From the Editor: One of the distinctives, and to my mind beauties, of Presbyterian government is its view of church office. In this issue Alan Strange applies his knowledge of church history and takes up the question of the number of church offices in his article, “Do the Minister and the Elder Hold the Same Office?” Presbyterians up until the nineteenth-century have been uniform in distinguishing the three offices of minister of the Word, elder or governor, and deacon. While some in the OPC say that they hold to a two-office view, it is clear that their modification of the “two-office” label to “two and a half office” admits functionally to a distinct difference between what nineteenth-century theologian James Henley Thornwell would refer to as two orders within one office—hence teaching and ruling elders. With these differences in mind it is healthy for us to continue our conversation on this important doctrine. In the new year I hope to publish more on this topic.
Meanwhile, Robert Letham presents the third and final of his series of articles on “The Necessity of Preaching in the Modern World.” I recommend this as required reading for summer and year-long interns.
Don’t miss David Booth’s review of Sidney Greidanus’s Preaching Christ from Daniel. And our serious comedian, Eutychus II, is back with a curious take on a contemporary topic.
Finally, George Herbert offers an arresting poem “Christmas”.
Blessings in the Lamb,
Gregory Edward Reynolds
FROM THE ARCHIVES “CHURCH OFFICES”
Subject Index Vols 1–20
- “A Look at the Biblical Offices.” (G. I. Williamson) 1:2 (Apr. 1992): 30–37.
“How Many Offices Are There? Practical Concerns.” (Larry E. Wilson) 1:2 (Apr. 1992): 38.
“Ministry of the Word According to the Westminster Standards.” (Larry Wilson) 12:1 (Jan. 2003): 11–16.
“A Reader Asks: ‘Was it Appropriate for New Horizons to Advocate the Three-Office View?’ ” (Larry Wilson) 12:1 (Jan. 2003): 1–4.
“The Two- and Three-Office Issue Reconsidered.” (G. I. Williamson) 12:1 (Jan. 2003): 5–6.
“Why I Came to a Three‑Office View.” (Mark R. Brown) 4:1 (Jan. 1995): 17–19.
Ordained Servant exists to help encourage, inform, and equip church officers for faithful, effective, and God-glorifying ministry in the visible church of the Lord Jesus Christ. Its primary audience is ministers, elders, and deacons of the Orthodox Presbyterian Church, as well as interested officers from other Presbyterian and Reformed churches. Through high-quality editorials, articles, and book reviews we endeavor to stimulate clear thinking and the consistent practice of historic, confessional Presbyterianism.