Reprint of Qualified, Commissioned and Accountable by Ernest C. Brown

We are glad to announce that Ernest C. Brown's book 'Qualified, Commissioned, and Accountable - Studies in Eldership from Acts 20:28' has been reprinted.

Copies are available here from the Evangelical Bookshop for £5.

Printed copies of Ernest's lecture 'The Confessional Church' from the Evangelical Bookshop Spring Lecture 2016 are also available from the bookshop for £1.50.

Foreword by Derek Thomas from 'Qualified, Commissioned, and Accountable'

Have you ever wondered what takes place at a presbytery meeting?  It is the kind of question that almost begs a cynical response, I know.  But it may surprise you to learn that just occasionally something of significance and weight occurs.  A few years ago, during his year Moderatorial responsibilities on behalf of the presbytery of the Evangelical Presbyterian Church, Ernest Brown gave a series of addresses defining the role and responsibilities of elders.  They were eagerly anticipated and warmly received.  Indeed, such was the quality of each address that I urged him to produce something for us in writing that would be of help to the church in future years.  For some time I have felt the need for our elders to have some kind of manual that defines the nature of (our!) office.

The apostles appointed in each congregation guardians, called 'elders' (Acts 14:23; Tit. 1:5), who would look after the people as shepherds look after sheep (Acts 20:28-31; 1 Pet 5:1-4) leading them by example (1 Pet 5:3) away from all that is harmful into all that is good.  This pastoral role of elders demands mature and stable Christian character and an integrated personal life (1 Tim 3:1-7; Tit 1:5-9).  We are told that wholeheartedness and fidelity in eldership will receive its reward (Heb 13:17; 1 Pet 5:4; cf 1 Tim 4:7-8).

It has been my privilege to have known Ernest Brown for the past 14 years as his minister and a close personal friend.  I can think of no one better suited to write on the responsibilities of elders - who better than an elder to write about eldership?  He has given us here something of enormous significance and the Evangelical Presbyterian Church is deeply indebted to him.  I am delighted to be asked to write this foreword and to have played a very small part in the publication of this manual.

Derek Thomas
Stranmillis EPC
July 1993

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