"Jock with a Brain" Author Writes as an Act of Stewardship
- Tuesday, July 27, 2004
NASHVILLE, Tenn. — The mere size of Voddie Baucham is enough to intimidate even the boldest of people, but when he begins to speak, it's obvious there's more to him than a hulking physique.
Within the first few moments of one of his impassioned messages, audiences know there is depth. Baucham has earned a master of divinity degree from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, a doctorate of ministry from Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary and has done postgraduate study at Oxford University in England.
"This jock has a brain," he quips with the flash of a non-threatening grin and the hearty laugh of someone comfortable with laughing.
This "jock" also can write as evidenced by his first book, "The Ever-Loving Truth: Can Faith Thrive in a Post-Christian Culture?" published by Broadman & Holman, the trade book division of LifeWay Christian Resources of the Southern Baptist Convention.
Baucham wasn't convinced about his writing skills when he began "The Ever-Loving Truth" but said he felt an obligation to God to give it a try. "He's given me a voice and a platform to say some things that needed to be said," Baucham said. "This book is an act of stewardship."
The positive response "The Ever-Loving Truth" has received has awakened the author in Baucham.
The book addresses the "application of biblical truth in modern culture," said Baucham, a self-described cultural apologist, or defender of the faith.
He added that the goal was not to present his first foray into authorship as a book on apologetics. "It's written in a way that hopefully makes it accessible," Baucham said. "I wanted to put complex ideas in layman's terms."
Apologetics serves as "pre-evangelism," Baucham said. "Evangelism is a wonderful tool, but apologetics is what we need in our culture because people don't assume the truth of the Gospel anymore."
This husband, father, author and passionate Christian speaker knows something about not assuming the truth of the Gospel. He didn't even hear the plan of salvation until his freshman year of college.
Baucham grew up in the projects of Los Angeles where he lived with his mother, Francis Baucham, a practicing Zen Buddhist. He had big dreams as a youth, but they didn't revolve around serving God.
"I wanted to be known as an athlete," said Baucham, who excelled in football and earned an athletic scholarship to Rice University.
While Rice seemed to be a stepping stone on the path to fulfilling his pigskin dreams, an experience in his freshman year changed the course of Baucham's life.
A Campus Crusade for Christ leader, Steve Morgan, sought Baucham out and spent every day for three weeks answering the football star's questions and concerns about Gospel truths of which Baucham had been unfamiliar.
"I praise God that he didn't see me as a notch in his belt," Baucham said of Morgan. "He honestly answered my questions. The greatest thing was that I would ask him something and he would say, 'You know, that's a good question and I don't know the answer, but I'll find out.' And he always did."
On Nov. 13, 1987, the promising collegiate football player gave his life to Christ as he lay on the floor of a locker room praying and "crying like a teenage girl."
"He [Morgan] was late and I realized I didn't have any more questions," Baucham said. "I knew, I just knew."
Eventually, Baucham realized his ultimate life path did not include a multi-million-dollar contract with the National Football League. Baucham gave up his NCAA scholarship to transfer to Houston Baptist University and pursue his study of Christianity.
Baucham's acceptance of Christ led to his mother's decision to become a Christian too. "When she saw what Christ had done in me, and she saw a legitimate love for Christ, she was saved," he said.
Baucham unashamedly talks about the overwhelming love he has for his family. "I don't want my children to ever question that they and their mother were the priority in my life," he said.
With that in mind, Baucham steadfastly abides by a "10-12" rule. In spite of the countless requests he receives for public appearances, conferences and visits, Baucham is away from home no more than 10-12 days each month.
Being home gives him the chance to homeschool his children, indulge his epicurean hobby and, now, to prepare for an addition to the family.
This fall, the Bauchams are adding a third child to their family through adoption.
"My wife, Bridget, and I have been active in the pro-life movement for a long time," Baucham said, with the exuberance of a new father. "So we decided to put our money and our lives where our mouth is."
© 2004 Southern Baptist Convention, Baptist Press. All rights reserved. Used with permission.
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