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The Diaconate: A Full and Equal Order [Paperback]

James Monroe Barnett
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
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Book Description

Jan. 1 1995
This book is a highly readable, comprehensive study that has established itself as the definitive work on the diaconate. Drawing upon original sources, the book provides valuable insights into the development of the office of the deacon in the early church and situates it within the context of the church's total ministry. Dr. Barnett contends that a radical change in the nature and understanding of the church's ministry took place in the fourth century. A ministry that had included the whole people of God in a horizontal, organic structure gave way to one that was clerical and hierarchical. This change, among other factors, eventually transformed the diaconate into an inconsequential, transitional office on the way to the priesthood. Responding to the present-day revival of the diaconate in the Roman Catholic, Episcopal, Lutheran, and other churches, Barnett calls for a restoration of the office to its original place as full and equal order, thus re-creating the great symbol of the servant ministry that Christ gave to all the church. James Monroe Barnett, now living in retirement in Omaha, is the former rector of Trinity Episcopal Church, Norfolk, NE.

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"...James Monroe Barnett's writing on the diaconate has come at a critical time in the history of contemporary Christianity. Its circulation has not been limited to only one denomination of the Christian church and its scholarship is impeccable. The revised edition reflects Barnett's confidence in his thesis... I recommend the book to anyone who is interested in the practice and theology of the ministry of the church, and especially to those who support the renewal of the diaconate." - Kaye Pitman, Director of the Diaconal Formation Program, reviewing for The Beacon Hill Books Reviewer, Vo. 2, No. 2, 1996 (Kaye Pitman)

"The Diaconate would be a very valuable resource for local churches to study as they struggle to understand and perform their ministry in and to the community. Fortunately, the book is wonderfully readable, as though the author had in mind the wide range of ministering types who in one way or another are deacons in the service of Christ." - Gordon E. Jackson, reviewing for Journal of Ecumenical Studies, Summer 1996 (Gordon E. Jackson)

"...James Monroe Barnett's writing on the diaconate has come at a critical time in the history of contemporary Christianity. Its circulation has not been limited to only one denomination of the Christian church and its scholarship is impeccable. The revised edition reflects Barnett's confidence in his thesis... I recommend the book to anyone who is interested in the practice and theology of the ministry of the church, and especially to those who support the renewal of the diaconate." - Kaye Pitman, Director of the Diaconal Formation Program, reviewing for The Beacon Hill Books Reviewer, Vo. 2, No. 2, 1996 (,)

"The Diaconate would be a very valuable resource for local churches to study as they struggle to understand and perform their ministry in and to the community. Fortunately, the book is wonderfully readable, as though the author had in mind the wide range of ministering types who in one way or another are deacons in the service of Christ." - Gordon E. Jackson, reviewing for Journal of Ecumenical Studies, Summer 1996 (,)

About the Author

James Monroe Barnett, now living in retirement in Omaha, is the former rector of Trinity Episcopal Church, Norfolk, NE.

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Most helpful customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Well worth having on your bookshelf ... March 2 2010
Format:Paperback
My book shelves are full of books that relate to the Church, church history and to its liturgies. Barnett's book is a welcome addition to my collection. History, theory, as well as Barnett's personal opinions combine to make an excellent read. While much of the prime source materials has been available before, it is the manner in which the author combines it that gives new insight into role of the Deacon within the Church.

Barnett examines the diaconate across the various ecclesial communities with a heavy focus on the Roman Catholic Church. His detailed interpretation of materials from the first four centuries and especially the chapter entitled "The Deacon as Symbol" were highlights.

Well researched, well written, well presented: well worth getting.
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Amazon.com: 4.9 out of 5 stars  8 reviews
10 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Full Order Dec 25 2007
By Simply human - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This is a very profound study of the Diaconate and how it developed from the biblical times to the present in the Christian Church. The Deacon is a full and equal order as the Presbyterate in the sense that is a vocation, a call from God to serve his people, and not just a kind of minor order in the Church of God. Deaconship, if lived in it's full manifestation is the most wonderful vocation, because at the end, we all are called to be minor in order to become the major in the kingdom of God.
WE are all called in the spirit of "Diakonos" or in the spirit to serve others.
7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Future of the Diaconate Feb. 14 2010
By Gerard A. Palermo - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
In one book, Barnett has captured the historical, ecclesiological, spiritual and scriptural foundation of the order of Deacon. Even more substantial, Barnett offers some outstanding forward looking views of the Diaconate in the 21st Century.The book is balanced and comprehensive in approach. The only negative aspect is, well, Barnett must have heard some fairly bad Deacon Homilies as he laments rather strongly the weaknesses there. But such is the truth.

This is a must read for Priests and Deacons in formation. For me, a cherished book.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Easy read, very informative Sept. 19 2010
By Sinclair - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
A very well written book. Explains first the history of the diaconate and then how we came to have the diaconate we have today. The author did a really good job of explaining how the diaconate looks in many different Christian denominations. My interest was in the Roman Catholic view.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars My Priest was right in suggesting this book.. May 27 2012
By C. Cook - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
My priest suggested this book to me when he and my bishop asked me to consider being a deacon. It was a very rich book that discussed the history and roll of Deacons within the different Christian faiths. It was a very good book and I would suggest it to anyone as your first read when considering the Diaconate.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Condition! Sept. 13 2010
By Circuit Rider - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I have been avoiding buying books that I cannot "see" to ensure good quality, but this purchase builds my confidence. It definitely was accurately described, and I am pleased with my purchase.
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