Theology 101

by DanWolgemuth on June 30, 2023

I can picture the long rectangular table, and the collection of Youth For Christ staff sitting around it. We had just concluded an evening event where young people were presented with the beautiful message of grace and truth. Jesus. Redeemer and friend.

I had just celebrated my one-year anniversary with YFC, and as the meal progressed and conversation focused, a young staff person looked down the table at me and said… “So, Dan, what’s your theology?”

The bait on the hook was an attempt to entice me to disclose either my Calvinist or Arminian view of the Gospel. Fortunately, I balked. Then I paused. Then I pondered… and then, only then, did I speak.

In short, these are the words that tumbled from my lips 17 years ago… “There is a lot that I don’t know about theology, but what I do know is that I can never make too much of God, and too little of myself.”

Again, I paused… silence. There was no fight to pick. No points of view to exchange.

In that moment, a moment of intensity, the whisper of the Spirit had filled my soul. But what I’ve learned since then is that this inspired answer was for me, and nobody else. Yes, a gauntlet that God threw down for me that has been an aspiration without achievement.

This is not a box I check, or a diploma I hang on a wall… it is a battle that rages every day, or more accurately, every moment of every day.

Nearly all of life enables and empowers a “more of me” lifestyle. It pours fuel on the fire of self-absorption. Always, and ultimately, to the detriment of my soul.

How great is God! How small am I!

Lost, swallowed up in loves immensity!

God only there, not I. (Gerhard Ter Steegen)

Loves immensity.

Jesus said this… “Learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart.” (Matthew 11:29)

In the classroom with Jesus. The ultimate humility practitioner. He invites us to follow Him. To become nothing… not so that we wallow in shame, but so we appropriately cling to God. And when we embrace this posture, the evidence is unavoidable in how we treat each other.

Humility towards others will be the only sufficient proof that our humility before God is real; that humility has taken up its abode in us; and become our very nature; that we actually, like Christ, have made ourselves of no reputation.” (Andrew Murray, Humility)

Is there any theology more antithetical to a cultural norm of self-promotion and pride? Yet, this is the way of Jesus. This is the way that the world will know. This is the testimony that a generation is waiting to see.

Less of me… so there can be more of Him.

Theology 101.

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Jamesriz August 4, 2023 at 5:23 PM

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Jamesriz August 4, 2023 at 6:36 PM

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