OBU President Dr. Heath Thomas was the guest on the Baptist Messenger’s Insight Podcast, posted Feb. 20, 2020. Thomas was interviewed by Brian Hobbs, editor of the Baptist Messenger and communications director for Oklahoma Baptists, the statewide organization of Southern Baptist churches.
Thomas shared his excitement for the future of the university and the powerful impact of earning an OBU degree.
“Our success as a university is not in how many students we graduate,” Thomas said. “It’s what our graduates do to impact our world for Christ and for His kingdom.”
“OBU is much bigger than just a university,” he continued. “I would like to think of OBU as an outpost of Christ’s kingdom in His world.”
Thomas discussed the state of the church and how an alarming number of Christian teenagers fall away from the faith during their college years. He discussed how research completed by the Barna Research Group and others has shown that of kids that grow up in youth groups and grow up in church, roughly half of those young people will abandon the faith in their college years.
“That should be extremely sobering for us as followers of Jesus,” Thomas said. “I think part of the reason for this is because of the extraordinary way that our university system enculturates our students into the ways of the world.
“That’s why a place like OBU, I think, is very important, because we’re not about indoctrination in the ways of the world. We’re about education in the ways of Christ. Christ’s lordship extends as wide as creation, and that means that his lordship extends as far as the psychology curriculum, and the biology curriculum, and every other curriculum that we have at OBU. What we want to help students discern is, ‘What does Jesus’ lordship in my life look like, not just in church on Sunday, but in my profession, in my vocation?’”
Thomas also discussed the upcoming Generation Why? apologetics conference, a student apologetics conference hosted by OBU, being held March 7 on the university’s campus in Shawnee. He encouraged youth groups, families and individuals to attend, to be better equipped to defend the faith in today’s culture.
Listen to the podcast interview.