Today’s question: “What is “ordained”, formal, leadership in the Church? How do you understand the NT’s “episkopoi” and “diakonoi”? What is the connection between these offices/roles/functions and both preaching and liturgy in worship?”
This question opens out onto so many issues, so feel free to ask follow-up questions!
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It’s interesting to see in your conception a kind of vindication for the “apostolic succession”, though one significantly pared down and foreign to the Augustinian magicking (to make up a word) of the process. Here the leadership of the church continues through itself, not requiring an appeal to the congregation. Leaders choose successors, though perhaps with congregational insight without being beholden to their decision viz. a democratic vote or a corporate hiring process. However, this succession is not an exercise in obscure, and usually fudged, genealogy, but an exercise of how an organic body functions and should continue to function.
Is that a fair assessment?
I don’t believe that the process is best described as being ‘without appeal to the congregation’. The consent of the congregation is required. However, there is definitely a sort of organic succession at work.