Author Name Kirk, Kenneth E
Title Apostolic Ministry Essays on the History & Doctrine of Episcopacy Episcopal Kirk
Book Condition Used: Good
Edition 2nd Edition
Size Standard Hardcover
Publisher Hodder & Stoughton 1947-01-01
Seller ID 121210002
This hardcover book is the SECOND PRINTING of the FIRST EDITION that was published in 1947 by Hodder & Stoughton with 589 pages. The text contains about 120 pages with scattered underlining and notes/notations in the margin in pen. The binding is loosening because the hinges are cracking. The pages are toned. The spine panel is moderately sunned. The corners are bumped and the tips are rubbed through. No dust jacket. Previous owners name present. Excerpt from the Foreward:.....FEW thoughtful Christians would deny that the happiest ecclesiastical development of the last half-century has been the growing desire for unity between the different groups into which the followers of Christ find themselves divided. As plans and conferences with unity for their goal have progressively cleared the issues involved, it has become generally recognized that the crux of the whole matter is the doctrine of the ministry. Is the ministry 'from above' or 'from below'? Is it a gift to the Church from her Founder and Saviour, or an expedient evolved by the Church to meet the exigences of her daily life? Has it a commission transmitted in orderly sequence from the Lord Himself, or is it commissioned simply and solely by the congregation of believers among whom the minister is to serve? Clearly, here is a problem upon whose peaceful solution the future largely depends; it would be difficult for bodies holding diametrically opposite views on such a matter to coalesce into a single harmonious or effective organization......The doctrine that the ministry, as embodied in its highest exemplar, the episcopate, is 'from above,' endowed with grace and authority from on high, and not simply with delegated responsibilities entrusted to it by the contemporary Church, is found fully operative in the sub-apostolic period, and continues virtually unopposed to the days of Luther. It involves of course the corollary that only those who already possess this supernatural commission can transmit it to their successors in office, even though the local Church as a whole may play its part in the designation- of persons to inherit the responsibility...... Naturally enough, there are lacunae in the chain of evidence; and some at least of the historical data as to the early growth of ministerial institutions have perplexed many students of the period. Thus it is not altogether surprising that a school of thought has arisen which denies that the traditional doctrine has any genuine warrant in apostolic teaching and practice. It is to the investigation of the problem thus presented that the earlier essays in this book are directed.......The view that the traditional doctrine of the episcopate is wholly discontinuous from anything contained in the New Testament—and especially from our Lord's call and commissioning of His apostles— was first clearly asserted in Hatch's Bampton Lectures of 1880, in which the origins of episcopacy were sought in the episcopi of pagan clubs and societies. It reappeared in Harnack's theory of the 'charismatic' and official' ministries: the primitive Spirit-inspired ministry of apostles, prophets, and teachers was succeeded, as the inspiration died down, by the routine ministry of the executive officers of the local Churches. This assumption of a discontinuity has shown a strange persistence; it dominates, for example, Dr. Headlam's Bampton Lectures of 1920, in which the Church itself, the gospel sacraments, and the apostolate are acknowledged to be of divine institution, but the episcopal organization of the second-century Church is treated as of ecclesiastical ordinance only, and so as possessing only human authority. Dr. Streeter's subjective and whimsical rewriting of the history of the first-century Church (in The Primitive Church, 1929) added little of perma¬nent value, but provided interesting evidence of the direction in which thought was tending.......It is not difficult to show that the popularity of the view to which Hatch lent his authority depends upon certain obvious misreadings of the evidence. Of these, two are all-important:.....(i) The first is the lack of attention paid to the implications of the word 'apostle.' This is all the more surprising, in that no less than ten long columns of Dr. Hatch's own Concordance to the Septuagint (completed after his death by Dr. Redpath) proved the intimate connexions of the Greek apostellein with the Hebrew shaliach, and should have led to the conclusion that the deliberate choice of the unusual word apostolos for those whom the Lord sent implied for them identical authority (including the authority to appoint their successors) with that which was within so short a period to be claimed for the bishops. In other words, the position assigned to the bishops at the beginning of the monepiscopal period was no new thing. It was the same as that allotted by the Lord to His apostles; and the undoubted fact to which the pastoral epistles bear witness, and to which Clement of Rome makes unhesitating appeal, that the apostles appointed others with powers like their own to carry on their work, argues effectively for a full continuity between the New Testament and the second century. This contention is abundantly illustrated in these essays, being in fact the pivot of the argument of the book......(ii) The second confusion centres round the words episcopos, episcope, episcopein. Most writers on the subject have assumed that in the New Testament these words refer to an office in the Church, and have consequently found themselves involved in the elaborate chess-problem of fitting the 'apostles,' the 'bishops,' and the 'elders' into their places in the New Testament hierarchy.