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Archives for May 2015

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The Complexity of Pastoral Care

Pastoral care is exceedingly complex. In seminary, our professors taught us to labor to become discriminating preachers--that is, men who preach to different categories of hearers in the congregation. In any assembly it is fairly certain that there will be present hard-hearted hearers, spiritually mature believers, believers with wounded consciences, etc. Additionally, t...

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The Pastor and Social Media

A number of years ago, I was having a conversation with a friend who has a fairly substantial public ministry. We were discussing the issue of motives in ministry and the perception of opportunism among ministers. Knowing my own sinful heart and mixed motives within, I said to him, "I suppose it would simply be better not to use social media or to speak on conference cir...

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Pastoral Ministry and Spiritual Warfare

Pastoral ministry is unrelenting spiritual warfare. There was a time in Protestant history when an emphasis on spiritual warfare in the Christian life and in pastoral ministry was standard fare. Such works as Richard Gilpin's Daemonolgia Sacra, Thomas Brooks' Precious Remedies Against Satan's Devices, William Gurnall's The Christian in Complete Armor, John Bunyan's The ...

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The God of Typological Recapitulation

The Scriptures are full of typological recapitulations to help us better grasp the Person and work of Christ. The principle of theological recapitulation occurs by a series of creation-fall-redemption events. Many of these are set out in the first two books of the Bible to help lay the foundation for what would follow. It's only as we begin to understand how these ta...

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Jonathan Edwards' Preferred Method of Delivery In Preaching

If you have spent any amount of time reading books or articles, or listening to lectures, about the ministry of the great Jonathan Edwards, you have, no doubt, come across the idea that he unswervingly stuck to reading a manuscript when he preached and that he kept his eyes fixed on the back wall of the worship room whenever he might take them off of the manuscript. T...

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The Real Miracle

A friend recently said to me, "I don't deserve the life I have. Years ago I was wandering from God out in the far country and He saved me; He gave me a wife that I don't deserve, children that I don't deserve, a biblically faithful church and is now giving me opportunities to be used in His church. People are always talking about miracles, but this is the real miracl...

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Dividends and Drawbacks of Small Groups

The term "small group" (or its many variations) carries almost as much baggage as the word "missional." It means many different things to different people. Some envision small groups to be places of meals, sharing and service, while others see them as places of discipleship and spiritual growth. In his book, Outgrowing the Ingrown Church, Jack Miller explained that ther...

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