Friday, August 31, 2007

Ordination & Theology Breakfast

Yesterday morning at theology breakfast Mark read a sermon and a few letters that C. H. Spurgeon wrote from his autobiography. It was really a great conversation, but I was struck by how engaging it can be to listen to someone read. I really need to start practice reading like this, but it was really helpful how he read the passage.

It was interesting to discuss the legitimacy of practicing an ordination of elders. Particularly, the misperceptions many have regarding what an "ordination ceremony" imparts from the agent(s) to the recipient(s), and the from where modern practices of ordination have derived. The implications that ordination in a denomination has for legal practice of licensing was interesting as well. I think it is wise to have "installation" services recognizing the congregations approval to install an elder to office. The congregational aspect of all of this was really helpful. The effect of this for accountability of an elder to a local congregation, shared responsibility of the members in appointing leaders, and traditions' role informing practice was helpful. It is important for elders to not necessarily have "tenure." If you are familiar with how some college professors have abused tenure in the university then you would understand why a "tenure" of elders is not wise and why some kind of structure of "meaningful" biblical accountability is in place.

I'm looking forward to theology breakfast next week on B. B. Warfield!

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