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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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A Pastor’s Reflections: Divine Pruning

VFT
I can remember that over the course of 24 months I had more than ten families tell me that they were re-locating due to job transfers. When I received the first intimations of these moves, I thought, “Well, that’s ok. God willing we can find some other families to fill…
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A Pastor’s Reflections: Dealing with Burnout

VFT
I regularly run across statistics that say that thousands of pastors each year leave the ministry and cite burn out as a chief reason. While some have challenged the accuracy of these statistics, it doesn’t change the fact that burn out is a real problem for many pastors. They graduate…
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