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John Lathrop: Apostles, Prophets, Evangelists, Pastors, and Teachers



John P. Lathrop, Apostles, Prophets, Evangelists, Pastors, and Teachers: Then and Now (Xulon, 2008), 152 pages, 9781606474594

John Lathrop has written an excellent survey of what is commonly called the “five-fold ministry gifts” of Ephesians 4:11, giving special attention to the ministries of the “apostle” and “prophet” since these are the most controversial in the contemporary Pentecostal\charismatic movement. He carefully examines each ministry in the light of Scripture and brings balance and clarity to what has been, in recent years, an over-emphasis on the restoration of apostles and prophets and their governmental authority.

He brings balance by showing from Scripture why these ministry gifts should be seen as ministries and functions rather than offices and titles. He clearly shows that all who function in these ministries do so as servants, not as despotic rulers. In a unique and clever way he alleviates potential concern about designating people as apostles or prophets by pointing out that these words have taken on unwarranted connotations of magnitude and importance, and reminds his readers that apostle can mean “messenger” and prophet can mean “an inspired speaker.”

Lathrop is not only Biblical and theological in his approach, but also practical. He is very thorough in delineating what a modern apostle or prophet will look like and what they will not look like. He also shows from Scripture that women may also function as prophets, apostles and pastors and points out that, apart from Jesus, no Christian leader in the New Testament is referred to as a pastor.

Overall, I consider this an excellent work and I highly recommend it to anyone who desires to better understand the five-fold ministry in the Church today, especially that of apostles and prophets.

Reviewed by Eddie L. Hyatt

Publisher’s page: www.xulonpress.com/bookstore/bookdetail.php?PB_ISBN=9781606474594

Preview this book: books.google.com/books?id=UmOHZYHbgegC

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Category: Fall 2010, Ministry, Pneuma Review

About the Author: Eddie L. Hyatt, D.Min. (Regent University), M.Div. and M.A. (Oral Roberts University), serves the body of Christ around the world by teaching with academic excellence and the anointing of the Holy Spirit. He has authored several books, including 2000 Years of Charismatic Christianity. His passion is to see authentic spiritual awakening transform the Church and impact the world in the Twenty-first century. www.eddiehyatt.com

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