Onward MOBI ↠ Hardcover


  • Hardcover
  • 224 pages
  • Onward
  • Russell D. Moore
  • English
  • 20 June 2016
  • 9781433686177

10 thoughts on “Onward

  1. Brian Pate Brian Pate says:

    If you are tired of hateful facebook posts biased newscasters and despicable candidates then you need to read this book A refreshing refocus on Christ and his kingdomAs I listened to this audiobook I kept thinking to myself That's what I've always thought but was too afraid to admit it or didn't know how to put it into words I highly recommend it for every Christian


  2. Josh Bauder Josh Bauder says:

    IntroductionThe pursuit of cultural stability and the pursuit of personal salvation are distinct endeavors particularly for people like Russell Moore and me who endorse a separation between church and state And yet undeniably the health of the soul and the health of the culture are linked at almost every level They are both of course important ends—probably the two most important ends we can conceive They share a common past and future the first society and the last society were and will be inhabited exclusively by the redeemed and ruled directly by the God of Christianity They are linked in their effects personal faith always affects its cultural milieu even if only to attract hatred and violence and the characteristics of a culture such as the categories of its language its assumed values its traditions its institutions and its political structures inevitably shape the moral and religious imagination of the citizenry Indeed both the evangelist and the cultural critic will offer their domain as the fulfillment of the other’s objectives a good Christian will insist that there is no true cultural stability outside of a redeemed and sanctified creation; and a good cultural critic will insist that there is no true human religious fulfillment outside of participation in a resplendently virtuous and vibrant culture Both are right Christ restores the soul and the body the individual and the community and in Him we love the Lord our God and we love our neighbor Personal salvation bestows citizenship in the New Jerusalem not eternal isolation Cultural stability emanates from the worship of Jerusalem’s King not from the adoration of godless artifactsIn the meantime however things are not uite so simple The fullness of Christ’s kingdom is delayed His rule is indirect and the world is populated by both those chosen for glory and those destined for destruction Laws are necessary to restrain wicked individuals but sometimes there are wicked laws; wars are necessary to restrain wicked nations but sometimes there are wicked wars Competing visions of the good divide societies Ancient sins are celebrated with confetti ancient virtues are declared hate speech Churches are subverted and cultures are subverted and people elect moronsGiven all this it’s no wonder that the relationship of culture America and Christianity is complex and muddled To what extent has Christianity shaped America and how should American Christians think of their country? Exactly how good were things “back then” and when was “back then”? How do we balance efforts for cultural renewal charity and Christian evangelism? Is there an ontological hierarchy between those three? Is charity for instance a subset of evangelism? To what extent can Christians cooperate with non Christians?The Religious Right RIPMoore wants to sort out some of these uestions and his starting point is to destroy any remaining adulation that might be out there for the late Moral Majority In Moore’s view the Religious Right ascendant in the Bible Belt South of the late twentieth century has long been willing to compromise its message to achieve short term political objectives He chastises the church for inviting into its ranks anyone—business tycoons casino owners talk show hosts televangelists—who helped conservative causes The result he claims has been a theological downgrade that euates America with Old Testament Israel and incorrectly claims a Christian identity for our nationIn the wake of the Blitzkrieg sexual revolution since 2000 such a claim is now impossible to make and Moore recognizes that this is in one sense a very good thing It is now perfectly clear that America is not the Promised Land and that the balance of public opinion has slid like an obese child to the far left of the teeter totter Whatever silent moral majority there was has died off or abandoned its principles “We are not” as Moore says “the chaplains of Mayberry but the apostles in the wilderness”Moore is absolutely right in this respect to the extent that churches abandoned the fundamentals of the faith in order to score political victories to the extent that they confused promises made to Israel with promises made to themselves to the extent that their leaders used their ministries to promote unbelieving hucksters and manipulators—to that extent the demise of the Religious Right is a good thingOn the other hand to the extent that the Religious Right represented an electoral bloc of conservative families appalled by the obscenities unleased in the 1960s; to the extent that there was loose cooperation outside of the context of church between adherents of different forms of Christianity in financing honorable candidates and challenging the sexual revolution; to the extent that conservatives across the country Christians and non Christians recognized that they had common ground in preserving a stable and just society grounded if not on revealed dogma at least on natural law; to the extent that the efforts of these people were crucial in putting Thomas and Scalia and Alito and Gorsuch on the Supreme Court—to that extent I have nothing but praise and honor for themAnd so should Moore In other contexts such as human rights and the common ground between Christians and Muslims he lauds cooperation arguing that we can appeal to mercy and compassion grounded in the image of God even when unbelievers deny the existence of that image “We can work with our neighbors and those who disagree with us” he writes “because everyone has a conscience and a sense of what is right and just” This sounds to me like a persuasive ground for cross denominational political action so long as Christians are careful not to euate their work for the culture with their eternal home or their gospel missionSome Moore Pros and ConsThere’s a lot that Moore gets right He’s critical of liberal Christianity pointing out that the relaxation of sexual ethics in the postmodern church is leading to a completely new religion no connected to genuine Christianity than New Age Wicca is to ancient druidic rites He affirms that Christianity “is not an ideology like socialism or libertarianism but a body” He encourages charitable and gracious interactions with unbelievers “We should not seek an angry uarrelsome cultural presence” he warns “but neither should we seek to engage the culture with the sort of gospel the culture would want if they were making it up”But there are a few areas where Moore is simply too glib and simplistic He freuently criticizes what he calls a “gloomy view of culture” that envisions postmodern Western society as “slouching towards Gomorrah”—a reference to the eponymous book by Reagan SCOTUS nominee Robert H Bork which in turn derives its title from Yeats’ poetic phrase “slouching towards Bethlehem” in The Second Coming But Moore is not completely fair in representing Bork’s position as fatally gloomy Indeed Bork’s writings balance a calm reasonable evaluation of the state of cultural affairs with advice for cultural restoration For instance Bork saysThis is not a counsel of despair There is no iron law that bad trends must continue in a straight line forever Taking back the culture will not be easy but religion rejects despair The four cardinal Christian virtues paralleled in other religions are after all prudence justice fortitude and temperance These are uite enough to take back the culture In our current cultural wars perhaps the most important of the virtues for conservatives is fortitude—the courage to take stands that are not immediately popular the courage to ignore the opinion polls Otherwise we will never change the polls That is what true conservatism means or it means nothingElsewhere Bork writesIn an era of moral decline a reversal probably depends on a revival of biblical religion Religion where it has not been subverted by the culture is an antidote perhaps the only antidote to moral nihilismWhy religion? BecauseOnly religion can accomplish for a modern society what tradition reason and empirical observation cannot Christianity and Judaism provide the major premises of moral reasoning by revelation and by the stories in the Bible There is no need to attempt the impossible task of reasoning your way to first principles Those principles are accepted as given by GodSurely here Bork and Moore are in fundamental agreement The solution to our ills is not ultimately to be found in a Trumpish demagogue or a Republican sweep of the midterms but in the restoration of value made possible only by religious sentiment Where Bork along with most serious conservatives does differ with Moore is in adeuately assessing the severity of decline that has already happened This is not apocalyptic fear mongering of the blustery preacher sort but the kind of level headed grim faced judgment of an emergency room physician dealing with the aftermath of an explosion It’s not inconsolable hand wringing about the future—the future is our hope and confidence at least for those of us who believe Jesus is actually coming back But knowing that the story is going to end with four kings and ueens on the four thrones of Cair Paravel doesn’t change the fact that a White Witch just showed up and oh crap she has an army The reassuring claim that our culture can’t possibly be depraved than the biblical Ammonite or Sodomite cultures is its own kind of racism particularly now that we replicate their exact sins a millionfold and in HD; and as US abortion totals approach the size of the Stalin purges we should look back on the history of the world with an attitude of deep wonder that God would save anyone alive todayAbout Those CatholicsFinally there are two off putting references in Onward to twentieth century Roman Catholics I stress twentieth century to clarify that we’re not talking about Athanasius here These are modern Catholics post Trent post Vatican I post Vatican II and if they are honest not even remotely believers The first of these problematic references is as it turns out the headstone uote of the bookBy remaining faithful to its original commission by serving its people with love especially the poor the lonely and the dispossessed and by not surrendering its doctrinal steadfastness surely the church serves the culture bestIt’s interesting that the epigraph of a book whose subtitle is “engaging the culture without losing the gospel” would be a uote from someone who—wait for it—lost the gospel Walker Percy who rejected his Reformed upbringing early on and died a staunch Catholic doesn’t mean at all what evangelicals do when he says things like the church its people or doctrinal steadfastness It’s a weird way to start It’s a uote that works only if we reinterpret it away from its intended meaning Moore could have pulled off the same effect with something orthodox from Augustine’s City of God or ConfessionsWhat does love look like? It has the hands to help others It has the feet to hasten to the poor and needy It has eyes to see misery and want It has the ears to hear the sighs and sorrows of men That is what love looks likeLess excusable is Moore’s odd inclusion of a modern Roman Catholic in a list of great Christians—and here it’s perfectly clear that he’s describing not the nominal label Christian but the body of Christ comprised of believers in the gospel In a section where he muses dreamily about unlikely future converts to faith he speculates that among the worldly riffraff of the still unregenerate there might be hidden the next Saint Augustine the next Charles Wesley the next Jonathan Edwards the next Charles Spurgeon the next Mother Teresa Now it’s perfectly fine for Moore to recognize that gospel believing Christians and modern Roman Catholics share many things in common and that much good can be accomplished by cooperating with them in charity politics and the defense of morality This in fact was exactly what the Religious Right achieved though Moore eviscerates it on the grounds that it confused the content of the gospel Here ironically he seems to be making the same error By extending the boundary of the gospel to include Rome’s avowed Holy Orders Moore is keeping Christianity strange indeedConclusion Onward is significantly longer than it needs to be It is also repetitive and it is also repetitive Still Moore's central call is clear timely and wise Christian America has too often been an idol in the place of Christ Himself and the sentimental trappings of Christianity dear to churchgoers than the blazing Word of life In some ways Moore is the perfect spokesman for the restoration of a biblical view of politics and religion given his gracious but inflexibly principled opposition to both major candidates in the 2016 election Now that the ruling political regime unapologetically promotes a godless American nationalism Moore's book is all the relevant It's not flawless but it's worth a read


  3. Ruth Ruth says:

    A trumpet call to end the hand wringing and hair clutching in favor of marching forward with Jesus into the future that He has foreordained Moore has an engaging style and neat turn of phrase making his book as readable as it is challenging to the soul Keep Christianity Strange indeed Recommended


  4. Ryan Linkous Ryan Linkous says:

    3 Parts1 General Thoughts2 Crtical Thoughts3 Thoughts on this book in Trump and post Trump age1In this book Moore helpful walks those who may have grown up in a version of white evangelicalism that didn't value social engagement or who were taught a social gospelsaving gospel dichotomy that those choices aren't ones one must make Rather living in the kingdom of God one must hold both Christians should proclaim the gospel boldly be engaged in social action I think this book is mandatory reading for Silent GenBoomereven some older Gen X leaders who are trying to figure out how Christian Millennials think about public engagement Also I would encourage people to read this for the sole reason of having a theological friend help break the shackles of the Religious Right their attitude and hypocritical groveling to POTUS45 If the older generation can't understand this shift politically then many Millennials will simply leave the SBC to be a nothing b angry exvangelicals or c a part of a denominationchurch with thoughtful and nuanced position that at least as space for someone who breaks from the party line places with theological and historical depth2The two main implications I believe is that one must become unshackled to the beliefattitude that to be Christian means one must be a Republican following the marching orders of the Religious Right Moore could have been even aggressive on this point but it comes through well enough Moore still advocates for traditional Christian morés on abortion and LGBT issues but A wants to expand the horizon of our public vision and B wants Christians to be compassionateThe second implication follows from that Christians need to be willing to live with and around others without being judgmental – however petty or serious our judgments may be This is rooted in the fact that all humans are made in the image of God even those with whom we may vehemently disagreeSome may be critical of Moore for not going far enough on some issues I do think he could be clearer and could push a little harder on a few things However for many evangelicals this will be a great first step He uses arguments for Christian liberty that I think I've come to think over the years are a bit too weak to stand up against such multi faceted horrors such as white supremacy If most ethical discussions end with an appeal to liberty how can one say what is actually right and wrong? What is the point of Christian ethics?3However I think this book is still important even 5 years after it was published If it were published today the main reason it would stand out is for Moore's irenicism But is irenicism what we need in the present moment?One must remember that Onward was published in 2015 just BEFORE Trump announced his candidacy for president Talk about prophetic timing I would read chapters and have to set the book down to think about how prescient Moore's words areIt's well known that Moore's courageously prophetic voice was blunted when a cabal of influential right wing SBC pastors threatened to withhold their financial contributions to the SBC because of strong correct statements he had made against Trump and those Christian leaders – whom historian John Fea dubbed Court Evangelicals – who bowed down before him sacrificing the public witness of the church and empowering white supremacy especially that which is left within our ranks Now there are right wing watchdogs who try to out Moore as a crypto archliberalprogressive who is rotting the SBC from the inside out as he sneaks in critical race theoryintersectionality into the ranks These critics simply confirm that they too are shackled to the monolithic mindset of the Religious Right They definitely demonstrate that they refuse to acknowledge how subtle white supremacy can manifest itself in individuals and in systemsEven as prominent evangelical leaders who previously denounced Trump join the evangelical court – one thinks of Al Mohler in early 2020 – Moore's words in Onward still stand as a rebuke against them even if his 2020 Twitter feed doesn'tI'll confess I wish that Moore would be unshackled He speaks of an attractive public witness that has a full gospel and a full heart And I think Moore's public comments had that pre 2016 But until he is forced out of the ERLC by political pressure it may not come back I feel for his family especially his young sons whose daddy is a hero maligned by slanderers And I pray for them as I pray for the church


  5. Jeanie Jeanie says:

    A Kingdom vision is necessary first of all to show us what matters The kingdom future shows us the meaning of everything else If you are a bible believing Christian unless you have been living under a rock the church is now in a shakeup of sorts Is the church relevant? Part of the problem church in the west looks like America than the gospel What kingdom are we building? In this eye opening and I have to say encouraging word we need to focus on moving Onward Russell D Moore challenges his readers on what the Kingdom entails with the breakdown of families and the church losing its influence have we assumed the gospel? Has the gospel become about a better marriage better children or a better life? If it has we have mistakenly put values over gospel Kingdom focus is how the gospel grows Are we concerned about losing our influence with culture? We don’t have to be if we are Kingdom mindedEngaging in the culture is living a kingdom mindset What does this look like? Social issues become mercy and grace issues while we engage in our culture How do you engage with illegal immigrants? Are we reminded of the gospel or are we reminded of entitlement Every Christian should read this mission kingdom minded teaching and have our eyes and hearts set on what really matters uotes that I found encouragingThe shaking of American culture is no sign that God has given up on American Christianity In fact it may be a sign that God is rescuing American Christianity from itself We must remember that even Israel’s slavery in Egypt was a sign of God’s mercyIf we see ourselves as only a minority we will be tempted to isolation If we see ourselves only as a kingdom we will be tempted toward triumphalism We are instead a church We are a minority with a message and a missionFinding ourselves in his inheritance frees us from clamoring and fighting for our own glory or relevanceIf the gospel is abstracted from the kingdom then our mission is simply about the initial evangelism of new believers If we abstract the kingdom from the gospel though then the kingdom seems to be about mere morality and thus an easy client from the pretend Messiah of state power The gospel is a gospel of the kingdom of Christ We are not slouching toward Gomorrah; we are marching to Zion The worst thing that can possibly happen to us has already happened; we’re dead We were crucified at Skull Place under the wrath of God And the best thing that could happen to us has already happened; we’re alive A Special Thank You to BH Books and Netgalley for the ARC and the opportunity to post an honest review


  6. Brian Whittington Brian Whittington says:

    When I finished this book I let it sit for a few days I had some initial thoughts and feelings but I wanted to make sure that I gave myself a few days to simmer on these Its a heavy subject matter and I did not want to speak off the initial emotions after finishing the book Now 2 week removed I still feel confident in saying that I have not read a book in recent memory that I thought accurately logically and graciously dissects the current evangelical culture while giving us an outline for engaging our culture The church has a powerful uniue gospel message thats relevant and needed and we can do that without coming off as a curmudgeon I think this book timely and is a desperately need message to current evangelicalism As we engage the culture we need to get back to what is ultimately important Moore again puts it better than I canOnce Christianity is no longer seen as part and parcel of patriotism the church must offer than What would Jesus do? moralism and the I vote values populism to which we've grown accustomed I hope so then we will be able to address with the culture the most important uestion The uestion Jesus asked of Peter who do you say that I am To read of my reviews please visit thelakesidecovercom


  7. Tim Kimberley Tim Kimberley says:

    What did Jesus mean when he said his kingdom come His will be done on earth as it is in heaven? Out the church I help pastor we use the term kingdom focused to describe this concept What does this mean? What does this look like lived out in 21st century America? Russell Moore has written a book well worth the time to read focused on these topics of kingdom I highly recommend the book It was handed to me by a fellow elder of our church who read it and then bought 14 copies to hand out to friends Now that I've finished the book I understand his enthusiasm


  8. Eric Abisror Eric Abisror says:

    I thought this book was OK I was excited to read it based on all of the good reviews But I just had hard time getting through it I found it to be somewhat repetitive and lacking in depth and focus Having said that I know that many have benefited from it and I also though it was helpful at times Moore does address some very critical issues that Christians need to be thinking about I thought his best uote was The next Billy Graham might be drunk right now It was a statement that gives one hope for what God can do in any persons life and how he can use them in instrumental ways


  9. Mason Mason says:

    Best book for the ChurchThis book is so relevant for the Church I am really grateful for DrMoore and his wise words and emphasis on Christ while engaging the culture around us


  10. Kirk Miller Kirk Miller says:

    FantasticUp until this point Carl Henry's Uneasy Conscience has held my spot for #1 book I recommend to people on cultural engagement I may be replacing that spot with this book by Moore though now For those who know Uneasy Conscience you know that's a big deal Moore is heavily influenced by Henry and you can tell But this book by Moore is maybe comprehensive in scope and brought up to the contemporary situation It's the Uneasy Conscience of our generation


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Onward[Epub] ➝ Onward Author Russell D. Moore – Thomashillier.co.uk Christianity Today Beautiful Orthodoxy Book of the Year in 2016  Keep Christianity Strange    As the culture changes all around us it is no longer possible to pretend that we are a Moral Majority Christianity Today Beautiful Orthodoxy Book of the Year in   Keep Christianity Strange    As the culture changes all around us it is no longer possible to pretend that we are a Moral Majority That may be bad news for America but it can be good news for the church What's needed now in shifting times is neither a doubling down on the status uo nor a pullback into isolation Instead we need a church that speaks to social and political issues with a bigger vision in mind that of the gospel of Jesus Christ As Christianity seems increasingly strange and even subversive to our culture we have the opportunity to reclaim the freakishness of the gospel which is what gives it its power in the first place   We seek the kingdom of God before everything else We connect that kingdom agenda to the culture around us both by speaking it to the world and by showing it in our churches As we do so we remember our mission to oppose demons not to demonize opponents As we advocate for human dignity for religious liberty for family stability let's do so as those with a prophetic word that turns everything upside down   The signs of the times tell us we are in for days our parents and grandparents never knew But that's no call for panic or surrender or outrage Jesus is alive Let's act like it Let's follow him Onward to the future.


About the Author: Russell D. Moore

Russell D Moore is President of the Southern Baptist Ethics Religious Liberty Commission the Southern Baptist Convention’s official entity assigned to address social moral and ethical concernsDr Moore earned a BS in history and political science from the University of Southern Mississippi He also received the MDiv in biblical studies from New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary and.