Date of Award

Fall 2012

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)



First Advisor

Mattox, Mickey L.

Second Advisor

Masson, Robert L.

Third Advisor

Mueller, Joseph G.


This dissertation explores the relationship between grace, the church, ordained church offices, and the threefold office of Christ (munus triplex). The goal is to discern, in what ways and in what senses, we can speak of the mediation of grace through the church while maintaining a Reformed theological commitment to the principle that Christ alone is Mediator. Chapter one seeks to establish that Reformed doctrine regards the church both as locus and instrument of grace including the fact that the ordained offices are instruments of grace. Chapter two offers a definition of the concept of mediator, introduces categories of mediation, defines the prophetic dimension of Christ's mediatorial work, and seeks to show how the pastoral office mediates the prophetic grace of Christ without impinging on the uniqueness of Christ's office and work. Chapter three addresses the priestly mediation of Christ as well as the relationship between pastoral office and Christ's priestly work. Chapter four is concerned to provide a Reformed approach to Christ's royal office and how it is made manifest in the church today through all three ordained offices in the Reformed tradition--pastors, elders, and deacons. The introduction and conclusion briefly introduce, and draw connections between, the body of the dissertation and the Presbyterian debate between the so-called two-office and three-office views of church office and also make some preliminary suggestions of the usefulness of the dissertation's concern for ecumenical dialogue between the Reformed and Roman Catholic churches. The overarching concern is to recover a Reformed understanding of the centrality of the church in God's plan of salvation.