James at “Idle musings of a bookseller” is publishing excerpts from a book called Company of the Committed which was written by Elton Trueblood almost 50 years ago. (I always enjoy readings James’ excerpts and his comments.) For example, see this post called “Lay Ministry.”
Notice this important statement about “clergy” and “laity”:
The only kind of lay ministry which is worth encouraging is that which makes a radical difference in the entire Christian enterprise. To be truly effective it must erase any difference in kind between the lay and the clerical Christian. The way to erase the distinction, which is almost wholly harmful, is not by the exclusion of professionals from the ministry, as anticlerical movements have tended to do, but rather by the inclusion of all in the ministry. The expanded dictum is that in the ministry of Christ there is neither Jew nor Greek, neither bond nor free, neither male nor female, neither layman nor cleric, but all are one in Christ Jesus.â€ – Company of the Committed, page 62
Could this distinction between “clergy” and “laity” be one of the problems in seeing mutuality (i.e. interdependent relationships) in churches?