Dr. Jeremiah Johnston discusses problems and possibilities for modern Christians with Dr. Bruce Ashford, provost of the Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary. Christians must have deep faith roots in order to survive and thrive. One of the ways that facilitates growth and maturity is church involvement.

“Church needs to be more than the Sunday morning hour. We’re going to have to find ways to help build strong relationships and hold each other accountable.”

Ironically, the Church has often been strongest when it has been persecuted. While believers enjoy great freedoms in the United States, culture has changed, and hostility toward the message of the Bible is commonplace.

“We need to embrace the moment and strengthen ourselves as Christians – no matter
who opposes us.”

As we immerse ourselves in Scripture, we should not detach from cultural issues but be prepared to engage in conversations with grace and truth.

“We are God’s agents for this era in the U.S. We have to let the Bible narrative of the world be the true story, and we need to soak ourselves in that narrative. We are actually an act in the biblical play.”

Each form of entertainment, news, and input is important for believers, as our thinking is influenced by what we consume. Jesus made a difference in His world, bringing the Father’s will to Earth by healing illness, preaching truth, and ultimately providing for the forgiveness of sins. Likewise, we should actively seek to change the world around us, rather than withdrawing from the disappointing parts of society.

“Christianity makes enormous claims. They’re true claims. When I first became a Christian I grappled with the fact that, if Jesus is Lord, how does it affect my life going forward? Why does He matter for art or science, politics, economics, business, and entrepreneurship?”

“To the best of our ability, we ought to carve out a society where people can live freely and where people can seek to persuade everyone in society toward a better way.”


Bruce Ashford is the provost of Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary, and a professor of Theology and Culture. He writes about the Church and its mission, politics, family issues, work, leisure, culture, and education.

Intersecting faith in our culture, work, and politics

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