What do you think of Packer's quote?

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earl40

Puritan Board Professor
Do you think Luke would have called it a "great persecution" if it resulted in scattering only the six remaining table servants (the only ordained persons outside the Apostles)?
Given the severity of what Saul was doing, do you think only the six were scattered?
Do you think that out of the 9,120 men that were added to the church before Acts 8 that maybe The Apostles ordained other pastors that might have been scattered with the laity? Also among those that were added may have included some, if not many, of those ordained before Pentecost and if so could they not be "fast tracked" into service?
 

timmopussycat

Puritan Board Junior
Do you think Luke would have called it a "great persecution" if it resulted in scattering only the six remaining table servants (the only ordained persons outside the Apostles)?
Given the severity of what Saul was doing, do you think only the six were scattered?
Do you think that out of the 9,120 men that were added to the church before Acts 8 that maybe The Apostles ordained other pastors that might have been scattered with the laity? Also among those that were added may have included some, if not many, of those ordained before Pentecost and if so could they not be "fast tracked" into service?
What Scriptural evidence do you have for these notions? There is no evidence that the Church ordained anyone other than Matthias (Acts 1:26) to any function before Pentecost and there is no evidence that the Apostles ordained anyone to assist with the teaching of the word before Acts 8. The WCF 1:6 shuts us up to direct Scriptural evidences or what may, by good and necessary consequence be deduced from them. It does not permit the use of groundless speculation to justify our opinions.
 

Ryan J. Ross

Puritan Board Freshman
Was Philip not given to the office of Evangelist? Would good and necessary consequence not suggest the some men were ordained to serve as preachers? I mean, even Saul was baptized by a disciple. Most of us would agree that baptisms should be administered by ordained men, yet the function was perhaps temporarily given to at least one man without stated qualification.
 

earl40

Puritan Board Professor
Do you think Luke would have called it a "great persecution" if it resulted in scattering only the six remaining table servants (the only ordained persons outside the Apostles)?
Given the severity of what Saul was doing, do you think only the six were scattered?
Do you think that out of the 9,120 men that were added to the church before Acts 8 that maybe The Apostles ordained other pastors that might have been scattered with the laity? Also among those that were added may have included some, if not many, of those ordained before Pentecost and if so could they not be "fast tracked" into service?
What Scriptural evidence do you have for these notions? There is no evidence that the Church ordained anyone other than Matthias (Acts 1:26) to any function before Pentecost and there is no evidence that the Apostles ordained anyone to assist with the teaching of the word before Acts 8. The WCF 1:6 shuts us up to direct Scriptural evidences or what may, by good and necessary consequence be deduced from them. It does not permit the use of groundless speculation to justify our opinions.
The groundless speculation I see is that The Lord spread out many sheep with no pastors. I can deduce that Paul said that people will not believe unless they are preached towards by the sent. Also to assume that those scattered did not have ordained leaders is in my opinion total speculation based on an historical account that could have lacked the information that ordained men were with the laity. In other words, the absence of all the details of those who were scattered does not make the account you assume (only laity scattered) to be such.
 

TheOldCourse

Puritan Board Sophomore
Westminster Larger Catechism:

Question 154: What are the outward means whereby Christ communicates to us the benefits of his mediation?

Answer: The outward and ordinary means whereby Christ communicates to his church the benefits of his mediation, are all his ordinances; especially the Word, sacraments, and prayer; all which are made effectual to the elect for their salvation.

Question 155: How is the Word made effectual to salvation?

Answer: The Spirit of God makes the reading, but especially the preaching of the Word, an effectual means of enlightening, convincing, and humbling sinners; of driving them out of themselves, and drawing them unto Christ; of conforming them to his image, and subduing them to his will; of strengthening them against temptations and corruptions; of building them up in grace, and establishing their hearts in holiness and comfort through faith unto salvation.

Question 156: Is the Word of God to be read by all?

Answer: Although all are not to be permitted to read the Word publicly to the congregation, yet all sorts of people are bound to read it apart by themselves, and with their families: to which end, the holy Scriptures are to be translated out of the original into vulgar languages.

Question 157: How is the Word of God to be read?

Answer: The holy Scriptures are to be read with an high and reverent esteem of them; with a firm persuasion that they are the very Word of God, and that he only can enable us to understand them; with desire to know, believe, and obey the will of God revealed in them; with diligence, and attention to the matter and scope of them; with meditation, application, self_denial, and prayer.

Question 158: By whom is the Word of God to be preached?

Answer: The Word of God is to be preached only by such as are sufficiently gifted, and also duly approved and called to that office
Ask yourself what place this leaves for lay evangelism as an appropriate "ordinary" means of the conversion of sinners in the Westminster Standards. At best it would be considered an extraordinary occurrence, in which case how can it be the common duty of all?

As for evangelists, as Rev. Winzer mentioned, from the Form of Presbyterial Church-Government drawn up by the Westminster Assembly:

Of the Officers of the Church.

THE officers which Christ hath appointed for the edification of his church, and the perfecting of the saints, are, some extraordinary, as apostles, evangelists, and prophets, which are ceased.
Others ordinary and perpetual, as pastors, teachers, and other church-governors, and deacons.
This is not a confessional standard, but it does show the perspective of our Presbyterian forebears which was held over against the Prelatists until relatively recently.
 

MW

Puritanboard Amanuensis
But if a particular aspect of irregular order is not specifically addressed when regular order is introduced, that aspect must, be assumed to continue under the regular order.
If it is "irregular" it will by nature disrupt the "regular," and introduce disorder and confusion at every turn.

When only one ordination had taken place in church history to this point, and that an ordination to waiting on tables rather than teaching, presuming that the Jerusalem church had recognized the need for ordained evangelists prior to the persecution leads one to ask the question why they would have seen the need for such an office. The apostles were already devoting themselves to prayer and teaching, and with all of them still based in Jerusalem there would have been no need for such.
This one ordination served as a pattern to the other ordinations, and gave the rationale for them, namely, to ensure the call of the people as a part of their Christian liberty in the regular order of the church. This is the point on which the Free Church of Scotland quit the vitiated establishment in 1843.

The fact it included waiting on tables does not mean it was exclusively tied to this role. Its rationale was to free the apostles to do the work to which they were immediately called, and the qualifications imply that something more than diaconal work was in mind.

Clearly not all are called to teach and preach formally within the church, lacking both the necessary God given gifting and the external call of the church. But, as has previously been noted, a man gifted for the task and with a correct understanding of the message will not be acting in love if he does not share the gospel as he has opportunity.
What is this "within" and "without" the church? The church is the body of professing Christians. Those "without" the church are unbelievers.
 

timmopussycat

Puritan Board Junior
But if a particular aspect of irregular order is not specifically addressed when regular order is introduced, that aspect must, be assumed to continue under the regular order.
If it is "irregular" it will by nature disrupt the "regular," and introduce disorder and confusion at every turn.

When only one ordination had taken place in church history to this point, and that an ordination to waiting on tables rather than teaching, presuming that the Jerusalem church had recognized the need for ordained evangelists prior to the persecution leads one to ask the question why they would have seen the need for such an office. The apostles were already devoting themselves to prayer and teaching, and with all of them still based in Jerusalem there would have been no need for such.
This one ordination served as a pattern to the other ordinations, and gave the rationale for them, namely, to ensure the call of the people as a part of their Christian liberty in the regular order of the church. This is the point on which the Free Church of Scotland quit the vitiated establishment in 1843.

The fact it included waiting on tables does not mean it was exclusively tied to this role. Its rationale was to free the apostles to do the work to which they were immediately called, and the qualifications imply that something more than diaconal work was in mind.

Clearly not all are called to teach and preach formally within the church, lacking both the necessary God given gifting and the external call of the church. But, as has previously been noted, a man gifted for the task and with a correct understanding of the message will not be acting in love if he does not share the gospel as he has opportunity.
What is this "within" and "without" the church? The church is the body of professing Christians. Those "without" the church are unbelievers.
"Within" refers to the regular meetings of church assemblies, "without" is one man speaking to one or more others outside that context.
 

timmopussycat

Puritan Board Junior
Was Philip not given to the office of Evangelist? Would good and necessary consequence not suggest the some men were ordained to serve as preachers? I mean, even Saul was baptized by a disciple. Most of us would agree that baptisms should be administered by ordained men, yet the function was perhaps temporarily given to at least one man without stated qualification.
Philip was called an evangelist yes - in Acts 21 which means that we may conclude that by the time of Acts 21 he had either been ordained as such or had become recognized as one who carried on the work of an evangelist. The problem for developing one's view of what evangelism is is that he is not called an evangelist in Acts 8.
 

timmopussycat

Puritan Board Junior
But if a particular aspect of irregular order is not specifically addressed when regular order is introduced, that aspect must, be assumed to continue under the regular order.
If it is "irregular" it will by nature disrupt the "regular," and introduce disorder and confusion at every turn.
Nonsense and it can be easily proved so. If it is only ordained men that may preach in regular order, why are men who are not ordained but only in training permitted to preach in many denominations?

When only one ordination had taken place in church history to this point, and that an ordination to waiting on tables rather than teaching, presuming that the Jerusalem church had recognized the need for ordained evangelists prior to the persecution leads one to ask the question why they would have seen the need for such an office. The apostles were already devoting themselves to prayer and teaching, and with all of them still based in Jerusalem there would have been no need for such.
This one ordination served as a pattern to the other ordinations, and gave the rationale for them, namely, to ensure the call of the people as a part of their Christian liberty in the regular order of the church. This is the point on which the Free Church of Scotland quit the vitiated establishment in 1843.

The fact it included waiting on tables does not mean it was exclusively tied to this role. Its rationale was to free the apostles to do the work to which they were immediately called, and the qualifications imply that something more than diaconal work was in mind.
Those who assume that men not Scripturally identified as ordained must have been ordained by the church in order to "evangelise" their neighbours when Scripture does not explicitly make that a requirement are presuming on what may be logically inferred from the evidence to justify their conclusion. In logic this is called circular reasoning and circular reasoning is never a good and necessary consequence from the Scriptures.

The qualifications given for selecting the seven table waiters in Acts 6 have no mention of teaching skills, something that would seem to be an essential for such an office since it is an ability which is included by Paul when among those that must be present in an elder in 1 Tim. 3.
 
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timmopussycat

Puritan Board Junior
Do you think Luke would have called it a "great persecution" if it resulted in scattering only the six remaining table servants (the only ordained persons outside the Apostles)?
Given the severity of what Saul was doing, do you think only the six were scattered?
Do you think that out of the 9,120 men that were added to the church before Acts 8 that maybe The Apostles ordained other pastors that might have been scattered with the laity? Also among those that were added may have included some, if not many, of those ordained before Pentecost and if so could they not be "fast tracked" into service?
What Scriptural evidence do you have for these notions? There is no evidence that the Church ordained anyone other than Matthias (Acts 1:26) to any function before Pentecost and there is no evidence that the Apostles ordained anyone to assist with the teaching of the word before Acts 8. The WCF 1:6 shuts us up to direct Scriptural evidences or what may, by good and necessary consequence be deduced from them. It does not permit the use of groundless speculation to justify our opinions.
The groundless speculation I see is that The Lord spread out many sheep with no pastors. I can deduce that Paul said that people will not believe unless they are preached towards by the sent. Also to assume that those scattered did not have ordained leaders is in my opinion total speculation based on an historical account that could have lacked the information that ordained men were with the laity. In other words, the absence of all the details of those who were scattered does not make the account you assume (only laity scattered) to be such.
The Lord has repeatedly left sheep without shepherds FOR SHORT TERMS. To name only one example, I note that Paul and Barnabas did not appoint elders for the converts made on the outbound leg of their first missionary journey, only doing so on the return trip.

And a man may be sent by God without being ordained by the church (although I believe that a man with such a calling from God should seek ordination.) There have been many such people down through the years and the fruits of their unordained service has been a factor in their churches' decisions to ordain them.
 
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Ryan J. Ross

Puritan Board Freshman
So he is evangelizing (preaching) in Acts 8 and descriptively referred to as "evangelist" in Acts 21, yet good and necessary consequence would have you believe that he was ordained between those chapters because the text refers to it after he was appointed in Acts 6? Curious. Would not GaNC suggest that their appointment may have entailed more than serving tables? Does it not seem strange that immediately after their appointment, Stephen and Philip are not explicitly said to be engaged in table serving but performing miracles and wonders, preaching, and baptizing? There is more than diaconal work suggested by Acts 6 and I don't need to get to Acts 21 to learn about a possible post-persecution ordination.
 

MW

Puritanboard Amanuensis
Nonsense and it can be easily proved so. If it is only ordained men that may preach in regular order, why are men who are not ordained but only in training permitted to preach in many denominations?
That is simple. They have been recognised to have certain gifts and are now given opportunity under the proper oversight to exercise them for the purpose of developing them and proving themselves. But it is still under oversight and with the recognition that the Head of the church has gifted them for this task.

are presuming on what may be logically inferred from the evidence to justify their conclusion. In logic this is called circular reasoning and circular reasoning is never a good and necessary consequence from the Scriptures.
From Scripture it is called the regulative principle of church power. James Bannerman's Church of Christ provides an excellent treatment of this subject.
 

timmopussycat

Puritan Board Junior
So he is evangelizing (preaching) in Acts 8 and descriptively referred to as "evangelist" in Acts 21, yet good and necessary consequence would have you believe that he was ordained between those chapters because the text refers to it after he was appointed in Acts 6? Curious. Would not GaNC suggest that their appointment may have entailed more than serving tables? Does it not seem strange that immediately after their appointment, Stephen and Philip are not explicitly said to be engaged in table serving but performing miracles and wonders, preaching, and baptizing? There is more than diaconal work suggested by Acts 6 and I don't need to get to Acts 21 to learn about a possible post-persecution ordination.
Even today when the church ordains a man to a role, it is a universal assumption that he is limited to that role until and unless he is called to an additional one.

When they asked the disciples to choose the seven, the Apostles stated that they would appoint the men the congregation chose to "this duty" of [serving] "tables." When the purpose of the responsibility was so limited, the only certain conclusion we can come to without using circular reasoning is that the function of waiting on tables was what they were appointed to do. Anything more is speculation that takes us beyond the evidence. Consider the fact that we hear nothing about the subsequent "evangelizing" activities of the remaining deacons (Prochorus, and Nicanor, and Timon, and Parmenas, and Nicolaus). Since nothing is said about them, we cannot conclude anything about whether they just continued to serve as deacons, or moved on to something else.
 

timmopussycat

Puritan Board Junior
Nonsense and it can be easily proved so. If it is only ordained men that may preach in regular order, why are men who are not ordained but only in training permitted to preach in many denominations?
That is simple. They have been recognised to have certain gifts and are now given opportunity under the proper oversight to exercise them for the purpose of developing them and proving themselves. But it is still under oversight and with the recognition that the Head of the church has gifted them for this task

are presuming on what may be logically inferred from the evidence to justify their conclusion. In logic this is called circular reasoning and circular reasoning is never a good and necessary consequence from the Scriptures.
From Scripture it is called the regulative principle of church power. James Bannerman's Church of Christ provides an excellent treatment of this subject.
Do you have a page reference for this discussion? I ask because a Kindle's search function applied to the phrase "regulative principle of church power" returned no hits.
 

MW

Puritanboard Amanuensis
Do you have a page reference for this discussion? I ask because a Kindle's search function applied to the phrase "regulative principle of church power" returned no hits.
Essentially the whole book is a sustained treatment, but sections that particularly relate to this subject are,

The Power of the Church, vol. 1, pp.187ff.

The Christian Ministry, vol. 1, pp. 421ff.

Divine appointment of a form of church government, vol. 2, pp. 201ff.

The Extraordinary Office-bearers of the Christian Church, vol. 2, pp. 214ff.

The point about church power being exercised by office-bearers, not by members generally, is demonstrated in vol. 2, pp. 308ff.
 

Ask Mr. Religion

Flatly Unflappable
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