Weekend in Philly continued. A few additional tid-bits. First, the Pastors College question. The current stream of ministry leaders for Sovereign Grace almost indefinitely flows through the Pastors College (PC). Danny’s big question which he has had for a while is, “Do I have to go to the PC if I want to be a part of SGM in the future?” Danny, age 41, has had sufficient training and has pastoral experience. The indirect answer to his question is yes. But, it is not a matter of education as it is a matter of connection. The PC is right on the campus of the SGM mother church Covenant Life in Gaithersburg, MD. You get taught by Jeff Purswell, the Dean of the PC, along with an eclectic group of other insructors that will come in and do weeklong seminars. This may include Jerry Bridges, Al Mohler, Mark Dever, and John Piper depending on their availability and the PC’s budget. There are probably about 15-20 students in the PC each year and the instruction lasts for about 9 months. This instructional time is supplemented with a year’s internship at some of the bigger SGM churches. From there, the leadership team will decide how best to plug PC grads into ministry. Which comes back to my first statement about the PC. I should say that the stream flows through the SGM leadership team and the PC is how people connect with the leadership team. So for Danny, he would have to uproot his wife and two little girls to go down to the SGM Mecca so he can “get connected” to the movement. Second, at a Q&A on Saturday, some one asked the question about foreign missions. Not a good idea. SGM really has not branched out too much for overseas training or church planting. So if you want to go overseas and teach or pastor, they would filter you through the PC, test in you ministry in the US, and then maybe send you out (but probably not). SGM is relatively small and young, so I don’t expect them to have it all figured out, but CJ (the leader of SGM) is very good friends with Piper. And Piper can’t speak or write one paragraph without mentioning the nations and missions. Thus you would think they would let us know what is in the hopper for this as a movement. Third, and lastly, I talked to Jeff Purswell (who is the theologian and scholar of SGM, hands down) and asked them how they would deal with a rogue as myself that is willing to go where I think Scripture is leader me theologically. His response was informing and gracious. He just encouraged me to stay rooted in all the theological disciplines (biblical theology, systematic theology, and historical theology) to provide a balance that would safeguard me againt straying too far in one direction. He used D.A. Carson as an example, which was very suitable. He also said that when I come back from Australia in 3 years after doing Ph.D. work, he wouldn’t drill me about where I am on every issue, but would take things case by case. So it still leaves me wondering how things are going to work out in the future. To quote my friend Forest Gump, “That’s all I have to say about that.”
Wedding Stuff. I was having some hang time with my friends Josh Otte and John Borquist at the Wild Horse Cafe (wildhorsecafe.com) in Beverly on Wednesday. I swear I had one of the best brews I’ve every had, Corsendonk Abbey Brown Ale. They serve it in a Goblet. Sweet beer. I’m going there tonight to have one with my friend Price. Anyhow, so we are talking about my wedding date and all and John pipe’s up. He says, “Perfect, that’s perfect. My friend from Virginia and I are starting a film company and we need to do a wedding sample. We can video your wedding for free.” Then he goes on to say that it will be a sample of a $3000 package. I was all over it. I called Kalila right there and told her a little about John and his offer and she gave me the OK. And on top of that, I had been thinking about the White Horse as a good candidate for the rehearsal dinner. I looked around on Wednesday and I thought it would be perfect. I took a few pictures on the old phone camera and showed Kalila last night. I told her at all costs I want to do it there. It is perfect. It’s a little rustic, but tasteful, and classy. It’s gonna rock.