It seems entirely fitting that on the very day our federal Supreme Court was listening to arguments that would redefine the institution of marriage, the Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission of the Southern Baptist Convention would announce the appointment of Russell Moore to become its next president. As the issues before the Supreme Court attest, our country is in the middle a moral identity crisis. I can think of no one better suited to lead the ERLC and speak to these complex moral issues for Southern Baptists as well as a larger evangelical constituency than Dr. Moore.
Dr. Moore is uniquely qualified for this position. He is an impressive theologian, capable administrator, and passionately concerned about the issues which affect Southern Baptists. He brings a rich experience and background to the position from his time serving one of our seminaries as well as working in the political realm. Equally important, Dr. Moore is a committed family man who has spoken and written often about God’s design and purposes for marriage. He has been one of the primary leaders over the last decade of putting Christian adoption on the map for many believers, a movement he has not only written and spoken on but has also participated in as an adoptive father.
Moore will be 42 years old when he will begin leading the ERLC following the retirement of Richard Land. This fact, coupled with his winsome and engaging personality, allows Dr. Moore to speak to and connect with a younger generation of Southern Baptists and evangelicals. Each generation faces and must answer different moral challenges to our faith. Dr. Moore will be a defender of the positions staked out by Southern Baptists in the past on important issues such as abortion and same-sex marriage as well as newer challenges that need theological and biblical answers such as the need for adoption, bio-ethical concerns, and human trafficking. Moore will be a fresh voice to a new generation of Southern Baptists looking to continue our tradition of engaging the culture.
As the world’s largest protestant denomination, the Southern Baptist Convention needs a dynamic and effective Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission, an organization that will represent Christ and His word faithfully for many Christians in winsome, loving, unwavering way. The ERLC needs to be committed to being the Christian voice on issues that God’s word has spoken. The ERLC also needs to be an equipping center helping churches and Christians engage the culture with truth and the gospel. Dr. Moore seems to be God’s man to lead this essential ministry.
Congratulations to Dr. Russell Moore on his appointment as President of the ERLC and kudos to the search committee for seeking and following God’s leadership.