Russell Moore speaks truth to his community

The Christianity Today editor and former Southern Baptist leader is gravely concerned about the soul of US evangelicalism.

Losing Our Religion is a tale of disillusioned love. Russell Moore affectionately recalls his childhood growing up in a Southern Baptist church in Mississippi, giving his youthful heart to Jesus, and completing seminary and doctoral training in Southern Baptist seminaries. He was so deep into the subculture, he quips, he knew the code language by heart. “The Lord has called Brother Jones from the pastorate into itinerant evangelism” could mean only one thing: “moral failure.”

Moore’s rise in the Southern Baptist ranks was so rapid it seemed almost predestined. In time he would teach systematic theology at his alma mater and function as dean and chief academic officer. In 2013, he became president of the denomination’s prestigious Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission. He served as a frequent and winsome guest on network television newscasts. (I should know; CBS News once bumped me for him.)

Today Moore’s voice echoes far beyond Southern Baptist circles. He has authored more than a half dozen works of serious academic import. In 2022, he was named editor in chief of Christianity Today. Though his views on topics such as biblical authority and the existence of hell would not win much airtime in liberal pulpits, Moore’s influence as a public theologian reaches far beyond evangelicalism. Indeed, it is hard to think of anyone in the Protestant mainline who plays a comparable role.