The 38th General Assembly ended with most of the Strategic Plan adopted (at least this stage of it adopted) with vigorous protest of a large part of the Assembly on some of the Plan. One of the PCAs remaining founders, Don Clements (the Aquila Report), expressed his concern in an article. Likening this to calling a pastor he posed a rhetorical question, "Who would take a call as a pastor with so many people dissenting?" Don is afraid that the Administrative Committee and other denominational functionaries (with a few prominent pastors thrown in) have won the battle of implementation but are in danger of losing the war for trust. Another founding pastor, Bill Iverson (also perhaps the greatest living evangelist in the PCA) delivered a stirring speech which seemed to be a condemnation of the worldliness of the whole thing and a call to return to faithfulness in advancing the Gospel.
The PCA issued a letter on homosexuality and the possible (likely?) repeal of the "Don't Ask Don't Tell" policy. The PCA has a large, influential, and active chaplains corps and our chaplains are very concerned. The statement adopted by the PCA was made stronger on the floor of the Assembly and it was reported to us that the chaplains were VERY encouraged. Before the ink was dry on the statement it was communicated in substance to the Pentagon at a high level meeting. The PCA is often very loathe to speak on matters of politics but sounded a clear prophetic call on this one.
Without the expected debate on the "deaconess issue", the Assembly basically affirmed that is was not inappropriate for churches to have "deaconesses" or "diaconal assistants". It was also affirmed that ordination was only appropriate for men. This leaves many churches' practices in place and agrees with the practice of our Korean presbyteries, which have a position called a "kwonsa" which corresponds to this. This practice has some roots in older presbyterianism as well.
I plan on blogging more details about the Assembly and some thoughts on our denomination as well as some confessions and oddities. Coming soon: Travis gets nabbed by the po-po, Dan mostly redeems himself from cowarding, the Assembly finds truth out of order and yours truly fails to condemn blasphemy - along with one or two Nashville tips.