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"The world is my parish." --John Wesley

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Joanna Ruth Wirtz, Preacher Chick

I have been called by God to preach and teach his Word. I am passionate about assisting his children—in all ages and stages of life—in their walk with God that they may grow spiritually and become mature followers of Christ.

Regarding my education, I received my undergraduate degree in Physics from Wheaton College, Illinois. I received my Master of Divinity degree in Theology from George W. Truett Theological Seminary at Baylor University.

Regarding my background, I was raised in the Southern Baptist tradition which greatly affects my theology, thinking, and values. (For more information on Baptists, check out my essay "Why I Am a Baptist".) However, I have worked for and attended various churches and have friends and associates from many other traditions--including Presbyterian, Methodist, Wesleyan, Pentecostal, Messianic Jewish, and Catholic--and these associations have had their impact on me as well.

Here are some highlights of my personal theology. It is a work in progress!


He answered them, "I am a Hebrew and I worship Jehovah, the God of heaven, who made the sea and the dry land." (Jonah 1:9)

"The Trinity of the One Divinity--Father, Son, and Holy Spirit." (Tertullian)

I believe in Jehovah, the Lord God of the ancient Hebrews, who created the universe and pursues a relationship with human beings. He rules over his creation with justice and compassion. He is beyond human comprehension but chooses to reveal himself to us. God is a single being, a single deity who exists as three persons known as the Father, Jesus Christ, and the Holy Spirit. God is on a mission to reach out into a lost and dying world, transform it, and draw it to himself.

Jesus Christ

Jesus said, "For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him." (John 3:16-17)

In Jesus, God wills to be true God not only in the height but also in the depth – in the depth of human creatureliness, sinfulness and mortality. (Karl Barth)

Jesus Christ is fully divine and fully human. He is, and always has been, God. As the incarnate Word of God, Jesus embodies everything God wanted to teach his people through the Torah. He is the Wisdom of God through whom creation was made. He is Truth personified. He was born a human baby to a human mother, a Jewish virgin. He lived a sinless life, performed miracles and taught throughout Judea, and was crucified by the Romans. Three days after his death, he came back to life in bodily form. Later he rose into the sky and now he lives with his Father in heaven. He will return to earth again in the future. His life is our perfect example, his death paid the penalty for our sin, and his resurrection is our hope for the future. The only way to know God as Father is through Jesus Christ.

Holy Spirit

Jesus said, "When it, the Spirit of truth, comes, it will guide you into all truth. It will not speak on its own; it will speak only what it hears, and it will tell you what is yet to come. It will glorify me because it is from me that it will receive what it will make known to you." (John 16:13-14)

The Holy Ghost thus addresses us: "Come, ye children, hearken unto Me; I will teach you the fear of the Lord." (Clement of Rome)

The Holy Spirit is God's active presence in the world. It is a person in its own right who dwells in believers, to guide us into truth and to empower us to do God's work in the world. It gives us life and intercedes for us. It teaches us to pray according to God's will.


No one has ever seen God, but the one and only Son, who is himself God and is in closest relationship with the Father, has made him known. (John 1:18)

God writes the Gospel not in the Bible alone, but also on trees, and in the flowers and clouds and stars. (Martin Luther)

God reveals himself in various ways, such as his world, his prophets, his Scripture, his Church (both current and throughout history), the Son, and the Holy Spirit. These methods are intended to work in tandem. Since God is not inconsistent, what he says through other means will be consistent with his revelation through Christ and Scripture.


For the word of God is alive and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart. (Hebrews 4:12)

No one can read the Gospels without feeling the actual presence of Jesus. His personality pulsates in every word. No myth is filled with such life. (Albert Einstein)

And therefore, to those who believe that the sacred books are not the compositions of men, but that they were composed by inspiration of the Holy Spirit, agreeably to the will of the Father of all things through Jesus Christ, and that they have come down to us, we must point out the ways of interpreting them which appear correct to us, who cling to the standard the heavenly Church of Jesus Christ according to the succession of the apostles. (Origen)

I believe God's spirit was in the mouths of prophets when they spoke his words. God's spirit was in the pens of scribes when they wrote his words. God's spirit was in the hands of editors when they chose which words were to be kept together for future generations. God's spirit was with the church as we chose which books of words should be part of the Scriptural canon and which should be rejected. God's spirit moves within the pages of Scripture as we read them, speaking to us and teaching us about God. It is intentionally multi-layered so it may speak in its original context as well as contexts throughout history. Its own history and use by God grants the Bible a uniqueness no other book can claim and grants it authority in the life of a believer. As the written Word of God, it has a special relationship to Jesus Christ, the incarnate Word of God. As we study Scripture, we know and understand more about Jesus. As we grow in our relationship with Jesus, we know and understand Scripture better.

God's Sovereignty

And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose. (Romans 8:28)

Stupidity is also a gift of God, but one mustn't misuse it. (Pope John Paul II)

In God's infinite wisdom, he has allowed human beings to be stupid. Through our worst intentions and despite our best intentions, we often abuse our God-given freedoms to destroy ourselves and our world. God works to contain the damage and to bring good out of even our most grievous errors. How much leverage he gives us is a mystery, but we are responsible to do the best we can with what we have been given. God has established definite goals for the future which he will accomplish both through us and despite us.

Human Beings

Then God said, "Let us make human beings in our image, in our likeness, so that they may rule over the fish in the sea and the birds in the sky, over the livestock and all the wild animals, and over all the creatures that move along the ground." So God created human beings in his own image, in the image of God he created them; male and female he created them. (Genesis 1:26- 27)

The Christian doctrine of sin in its classical form offends both rationalists and moralists by maintaining the seemingly absurd position that man sins inevitably and by a fateful necessity but that he is nevertheless to be held responsible for actions which are prompted by an ineluctable fate. (Reinhold Niebuhr)

Human beings were created in the image of God and God called us "very good." We were intended to walk with God and to rule our world with justice and compassion. Individually and as a group, we have rebelled against God, which introduced the sickness of sin into every area of our lives and our world suffers from our evil. Now the struggle between good and evil lives on in every human heart and this is a war no one can win without the saving power of God. Through God's saving power, we can reclaim our original purpose.


You also, like living stones, are being built into a spiritual house to be a holy priesthood, offering spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ. (1 Peter 2:5)

The Bible knows nothing of solitary religion. (John Wesley)

Those whom God has rescued from sin make up his Church—his agency on earth. Established by Christ, the Church follows Christ's teachings and continues his work in the world. The local church is a community of believers who worship God and support one another. We are called to join God in his mission to reach out into a lost and dying world, transform it, and draw it to himself.