Concern is mounting among evangelicals that Russell Moore, president of the Southern Baptist Convention’s policy arm, could lose his job following months of backlash over his critiques of President Trump and religious leaders who publicly supported the Republican candidate. Any such move could be explosive for the nation’s largest Protestant denomination, which has been divided over politics, theology and, perhaps most starkly, race.
Sarah Pulliam Bailey
Once again, WaPo is surprisingly tuned in to what’s going on in the conservative evangelical world. I’m sure some of you were cognizant of what was going on with Moore, but essentially, he is getting a lot of flak for his opposition to Trump during the election. To be clear, I don’t agree with absolutely everything that Moore puts out there, but I give him a great deal of respect for representing a mature attempt to approach politics and public policy in a distinctively Christian manner. In particular, I admire his willingness to speak honestly about Trump and not to get caught up in the political fawning of so many evangelical leaders who prostrated themselves at the feet of our new orange god-king.
The basic argument, as far as I’ve heard it, is “Moore doesn’t agree with most Southern Baptists, so he can’t represent us.” There’s no theological or moral argument being made – it’s just a simple attempt to fence the boundaries to exclude anyone who doesn’t agree with the broad approval of Trump which conservatives within the SBC render. It is an implicit recognition of the SBC as an organization which is more driven by political, Republican activism than doctrine and faith. Certainly the church should speak, and certainly that speech should have political implications, but God help us when our churches lock step with the politicians of this age, winking at evil because they hand us a few tuppence.
I wonder if the desire for excellence may have robbed it of much of its usefulness. It’s worth considering: If our desire for excellence puts the music out of reach for the congregation, perhaps we’re pursuing a wrong definition of excellence.
This is one of those articles which is so spot on, it makes me wonder if he was actually watching me when I visited a church plant down in Orlando. It was a good church full of nice people, faithful preaching, and completely inaccessible music. I think this is an increasingly common experience for people looking for churches where they can genuinely participate in worship, and we should take care to consider it.
I thought the above article was a really interesting discussion of some of Dreher philosophical influences in writing the Benedict Option and how well he actually comports with them. If you’re reading the book, I found it interesting for context.
For some discussions of the book which are positioned from a usefully protestant perspective, you can look here and here. This discussion actually puts its finger on what I believe (thus far) to be the most serious problems with the account, which are the broad lack of specificity and reliance on emotional appeal.
Faced with mounting criticism for its decision to give a major award to the Rev. Tim Keller, founding pastor of Redeemer Presbyterian Church in Manhattan and one of the country’s best-known conservative Christian thinkers, Princeton Theological Seminary has reversed course and said Keller will not receive the honor.
It’s legitimately saddening how entirely unsurprising this is. Tim Keller is definitely on the more liberal side of the PCA, so this repudiation is effectively fencing the entire PCA, as well as anyone to their conservative side (which would certainly include the BPC) out of the mainstream religious conversation. We are outside of the camp which can even be tolerated to join the conversation.
I personally am very interested that he is still giving his address, even if he is not receiving the reward. Sadly, I’m expecting that to be canceled too.