Sunday, January 23, 2005

Objections to the Five-Fold ministry

Robert Bowman has written an article in Apologetics Index called "The Faulty Foundation of the Five-Fold Ministry". Here are his main objections:

1. Apostles and prophets are no longer needed because we have the Bible.

"However, it is the "building up" of the church (Eph 4:12) which must continue until the church is mature, not all five of the offices listed in verse 11 ... The offices of apostle and prophet would naturally cease in the church once their role in "equipping the saints" was completed; that is, once the New Testament canon was completed."... "To claim that the church today needs visions and revelations through modern apostles and prophets of Christ is to deny the sufficiency of the Bible (2 Tim. 3:16)"
2. Apostles and prophets are no longer needed becasue the Church's foundation is complete.
"Paul states that the church has "been built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets" (Eph. 2:20) and that Christ's mystery concerning the church was "revealed to His holy apostles and prophets in the Spirit" (3:5 ). These statements indicate that the role of apostles and prophets was fulfilled in the first century."
3. The Apostles must be eyewitness to the risen Christ.
"The New Testament is particularly clear about the temporary role of the apostles, since they were chosen to give eyewitness testimony of the risen Christ (Acts 1:21-26 ; 5:32 ; Luke 1:1-4 ; 1 Cor. 9:1 )."
Here is his conclusion:
"The teachers of the "five-fold ministry," in seeking to "restore" a foundation which has never been moved, are actually laying a false foundation which will not support the building up of the body of Christ."
Next post will answer these objections.