How does our faith impact our everyday lives? To what extent should we be involved with the culture? Christians have wrestled with these questions throughout history.
Drawing on such sources as Abraham Kuyper, Francis Schaeffer, and C.S. Lewis, Bruce Ashford argues that God wants our whole lives to be shaped by Jesus’ lordship. If Jesus truly is Lord over everything, then our faith is relevant to every dimension of culture.
We must remove the barrier between “sacred” and “secular,” and allow the gospel to inform everything we do. We are to live our lives firmly in the midst of our cultural contexts, proclaiming Jesus with our lips and promoting him with our lives.
Bruce Ashford has a real gift to take complicated concepts and put them in words all of us can understand. In Every Square Inch he does just this as he helps us to think Christianly and comprehensively for the glory of Christ in all things. I will be recommending this book for those who want to cultivate a Christian worldview way of thinking and living.
—Daniel Akin, President, Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary
The God who sent the Savior to rescue us as individual sinners also cares deeply about the larger world in which we individuals live. And that includes the world of culture—our art, our games, our family patterns, our political systems, and much more. In this excellent and highly readable book, Bruce Ashford spells that out clearly and with much wisdom.
—Richard J. Mouw, Professor of Faith and Public Life, Fuller Theological Seminary
Bruce Ashford is one of North America’s most brilliant theologians. In this book he proves himself to be a true son of Abraham and Abraham Kuyper. This book will help equip you to think through the questions facing your church and community in the 21st century, including those questions you may not have thought yet to ask.
—Russell D. Moore, President, Southern Baptist Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission
“Every cultural context is structurally good, but directionally corrupt. For this reason, we must live firmly in the midst of our cultural contexts (structurally), all the while seeking to steer our cultural realities toward Christ rather than toward idols (directionally).” (Page 18)
“As Christians, God wants us to live every aspect of our lives in a way that is shaped by our belief that Christ is Lord.” (Page 5)
“His deepest convictions might be summed up in one sentence: Jesus Christ is Lord of all, and because of that fact, every aspect our lives should be affected by the fact that we are Christians. If Christ is Lord, he is Lord over our work and our leisure, our families and friendships, our goings-on inside the four walls of a church building and outside those walls. He is not just the Lord over certain ‘religious’ things, but Lord over art, science, politics, economics, education, and homemaking. Kuyper gave me my first insight into the fact that Jesus Christ is relevant to every dimension of society and culture, and that for this reason we should allow our Christianity to shape absolutely everything we do.” (Page 3)
“‘The Son [of God] is not to be excluded from anything. You cannot point to any natural realm or star or comet or even descend into the depth of the earth, but it is related to Christ, not in some unimportant tangential way, but directly.’2 God calls us to obey him and witness to him with the totality of our lives.” (Page 6)
“But in speaking out against the world, we are doing the best possible thing for the world. We are being against the world for the sake of the world.” (Page 18)
Bruce Riley Ashford is provost and professor of theology and culture at Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary. He is the coauthor of The Gospel of Our King and the author of Letters to an American Christian, Every Square Inch, One Nation Under God, and Theology and Practice of Mission.