Adam Johnson has an impressive resume. Ph.D., Trinity Evangelical Divinity School; M.Div., Princeton Theological Seminary; M.A., Talbot Theological Seminary; B.A., Biola University. Dr. Johnson serves as the Assistant Professor of Theology at the Torrey Honors Institute.

He has an equally impressive un-resume.

In a February 2016 article, Dr. Johnson wrote a piece entitled “The Un-Resume: An Exercise in Professional Humility.” In this delightful piece he listed, in resume format, the schools that rejected his application for enrollment, academic journals that rejected articles for publication, publishers that rejected his book proposals, and institutions of higher learning that rejected his application to be on their faculty. He ends the piece with some reflections. He writes,

“Perhaps I present as being successful—it’s hard to know whether [or] not something like that is true of yourself. But regardless of how I present, my internal state is quite different. I am full of fears, insecurities, and memories of painful rejections in matters pertaining to jobs, publications, and schools.”1

Near the end of his Letters to Malcolm: Chiefly on Prayer, C. S. Lewis admits that for all the talk about prayer in their correspondence, his own spiritual life was wanting. He admits,

“But I now see that putting it down in black and white made it sound far bigger than it really is. The truth is, I haven’t any language weak enough to depict the weakness of my spiritual life. If I weakened it enough it would cease to be language at all. As when you try to turn the gas-ring a little lower still, it merely goes out.”2

Next time you are tempted to wax eloquent, remember what happens to wax when it comes near the flame.

“a bruised reed he will not break, and a smoldering wick he will not quench, until he brings justice to victory; and in his name the Gentiles will hope.” – Matthew 12:20-21

  1. C. S. Lewis, Letters to Malcolm: Chiefly on Prayer (Mariner Books, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company, 2012), 112-113.

One Response to Which Resume Do You Want?

  • I can only speak for myself but I believe my weaknesses are my greatest attributes and my failures are those things that have brought me closer to my Savior. I am proud to list my many failures on my resume, they are among the things I am now most proud of for it is better to have tried and failed than to not have tried and succeeded.

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