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Archive – 2017


Theology for the Sake of the Church

David M. VanDrunen
Westminster Seminary California often advertises itself as providing an academically rigorous theological education. That is truth in advertising. The seminary requires extensive study of Hebrew and Greek, careful exegesis of biblical texts, research papers on theological topics, and many other academic exercises. But WSC also claims to pursue its mission…
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A Pastor’s Reflections: License to Sin?

VFT
One of the more common patterns that appears in the church is when people find themselves in the midst of suffering, they believe they have a license to sin. Sometimes they do this consciously, although at times it might be an involuntary reaction. For example, a person might be deprived…
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The Church in the Old Testament

Joshua J. Van Ee
One of the classes taught at Westminster Seminary California is titled "Ancient Church." It covers the history of the church after New Testament times until the Medieval period. I have sometimes joked that it is really misnamed. We should call it the "Somewhat Old Church" because I teach about the…
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A Pastor’s Reflections: Considering a Call

VFT
What things should you consider when you’re considering taking a call? Some seminarians don’t think much about it and are willing to serve wherever they can get a church, but others have very specific criteria including the type of church, geographic location, and even the specific role they want to…
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The Spirituality of the Church

Bryan D. Estelle
Years ago Dr. Machen, the founder of Westminster Seminary wrote in his customary exquisite prose: You cannot expect from a true Christian church an official pronouncement upon the political and social questions of the day, and you cannot expect cooperation with the state in anything involving the use of force.…
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A Pastor’s Reflections: Why I Write, part 2

J. V. Fesko
In last week's post I gave the first four reasons why I write: to be a good steward, to improve my communication skills, to improve my teaching, and to make helpful contributions to the church's ongoing discussion of doctrine. In this week's post, I conclude with the final three reasons.…
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A Pastor’s Reflections: Why I Write, part 1

J. V. Fesko
Over the years I have had a number of people ask me why do I write theology books and essays, so I figured I’d do the expected thing and write an answer! I don’t know why other people write, but I have my own reasons. First, it’s a gift from…
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A Pastor’s Reflections: Frozen Chosen?

VFT
Reformed churches have a long-standing reputation for being the “frozen chosen.” There are a number of historic factors that contribute to this well-known but mistaken characterization including a concern for the purity of doctrine, worship practices that are fitting for the majesty and holiness of the God we worship, and…
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A Pastor’s Reflections: Eschatological Bombs

VFT
When new seminarians first begin their theological education I suspect they are overwhelmed with the tidal wave of new terminology that comes their way. Terms like eschatological, supralapsarian, kenotic christology, hapax legomenon, merism, and the like come flooding in and incites fear in the most intellectually stout-hearted students. In fact,…
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Justification and Pastoral Ministry

Dennis E. Johnson
Dennis E. Johnson Professor of Practical Theology The biblical truth of justification—that God declares guilty lawbreakers forgiven and right in his sight by his grace alone, on the ground of Jesus’ blood and righteousness alone, as they trust Christ alone—has enormous ramifications for pastoral ministry. Martin Luther’s spiritual anguish, his…
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