In this brand-new section of the Bethel Beacon, the beloved Professor Theo Williams responds to questions submitted by students to offer insight, perspective, and good clean fun. With a healthy balance of wit and wisdom, Theo loves to share his opinions and interpretations in response to serious and entertaining questions alike.
Theo has been responding to questions from seniors as a guest speaker in the Senior Experience class for several years, and his time there has always proven to be a student favorite. His experiences at Bethel as a student and professor combined with his experiences in ministry as a missionary and pastor have given him a wide field of knowledge and empathy to draw on, and the Beacon is excited and grateful he is willing to take the time to share with students in this way.
Feel free to submit a question for Theo at any time by sending the Beacon a direct message on Instagram @bethelbeacon or by emailing us @beacon.betheluniversity.edu. The next edition of “Theo’s Thoughts” will be included in the final print edition of the Beacon near the end of the semester. Keep an eye on our social media for updates!
Question #1: What is Theo's favorite "I want to eat, but I'm not hungry" snack?
Theo’s thoughts: This is a great question because it is so specific. It does not simply deal with my favorite snack in a vacuum, but one that I go to when I am not even hungry. Throughout my life this has differed. Currently, I am trying to stick to healthy snacks. However, I will not bore you with those.
So, I will go with my most recent “fix.” That would have to be my homemade kettle corn. I make it myself because I am frugal and try to save money whenever I can, and I must admit that it is pretty good. Sometimes it is too good. It is the perfect blend of sugar, salt, fluffiness and crunchiness all at the same time. It even possesses some human-like abilities, such as being able to call my name and reach out to me. The kettle corn be like, “Theo, where are you?” I often try to ignore it, but it just does not stop. “You know you want me!” I do want it, so I snack, snack, and snack on it some more. The only thing that would make me stop was the fact that it would not last long.
Why doesn’t it last long? Because it happens to be one of my wife’s “I want to eat, but I’m not hungry snacks” also. Between the two us, kettle corn rarely stands a chance. It is so addicting. That is one of the reasons why I am currently trying to focus on healthy snacks. I must admit that doing so is a lot different. Carrots do not seem to call out to me like kettle corn once did. If I am being honest, this has me feeling a certain way. #CarrotsDon’tCareAboutTheo.
Question #2: If Jesus was tempted by Satan, does that mean he was capable of sinning and simply chose not to?
Theo’s thoughts: I will answer this based upon my understanding of scripture. We clearly read that Jesus was tempted by Satan (Mt. 4:1-17; Lk. 4:1-13). We also read that Jesus is a relatable High Priest because he was in all ways tempted like us but without sin (Heb. 4:14-16). If we rely upon those scriptures alone, we may conclude that Jesus had to be capable of sinning for us to consider the temptation, as well as Jesus’ humanity, to be genuine.
However, we get more insight when we also consider James 1:12-15. This highlights a distinction between the temptations we face and those faced by Jesus. We are tempted internally by our own fleshly desires/sin nature. Jesus was tempted externally by Satan in a very real way, but He experienced no internal temptation or desire to sin because He did not share our fallen nature. Most importantly, it is made clear in verse 13 that God cannot be tempted to sin. This is important because Jesus, although fully human, was still fully God, meaning He possessed all the attributes of God.
So, Jesus being God (albeit in human flesh) was not capable of sinning. Some believe this means that Jesus’ human experience was not genuine, thus He cannot fully know our struggle. This fails to recognize that sin was never intended to be a requisite part of the human experience. Finally, God is all knowing, so Jesus can know us in every way possible without having to go through everything that we go through. In conclusion, Jesus was truly human, truly tempted, and yet was incapable of sin because He was truly God.