Oceanside URC, Carlsbad/Oceanside, CA
Danny is the author of five books. He and his wife, Karajean, live in Oceanside, CA, and have two children.
Why did you originally choose to attend WSC?
I originally chose to attend WSC because a beloved college professor, Prof. Ronald Wright, changed my life (just ask Dr. Julius Kim about him!). After several years of disillusionment in Pentecostal and other evangelical circles, he introduced me to the Reformation. I’ll never forget reading Westminster Larger Catechism, Q&A 70, for the first time. Because of Prof. Wright I went to WSC over Fuller.
What were the most significant things that you learned during your time at WSC?
Two things revolutionized my life. First, the covenant theology of Meredith Kline opened the Bible to me as the most profound yet simple Book with its message of law and gospel. The second thing was what has come to be called “high church Calvinism,” meaning the centrality of the church in the Christian life and a focus on the means of grace as the way the Holy Spirit operates in the life of his people.
What is one of your favorite memories of your time at WSC?
My favorite memory of WSC was playing doubles tennis with Dr. Strimple. Any slippage in his doctrinal commitment is wholly due to a blistering serve I once bounced off his head! More seriously, at WSC I made friends for life both among the students and the faculty.
Did you come to WSC married? If so, what was that like? How did you make it work?
I went off to WSC while my fiancé stayed behind in Orange County to work, but we were married after the first year. I drove an hour one-way to seminary, and I also worked part-time.
What are your present endeavors and/or future plans?
I serve my local parish by preaching twice on the Lord’s Day, catechizing the youth, teaching mid-week, and visiting the flock. I pray the Lord continues to bless his Word to strengthen our church. I am also working on a Th.M. under Dr. Joel Beeke at Puritan Reformed Theological Seminary with a thesis on the liturgical theology of John Owen. I am also serving the broader church as a member of a study committee as well as through my writing. Right now I have several journal articles and a couple of small books in the works, including one about images of Christ versus the Word and sacraments in the life of the church.
How did your education at WSC prepare you for your present and/or future roles and responsibilities?
In one sense, a seminary cannot fully prepare men for the ministry, as there is no way to know how to do the tasks of a minister until called. This is why the local church is so vital in overseeing the training of ministers. Yet principles learned in seminary like self-discipline, meeting deadlines, and dealing with others who disagree with you, as well as the theological foundation WSC lays, make up the tools a minister will need as he seeks to shepherd the flock.
What do you enjoy most about the pastorate?
The most enjoyable thing is to see sinners come to Christ; to be able to be the voice of Christ in preaching, the hand of Christ in administering the sacraments, and the arms of Christ in ministering to the broken and wayward is a joy I cannot explain. It never ceases to amaze me that Christ uses me, a wretched sinner, to bring sinners salvation!
What advice would you give to prospective students considering graduate theological education?
First of all pray. Second, examine your motivation. Third, make sure you can pay for it. Fourth, don’t go it alone; seek the advice of your consistory/session/board and listen to them. Fifth, if you come to WSC get ready for some of the most grueling yet rewarding years of your life.