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#54237 - Fri Aug 11, 2017 2:32 PM Am I living out the Gospel Message  
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Up front, I have a very negative view of revivalism. I also believe the older Presbyterians, Baptists and Methodists were correct that the office of "evangelist" was an extraordinary office that no longer exists, being only for the apostolic age. It seems that Pastors are to be preaching the gospel, doing the work of an evangelist. But, as a Christian layman, don't I have generally, the same responsibility to live as the wives were directed by Peter?

"Wives, in the same way, accept the authority of your husbands, so that, even if some of them do not obey the word, they may be won over without a word by their wives’ conduct" (1Pet 3:1, NRSV)

Do I exhibit and live the Fruit of the Spirit? Have I the Christian graces? Do I have a life that exhibits the joy, contentment and decency that would appeal to others, causing them to ask questions that open an opportunity to give the gospel message. Are we at risk that reliance and emphasis on revivals and evangelists, gives us this:

"Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you cross sea and land to make a single convert, and you make the new convert twice as much a child of hell as yourselves." (Matt 23:15, NRSV)

I read six online Christian/religious news magazines, and shake my head... but, am I living as I should be? I confess my biggest battle may be with my quick, too often unbridled tongue.


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#54238 - Fri Aug 11, 2017 10:01 PM Re: Am I living out the Gospel Message [Re: PerpetualLearner]  
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By this, are you saying that men like Hudson Taylor, George Whitefield, and whole list of others should never have gone to the mission field?
Tom

#54239 - Sat Aug 12, 2017 6:44 AM Re: Am I living out the Gospel Message [Re: PerpetualLearner]  
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Originally Posted by PerpetualLearner
Up front, I have a very negative view of revivalism. I also believe the older Presbyterians, Baptists and Methodists were correct that the office of "evangelist" was an extraordinary office that no longer exists, being only for the apostolic age. It seems that Pastors are to be preaching the gospel, doing the work of an evangelist.

1. I share your negativism of MODERN revivalism, which would stretch back to the early 1800's, and made popular by Charles Grandison Finney. [Linked Image] Man does not bring about "revival", but rather God the Spirit brings revival according to the eternal good pleasure of God in order to gather His elect at the appointed time.

2. Now, as to the matter of the office of evangelist, I'm curious what writings you have consulted which have brought you to the conclusion that "evangelists" (Eph 4:11) was an "extraordinary office that no longer exists..."? scratchchin The original word is euaggelistas; one who brings good news euaggelion. Examples of such men can be found in Phillip (Acts 6:5, 8:5-13, 26-40, 21:8) and Timothy (2Tim 4:5). Although there may not be a definitive statement as to what evangelists actually did, I do believe that one would not be incorrect to conclude that the office of "evangelist" would be that which we today call "missionary", i.e., an itinerant preacher who does not have a permanent congregation where he would serve as a "pastor/teacher". [as a side note, if this is true, then this certainly would have much to say against the modern practice of sending men and women as missionaries evilgrin].

All the sources I have in my library are in agreement with the above, i.e., the "evangelists" of old are men gifted by Christ and His Spirit which are to be understood as those who traveled about preaching the good news of the Gospel, aka: missionaries. To be honest, I have never read anyone who believed that the office of "evangelist" was temporary. And I freely admit that I haven't read everyone who has written on this subject. grin But I have read enough orthodox and well known men to persuade me that my own exegesis and interpretation of that passage is correct.


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#54240 - Sat Aug 12, 2017 7:39 AM Re: Am I living out the Gospel Message [Re: Pilgrim]  
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Originally Posted by Pilgrim
Originally Posted by PerpetualLearner
Up front, I have a very negative view of revivalism. I also believe the older Presbyterians, Baptists and Methodists were correct that the office of "evangelist" was an extraordinary office that no longer exists, being only for the apostolic age. It seems that Pastors are to be preaching the gospel, doing the work of an evangelist.

1. I share your negativism of MODERN revivalism, which would stretch back to the early 1800's, and made popular by Charles Grandison Finney. [Linked Image] Man does not bring about "revival", but rather God the Spirit brings revival according to the eternal good pleasure of God in order to gather His elect at the appointed time.

2. Now, as to the matter of the office of evangelist, I'm curious what writings you have consulted which have brought you to the conclusion that "evangelists" (Eph 4:11) was an "extraordinary office that no longer exists..."? scratchchin The original word is euaggelistas; one who brings good news euaggelion. Examples of such men can be found in Phillip (Acts 6:5, 8:5-13, 26-40, 21:8) and Timothy (2Tim 4:5). Although there may not be a definitive statement as to what evangelists actually did, I do believe that one would not be incorrect to conclude that the office of "evangelist" would be that which we today call "missionary", i.e., an itinerant preacher who does not have a permanent congregation where he would serve as a "pastor/teacher". [as a side note, if this is true, then this certainly would have much to say against the modern practice of sending men and women as missionaries evilgrin].

All the sources I have in my library are in agreement with the above, i.e., the "evangelists" of old are men gifted by Christ and His Spirit which are to be understood as those who traveled about preaching the good news of the Gospel, aka: missionaries. To be honest, I have never read anyone who believed that the office of "evangelist" was temporary. And I freely admit that I haven't read everyone who has written on this subject. grin But I have read enough orthodox and well known men to persuade me that my own exegesis and interpretation of that passage is correct.


Pilgrim and Tom, I'd heard several times that in years past many believed the 'office' of an evangelist was extraordinary, meant only for the apostolic age. I encountered a modern statement to that effect online:

From the Protestant Reformed Churches in America website:
"Unlike the offices of apostle, prophet and evangelist (which we considered in the last News) that of pastor and teacher (the other church office listed in Ephesians 4:11) is not an extraordinary office (though it is a special office). First, the extraordinary offices (apostle, prophet and evangelist) involved all or some of the following: an extraordinary call, direct revelation and miracle working. None of these extraordinary gifts are part of the office of pastor/teacher. Second, the extraordinary offices are temporary, ending with the apostolic age, whereas the office of pastor/teacher (like the offices of elder and deacon) is permanent, lasting until Christ’s bodily turn (cf. I Tim. 3; 6:14). Third, whereas pastors/teachers are called by a particular church, the extraordinary offices involved authority over the churches in general (and usually included itinerancy)."
http://www.prca.org/current/Doctrine/Volume%2011/News-K-02.htm

John Wesley:
"And, among other his free gifts, he gave some apostles - His chief ministers and special witnesses, as having seen him after his resurrection, and received their commission immediately from him. And same prophets, and some evangelists - A prophet testifies of things to come; an evangelist of things past: and that chiefly by preaching the gospel before or after any of the apostles. All these were extraordinary officers. The ordinary were. Some pastors - Watching over their several flocks. And some teachers - Whether of the same or a lower order, to assist them, as occasion might require."
http://www.studylight.org/commentaries/mpc/ephesians-4.html

Matthew Poole:
"Evangelists; these were likewise extraordinary officers, for the most part chosen by the apostles, as their companions and assistants in preaching the word, and planting churches in the several places where they travelled. Such were Timothy, Titus, Apollos, Silas, &c. "
http://www.studylight.org/commentaries/mpc/ephesians-4.html

Matthew Henry:
"The officers which Christ gave to his church were of two sorts - extraordinary ones advanced to a higher office in the church: such were apostles, prophets, and evangelists. The apostles were chief. These Christ immediately called, furnished them with extraordinary gifts and the power of working miracles, and with infallibility in delivering his truth; and, they having been the witnesses of his miracles and doctrine, he sent them forth to spread the gospel and to plant and govern churches. The prophets seem to have been such as expounded the writings of the Old Testament, and foretold things to come. The evangelists were ordained persons (2 Timothy 1:6), whom the apostles took for their companions in travel (Galatians 2:1), and sent them out to settle and establish such churches as the apostles themselves had planted (Acts 19:22), and, not being fixed to any particular place, they were to continue till recalled, 2 Timothy 4:9."
http://www.studylight.org/commentaries/mhm/ephesians-4.html

John Gill:
"and some evangelists; by whom are designed, not so much the writers of the Gospels, as Matthew, Mark, Luke and John, some of which were also apostles; as preachers of the Gospel, and who yet were distinct from the ordinary ministers of it; they were below the apostles, and yet above pastors and teachers; they were the companions of the apostles, and assistants to them, and subserved them in their work; such were Philip, Luke, Titus, Timothy, and others; these were not fixed and stated ministers in anyone place, as the following officers be, but were sent here and there as the apostles thought fit:"
http://www.studylight.org/commentaries/geb/ephesians-4.html

I do not know if men like Hudson and Whitefield called themselves an "evangelist" or not, but if they did, it seems they were out of the mainstream of their day.


Ned
#54241 - Sat Aug 12, 2017 8:45 AM Re: Am I living out the Gospel Message [Re: PerpetualLearner]  
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#54242 - Sat Aug 12, 2017 11:53 AM Re: Am I living out the Gospel Message [Re: PerpetualLearner]  
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FYI, you have up to 6 hours to edit any of your posts/replies here so you don't have to do a separate reply, e.g., as the one above. grin


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#54243 - Sat Aug 12, 2017 12:08 PM Re: Am I living out the Gospel Message [Re: PerpetualLearner]  
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1. I studied at the PRC (Protestant Reformed Seminary) back in my younger days and stood at variance with several of their teachings. On this matter, they didn't offer any biblical/exegetical proof to support their view that "Evangelist" was an 'extraordinary' and 'temporary' office. Nor, is there one text that shows that evangelists were divinely chosen vs. chosen from among the people. In the two examples I showed, Phillip (Acts 6:5, 8:5-13, 26-40, 21:8) and Timothy (2Tim 4:5), neither was appointed to do the work of an Evangelist by a direct revelation of God.

2. Incidentally, the PRC, most all Continental Reformed and most Presbyterian denominations err, IMHO, in dividing the office of Elder into two; preaching-teaching elder and ruling elder, which is based upon a fabricated presupposition that since the LORD Christ was "Prophet, Priest, and King", thus the Church must also have those three designations in its office bearers. igiveup Paul, in Eph 4:11 wrote "pastors and teachers" which in the Greek is a compound gifted office. And most definitively Paul in giving the qualifications for the two offices of elder and deacon (cf. 1Tim 3:1-10 and Titus 1:5-9) he wrote that elders are to both "rule well" and be "apt to teach". Those who are more gifted to the public preaching of the Word are set apart not by divine injunction, but rather by the elders themselves. Baptists also err in giving authority to rule and teach to Deacons which belongs only to Elders.

So, in spite of challenging all who have the view that the 'office' of Evangelist was temporary, no one to date has provided biblical evidence to support that view. Quotes from those who have and/or do hold to that view are helpful in that they make known who did so, but they are certainly not sufficient to serve as evidence that the view is to be found in Scripture... at least not to me. giggle


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#54244 - Sat Aug 12, 2017 2:09 PM Re: Am I living out the Gospel Message [Re: Pilgrim]  
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Originally Posted by Pilgrim
1. I studied at the PRC (Protestant Reformed Seminary) back in my younger days and stood at variance with several of their teachings. On this matter, they didn't offer any biblical/exegetical proof to support their view that "Evangelist" was an 'extraordinary' and 'temporary' office. Nor, is there one text that shows that evangelists were divinely chosen vs. chosen from among the people. In the two examples I showed, Phillip (Acts 6:5, 8:5-13, 26-40, 21:8) and Timothy (2Tim 4:5), neither was appointed to do the work of an Evangelist by a direct revelation of God.

2. Incidentally, the PRC, most all Continental Reformed and most Presbyterian denominations err, IMHO, in dividing the office of Elder into two; preaching-teaching elder and ruling elder, which is based upon a fabricated presupposition that since the LORD Christ was "Prophet, Priest, and King", thus the Church must also have those three designations in its office bearers. igiveup Paul, in Eph 4:11 wrote "pastors and teachers" which in the Greek is a compound gifted office. And most definitively Paul in giving the qualifications for the two offices of elder and deacon (cf. 1Tim 3:1-10 and Titus 1:5-9) he wrote that elders are to both "rule well" and be "apt to teach". Those who are more gifted to the public preaching of the Word are set apart not by divine injunction, but rather by the elders themselves. Baptists also err in giving authority to rule and teach to Deacons which belongs only to Elders.

So, in spite of challenging all who have the view that the 'office' of Evangelist was temporary, no one to date has provided biblical evidence to support that view. Quotes from those who have and/or do hold to that view are helpful in that they make known who did so, but they are certainly not sufficient to serve as evidence that the view is to be found in Scripture... at least not to me. giggle


Pilgrim and others who may be interested, I found the view of John Owen concerning the extraordinary offices online: http://www.apuritansmind.com/purita...offices-extraordinary-and-first-offices/

This is the only place I've found the reasoning from Scripture explaining this. It is a very long article, and I have yet to study it thoroughly myself. Now this is why I am a perpetual learner! laugh


Ned
#54245 - Sat Aug 12, 2017 3:13 PM Re: Am I living out the Gospel Message [Re: PerpetualLearner]  
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I do like John Owen very much and have read through his works. He is especially gifted in regard to the fundamental doctrines of the faith, e.g., sola fide (justification by faith alone) and particularly on the doctrine of the vicarious substitutionary atonement of the LORD Christ. However, having read through the article linked to on this matter of the "office" of evangelist being extraordinary and temporal, I must stand opposed.

1. There is no passage that would even imply that the GIFT of "Evangelists" was an office. Phillip was ordained; set apart as a Deacon but functioned as an evangelist in addition to his basic duties. Likewise, Timothy was set apart as a "pastor-teacher", yet was instructed to also function (do the work of) an evangelist.

2. The "four things which constitute an extraordinary officer in the church of God, and consequently are required in and do constitute an extraordinary office: —" are not all to be found in relation to those gifted to be "Evangelists". It would appear that Owen began with a presupposition that the "Evangelists" mentioned in the passage (Eph 4:11) constituted an office which was on the same plane as the Apostles and Prophets. And thus he proceeded on that presupposition to find justification for it. Or, to put it in simpler terms. Owen began with the view that Evangelists belonged to the designation of one belonging to an extraordinary office which was intended to be temporary and then set out to justify that view, rather than finding in the Scriptures a perspicuous teaching of that view. Most everyone I've read admits up front that the designation of "Evangelists" is obscure and that no definitive understanding has been given in Scripture.

3. On that basis, I remain comfortable in my personal view which is shared by many (majority?) that "some should be Evangelists" referred to and continues to be a select group of men (not women) who are sent out into the world as itinerant preachers of the gospel without the authority of "pastor-teachers", i.e., to serve as pastors over a permanent gather of those who have been converted to Christ. These men would be what we today call Missionaries... which unfortunately also today is one of the most corrupt and unorthodox group of men within the visible church. [Linked Image]


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#54249 - Sun Aug 13, 2017 3:11 PM Re: Am I living out the Gospel Message [Re: Pilgrim]  
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Originally Posted by Pilgrim
I do like John Owen very much and have read through his works. He is especially gifted in regard to the fundamental doctrines of the faith, e.g., sola fide (justification by faith alone) and particularly on the doctrine of the vicarious substitutionary atonement of the LORD Christ. However, having read through the article linked to on this matter of the "office" of evangelist being extraordinary and temporal, I must stand opposed.

1. There is no passage that would even imply that the GIFT of "Evangelists" was an office. Phillip was ordained; set apart as a Deacon but functioned as an evangelist in addition to his basic duties. Likewise, Timothy was set apart as a "pastor-teacher", yet was instructed to also function (do the work of) an evangelist.

2. The "four things which constitute an extraordinary officer in the church of God, and consequently are required in and do constitute an extraordinary office: —" are not all to be found in relation to those gifted to be "Evangelists". It would appear that Owen began with a presupposition that the "Evangelists" mentioned in the passage (Eph 4:11) constituted an office which was on the same plane as the Apostles and Prophets. And thus he proceeded on that presupposition to find justification for it. Or, to put it in simpler terms. Owen began with the view that Evangelists belonged to the designation of one belonging to an extraordinary office which was intended to be temporary and then set out to justify that view, rather than finding in the Scriptures a perspicuous teaching of that view. Most everyone I've read admits up front that the designation of "Evangelists" is obscure and that no definitive understanding has been given in Scripture.

3. On that basis, I remain comfortable in my personal view which is shared by many (majority?) that "some should be Evangelists" referred to and continues to be a select group of men (not women) who are sent out into the world as itinerant preachers of the gospel without the authority of "pastor-teachers", i.e., to serve as pastors over a permanent gather of those who have been converted to Christ. These men would be what we today call Missionaries... which unfortunately also today is one of the most corrupt and unorthodox group of men within the visible church. [Linked Image]


For years I have understood the Great Commission to be given to the 11, in Matt.28:16-20; and since Matthias was not mentioned any further than Acts chapter 1, I take Paul as the 12th apostle, and the 12 did preach the gospel to the whole world. When I follow the verb euaggelizo for evangelize from Acts through Revelation, 41 times, it seems to be the apostles doing the preaching with possibly some associates, I could not understand a couple of the verses clearly on the associates. It is true that Philip is called an evangelist and he preached and we have no special statement of his calling to the office; but he is stated to be an evangelist and I do not worry so much about what is not stated. One other verse:

"As for you, always be sober, endure suffering, do the work of an evangelist, carry out your ministry fully." (2Tim 4:5, NRSV)

When it reads "do the work of an evangelist", that means the Elder is not holding the office of evangelist. Such as the illustration in Merriam-Webster about robots: "a machine that can do the work of a person and that works automatically or is controlled by a computer". A machine that can do the work of a person, but that machine is not a person. I take it from this that Elders were to be preaching the gospel, and the office of evangelist fades away. The 70 Jesus appointed in Luke 10 seem to have been preachers of the gospel, evangelists. Now, I happen to distrust any new invention, novel method or belief, that appeared in the 19th century and afterwards, so as far as the body of Christ goes. The faith was once for all given to the saints of the 1st century church and I suspect anything that took 1800 years to appear and claim legitimacy. I suppose in this, I appear closer to the Primitive (Original) Baptists, who did use Elders to rule, not Deacons. laugh

19th Century movements and novel ideas:
The Shakers
The Oneida Community
Millerites/Adventists (SDA)
Mormons
Christian Science
Unity School of Practical Christianity
Missionary Societies
Sunday Schools
Dispensationalism
Charles Finney
abolitionism defined by the "Battle Hymn of the Republic"
Crazy Carrie Nation and her Temperance Union
Showman Billy Sunday
Holiness movement (Phoebe Palmer)Then Pentecostalism
Campbellism (Churches of Christ)
The Social Gospel
Jehovah's Witnesses


Ned
#54252 - Sun Aug 13, 2017 5:02 PM Re: Am I living out the Gospel Message [Re: PerpetualLearner]  
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Pilgrim you are correct that Baptists do err when it comes to the office of deacon. I am happy to say that the Baptist Church I attend, recognizes this err and does not practice that belief.
Unfortunately, I believe we are probably the exception rather than the rule.
Tom

#54253 - Sun Aug 13, 2017 5:13 PM Re: Am I living out the Gospel Message [Re: PerpetualLearner]  
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It surprised me to learn that men like Owen, Wesley and even Matthew Henry believe the office of evangelist/missionary no longer exists.
My understanding is that many of the Puritans themselves were missionaries.
Although I am not a huge fan of Wesley for obvious reasons, if he truly believed that, he must not have liked what his friend Whitefield was doing.
Tom

#54254 - Sun Aug 13, 2017 5:24 PM Re: Am I living out the Gospel Message [Re: PerpetualLearner]  
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By the way, although I may be mistaken. My understanding is that evangelists/missionaries are actually elders sent out under the authority of the Church.
Tom

#54256 - Sun Aug 13, 2017 6:02 PM Re: Am I living out the Gospel Message [Re: Tom]  
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John Calvin is known to have supported and sent out many missionaries. This is not to suggest that John Calvin is the standard of all truth. But the view that "evangelists" existed as "office bearers", that the office was extraordinary (were pastor/teachers extraordinary too? scratchchin ) and only intended to be temporary was not widely known among the Reformers. St. Patrick, for example, was a missionary in the 4th century, predating the Reformation. And there were many more who were missionaries before and after him.


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#54258 - Sun Aug 13, 2017 6:29 PM Re: Am I living out the Gospel Message [Re: Pilgrim]  
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Originally Posted by Pilgrim
John Calvin is known to have supported and sent out many missionaries. This is not to suggest that John Calvin is the standard of all truth. But the view that "evangelists" existed as "office bearers", that the office was extraordinary (were pastor/teachers extraordinary too? scratchchin ) and only intended to be temporary was not widely known among the Reformers. St. Patrick, for example, was a missionary in the 4th century, predating the Reformation. And there were many more who were missionaries before and after him.


Thank you, I agree. I thought I would add, that the Reformers did not see themselves as infallible, but held the Scriptures high. As such, they believed that any doctrine, confession of faith, creed, etc... is only as good as it is biblical. If I remember correctly, the WCF and the LBCF 1689, said something along those lines.
Tom

Last edited by Tom; Sun Aug 13, 2017 6:36 PM.
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