Sunday, March 18, 2012

the trinity of pulpit, sermon and pastor: "The Word of God Incarnate”?

Q:Why don’t women ever read or pray in Bethlehem’s church services?” 

A: John Piper:
But the real question, I think, they’re asking is about the prayers of praise, the reading of the text, and the preaching, and none of those the women do at Bethlehem. And that is intentional.
My reason is because—not that others have to see it this way—I view  that moment and that place in the worship service as one of pastoral authority. The pulpit stands there symbolizing the word of God preached, and that’s what thehe elders are responsible to do. The reading of the text is part of that. And the offering up of the prayers of the congregation in an official, formal, representative capacity at the front is pastoral.
If you switched it all around and you said, “I don’t want to view any of it that way,” then the principles wouldn’t apply in the way that we’re applying them. But in my sense, a woman is that moment acting like a pastor or elder, and that’s what we don’t think is appropriate.
It’s a pretty small, little place at Bethlehem. The pulpit is there, and those three things—the prayer of praise, the reading of the Scripture, and the preaching of the sermon—is a very, very small part of the life of this church. It’s big and important. But time-wise and ministry-wise it is a small thing. (Why don’t women ever read or pray in Bethlehem’s church services? by John Piper. © Desiring God. Website:,- link
Here below is  a great response: that doesn't even have to address the issue of women leading in these roles, but asks even deeper questions about the roles.  It also reveals yet another heretical seminary motto:

My heart is saddened by the ways we miss the free-flowing presence of Christ by the intrusion of religious ways of doing things that, as Paul warned, “are according to the tradition of men . . . and not according to Christ” (Col. 2:8).

“Preaching” is mentioned in the comments above. The act of the sermon is the high point of the Protestant service. Yet in the New Testament – the collection of books that is said to be the rule of faith and practice by church leaders – there is no evidence concerning one person giving a weekly sermon. Most of the time in the NT “preaching” is an outreach activity among those who are outside of Christ. There is one time when “proclamation” in the setting of saints meeting together is mentioned, but this is a declaration by the whole church, not by the speech of one person (1 Cor. 11:26).

What we do see in the NT is a gathering of believers who are actively expressing Christ in various ways (1 Cor. 14). As William Barclay noted in 1956, “The really notable thing about an early Church service must have been that almost everyone came with a sense that he had both the privilege and the obligation of contributing something to it.

It is stated above that what happens behind the pulpit is a matter of “pastoral authority.” Where is there anything about “the pastor” in the NT, and where is his “authority” unfolded? Here’s an example of how a bogus tradition becomes the foundation for restricting others in the church. Because of this alleged “pastoral authority” women cannot do anything from behind the pulpit.

But that raises another question. Where is there anything in the NT about the centrality of the pulpit? “The pulpit stands there symbolizing the word of God preached.” And how has it come to be that such a concept has been elevated and inflated without any revelation of Christ about it?

The center point for Catholics was the sacramental table where the Mass was performed. During the Reformation, in places where Protestantism gained power, the sacramental table was pushed aside and the pulpit took its place. Now the preacher, the sermon and the pulpit are center stage.

The depth of fixation on the pulpit is illustrated by the six-picture analysis of Westminster Theological Seminary’s seal, (Winter, 2011, pp. 8-9). Each picture highlights one of the elements of the Seal. Number four depicts the “sacred desk,” and says – “Pulpit: The Word of God Incarnate” (see above). Jesus Christ for sure is the Word of God incarnate. One of his names is “the Word of God.” But to suggest that the pulpit in every church building is where the Word of God is incarnated shows how much heavy infrastructure can be built upon the foundation of
...  CONTINUED HERE: The Body With One Part?  by John Zens

Related video by John Zens:

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