After being exposed to Reformed theology, attending a dispensational college became an exhausting experience. Defending Reformed theology became almost a mission in life; a crusade for truth. In every theological conversation I was involved in, inevitably Reformed theology was smeared. As one of the few voices defending the Reformed faith (there were also some from the Bible Presbyterian background, who also defended eloquently Calvinism) I quickly became known as an ardent supporter of Calvin, instead of the Bible. “But Calvin was an exegete of the Bible,” I argued. My arguments were useless. In those days, my Calvinism was mixed with autonomous forms of classical argumentation. It was largely soteriological, rather than comprehensive and covenantal. It was inconsistent, but I refused to take it to its logical conclusion. Those early days were filled with a zealous and incredible fervor for all things Reformed. It is true that I probably gave some dispensationalists ample reason to detest the Tulipers even more.
As the end of my college years approached, my theology was becoming a bit more refined and consistent. The eloquent and Biblical teaching at Holy Trinity Presbyterian (PCA) had helped my wife and I to see Reformed theology beyond the mere pugilistic nature that it once had. We began to see Reformed theology as a rich resource for faithful living in all areas of life. We were married a week after my graduation from college, and after much consideration we decided that taking a year off before attending seminary was a wise decision. By God’s grace, we were mentored by wonderful saints and elders at Holy Trinity. That year was crucial for our decision to attend a seminary. My elders were all trained at Westminster Seminary in Philadelphia. Naturally, they desired that I attend WTS. In 2003, a few of us made a pilgrimage to Philadelphia to visit both Westminster and Biblical in Hatfield, PA. The opportunity to sit under Dick Gaffin and hear Phil Ryken on the Lord’s Day was unforgettable. Yet my heart and various circumstances were not leading us to Philadelphia. Whereas all my other brothers were confident of God’s call to WTS, I was still uncertain of my direction.