In the post, Jon shares several graphs of organizational and hierarchical leadership, although I don’t think I’ve ever seen a church publish that first one… maybe so?
Anyway, after the graphs, he begins asking questions about how hierarchy entered the church. (Of course, some believe that Jesus, Paul, and the other apostles and NT authors taught a form of hierarchical leadership for the church. But, that’s for another discussion, I guess.)
At one point, Jon suggests that Platonic philosophy is the source of leadership hierarchies in the church:
For example people like Clement of Alexandria and Origen had also been students of Platonism which saw the whole of society separated into classes or levels, and that people were actually predestined to their level in society. They also thought in terms of dualism, where there was a need for priests and clergy to be mediators between regular laymen and God. The concept of priesthood of all believers was soon largely overlooked.
There is a lot more to it than this.
That’s an interesting theory. Of course, Ignatius claimed direct spiritual revelation for his understanding of the three-part hierarchy (bishop – presbyters – deacons), and he said that he was not taught this by any man. Interesting…
Anyway, I don’t know the answer to this question, but I think it’s a great question to raise.