Now, I have a bunch of stuff I'd like to dig into regarding elders and deacons, but since I am going to be at Disneyland all day Wednesday with my family (and thence away from the computer), for now I will kick the discussion off by asking some questions I've been wrestling with.
1. What is the relationship between episkopoi/presbyteroi/ diakonoi, and ministers/elders/deacons?The proposal I've been thinking through is, shall we say, rather dissimilar to anything I've heard advocated in Reformed circles (until a private discussion at the PCA's General Assembly a couple weeks ago, that is). I'll put it out there for discussion and critique, hopefully, tomorrow night.
2. If the episkopos (bishop or overseer) is a minister of the Word as many argue, then why does Paul address his Philippian letter "to the church in Philippi, with the bishops and deacons"? Why does he omit the "ruling elders"?
3. Why does Paul only list qualifications for episkopoi and diakonoi in I Tim. 3, again leaving out the elders?
4. Who are "the [presbyteroi] who rule" and "the [presbyteroi] who labor in the Word and doctrine" in I Tim. 5:17?
5. Were the seven men ordained in Acts 6 "deacons" as we commonly define them today?
6. What was Phoebe (Rom. 16:1)?
Until then, answer away....