Dr. Albert Mohler, Jr., president of Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, recently raised the issue of Dove Award-winning musician Michael Gungor's recent statements that he no longer literally believes in some biblical accounts, such as the creation or the flood, pointing out what's wrong with his deviation from traditional Christianity.
"There's a big problem in virtually everything he says," Mohler said in his podcast news briefing.
The 33-year-old Grammy-nominated musician "uses the category of myth exactly the way 19th century Protestant liberals used it to deny the historical accuracy of Scripture or the possibility of historical revelation," Mohler said.
Gungor recently revealed that he lost his "metaphysic" in 2012, according to World Magazine. He also reflects on his departure from traditional Christianity on his band's 2013 album, I Am Mountain.
"I have no more ability to believe, for example, that the first people on earth were a couple named Adam and Eve that lived 6,000 years ago. I have no ability to believe that there was a flood that covered all the highest mountains of the world only 4,000 years ago and that all of the animal species that exist today are here because they were carried on an ark and then somehow walked or flew all around the world from a mountain in the middle east after the water dried up," Gungor wrote in a blog post in February.
"When Michael Gungor speaks of his perspective shifting, what he's actually doing is shifting into theological reverse, moving right back to the last decades of the 19th century, associating with theological ideas, which were a part of that Protestant liberalism, which also came over to the United States, infecting many denominations and seminaries," Mohler continued.
It's impossible not to live by epistemological authority, Mohler underlined.
"We will either believe the Bible is the inerrant and infallible word of God — that it is the specially revealed word of God, which is our ultimate intellectual authority, because it is, indeed, the word of God — or we'll see it merely as a collection of inspirational and spiritual writings that are to be 'reinterpreted.' That's Michael Gungor's word, when it comes to claims of a superior intellectual authority, in his case modern science," Mohler explained.
Mohler then referred to 2 Peter 1:16, in which Peter states, "For we did not follow cleverly devised stories when we told you about the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ in power, but we were eyewitnesses of his majesty."
"Michael Gungor says he can't believe in a historical Adam and Eve any more, but he wants to make very clear he still believes in the miracles of the New Testament," Mohler went on to say. "But why? He has just pulled the rug out from under his own intellectual argument, because if he has just allowed the naturalist assumptions of modern science to deny the reality of Adam and Eve, how can he not follow those same naturalistic claims of science when they deny the possibility of the miraculous?"
There's a "theological peril" in such thinking, Mohler warned.
"If you decide that you're going to undercut biblical authority when it comes to very clear historical claims that you say now have to be reinterpreted by the assured findings of modern science, then when it comes to any other issue, if you fail to follow those same, naturalistic assumptions, you're just being arbitrary.
"It may not be that you will also deny all those other doctrines that run into direct conflict with the naturalistic, scientific worldview. But if you do not do so, it will simply be because you decided not to do so, not because you are consistently recognizing an intellectual authority, and that's exactly what the Scripture claims to be."
Mohler emphasized that it remains true that "when the Bible speaks, God speaks." "The issue remains that simple," he told listeners. "In reality, the fact that Adam and Eve were real, objectively live human beings, who lived in space and time and history, is essential to the entire biblical narrative, not to just the interpretation of Genesis 1 and following."
Gungor has not achieved something new, Mohler said. "It's just back to the future. It's back to Protestant liberalism."
It's also important to know what Protestant liberalism achieved, Mohler said. "The undermining and subversion of the church in the name of saving it, saving it from itself. We're not called to save the Bible from itself. The Bible makes explicit truth claims. We're not trying to save the Bible from those truth claims, but rather to receive them for what they are — the word to us, which is the word of God."
Mohler ended by stating, "This is not a tempest in a teapot."