HTS Theological Studies
Print version ISSN 0259-9422
JONES, Robert and VAN ECK, Ernest. The forming of a contemporary understanding of church office: Jesus' calling to discipleship. Herv. teol. stud. [online]. 2010, vol.66, n.1, pp. 1-10. ISSN 0259-9422.
This article aimed to examine the Nederduitsch Hervormde Kerk van Afrika's (NHKA) understanding of church office, and measure it against 'office' or ministries in the New Testament, and more specifically against Jesus' calling to discipleship in Mark 8:34. The relevance of the historical Jesus for contemporary church theology is indicated by the 'essential' (Sache) continuity that exists between the historical Jesus and the church today. The article concludes that Jesus' calling to discipleship in Mark 8:34 implies a certain understanding of office. The essence of this calling is servitude based on self-denial, the taking up of one's cross, and the following of Jesus. Subsequently, a few remarks are made on the NHKA's understanding of church office, as described in the NHKA church ordinance. The aim is for these remarks to serve as a guideline for the NHKA to form a contemporary understanding of church office. The concluding remarks have been derived from the results of the study on Jesus' calling to discipleship, with the aim of ensuring that the NHKA serves and works in correspondence with the Word of God. This service occurs in a world very different from the one in which Jesus lived and served.
Keywords : church office; discipleship; institutionalization; cultural constructs; Jesus movement.