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General Ashcroft Speaks at COGS Chapel

By Amanda Morad | March 19, 2014

Regent Distinguished Professor General John Ashcroft
Photo by Alex Perry

On Thursday, March 13, one of Regent University's most distinguished professors addressed students at a chapel service sponsored by the Council of Graduate Students (COGS). Former U.S. Attorney General John Ashcroft is now in his 10th year serving at Regent and spoke to students about inviting the presence of God into every endeavor.

"The idea that we're just mind and muscle undermines what we are," he said. "There's more to mankind. There is the Spirit of God at the heart of our existence."

He began by presenting the official school hymn, "Regent, Host of Faith and Learning," which he wrote in 2010. Set to the tune of "Come Thou Fount," the song's theme embodies Regent's mission.

"This idea of integrating faith and reason, something the world sees as incompatible, works best under the law and grace of God," Ashcroft said. He took students through some of the lyrics:

  As we turn our face toward heaven, God directs our hands to need.
  When we kneel to make petition He endows so we can lead.

"We need both face time with God and hand time with God's people," Ashcroft explained. Referencing the classic painting of George Washington kneeling to pray before battle, he noted the appeal of kneeling leadership. "We need more who will kneel in our community and in our culture," he said. "We can lead when we're endowed with the Spirit of God."

Full lyrics to the song are posted below.

Known for his Christian principles in his former roles as U.S. Attorney General, Senator, and Governor of Missouri, Ashcroft was called a "man of great integrity" by President George W. Bush upon his appointment to the Department of Justice. He even led a Bible study during his tenure as U.S. Attorney General called R.A.M.P.—Read, Argue, Memorize, Pray.

"It's important to invite the presence of God into everything we do," he said. With this in mind, Ashcroft encouraged students that God's presence can make all the difference in their effectiveness.

"It is within our power to change the future," he said. "We are agents of free will—our choices make a big difference." Here, he referenced his favorite Biblical figure, David. "Something as simple as a creek stone in the hand of a believer, following the call of God, can make an enormous impact on the world."

Ashcroft then led students through a few verses of his favorite passage of Scripture, Psalm 103, landing on verse 4: "[Bless the Lord] ... who redeems your life from destruction, who crowns you with lovingkindness and tender mercies."

"A crown is a symbol of authority," Ashcroft explained. "Many of you are on your way to authority. So what kind of authority will you wear?"

He encouraged students to carry their callings accordingly, and to do so in light of Christ's sacrifice.

"We gave Jesus a crown of thorns, yet He gives us a crown of lovingkindness and tender mercies," Ashcroft said. "This is the story of redemption."

Ashcroft is a Distinguished Professor of Law and Government.

"Regent Host of Faith and Learning"

Regent host of faith and reason
Framed in God's own law and grace.
As we meditate and study
He instructs us for life's race;
Vision of God's pure intention
Sacrifice to make it live.
Fellowship in His creation
God inspires our hearts to give.

As we turn our face toward heaven
God directs our hands to need.
When we kneel to make petition
He endows so we can lead.
Integrating faith and learning
Spirit, body, mind for Thee
Regent working for the Kingdom
Now and for eternity.

Workers ever in His kingdom
Now and in eternity.


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E-mail: mhughes@regent.edu



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