“I think one of the coolest things you can do is disappear for a while because it gives you the chance to re-emerge. To sort of pounce out of the jungle. Josh Homme
My mother came home from the hospital last night. My daughter, as well as others, arrive tomorrow. Lord willing, my mom will be able to come to the wedding. Duke has clamped down on the mask mandates which will affect the wedding at Duke Chapel. I told my daughter that she will laugh about the masks with her kids (I’m planning ahead) in the future. I will try to get a picture of her in her wedding gown for the blog. She doesn’t like her pictures to be posted but maybe she will allow me to take one of her with the mask on!!
Thanks to Todd who provided some of the information in this post.
From time to time, we receive queries from readers who asked us to figure out what happened to a well-known Christian leader. Today, we are looking for Dr.Bruce Ashley Ashford. Dr. Ashford is very well known and appears to have been liked by many of the students at SEBTS.
Here is part of his bio from BruceAshford.net.
I knew that American Christians needed to find ways to witness to Christ not only in private via interpersonal conversations but also in public via education, politics, art, and entertainment. I knew that I wanted to spend the rest of my life motivating and equipping Christians to be public witnesses. I sensed that the best way for me to do that was through higher education.
So I enrolled in a Ph.D. program in Theological Studies. In 2003, I completed the Ph.D., defending my dissertation on a philosopher named Ludwig Wittgenstein. I was hired to teach philosophy and History of Ideas for the undergraduate program at Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary (SEBTS). Today, I remain at SEBTS as Provost and Professor of Theology & Culture.
Except, he hasn’t remained Provost as far as I can tell.
Ashford resigned from his position at SEBTS as Provost in June of 2020.
He remained a professor of theology and culture.
According to the Biblical Recorder:
In an email July 6, faculty and staff of Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary (SEBTS) were informed that Bruce Ashford had resigned as provost.
Ashford will remain with the seminary, “returning fulltime to the classroom,” according to the email, as professor of theology and culture. Keith Whitfield, SEBTS dean of graduate studies, will serve as acting provost.
“I am thankful for Dr. Ashford’s love for SEBTS and his eight years serving in the role of provost,” SEBTS President Danny Akin said in the email. “He has served us well and I know that service will continue in the days ahead.”
Shortly thereafter, Ashford appears to have left his teaching position sometime during the Fall semester at SEBTS.
The following is a student comment taken from Rate My Professors.
Today I called SEBTS, I asked if Dr. Bruce Ashford was still on faculty at the school. The operator claimed she had never heard of him and transferred me to the Provost’s office. I left a message and they have not returned my call.
The Summit Church (JD Grear)
We believe that Ashford and Greear attended Campbell at the same time and started a Bible study. We have been told by those who know them that they are/were very close friends. We know that Ashford attended Greear’s church and even served as an elder. Here is an article posted by Greear in which he claims that Ashford was a Directional elder at The Summit in 2011.
We often get questions about our views on baptism and why it is a requirement for membership at the Summit Church. In particular, we are often asked why this is required for individuals who were previously baptized as infants. Below is an excerpt from the response of one of our directional elders, Bruce Ashford, to this question.
Here is a link to the directional elders at The Summit. Ashford is no longer listed but it is possible he stepped down to spend more time with his family.
In 2018, he called himself a pastor in this tweet. I would assume he meant The Summit. Again, his name cannot be found on the Summit website at this time. Maybe I’m looking in the wrong place?
He is a sought-after speaker.
Here is a talk he gave at Cedarville University.
He has written for The Gospel Coalition.
Here is what appears to be an updated bio.
(Bruce Ashford) is senior fellow in Public Theology at the Kirby Laing Centre for Public Theology (Cambridge, U.K.). He is a columnist for national media outlets and the author of nine books, including Letters to an American Christian (B&H), The Gospel of Our King (Baker), and The Doctrine of Creation (IVP).
He is a fellow at the Kirby Long Center for Public Theology (in Cambridge but not a part of the University of Cambridge. )
From what I can tell, this is not a full-time position. He appears to be still living in Wake Forest, NC. Here is his bio at the Center.
Senior Research Fellow
Bruce Riley Ashford is a professor, speaker, columnist, speech writer, and political consultant. He is a columnist for First Things Magazine and is the author or co-author of nine books, including The Doctrine of Creation (IVP, 2020), The Gospel of Our King (Baker, 2019), Letters to an American Christian (B&H, 2018), One Nation Under God: A Christian Hope for American Politics (B&H, 2015), and Every Square Inch: An Introduction to Cultural Engagement for Christians (Lexham, 2015)
Has Ashford formally resigned from SEBTS or was he “let go?” Now that is the question that someone should answer.
How many of you have ever attended a going-away party for a fellow colleague. You know the type. A subpar cake from the closest grocery chain is set up in the breakroom which hasn’t seen a good cleaning in months. Everyone is expected to roll on through to bid adieu to some person they barely knew. Most avoid the cake. I want to know if they gave Ashford a cake in a breakroom, somewhere.
I do think it is important to let people know when one of their professors, or pastors, who they care about, has resigned or has been fired. Also, there is this thing that I have noticed in some churches. It’s the little guy who gets church disciplined and it is the pastor type who seems to avoid it.
Maybe I have this all wrong. But, it is one of the goals of this blog to help our readers find answers to their questions. As for me, I really want to know if he got a cake. Others want to know why he is no longer there: at SEBTS or involved in leadership at the Summit. Does anyone have answers to the questions here?