Reflections on the Quest: Teddy Roosevelt and Me

I read the following in a book entitled The Faith of America’s Presidents by Daniel J. Mount (Living Ink Books, 2007, p. 165, underlined for emphasis):

 A Teddy Roosevelt scholar wrote, “I cannot find God insistent or palpable anywhere in the writings or the life of Theodore Roosevelt. He had no need of him and no longing, because he really had no need of anything but his own immensely sufficient self. And the abundant, crowding, magnificent presence of this world left no room for another.”

I suppose the fact that self-confidence oozed out of Teddy Roosevelt is one of the characteristics which attracts so many of us to his life and exploits.  However, those are words I would rather not be said of me.  Confidence is one thing.  Self-confidence is another thing altogether, especially if it leads us to the place of thinking we do not need that which is most-needful:  God through Christ.  Today I am aware that I remain in desparate need of Jesus for both my salvation and sanctification.  Apart from Him, I can do nothing” (Jn. 17:).  Have you arrived at this same realization?

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One response

  1. Interesting…while not a Teddy scholar, I would disagree with this assessment. I simply don’t understand this assessment. Roosevelt was a Reformed Christian. His writings point to his faith. At the very least, his deep sense of morality was informed by his upbringing in the Reformed faith…but it seems from my reading of his works and biographies of him, he was a Christian.

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