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Contributor: VFT


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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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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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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A Pastor’s Reflections: Crossing Lines

VFT
In my time as a pastor I regularly encountered people who were in dire straits—unemployed, homeless, struggling with addiction, and the like. I feel sorry for people when they suffer and always did what I could to render assistance. Our church always reserved funds, for example, to purchase people food…
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A Pastor’s Reflections: Cruciform Ministry and Joy

VFT
When Christians hear of the cruciform life they think that misery and sadness will mark their lives. All we have to do is read through the Bible and we quickly find the heart-wrenching cries of the saints. The psalmist’s tears, for example, often mark his prayers. Invoke the words like…
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A Pastor’s Reflections: Cruciform Ministry and Sacrifice

VFT
One of the more prominent words in the Scriptures is sacrifice. It appears throughout the Old Testament and in the instructions for the temple priestly service, but it also appears in the New Testament. Paul famously writes: “I appeal to you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present…
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A Pastor’s Reflections: Cruciform Ministry and False Accusations

VFT
As a pastor, you hope that people in your church will love, respect, and value your service to the church. This pattern marks, I believe, of the vast majority of the people in the church. At the same time, there will be some who dislike you and your ministry to…
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A Pastor’s Reflections: Cruciform Ministry and Narcissism

VFT
This is the first post in a four-part series on a cruciform ministry, a ministry shaped by the cross of Christ. This first post addresses the topic of narcissism, and in subsequent posts I address the topics of false accusations, sacrifice, and joy. Every culture and period of history presents…
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