Future of the Evangelical Movement with Russell Moore, PhD

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Evangelical Christians represent the largest religious group in America. Their votes and support are coveted by both political parties, and the movement’s leaders continue to impact national discourse. But as COVID-19 rages across the United States, nearly a quarter of white evangelicals are refusing to get vaccinated, fueling a pandemic of vaccine skepticism that health experts say could lead to a dangerous fourth wave. Renowned theologian Russell Moore joins Washington Post senior editor Frances Stead Sellers for a conversation focused on the future of the evangelical movement in the United States, its outsized influence on American politics, and efforts to combat vaccine hesitancy in the bible Belt.

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Theologian Russell Moore says he believes vaccine hesitancy among white evangelicals has more to do with mistrust and misinformation than religion. He added that many people assume “pastors are the problem,” but he said he found that pastors encouraged their congregations to get vaccinated. “They are not pastors. Rather, I think it’s the kind of conspiracy theory that runs through social media with a sense of uncertainty. I don’t meet many people in the evangelical life, at least who go to church, who are anti-vaxxers, but I meet many who are just wondering who I trust and what I believe. (Video: Washington Post Live)
Theologian Russell Moore says he was angered by the use of Christian imagery during the Jan. 6 uprising, adding that evangelical Christians must reclaim that imagery for those who seek to use it. “It was violent and perverse, and one of the necessary things is that evangelical Christians who believe like me that the gospel is good news…is to reclaim that good news from those who seek the utilize.” (Video: Washington Post Live)
When asked how big the threat from Christian nationalism is, theologian Russell Moore said, “I think there is a global threat from sometimes violent groups who will embrace Christian imagery. I think there’s a much bigger threat to the impetus behind it, which is to find Christianity or some other religion as something useful to mobilize people or to carry out certain ideologies. (Video: Washington Post Live)

Provided by Christianity today.

Russell Moore, public theologian at Christianity Today and director of Christianity Today’s Public Theology Project.

The Wall Street Journal called Moore “vigorous, cheerful and fiercely articulate”. He was named to Politico Magazine’s Top 50 Influencers in Washington list in 2017 and has been featured by publications such as The Washington Post and The New Yorker.

Russell served as chair of the Southern Baptist Convention’s Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission from 2013-2021. Prior to this role, Moore served as provost and dean of Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville, Kentucky, where he also taught theology and ethics.

Dr. Moore is the author of several books, including The Courage to Stand: Facing Your Fear Without Losing Your Soul, Onward: Engaging the Culture without Losing the Gospel, and The Storm-Tossed Family: How the Cross Reshapes the Home. Originally from Mississippian, he and his wife Maria are the parents of five sons.

Barry F. Howard