Director of applied theology releases book centered around persecution

Dr. Greg Cochran, director of applied theology and associate professor at California Baptist University, is releasing his new book on persecution, “Christians in the Crosshairs: Persecution in the Bible and Around the World Today.”

The book is scheduled to be released the first week of October, published by Weaver Book Company.

However, it is available for preorder on Amazon, Google Play and other online book retailers.

Cochran said he believes the subject of persecution is applicable to every Christian.

“(Persecution) is an inherent part of the gospel,” Cochran said. “I don’t think people have communicated that well to Christians.”

The book comes as a result of nearly 15 years of research, learning and studying the Bible while the message, he said, remained on his heart.

“I think maybe most Christians haven’t thought about persecution a lot,” Cochran said. “The first reaction is, ‘Persecution is a bad thing, right? We don’t want that.’ It’s not pictured that way (in my book). There are evil forms of persecution that are horrible, but Jesus says ‘Blessed are those who are persecuted for my name’s sake.’ Peter said something similar.”

Cochran’s definition of persecution is a hostile reaction to Christ dwelling in a person. He said persecution is not necessarily a good thing, but it does identify Christians as God’s redemptive people.

“Persecution is kind of a mark — a way — that people recognize that you are on a different way, a different path with Jesus,” Cochran said.

One of the most controversial portions of the book may be in the final of three sections where he discusses the practical applications of the knowledge of persecution.

In this section, Cochran looks at the way the concept of church is portrayed, centered around the New Testament.

Cochran said there are certain metaphors used when describing the church, such as “family of God” and “the body” that portray the intimacy of the church and the need for ministry to the church body.

“Everything about the New Testament when it speaks of church speaks of this really intimate, integrated whole,” Cochran said. “Somehow, when we talk about issues of feeding the poor, caring for the needy, we just completely separate. We don’t think first in terms of the persecuted church.”

Several other CBU professors have had the opportunity to read the text through the process of editing Cochran’s book.

One such person is Dr. Jeff Mooney, professor of Old Testament, is one such professor.

Mooney said the most overlooked group is the persecuted church when it comes to ministering with resources and prayer.

“Getting Christian churches, social justice devotees, parachurch groups and individuals to see their singular biblical and practical obligation to this growing crowd is almost impossible,” Mooney said. “Greg Cochran has effectively and passionately placed them back in front of us with lots of biblical muscle to back up his arguments. ‘What will you do, Christian?’”

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