Trump criticizes Moore for being a bad evangelical!
Boyce professor, Denny Burk, asks an interesting question(s) pertaining to Donald Trump's recent tweet questioning not only whether Russell Moore is a good representative of evangelicals, but also claiming Moore to be a "nasty guy with no heart." Burk rightly denies the latter but strangely affirms the former.
Question: how can Russell Moore accurately represent a body of people (i.e. evangelicals) about which he emphatically claims he wants no part? Did Moore not publicly distance himself from evangelicals and evangelicalism? Did Russell Moore not say, "Don't call me an evangelical"?
What is more, many polls show a broad swath of evangelicals support Trump. Hence, how could Moore be a "good" representative of evangelicals if so many evangelicals support Trump?
Consider also the rhetorical question Burk asks concerning Trump: "Do Americans really want a president who thinks it a part of his job description to pontificate about who is and isn’t a good evangelical?" The same could be asked concerning Russell Moore: "Do we really want a president (i.e. ERLC president) who thinks it's a part of his job description to pontificate about who is and isn't a good Christian?" This is precisely what Moore's been pontificating about concerning Donald Trump!
Burk wrote as reasons leading up to the above question: "It would be one thing for Trump to disagree with Moore. That would be totally fine and appropriate. But Trump does more than that here. Trump criticizes Moore not for bad views but for being a bad evangelical!" Once again, the same could be said about Moore. Moore has rarely, if ever, showed where Donald Trump's policies are uninformed or weak. Instead Moore criticizes Trump for being morally impure.
Here's the bottom line: we've got an ERLC president that cannot be defended for his poor, and at times, sub-Christian method in dealing with political candidates he cannot support for public office. Indeed Moore unfortunately acts and behaves in a way little, if any, different, from the ones Denny Burk chastises for criticizing Moore.
Russell Moore has a way with words
In a piece subsequent to the questions above, Burk claims Russell Moore has a way with words. Burk posts three clips of Moore responding to Trump's assertion that Moore is a nasty guy with no heart. In all three clips Moore agrees with Trump.
OK. Let's take Moore at his word. Let's assume he is a nasty guy with no heart.
But if we do, one must wonder what Denny Burk is all up in the air about? Why does he defend Moore if it's true Moore is a nasty guy with no heart? Better yet, if it's true that Moore is a nasty guy with no heart, what gives Moore the moral authority to condemn Donald Trump for holding sub-Christian ethics?
The fact is, Burk and Moore are playing rhetorical games in the public square. Moore plays humble and accepts Trump's moral insult as true to his character (when he knows darn good and well he does not perceive himself as a nasty guy with no heart nor does Burk perceive Moore as such) while Burk calls Moore's self-deprecating concession as "sharing the gospel briefly." Embarrassing for Southern Baptists. At least this one Southern Baptist.
Like I said elsewhere, Russell Moore has treated Donald Trump so insultingly inappropriate during this presidential primary, the likelihood exists that not only will Trump never, ever listen to Moore on any issue much less give a gospel presentation, but also, because Moore represents Southern Baptists on so many levels, Trump will most likely never, ever listen to any Southern Baptist in the future.