When I first picked up this short book (23 chapters in only 194 pages), I expected another treatise on how God has disappeared from the culture and the church, and how we’re all in trouble if the church doesn’t get in shape.
Even the first paragraph seemed to confirm my assumption:
The tragic reality is that we are living in an age that is marked by so much spiritual and theological confusion that the God of the Bible has largely disappeared from view – replaced by less imposing deities that are more amenable to the modern mind. (p. xiii)
However, what followed was less a church spanking and much more a primer on the basics of a biblical theology and worldview that is necessary to reclaim the culture. It’s one thing to say that we need a change; it’s a whole different thing to show where changes need to be made and what to do about it.
That’s where The Disappearance of God shines. In these short chapters, Mohler tackles a dozen major doctrines or mindsets that need to be taught again, believed, and lived by God’s people. And these aren’t minor issues either. Mohler discusses things like assurance of salvation; sin; hell; open theism; and more. And he doesn’t hold back in standing for the truth of the Scriptures.
I can’t recommend this book enough. In fact, if you are part of OTCC, don’t be surprised if this is an upcoming small group option.
Here are just ten eleven of the many sections that I highlighted in my copy:
“God’s truth is to be defended at every point and in every detail, but responsible Christians must determine which issues deserve first-rank attention in a time of theological crisis.” (p. 2)
“There are no insignificant doctrines revealed in the Bible, but there is an essential foundation of truth that undergirds the entire system of biblical truth.” (p. 7)
“The Church of England and its sister church in America, the Episcopal Church (USA), are competing in a disbelief derby to see which church can produce more heretical bishops.” (p. 22)
“Where sin is not faced as sin, grace cannot be grace. … Weak teaching on sin leads to cheap grace, and neither leads to the gospel.” (p. 28)
“Sin had been redefined as a lack of self-esteem rather than as an insult to the glory of God.” (p. 43)
“…beauty is achieved when the thing created most closely and most perfectly glorifies its Creator.” (p. 55)
“The doctrine of God is the central organizing principle of Christian theology, and it establishes the foundation of all other theological principles. … A redefinition of the doctrine of God leads immediately to the redefinition of the gospel.” (p. 116, 119)
“The decline of church discipline is perhaps the most visible failure of the contemporary church.” (p. 121)
“The identity of the church as the people of God is to be evident in its pure confession of Christ, its bold testimony to the gospel, and its moral holiness before the watching world. Nothing less will mark the church as the true vessel of the gospel.” (p. 136)
“We hear the language, we listen to the discourse, we see the laws, we hear the judgments, we watch the culture at work, and we realize that this is what a nation, a people, an ethnos, a generation that once knew Christianity but knows it no more, looks like and sounds like.” (p. 161-162)
“Let me put it this way – in a truly post-Christian age, the saddest loss of all is a loss of the memory of what was lost.” (p. 164)