NASHVILLE, April 19, 2013 ( – The Southern Baptist Convention has elected Dr. Russell Moore as the eighth president of their Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission.

Moore has taught theology and ethics at Southern Baptist Theological Seminary since he joined the faculty in 2001.


“Human dignity is the most pressing issue,” Dr. Moore said. “We need to speak to Christians and the larger culture about valuing the right to life of all persons,” specifically naming “the unborn” and “the woman caught in sex trafficking.”

Churches need to be equipped, says Dr. Moore, to disciple people on how to think through issues such as abortion. He said, “Being pro-life is a way of pleading for the most vulnerable among us. We need to stop seeing persons and human dignity as tribal badges or political identifiers.”

Additionally, he says, churches need to know how to apply the gospel to those Christian women who have had abortions. The issue of abortion should not be avoided as “consciences are already aware of what they have done so if we avoid the issue, we’re condemning people to how they feel. Jesus welcomes sinners and if they are in Christ, they’ve already been set free from guilt.”

Being pro-life, he says, begins by possessing a holistic view of human value. Children need to be seen as “true blessings from God and connections need to be made between the attitude that sees children as an imposition and an abortion culture.”

This includes attitudes towards children in the church. Moore states, “When churches welcome children, they will welcome new believers.”

Dr. Moore, the father of five boys, including two who are adopted from Russia, is the author of books such as, Adopted for Life: The Priority of Adoption for Christian Families and Churches and Tempted and Tried: Temptation and the Triumph of Christ.

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He will be taking over from retiring President Dr. Richard Land, who entered the position in 1988, and became recognized as a passionate advocate for the unborn. Before Dr. Land's tenure, the office had been ambivalent, or hostile, to the pro-life cause.

As Dr. Moore recently told Christianity Today, “I hope to lead a new generation of Southern Baptists to see the essential connection between the Gospel we believe and the lives we are to live.”

Dr. Moore will officially begin his new position on June 1.