Monday, April 21, 2014


Polity Matters

Bobby Jamieson writing @ 9Marks posts a lengthy and thorough defense of congregational forms of polity and makes the case that such is the New Testament prescription for church organization. The piece is too long well argued for excerpting, but it is well worth the time and effort to read.

I am a Presbyterian primarily because of polity. Frankly, given the shifts in majority Presbyterian theological views in the last decades there are many churches with which I am better aligned theologically, but there are none that get church governance right.

My argument, unlike Jamieson, are purely practical. The Presbyterian version of congregationalism offers two thing that I find mandatory - 1) less opportunity for a charismatic leader to run amok and 2) better ability to check same when it does happen. In a nutshell, if God is going to tell one guy something, he is going to tell everybody something.

The downside is what we have seen happen in the church in the last decades, but this is a result not of the system, but of failing to exercise it properly.

The only real disadvantage to the system is it is hard to keep God sovereign - it requires leadership of extraordinary devotion and humility. But then that is what the church is supposed to produce, is it not?


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