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Onward: Engaging the Culture without Losing the Gospel
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Onward: Engaging the Culture without Losing the Gospel

4.32  ·  Rating details ·  1,371 ratings  ·  205 reviews
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 quo nor a pullback into isolation. Instead, we need a church that speaks to social and p
Hardcover, 240 pages
Published August 1st 2015 by B&H Publishing Group (first published July 10th 2015)
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4.32  · 
Rating details
 ·  1,371 ratings  ·  205 reviews

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Brian Pate
Sep 05, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: audiobook, 2016
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 kingdom.

As 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.
Aug 31, 2015 rated it it was amazing
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.
Josh Bauder
Jul 21, 2017 rated it it was ok

The 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 w
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 more 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 chal
Brian Whittington
Feb 06, 2017 rated it it was amazing
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 more accurately, logically, and graciously dissects the current evangelical culture while giving us an outl ...more
Tim Kimberley
Aug 31, 2015 rated it it was amazing
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 fri ...more
Jul 12, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Best book for the Church

This book is so relevant for the Church. I am really grateful for Dr.Moore and his wise words and emphasis on Christ while engaging the culture around us.
Aug 27, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2018-books
SO GOOD. I wanted to underline pretty much everything. And the creators of the God's Not Dead movies should have read this book before making any films whatsoever. It would have flipped their persecution complex right on its head.
Mar 03, 2016 rated it really liked it
Summary: Written by a leader in the Southern Baptist Convention, this book describes an agenda for a post-Moral Majority church, centered around both cultural engagement and gospel integrity.

I found this a heartening book in many ways that articulated, at least in the words of one denominational leader, the journey the Southern Baptist Convention has been on over the last few decades. Russell D. Moore is president of the Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission of the Southern Baptist Convention
Aug 10, 2015 rated it it was amazing
For most Christians in America, this book came out at the perfect time. This summer gay marriage was codified across all 50 states, a man made the world believe he was a woman, and businesses left and right have been fined and/or shut down for using their businesses as a witness to their Christian faith.

For me, however, it was a bad time. I have to admit this book took me much longer than I had anticipated. Over the course of reading this book, I accepted a new job, my wife and I moved in with m
Sep 26, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Dr. Moore does an excellent job providing scenarios on engaging the current culture. Basically, he challenges Christians to move on from being the dominant force in culture (where most Christians were cultural Christians) to the small band in history that changed culture (true Christians in the early church or earlier in history). The book is thought provoking for those of us who are challenged by the lack of influence Christianity has in today's culture. The book caught my interest when I read ...more
Eric Abisror
I thought this book was O.K. 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 quote was "The next Billy Graham might be drunk right now." It was a statement that gives ...more
Oct 14, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Russell Moore speaks my heart language. So many "conservative" voices sound so sarcastic, "holier-than-thou," but not Moore. This book touches a lot of my concerns regarding where the culture is going. I love the way he references scripture in ways that aren't total departures from what I've heard but in a slightly different context--cultural/political. I love the balance he brings as he issues encouragement to the "God and country" folks and the "I don't need to engage in politics because Jesus ...more
Jul 18, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
When this book was released, Christianity Today called it the “Beautiful Orthodoxy Book of the Year.” I don’t know that there’s a better phrase to describe this book than “Beautiful Orthodoxy”; this book is a stunner. Moore states the obvious: that Christianity in America is at a crossroads. Many thinkpieces have been written as to whether the nation is post-Christian or something else; and whether Christianity can survive in a culture that deems its orthodoxy to be untenable, outdated, and offe ...more
R.F. Gammon
Russell Moore's previous book Adopted for Life was one of my favorites a couple of years ago, so I had high expectations for this one. It's about the church in America today and the religious atmosphere (which is a mess as we all know.)

This book, to put it simply, was stellar. Moore argues the point that we are not and never have been a 'Moral Majority' but that instead we are sinking into the background of a nation that has never really wanted us.

The blurb says: "We can be Americans best if we
Onward is a great book on the current American culture and how the church should respond. While billed as a book about engaging the culture, quite a bit of the book is aimed instead at how the church needs to change what it says to the people in the pew. The biggest message of the book is that Christians need to calm down, stop freaking out about the problems in our culture, and focus on the mission on which we were sent. While I don't agree with everything Moore says in the book, the book conta ...more
Kenny Williams
May 16, 2019 rated it really liked it
I think most of this book is about helping Christians not to freak out when their candidate didn't win an election. I found much of it good and true, but think he glosses over a few things like Natural Law pretty quickly. Moore also seems almost eager for the collapse of Bible Belt nominal Christianity, however I don't think this book reflects on the fact that the Bible Belt is the product of generations of active evangelicalism. So if we are going to scrap the idea that we live in a Christian s ...more
Oct 08, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Dr. Moore. I genuinely want to be friends with you. This book was marinated in scripture references (from all over the Bible, not just gospels and epistles), bold (and biblical) statements, and a tone that truly loves Jesus. Dr. Moore emphasizes that the gospel awakens us to engage with the culture around us and practice "convictional kindness" in all crevices of our lives. Which is more active than ~niceness~.

Big takeaways:
-What does the ¡KINGdom! of God have to do with politics? A LOT! The k
Aaron Browning
Jul 20, 2017 rated it it was amazing
This book helps Christians understand the awkward and unstable social landscape we find ourselves occupying. The troubles we see around the church and in the church should not diminish our confidence in the progress of the gospel.

Russel Moore writes one of the best books I have read this year. Tolle Lege.
Lee Button
Feb 04, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Onward: Engaging the Culture without Losing the GospelRussell D. MooreThis is not a Sunday School manual on the blessings of life in Christian America. Dr. Moore does not repeat the consensus opinion of voting for conservative Republicans to maintain our good fortune. Onward is a battle plan, a Kingdom soldier’s guide to cultural warfare. “The kingdom of God is a declaration of war.” The first step toward victory in this theater of battle is to see God’s kingdom in its future glory and its prese ...more
Feb 28, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: audiobook
While I didn't agree with Moore on all of his theological positions, I found the book to be invigorating, challenging, and hopeful.
Feb 14, 2017 rated it really liked it
It's encouraging to hear someone from within the Bible belt community challenging their own people the dangers of enculturation as a result of conflating American nationalism and Christian faith. Of course the same message can also be applied more widely as well - the necessity of maintaining the counter-cultural "strangeness" of Christianity. While I applaud Moore drawing from a broad spectrum of authors (for a conservative evangelical) I do not agree with all of Moore's point by point analysis ...more
Randall Hartman
Sep 23, 2015 rated it it was amazing
This book is aimed squarely at evangelical Christians who reached adulthood in the 20th century, and perhaps for their young adult children who were raised in “traditional” Christian homes. Many in this group, like me, can remember a time when not only America’s laws but its cultural consensus substantially mirrored the Judeo-Christian moral ethic. Some of us remember talk of America being founded as a “Christian nation” and that a “moral majority” was preserving us. As a “true believer” in thos ...more
Mar 03, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
For the most part, I'm gonna take the easy way out and suggest that you read the other 5 star reviews of this book, because they pretty much say everything I would say about the book itself. But let me add as a Southern Baptist that Dr. Moore represents something exciting that seems to be taking root in our denomination. We've not always been known as being on the leading edge of anything. But with Moore heading up the ERLC, Platt at the IMB, Eric Geiger and Trevin Wax introducing so much gospel ...more
Aisha Noble-Clarke
Mar 28, 2016 rated it really liked it
I thoroughly enjoyed this book by Russell Moore, particularly the chapters on Mission, Culture, Human Dignity and Religious Liberty. The only reason I gave 4* and not 5 is a lot of the book he was addressing American culture and attitudes, particularly the Bible Belt. Nonetheless the principles could still be applied. The things that most struck me were our call to remember that we are to "bare witness" first and foremost and that are message is incomplete if we are condemning sin without pointi ...more
David Harris
Mar 24, 2016 rated it liked it
I was excited to read this book. It was, as I understood, a thoughtful work on how Christians engage the culture. And there were parts of the book that felt like that: sometimes a whole chapter, other times a paragraph or just a sentence here and there. Though there are several great thoughts spread throughout this book, it's disorganization, wordiness, constant subject changes, repetition, bad exegesis and poorly titled chapter headings left me confused as to both the target audience and purpos ...more
David  Schroeder
Aug 03, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: faith
This was one of the most challenging books to American Christianity - a wake up call to where our head and our heart should be. "Onward" is a must-read book for any evangelical Christian in America, not just in an election year but to serve as a foundation for how we live our lives and engage with culture without losing the Gospel.
"Let's not seek to resuscitate the old civil religions. Let's work instead for something new, and for something old: the kingdom of God, on earth as it is in heaven,
Feb 20, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2016
A Bible belt Baptist that is comfortable in American culture

I am usually suspicious when a Christian writes a book about being relevant in American culture. That often means we should compromise our values so we fit in. I'm happy that is not the approach taken by Russell Moore. Moore exhorts the church to listen to the criticism of our fellow countrymen and change what we should, stand firmly where we should, and fight (with kindness) when we should. Moore welcomes the passing of the Moral Major
Jul 28, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: church-life, culture
Excellent. This is a must read for American Christians. Moore's basic thesis is that the secularization in American culture is a good thing for American Christians, because it forces us to reconsider the gospel basis for our convictions and our mission. In previous generations, an "almost gospel" of family values and traditional morality was culturally popular, and didn't look all that strange – yet didn't require repentance or lead to Spirit wrought new life. The present day American church has ...more
Nov 29, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: audio, non-fiction
There is something in this book to challenge everyone. Moore lays out a very compelling and consistent view of the gospel. Many Christians pick and choose which parts of the Bible to latch on to and which ones to ignore. We also often stand up for our values in ways that are angry and defensive rather than winsome and kind. I think anyone who reads this seriously will find themselves convicted about something. I'm not sure I agree with Moore on every point, but on those where I don't, he has cau ...more
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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 concerns.

Dr. Moore earned a B.S. in history and political science from the University of Southern Mississippi. He also received the M.Div. in biblical studies from New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary,
“kindness is not “niceness.” Kindness does not avoid conflict; kindness engages conflict, but with a goal of reconciliation.” 6 likes
“Not everything that offends us should offend us, and not everything that offends us is persecution.” 5 likes
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