Free customer pick up now available at check out. Shipping will be charged at check out
Cart 0
The Deacon: The Biblical Roots and the Ministry of Mercy Today

The Deacon: The Biblical Roots and the Ministry of Mercy Today

By: Cornelis Van Dam

£11.99 £14.99
Product Details
Publisher Reformation Heritage Books
Year 2016
ISBN 9781601785114

The office of deacon is God’s gift to His church, but today it is often undervalued, misunderstood, and perceived to be of little importance. In The Deacon, the author considers the Old Testament background for this calling, the deacon in New Testament times and in church history, and the current function of the office. You will rediscover the high and privileged calling of deacons and come to a better understanding of what God requires of them.


Table of Contents:



Part 1—The Old Testament Background

  1. The Poor in Israel
  1. Providing for the Poor

Part 2—New Testament Times

  1. Christ’s Teaching on the Poor and Needy
  1. Ministering to the Poor in Acts 6

      5. The Office of Deacon

  1. Female Deacon?

Part 3—The Office of Deacon in the History of the Church

  1. The Testimony of the Early Church and the Heritage of the Reformation
  1. Women and the Diaconate

Part 4—The Current Functioning of the Office

  1. The Official Position of the Deacon Today
  1. Enabling and Prioritizing
  1. The Diaconal Ministry within the Congregation
  1. The Diaconal Ministry outside the Congregation
  1. The Blessing of the Poor

Questions for Study and Reflection

Resources for Further Study on Deacons



Cornelis Van Dam is emeritus professor of Old Testament at Canadian Reformed Theological Seminary in Hamilton, Ontario. He is the author of The Elder: Today’s Ministry Rooted in All of Scripture.



“Dr. Van Dam’s book is an excellent treatment of the work of deacons. Writing from a Reformed perspective, he discusses the biblical foundations (both Old and New Testament), church-historical developments, and practical aspects of the work of deacons today. I plan to prescribe this book as a textbook for diaconal studies at seminary. While the content is rooted in scholarly research, it is written in such a way that deacons, deacons-in-training, and interested church members will enjoy reading and studying the book.” — Arjan de Visser, professor of ecclesiology and diaconiology, Canadian Reformed Theological Seminary


“Deacons are Christ’s priestly heart and arms of mercy reaching to, embracing, and showing compassion to the poor and afflicted. Unfortunately, there are few helpful, compelling books on the deacon’s office today. This one is a notable exception. Drawing from his careful research in Holy Scripture and Christian history, Cornelis Van Dam lays out a clear and compelling case for what diaconal ministry should look like today. Highly recommended!” — Joel R. Beeke, president, Puritan Reformed Theological Seminary, Grand Rapids, Michigan


“Dr. Van Dam has provided the modern church with a much-needed work on the office of the deacon. In a day and age when pastors and their congregations are confused about what a biblical deacon does—and does not do—Dr. Van Dam brings clarity by providing the Old Testament background for the New Testament deacon as well as a treatment of the office of the deacon in the history of the church. This is a book for professors, pastors, seminary students, diaconates, and congregations. I highly recommend this timely work!” — Ron Gleason, senior pastor of Grace Presbyterian Church, Yorba Linda, California


“In Christian literature on the offices of the church, eldership has usually received the lion's share of reflection and discussion, an understandable situation in view of the amount of material on this subject in the New Testament. Yet the other New Testament office, the diaconate, is also an apostolic institution and well deserving of significant ecclesial reflection, especially in view of its service to the poor. This new study by Cornelis Van Dam provides such reflection, covering, as it does, the Old Testament roots of the office, the entire range of material about deacons in the New Testament, and the varied historical expressions of the diaconate. This is a solid, well-argued study that will be of great benefit to the church as a whole and to deacons in particular. Highly recommended!” — Michael A. G. Haykin, professor of church history and biblical spirituality, The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary


“What are deacons? In a lot of churches, they are ‘junior elders.’ What is really needed is a fuller study of the office as it unfolds from the Old Testament into the New. Besides careful exegesis and a sharp eye for the unfolding drama of redemption, there needs to be a solid grasp of the historical development of the office in the church. Finally, we need the wisdom of experience in the life of actual churches to deal with issues that we face in churches today. All of these prerequisites are fulfilled in this immensely readable and wise volume. After serving us so well with his book on elders, Professor Van Dam now invites us to rediscover the potential of a biblically defined and robust diaconate. I hope this book enjoys the widest readership.” — Michael Horton, J. Gresham Machen Professor of Theology, Westminster Seminary California

Share this Product

More from this collection