the weblog of Alan Knox

This is NOT what I signed up for…

Posted by on Feb 25, 2012 in blog links, service | 11 comments

This is NOT what I signed up for…

Most of you know that I’m currently in a PhD program. Actually, I’m in the last stage of that program: writing my dissertation. My PhD mentor is Dave Black.

For those who are considering entering a PhD program, I must caution you to consider who you choose as your PhD mentor very carefully. That person will (probably) have a great influence on your life. Hopefully, your mentor will influence you academically and spiritually.

So, how is my PhD mentor influencing me? Check out his blog post (at the link above) from Thursday, February 23, 2012 at 9:26 p.m.:

Personally, I’m not all that eager to raise up a new generation of leaders. I want to raise up a new generation of butlers and scullery maids. A generation of nobodies who are content to be obedient to the simple teachings of Jesus. A generation of Christ-followers who die to family, fame, fortune, success, patriotism, and the American Dream. A generation of Dietrich Bonhoeffers who realize that “when Jesus calls a man, He bids him come and die.” I want to raise up a generation of men and women who give without counting the cost, who deny themselves, who willingly take the cross as the path of union with Christ, in whom there is no trace of triumphalism, who put their lives at Christ’s disposal with unconditional surrender, who place Christian allegiance over their national allegiance, who act as though they were part of an upside-down kingdom, who die to all claims of the self-indulgent life, who refuse to lionize success or repudiate pain, who “share in suffering as good soldiers of Jesus Christ” (2 Tim. 2:3), who stand high and lift their drooping heads because the Son of God inhabits their lives in the power of His resurrection.

When I first came to seminary, this is not the path that I signed up for. But, it is definitely the path that I’m on now.

I’m not bragging. I have nothing to brag about. But, this is where Jesus Christ has led me. And, I thank God that he has brought me into contact with Dave Black, his wife BeckyLynn Black, and many, many other people who not only exhort me toward service in the name of Jesus Christ, but, more importantly, they model it.


Comments are closed. If you would like to discuss this post, send an email to alan [at] alanknox [dot] net.

  1. 2-25-2012

    Love it. I think you’ll make a great scullery maid. 🙂

  2. 2-25-2012

    I had to google scullery maid to make sure it wasn’t something bad.

  3. 2-25-2012

    Just got an image of Alan in a maids uniform. Calling my therapist now… *shudder*

  4. 2-25-2012

    You both know that I look good in anything. I would ROCK a maid’s outfit.


  5. 2-25-2012

    I;m going to leave the maid discussion alone. 🙂 I’m finding that Jesus is leading me down the same path. Sometimes I’m not so sure I like it.

  6. 2-25-2012


    Thank you for getting us back on topic. I allowed some trouble-makers to lead me astray. 🙂

    Sometimes I don’t like this path either.


  7. 2-25-2012

    “A generation of nobodies who are content to be obedient to the simple teachings of Jesus”

    that was my favorite line. we need more men (and women) who are content to “just” be who they are exactly where they are planted and stop waiting for something. their ministry right now is where they are right now! with God – even the least valuable of things (in the world’s eyes) can be completely meaningful and God-glorifying!

  8. 2-25-2012


    Yes, that’s a great line. It reminds me of something Paul wrote: “God chose what is low and despised in the world, even things that are not, to bring to nothing things that are…” (1 Corinthians 1:28 ESV)


  9. 2-26-2012


    In the traditional scene in which I “signed up”, neither I nor my peers understood the Biblical truth of Dave’s excellent words.

    It was easy to understand that Wesley,Spurgeon,etc.were the examples we were to emulate. They were held up as examples of “success”. The more well known we became,through academic achievement,the more opportunities we would have.

    Our Lord,Jesus? He was a victim of His time and, sadly, never had the opportunities we had before us.

  10. 2-27-2012

    Thanks for sharing Dave Black’s thoughts. They really spoke to me.

  11. 2-27-2012

    Aussie John,

    Ah, yes… Wesley, Spurgeon, Piper, McArthur… that’s more like it.


    Yes, he definitely has a way with words. You should follow his blog, if you don’t already.