The Briefing, Albert Mohler

Friday, April 14, 2023

It’s Friday, April 14, 2023.

I’m Albert Mohler, and this is The Briefing.

Part I

Moore’s Law and Our Brave New World: Gordon E. Moore Dies at 94

A daily analysis of news and events from a Christian worldview. So many of the great developments of history are improbable and completely unexpected. One of them is represented by a name, Gordon Moore. Gordon Moore died at age 94 a matter of days ago. He was one of the co-founders of the company known as Intel.

And of course, the personal computing revolution has changed the world. The digital computing revolution has changed the way we store information, process information, the way we live just about every day and the way we communicate. If you had gone back to Gordon Moore back in the 1940s or 50s and said, “Number one, you’re going to found a company that’s going to change the world.” He might not have believed it was so. He wanted to be a teacher, but he couldn’t get a job in education.

So he actually developed other skills and eventually he became known for being involved in the process by which silicon chips were made carriers of circuits and transistors. And it started on a very small basis, but it eventually morphed all the way from what you might call a transistor radio to what became powerful computers beyond any human imagination. We take all this for granted now.

But it’s important for us to recognize that when Gordon Moore died just a matter of days ago, you’re talking about one life, just one life that basically covered this enormous change in the way human beings live. We carry smartphones in our pockets and we depend upon computers for running just about everything in the world. From the air traffic control system to the temperature, the thermostat program in our own home. We are dealing with the fact that the silicon chip that Gordon Moore had so much to do with developing, has become one of the great engines for changing the way human beings live.

And thus, it’s important to recognize just how thin the slice of history really is in which the computing revolution has ever existed. And you look at young people today, it would be very easy for them to assume that people have always had this kind of digital access. That people have always been able to communicate with one another by smartphones. That it has always been possible to answer a question by Googling and just getting the information.

But in my own lifetime, a lot younger than Gordon Moore, I can remember when you had to go to the library and look it up in a book. And if the book was checked out, you had to wait until another copy of the book came. And frankly, you just didn’t know most of what went on in the world. And when it came to how much you didn’t know, you didn’t even know how much you didn’t know.

But even as we have a better idea of it now, there is another side to all of this and that is that the revolution of which Gordon E Moore was so much apart. Actually, it has not just given us more information. It has flooded us with so much information that now the problem is not so much trying to find information, but trying to find the right information in a seemingly almost infinite but not truly infinite sea of information. But it is that silicon chip that really had so much to do with this revolution. And it’s a reminder to us of what Gordon Moore himself suggested as Moore’s Law. And that is that within a brief amount of time, he said a year or two years, and eventually he said it’d be a little more than that, computer chips would half in price and double in power.

Now that’s very, very important. In other words, the modern computing revolution whereby you can have a smartphone, it actually requires that over a very brief amount of time, the world changed technologically. Such that what would’ve required a warehouse of storage and processing data is now reducible to a chip. How many circuits are actually on the chip that drives your computer? Well, the most recent Apple computer known as the M2 Chip, it includes 20 billion circuits. 20 billion. It was considered remarkable that you could get 12 on a silicon chip. Now 20 billion.

But there’s a lot here for Christians to consider, the big worldview questions. Is this a good thing or a bad thing? Well, in so many ways it is a good thing. It’s a good thing that you have computers tracking heartbeats in an intensive care unit. It’s a very good thing that you have computers far more accurately than human beings determining where airplanes should and should not fly. And their paths from one airport to another.

There are many benefits that come by computing. So many of them that we actually can’t imagine life as if we lived before this revolution. Even when some of us actually did live before this revolution. But there is also another side. We need to recognize that in ages past, just a few decades ago, if someone had the determination to find pornography, that person would have to go to a certain part of town, go into a certain kind of store. Or arrange by a certain kind of purchase by mail.

Now, that very smartphone in your pocket can bring almost endless garbage into your life, as well as seemingly endless information. One of the big questions in all of this is whether we control our machines or our machines control us. The silicon chip and the digital revolution made Gordon Moore one of the richest men on the planet.

By the time he died, his net worth was estimated at something like $7 billion. But if you look at this simply in terms of crass economics, there was no better investment for all of humanity in the 20th century than the semiconductor, the silicon chip. It was simply the fact that so much has been unleashed at such a low cost. The world has been changed in so many profound ways.

It turns out that Gordon Moore, who was denied the opportunity to be a teacher because he couldn’t find a job. He actually did find a job and he found it in one of the most revolutionary technologies ever to come to human beings. It’s also a reminder to us that we actually have no idea if the Lord tarries, what kind of technology is going to follow upon us next. We have no idea who the next Gordon E Moore is or what that technology is.

We have no idea what our grandchildren are going to take for granted, that we do not even imagine now. If you look at the movement of people, it’s interesting to note that people move right now about the speed they moved in the late 1950s. If you take a jet airplane right now, in terms of passenger aircraft, it travels just about the same speed that was reached in the late 1950s with planes such as the Boeing 707. They’re bigger, they’re smarter, they have all kinds of bells and whistles. They’re undoubtedly safer, but they travel at about the same speed.

But information travels at speeds that are exponentially, almost immeasurably greater than, faster than, further than any previous generation in human history. Is that a good thing or a bad thing? One thing Christians understand with a biblical and Augustinian understanding of history is that the good and the bad sometimes come in some proportion in the same package. And if not in the same package, then in very close proximity. A technology that can be used for good can also be used for evil.

The holy scriptures can now be transmitted by digital transmission everywhere in the world and can often get over barriers, even like the great information wall of China. But pornography can also get over those walls as well. And so, is this a good or a bad technology? The answer is, it has undoubtedly led to great advancements in human life and human health. It has led to a vast expansion of knowledge and the access to that knowledge. Is that a good or a bad thing? Well, in so many ways when it comes to health and other issues, of course it’s a very good thing. But it comes with a downside as well. It’s just good for us to remember, that’s true of virtually every single technology. You could ride in a car to go to church. You could ride in a car to go to a bad place.

The car doesn’t know the difference, but the driver does. And it’s the driver, not the car who was responsible. All this, just as we think about the death, a few days ago, of Gordon Moore at age 94. One life. One life, but one life that made a big difference. And one lifespan that saw the world change at least once, maybe twice. Maybe more.

Part II

Why Weren’t Comstock Laws Recognized in Connection to the Abortion Pill Long Ago? — Dr. Mohler Responds to Letters from Listeners of The Briefing

Then next we turn to questions. Teresa asked the first question. She asks, “When it comes to the Comstock Act.” And I refer to it on The Briefing pointing back to the 19th century, it was cited by U.S. District Judge Matthew J. Kacsmaryk in handing down the decision about the abortion pill. She asked the question, “Why has it taken 20 years for this recent decision to be handed down?” In other words, why wasn’t this issue recognized and decided a long time ago? Well, that’s a fascinating question, Teresa.

And the answer’s going to require, well several parts. All of them worthy of our consideration. Number one, how does something like the Comstock Act, which is still on the books…. The point is Congress never reversed and never repealed the act. That act forbade especially the use of the U.S. mails for the distribution of obscene literature, of contraceptive devices and specifically of aborted fashion drugs to be used for illegal abortions. And you ask, “Well, why wasn’t that repealed? Or if it wasn’t repealed, why wasn’t someone else citing this law a few years ago in order to defend the unborn?”

Teresa mentioning 20 years here has to do, I think, with the years in which Mifepristone has been available by mail as an abortion drug through the mail, because of a decision of the food and drug administration. That’s the very qualification, that’s the very approval that was questioned by Judge Kacsmaryk in putting the drug on pause.

But as you look at this, you recognize that the Comstock Act was there. Judge Kacsmaryk just brought it up and made it very much a part of his decision. But the reason I brought it up on the briefing is because it tells us a couple of things. Number one, the moral judgment of Americans overwhelmingly at the time the Comstock Acts were handed down in the 19th century passed by Congress, signed into law.

But the fact is that they’re still in the books because there is still no courage on the part of the left in the United States sufficient to repeal the Comstock Acts. That tells you something. But there’s something else here and it has to do with a couple of things. Number one, the pro-life movement, it’s required some time for pro-lifers to come up with some arguments and to make some cases and to get ready to present these cases in the federal courts.

And so if you look at the pro-life movement, say 20 years ago, I’m not sure that a case against the FDA, in this case. And against, well at least targeted, at Mifepristone, I’m not sure that the pro-life movement had that on the radar screen. But there’s another part to this and that comes down to whose sitting on these federal courts, who are the judges? Remember that the President of the United States has the sole authority to nominate judges and others who sit on the federal bench.

And in this case it was an appointment made by President Donald Trump. You’re looking at very different appointments made by President Joe Biden. And you are looking at the fact that who is sitting in the White House really determines who is sitting on these courts. And so all of that is a part of the background, and yet I just think it’s important we recognize that these headlines coming down just on this one case, they’re not coming out of a vacuum, they’re not coming out of the historical blue.

They’re coming out of a very clear historical line of argument and development. And I think it’s good and healthy that we trace it.

Part III

Why is the LGBTQ Agenda So Strong in the UK? — Dr. Mohler Responds to Letters from Listeners of The Briefing

Connor’s writing about my comments about the coronation of Britain’s King Charles III. He asked, “If this is a public display of the gospel and what they’re supposed to uphold, then how come the LGBTQ agenda is very strong within the UK?” Well, great question Connor. And remember, what I am saying is that the historic coronation language is very explicitly biblical.

We don’t yet know exactly what language is going to be used in the coronation of Britain’s new age king, Charles III. And remember that he has also said, at least at some point, that he wasn’t going to accept the title Defender of the Faith because he doesn’t think there is a “the faith”. That tells you something about the religious confusion that marks Charles III.

But my point is that in so many of these public occasions, the coronation, the funeral. I mentioned the royal wedding of William and Kate, it was replete with biblical content. But you asked the question then how come the LGBTQ agenda is very strong within the UK? It is because a faith that is merely historical, ceremonial and decorative is not going to keep a moral revolution from happening at all. If it’s merely decoration, if it’s merely history, if it’s just ornamentation, if it’s just formality. And monarchy requires formality, well it’s not going to restrain anyone for very long.

Part IV

To What Degree Has the Image of God Been Degraded in Our Lives Because of Sin? — Dr. Mohler Responds to Letters from Listeners of The Briefing

Next, a question from Lindy. Lindy asks, “To what degree is the image of God been degraded in our lives because of sin?” Lindy, the first thing we need to say is that there is virtually no way we can exaggerate the corrupting effects of sin in every dimension of our existence.

And that includes the fact that the image of God has not been destroyed, but it has been disfigured because of the effect of sin. Now, the reason we know that the image of God in us is not destroyed, and that’s why we can speak of ourselves and every other human being as being made in God’s image, is because the image of God is affirmed of humanity, not just in creation before the fall, but even after the fall and immediately after the flood. In Genesis 9, it is affirmed that human beings are made in the image of God. And that’s really important. Because it affirms that even after the fall, even after the flood, every single human being bears the image of God, is made the image of God. And even as human beings rebel against that, there is no way we can deny who God has made us to be.

Now our relationship with God, in whose image we are made, that relationship is destroyed by sin. And the only way that relationship is restored is by faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. The atonement that Christ has accomplished for us, the making right of that relationship. Which is entirely God’s act to which our rightful response is belief and faith. Which are also God’s gifts. By the way, another very helpful thing to keep in mind about the image of God is that it maintains distinctions.

As I often say, the doctrine of creation is incredibly important for the distinctions that are made clear. Here’s the crucial distinction in this case. It is A, a distinction between the Creator and the creature, the human creature. We are made in God’s image, but we are not God. But secondly, and this is also important, it is a distinction between human beings and other creatures. Because we are made in God’s image and they are not. So keeping in mind that one of our main responsibilities as Christians is to keep the distinctions right.

Let’s be thankful that those distinctions are made so clear in Scripture.

Part V

Do Animals Have Souls? — Dr. Mohler Responds to Letters from Listeners of The Briefing

It’s interesting that a listener named Bridget also wrote in with a fascinating related question, “Do cats or any animal for that matter have souls?” And then she says, “And assuming they do indeed have souls, where do they go when they die?” She says, “I would look it up on the internet, but I wanted to know from a Christian standpoint.”

Well, Bridget, thank you for writing the question. And let me just say that you could find just about anything on the internet. But in this case, when you turn to Scripture, I don’t believe you’re going to be able to find in Scripture an affirmation of the fact that animals have souls. Now, I think the most important issue here, and it gets back to the distinctions that scripture makes, the distinction between human beings and the other creatures.

It’s not that we’re a creature and the other creatures are not. Or that they’re creatures and we’re not. No, we’re all creatures. The human is a creature. God is the Creator. The first distinction is between the Creator and the creature, but among the creatures there are distinctions. And the distinction is between the human creature made in God’s image and the rest of the creatures who are not made God’s image.

And so as you look at that, you recognize that what we refer to as the soul, which is the capacity to know God. It appears that that is related to the imago Dei. It is essential to the imago Dei, or you might say the imago Dei is essential to our understanding of what it means to have a soul. Now, there are those who have just defined the soul in terms of a rational entity or a personality, and in this case, cats qualify on both of those scores.

They’re rational entities to some extent. They can learn. They’re clearly reasoning. And of course they’re giving you a look that says they think they’re actually smarter than we are. But it’s also true that they are not who we are. So another way people ask this question is to say, “Will there be dogs and cats and cows and tigers in heaven?” Well, there are pictures in the scripture of the blessedness of the kingdom in which all the creatures are there to the glory of God. All I know to say is that I believe firmly in a biblical theology, all that we know about the kingdom of Christ is that it is more than and not less than. So I really believe that every good thing in this world, is going to be present in the world to come. I don’t have clear biblical authority with a verse to site there.

I’ll simply say that the entire thrust of scripture about the kingdom of Christ is that it is infinitely more than and in no way less than the world that we know now.

Part VI

Will We Have Our Memories in Heaven? Will We Know Our Family and Friends in Heaven? — Dr. Mohler Responds to Letters from Listeners of The Briefing

And that relates to a question that came from Rebecca. This is one of the most common questions asked of pastors and other Christians. “Do you think we will have our memories in heaven and will we know our family and friends?”

Again, all I know to say there is basically that every promise about the kingdom of Christ is that it’s more, not less. And certainly our memories a part of that more, not less. But our memory is also affected by sin. And there will be no sin in the kingdom. So a memory that is sinless appears to be at least a part of the promise of the kingdom of Christ. Now, in our sinfulness, we can’t really imagine that.

All I know is to say that I believe that it’s true. And I think there are evidences of this in Scripture. For instance, the fact that in the book of Hebrews, you have reference to this great host of witnesses. And they are watching us and they are encouraging us. And this has to mean that that relational ability that is shared among human beings on Earth, it is not destroyed in the age to come. It appears that it’s only amplified.

And so by the way, our memories are problematic in another way. And this is a part of what theologians call the noetic effects of the fall. That is the effects on knowledge of the fall. Our memories are not perfect. They don’t even last. They’re not always accurate. And so at least a part of what we know is that everything’s perfect in the kingdom. Which means that if indeed we do have those memories, they will be memories untainted by sin.

And let’s be honest, isn’t that one of the great promises we should yearn for? A memory unaffected by sin.

Part VII

Are There Religious Liberty Protections for Churches That Allow Them to Delineate Between Which Non-Christian Groups Can Rent Their Spaces? — Dr. Mohler Responds to Letters from Listeners of The Briefing

Interesting question turning to a very different issue, Nathaniel writes in, we’ve talked about some of the controversies, indeed, lawsuits having to do with, for instance, public schools leasing their space to churches. And then because of the preaching of the church saying they’re not going to do it anymore.

And then Nathaniel asked the question, “If indeed there was an opposite situation in which a church was renting space to a non-Christian group”, he asked, “Is it equally protected if a non-Christian group used a church, for example, to promote pro-LGBTQ messages assuming that church would have a problem with it?” Well, the big issue there, Nathaniel, is that the school is public property and it is thus to be neutral. The church is not public property, it’s private property.

And the church has every right to limit the use of its facilities to whatever it sees as absolutely consistent with its ministry, its convictions, its purposes, it’s morality. The public schools are in a different position. And that’s one of the issues that’s been pretty essential to Christians making the case, the religious liberty case. And as you’re thinking about the schools, the issue is that schools don’t have to lease or rent facilities at all. They don’t have to enter into rental agreements.

The point is that if they do as public institutions enter into rental agreements, then they can’t discriminate against Christians in doing that. They can’t discriminate against churches in doing that. So there’s a crucial distinction in this country. And by the way, this crucial distinction is long in Western history, and it’s really, really important. The distinction between the private and the public. The public has an accountability to the entire public.

The private is under the rightful control and for the use of the one who is the private owner. Churches are private institutions, they own private property. It is not government property. And thus there’s a pretty crucial distinction. And by the way, Nathaniel, God bless you as you go to law school, we need you.


Is It a Sin to Speed While Driving? — Dr. Mohler Responds to Letters from Listeners of The Briefing

A very practical question was asked by a father. David wrote in saying, “My son’s recently asked me after I received a ticket, if it is a sin to speed when you are driving.” Well, David, thank you so much. And he’s given permission to say that he is in Texas. And I’ll say the big issue in Texas or in any state, David, is to say this. If the law is righteous, then it is a sin to violate it. Romans 13 says that, “It is the power of government and God’s assignment to government to restrain evil and to reward the one who does right, and to punish the evildoer.”

But there is another aspect to this. I just want to be honest. So if we have to answer the question, is it sin or is it not sin? Well, in some sense it is a sin, but we understand that the law has gradations. And that also turns out to be important. And so the law is not that the one who is guilty of speeding in this case, say going a few miles over the speed limit. That person is not arrested on the same basis as someone who’s committed a violent crime or robbed a bank. Or similar.

The reality is that it is wrongdoing. But it’s the same thing that happens just in terms of the life of the household. There is wrongdoing. It’s unquestionably wrongdoing, and wrongdoing is sin. Or it’s at least sinful. But when it comes to wrongdoing, we have a list of those things that are serious wrongdoing and less serious wrongdoing.

Some require an immediate response and some do not. In the government situation, some require immediate arrest and some do not. But the reality is it is true that we are all sinners. And as I’m talking to you now, I recognize that it is not true that I have never broken those laws. And it is not true that I’ve never received a ticket. And it certainly is not true that I have never sinned. We have to end this for today.

Part IX

If I Was Baptized As an Infant, Should I Be Re-Baptized As An Adult After I Came to Faith in Christ? — Dr. Mohler Responds to Letters from Listeners of The Briefing

But I’m going to end with a question from John, and it’s a very Baptist question. Or at least I’m going to answer it in a very Baptist way. The question is if he was baptized as an infant in another church, he says he’s not even sure that his parents were believers at the time. But he doesn’t believe so. And he says he’s not even sure that the minister who baptized him was a true believer.

And so he’s asking the question, would it be wrong for him to be, in his words, “Baptized again so long that I can satisfy myself?” He says that, “I’m not doing it just to cover all the bases, not trusting in the act of baptism as a means of salvation.” John, I have never been more Baptist than when I answer your question.

And I hope biblical at the same time. Number one, the faith of your parents and the faith of the pastor in this case are not determinative. It is indeed the act or the ordinance of baptism that is important here. And again, I’m just going to have to say this as a Baptist. Baptists don’t actually believe that any baptism that isn’t biblical is actually baptism. And we don’t say that to be contentious. We are actually just making that what we believe to be a biblical priority, essential to our understanding of the gospel.

And that’s why our churches are called Baptist. And we did not name ourselves that. People who are criticizing us, named us that. That happened to the Methodists and others as well. That’s not all that unusual. But the point is this, I don’t believe that if you were to be baptized in obedience as a believer, that you would actually be being baptized again. I think you’d be being baptized, and I think that’s a very good thing.

And so I would commend it to you as a believer in the Lord Jesus Christ, repent of your sins and be baptized. But the point is that it’s not just that Baptists believe in baptism. We believe in the baptism of believers. That’s the point. It is believers in the Lord Jesus Christ who are commanded to be baptized. And we believe that baptism should be undertaken by those who’ve come to saving faith in the Lord Jesus Christ.

And baptism is a sign of obedience to Christ, once one has become a Christian by faith. So that’s just the point. As a Baptist, you won’t be surprised to hear me affirm believers baptism.

And so I just want to tell you, you shouldn’t be concerned about a problem of being baptized again. I just want to encourage you to be faithful to Christ and be baptized.

Thanks for listening to The Briefing.

For more information, go to my website at You can find me on Twitter by going to For information on The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, go to For information on Boyce College, just go to

I’ll meet you again on Monday for The Briefing.

R. Albert Mohler, Jr.

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