From the time I was a child, the Lord worked in my life through two institutions. One was my Southern Baptist church, which introduced me to Jesus and taught me how to follow him. The other was Christianity Today, through which I found faithful voices of gospel integrity such as Carl Henry, John Stott, J. I. Packer, Charles Colson, John Perkins, and many others.
I am excited today to accept the invitation from Christianity Today to join their team as public theologian and as director of a new venture, the Christianity Today Public Theology Project, which is devoted to cultivating a forward-looking, joyful, consistent gospel witness.
I’ve struggled with this decision, because my gratitude for the honor of serving the Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission is so deep. As I conclude my time serving Southern Baptists as ERLC president, I am filled with gratitude as well as excitement for the future.
The team I have been blessed to work with at the ERLC is second to none. I am always amused by people who assume that we have a staff of hundreds, just based on everything this team is able to accomplish, when in reality we have a small team of brothers and sisters who are peerless in their gifting, excellence, commitment, and who love each other and Jesus. Through the leadership of this team, we have worked together in building a project I could never have imagined on my own. Through their gifting and hard work, we were able to see God work in amazing ways—including in advocating for human dignity, religious freedom for everyone, kindness and civility in the public square, racial reconciliation and justice, and the fight against the scourge of church sexual abuse.
Whether that was through national conferences such as MLK50 and Caring Well, a string of successful engagements on matters of public policy, or through the work of evangelism and cultural engagement, this team has excelled far beyond what I could have ever asked or hoped from any group of people. They consistently gave life to a vision of Kingdom, Culture, and Mission rooted in gospel fidelity and gospel integrity.
Moreover, I am thankful to the board of trustees at the ERLC who labored with me, loved me, supported me, and stood with integrity and conscience. I will be grateful to them for as long as I live.
And I am thankful for Southern Baptists, whom I love and to whom I owe so much.
As we look forward to a new era of ministry, I am filled with joy and hope to join the work of a renewed evangelical witness that is pointing a new generation to what I first learned in a Mississippi Baptist church—that the Word became flesh and we beheld his glory, glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth.