William Harrison reviews David Cox’s Priesthood in a New Millennium

Posted by Kendall Harmon

The second part of Cox's book turns to the contemporary situation. Cox argues for an understanding of the presbyterate as eldership, following a "canonist" approach (p. 239), which seems to mean a reliance upon Scripture as mediated by the tradition and understood in the light of contemporary scholarship (new term, old Anglican method). Cox likes the term "elder" because it carries the sense ofpresbuteros and projects the image of leadership which Cox regards as important to the role of the presbyter.

Does the "eldership" model, in Cox's hands, answer the challenges of today? Well, perhaps, though the contemporary part of this book is not quite as strong as the historical section. Cox provides a chapter on the presbyter as elder, in which he accounts for the nature of the priest in what Cox calls a "verbal collage" (p. 277), drawn from various liturgies, and seeks to weld this into a unified whole. He describes the priest as: "person of the sacrament," "person of the Word," "person of care," "person rooted in community" (with a leadership role), "an example to others," "person of blessing and reconciliation," and "person of God" (pp. 280-284). These assertions all carry some truth and may, indeed, account for the life of a priest.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalEpiscopal Church (TEC)* Christian Life / Church LifeParish Ministry* TheologyPastoral Theology

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Posted November 27, 2007 at 4:38 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]
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