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Category – Practical Studies


A Pastor’s Reflections: Taking Notes

VFT
One of the biggest weekly challenges I face is getting my children to pay attention in church. My kids are probably no worse than any other. And, let me be clear, they are generally very well behaved in church. They sit quietly and participate in the worship service, although my…
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A Pastor’s Reflections: Funerals and Sinners

VFT
I was once asked to do a funeral for the grandmother of one of my younger church members. This young man told me that his grandmother was a believer, so I was a bit relieved. It’s difficult enough to do a funeral for a Christian, let alone an unbeliever who…
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A Pastor’s Reflections: Corporal Punishment and the Means of Grace

VFT
In the church many godly Christians have well-intended but nevertheless misguided notions about the doctrine of sanctification, especially when it comes to their children. During my pastorate I remember one occasion when I was teaching Sunday School and I explained that corporal punishment (spanking) was not a means of grace—it…
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A Pastor’s Reflections: Important Reading

J. V. Fesko
I can remember sitting in various classes in seminary (not WSC) and hearing all about the supposed composition of the Bible. Moses didn’t write the Pentateuch (the first five books of the Bible) but it was instead written by at least four different authors spread over several hundred years long…
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A Pastor’s Reflections: Playing with Fire

VFT
“If you play with fire, you’re bound to get burned,” is an adage that conveys both great wisdom and warning for would-be pyromaniacs. But the warning is equally apt for theologians in the church. Sometimes they find ideas that they believe are useful, especially in theological debate. But what they…
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A Pastor’s Reflections: Christianity and Islam—a View from the Past

VFT
One of the most pressing issues in our day is the growth of Islam. Some statistics claim that Islam is the fastest growing religion and that if current growth rates continue that Muslims will surpass the world’s Christian population by the end of the century. This is good reason for…
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A Pastor’s Reflections: When Friends Turn On You

VFT
John Calvin had many friends in his life, but some of his friendships did not stand the test of time and the stress of ministry. One friend in particular, Sebastian Castellio, embraced the Reformation and joined Calvin in Strasbourg to work alongside of him. Calvin made him a member of…
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A Pastor’s Reflections: The Gospel Comes with a House Key

VFT
We live in a day and age when activism of all kinds is on display on the internet, cable news broadcasts, and print media. The world’s mentality is, if you want to get something done, you have to protest, march, boycott, or do something to wield power and influence to…
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A Pastor’s Reflections: Pray before you Study

VFT
One of the casualties of the modern theological curriculum is the division of the different theological disciplines. In the nineteenth-century theologians created the fourfold division of theology: biblical studies, church history, theology, and practical theology. While there are undoubtedly other factors at play, such as the distancing of the theological…
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A Pastor’s Reflections: Intangibles

VFT
A retired football player recently made headlines when he was flummoxed by the fact that he was not nominated to the pro football hall of fame. On the one hand, the player has a point. He was one of the NFL’s top players and has the statistics to prove it.…
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