Russell Moore to lead Southern Baptist ethics commission
Religion | Leigh Jones
The Southern Baptist Convention has selected Russell Moore, dean of the School of Theology at the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, to be the next president of its Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission (ERLC).
Moore, 41, will succeed Richard Land in the post dedicated to addressing public policy and the nation’s social and moral concerns. Land praised the choice, saying in a statement, “Dr. Moore is a godly Christian minister, a devoted husband and father, and a convictional, committed Baptist. His excellent academic preparation, combined with his keen mind and his tender heart for God and His people, make him a person uniquely suited to serve our Savior and Southern Baptists in this crucial role at such a critical moment in our nation’s history.”
Moore has been dean and senior vice president for academic administration at the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville, Ky., since 2004. He also teaches Christian theology and ethics.
Seminary president Albert Mohler said the school would miss Moore but added he sees wisdom in Moore’s selection. “He will provide a public voice Southern Baptists will follow and the secular world will respect,” Mohler said. “Russell Moore was made for this position of leadership, and for this hour.”
Although Moore’s new post likely will bring him even more national attention, he already is well known for his writing and commentary on faith, culture, and politics. He blogs frequently and hosts a podcast called “The Cross and the Jukebox,” a program that examines country music from a gospel perspective. He is also the author of five books, including Adopted for Life: The Priority of Adoption for Christian Families and Churches and Tempted and Tried: Temptation and the Triumph of Christ.
“I am honored and humbled to be asked to serve Southern Baptists as ERLC president,” Moore said in a statement issued by the commission. “I pray for God’s grace to lead the ERLC to be a catalyst to connect the agenda of the kingdom of Christ to the cultures of local congregations for the sake of the mission of the gospel in the world.”
Before entering ministry, Moore worked for former U.S. Rep. Gene Taylor, a pro-life Democrat from Mississippi. After that, he pastored two Baptist churches in Mississippi and Kentucky. Moore and his wife, Maria, have five sons.
Dozens of pastors and leaders praised Moore’s selection.
“I can think of no one more qualified in experience, in temperament, in passion, and in doctrine to represent us as Southern Baptists on the most critical ethical issues of our day, and on the all-important issue of religious liberty, which I believe may be the civil rights issue of this next decade in America,” said Rick Warren, pastor of Saddleback Church, an SBC congregation in Southern California.
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