the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary

Don't Just Stand There: Say Something

The Sin of Silence in a Time of Trouble


          In the midst of cultural pressures to remain silent, R. Albert Mohler Jr. calls ministers to speak the truth because souls are at stake. During an Aug. 20 convocation address marking his 20th anniversary as president of The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, Mohler delivered an address titled, “Don’t Just Stand There: Say Something: The Sin of Silence in a Time of Trouble.”

This message follows in the tradition of two previous convocation messages at significant moments in his presidency. The first, in 1993, “Don’t Just Do Something: Stand There,” argued that the school needed to commit with integrity to its foundational doctrinal confession, the Abstract of Principles. Ten years later, Mohler called the school — in a message oppositely titled, “Don’t Just Stand There: Do Something” — to re-engage in the task of the church by taking the gospel to the nations.

Don’t Just Do Something:
Stand There

August 31, 1993

Don’t Just Stand There:
Do Something

August 26, 2003

Don’t Just Stand There:
Say Something

August 20, 2013

Convocation Transcript:


Don’t Just Stand There: Say Something: The Sin of Silence in a Time of Trouble

Alumni Memorial Chapel, August 20, 2013


The history and purpose of the academic convocation is explicitly Christian. There will be many institutions across this land and beyond that will hold a convocation ceremony such as this, but what will be absent will be the main reason for the very occasion itself in terms of its origin. The convocation — or gathering of the scholars — back in the medieval university was the gathering of the fellowship of fellow learners in the presence of God to pray for the Lord’s consecration upon the task of learning and upon the learners themselves.

There is a sense of continuing formality to much of higher education. But the formality in many cases is simply missing that which was most central. The unification of knowledge was represented by the unity of truth by the very name of the university as an institution. But we continue in that same line. We gather together because we know that education is one of the most precious gifts given to us; one of the most sacred responsibilities we see even revealed in Scripture; and yet one of the most dangerous enterprises that human beings can undertake. And we need divine guidance. We need the continual assurance of the Lord’s presence, and the always constant reminder of accountability to the one, true and living God. Read full transcript


That the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works.