On first impression, junior Robert Bolgeo is a stereotypical Biola under grad. He’s an outgoing film major from Nashville with a Southern Baptist upbringing, raised in the church, etc. He’s starred in and produced a comedy Web series called “Dorm Life,” he loves mission trips and gets excited about systematic theology. Just your average Biola student, right?
Maybe. But whether or not he fits the Biola mold, Robert would be quick to tell you that, ultimately, it’s not about him. It’s about God.
When he first arrived at Biola as a freshman, the experience of having education coupled with faith blew Robert’s mind. He’d grown up in public school and was excited about required chapel and 30 units of Bible.
When the novelty wore off, though, Robert saw himself and his peers become jaded. What was it that motivated them to keep up the “Christian college” life? Ultimately, the whole thing felt a little self-serving.
“Even when we do things for others it is often because we want to feel good,” he said. “We are so often motivated by selfish desires, and I hate that.”
Robert, who reads Wayne Grudem’s Systematic Theology for fun, is passionate about curbing the effects of individualism on the church.
In worship, he said, we sing, “I worship my God,” when we ought to be talking in first-person plural.
“We are in this together, a community, but we are afraid to be bonded,” said Robert. “We are too individualistically motivated.”
This is the paradoxical struggle for Robert and his generation of Christians. From every direction comes the desire to be unique, individual and the exception to the norm; but then there is the call of God — to deny ourselves, follow him and be the church.
Robert is working through that, along with his peers. It’s not always easy, but it’s something Robert is committed to.