The October 2010 Christianity Today cover story (not yet online) looks at Al Mohler. As far as I can see, it’s the lengthiest profile they have done (at least in recent memory) and certainly the most condescending.

I recommend reading it on two levels:

(1) for basic information, especially if you are unfamiliar with Mohler’s background and how Southern Seminary was turned into an institution that takes Scripture seriously and adheres to their historic Abstract of Principles (the description is my analysis of the results, not the article’s);

(2) as a test-case for how much an author subtly—and often times explicitly—inserts his or her own views into a piece by means of framing and  side-comments.

After your’re done reading it, you can ask and answer questions  like:

  • What does the author think about Mohler as a person and Southern as an institution?
  • What does the author think about Mohler as a theologian and as an intellectual?
  • What does she think about SBC moderates?
  • What does she think motivated the conservative resurgence?
  • What does she think about Reformed theology, inerrancy, and complementarianism?
  • What  are the purposes of Mohler’s library?
  • What is the general impression the author wants the reader to have after completing this piece?

It’s a fascinating exercise, in part to show how much an author’s own presuppositions influence the direction of the narrative.