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Prophets, priests, and kings today? theological and practical problems with the use of the munus triplex as a leadership typology

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Tome septieme: Celebrating 500 Years since the Reformation, 1518-2018. Teaching Leaders, Leading Teachers. Biblical and Historical Perspectives on Education and Leadership: Jeffrey M. Horner Issue editor: Jeffrey M. Horner


It has become widespread, not only among pastors and conference speakers but also among scholars such as Vern Poythress and John Frame, to utilize the threefold offices of Christ as a typology for church leadership. According to this application of the threefold office, different church leaders possess prophetic, priestly, and kingly capacities in differing degrees, and the most appropriate role for each leader depends on which of these capacities happens to be strongest. According to some proponents, the offices of prophet, priest, and king function as leadership personality types, with prophets identified as those leaders who are gifted as teachers, priests as those who care for people’s needs, and kings as planners and organizers. This article undertakes an exploration of these three leadership roles and contends that, though the munus triplex itself is a venerable and biblical structure, the appropriation of prophet, priest, and king as typological categories for church leadership is not. Through examination both of relevant Old Testament texts and of New Testament appropriations of these offices of leadership, it is demonstrated that the typological categorization of leaders as prophets, priests, or kings falls far short when it comes to biblical support. Particularly absent in Scripture is any clear identification of these offices with specific traits that different church leaders possess in differing degrees. Kingship and priesthood in particular are not individualized traits but a communal identity, shared by the whole people of God and grounded in union with Christ

Częstotliwość wydawania:
3 razy w roku
Dziedziny czasopisma:
Teologia i religia, Tematy ogólne i odbiór Biblii