Church 

Moltmann on the Lord’s Supper

I recently read and reviewed The Open Church by Jurgen Moltmann primarily because I was interested in what he might have to say about the Lord’s Supper. I also happened to love the book and tweeted a whole bunch of great quotes. So, to business. Moltmann challenges the church to rediscover in its gatherings the joy of the friendship of God and to rediscover the idea of our gatherings as ‘feasts’. Feasts are not just eating meals but rich, sumptuous, eagerly anticipated and deeply enjoyed occasions. This isn’t a function (I must…

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Carl Trueman on the Lord's Supper

What do you know, my old tutor Carl Trueman has jumped on my bandwagon again; this time by writing about the Lord’s Supper. This is quite helpful as he adds some recommended reading towards the end of the post. Here are a couple of stand out lines: “The Lord’s Supper is one of the most basic activities of the church.  More ink hit more pages in the Reformation on this topic than on any other, including justification and authority. Yet the proportion of material on the issue produced in contemporary evangelical…

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The Lord's Supper: A question for paeadobaptists

I’ve just read the section on the Lord’s Supper in Louis Berkhof’s A Summary of Christian Doctrine and I have a question for those who practice infant baptism. Berkhof was a paedobaptist, a professor of theology and is probably best known for his Systematic Theology. Berkhof addresses the question of who can take the Lord’s Supper and writes, “The Lord’s Supper was not instituted for all indiscriminately, but only for believers, who understand its spiritual significance. Children, who have not yet come to years of discretion, are not fit to partake of it.”…

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Church 

History, Eschatology and Community in the Lord’s Supper

In the entry on the Lord’s Supper in Roger Olson’s A-Z of Evangelical Theology he mentions Stanley Grenz’s attempt to ‘breathe new life into evangelical celebration of the Lord’s Supper.’ Grenz emphasized three elements history, eschatology and community. For him, the ordinance has three distinct orientations by which it establishes the individual believer’s identity in relation to the community of God’s people. It reenacts the history of salvation that focuses, especially for Christians, on the crucifixion of Jesus Christ; it directs believers’ attention to the future fulfilment of the kingdom of God…

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Do evangelicals ignore the Lord's Supper?

I’m continuing to think through, the hows, whys and wherefores of the Lord’s Supper and what it might mean to be devoted to it (Acts 2:42). So I’ve begun by mining my bookshelves for insights and ideas, feel free to make suggestions. One of the first books I picked up was Roger Olson’s A-Z of Evangelical Theology and it was less than complimentary about evangelicals contribution in this area. Take this for an opening line of an article: “Evangelicals have not concentrated a great deal of theological attention on the…

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Church 

Communion: Personal reflections

My own experiences of breaking bread, communion, The Lord’s Supper, whatever you choose to call it; within a public worship context has often been underwhelming. That includes many of the times I’ve led it myself. Growing up in a small evangelical free church, we had communion on a monthly basis towards the end of the service. We remained in our seats while a plate with small diced pieces of white bread were passed around, followed by a wooden tray with lots of little glasses full of blackcurrant juice. We all…

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Church 

Devoted to the breaking of bread

For a while now I’ve reflected on the four characteristics of the early church recorded in Acts 2:42. The thought occurred to me that I’m not sure what a church devoted to the breaking of bread looks like. You can make a fair case that the Catholics are because mass is at the heart of their worship, but for a whole variety of theological reasons I’m not going in that direction. So I’m asking for help. I’m working on the assumption that the reference doesn’t simply refer to common meals together…

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