Author Topic: If not "function," then what?  (Read 3477 times)

Brian Stoffregen

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Re: If not "function," then what?
« Reply #30 on: May 19, 2021, 02:16:17 AM »
Two Different Views of the Public Ministry:

FUNCTIONAL (Wisconsin Synod).....Not Christ, but the Church has established various and equal
offices to administer the Gospel and  Sacraments in the congregation.  They ordain teachers and
pastors who have equal functions of ministry.  The office of the Public Ministry is seen as a logical
outgrowth from the doctrine of the Priesthood of all believers.

CONFERRAL (Missouri Synod, C.F.W. Walther)......Christ instituted the Pastoral office and all other
offices of the church stem from it.  All Christians are priests and the ministry of the pastor is not
a special rank.  Office of the Keys has been given to the whole church.  Yet, the Pastoral office is
distinct from the Priesthood of all believers.
There is a third view, the ONTOLOGICAL that when ordained there is an ontological change in the ordained, that ordination places an indelible mark on the person. I think everyone in this discussion rejects this view.

Well... Maybe not everybody....
Fr. Matt Hummel 😉
OK, maybe not everyone. But still earlier in this thread it seemed to me that some were setting the discussion up as an either or between a FUNCTIONAL view and an ONTOLOGICAL view. To reject the ONTOLOGICAL view does not leave the FUNCTIONAL view as the only alternative.


So, what are other views besides those two? Perhaps asked different: Who are we as pastors? and What are we to do as pastors? The "doing" is centered on presiding at Holy Communion. (Some might add, preach the gospel, but that isn't always limited to just the ordained like presiding is.) Nearly every other function of the pastoral role can be done by the non-ordained.
You still "what are other views besides those two?" We have suggested other views in case you haven't noticed or read anyone else. One place to start would be in the quote train of your post.


Only one other view had been offered: conferral as the view of the LCMS. I'm not sure how that differs from function. All people should know how to add and subtract, but some become certified public accountants who are able to things that normal people don't usually do.
"The church … had made us like ill-taught piano students; we play our songs, but we never really hear them, because our main concern is not to make music, but but to avoid some flub that will get us in dutch." [Robert Capon, _Between Noon and Three_, p. 148]

Rev. Edward Engelbrecht

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Re: If not "function," then what?
« Reply #31 on: May 19, 2021, 10:25:11 AM »
When it comes to ministry, I don't think strictly in terms of function and ontology. (In fact, I don't think I had seen the ontology term used with ordination until I visited this forum.) The Scripture seems to emphasize God's calling---immediately from the Lord in the case of prophets and apostles, mediately through God's people in the case of Old Testament priests and apostolic ministers (pastors). Along with the calling come certain qualifications for training, sound doctrine, and gifts that enable them to fulfill the functions of their offices. So I would think in terms of calling and qualifications as biblical categories.

We saw this in the Acts 1 reading on Sunday. Peter describes qualifications for the person to fill Judas's office. We then see the church using its process (lots) to confer the call. In other cases, we see apostles making appointments to ministry (e.g., Acts 14:23; Titus 1:5).

So, calling and appointment seem like more faithful categories to me.
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Dan Fienen

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Re: If not "function," then what?
« Reply #32 on: May 19, 2021, 11:15:14 AM »
Two Different Views of the Public Ministry:

FUNCTIONAL (Wisconsin Synod).....Not Christ, but the Church has established various and equal
offices to administer the Gospel and  Sacraments in the congregation.  They ordain teachers and
pastors who have equal functions of ministry.  The office of the Public Ministry is seen as a logical
outgrowth from the doctrine of the Priesthood of all believers.

CONFERRAL (Missouri Synod, C.F.W. Walther)......Christ instituted the Pastoral office and all other
offices of the church stem from it.  All Christians are priests and the ministry of the pastor is not
a special rank.  Office of the Keys has been given to the whole church.  Yet, the Pastoral office is
distinct from the Priesthood of all believers.
There is a third view, the ONTOLOGICAL that when ordained there is an ontological change in the ordained, that ordination places an indelible mark on the person. I think everyone in this discussion rejects this view.

Well... Maybe not everybody....
Fr. Matt Hummel 😉
OK, maybe not everyone. But still earlier in this thread it seemed to me that some were setting the discussion up as an either or between a FUNCTIONAL view and an ONTOLOGICAL view. To reject the ONTOLOGICAL view does not leave the FUNCTIONAL view as the only alternative.


So, what are other views besides those two? Perhaps asked different: Who are we as pastors? and What are we to do as pastors? The "doing" is centered on presiding at Holy Communion. (Some might add, preach the gospel, but that isn't always limited to just the ordained like presiding is.) Nearly every other function of the pastoral role can be done by the non-ordained.
You still "what are other views besides those two?" We have suggested other views in case you haven't noticed or read anyone else. One place to start would be in the quote train of your post.


Only one other view had been offered: conferral as the view of the LCMS. I'm not sure how that differs from function. All people should know how to add and subtract, but some become certified public accountants who are able to things that normal people don't usually do.
There is a long standing divide within taxonomy between "clumpers" and "splitters." Clumpers tend to keep the number of groupings lower and "clump" together populations of organisms emphasizing their similarities rather than points of difference. Splitters emphasize the differences between populations of organisms and tend to proliferate separate classifications. I tend to sympathize with the splitters, I suspect (although I haven't data from your MBTI and how can one really know someone else without it) that you tend to be a clumper. (I'm not sure how clumpers vs. splitters even fit in the MBTI.) Thus, for example, I split the uses of the Law into three categories and you clump uses one and three into one use.


We may be essentially talking past each other. My unease about calling my view of the Office of the Holy Ministry simply a functional view is that I view the office of Pastor as not just a job description listing a number of functions or duties that the pastor is supposed to carry out but as a divinely established office within the church to which certain authorities have been delegated. If I had to come up with a label for my view, I think that I would prefer to label it APOSTOLIC, derived not just from the Apostles but even more basically from the verb apostello, to send. In Greek, apostello was also a legal term, similar in import to power of attorney or ambassador. I really suggest reading the entry for apostello written by Karl Heinrich Rengstorf in Kittel's Theological Dictionary of the New Testament. Thus the pastor is not simply a functionary carrying out certain functions necessary for the church, as in churches need people to carry out janitorial and grounds keeping functions if they have a building, bookkeeping, secretarial and record keeping, preaching, and administering the sacrament among other functions. They just need to make sure that somebody carries out those functions. I cannot go along with that version of a FUNCTIONAL view of the Pastoral Office.


Rather, Jesus sent His Apostles and delegated to them authority to act for Him, in His Name and with His Authority. This has been designated the Office of the Keys. In our understanding of it, this Office has been delegated to the Church to be publicly administered by designated individuals. In our polity, congregations are not completely independent but by joining together into a larger church body do some of what they do in concert with the church at large. One of which is the choosing and placing of pastors. Individuals (men in the case of the LCMS) are recognized by the church at large as qualified for this office and with the consent of the congregation and the church at large inducted into and consecrated for this service (ordained) and placed (installed) into this service in a particular place. We also recognize that there are auxiliary office for more specialized ministry derived from the Pastoral Office.


Those who have been ordained for the Pastoral Office may serve in capacities other than in a congregation without losing their status as one set aside for pastoral ministry. These may be auxiliary offices in institutions established by the larger church, serving in the larger church, temporarily without a parish but seeking to reenter that ministry, or emeritus. Thus, while I was a few years ago without a call to a parish for a time, I maintained my pastoral status and temporarily served several congregations as a fill in or vacancy pastor. 

When someone is elected to be President of the United States, that election and subsequent inauguration does not effect an ontological change in the person. Yet it seems strange to me to simply say that they were hired to carry out some functions. No, the one elected is invested with certain authorities that no one else has in our nation, and that is marked by a solemn ceremony in which they are inducted into the office and promises and vows are made.
« Last Edit: May 19, 2021, 11:17:47 AM by Dan Fienen »
Pr. Daniel Fienen
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peterm

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Re: If not "function," then what?
« Reply #33 on: May 19, 2021, 11:30:52 AM »
Sometimes it doesn't matter how WE view our office.  We also need to be aware of how our congregations view the office.  Do they view the pastor as an employee in some sense? (Which is more functional in nature) or do they have a higher view of the office that is something different?  On a day to day basis this is something I run into, because my two congregations have very different views of the Office of Ministry
Rev. Peter Morlock- ELCA pastor serving two congregations in WIS

Dave Likeness

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Re: If not "function," then what?
« Reply #34 on: May 19, 2021, 11:49:26 AM »
The Functional view of the Office of Public Ministry believes the CHURCH has established
the offices.  They ordain both pastors and teachers who have equal functions of ministry.

The Conferral view of the Office of Public Ministry believes CHRIST instituted the Pastoral
office.  As a result they believe all other offices in the church stem from the Pastoral office.

The functional view leads to the idea that the church can hire and fire pastors at will.  The
conferral view leads to  a more serious reality that the pastor has been called by Christ to
a particular parish. He is a humble servant of Christ and not an employee of the parish.

Brian Stoffregen

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Re: If not "function," then what?
« Reply #35 on: May 19, 2021, 02:46:53 PM »
We may be essentially talking past each other. My unease about calling my view of the Office of the Holy Ministry simply a functional view is that I view the office of Pastor as not just a job description listing a number of functions or duties that the pastor is supposed to carry out but as a divinely established office within the church to which certain authorities have been delegated. If I had to come up with a label for my view, I think that I would prefer to label it APOSTOLIC, derived not just from the Apostles but even more basically from the verb apostello, to send. In Greek, apostello was also a legal term, similar in import to power of attorney or ambassador. I really suggest reading the entry for apostello written by Karl Heinrich Rengstorf in Kittel's Theological Dictionary of the New Testament. Thus the pastor is not simply a functionary carrying out certain functions necessary for the church, as in churches need people to carry out janitorial and grounds keeping functions if they have a building, bookkeeping, secretarial and record keeping, preaching, and administering the sacrament among other functions. They just need to make sure that somebody carries out those functions. I cannot go along with that version of a FUNCTIONAL view of the Pastoral Office.


Rather, Jesus sent His Apostles and delegated to them authority to act for Him, in His Name and with His Authority. This has been designated the Office of the Keys. In our understanding of it, this Office has been delegated to the Church to be publicly administered by designated individuals. In our polity, congregations are not completely independent but by joining together into a larger church body do some of what they do in concert with the church at large. One of which is the choosing and placing of pastors. Individuals (men in the case of the LCMS) are recognized by the church at large as qualified for this office and with the consent of the congregation and the church at large inducted into and consecrated for this service (ordained) and placed (installed) into this service in a particular place. We also recognize that there are auxiliary office for more specialized ministry derived from the Pastoral Office.


Those who have been ordained for the Pastoral Office may serve in capacities other than in a congregation without losing their status as one set aside for pastoral ministry. These may be auxiliary offices in institutions established by the larger church, serving in the larger church, temporarily without a parish but seeking to reenter that ministry, or emeritus. Thus, while I was a few years ago without a call to a parish for a time, I maintained my pastoral status and temporarily served several congregations as a fill in or vacancy pastor. 

When someone is elected to be President of the United States, that election and subsequent inauguration does not effect an ontological change in the person. Yet it seems strange to me to simply say that they were hired to carry out some functions. No, the one elected is invested with certain authorities that no one else has in our nation, and that is marked by a solemn ceremony in which they are inducted into the office and promises and vows are made.


The New Testament uses ἀπόστολος in different ways.


1. It refers to the Twelve, selected by Jesus (Matthew 10:2; Mark 3:14; Luke 6:13).


2. It is used of the replacement for Judas who had to meet certain criteria that the disciples/apostles set and were chosen by the disciples through, essentially, a game of chance. (The CEV interprets, "by lots" to say, "they drew names.")


3. It is used of others outside of the group of Twelve (selected by Jesus with one selected by God through the disciples setting criteria and drawing names): "the apostles Barnabas and Paul" (Acts 14:14). They did not meet the criteria set in Acts 1. They weren't chosen by lots. Paul, who we know was not with Jesus during his earthly ministry (one of the criterion,) repeatedly calls himself "an apostle" in his letters.


In addition, ἀπόστολος, is used of Titus (2 Cor. 8:23) and Epaphroditus (Phil. 2:25). (NRSV translates it "messenger".)


This is closer to the Greek meaning, especially of the verb, ἀποστέλλω, "to be sent with a message." I don't believe we should limit apostleship to just the 12 or clergy; but I see the Great Commission in Matthew, and the one at the end of Luke, and the "sending" at the end of John as applicable to all believers. Baptism should make all of us disciples (learners) and apostles (those sent into the world with the message of Jesus Christ).


I like and have used the argument that where the church is most in the world, is through the lay people in their daily vocations. They are the ones in the workplaces. They are the ones in the civic organizations. At least in LBW and ELW, the final section of the Communion Liturgy is "Sending." Those who have been filled with Christ are now sent back into the world. That makes them all apostles = sent ones.

There have been some congregations who consider the ministers to be all the members of the congregation who are guided by one pastor.
"The church … had made us like ill-taught piano students; we play our songs, but we never really hear them, because our main concern is not to make music, but but to avoid some flub that will get us in dutch." [Robert Capon, _Between Noon and Three_, p. 148]

Rev. Edward Engelbrecht

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Re: If not "function," then what?
« Reply #36 on: May 20, 2021, 09:27:40 PM »
I wouldn't consider casting lots a game of chance since it begins with eliminating bad options and leaves equal options. In Acts 1 both candidates are qualified. The unqualified have already been excluded. The lots, used with prayers, make the decision between two good options, entrusting the matter to God. I've actually seen this used to select a circuit counselor after repeated tied votes.
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Brian Stoffregen

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Re: If not "function," then what?
« Reply #37 on: May 21, 2021, 02:34:55 AM »
I wouldn't consider casting lots a game of chance since it begins with eliminating bad options and leaves equal options. In Acts 1 both candidates are qualified. The unqualified have already been excluded. The lots, used with prayers, make the decision between two good options, entrusting the matter to God. I've actually seen this used to select a circuit counselor after repeated tied votes.


In the NT, the use of lots occurs most often with the selection of who will get Jesus' garment (Matthew 27:35; Mark 15:24; Luke 23:34; John 19:24). In that case anyone who wanted could participate in the game of chance. It's a bit like using "rock, paper, scissors" to make a decision. All those who play have a chance of winning (and losing).


The CEV uses "drawing names" as the means of selecting the next apostle from those who were qualified.


Since there was such a big deal over keeping the number of Apostles at 12; why weren't new apostles chose as the original ones began to die (most through martyrdom)? Perhaps, there weren't others who met the criteria of Acts 1.
« Last Edit: May 21, 2021, 02:38:15 AM by Brian Stoffregen »
"The church … had made us like ill-taught piano students; we play our songs, but we never really hear them, because our main concern is not to make music, but but to avoid some flub that will get us in dutch." [Robert Capon, _Between Noon and Three_, p. 148]

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Re: If not "function," then what?
« Reply #38 on: May 22, 2021, 08:39:41 PM »
I remember once hearing Dr. Nagel say that this could well have been like a bucket for Matthias and for Joseph, and the “lots” were like tokens dropped into the bucket, with the majority of the tokens being placed upon Matthias. In other words, just a way of tallying votes. Has anyone else heard that explanation?

Brian Stoffregen

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Re: If not "function," then what?
« Reply #39 on: May 23, 2021, 02:47:38 AM »
I remember once hearing Dr. Nagel say that this could well have been like a bucket for Matthias and for Joseph, and the “lots” were like tokens dropped into the bucket, with the majority of the tokens being placed upon Matthias. In other words, just a way of tallying votes. Has anyone else heard that explanation?


My Classical Greek-English Lexicon (Liddell & Scott, abridged) has the following under κλῆρος = "lot": In Homer each hero marks his own lot, and they are thrown into a helmet; the first which came out was the winning lot.


That sounds more like drawing a name out of a bucket, than tallying votes.


The phrase in Acts 1:26 is different than the "casting lots" for Jesus' garment in Matt 27:35; Mark 15:24; Luke 23:34; and John 19:24. In those four instances the phrase is ἔβαλον κλήρους (Luke & John, which is the same as in Psalm 21:19 LXX) and βάλλοντες κλῆρον (Matt & Mark, same words different form). Literally, it is "to cast or throw lots."


Acts 1:26 has ἔδωκαν κλήρους = "they gave lots."


I don't know if this means they did something different with the lots or not.


I also discovered that κλῆρος is the root for "clerics," i.e., clergy. I don't know if it stems from choosing Matthias in this way; or its use in 1:17 to refer to Judas having received "a share" in this ministry.
"The church … had made us like ill-taught piano students; we play our songs, but we never really hear them, because our main concern is not to make music, but but to avoid some flub that will get us in dutch." [Robert Capon, _Between Noon and Three_, p. 148]

Rev. Edward Engelbrecht

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Re: If not "function," then what?
« Reply #40 on: May 23, 2021, 03:47:54 PM »
I remember once hearing Dr. Nagel say that this could well have been like a bucket for Matthias and for Joseph, and the “lots” were like tokens dropped into the bucket, with the majority of the tokens being placed upon Matthias. In other words, just a way of tallying votes. Has anyone else heard that explanation?

As Brian's notes are showing, and as memory serves, the biblical expressions that may describe voting are not sufficiently clear to determine exactly what they were practicing. Perhaps future discoveries will clarify the terms.
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Brian Stoffregen

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Re: If not "function," then what?
« Reply #41 on: May 23, 2021, 06:25:29 PM »
I remember once hearing Dr. Nagel say that this could well have been like a bucket for Matthias and for Joseph, and the “lots” were like tokens dropped into the bucket, with the majority of the tokens being placed upon Matthias. In other words, just a way of tallying votes. Has anyone else heard that explanation?

As Brian's notes are showing, and as memory serves, the biblical expressions that may describe voting are not sufficiently clear to determine exactly what they were practicing. Perhaps future discoveries will clarify the terms.


I have discovered that κλῆτος ("lot") is used about 150 times in the LXX. Some of those are with βάλλω ("to throw") and some are with δίδωμι ("to give"). I haven't had time to look at all those verses to see if they offer any insight. It's about time for a zoom meeting with our sons.
"The church … had made us like ill-taught piano students; we play our songs, but we never really hear them, because our main concern is not to make music, but but to avoid some flub that will get us in dutch." [Robert Capon, _Between Noon and Three_, p. 148]