This book represents an almost fifty-year period of both study and practical training in Christian ministry. For the author, Dr. Howard W. Durfee, it has been his life’s work. Howard’s quest for Christian truth began shortly after he was saved by the ministry of Campus Crusade for Christ. During his study at three of the leading seminaries of the world—Harvard Divinity School, The University of Edinburgh, and Fuller Theological Seminary—Howard was taught that the gifts and ministries of the New Testament had for the most part passed away after the New Testament era. There seemed to be a general confusion about why they had passed away. Regardless of all the theories, the important thing to Howard was that he could find no one in theological schools able to operate in the apostolic or prophetic ministries as described in the New Testament.
The biggest shock to Howard was when he found less educated, nonseminary-trained ministers who claimed to be apostles and prophets. The problem was that these less scholarly ministers appeared to have both the gifts and ministries operating with the power of the Holy Spirit. In a search for truth, Howard determined to prove beyond any shadow of a doubt that there could be no modern apostles or prophets. The only problem was that Howard could not disprove the existence of modern apostles or prophets based on the New Testament or on church history.
What follows in this book is the result of a lifetime of study on the apostolic ministry. After an introduction by Dr. Chuck Flynn, Howard defends the necessity of modern apostles. He then defines and describes what a New Testament apostle is. Next, Howard describes apostles as leaders to the church. Finally, Howard describes the three major historical functions of the apostolic ministry—to found churches, to govern churches, and to train the other New Testament ministries.