News Concerning Tenth Presbyterian Church

The Rev. Dr. Phillip Graham Ryken will be leaving Tenth Presbyterian Church to take up duties as the next President of Wheaton College.

I have to admit I was stunned by this news. I had hoped he would stay at Tenth for another 20 years and give us volume after volume of expository sermons. He might still be able to do that, I don’t know. Certainly Wheaton College has made a wise choice. And I can certainly see how appealing the position would be for Phil, especially since he would be able to be near his father. But I am concerned for Tenth. Where will they find another expository preacher of Phil’s caliber? I sat under his preaching for 4 years and was blessed every Sunday by the gifts God has given him. Tenth’s sore loss is certainly Wheaton’s great gain.



  1. Keedai Kim said,

    February 21, 2010 at 2:57 pm

    I understand your concern because you attended 10th. But as an alum I am excited for Wheaton and all the more because I know the caliber of Dr. Ryken having attended Westminster. Wheaton has made a sharp right turn after years of trouble and I am glad.

  2. February 21, 2010 at 3:05 pm

    Wow, that is surprising. When we’re canceled for snow down here in NoVA, we catch his service up at 10th on streaming video. I’m sorry to see him move out of the pulpit. I will miss him, but Wheaton sure received a great blessing.

  3. Ron Henzel said,

    February 21, 2010 at 4:23 pm

    I worked at Wheaton for six years. They kept Dr. Litfin pretty busy during that time with a capital campaign, and the school may be gearing up for another one. It’s a huge job. I believe the days when a Christian college president had time to produce a regular sermon are probably long gone. But perhaps Phil Ryken will prove me wrong.

  4. February 21, 2010 at 6:04 pm

    With the greatest respect, Lane, Tenth will not replace Dr Ryken with another Dr Ryken. You wrote:

    “Where will they find another expository preacher of Phil’s caliber?”

    They might find someone better. We must be careful as much as we love great servants of God, not to place them on pedestals.

  5. February 21, 2010 at 10:03 pm

    I was sort of stunned, as well. I wonder why he decided to give up the pulpit at 10th? The main job of a college president is to beat the bushes for money for the school. He gave up the preaching of the wonderful Word of God for that? If God has called a man to preach, isn’t that what he should be doing?

  6. Wayne Sparkman said,

    February 22, 2010 at 7:53 am


    Why people do things? The reasons can be deceptively simple. It might be as simple as his wanting to be near his father in his declining years.

  7. Gage Browning said,

    February 23, 2010 at 9:06 am

    Years ago I suspect they said that Dr. Barnhouse wouldn’t be replaced…then along came Dr. Boice….they said he was irreplaceable..and he was indeed, but Dr. Ryken came along and he will be hard to replace as well… 10th does a fairly good job of finding the right man it seems to me.

  8. GLW Johnson said,

    February 23, 2010 at 12:32 pm

    An inside source at 10th told me you are on the short list

  9. Reformed Sinner said,

    February 23, 2010 at 9:22 pm

    Hi, a friend of mine, who attends 10th, broke the news to me as well. I am very happy for Wheaton. Wheaton lost a great NT scholar (G. Beale) to WTS, it’s only fair they get one back from Philly…. :)

    Anyway, to encourage the flock at 10th, a very wise and old Christian man once told me, God removes giants of the faith from us so we can stand taller, the problem with being with a giant too long is we stand on their shoulders so much that we forgot how to walk. Take that for what it is.

  10. Steven Carr said,

    February 23, 2010 at 9:29 pm

    Tenth should give Rev. Keister a call. I’m just sayin’…

  11. TE Stephen Welch said,

    February 24, 2010 at 8:35 am

    I thought Wes White or Gary Johnson would be a good choice. I may suggest their names to the pulpit committee.

  12. February 24, 2010 at 11:25 am

    Dr. Ryken’s SermonAudio podcast was one of my favorites to follow. That I will certainly miss. Haven’t been to WTS, haven’t been exposed to his ministry in person, but am affected by the loss just the same. I too was looking forward to years of fruitful ministry and scholarship coming from his pen as Tenth’s pastor. I just hope he keeps feeding chapel service messages to his SermonAudio podcast!

    BTW, Gage would be a great choice. I love teasing him about becoming a preacher too. I’d suggest his dad, Dr. Thomas R. Browning (, but I’d hate to see him leave the Dallas/Ft. Worth Metroplex. We need great Reformed preaching down here, too, you know! Besides, Tom’s waaay too East Texas for all them Yankees up there, anyway! :-)

  13. Gage Browning said,

    February 24, 2010 at 11:53 am

    GLW…thanks I guess…? While I am looking for employment, the Pastorate is not in my sights, but if you know of a good outside sales job/or sales management role, I’m all ears.

  14. Dean B said,

    February 24, 2010 at 12:19 pm

    Does Dr. Chad Van Dixhoorn have any desire to become a senior pastor?

  15. GLW Johnson said,

    February 24, 2010 at 5:19 pm

    They could do a lot worst.

  16. Sam Rico said,

    February 25, 2010 at 11:31 am

    At a recent Presbytery meeting up north, an elder under question was defending his supposed view of holding to apostasy and his potential sympathies with the Federal Vision (FV). Those accused of being FV, or those loosely associated with FV, are reputed to hold some form of teaching apostasy. The elder under scrutiny, justified his stance by quoting a passage in Numbers where the LORD pardons the iniquities of the Israelites. The elder than added how the Bible states that that generation perished in the wilderness account of their unbelief. True, the Israelites did perish. No doubt a difficult tension, and I applaud this elder for bringing it to light and attempting to teach it. The tension is this: the Lord pardoned Israel’s sins, but that generation perished from unbelief. So, were the Israelites forgiven or were they unbelievers?

    Tension and paradox abound in Scripture. The above elder claims to just teach the Scripture, and does not intend to affirm apostasy. What he appears to teach, however, is this: a forgiven believer can perish from unbelief. When questioned his caveat is this: “I am just teaching the text.”

    In the PCA we hold to a creed, the Westminster Confession of Faith. Although the WFC is a compromise between a variety of denominations in the 17th century on certain points of doctrine, it clearly teaches perseverance of the saints and rejects apostasy. Thus, the onus is on any teaching elder in the PCA, who teaches such things as pardoned Israelites falling away from unbelief, to explain how their interpretation of the WFC and Scripture jive. And no teaching elder in the PCA can take the high ground by saying, “Well, this is my view of Scripture”; for, as teaching elders, we have vowed that the WFC is our interpretation of Scripture.

  17. Sam Rico said,

    February 25, 2010 at 11:38 am

    Sorry, I missed posted the above on this topic.

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