The Wanderer

As I walked through the wilderness of this world …

Of deacons

with 3 comments

In the course of a certain recent train of thought set off by a certain portion of preparation, I struggled to identify a particular set of resources.

Specifically, I was thinking of the power of example, and applying it especially to church officers. As I considered the available resources, I found myself reasonably well-stocked with pastoral theologies, and with plenty of historical studies and (auto)biographies to adorn those pages. What I do not have, in anything like the same measure, is a treasury of diaconal theology, adorned with the same wealth of biographies and other studies to show as well as to tell.

Knowing that both of my readers are well-stocked with this kind of knowledge, I am writing to ask if either of you have any suggestions for anything that falls into this category (either direct treatments of the office and/or descriptions of it, biographical or otherwise), whether more ancient or more modern, and (ideally) robustly orthodox. Authors and titles would be appreciated; links to online documents would be a special blessing! Even if you think something is obvious, please let me know – if a suggestion duplicates something I already have or know, I shall simply take it as a helpful endorsement. Thanks in advance for any help rendered, and I look forward to reading your comments and suggestions.

Written by Jeremy Walker

Wednesday 23 July 2014 at 14:26

3 Responses

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  1. You are right, in that, there aren’t as many resources on deacons as pastors… I have found that some pastoral works do contain a small section on deacons at times. But as far as directly talking about deacons here is all I’ve gathered over the years:

    Greg Nichols Ecclesiology lectures 16 & 17:

    “The Deacon: His Calling, Character, Life & Labors” 2012 Trinity Montville Conf. [Audio | Video] feat. David Chanski, Bart Carlson, Jeff Smith & Driesse

    Finding Faithful Elders and Deacons (9Marks) by Thabiti M. Anyabwile

    Jason Delgado

    Wednesday 23 July 2014 at 14:35

  2. There’s also The New Testament Deacon: The Church’s Minister of Mercy by Alexander Strauch, and 40 Questions about Elders and Deacons by Benjamin Merkle

    A good search can also be found on Monergism’s website:

    Cesar Vigil-Ruiz

    Wednesday 23 July 2014 at 18:29

  3. I came to this website searching for Spurgeon and found the wonderful film, “Through the Eyes of Spurgeon,” which I thoroughly enjoyed. I was so deeply moved that I sent a link to my children and grandchildren.

    Further exploring this site, I came to this page “On Deacons.” You have struck a painful nerve in me by posting on the topic of deacons. Just this day, August 24, I read from A. B. Simpson’s daily devotional book, Days of Heaven on Earth, the following–to me, mild–admonition :

    “No Christian worker can ever be used of God
    until the proud self-will is broken,
    and the heart is ready to yield
    to God’s every touch,
    no matter through whom it may come.
    Many people want God
    to lead them in their way
    and they will brook no authority or restraint.
    They will give their money,
    But they want to dictate how it shall be spent.
    They will work as long as
    you let them please themselves,
    but let any pressure come
    and you immediately run up against,
    not the grace of resignation,
    but a letter of resignation,
    withdrawing from some important trust,
    and arousing a whole community of criticizing friends,
    equally disposed to have their own opinions
    and their own will about it.
    It is destructive of all real power.”

    My father was one of the best deacons I have ever known; he helped, assisted and supported the pastor in every way he could. On the other hand my husband and I served in the pastorate for 36 years and the deepest wounds, ill use and abuse came from those thought to be deacons. I found them among the most spiritually ignorant, rude and crude people I have ever known. We suffered a church split at their hands from which it was difficult to recover: one member called them “a pack of mad dogs.” The Lord spoke the scripture to my heart, “I will heal your wounds,” and it took me years to be able to forgive them. I still have to revisit those forgiveness steps from time to time–I have just done so again this moment, for I refuse to have unforgiveness in my heart.

    Along the journey of recovering from the trauma, the Lord led us to the ministry of Dr. Mark Barclay and the manuals he has prepared for his school. They are not scholarly books and could use the help of a good editor, but they are the best of practical handbooks I have read. They address issues of which most would not speak and include a section relating to the deacon’s ministry. Dr. Barclay has also written a book, Sheep, Wolves and Goats, which has helpful insights.

    If anyone on this earth can help educate and train people called to be deacons, I beg you to do so with all my heart. Let all faithful and true pastors be delivered from the “masters of the pastors!” Let faithful and true people of God be delivered from the evil of “deacon-possessed churches!”

    Bloodied in the ministry, but not defeated,

    Betty Bonn

    Betty Bonn

    Sunday 24 August 2014 at 18:46

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