Diakonia: Re-Interpreting the Ancient Sources by John N Collins

By John N Collins

This can be the 1st complete learn of the Greek be aware ''diakonia,'' from which the note ''deacon'' is derived. Diakonia and its cognates seem usually in the course of the New testomony, yet its targeted which means has lengthy been disputed. at the present time, it is often translated ''service'' or ''ministry.'' As Collins indicates, this realizing of diakonia has been very important to the advance of a contemporary consensus in regards to the nature of Christian ministry. in keeping with the knowledge that diakonia is ''service'' and that the diakonos (deacon) is a ''servant,'' approximately all Christian our bodies this day agree that the imperative thought of ministry is that of assisting the needy, and that the ''servant'' church could be humbly dedicated to supporting the realm, after the version of Jesus. Collins conducts an exhaustive examine of diakonia in Christian and non-Christian assets from approximately two hundred BCE to two hundred CE. He unearths that during all such assets the notice is used to intend ''messenger'' or ''emissary,'' and has no implications of humility or of aiding the needy. This discovery undermines a lot of the theological dialogue of ministry that has taken position over the last fifty years.

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The high idea of ''munus' '-which is the traditional conceptualisation of office previously described in the constitution-with the idea of office as service, indeed as lowly service. The same contrast is introduced in one of the constitution's paragraphs on the foundation of the church. " The citation here is from Mark 10:45 and it suggests, beyond the saving power of Jesus' death, that the church's mission must be carried out in the spirit of Jesus' own ministry, namely by "observing his precepts of charity, humility and abnegation" (art.

10). The mode of filling is this: By the ministers to whom he has committed this office, and given grace to discharge it, he dispenses and distributes his gifts to the Church. . In this way, the renewal of the saints is accomplished, and the body of Christ is edified . . ; in this way we are all brought into the unity of Christ, provided prophecy flourishes amo_pg us, provided we receive his apostles, and despise not the doctrine which is administered to us. 39 The common modern position forms a striking contrast with this classical position and well illustrates on what the doctrine of ministry now turns.

Tomatoes and cucumbers. 17 The Doctrine of Ministry The formula "witness and service" carries over at times from discussion of the church's ministry to the world to discussion of ministry within the church. It serves to emphasise that the church is built up not only through preaching and. worship but also through complementarity within the fellowship of believers. Charitable and social "diakonia" is thus first exercised within the community before being extended to the world community. The emphasis is especially marked in statements like those of the Second Vatican Council about the pattern or style to which the ordained ministry should conform and is so widespread that in an extensive study of the history and modem content of the theology of ministry B.

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