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Category – The Christian life


A Pastor’s Reflections: Hollywood and Christianity

VFT
The other day I was watching a show that, surprisingly, made reference to “Dutch Calvinism.” To say the least, I was shocked because ordinarily reference to Christianity is dominated by either a generic evangelicalism, which at times mirrors spiritual mysticism more than biblical Christianity, or Roman Catholicism, which is one…
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A Pastor’s Reflections: What They Don’t Teach You in Seminary

VFT
One of the regular complaints I hear from graduates is that they believe their seminary education did not adequately prepare them for the various counseling challenges they face in the pastorate. On the one hand, I can understand this sentiment. You spend thousands of dollars, countless hours in class, read…
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A Pastor’s Reflections: Is Your Wife On Board?

VFT
I served on a presbytery credentials committee for nearly a decade. The credentials committee has the task of vetting candidates for the ministry. One of the regular questions that we asked prospective candidates was, “Is your wife in agreement with your desire to pursue the ministry?” Such a question might…
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A Pastor’s Reflections: Like a Marriage

VFT
It seems like far too many people treat relationships of all sorts as being disposable. As soon as they hit a rough patch of any sort they decide to pull up stakes, move on, and find a new relationship. This is especially the case, I believe, when it comes to…
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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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