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PASTORAL MINISTRY IN HISTORY 1
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144 The Master s Seminary Journal, The duty and privilege of pastoral ministry has resulted in the. development of the discipline of Pastoral Theology within the broader. framework of Practical Theology 2 It has also produced a long proces. sion of individuals who have filled the pages of church history in. responding to God s call to be faithful pastors and ministers of the. truth Sadly traditions 3 not measuring up to the standards of biblical. scrutiny have skewed and embellished much of what has been called. A plethora of mind sets and often conflicting traditions emerge. in a study of pastoral ministry in history though all traditions claim a. lineage going back to the apostolic age In every generation some have. sought to return to the basic fundamentals of primitive biblical. ministry This pursuit of the true church or primitivism has led Littell. and others to speak of the concept of the Believers Church 4 Such a. 2Thomas C Oden notes Pastoral theology is a special form of practical theology. because it focuses on the practice of ministry with particular attention to the. systematic definition of the pastoral office and its function Pastoral Theology. Essentials of Ministry San Francisco Harper 1982 x. 3In early church history Christians understood tradition as revelation made by. God and delivered by Him to His faithful people through the mouth of His prophets. and apostles It was something handed over not something handed down and was. thus in accord with divine revelation In the period since the early church tradition. means the continuous stream of explanation and elucidation of the primitive faith. illustrating the way in which Christianity has been presented and understood in past. ages It is that is the accumulated wisdom of the past Tradition in The Oxford. Dictionary of the Christian Church 2nd ed ed by F L Cross and E A Livingstone. Oxford University Press 1983 1388 The latter approach to tradition has allowed. much deflection from simple primitive biblical ministry. 4In Franklin H Littell The Concept of the Believers Church in The Concept of the. Believers Church ed by James Leo Garrett Jr Scottdale Herald 1969 27 32 the. author delineates at least six basic principles or marks of the Believer s Church. which represent common themes in various churches They include 1 the Believers. Church although outwardly constituted by volunteers is Christ s church and not. theirs 2 membership in the Believers Church is voluntary and witting done. deliberately 3 the principle of separation from the world is basic although it has. often been misinterpreted 4 mission and witness are key concepts for the Believer s. Church and all members are involved 5 internal integrity and church discipline. are stressed and 6 the proper concept of the secular in relationship to the sacred. The primary example of an application of this last theme is to a state church in which. Pastoral Ministry in History 145, church included people of various ages and regions who followed the. same principles of commitment to apostolic truth These are believers. who gathered and disciplined a true church upon the apostolic. pattern as they understood it 5 The truth for these people was an. ongoing pursuit not a closed book in a sectarian sense It was one. which wanted fellowship with all who bore the Name and lived the. covenant of a good conscience with God 6, Other committed believers like these within the wider. framework of church history have sought above all else the true pure. primitive church They have sought a church and a ministry patterned. after the theology and practice of the book of Acts and the NT Epistles. Such individuals and churches have appeared in various forms and. have come from various settings but all display a desire to return to a. vibrant biblical church and ministry Some have journeyed further in. their plans than in their practice Some have advanced further than. others in their quest for biblical ministry, This chapter focuses upon a history of those who have sought to. teach and practice biblical pastoral ministry Examinations of efforts to. follow biblical ministry patterns rather than accepted tradition and. recurring ministry practices can serve as a helpful guide to a future. generation with the same goals Such historical study provides. valuable insights through enabling Christians and churches to learn. from the past Though history is not the unfolding of an unalterable. tradition or a hermeneutical principle for interpreting ministry the. flow of time bears divine sovereignty and providence on its wings and. constitutes a general not special revelation of God himself 7 Only the. Bible can teach the true theology of pastoral ministry but the working. of the Holy Spirit in the hearts of church leaders through the centuries. government attempts to control all ideology and thinking thus limiting human. 5Franklin Hamlin Littell The Origins of Sectarian Protestantism New York. Macmillan 1964 xvii,6Littell Concept 25 26, 7Marc Mueller What is History unpublished chapel lecture The Master s.
Seminary Sun Valley CA Feb 16 1989 5,146 The Master s Seminary Journal. can inform this theology and its practical implementation The. following subsidiary material will provide such information. THE BIBLICAL PERIOD, Many have noted the elusive and complex nature of pastoral. theology that makes the discipline hard to define 8 As Tidball points. out part of this elusiveness stems from the multitude of labels which. exist in this area and which seem to be used without any agreement as. to their exact meaning or relationship 9 As a further reason he points. out that the difficulty stems from the fact that so many sub disciplines. of practical theology are spoken of as if they are pastoral theology 10. The historical development of the doctrine of the church in general and. of practical theology in particular have no doubt contributed to this. elusiveness since tension has surrounded this whole subject from the. outset of church history 11, Thomas C Oden in expanding his definition of pastoral. theology observes the following, Pastoral theology is that branch of Christian theology that deals with. the office gifts and functions of the pastor As theology pastoral. theology seeks to reflect upon that self disclosure of God witnessed to. by Scripture mediated through tradition reflected upon by critical. reasoning and embodied in personal and social experience 12. Throughout history it is precisely when the weight of tradition critical. reasoning and experience have come to bear upon pastoral theology. 8E g Derek J Tidball Skillful Shepherds An Introduction to Pastoral Theology Grand. Rapids Zondervan 1986 18, 11Note the divergence of views as reflected in Louis Berkhoff s development of the.
doctrine of the church The History of Christian Doctrines Edinburgh Banner of. Truth n d 227 41,12Oden Pastoral Theology 311,Pastoral Ministry in History 147. that it has been most likely to drift from its biblical moorings In reality. it is impossible to say that one has no tradition or critical thinking on. this subject It is therefore imperative that one begin continue and end. with the Scriptures in a study of true pastoral ministry. The place to begin is with an investigation of the various aspects. of primitive biblical ministry as they relate to the office and functions of. pastors A brief summary of the biblical data can serve as the basis for. identifying historic efforts to reproduce that kind of ministry. Old Testament, A history of pastoral ministry must begin in the OT The theme. The Lord is my shepherd Ps 23 1 expresses the pastoral role of God. with His people Tidball describes this image as the underlining. paradigm of ministry and points out that it contains references to the. authority tender care specific tasks courage and sacrifice required of. the pastor 13 Many passages including Gen 49 24 Isa 53 6 Ps 78 52. 3 80 1 contribute to the development of this theme The OT often. describes Israel as sheep who need a shepherd Ps 100 3 cf also Ps. 44 22 119 176 Jer 23 1 50 6, The theme of God s love contributes to the shepherd theme too. I have loved you with an everlasting love therefore I have drawn you. with lovingkindness Jer 31 3 God demonstrates His love for Israel. in vivid imagery with Hosea s marriage to a harlot Hos 1 2 Though. Israel spurned His love God continues loving as He says in Hos 11 1. When Israel was a youth I loved him and out of Egypt I called My. son In the end God is there to heal their apostasy and love them. freely Hos 14 4 The OT abounds with statements of God s love for. His people Another is in Isa 43 4 5 Since you are precious in My. sight since you are honored and I love you do not fear for I am. with you 14, Associated with the love of God is His disciplining of those He. loves Prov 3 11 His holding accountable of those whom He loves Ps. 13Tidball Skillful Shepherds 54, 14See Leon Morris Testaments of Love A Study of Love in the Bible Grand Rapids.
Eerdmans 1981 8 100 also Norman Snaith The Distinctive Ideas of the Old Testament. New York Schocken 1964 131 42,148 The Master s Seminary Journal. 11 7 and His command that men love Him in return Deut 6 5 Also. associated with the divine pastoral concern is the profound theme of. God s mercy i e loyal love Ps 62 12 Isa 54 10 55 3 15 God s. compassion Ps 145 9 and His delight 1 Sam 22 20 Combined with. this are numerous examples of servant leaders including Abraham. Joseph Moses Samuel and David who demonstrated the faithfulness. of God as they accomplished His work through faith Hebrews 11. Thus the OT provides an important basis for understanding the. office and function of the pastor The Shepherd Himself displays his. Fatherly care love mercy discipline compassion and delight toward. His people whom He desires to love and fear Him with a pure heart. The image of a shepherd also demonstrates God s authority and. faithfulness as well as the necessity and implications of obedience to. Him Servant leaders exemplify both strengths and weaknesses as God. uses them to carry out His sovereign plan in human history. New Testament, The NT builds on this OT foundation as it reveals the Chief. Shepherd Christ in all His wisdom glory power and humility John. 10 11 14 1 Pet 5 4 The person and work of the Great Shepherd. culminates in His death i e the blood of the eternal Covenant Heb. 13 20 1 Pet 2 25 and resurrection The Good Shepherd gave His life. for His sheep whom he calls to Himself John 10 11 16 These called. out ones are His church Christ as Head of the church leads His. church Eph 1 22 5 23 25 and shepherds it He calls pastors as. undershepherds to function and give oversight under His authority 1. Both as a doctrine 1 Corinthians 12 and through living. example the NT reveals the nature of the church and all its members. and activities It also furnishes clear teaching about church officers and. 15The Hebrew word de i hesed has been variously translated with meanings. such as mercy love loyal love unfailing love constant love strong faithful love. lovingkindness Morris Testaments of Love 66 7 The h esed or mercy of God as He. covenants with His people to love them and to be faithful to that love always is a rich. and profound study that furnishes important insight into true pastoral activity see. Nelson Glueck Hesed in the Bible New York KTAV 1975 see also Snaith. Distinctive Ideas 94 130,Pastoral Ministry in History 149. their functions The role and duties of a pastor as presented in the NT. are the basis of all future biblical ministry in history. Five distinct terms refer to the pastoral office 1 elder. presbyteros a title highlighting the administration and spiritual. guidance of the church Acts 15 6 1 Tim 5 17 Jas 5 14 1 Pet 5 1 4 2. bishop or overseer episkopos which emphasizes guidance oversight. and leadership in the church Acts 20 28 Phil 1 1 1 Tim 3 2 5 Tit 1 7. 3 shepherd or pastor poim en a position denoting leadership and. authority Acts 20 28 31 Eph 4 11 as well as guidance and provision 1. Pet 5 2 3 cf 2 25 4 preacher k erux which points to public. proclamation of the gospel and teaching of the flock Rom 10 14 1 Tim. 2 7 2 Tim 1 11 and 5 teacher didaskalos one responsible for. instruction and exposition of the Scriptures Such teaching is both. instructive 1 Tim 2 7 and corrective 1 Cor 12 28 29. Scripture is quite clear that these descriptive titles relate to the. same pastoral office The terms elder and bishop are synonymous. in Acts 20 17 and Tit 1 5 7 The terms elder bishop and shepherd. are synonymous in 1 Pet 5 1 2 The leadership role of elders is also. evident in the shepherdly activity of Jas 5 14 As clearly noted by. Lightfoot in biblical times elder and bishop were synonymous. terms 16 It was not until the rise of sacerdotalism in the second century. that bishops took the places of the apostles and presided over groups of. First Tim 5 17 and Heb 13 7 associate the terms teacher and. preacher with each other Ephesians 4 11 connects shepherds. pastors with teachers as do 1 Tim 5 17 and Heb 13 7 These last two. passages furnish no exegetical grounds for separating the work of. 16J B Lightfoot The Christian Ministry in Saint Paul s Epistle to the Philippians. reprint Grand Rapids Zondervan 1953 196 201 Though Lightfoot himself. ages It is that is the accumulated wisdom of the past Tradition in The Oxford Dictionary of the Christian Church 2nd ed ed by F L Cross and E A Livingstone Oxford University Press 1983 1388 The latter approach to tradition has allowed much deflection from simple primitive biblical ministry

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