Category Archives: Pastoral Theology

True Shepherds in a Time of Plague

In 1665 Bubonic Plague, the “Black Death” as it was called at the time, broke out in the city of London, and thousands died. Almost immediately, the royalty left the city, followed quickly by the rich, and then as one … Continue reading

Posted in Charity, Encouragement, History, Pastoral Theology, The Puritans | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

An Open Reply to Jemar Tisby and “The Downside of Integration for Black Christians”

Dear Jemar, I recently read your article entitled, “The Downside of Integration for Black Christians” which was posted on the RAAN Network on August 21, 2017 and I’d really like to engage you more on this particular subject. All too … Continue reading

Posted in Ecclesiology, Liberation Theology, Pastoral Theology, PCA, Politics and The Civil Magistate, Race & Ethnicity, The Spirituality of the Church | Tagged , , , , , , | 11 Comments

Teaching Children About Perversion from the Pulpit

The other day after watching the news, my nine year old daughter asked me what “pre-operative transgender children” were. I seriously doubt that the conversation that resulted would have been necessary twenty years ago, but how many of us, 20 … Continue reading

Posted in Children, Christian Education, Compromise, Divorce, Ethics, Homosexual Marriage, Homosexuality, Liberalism, Marriage, Pastoral Theology, PCA | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

7 Reasons Christians Should STAY On Facebook

I read a lot of messages encouraging people to leave Facebook (and other social networks) these days and in partial answer to those calls, I wanted to outline 7 Reasons I believe Christians should STAY on Facebook. I hope this … Continue reading

Posted in Encouragement, Evangelism and Church Growth, Friendship, Pastoral Theology, Prayer, Social Networking | Tagged , , , , , , | 6 Comments

Why Do Pastors Get Depressed?

The faithful preacher lives a life filled with melancholy – one cannot read the writings of Jeremiah or Paul, or the biographies of men like Luther and Calvin and Edwards and not recognize that they were often struggling with Depression. … Continue reading

Posted in Pastoral Theology | Tagged , , | 3 Comments

Samuel Miller’s Pastoral Theology

My own first contact with Samuel Miller, Old Princeton’s Professor of Ecclesiastical History and Church Government, came many years ago when I read an essay that had a quote from his “Presbyterianism The Truly Primitive and Apostolical Constitution of the … Continue reading

Posted in Church Planting, Ecclesiology, History, Officer Training, Old School Presbyterian Churches, Ordination, Pastoral Theology, Pastoral Visitation, Seminary Education, Spiritual Declension, Spiritual Gifts, Worship | Tagged , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Charles Haddon Spurgeon on How Ministers Should Dress

The question is often raised about how Reformed ministers should dress in the pulpit. We have “Missional” pastors who will spend a fortune to affect a carefully arranged “grunge preacher” look, and then we have “high-church” reverends who prefer to look … Continue reading

Posted in Pastoral Theology | Tagged , , | 1 Comment

Common Problems In Modern Preaching

Since my conversion in 1993, I’ve listened to a lot of sermons, ancient and modern, reformed and non-reformed, and I’ve noticed that every age in the church has had its own persistent problems in preaching – for instance ancient sermons … Continue reading

Posted in Evangelism and Church Growth, Old School Presbyterian Churches, Pastoral Theology, Preaching, The Means of Grace | Tagged | 23 Comments

The Deceiver’s Top Ten Tips For Making Sure You and Your Family Have a Miserable And Fruitless Experience in Church this Sunday

If you’ve been a Christian for any period of time at all, you may have noticed that the more time you spend in church, the harder it is to fit in and feel comfortable with non-believers or to really enjoy … Continue reading

Posted in Apostasy, Compromise, Old School Presbyterian Churches, Pastoral Theology, Piety, Sanctification, Spiritual Declension, The Means of Grace, The Sabbath, Virtual Church, Worship | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , | 8 Comments

A Reflection on the Superbowl…

“The attachment many Americans now have to sports teams far exceeds attachment to religious faith—any religious faith.” – Al Mohler Driving home from church on Sunday Night was eerie, it was a huge contrast to the heavy traffic we normally … Continue reading

Posted in Compromise, Pastoral Theology, Sports, The Sabbath, Theological Declension | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

The Self Promoting Pastor – “If Angels Could Weep, It Would Be At Folly Like This”

John Brown of Edinburgh (1784-1853) offers the following sound advice to pastors in his commentary on Galatians. It seems particularly apt in our age of celebrity pastors and evangelists: “Egotism, or a disposition to bring forward a person’s self, is … Continue reading

Posted in Pastoral Theology, Preaching | Tagged , , , | 2 Comments

A Tip For Pastors – Sometimes Your Best Resource is a Motel Owner

 If you’re like me, you get many calls from people seeking assistance. Sometimes they are looking for food, money, rides, or help paying for rent and electricity. The hardest part of this process is is figuring out if you are … Continue reading

Posted in Charity, Deacons, Pastoral Theology | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

‎8 Pieces of Advice for Christians Who are Considering Moving

1) Have an eternal perspective when it comes to moving. Follow the example of the Apostolic church and put prayer, preaching, and the fellowship of the saints ahead of career and possessions. That means always being part of a church … Continue reading

Posted in Children, Marriage, Pastoral Theology, Piety, The Means of Grace | Tagged , , , , , , | 5 Comments

The Problem with Problems

I wrote the following 11 points a while back as reminders to myself. I meant them to be applied to my own pastoral ministry, but they strike me as equally applicable to everyone: When your ministry (or life) is full … Continue reading

Posted in Encouragement, Pastoral Theology, Piety, Reflections | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Can Reformed Baptists Join Old School Presbyterian Churches?

It is almost inevitable that Old School Presbyterian (OSP) church planters will have people from differing theological backgrounds visiting their congregations, and some of the most common visitors will be Reformed Baptists. Obviously having Reformed Baptists (RBs) visit your congregation … Continue reading

Posted in Baptism, Children, Church Planting, Old School Presbyterian Churches, Pastoral Theology, Reformed Baptists, Sacraments | 16 Comments

“Building an Old School Church” Conference (10/17/09)

On Saturday, October 17th Providence PCA in Fayetteville, NC will be hosting a one day conference entitled  “Building an Old School Church”. In an age when many churches seek to mimic the culture as closely as possible, Old School Presbyterian … Continue reading

Posted in Church Planting, Conferences, Evangelism and Church Growth, Officer Training, Old School Presbyterian Churches, Pastoral Theology, Pastoral Visitation | 5 Comments

Recommended Reading “What is Biblical Preaching?” by Eric Alexander

Pastors are sometimes more reticent than reporters when it comes to revealing their sources. But I’ll go ahead and and let you know that I first encountered EM Bound’s advice regarding the link between the pastor’s piety and the power … Continue reading

Posted in Old School Presbyterian Churches, Pastoral Theology, Prayer, Preaching, The Means of Grace | 7 Comments

E.M. Bounds on the Kind of Man Preachers Need to Be

It was Robert Murray M’Cheyne who penned the immortal lines “It is not great talents God blesses so much as great likeness to Jesus. A holy minister is an awful weapon in the hand of God.” That sentiment remains just … Continue reading

Posted in Old School Presbyterian Churches, Pastoral Theology, Piety, Prayer, Preaching | 11 Comments

Advice to Old School Teachers and Pastors – Be Clear!

Should the teaching of a minister of the Lord Jesus Christ be clear and easy to understand or difficult and inscrutable to fathom? Should understanding his teaching require that one have at the very least a post-graduate degree and copious … Continue reading

Posted in Old School Presbyterian Churches, Pastoral Theology | 8 Comments

Coming Next Year: BOSC Church Planting Conference!

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ, For some time now, I’ve wanted to put together a conference specifically aimed at planting and building Old School Presbyterian Churches and it looks like we will finally be able to host such a … Continue reading

Posted in Church Planting, Conferences, Evangelism and Church Growth, Old School Presbyterian Churches, Pastoral Theology | 3 Comments

J.I. Packer on Puritan Preaching

Over the next few months it’s my intention (D.V.) to post links to helpful audio resources on the subject of Pastoral ministry. I’d like to start by posting a link to an amazingly helpful lecture by J.I. Packer on preaching … Continue reading

Posted in Audio, Old School Presbyterian Churches, Pastoral Theology, Preaching, The Puritans | 2 Comments

The Loneliness of the Old School Pastor

Those of you who are pastors or elders of old school conviction may already be very familiar with the experience of ministerial loneliness. This is not a loneliness that comes because of a lack of friends or family, but rather … Continue reading

Posted in Encouragement, Old School Presbyterian Churches, Pastoral Theology | 8 Comments

“Thoughts on Ministerial Education and Preparation” by Dr. C.N. Willborn

Intro: A little while ago, I asked Dr. Nick Willborn of Greenville Presbyterian Theological Seminary (GPTS) if he would mind writing something for the Building Old School Churches Blog on the critical subject of Theological education. He graciously consented to … Continue reading

Posted in Old School Presbyterian Churches, Pastoral Theology, Seminary Education | 4 Comments

On Deciding Whether A Child is Ready to Receive the Lord’s Supper

One of the responsibilities of sessions is determining whether a non-communing child is now ready to receive the Lord’s Supper. Over the years, it has become the custom in many Reformed churches, even Old School Presbyterian (OSP) ones, to assume … Continue reading

Posted in Children, Ecclesiology, Pastoral Theology, Sacraments, The Means of Grace | 8 Comments

Mark Dever Asks a Good Question

If you aren’t familiar with Pastor Mark Dever’s “Nine Marks” organization, you should be. Nine Marks exists to: “cultivate and encourage churches characterized by these nine marks: Expositional Preaching, Biblical Theology, Biblical Understanding of the Good News, Biblical Understanding of … Continue reading

Posted in Ecclesiology, Pastoral Theology | 2 Comments

Westminster Shorter Catechism Audio Online

I want to recommend a wonderful resource being made available by Immanuel Presbyterian Church, an Old School Presbyterian congregation in Norfolk, VA. Immanuel is making the entire Westminster Shorter Catechism available for download in high quality MP3 format. While this … Continue reading

Posted in Catechizing, Old School Presbyterian Churches, Pastoral Theology | 4 Comments

Ancient Answers to Modern Church Problems

In First Corinthians the apostle Paul wrote what was probably one of the most difficult letters of his life, he was writing to a church that was in crisis, in every sense. There was no unity and mutual love in … Continue reading

Posted in Old School Presbyterian Churches, Pastoral Theology | 1 Comment

What Makes a Good Elder

If you aren’t familiar with John Piper, you really should be. Piper is a Baptist Pastor, and Reformed, and he has written some amazingly insightful books. He has quite an ability to draw out and write on the experiential or … Continue reading

Posted in Ecclesiology, Old School Presbyterian Churches, Pastoral Theology | 3 Comments

A Word of Encouragement for Dejected Pastors

In 1660 Charles the Second was restored to the throne of England, and the Puritan revolution in England came to a decisive end. Two years later in 1662 the act of uniformity was passed requiring that all the ministers of … Continue reading

Posted in Church Planting, Encouragement, Old School Presbyterian Churches, Pastoral Theology | 1 Comment

On Pastoral Visitation

On Pastoral Visitation “And when they had come to him, he said to them: ‘You know, from the first day that I came to Asia, in what manner I always lived among you, serving the Lord with all humility, with … Continue reading

Posted in Old School Presbyterian Churches, Pastoral Theology, Pastoral Visitation | 7 Comments