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Contributor: VFT


A Pastor’s Reflections: Till the Bitter End?

VFT
My parents always taught me to finish what I start, and this is general advice that I’ve always tried to follow. Sometimes, however, trying to follow this advice can be difficult when reading a bad book. No matter what, if I start a book I try my best to finish…
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A Pastor’s Reflections: Beale and Carson

VFT
I regularly get asked about recommended resources for sermon preparation. There is quite obviously an ocean of books out there, so I can’t possibly know which books are the absolute best. I can, however, say which books I’ve personally found extremely useful. In my own studies I have found D.…
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A Pastor’s Reflections: Ask Why

VFT
Over the last several years I have tried to ask more questions about my life. In particular, I am trying to ask the question, Why?, more frequently. There are so many things in life that we take for granted and do without question. How many people, for example, celebrate Easter…
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A Pastor’s Reflections: Building Your Library

VFT
What the well-equipped workshop is to the wood craftsman, the well-stocked theological library is to the minister. Having a good library is one of the most important resources you can have in your ministry. If you happen to live near a major university or seminary, then you have a tremendous…
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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: Manuscript, Notes, or No Notes?

VFT
When you study for the ministry you will take a number of preaching classes as a part of the Master of Divinity curriculum. One of the inevitabilities is that students end up reflecting the preaching style and conviction of their professor. Someone once commented to me that they could tell…
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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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