Dr. Russell D. Moore has been selected to replace Dr. Richard Land as president of the Southern Baptist Commission's Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission.
"I am delighted that the Holy Spirit has led the ERLC's trustees to Dr. Russell Moore as the commission's next president," said Land, who announced his retirement last July and is also executive editor for The Christian Post. "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."
As dean of the School of Theology, senior vice president for academic administration and professor of Christian theology and ethics at The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville, Ky., Moore is one of the most well-known Southern Baptist theologians in the United States today. He is also the author of many books that are popular among evangelical Protestants, 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. "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."
The ERLC serves as the public policy arm of the Southern Baptist Convention. According to its website, its mission is to address "social and moral concerns and their implications on public policy issues from City Hall to Congress."
Moore has experience in politics. Before entering the ministry, he worked for U.S. Rep. Gene Taylor (D-Miss.).
The selection of Moore by ERLC's board of trustee's was praised by Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal, Pastor Rick Warren and Professor Robert P. George, McCormick Professor of Jurisprudence at Princeton University and visiting professor at Harvard Law School.
Moore's "presence of mind and keen insights as a theologian and pastor are such that his work has not only benefited me personally, but many who serve our nation in public life," Jindal said. "I have never read anything by Russell Moore that did not leave me with a strong impression that this was a man who could speak carefully and powerfully to the public square."
Warren mentioned Moore's strong defense of religious liberty as an important qualification for the position.
"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," Warren said.
George, a Catholic, is a personal friend of Moore's who has engaged in public dialogues with Moore on issues related to Catholic/Protestant relationships.
"I have often said, and I repeat here, that [Moore] is the most brilliant theologian of his generation in any of the Christian traditions," George said. "Similarly, of his leadership skills, one need say no more than that they are exceptional. What he has accomplished at Southern Seminary is nothing short of amazing. He is truly a leader of men."