Saturday, April 10, 2010

Note to a Friend: Why Using Dr. Chappell to Explain the PCA Strategic Plan is Unwise

The new PCA Strategic Plan is out, and available at the PCA website (see here: http://www.pcaac.org/2010StrategicPlanDocuments/2010StrategicPlan.htm). The reader will notice that Dr. Bryan Chappell was selected to present the plan on video. In my estimation, this was an unwise move on the part of the Cooperative Ministries Committee, for the following reasons.

First, to the naturally cynical among us, it looks like a political move. I confess to being among the naturally cynical. It may well be that Dr. Chappell was chosen for the videos simply because he is an able and compelling speaker. However, Dr. Chappell is also the president of the only PCA seminary. Since he travels widely, and speaks frequently, his is perhaps the most widely recognized face in the PCA. That gives his presentation of the Plan a cachet that it would not have had if it were presented and explained by Joe Blow. If we want the Plan to be considered on its merits, it would be better to keep personality out of it.

Second, to the naturally uncynical among us, the fact that Dr. Chappell is presenting the Plan must mean that the Plan is a good one. After all, isn't he the president of the PCA's seminary, one of the fastest-growing seminaries in the country (779 students, 451 full-time equivalent as of Fall 2009)? In other words, whether the intent was there or not, there is in fact a political effect to having Dr. Chappell do the presentation.

It would have been better had Roy Taylor, the PCA Stated Clerk, done the presentation. After all, it certainly fits in with the scope of his duties. Or if not him, someone not known, whose presentation would therefore lack the built-in bias of Dr. Chappell's presentation.

1 comment:

K. Hugh Acton said...

Not to mention the fact that Dr. Chappell can't open his mouth without dripping condescension. I have heard both Dr. Taylor & Dr. Chappell present the plan now, and though dry (because dry?) Taylor's presentation was less alarming (though not unalarming). Our grassroots church is transforming from buracracy to plutocracy before our very eyes. No one has commented on the social snub we give our brothers in NAPARC.