Mar Vista Baptist Church
- Contact: 888 5th St, Imperial Beach 619-424-7877 www.mvb.church
- Membership: 30
- Pastor: Daniel Mullen
- Age: 62
- Born: Glendale
- Formation: Southern California Seminary, El Cajon
- Years Ordained: 9
San Diego Reader: What’s your favorite subject on which to preach?
Pastor Daniel Mullen: The sufficiency of scripture. I came from a Catholic background, and I didn’t have any exposure to scripture, growing up. There were smatterings here and there, but it wasn’t presented as God’s word. So almost immediately after I gave my life to Christ, within a couple days, I was looking at the Bible, and it was speaking so clearly and powerfully to me. One of the first verses to come to my eyes to speak to my heart on the value of scripture was in Colossians 3:16-17. “Let the message of Christ dwell among you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom through psalms, hymns, and songs from the Spirit, singing to God with gratitude in your hearts….” Afterwards, I went down to the local newspaper and got a roll of newsprint paper and made a big banner and put it across the front room of my house with that quotation on it.
SDR: What is the mission of your church?
PM: Our mission is to make disciple-making disciples through the personal investment of our lives. Disciple-making is not something to put in a box – or learn how to do from books. You might be able to use a book in the process of disciple-making, but it is really every aspect of the church. It’s more intentional and in this way, we ask what is the kind of disciple Christ wants, and how can I use what I’ve been given to further that aim?
SDR: Besides the Bible, what one book has had the greatest impact on your ministry?
PM: R.C. Sproul’s The Holiness of God, in which he emphasizes that our ministry can be really practical in relation to the gospel. For instance, if you’re an engineer, you don’t say, “I’m a Christian here in my personal life and an engineer in my professional life.” You have to think of your whole life as dedicated to Christ. Not that engineering is a part of the gospel—but in all you do, you are a living testimony of the gospel.
SDR: Where do you go when you die?
PM: Jesus said to the thief on the cross, “Today you will be with me in paradise,” which indicates that somehow we will be in God’s presence when we die. As far as the eschatological layout of how it happens, there are many ways to look at that. But I believe the saints in Christ are with the Lord. I also believe hell is a reality. It’s not intellectually or emotionally palatable, but Jesus spoke a lot about hell. The main thing that gets us to hell is our pride. Someone who rejects the free offer of salvation is basically saying, “No thank you!” to what God is offering. Christ offers us his work on the cross instead of our works, which take us nowhere – actually our works take us to hell. So it does seem as if it’s a binary choice, but it’s a mystery. I don’t know how it is that God gives us the grace to find him in the first place, but I know he chose to bestow it on some and not others. I don’t like to be a hyper-Calvinist about the question of salvation; but it is something hard to understand, plain and simple.