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Category – Practical Studies


The Members of the Church

Julius J. Kim
According to one dictionary, an oxymoron is defined as “a combination of contradictory or incongruous words,” like the phrase “cruel kindness” or “sweet sorrow.” Is the phrase “churchless Christian” an oxymoron? Though the Bible does not have one specific verse that states unequivocally that church membership is required for all…
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A Pastor’s Reflections: Sanity in the Swarm of Gnats

VFT
In my college days, I used to play in my church’s softball league. I had a lot of fun playing softball with my fellow teammates. In fact, I played in the fall, spring, and summer leagues—almost year-round. But my least favorite season to play was summer. It wasn’t the hot,…
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A Pastor’s Reflections: Now Thank We All Our God

VFT
One of the things my family does each Thanksgiving is, before we partake of our meal, we sing the first verse of the hymn, “Now Thank We All Our God,” which states: Now Thank we all our God with heart and hands and voices, who wondrous things has done, in…
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A Pastor’s Reflections: The Dangers of Bitterness

VFT
One of the biggest dangers in the pastorate is growing bitter towards your church. Ministry can wear on you very quickly. Whenever I’ve heard a pastor tell me that they’ve served for twenty or thirty years, I always comment that I’m impressed. Why? Because years in the pastorate are dog…
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A Pastor’s Reflections: Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde

VFT
The famous nineteenth-century novel The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde tells the story of Dr. Jekyll who would transform into the evil Mr. Hyde. Even though the novel was an early foray into science fiction, the book captures an aspect of sin-fallen condition. People carry sinful tendencies…
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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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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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