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Are You the Man With All the Answers?


Knowledge puffs up, but love builds up: what is your go-to response?

A Modern Parable:

When I took Systematic Theology in graduate school, Devlin Lucent was the best student in the class by far. Devlin knew all the answers. He never lost his cool. He was ridiculously good-looking. Sometimes he asked the professor questions so clever the professor would start to answer, stop, and then say, “That’s a very interesting question, Devlin. Class, what do you think?”

One day I had to know why Devlin even bothered with this class. I caught up with him on the quad.

“Hey, why do you ask such impossible questions?”

“Just playing devil’s advocate,” he said. “Dr. Hallow is on the right track, but he hasn’t taken it far enough.”

“Sounds like maybe you should teach.”

“I will,” said Devlin. “But the world only respects diplomas and degrees, so here I am.”

The whole semester went on like this. Devlin knew the correct answers in every category: sin, Trinity, covenant, you-name-it: this guy was as smart as they came.

And talented, too. When he led worship, people raved about the music. He had no trouble finding dates: it seemed like a third of the girls in the school were lined up for him. (I noticed, however, that a few of the girls he went out with ended up dropping out of school.)

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Ray Hollenbach

Ray Hollenbach

Ray Hollenbach, a Chicagoan, writes about faith and culture. His devotional book "50 Forgotten Days: A Journey Into the Age to Come" is available at He currently lives in central Kentucky, which is filled with faith and culture. He's also the author of of "The Impossible Mentor", a deep dive into the foundations of discipleship.

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