I’ve read about 200 pages of Gary Wills’ history of Southern Seminary, including the final section on the Mohler years (I couldn’t wait!), and I’m really enjoying it. God used James Boyce to perform Herculean tasks to keep the seminary alive in the early years, and faculty members like John Broadus made deep sacrifices, too. The seminary was firmly Calvinist in those days, as was the denomination, and the Fundamentalist-Modernist controversy hadn’t happened yet—so it was a dynamic quite different from today.
However, the SBTS of today is more like the SBTS of the 1860s than it has been in a century, a point the book makes well. Al Mohler is, humanly speaking, the major reason for the recovery of Boyce’s original vision. Mohler performed Herculean tasks of his own, and every good fundamentalist will thrill to hear how the wolves in sheep’s clothing were removed from the faculty. It doesn’t get much better in your earbuds than Mohler’s comeback to the postmodernist faculty member who refused to interpret the Bible straightforwardly but insisted on a rigorously literal interpretation of his contract—followed by C. J. Mahaney’s uproarious laughter. I was edified (and, I admit, entertained). I highly recommend these two MP3s.