Pastoral Theology

Wandering eyes are bad harbinger in Scripture. From the opening chapters of Genesis, when Eve looked at the tree and saw that it was good for food and “a delight to the eyes,” humanity’s false reliance on sight is a consistent theme. From Lot to David, whenever an individual sees that something...
I hope that you’ve read the previous four articles on the doctrines of grace: depravity, election, limited atonement, and irresistible grace. This 5 th installment may not make much sense to you if you haven’t. The reason for this is because this final doctrinal summation of Reformed thought is the...
Ramon Llull – The First Missionary to the Muslim World Eugene Stock, 19 th -century editorial secretary of the Church Missionary Society, called him “the first and perhaps the greatest missionary to the Mohammedans,” adding that “there is no more heroic figure in the history of Christendom.” [1] If...
Solomon, in wanting his son to pursue and know wisdom, instructs him to “consider the ant” (Proverbs 6:6). The command is to observe and learn the ways of this small but impressive creature. What impressive wisdom does the ant teach us? Diligent. Hard. work. In short, the ant is productive. And...
There I was: Already running late for an appointment and stuck in traffic behind a line of cars behind a horse and buggy. In my frustration, I thought to honk my horn at the primitive horse-drawn carriage but was stopped when I remembered the all-important truth: God is sovereign. What I perceived...
Reformation Day is drawing near. It provides an annual opportunity for Protestant churches worldwide to fulfil the exhortation of the letter to the Hebrews: ‘Remember your leaders’ (He 13.7). It reminds us that, without in any way falling into the sin of venerating mere men, it is good for us to...
Learning about the battle between popes and civil authorities in medieval Europe feels a bit like an episode of Oprah’s show: “You get excommunicated; you get excommunicated; everyone gets excommunicated.” Of course it famously culminated in Henry VIII finally not going along with the program and...
Back in 1959 a short book appeared under the title The Loneliness of the Long-Distance Runner . It was the fictional account of a troubled teenager who took up running to deal with his inner troubles and it was later turned into a movie under the same title. I have often wondered if there might be...
Church was never intended to be the spiritual equivalent of a spectator sport. Yet, somehow, this is how it has come to be treated, not only by many Christians; but by their pastors as well. Those who serve as ministers of Christ can easily approach their calling as though it is their job to please...
It is said that when Martin Luther heard of his father’s death he took his Psalter and retreated to his room and was not seen the rest of the day. This news came to the great German while he was at the Castle Coburg during the Diet of Augsburg. We may wonder what such a great man did in the...

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