Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Ruling Elders

The Church's Ruling Elders: Their History, Warrant and Work, George G. Hutton, 2007, Inverness, 152pp., pbk. £7,
(available from Free Presbyterian Bookroom, 133 Woodlands Rd, Glasgow.

This book is written for the ordinary church member and gives a very helpful overview of the office and functions of the ruling elder. Its brief chapters, straightforward style and consistent reference to Scripture helps in this aim.

As its title suggests, the author covers the relevant historical background (especially the Reformation)and the biblical warrant and qualifications for the eldership. There is clear argument from biblical principles for the importance of the eldership and in giving the clear reasons that female members do not qualify for this office.

There are also various profitable insights such as the need for ruling elders to have a sense of calling to their work and the way that the eldership must work collectively.

The book is very practical in counselling the elder how he should go about the working of praying and caring for the flock over which he has oversight. The elder's study and use of time is also considered.

Although written from a presbyterian perspective, the focus is upon the local congregation and those from independent churches will still find it equally helpful.
There are very few books on this important subject and this publication will be of great value to ministers, elders and church members.

Matthew Vogan