Russell Moore leaves Southern Baptist ERLC to join Christianity Today

June 1, 2021
(RNS photo by Butch Dill)

Russell Moore, the embattled South­ern Baptist ethicist and “never Trumper,” is resigning as president of his denom­ination’s Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission.

Moore will be joining the staff of Christianity Today as a public theologian.

In his new role, Moore will help launch a public theology project and serve as its leader, said Tim Dal­rymple, president and CEO of Chris­tianity Today. The project will host events and gatherings about public theology and publish content, including Moore’s writing and his Signposts podcast.

“I’ve struggled with this decision, be­cause my gratitude for the honor of serving the Ethics and Religious Liberty Com­mission is so deep,” Moore said in a statement. “As I conclude my time serving Southern Baptists as ERLC president, I am filled with gratitude as well as excitement for the future.”

Moore will begin his new role this summer.

Moore’s work as ERLC president has been increasingly overshadowed by friction over his criticism of former president Trump, putting him at odds with many Southern Baptist and evangelical leaders.

While conservative theologically and politically, Moore offered Southern Bap­tists a friendlier face for cultural engagement. He promoted immigration reform and has been known for his love of country music star Merle Haggard and poet Wendell Berry.

But with the rise of Trump, Moore took on a more political profile, and his opposition to the president led some Southern Baptist megachurches to withhold their giving to the denomination. Others called for the ERLC to be defunded.

A move to cut funding for the ERLC failed in 2018. —Religion News Service