"Many Protestants, individually and denominationally, are divided by differences regarding the form of church government. While these differences are not necessarily as divisive as theological and doctrinal issues, they are significant to churches and church leaders and affect the way Christians do God's work. This book in the highly acclaimed Counterpoints series offers insights and contrasts into four kinds of church government: (1) episcopalianism (hierarchical, with priests, bishops, and archbishops), (2) presbyterianism (a representative form at multiple levels-church, classis/presbytery, synod/general assembly), (3) single-elder congregationalism (pastor-led local autonomy), and (4) plural-elder congregationalism (another form of local autonomy). Each form of government is explored through (1) description, (2) historical development, (3) hermeneutical assumptions, (4) biblical and theological foundations, (5) an understanding of the nature, number, and relationship of church officers, (6) the practical implications. The contributors are Peter Toon of the Anglican Church (episcopalianism), L. Roy Taylor of the Presbyterian Church in America (presbyterianism), Paige Patterson of the Southern Baptist Convention (single-elder congregationalism), and Samuel E. Waldron of the Reformed Baptist Church (plural-elder congregationalism)." EDITOR: Cowan, Steven B.