Author: Joe Holland

Be Snarky and Do Not Sin

What is Snark? Snark is one of those words that has been thrown around a bit on the interwebs. Don’t know what snark is? Don’t fear, the Shorter Oxford English Dictionary provides this definition: snark– 1. Snore, snort. 2. Find fault with. snarky– Irritable, short tempered. It has become a strange word in popular jargon resting somewhere between derogatory and cool. It is a high-brow put down and the rebellious English major’s calling card. It can be cutting but not enough to be rude. It can cull an audience on a blog’s comment stream and it can alienate you...

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Tips for Examinations and Assessments – Spelling and Grammar

Tips for Examinations and Assessments I’ve have the privilege of serving with two groups of folks who regularly assess men for ordination and church planting. I’m a member of my presbytery’s Leadership and Development Committee and I serve The Acts 29 Church Planting Network as a church planter assessor. I’ve also been run through examinations myself that include ordination in PCA, transfer into the Blue Ridge Presbytery, church planter assessment with Mission to North America, and church planter assessment with Acts 29. Several other men who write for Vintage 73 share similar experiences both in assessing and being assessed....

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3 Ways to Glorify God in Corporate Worship

The end of public worship is the glory of God. His people should engage in all its several parts with an eye single to His glory. Public worship has as its aim the building of Christ’s Church by the perfecting of the saints and the addition to its membership of such as are being saved – all to the glory of God. Through public worship on the Lord’s day Christians should learn to serve God all the days of the week in their every activity, remembering, whether they eat or drink, or whatever they do, to do all to the glory of God (1 Corinthians 10:31).[1] Is God’s Glory Enough? Every Reformed man worth his salt will say “Yes, of course.” God’s glory, the all consuming expression of his holiness toward his creation is enough, more than enough, for whatever you’re looking for. But it is not enough to simply say it. SDG[2] is a nice three word abbreviation but if left at an abbreviation it becomes a trite saying, robbing the thing to which it points of its original power an majesty. God’s glory demands fleshing out. It demands description, prayer, endless study, and constant preaching. The Application to Worship The same is true when it comes to worship. What is the aim of worship? God’s glory, of course! But how we work out those God glorifying aspects...

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Can Pastors Have Real Friends?

Isolation is the pastor’s enemy.  And it’s the enemy to the pastor’s family. Dark times, sometimes long and painful, are as regular to guy in the pew as they are to the guy in pulpit.  The big difference is that the guy in the pew has real friends.  The pastor typically doesn’t. Should I Make Close Friends in My Congregation? That’s a big question.  If you tell Joe-shmo and Nancy-do-good that you and your wife are having a rough time in your marriage what is going to happen?  Will they ask gospel questions and pray for you?  Or will they announce on Facebook that you’re marriage is falling apart and form a search committee?  You’d laugh at that suggestion but is it really that far from the truth? You know what you want from your congregation.  You want them to have real relationships with real people centered on the real gospel of the real Jesus.  And you know it’s your job, pastor, to model it for them. You can’t escape the fact that you need real relationships.  It’s the actually doing it that is hard. There is no doubt that mess and conflict will come.  There is no doubt that people will fail you and that you will fail people. But isn’t that what the gospel is for? I’d love to hear from you.  Is this crazy talk?  An...

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Hobnobbing, Snubbing, or Blissfully Ignorant

I was pleased to see our own prodigious church planter Sam Desocio write a little something about being ecumenical over at his blog. He summarizes the problem, Add to this the postmodern view of personal truth and we seem to have come upon quite a challenge for the people of God.  On a continental level this leaves us glad-handing with other Christians, while crossing our fingers as they speak about unity. On a local level it leaves many Christians one or two topics away from yet again moving churches. People talk about the American church, but at what point do we reach a critical turn where the universal nature of the church is so neglected that it becomes almost impossible to interact with any group larger than a few dozen. Is Protestant ecumenism little more than the admittance that other traditions might be part of the True Church? This is a topic that every minister has to address.  So I’m curious what you, our Vintage 73 readers, have done to foster ecumenical relationships in your towns and cities. Are you a part of a minister’s association?  Why or why not? With whom would you do a pulpit swap? Do you participate in community wide “religious” services or events? Are there any cross-denominational friendships that you prize?...

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About Vintage 73

Vintage73 is a collaborative blog focusing on the culture and values of the Presbyterian Church in America (PCA). The site was born out of a desire for honest and charitable discussion within and about the PCA.

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