Pastoral Ministry

Born around the year 1509 in a small village on the southern coast of Finland, Agricola (originally Mikael Olavinpoika - “son of Olavi”) was able to receive a humanist education in Viipuri (or Vyborg, now in Russia), under Johannes Erasmi. It was there that he adopted the Latin name Agricola,...
The name Ebenezer Erskine is rarely remembered outside of Scotland. And yet, it was a well-known name in his day. Founder of the Secession Church and a strong voice in the Marrow Controversy, he was involved in many of the tosses and turns of the Scottish Kirk of his time and left a mark in those...
Today, Clement Read Vaughan (1827-1911) is remembered only occasionally for his comparison of faith to a bridge – an illustration used by many pastors. Not much is known about his life – mostly what Thomas Cary Johnson (1859-1936) recorded in his biography of the more famed Robert Lewis Dabney (...
17th-century Reformed theologian Petrus Van Mastricht wrote a comprehensive treatment of theoretical-practical theology. This extensive collection is gradually being made available in English by Todd Rester, lead translator of this massive work. The second volume, Faith in the Triune God, was...
Robert Spinney
Can a little sin really be all that bad?
How many times have you heard a missions conference speaker exhort everyone to fulfill the Great Commission by going overseas? I’ve heard that numerous times because I grew up in a Christian tradition that put a heavy emphasis on evangelism and “soul winning.” In fact, it was touted that the Summum...
Chad Vegas, founding pastor of Sovereign Grace Church in Bakersfield, CA, visits with Jonathan and James to talk about his journey from pragmatism to conviction. Chad gives us his background, and tells us who the Lord has used to change his ministry, and how God did so! Chad discusses his...
Considering what I would preach if I could only preach one sermon is an interesting and probing question, and yet, I think it would be fair to say that many pastors often do preach just one sermon. You know who they are, the pastor whose particular hobby horse always and inevitably arises in any...
Contemplating the question, “If you could preach only one sermon, what would it be?” the thought that keeps returning is, “Love God.” Perhaps this focus of proclamation comes to mind because our church’s men’s study is going through Jonathan Edwards’ Charity and Its Fruits based on 1 Corinthians 13...
A few weeks ago the session on which I serve was interviewing some young teenage girls for communicant membership in the church. When a child in the congregation I serve approaches me about making their profession of faith before the session I ask them two questions. First, I ask to hear their...