donors, whose gifts frequently come with strings attached, while at the same time attempting to maintain the ethical Christian posture on sensitive social issues such as the sexual abuse of children or racial justice.

I was thrilled to hear that in February of this year Dr. Mohler, after speaking at length with Rachael Denhollander, a well-known advocate for victims of sexual abuse, realized his error in supporting C.J. Mahaney and Sovereign Grace Churches and, along with Danny Akin, made a public apology for their actions. You may recall that Mahaney, Sovereign Grace Ministries, and Covenant Life Church combined to donate over $200,000 to SBTS.


Portions of the statement referred to in the screenshot above are included below. It should be noted that Dr. Mohler is the only individual to have retracted his statement of support for C.J. Mahaney. Mark Dever and Ligon Duncan have, not surprisingly, remained quiet on the subject. As the saying goes: actions speak louder than words. Dever and Duncan are fine public orators but just can’t seem to apologize for supporting a man who has covered up the sexual abuse of children in the denomination he once led.

Statement from Mark Dever, Ligon Duncan, and Albert Mohler
Thursday, May 23, 2013 at 10:40 PM

We have stood beside our friend, C. J. Mahaney, and we can speak to his personal integrity. We can make no judgment as to the truthfulness of the horrifying charges of sexual abuse made against some individuals who have been connected, in some way, to Sovereign Grace.

A Christian leader, charged with any credible, serious, and direct wrongdoing, would usually be well advised to step down from public ministry. No such accusation of direct wrongdoing was ever made against C. J. Mahaney.

Instead, he was charged with founding a ministry and for teaching doctrines and principles that are held to be true by vast millions of American evangelicals.

For this reason, we, along with many others, refused to step away from C. J. in any way. We do not regret that decision.  We are profoundly thankful for C. J. as friend, and we are equally thankful for the vast influence for good he has been among so many Gospel-minded people.

On matters of protecting the vulnerable, Christians know what judgment must be made. We side with the victims. May every true victim of any injustice be vindicated. May every doer of wrong be exposed.

Those who minister in the name of the Lord Christ bear an inescapable duty to live and to minister in a way that is above reproach. Those who teach, reminds James, will face a stricter judgment. [James 3:1] May everything we do, everything we teach, and all that we are be measured against that standard.

Together for the Gospel,
Mark Dever, Ligon Duncan, Albert Mohler


So, while it seems that Dr. Mohler has done the right thing as it pertains to the sexual abuse of children; when it comes to racial issues Dr. Mohler just doesn’t seem to “get it.”  While I give Dr. Mohler credit for instigating a report on the history of slavery in the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary,  his optics on racial issues remain absolutely terrible.

Below are a few illustrations from past blogs that illustrate my point.

“I believe I see in all this the end of slavery. I believe we are cutting its throat, curtailing its domain. And I have been, and am, an ultra pro-slavery man.”
-James P. Boyce, founder, Southern Baptist Theological Seminary



This leads me to the subject of my blog today.  In August Dr. Mohler announced that his good friend, Mark Dever has been appointed as the “first Duke K. McCall Professor of Pastoral Leadership.”


Mark Dever Inagural Duke K…. by Todd Wilhelm on Scribd

Who is Duke K. McCall, you ask? He was the seventh President of SBTS, serving from 1951-1982.  He was the President when Al Mohler arrived at the SBTS as a student.

Duke K. McCall was also the founder of a secret society called Dodeka. This secret society was comprised of twelve men. Membership was by invitation only and consisted only of white men who were attending SBTS. I do not think it’s a stretch to label Dodeka as a white supremacist organization.  Dr. Mohler was a member while attending SBTS. Mohler, when questioned about his membership in the secret society, downplayed it calling it a social group that was basically a dinner society that offered an opportunity for fellowship, a noteworthy objective. Mohler is a smooth talker, you don’t get to his position without this ability.  The question you must ask yourself is was he being truthful about Dodeka? I believe Paige Patterson knew better.

I urge you to listen to the following three short audios.




On April 19, 1961 Martin Luther King Jr. visited the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary (SBTS) in Louisville, KY. It was and still is the flagship seminary of the Southern Baptist Convention (SBC), the largest Protestant denomination in the country.

King spoke to classes and in chapel about the need for Christians to support racial desegregation. The students and several faculty members received him well.

Others did not.

One man representing a church in Montgomery, AL wrote, “We know Martin Luther King for what he is, and how you, as president of this institution could permit such a racist agitator to appear before your student body is beyond me…We voted not to contribute even one cent to an institution whose president would permit a man like Martin Luther King to appear as a speaker before our future preachers.”

Seminary president, Duke McCall, soon issued an apology. “The Executive Committee of theBoard of Trustees, together with President Duke K. McCall, wishes to express regret for any offense caused by the recent visit of the Reverend Martin Luther King, Jr., to the campus of the Seminary.”

King never visited the seminary again.

We should never forget the level of opposition, especially from white Christians, that activists endured throughout all phases of the Black freedom struggle. We should also realize that opposition has never completely gone away.
Source: Jemar Tisby – Facebook Post  


Matthew J. Hall, provost at Southern Seminary called McCall a “transformational leader.” Hall also stated that McCall’s family had made a generous investment. Translated, that means they have donated a boatload of money to Southern Seminary. Funny how people say all kinds of nice things about a dead man when his family is donating big bucks to the Seminary that employs you!

Jason K. Allen, the President of the Midwestern Baptist Seminary, said in the article below that Duke K. McCall was a cherished friend. Allen also said McCall maintained a close relationship with Southern Seminary and that Al Mohler, Southern Seminaries faculty and administration all held McCall in “highest esteem.” In Allen’s Memoriam about the only thing it sounds like McCall didn’t do was walk on water. Call me a cynic, but can there be any doubt Allen is hopeful that McCall’s family will funnel a little of their wealth to the Seminary he presides over?

Dr. Mohler is apparently gearing up to make a run for the position of president of the SBC. I would guess he will easily win the election. In my opinion, Mohler is the ultimate politician. Does he actually have firm convictions on any issue or is he simply a pragmatic man, willing to say anything that enables him to continue his climb to the most powerful position in the SBC? That’s a question for SBC members to figure out.


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