Excerpted from his book, An Assertion of the Government of the Church of Scotland CHAPTER I. OF THE WORDS ELDER, LAY ELDER, RULING ELDER. THE word elder answereth to zaken in the Hebrew, and presbuteroV in the Greek. It hath four different significations: (1.) It noteth age; (2.) Antiquity; (3.) Venerability; (4.) An office. In the first… Read More The Biblical Basis for Ruling Elders
John Brown of Haddington, Systematic Theology, pp. 568-569. It is plain from Scripture declarations that Christ has appointed rulers in his church that are not appointed to preach the gospel (Rom 12:7-8; Heb 13:7,17). Different gifts qualify men for teaching and for ruling (Eph 4:7). Such rulers are necessary for the assistance of pastors (Gal… Read More The Difference Between Elders and Pastors
The church of Jerusalem in Judea contained in it more congregations than one. This may be convincingly evidenced divers ways, particularly from, 1. The multitude of believers in that church. 2. The multitude of church officers there. 3. The variety of languages there. 4. The manner of the Christians’ public meetings in those primitive times,… Read More Was the Church of Jerusalem a Single Congregation or a Presbytery?
The church of Antioch, in Syria, consisted also of more congregations than one. This appears, 1. From the multitude of believers at Antioch, and 2. From the multitudes of prophets and preachers that ministered at Antioch. 1. From the multitude of believers at Antioch. 1. After the dispersion upon Saul’s persecution, the Lord Jesus was preached at… Read More Was the Church of Antioch a Single Congregation or a Presbytery?
The church of Ephesus (in Asia Minor, Acts 19:22) had in it more congregations than one. Due to 1. The number of prophets and preachers; 2. The gifts of tongues conferred upon those prophets; and, 3. The multitude of believers which so abounded at Ephesus: how is it possible to imagine, upon any solid ground, that… Read More Was the Church of Ephesus a Single Congregation or a Presbytery?
The church of Corinth in Greece comprised in it also more congregations than one, as may be justly concluded from, 1. The multitude of believers. 2. The plenty of ministers. 3. The diversity of tongues and languages. 4. And the plurality of churches at Corinth. Let all these be well compared together. 1. From the… Read More Was the Church of Corinth a Single Congregation or a Presbytery?
In part three we considered the necessity of a Holy Spirit wrought Reformation and unity in the the Church prior to, and in harmony with, the establishment of a national Church. In this final post of our series we will envisage the dangers of ecumenical latitudinarianism to the unity of the Church and answer objections regarding persecution and… Read More Establishment Principle, Part 4: Liberty of Conscience
In part 2 we examined the Scriptural evidence for the Establishment Principle and particularly the prophecies that God will cause it to occur in history. In this post we will see the importance of a Holy Spirit wrought Reformation and unity in the polity, discipline, worship, ordinances, doctrine, and practice of the Church prior to, and in harmony with,… Read More Establishment Principle, Part 3: Reformation and Unity of the Church
In our previous post we saw that civil governments are to provide an “hospitable abode to the church” which is a singular institutional entity organized by Jesus Christ with a specific political and catholic structure. This is strictly a positive duty in Christ’s Kingdom of Grace regarding nations joining the Church corporately, not how magistrates set public policy in relation to… Read More Establishment Principle, Part 2: Prophecies
In part one of four in our series on the Establishment Principle we will see what the Establishment Principle is and how it relates to the nature of the Church as well as what it is not. In part two we will demonstrate the Establishment Principle from the many prophecies of Scripture. In part three we will elucidate, on… Read More Establishment Principle, Part 1: What it is, What it isn’t