A while back I bumped into somebody who mentioned that he was 'talking to my people' to arrange for me to come and speak at his church. Somewhat puzzled, I asked him who 'my people' were. Equally puzzled, he responded that they were the people he contacted to arrange for me to etc. etc. I then explained that I had had a series of assistants when Vice President at Westminster (beginning with the inestimable Mrs. Peel, pictured left) who helped me be in the right place at the right time with regard to Seminary business and even remembered such things as my cell phone number for me. Having relinquished my administrative position, however, I had also relinquished that advantage in life. Finally, the penny dropped: the gentleman realized that the person responding to emails sent to the account which bears my name was none other than the person whose name was on said account: me, myself and I. Yes, if you email me and I respond, it is me. Then again, if you email me and I do not, please be assured that it is me who is ignoring you.
Last week I was having breakfast with a friend who works in the publishing industry. He commented on the fact that now, when his company asks someone to speak at a conference, they almost always have to pay for the person to bring along a personal assistant. At the upper levels of reformed evangelicalism, we are now dealing with (as Babs once sang) people who have people, the luckiest -- or shall we say 'providentially blessed' -- people in the world. And, of course, so many of the key authors now have personal literary agents -- though I cannot resist noting that, in a deceptive twist of adjectival language, it typically seems to be the least literary Christian authors who often require the services of the same. Market forces are wonderful upholders of standards, are they not?
Makes me wonder: even if you are naive enough to think I am wrong on celebrity reformed evangelicalism, are the leaders of the same perhaps taking themselves just a tad too seriously, with all those self-named ministries, agents, personal assistants and assorted entourages?
Still, perhaps I am misreading the situation. Maybe I should get my people to talk to your people about that one. As for me, I have no army of people for I am my people -- or should that be 'person'? And when I travel, I'm just the man in a suitcase. And a pretty small one at that.