The Equipping Church: Recapturing God’s Vision for the Priesthood of All Believers

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I have long felt the doctrine of the priesthood of all believers is treated as biblically authoritative, spiritually sound, and worthy of every Christian’s affirmation but, then, in reality not lived out. It is embraced in form but rejected in function. We call it a vital component of our faith, but reject it in practice.

In my view, the doctrine of the priesthood of all believers (PoAB) is treated as though it is a true, factual, and fascinating piece of Christian doctrine but a rather silly thing to try and live out. A chasm has emerged between orthodoxy (what we profess we believe) and orthopraxy (what we practice and live out).

As this project explores, even though the Reformation largely became a movement because of this doctrine, it still did very little to impact the practice of the PoAB. Ultimately, this is a matter of incoherent doctrine. Incoherence between our theology and the practice of the PoAB has implications for many facts of ecclesiology.

Ecclesiology is the theological crisis of our day. The crisis of the fourth century church was the doctrine of the Trinity. In the fifth century it was Christology. In the sixteenth century it was soteriology. Today, we are facing an ongoing crisis of ecclesiology. We must consider the ways our theology is lived out with respect to the aforementioned issues within a church (ekklesia), the body of Christ, steeped in a hyper individualistic twenty-first century culture.

My project explores how many protestant versions of believers’ royal priesthood, including the Christian Reformed Church in North America, are missionally inadequate: priestly functions are often monopolized by the Ministerial Priesthood,[1] which leads to the defrocking of the ministry of the priesthood of all believers.

A proper re-framing of the priesthood of all believers will serve as the catalyst for a more robust ecclesiology and will be the impetus for the royal priesthood to commit to their earthly vocation to be witnesses of Christ in the world.

[1] In the case of the CRCNA, there are four offices of the Ministerial Priesthood: Minister of the Word, Elder, Deacon, and Commissioned Pastor.

Note:

The goal of this project from the beginning was to equip pastors and ministry leaders to champion doctrine of the priesthood of all believers within their unique contexts. To that end, please explore "The Equipping Church" website with my dissertation and many other resources for you to explore:

Visit the Equipping Church Website

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