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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simul iustus et peccator

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