I had the privilege of studying under Dr. Wayne Grudem while I attended seminary at Trinity Evangelical Divinity School in Deerfield, Illinois. Not only did I study all my Systematic Theology with him, but I also took some elective classes that he taught in different semesters.
There are two fond memories of him that increased my respect and admiration of him. First, I remember how we would sing a song or two before we started class. They ranged from old classic hymns to some modern praise songs. One time, as we were singing, I saw him get down on his knees and with uplifted hands singing praises to God. It was a humbling moment for me because here was a man, who graduated from Harvard (cum laude) and University of Cambridge, bowing down in humility worshiping God. Sometimes people think any signs of emotions or “charismatic” expressions are equated with a lack of intelligence, but Dr. Grudem definitely debunked that theory.
Secondly, I will never forget when I heard the announcement of his resignation from Trinity. I was in shock. In fact, I think many people in the evangelical circles were shocked. Dr. Grudem was on the height of his academic career. So the question was, “Why in the world would he step down from everything?”
His answer floored me.
It was because of his love for his wife. She was diagnosed with fibromyalgia. It is a disease that brings pain to various muscle groups in the body. There is really no cure for this disease. The only time Margret was able to find some relief was when she was in a place with warmer weather. Therefore, as he wrestled with the decision, Dr. Grudem realized that the most honoring thing to do was to surrender his prolific career at Trinity and go to another seminary out West with lesser credentials for the sake of his wife’s health. You can read his official response in Trinity Magazine here (you have to read it… please have some tissues ready).
How many guys who are on top of their successful career can do the same thing?
Not many. This is why I have such admiration and respect for the man.
Real life examples are the best to follow.
Here is a funny video made as a tribute to Dr. Grudem. Check it out.