Church 

Don’t neglect communion

The second most popular post on my blog over the past ten years (and by quite some margin) is this one – Scriptures for Communion. When you add in the third most popular Invitations to the table not to mention Bread & Wine as a covenant meal, A communion prayer, Communion: personal reflections, then by a long country mile the most popular topic on this blog is The Lords’ Supper. Every Saturday (without fail) my blog experiences a spike in readers. The explanation is very simple, people who on Saturday are preparing for church on…

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Church 

A neglected meal

We all know that communion is always theologically rich but often experientially poor while our sung worship can be the exact opposite. There are lots of reasons why that might be the case but I am frequently challenged to invest more into our practice of communion. Douglas Wilson points out that communion is a reminder of why we exist: This Table is all about communion with God, and that is why God created us—to have communion with Him. If He created us to have communion with Him, then having communion with Him is…

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Church 

Invitations to the table

Over the past few months I’ve been studying and thinking about the role and place of the Lord’s Supper in church life, and although I haven’t finished with that I thought I would post some prayers, scriptures and service elements, all borrowed from Gathering for Worship: Patterns and Prayers for the Community of Disciples Come to this table, not because you must but because you may, not because you are strong, but because you are weak. Come, not because any goodness of your own gives you a right to come, but…

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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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