Tuesday, November 6, 2007

Introducing the almost Reverend Brian Hough

My good friend and esteemed youth pastor of our church, Brian Hough, passed his final ordination trials this past weekend. He will be ordained as a minister in the Presbyterian Church in America on January 6 despite the picture above which shows him after being slimed at this year's VBS (it's the only picture I have of Brian on my laptop).

Ordination as an elder in Christ's church ought to be a serious and solemn thing. I appreciate the process the PCA requires for men to be ordained. Brian has been preparing for this since he entered seminary over five years ago. Watching him finish the trials portion of his ordination brought back quite a few memories for me.

To be ordained in the PCA, the normal route includes an M.Div (over 100 graduate hours), one year ministerial internship, Greek and Hebrew, Licensure (which includes a written exam on English Bible, Westminster Confession/theology, and two oral exams on the same plus preaching a sermon to Presbytery), and ordination final exam (which includes a written exam on the Sacraments and Church History and two oral exams on the same). Most importantly, to be ordained you must have a call from a Church Session or congregation to be considered for ordination (that is, the people of God recognize a man as qualified to be an elder). All this to say, ordination is a serious endeavor that requires quite a few years of preparation and trial.

Brian did a great job. I forsee he will become a great Jedi...um...I mean...I can't wait to see how the Lord uses Brian for His Glory in His Church.


M. Jay Bennett said...

Congratulations Brian. I rejoice with you all!

GUNNY said...

I'm not sure if this is much better, but I'll share it in honor of the soon to be honored.



Rick Calohan said...

Congratulations, Brian despite being a Houston Astros fan, I know just by taken a handful of seminary courses via Access at Covenant Seminary, that it was not a cake walk for you, Nathan, Tony or anyone to obtain a M.Div. or to be ordained in the PCA.

I think few people realize that in order to become Minister of the Word & Sacraments as the PCUSA calls it or Teaching Elder as it is known in the PCA that one must learn Hebrew & Greek in order to receive a Masters of Divinity.

Sadly, the majority of the PCUSA clergy do not seem to understand the Greek or Hebrew they learned or preach the Word of God the way it should be, thus is why despite being the largest denomination of Presbyterians in the United States, their numbers continues to shrink year after year because sheep hunger for the Living Word.

As a former member, elder, and ruling elder of a PCUSA church I was very close to my former minister and his family, despite their liberal views and theology. I always set that aside because my faith was not in my minister or the members of the church but in Jesus Christ.

Thankfully, the PCA has offered a home for Christians whom proclaim by faith alone that the scriptures alone are the infallible and inspired Word of the Living God. That is why it is a relief to know that regardless of rather it may be Tony, Nathan, and soon perhaps Brian, or if a guest minister such as Rev. Dr. David Calhoun or the Rev. Dr. Michael A. Milton that they all have this in common is that, they all believe and preach the following and that is:
• We believe the Bible is the written word of God, inspired by the Holy Spirit and without error in the original manuscripts. The Bible is the revelation of God’s truth and is infallible and authoritative in all matters of faith and practice.
• We believe in the Holy Trinity. There is one God, who exists eternally in three persons: the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit.
• We believe that all are sinners and totally unable to save themselves from God’s displeasure, except by His mercy.
• We believe that salvation is by God alone as He sovereignly chooses those He will save. We believe His choice is based on His grace, not on any human individual merit, or foreseen faith.
• We believe that Jesus Christ is the eternal Son of God, who through His perfect life and sacrificial death atoned for the sins of all who will trust in Him, alone, for salvation.
• We believe that God is gracious and faithful to His people not simply as individuals but as families in successive generations according to His Covenant promises.
• We believe that the Holy Spirit indwells God’s people and gives them the strength and wisdom to trust Christ and follow Him.
• We believe that Jesus will return, bodily and visibly, to judge all mankind and to receive His people to Himself.
• We believe that all aspects of our lives are to be lived to the glory of God under the Lordship of Jesus Christ.
That for me is the blessed assurance of attending services at Redeemer, because I know that regardless of what sermon text you may preach from on any given Sunday it will transform lives because it is rooted in Grace and Truth of our Risen Lord. May God continue to speak to us with His Holy Word, and may His name be forever praised. Amen.

Frontier Forest said...

I find it fascinating, discovering the rigorous ordeal that our blessed denomination stands upon for every ordination. No compromises or shortcuts coming from the PCA! Brian Hough is truly gifted of God. And knowing great things for our youth have been and even greater things will be accomplished by Brother Brian, brings all of us at Redeemer great joy, peace and strength. In confidence we can say, “All Glory and honor belongs to You O‘Lord. Your hands control all power and might and it is at Your discretion that men are made great and given Your strength!”

Kampfgruppe Hoppa said...

Ordination in the PCA sounds almost as tough as US Army Ranger school. Congrats Ranger Hough!