Prophets, Priests, and Kings A Contested Framework for Church Leadership

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Jonathan Pratt


Within the Reformed Tradition, it has been common to describe the work of Christ by reference to three Old Testament offices: Prophet, Priest and King. Since at least the 16th Century, Reformed theologians have drawn upon these offices to provide a theological basis for ministry by all Christians, as well as church leaders. In recent years, some scholars have been critical of the application of this framework to church leaders on the basis that it lacks biblical support. This paper reviews the biblical and theological basis for applying the munus triplex to Christians and church leaders by engaging with the Scriptures, other Reformed scholars, and the Reformed doctrine of the general and special office.

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