What if "biblical equality" is an oxymoron?
Homo Hierarchicus and Ecclesial Order. I have a copy of Horne's article from the International Journal for the Study of the Christian Church if anyone desires one. Contact me if you do.
To argue that the concept of hierarchy is a profoundly theological concept is peculiarly difficult at the present time in which there is a general assumption that all hierarchies are hierarchies of power, intrinsically oppressive, and incompatible with human freedom. Consequently there is a deep-seated suspicion of the notion whenever it is invoked – not least in the context of church ‘order’. Such a suspicion would have been inexplicable to those writers from whom we gain our earliest knowledge of the Christian Church. Though we cannot, nor should we try to, recreate the conditions of earlier ages in which the concept was understood with a richness and depth that are lacking in our own age, it is vital to expose the contemporary misuse and degradation of the concept and see that, in the life of the Church, the concept of hierarchy is not intended to be an articulation of power, but an eschatological expression of order. The recognition of the inhuman abuse of the concept down the ages should not blind us to the truth that its purpose is to act sacramentally as a sign of the heavenly kingdom.