Sunday, September 21, 2014

Richard Bxter sounding a little higher up the candlestick than we might imagine

"Another part of our work [as ministers] is to guide our people, and be as their mouth in the public prayers of the Church, and the public praises of God; as also to bless them in the name of the Lord. This sacerdotal part of the work is not the least. A great part of God's service was wont in all ages to consist in public praises and eucharistical acts in the Holy Communion"

The Reformed Pastor, ed. J. T. Wilkinson London, Epworth Press, 1932, p.82 quoted in Cocksworth and Brown, Being a Priest Today, p.3o


Roger Beckwith notes that the Greek word presbuteros (elder or old(er) man) is the etymological source of the English words 'presbyter' and 'priest'.

"The English Reformers, who denied that the Christian ministry is a sacrificing priesthood, retained the term 'priest' in the Prayer Book as a contraction fo 'presbyter' (see Bishop Jewel, Works, Parker Society, vol. 4, p.911f; Archbishop Whitgift, Works, Parker Society, vol. 3, p.350f; and others)."

Beckwith says this etymology is correct but of course it makes for ambiguous english since English has no other word for priest that can be used to translate the Hebrew and Greek terms for the sacrificing priest of Old Testament religion. 'Presbyter' avoids this ambibuity.

Roger Beckwith, Elders in Every City: The Origin and Role of the Ordained Ministry (Carlisle, Paternoster, 2003) p.11

Saturday, September 20, 2014

Exodus 19 - some headings

At some points I'm not quite sure whom I'm plagiarising here(!) nor why Blogger insists on having it all in bold, but there you go:

(1)   Vv1-9 – God renews his covenant to make a holy nation

The basis, purpose and privileges of the covenant

(2)   Vv10-end – God reveals his character to show he’s a holy God 

The status of God’s people: a treasured possession (v5)

The mission of God’s people: a kingdom of priests (v6)

The method of this mission: a holy nation (v6)

(1)   What God has already done for his people v4 - redeemed them by his grace for relationshio with hin
(2)   What God requires of his people - V5, v7ff - Covenant faithfulness, obedient trust
Cleansing / consecration
(3)   What God plans to do through his people - V6 - use them as priests for the sake of the world  

John Samuel's headings:

God’s special people with a special purpose:

God’s people: are powerfully rescued (v4)
Personally met (v4)
Uniquely privileged (v5)

God’s purity (vv10-13)
God’s power (v16-19)

This affects our lips and our lives (1 Peter 2:9)

Hugh Palmer's headings:

God’s people are a people of grace, privilege and purpose

And for your interest, James Jordan sees here a stress on:
(1)   Persons - vv3-8 
(2)   Words – v9 
(3)   Sacrament – vv10-15