Southern Baptist Leader Russell Moore Leaves ERLC, Becomes ‘Public Theologian’ For Christianity Today

Russell Moore
Russell Moore (cropped) |

Russell Moore is leaving his post at the Southern Baptist Convention (SBC) to join Christianity Today (CT).

Moore, president of SBC's Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission (ERLC), revealed his transfer to the publication on his website Tuesday.

"I am excited today to accept the invitation from Christianity Today to join their team as public theologian and as director of a new venture, the Christianity Today Public Theology Project, which is devoted to cultivating a forward-looking, joyful, consistent gospel witness," he said.

The theologian stated that he struggled with his decision because of his deep gratitude for serving the commission but is filled with "excitement for the future."

That same day, CT announced the hiring of Moore in an article.

Timothy Dalrymple, the publication's president and CEO, welcomed him in a statement.

"We could not be more pleased with the addition of Russell Moore in this role. Russell has established himself as one of the most significant evangelical voices of our time. He illuminates the relevance of the gospel to the whole of life, from everyday matters of faith to the great debates in our society and culture. Importantly, he does all of this in a voice that demonstrates what we at Christianity Today call beautiful orthodoxy, weaving together a deep commitment to the historic integrity of the church with a generous, charitable, and humble spirit," Dalrymple said.

According to The Christian Post (CP), ERLC Executive Vice President Daniel Patterson will serve as acting president and the commission will start searching for its new president.

CP said that while serving as president, Moore became controversial for criticizing Donald Trump and supporting Muslims' religious rights.

In 2016, he denounced Trump after the latter's inappropriate comments on women surfaced online. He then called for the former president to resign.

Further, he supported the Muslims' proposal of building a mosque in New Jersey, stating that "the government should not penalize law-abiding people" for "holding their religious convictions."

 Moore joined the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in 2001 as professor of Theology and ethics. He became dean after three years. He was also a pastor at Highview Baptist Church during those times. Prior to his appointment as ERLC president in June 2013, he was the senior vice president for academic administration and dean of the School of Theology at the seminary.

In addition, he served as executive director of the Carl F. H. Henry Institute for Evangelical Engagement from 2001 to 2009.

Moore also wrote some books, including "The Courage to Stand: Facing Your Fear without Losing Your Soul" and "The Kingdom of Christ: The New Evangelical Perspective."

CT was founded in 1956 by Billy Graham, a publication which aims to serve the church "with news, commentary, and resources."

On the other hand, the publication said that the Public Theology Project "will extend and build" its tradition, strengthening the "public theology for our day." It added that the project will feature Moore's writings and his podcast, Signposts.

The theologian is set to start working with CT this summer.