Tag Archives: apostles

Dealing With Objections To Apostles Today (Part 5)

by Scott

It’s actually been a few months since I’ve posted the next instalment with my series on apostles today. But this is my final post in regards to addressing many of the objections for the existence of apostles in the present day. Since I’ve not written on the topic recently, I thought I would summarise my previous four articles in which I address varying objections: Continue reading

Dealing with Objections To Apostles Today (Part 4)

by Scott

Just to summarise for this extremely in depth series, I’ve shared three articles thus far as to why people object to apostles existing today:

  • Article 1: Apostles were NT Scripture writers and since we no longer are adding to Scripture, such a role is no longer needed. I addressed this here.
  • Article 2: Jesus personally hand-picked the apostles and since he is seated at the Father’s right hand, he no longer choosing apostles in such a way (in the physical sense). I addressed this here.
  • Article 3: To be an apostle, it is a requirement that Christ must have appeared to you post-resurrection. This no longer happens, Paul being the last one to receive such an appearance. I addressed this here.

With each of these arguments, I truly believe there has been a misunderstanding of particular Scripture passages used as proof-texts as to why apostles no longer exist. Misunderstanding particular Bible verses will lead to the formulation of wrong conclusions. I don’t say this arrogantly, but rather to challenge us to re-think the particular passages usually quoted with regards to the reasons that apostles no longer exist post-first century.

The fourth objection usually surrounds this issue: Apostles are foundation layers (as it states in Ephesians 2:20) and a foundation only needs to be laid once. Since the apostles laid this once-for-all-time foundation in the first century, and with that foundation being faithfully recorded in the New Testament Scriptures, we no longer need apostles.

So let’s consider this objection. Continue reading

Objections To Apostles Today (Part 3)

by Scott

Currently, I’m dealing with objections that are usually brought forward against the notion that Jesus continues to gift people as apostles in the present day. I have posted two articles thus far: here and here.

In my last post, I specifically dealt with the claim that all apostles were hand-picked by Jesus himself. Not that he had to physically tap them on the shoulder (though, noting Jewish culture, I would not be surprised if he touched each of them in selecting them), but that apostles had to be physically selected by Jesus while he was on earth. I think this is mainly a misunderstanding of passages like Acts 1:1-3.

Again, I believe all apostles are hand-selected by Christ – the twelve, Paul, other New Testament apostles and present-day apostles. There is no doubt, since he is the one who gifts with these ministries (see Ephesians 4:7-16). But such people as Barnabas, Apollos, Silas, Timothy, as well as those throughout the centuries who have functioned in such a ministry, might have never had a physical, post-resurrection appearance and selecting by Jesus. But Jesus keeps gifting these people to complete the apostolic work he began. But you can read more in the previous article.

This argument is actually connected to a much larger argument against apostles today: all apostles received a post-resurrection appearance of Jesus Christ. This is mainly built around these words of Peter, which precede the choice of Matthias to replace Judas Iscariot: Continue reading

Objections To Apostles Today (Part 2)

by Scott

It’s been just over a month since my last post (and I am wondering what Marv is doing as well!), but I want to continue in this series mainly on Ephesians 4 ministries and apostles. Right now I am moving through varying objections to the idea that apostles still exist today. In the last article, I specifically addressed the understanding that says apostles are mainly Scripture-writers. Of course, as I shall always state, those first apostles, and some of their close associates, recorded what is now the God-breathed New Testament Scriptures. Such a role was of great import and is not needed again.

But, I also believe that if we truly study what it means to be an apostle – by looking at the great apostle, Jesus, and the lives of the other apostles of Scripture – we will see that the apostolic ministry gift is not intrinsically tied to Scripture-writing. For those first apostles, their lives were taken up with a lot more than penning what we now recognise as our New Testament canon. Even so, not all apostles wrote Scripture. Only five did. Hence, I believe it is unhelpful to associate apostles as Scripture-writer.

The next argument I want to address is that Jesus physically hand-picked and chose his apostles. Therefore, due to Christ now being physically seated at the right hand of the Father reigning over all heaven and earth, this choosing can no longer happen, and so, no apostles can exist any longer.

So, where do we start with this specific argument? Continue reading

Objections to Apostles Today (Part 1)

by Scott

I am now posting my twelfth article on this larger series in regards to the ministry gifts listed in Ephesians 4:11-13, though I am mainly focusing in on apostles. You can click here to start at the first article and read through the series if you so desire.

And I suppose that there are quite a few more to come. This is a delicate topic, one with lots of misunderstandings, one with lots of baggage, one with lots of abuses. And, so, I feel the need to slowly walk through some things, slowly work some things out.

Sure, I could have posted a handful of articles and get on with other stuff. But I wanted to take the time to really consider things both biblically and theologically. I don’t mean to split the two, but when I refer to things theological, I am more referring to the conclusions that we come to from our reading and study of Scripture. It’s not always as simple as reading black ink on white paper. We read it through a lens, me included. And so I am trying to faithfully look at various portions of Scripture pertinent to the topic at hand, as well as the theological conclusions of such.

Hence, I’m on my twelfth article so far and plan to put out a handful or so more.

With regards to apostles, I said I would address the issues in this order:

  1. Apostles in New Testament Scripture.
  2. Objections to the existence of apostles today.
  3. What an apostle actually is.

So far, I have finished off the first point – looking at apostles in the New Testament. Whereas, when many people think of apostles, they think of the twelve, or possibly the twelve and Paul, Scripture actually lets us know there were a few other apostles at work in those early years following Christ’s resurrection, ascension and the outpouring of the Spirit of God.

We can definitely confirm that both Barnabas and James were apostles, but I believe there were others alive and well in those early decades – people like Apollos, Silas, Timothy, Titus, Epaphroditus, and probably a few others. It’s not so much that the word ‘apostle’ shows up next to their names (although it does in some cases). Rather, these people functioned in an apostolic ministry, what it meant practically and actually meant to be an apostle.

If it looks like a duck, walks like a duck and squawks like a duck, it seems that it’s a duck. And those people mentioned above definitely lived and walked out the ministry of an apostle.

No, they didn’t write Scripture (though Apollos has sometimes been connected with the letter to the Hebrews). But they functioned very much like the twelve and Paul – helping found, establish, build, train and equip the early church to be faithful to Christ and the gospel. I’ll share more of what it means to be an apostle later, though I am hitting on it here and there. But you can read my two articles about apostles in the New Testament by clicking here and here.

But, the second focus is to move on and look at the objections to apostles today. I believe there are four major objections to the notion that apostles exist today (or post-first century). I shall spend some time over a few articles addressing these objections below: Continue reading