Signposts with Russell Moore

Signposts with Russell Moore

United States

Listen in as Russell Moore, president of the Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission, talks about the latest books, cultural conversations and pressing ethical questions that point us toward the kingdom of Christ.

Episodes

Signposts: Should Your Family Play Video Games?  

In this episode of Signposts I respond to a listener's question about video games, and what parents should remember as they make decisions about this.

Listen below, and subscribe to Signposts to get new episodes when they publish.

The post Signposts: Should Your Family Play Video Games? appeared first on Russell Moore.

Signposts: A Conversation With Rosaria Butterfield  

In this special episode of Signposts I sit down with professor and author Rosaria Butterfield to talk about her conversion to Christ, her previous life in the LGBT community, and what Christians need to remember when reaching out to the world around them.

Listen below, and use the links to subscribe to Signposts and get new episodes automatically when they publish.

The post Signposts: A Conversation With Rosaria Butterfield appeared first on Russell Moore.

Signposts: A Conversation With Andrew Peterson  

In this special episode of Signposts, I sit down with award winning musician and author Andrew Peterson to talk about creativity, marriage, the gospel, and more. Listen below, and use the links to subscribe to Signposts and receive new episodes when they publish.

The post Signposts: A Conversation With Andrew Peterson appeared first on Russell Moore.

Signposts: How Should Christians Respond to the New President?  

In this special episode of Signposts, I discuss how Christians should respond to the election results and to President-elect Donald Trump. Listen to the episode below, and subscribe to Signposts to get new episodes automatically when they publish.

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Transcript forthcoming

The post Signposts: How Should Christians Respond to the New President? appeared first on Russell Moore.

Signposts: What I Learned From Congressman Gene Taylor  

On this episode of Signposts I reflect on life lessons I learned from serving Congressman Gene Taylor, and how a politician modeled integrity and conscience for me that made a lasting impact.

Listen below, and subscribe to Signposts to receive new episodes automatically.

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Below is an edited transcript of the audio.

This week I was thinking about the fact that it was the anniversary of the day that my old boss was elected to the United States Congress. On that date every year I tend to reflect on him and what I learned from him and I can tell you that I learned a lot about life and leadership from a politician, in a way that I think might be surprising to some people who tend to think of politicians in a really cynical and negative way. But when I think of this man, I have this sense of great gratitude that I was able to learn from him.

Our fifth son, Taylor, is named after him. He is Taylor Eugene Moore, precisely because of the sense of gratitude that I have for him. I started out working for this guy at a really, really young age and he invested in me at a time when, as I look at it now, I think he took a risk on me in a way that I’ve never seen another politician do and if I were advising someone, I would say this is crazy. I started out as a high school student, sstuffing envelopes for him in a congressional race that he was running that he lost, but he lost that election by a narrower margin than what many people were predicting and so he kind of came out of that with a little bit of momentum, even though he lost the race. The U.S. Congressman who did win the race, who was a very good Congressman and a very good man, was tragically killed in an airplane accident eight months later in August of the next year. By that point I was starting college and so I because active and involved in the campaign too on a volunteer basis and working at handing out bumper stickers and doing phone banks and all of that because I believed in this guy. He invested in me, he hired me as an intern first in his Washington office and then put me in charge of his internship program and then put me in charge of communications for his 1992 re-election campaign when I was 19 years old.

I was working for him in one of our offices, Washington and all of our district offices in Mississippi offices, driving all over South Mississippi with him in various places and learning from him. I think one of the things I learned from him is about taking risks on investing in younger people who are able to do what it is that you are asking them to do or who can learn to do what is that you are asking them to do. And so I’ve kind of thought about that, there have been times when in ministry as I’ve been putting people into ministry positions or hiring people for positions, I though to myself, “That person is really, really young,” and then I remember a guy who took a chance on me when I was young and gave me an opportunity to make some stupid mistakes and to learn and to have those skills sharpened.

He taught me to be able to take those changes and to take those risks and to cultivate people, not just to expect people to come into your orbit already an expert in whatever it is that they are doing, but take that raw ability and to let it develop and to teach and to watch—I learned that from him. I think if it hadn’t been for that experience, I probably would not do that. Now, in every case does that work out? No. Sometimes it doesn’t, but in many cases it does and it’s been a great blessing to me in ministry over the years.

The second thing I learned from him is a commitment to the unborn. This was a man who was a Democratic United States Congressman, at that time in the state of Mississippi, there wasn’t really a difference between Democratic and Republican parties on the social issues--most of the Democrats were pro-life and pro-family--but as he was dealing with the national party,

Signposts: How Should Christians Handle Disagreement Over Halloween?  

In this episode I respond to a question about Halloween and the local church, and how Christians can handle disagreements in a way that glorifies Christ and preserves fellowship.

Listen below, and use the links to subscribe to Signposts to get new episodes when they publish.

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Below is an edited transcript of the audio.

I had a question from a listener asking about Halloween, and she is particularly concerned not about Halloween itself and whether or not Christians ought to celebrate Halloween; there are all sorts of resources you can look at about that. Her question particularly is about disagreements that she has in her small group in her church. They have a small group, community group Bible study and some of the families Trick or Treat and their kids dress up and they do Halloween, some of the families don’t because they think that Halloween is a pagan holiday and they think it celebrates darkness and those sorts of things, and so they have a disagreement. She is just asking, what do we do when Christians disagree about something like Halloween?

I think it is a really good question because it comes at something that the scripture talks about really clearly in Romans 14 when Paul is talking about differing consciences on questions along these lines. You have a dispute that is going on in the church at Rome between people who would argue that a Christian ought only eat vegetables and people who would say the conscience is free to also eat meat. Now, think about this, there are kinds of multiple layers here: why would a Christian argue for a vegetarian only sort of meal? Well, on the one hand you could have Christians who would say that on the basis of the way that Christianity restores the original creation, and those Christians might say, “Well, human beings weren’t created to kill and to eat meat from animals and so let’s return to a time when we are eating only vegetables.” That’s not the only argument there. There is another argument that could say, especially when you are living in an ancient world where a lot of meat was being sacrificed to idols, that the way that a Christian could maintain his or her witness is not to be eating meat at all. Think about 1 Corinthians; a lot of 1 Corinthians is talking about that dispute about meat offered to idols and what do you do and how do you figure that out and how do you not wreck a weaker brother over the eating of meat?

So, that’s a real issue on the table in many different contexts. What Paul says about this is to say in Romans 14, “As for the one who is weak in faith, welcome him, but not to quarrel over opinions; one person believes he may eat anything, while the weak person eats only vegetables. Let not the one who eats despise the one who abstains, and let not the one who abstains pass judgment on the one who eats, for God has welcomed him. Who are you to pass judgment on the servant of another? It is before his own master that he stands or falls and he will be upheld for the Lord is able to make him stand. One person esteems one day as better than the other, while another esteems all days alike, each one to be fully convinced in his own mind, the one who observes the day, observes it in honor of the Lord, the one who eats, eats in honor of the Lord, since he abstains, he abstains in honor of the Lord and gives thanks to God, for none of us lives to himself and none of us dies to himself. If we live, we live to the Lord; if we die, we die to the Lord, so then, whether we live or whether we die we are the Lords, for to this end, Christ died and lived again that he might be the Lord of both the dead and of the living, why do you pass judgment on your brother? Or why do you despise your brother for we will all stand before the judgment seat of Christ?”

Now, obviously what the apostle Paul is teaching there under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit is not that there are not moral boundaries in terms of be...

Signposts: How to Talk to Children About Their Adoption Story  

In this episode of Signposts I reflect on how parents can talk to their adopted children about their story, and what adoption stories should teach us about our own adoption into the family of Christ.

Listen below, and subscribe to get new episodes of Signposts automatically.

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Below is an edited transcript of the audio

I had a listener who asked me how I told our children that they were adopted. At first I was reluctant to take that question because I assumed it’s just a very narrow niche of people for whom this would even be an issue: people who have adopted children and people for whom those children are still at home or still young. But the more that I think about it, the more I think that actually applies to all of us in the body of Christ to some degree or other because all of us are dealing with our adoption into the family of God, and all of us are trying to reckon with who we were before our adoption into Christ. So I think there are some things that we can all learn about that and then also about the way that we can minister to families who have adopted children and who are working through that sort of question.

Here’s what I would say. The question assumes something that didn’t happen. What the question assumes is that we sat our children down and revealed to them that they were adopted. We have five sons; the first two are the ones that we adopted. I was speaking one time at an event and I had my fourth son, Jonah, a biological son, with me, and the person who was introducing me said, “Russell Moore and his wife have five sons, all of whom were adopted.” Normally, people say things and get little facts wrong in introductions all the time, and I do that too, but this time I stood up and said, “You know I don’t normally correct that, but I really feel like I need to right now because Jonah is sitting on the front row and he’s probably thinking, nobody told me that I was adopted.”

So with the first two children what sometimes people will think is that you sit them down and you say, okay, we are about to have a very difficult conversation with you, here it is, and you were adopted. That’s not the way that we did it, and that’s not the way that I would recommend anyone do it. Instead what we did was to from the very beginning--our kids were a year old when we adopted them, the two that we adopted--and from the very beginning we were telling them their story. “This is what happened when we went to Russia, and here are the pictures of when we saw you for the first time, and here’s the day in court when you became our children,” and we did that all along as they were growing up. Even when they weren’t particularly interested in it because you know when you’re three or four years old, you kind of assume everybody was adopted. You think people just sort of sprung up somewhere and you don’t really get the dynamics of biological connectedness except at the intuitive level, anyway. And so we are telling that to them even when they don’t care—for one main reason, and the main reason is we don’t want them to think that coming into our family by adoption means that there is something wrong with them or that this is something to be ashamed of; we don’t think that.

So, we would tell them their story about the adoption process in the same way that with our sons who came along biologically we will point out whenever we go to Louisville, we will point out the hospital and say, that’s the hospital where you were born. Sometimes we have stories that go along: “Jonah, you came along three and a half weeks early and a bunch of people had to come over to the house and watch the other kids and your dad was in Nashville at a meeting at the time and had to rush back home and then they sent us home and we had to go back at three in the morning”-- all of those sorts of things, that’s just part of his back story and it is nothing that we are ashamed of,

Signposts: How Churches Can Minister to the Divorced  

In this episode of Signposts I discuss what the responsibility of the local church is toward members who have experienced divorce, and what the gospel means for how we bear each other's burdens through this.

Listen below and subscribe to Signposts to get new episodes automatically when they publish.

The post Signposts: How Churches Can Minister to the Divorced appeared first on Russell Moore.

Signposts: Why I’m a Baptist  

In this episode of Signposts, I reflect on what being a Baptist has meant for my Christian life, and why I am still one today.

Listen using the links at the bottom of this page, read the transcript below, and subscribe to Signposts to get new episodes automatically when they publish.

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Below is an edited transcript of the audio.

In this episode I am responding to a listener who asked me the question why I am still a Baptist—specifically, is there a set of reasons why I would be committed to the Baptist expression in the church and the Baptist tradition within the church

That’s a good question. The reason it is a good question is I was somebody who was reared in a Baptist church but in a largely Roman Catholic community. My family had two distinct sides: one side of the family was evangelical and the other side of the family was Roman Catholic, so I grew up with a deep appreciation of Roman Catholics—my mother’s side of the family was Catholic and really an important part of my life and of my development, as were the people in my community who were my Catholic friends and neighbors.

In late adolescence and the early years of college I really tried to figure out where I was in terms of my identity within the church, and so I saw a lot of really ugly things that went on within Baptist churches and so there was a time were I was, as I think many people do, searching for the place where I could get beyond all of that. So I spent some time really looking into Presbyterianism and Catholicism and Methodism and Lutheranism and various other Christian denominations and one of the things I very quickly discovered was that there is no romantic way out from human depravity. All of the churches and all of the communions are made up of people who are sinners and all are going to have tensions and problems and ridiculous things that go on.

As a matter of fact, when one looks at the New Testament one of the great blessings is the revelation that church life has always been filled with these sorts of divisions and struggles, right back to the Church at Corinth, the churches in Galatia and Thessalonica and elsewhere—there is consistent rebuke that is coming to churches for the immorality or divisiveness or fighting or apathy. All of those things are present there and they are present in every single communion.

So I work with people of all different traditions, people who are other evangelical protestants in other denominations, Presbyterians and Lutherans and Bible church people and what have you, and I work with in kind of a circle beyond that with other protestants along with roman Catholics and Eastern Orthodox. One of the things I find is when we are honest with one another, we all have problems, every one of us have problems in terms of our church traditions, that’s what it means to live in a fallen world. But I spent some time investigating all of those things and I ended up a convictional Baptist and not because I was assuming those things. I came back to what I believe are biblical convictions about the church. So here’s what I believe and why I still am in the Baptist tradition, and that is in no way a castigation of people who are in other traditions and other communions. I think one of the reasons why God has allowed the church to have these different voices within different denominations is precisely because of the way that those emphases remind the rest of the body of Christ about certain essential points.

Richard Mouw has a book coming out where he talks about different denominational traditions almost as monastic orders within the Roman Catholic church. What these monastic orders would do is each of them would have a particular area of emphasis that would carry that forward for the rest of the church and the same tends to be true within our denominational life. So, Lutherans as Mouw put it, have taken a monastic vow to remind the rest of the church that j...

Signposts: How Christians Should Handle Shame  

Every Christian has had to wrestle at some point with guilt. Even for those who believe, theologically, that they are forgiven in Christ, the struggle to feel forgiven can be agonizing. How should believers in the gospel of justification handle their residing feelings of shame, guilt, and condemnation?

In this episode of Signposts I reflect on what the Scriptures say about our guilt, and why Christians can--and can't--trust their feelings.

Listen below, and use the links to subscribe to Signposts and receive new episodes automatically when they publish.

The post Signposts: How Christians Should Handle Shame appeared first on Russell Moore.

Signposts: My Favorite Podcasts  

I'm often asked about which podcasts I listen to. With all the time I spend traveling, I listen to quite a few podcasts, and there are a few in particular that are especially helpful to me in keeping up with what's being talked about in broader culture.

In this episode of Signposts I talk about which podcasts I frequently return to, and what makes them specifically useful to me in my life and ministry.

Listen below and use the links to subscribe to Signposts and get new episodes when they publish.

The post Signposts: My Favorite Podcasts appeared first on Russell Moore.

Signposts: How to Talk About Evil With Your Children  

As parents, some of the most difficult conversations we can have with children is about evil. It can often be challenging to know how to explain the reality of evil to children in a gospel-centered way.

In this episode of Signposts I reflect on why it's important to talk honestly to children about pain and death in the world, and to do this in a way that exalts Christ as the final answer to all evil in the world.

Listen below, and use the links to subscribe to Signposts and get new episodes when they publish.

The post Signposts: How to Talk About Evil With Your Children appeared first on Russell Moore.

Signposts: How Should You Handle Disagreement With Church Leadership?  

The odds are that, sooner or later, you will find yourself disagreeing with the leadership of your local church. The issue may seem small or it may seem very significant; you may be a lay member, or you may be on staff. Regardless of the circumstances, what are the most important things to remember when you don't agree with the leadership of your church?

In this episode of Signposts I talk about what healthy disagreement within a church can look like, and what marks the difference between handling it well and damaging the fellowship.

Listen below, and use the links to subscribe to Signposts and download new episodes automatically when they publish.

The post Signposts: How Should You Handle Disagreement With Church Leadership? appeared first on Russell Moore.

Signposts: Reflections On My Conversation With Andy Stanley  

At our recent ERLC national conference, I had the opportunity to sit down with pastor Andy Stanley. Andy and I have a lot of significant disagreements about ministry, but our conversation was fascinating and helped me and everyone at the conference think through some important issues.

In this episode of Signposts I reflect on my time with Andy Stanley, and how our dialogue about ministry and theology sharpened my own thinking about Scripture and the church.

Listen below, and use the links to subscribe to Signposts and get new episodes automatically when they publish.

The post Signposts: Reflections On My Conversation With Andy Stanley appeared first on Russell Moore.

Signposts: How to Be Free From Fear  

How does the gospel address our deepest fears? How can we be confident, while facing an uncertain future?

In this episode of Signposts, I offer some thoughts from Scripture on why the gospel disarms our fear, and allows us to walk confidently toward the kingdom.

Listen below, and use the links to subscribe to Signposts and get new episodes automatically when they publish.

The post Signposts: How to Be Free From Fear appeared first on Russell Moore.

Signposts: Why Christians Must Keep Christianity Strange  

Christianity isn’t normal anymore, and that’s good news. The Book of Acts, like the Gospels before it, shows us that the Christianity thrives when it is, as Kierkegaard put it, a sign of contradiction. Only a strange gospel can differentiate itself from the culture around us. But the strange, freakish, foolish old gospel is what God uses to save sinners and to build the Church.

The post Signposts: Why Christians Must Keep Christianity Strange appeared first on Russell Moore.

Signposts: How to Engage the Culture as the Church  

The illusion of being a Christian majority in this country has not been good for our understanding of what it means to be the people of God. As we enter the public arena, we don't come with a Christless form of religion that is satisfied with mere behavior modification rather than new birth. We need to remember that we are sent with consciences that are shaped and formed by the Word of God, for the purpose of reconciliation.

The post Signposts: How to Engage the Culture as the Church appeared first on Russell Moore.

Signposts: How to Be Changed by the Word of God  

Each and every one of us is tempted to shelter ourselves from the prophetic edge of Scripture. We don’t want to hear that we're wrong, and we don’t want to hear the diagnosis of our sinfulness. But we need to understand the way our own hearts often seek to evade Scripture's call on our lives.

In this episode of Signposts, I talk about the need for the Word of God to confront us and challenge us in areas that we are not choosing so that we can be equipped to engage in the warfare of the Christian life.

The post Signposts: How to Be Changed by the Word of God appeared first on Russell Moore.

Signposts: Why I Prefer Books to E-Readers  

Recently I read that sales of e-readers like the Kindle had slowed, and that sales of physical books had risen. This made sense to me, since over the past couple of years I've realized that I almost totally prefer bound books to digital versions.

In this episode of Signposts I talk about why physical books are so important to me in my life and ministry, and what e-readers, though helpful, miss about the written word.

Listen below, and use the links to subscribe to Signposts to automatically receive new episodes when they publish.

The post Signposts: Why I Prefer Books to E-Readers appeared first on Russell Moore.

Signposts: How to Plan Now to End Your Ministry Well  

Recently I was asked by a younger man, "How can I make sure to end my ministry well?" In my own life I've seen many ministers end their service poorly, not only through moral failure but also through anger, bitterness, and disillusionment.

In this episode of Signposts I talk about what ministers, young and old, should remember in order to end their ministries well, and how the gospel helps us see ourselves the way God sees us.

Listen below, and use the links to subscribe to Signposts and receive new episodes when they publish.

 

The post Signposts: How to Plan Now to End Your Ministry Well appeared first on Russell Moore.

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