Theologia Crucis

The cross alone is our theology!

Location: Texas, United States

I am a theology professor at an evangelical seminary.

Friday, April 07, 2006

On Being a Theowonk

Welcome to Theologia Crucis!

The pseudonym under which I am posting is "Theowonk," and I'd like to introduce myself and explain my choice of names. By God's grace, I was born into a family of strong Christians. My parents, grandparents, uncles and aunts were (are) all godly men and women. Their influence in my life has been God's primary tool apart from Scripture which has shaped me. I professed faith in Christ in early elementary school, and I believe that I was truly saved at that point. Upon graduation from high school, I attended a bible college for one year, before transferring to the state university. I completed a degree in history before going to an evangelical seminary for my masters and Ph.D. I now have the privilege of serving as a theology professor at a major evangelical seminary.

Though I am a "professional" theologian, I am first of all a churchman. I served as the interim pastor of two different churches before beginning a decade-long tenure as senior pastor of a local church. I continue to serve in the pulpit of local churches as God permits. My primary responsibility now is to serve the churches by preparing men and women for ministry in the churches.

Now, as promised, on the name "Theowonk." Theos is the Greek word for God; thus "theology" is the study of God, or more broadly, the study of everything pertaining to God and what He has said and done. A "Wonk" is an expert who studies a subject or issue thoroughly and excessively. In one sense, I hope to be a "Theo-wonk." As a professor I am supposed to be something of an expert in my area. But "Theowonk" is also a goal; I want to study God and His Word thoroughly, even to the point of excess (as some might see it). I want to know Him (Phil. 3:7-11).

Importantly, the name "theowonk" also contains a warning. In politics, a "policy-wonk" is someone who is an academic expert in some area of policy. The implication is that such a person does well in the ethereal and heady intellectual confines of the ivory tower, but has little idea of how his policy pronouncements can be applied or will work out in the real world.

Theology is about more than knowing true statements about God, His works, and His words. Theology is about knowing and loving God; it is about living wisely before the Triune God. Genuine knowledge of God inevitably births fear (cf. Isa 6:1-5). Yet, by God's grace, fear becomes the practical wisdom (obedience!) which starts the cycle anew (Ps 111:10). Obedience to the truth is an indispensable key to knowing the One who is the Truth (John 7:17). Wisdom does not consist in being "Bible Trivia Champ," nor even merely knowing how one should live in light of those truths. The height of folly is to know the truth, to know how to act wisely, and still to act foolishly.

One way or another, I am and will be "Theowonk." May God grant me grace through His Spirit to be the wise kind, that Christ may receive all the glory. Amen.