In my new book, Retrenchment: A Christian Defense of Permanent Things, I described the book as “a continuation of the dialogue of Schaeffer, MacIntyre, Moore, and Dreher and owes much to Eliot, Yeats, and Kirk for inspiration.”
In researching the topic I read Russell Moore’s Onward: Engaging the Culture Without Losing the Culture. In Retrenchment, I described Moore’s book as a much more optimistic version of Rod Dreher’s The Benedict Option and that mine was the most pessimistic of the three. Each tackled the issue of how Christians survive and thrive in a post-Christian civilization.
I was perhaps too kind.
Despite the fact that my denominational orientation and background are much closer aligned to Moore than Dreher, I found myself in agreement with Dreher much more than Moore. I explained this in Rethrenchment as perhaps a result of Moore’s book being with his publisher when Obergefell v Hodges was decided. I gave Moore the benefit of the doubt for being more touchy-feely, including social gospel innuendo and ignoring the massive cultural shift manifested into law in 2015 because Obergefell was not yet a reality.
I read within Onward some head-scratching notions, nuanced rather than stated outright, that smacked of some of the ideas that derive from bad ideology and sociological theories. After viewing a documentary by Founder’s Ministries called By Who’s Standard, I came to understand that the nuanced error I read in Onward was just that, a glimpse at the ideology Moore, and some leaders in the SBC, have come to embrace.
Christians have to change much of what we have been doing, but Moore’s prescription seems poisonous to me. From the front cover of Retrenchment.
Things fall apart, the center cannot hold
Old strategies no longer work, Christians no longer comprise a silent moral majority, our ideas are alien and our understanding of truth is difficult for the world to comprehend; something must change. Increasingly the general culture, the zeitgeist of the age, is hostile to our ideas. Ancient institutions based upon the Christian concept of truth have fallen; more will fall. Old assumptions about the nature and extent of our liberty and religious freedom seem to be proven false as we watch. Allies, once beacons of principle, have crumbled under the pressure of radicals; more will fall. Strange and false doctrines have replaced Christian teachings; entire denominations that once held to orthodox Christianity have succumbed. No church is immune, alien ideas, philosophies and theological doctrines have crept in everywhere.
Update: 8 January 2020
How many Southern Baptists actually know that their number one public representative and the most influential man in the denomination is in cahoots with George Soros? I suspect not many.Pen & Pulpit
An article in Christian Post from 2018 shows Moore’s connection to the Evangelical Immigration Table
Update 9 January (Moore cannot stay off the radar it seems)