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Reflections from a First Generation PCA Covenant Child

By Brady Shuman
There's a huge group of us, young eager people, willing to learn, serve, and excited about the PCA.

PCANews - Editor's note: Brady Shuman is the daughter of TE Steve Shuman, pastor of Covenant Presbyterian Church in Laurel, Miss. She will be graduating from Covenant Seminary in May 2004. One of her assignments before graduation was to write a Senior Essay reflecting on her time at seminary. Brady remarked, "As I was writing this, I was struck by the fact that I am part of the first generation of young people to grow up in the PCA and we are now becoming active as leaders and servants in its churches and ministries. I found this idea exciting and wanted to share it with the PCA people. I feel that my brothers and sisters who have grown up in the denomination have truly been blessed to be trained in righteousness and truth, and I wish to encourage our mothers and fathers in the faith to continue."

On May 17, 2004, I'm going to do something extraordinary: I'm going to graduate from Covenant Theological Seminary. Now, each year, many students graduate from Covenant. But there is one very important reason I think my personal graduation is special (and not just to me and my loved ones).

I was born on December 4, 1978. Not only does this tell you how old I am, and that it's about time I leave school and get a "real job," it tells you I am part of a very important group. Young men and women my age truly don't remember a time when the PCA didn't exist. I think we're technically part of Generation-Y, but some of us 26, 27, and 28-years old have had the unique experience of growing up in the Presbyterian Church in America. We grew up on Great Commission Sunday School material, went to Panama City for RYM, and joined (or started) RUF in college. We've graduated to the WIC and the Men's prayer breakfasts (and along the way become fluent in acronym soup).

I've certainly grown up PCA. My father graduated from seminary in 1978, and has been a pastor in PCA churches for the last 26 years. And so here's what I consider the really "cool" part: Now it's my turn. Not to be a pastor (remember, I'm my father's only daughter), but to take the Bible-based, Confession-respecting, doctrinally sound education I've received in the church for 26 years and put it to work in my own local church. There's a huge group of us, young eager people, willing to learn, ready to serve, and excited about the PCA. We are excited about our heritage and looking forward to a future filled with evangelism, growth, and what "no eye has seen and no ear heard."

I've been doubly blessed to have studied at Covenant Seminary; the national seminary of the PCA is a very special place. While it isn't my intention to be a commercial for the seminary, I urge you to look at the ways this denominational resource is growing and serving the PCA. It has been a privilege (and hard work!) to study alongside other brothers and sisters training for ministry. It is especially exciting to me to see the shaping of future church leaders and the strengthening of their faith.

My brothers and sisters who have grown up in the faith have been abundantly blessed to have been trained in righteousness and truth. I wish to encourage our mothers and fathers in the faith to continue mentoring us, praying for us, and teaching us. And I encourage all of you who have been so blessed not to forget the younger siblings, so that future generations will be as blessed, and that through us our Father will be continually glorified.

S. Brady Shuman
Covenant Seminary
St. Louis, Missouri
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    God Substituting Himself for Man

    The concept of substitution may be said to lie at the heart of both sin and salvation. For the essence of sin is man substituting himself for God, while the essence of salvation is God substituting Himself for man. Man asserts himself against God and puts himself where only God deserves to be; God sacrifices Himself for man and puts Himself where only man deserves to be. Man claims prerogatives which belong to God alone; God accepts penalties which belong to man alone.

    John Stott in The Cross of Christ

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