(RNS) — Two of the country’s most influential evangelical Christian magazines named new leaders this week, hoping to set a new direction for the publications in tumultuous times.
Russell Moore, the former Southern Baptist ethicist, has been named editor-in-chief of Christianity Today. Lynn Vincent, a motorcycle-riding Army veteran and New York Times best-selling author, was recently named executive editor of World Magazine.
Moore takes over editorial leadership from Chairman and CEO Tim Dalrymple, who assumed dual roles following the departure of former Editor-in-Chief Daniel Harrell.
Vincent succeeds longtime global editor-in-chief Marvin Olasky, who stepped down early last fall after the publication launched a new conservative online opinion section that he disapproved of.
Moore joined Christianity Today as a public theologian in 2021 after resigning as chairman of the Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission of the Southern Baptist Convention. His tenure there had been controversial, in part due to his opposition to Donald Trump and for advocating for reforms against sexual abuse.
“I could have won the conflict that needed to be fought,” he said last fall, reflecting on his departure with fellow former Southern Baptist Beth Moore. “But I realized that I would have to have a conflict. And I didn’t want to be the kind of person that I would be on the other side of that.”
Moore previously served as dean of the School of Divinity at Southern Baptist Theological Seminary. He is a fan of Waylon Jennings and farmer and poet Wendell Berry.
Dalrymple said in a statement that Moore will help Christianity Today answer the question, “What does it look like to be a faithful follower of Jesus Christ in our time?”
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Christianity Today is considered the leading publication for evangelicals, founded in 1956 by legendary evangelist Billy Graham. The publication also named longtime staffer Kate Shellnutt as editorial director of news and online, and hired veteran Christian publisher Joy Allmond as chief of editorial staff.
In a phone interview, Vincent said he hopes to continue World’s legacy of “on the ground” reporting, while also focusing more energy on long-form journalism. A longtime friend of Olasky’s, Vincent said she wants to continue the magazine’s story of “biblical objectivity” with a dedication to the factual information and moral framework of the Bible.
Vincent is the co-author of 11 books, including “Heaven Is for Real” and “Indianapolis: The True Story of the Worst Sea Disaster in US Naval History and the Fifty-Year Fight to Exonerate an Innocent Man.”
“I am someone who strongly believes in the craft of writing and the craft of storytelling: how do you bring out the truth of people and how do you see these stories in the context of God’s larger world and the moral framework that he It has been established? in place so we can prosper? she said.
Vincent said she was also committed to telling the truth, even about difficult stories. “I want to be faithful and tell the truth and let the chips fall where they may.”
World had a number of firsts in the last decade. In 2012, it reported that far-right writer and filmmaker Dinesh D’Souza attended a Christian conference with “a woman who is not his wife.” He resigned as president of King’s College. In 2020, the news organization reported that several young women had complained that a North Carolina congressional candidate, Madison Cawthorn, had exhibited “sexually or verbally aggressive behavior toward them as teenagers.”
As editor-in-chief, Moore will set the vision and direction for the editorial team and also speak on “the big questions and challenges of our time,” Dalrymple said in an email. He called Moore a man of conviction who has a vision for the kingdom of God and “launches that vision with courage and grace.”
“I truly believe this is a time of extraordinary danger and extraordinary potential for the church,” Dalrymple said. “The forces that separate us are powerful. But if we can recover a compelling vision of the kingdom of God and reclaim the unity that is already ours in spirit, it could change the course of history.”
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