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Contributor: VFT


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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A Pastor’s Reflections: Retiring from the Game

VFT
One of the more difficult questions to answer in a pastor’s life is determining when it’s time to retire from ministry. When should a pastor retire? This is a tough question for a number of reasons, but mostly because it all depends on a number of circumstances. Thus, there is…
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A Pastor’s Reflections: Hanging Up Your Cleats

VFT
What do you do when you find yourself at the crossroads of life and there are no signposts? What happens when you lose your pastoral call and you think you should change vocations? Or what happens if you graduate from seminary and after a number of years you still haven’t…
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A Pastor’s Reflections: Getting Benched

VFT
Over the years I have watched a number of colleagues lose their pastorates for various reasons. This can be a very discouraging turn of events to say the least. What do you do when you’ve spent four years in college, three or four years in seminary, spent ten years in…
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