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Category – The Christian life


A Pastor’s Reflections: Alone

VFT
One of my biggest frustrations in the pastorate is the sense of being alone. In some sense the old cliché applies, it’s lonely at the top. The pastor is not a celebrity who finds himself imprisoned by fame and fortune. Rather, I think the loneliness comes in the nature of…
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A Pastor’s Reflections: Reading Partners

VFT
One of my favorite books is Christianity and Liberalism by J. Gresham Machen. This is one of the twentieth-century’s great theological classics. It’s brief, to the point, and really packs a powerful punch. For books its size, it punches way above its weight-class. I suspect that many other Christians have…
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A Pastor’s Reflections: Serendipity

VFT
Serendipity is one of my favorite words for two reasons. First, it’s not a word you often hear people say and has a unique sound. Say serendipity ten times fast! Second, the word denotes a happy or fortuitous encounter. By fortuitous, I don’t mean that things happen by luck or…
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A Pastor’s Reflections: The Demonic in the Mundane

VFT
When we read the gospel accounts of Christ’s ministry one of the regular features we encounter is Christ’s interaction with demons. We read of demon possessed people, those oppressed by them, Jesus casting demons out of people, as well as Jesus speaking about them (see, e.g., Matt. 4:24, 7:22, 8:16,…
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A Pastor’s Reflections: The Dangers of Debt

VFT
I was in college when I ran across a rep from a credit card company. Money lenders are shrewd. They know that college students don’t always have the money they want or need, and so getting a young financially inexperienced college student to sign on the bottom line is a…
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A Pastor’s Reflections: The Dangers of Comfort

VFT
We definitely live in a time when people enjoy many creature comforts. I suppose it’s because I’m quickly aging, but I can remember a time when new cars were not automatically equipped with air conditioning. It was a luxury add-on. In fact, my first car didn’t come with air conditioning…
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A Pastor’s Reflections: Demon Possession and Mental Illness

VFT
I can remember sitting in church as a young teenager as my pastor posed a question about the possible links between demon possession and mental illness. His brother-in-law was a board certified psychiatrist and a professing Christian, which lead him to pose the following question: “What if I told you…
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A Pastor’s Reflections: Drowning in Bibles

VFT
I recently received a Christian bookstore catalog in the mail, and so I began to flip through its pages, naturally. One thing I noticed was how large the Bible section was. Among the many standard translations, KJV, NKJV, NIV, TNIV, NAS, CEB, ESV, RSV, NRSV, there was a glut of…
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A Pastor’s Reflections: The True Rock Stars

VFT
If I were to ask my students to give me a list of the top ten theological rock stars, I suspect I know who most of the names that would appear. In many respects, this is understandable. There are many gifted and talented ministers who have very public ministries and…
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A Pastor’s Reflections: Defining Success

VFT
We live in an age of celebrity where people become famous for merely being famous—they have little talent or significant skills. They have become adroit at taking selfies and giving people the impression that they’re someone to watch and emulate. Unfortunately the same type of pattern emerges in the church…
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