What is Theology? My interview with Theologian, William Hemsworth

Let’s begin with your degree.
Where did you go to school? Graduate from?
After high school I joined the Army and served as a Chaplain Assistant for 6 1/2 years.  I went to school sporadically during my service.  I started to take it seriously when my wife and I found out that our first child was on the way.
I enrolled at University of Phoenix and earned a Bachelor’s in Business Management.  After graduation I felt that I wasn’t done…that there was more to do.
After a lot of prayer I enrolled at Liberty University and earned a Master of Divinity in Church History in April 2017.  Church history is a passion of mine.  There is just so much to learn, and most still applies to the modern church.
I am currently enrolled at St. Joseph’s College of Maine where I am pursuing a Master’s in Sacred Theology.  I am tossing around the idea of pursuing a Ph.D at some point, but we will see where God leads.
What is theology?
This is a great question, and it also seems to intimidate people.  Theology is made up of two Greek words.
The first is Theos and means God.
The second is Logia and means study.
Theology literally means the study of God.
We will never know everything, and that is why I love the subject so much.
Why do you feel/believe theology still matters?
I can’t begin to tell you how many times someone has said to me “I don’t need theology.  I just need Jesus”.
Amen to that!  Who is Jesus?  Is he divine?  Did he have one nature, two, or three?  Did he have to die?  Was he just a good moral teacher?  Once you ask who Jesus is you are practicing theology, and what that theology says about Christ can mean the difference between someone having eternal life or not.
That is why theology still matters.  It matters because it answers those questions about the Christian faith.  Not only that, but if you are a Christian you may be involved in a theological activity and not even know it.
  1. Do you read the Bible?
  2. Do you pray?
  3. Sing during Sunday worship?  All theological activities and very important.
 
You are an author. When did you publish your first work? Title?
Before I answer this question can I just say that I love writing?  I can do it all day without a break if allowed.
Anyway, the first book I published was a devotional titled “A Closer Walk:  Forty Short Devotions to Strengthen Your Faith”.
I was inspired by a friend of mine who said that he just didn’t have enough time to read anything that was devotional in nature.  I wrote the devotions in such a way that they will take only five minutes to read.  I am proud of it, and will work on more.
Who did you publish your work through?
I originally published it through Kindle Direct Publishing, but I recently republished through Theology Still Matters Publications.  That is a trade name I registered to publish my books.  I did that to make it sound more official.  The paperback is distributed through draft2digital, and the paperback will soon be available through lulu.com.
How did you begin podcasting?
Podcasting brings me a lot of joy, and it is funny because I fell into it.  I was asked to be a coauthor on a site by the name of http://www.truvine.net.  We called it “The Vine” for short.  The site was owned by a good friend of mine by the name of Jeff Perry.  He called me one day and said that we will be doing a podcast every Tuesday and Friday, an this was in addition to the Tuesday and Friday blog release.  I fell in love with it.  I currently host two podcasts.  The first show I have been doing for a little over a year and goes by the name “Theology Still Matters”.  It is  a weekly show, and right now I am doing a series on the nature of Christ.  The second show is named “The Daily Bible”.  I look at 1-3 verses per day and give a little real work application.  I am really excited about this show as I will be going through every verse in the Bible, no skipping, but every single verse.  The show launched December 1, and I started with Matthew because of Christmas.  We are currently in Matthew chapter 4.
Do you have a large listening audience for your podcast?
As of now I have 337 direct subscribers, but I share the show on every page I run, and every social media outlet.  Many listen though they may not subscribe.  If you are thinking about doing a show my advice is to go for it.  It doesn’t matter how many listen, though that is nice, but all that matters is that someone is listening.  You never know how your show can impact someone else.  Around the middle of last year, when I was thinking about ending the show, a lady from Indonesia reached out to me on Instagram.  She heard the episode I have up about idolatry.  She said it helped her see that she was putting many things above Christ.  I don’t say that to brag, but encourage.  If God can work like that through something I touched he can work through anyone.  Go for it!
Where can we find you online?
Pretty much anywhere, but first you have to get through all the links on Chris and Liam Hemsworth.  My website, theologystillmatters.com, is always a good place to start.  You can also go to my amazon author page (https://www.amazon.com/-/e/B00O5J73WA).  From there you can see the books I have written as well as my blog posts.
What social media platforms do you work on?
At times it seems like way to many, but social media is a great way to interact with your readers and build relationships.  I can be found on Facebook, twitter, Instagram, google+, and LinkedIn.  You can also find me on YouTube.  As of now my podcasts get posted to there, and there are a couple of videos.  In the future I plan to do more videos.
 
I follow you on Twitter. Recently, you tweeted one of the most powerful things we can do for another person is to actually listen and not just listen to talk but to hear. Can you explain the difference and expand on your thoughts?
We live in a society where everything is about the individual.  Not only that, but we are in a constant rush.  I have noticed a tendency, myself included, to listen to talk.  What I mean by that is that we are already thinking about what our next words are going to be before the other person is even finished talking.  When we do this we are actually not listening and telling the person that what they have to say is not important.  We need to get back to valuing what the other person says, even if we disagree.  To hear and to genuinely care.
It is never too late to set another goal or dream another dream. In the new year, do you have goals or resolutions?
I have bad knees.  I have had five surgeries on my left with two of them being reconstructions.  I need to drop more weight to take the pressure off of my knee. My surgeon says that I need a replacement and am too young for it.  I dropped 60 pounds in 2017, and need to drop the same in 2018.  That is my goal.
IF you could have an article in an academic journal, what would it consist of?
I am a self-professed Church History nerd.  Especially when it comes to the Christological heresies in the early church.  My article would consist defending the nature of Christ.  I am actually working on an article right now that I will submit to journals that defends the nature of Jesus against the ancient heresy of Arianism that taught that Christ was the first creation of God.
 
Have you ever created a vision board?
I will be honest.  I have never created a vision board.  We did one in business school, but I have never done one since.  I should though.
How do you go about reaching goals?
I have come across a lot of people who become discouraged because they have not achieved a particular goal fast enough.  We all have goals.  We may have small goals, or huge goals. Personally I start with a large goal and work backwards.  I start with the end goal, and create small goals that lead to the next and so on.  Before I know it the large goal has been achieved.  You can’t write a full book in one sitting.  It is written one page at a time.  A goal may be a chapter in a month, or one podcast episode every two weeks.  Start small and before you know it the large one will be achieved.
What books are you working on publishing now?
Write now I am writing a devotional that is based entirely on the book of 1 John.  The tentative title is “Our Eyes Have Seen”.
What books are you currently reading by other authors? You should say, Pushing Back the Darkness (which is mine, but….)
Right now I am reading a commentary on the Letter to Philemon  The title is “The Letter to Philemon” by Scot McKnight.  I am also reading a great book on leadership titled “Paul and His Team:  What the Early Church Can Teach Us About Leadership and Influence” by Ryan Lokkesmoe.  I recommend both of them.  They are very interesting and inspiring.
What advice would you give a millennial who wants to set goals and create?
My advice would be to find something that you are passionate in and create based on that.  If you are passionate about baking then do a blog, YouTube video, or podcast on that.  You often people want to create based on what the hot fad is.
The problem is if you are not passionate about the topic that will turn off your audience.
Next set realistic goals.  You will not have 500 blog readers on day one.  It takes time.  Publish something new on a regular basis.  If you have a blog or podcast maybe try to put out one item every two weeks to start, and work to do something weekly.  The same can be said about YouTube videos.  If you are an author set a daily goal to write.  Whether it be 10 minutes or 30 minutes you will be making progress.  Lastly, find a support system that is honest and will give you good feedback.
If you want to grow, the last thing you need is a bunch of “yes” men.
Accountability. It is something we don’t hear about as much anymore. What do you think accountability consists of?
Accountability almost seems to have a negative connotation anymore.  However, accountability will help to keep us on the straight t and narrow.  Accountability consists of someone making sure that we are being responsible, that we are doing the things that we should be doing.  My blog, books, and two podcasts are teaching the Bible and Christian Theology.  It is very important that I do and teach proper doctrine.  If not I need that accountability to set me straight and to make sure I don’t lead others astray.
Do you have a business team that you are accountable to?
No.  I don’t have a business team that I am accountable to.  I am small time and it is only me.  I have some followers I confide in and have asked that they review everything I put it.  If I do something they have an issue with they reach out and, in a loving manner, may ask questions to make sure we are on the same page.  Thee was one situation I recall a few months ago where I was going off on a particular issue, and reached out and said that, though I was right, I was going about it in a horrible manner.  I was very appreciative.
What would you define accountability as and how would you suggest this generation become more accountable?
I would define accountability as someone helping to make sure you are on the right path.  Not necessarily the right path career wise, but making sure that success is not going to your head.  It helps you remember where you started so you can be thankful for the good things that come around.  My advice is to get an accountability partner.  This is someone you can count on to give it to you straight.  You can help each other through life, and whatever your goals are.
Do you have a certain quote or mantra you live by?
C.S. Lewis once said, “You are never too old too set another goal or to dream a new dream.”  Once a goal is achieved make a new one.  Never stop growing.
Thank you for the questions.  I really enjoyed it.  God bless!