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Overview of The Lord’s Supper: Remembering and Proclaiming Christ Until He Comes

August 28, 2012

In this post I provide an introduction and overview of The Lord’s Supper: Remembering and Proclaiming Christ Until He Comes with the intention of giving potential readers a reason to pick it up. Check back later for my actual review.

Many thanks to Jim Baird and B&H Academic for the review copy of this book. 

Purpose of the book

Back in 2010 Patrick Schreiner interviewed the editors of this book, so it’s best to hear it from them:

1.  What prompted writing a book on the Lord’s Supper?

TS/MC:  We believed a scholarly book on the Lord’s Supper was needed among Baptists, and didn’t see a recent work that examined the issue biblically, historically, theologically, and practically. We hope that such a book will be a catalyst for renewal in the theology and practice of the Supper among Baptists in the academy, in the pulpit, and in the pew.

3.  What is the purpose of the book?

TS/MC:  The book has several purposes. We want readers to be exposed to historical views of the Lord’s Supper, to reflect on Communion biblically and theologically, and to think about the practical outworking of the Supper in our churches. Through a careful examination of these various issues, a picture emerges of the Supper as a central part of the ongoing life of the church and of the Christian, as a means of sanctification and perseverance, and even as a means of evangelism.

This book sets out to bring a closer attention to the Lord’s Supper, particularly for (but not limited to) Baptists.

Structure

In the words of the editors, “the goal of this book, then, is to study the Lord’s Supper biblically, historically theologically, and practically’ (3). This book contains contributions from different Biblical scholars (see below) on the following issues:

Biblically:

  • Was the Lord’s Supper a Passover meal? (ch1)
  • The teaching found in the Gospel accounts (ch2)
  • Paul’s teaching on the subject (ch3)

Historically and theologically:

  • The teaching of the early church fathers (ch4)
  • Debates between two monks in early church history (ch5)
  • The Catholic Church (ch6)
  • Martin Luther (ch7)
  • Ulrich Zwingli (ch8)
  • John Calvin (ch9)
  • Baptist understandings (ch10)
  • The importance of the Lord’s Supper for today (ch11)

Practically:

  • The unity found in the Lord’s Supper (ch12)
  • The Lord’s Supper in the church (ch13)

Should I read it?

This book provides a helpful overview of the Lord’s Supper from different angles. The writing manages to be scholarly while still remaining clear and passionate. Pastors and students within Baptist circles would primarily benefit from this book, but much of the subject matter is beneficial for believers from all backgrounds.

Summary:

  • Editors: Thomas Schreiner/Matthew Crawford
  • Contributors: Andreas Kostenberger, Jonathan Pennington, Jim Hamilton, Michael Haykin, David Hogg, Greg Allison, Matt Crawford, Shawn Wright, Bruce Ware, Greg Wills, Greg Thornbury, Ray Van Neste
  • Title: The Lord’s Supper: Remembering and Proclaiming Christ Until He Comes
  • Publisher: B&H Academic
  • Series: NAC Studies in Bible & Theology
  • Page count: 432
  • Recommended audience: One wanting a broader understanding of the Lord’s Supper
  • Reading level: Bible College
  • Other reviews: Trevin Wax (The Gospel Coalition), Keith Mathison (Ligonier)
  • Free Excerpt: Jim Hamilton’s Essay: The Lord’s Supper in Paul
  • Buy Now: Amazon UK
Table of Contents

  • David S. Dockery, “Foreword”
  • Thomas R. Schreiner and Matthew R. Crawford, “Introduction”
  • 1. Andreas J. Koestenberger, “Was the Last Supper a Passover Meal?”
  • 2. Jonathan T. Pennington, “The Lord’s Supper in the Fourfold Witness of the Gospels”
  • 3. James M. Hamilton Jr., “The Lord’s Supper in Paul: An Identity-Forming Proclamation of the Gospel”
  • 4. Michael A. G. Haykin, “‘A Glorious Inebriation’: Eucharistic Thought and Piety in the Patristic Era”
  • 5. David S. Hogg, “Carolingian Conflict: Two Monks on the Mass”
  • 6. Gregg R. Allison, “The Theology of the Eucharist according to the Catholic Church”
  • 7. Matthew R. Crawford, “On Faith, Signs, and Fruits: Martin Luther’s Theology of the Lord’s Supper”
  • 8. Bruce A. Ware, “The Meaning of the Lord’s Supper in the Theology of Ulrich Zwingli (1484–1531)”
  • 9. Shawn D. Wright, “The Reformed View of the Lord’s Supper”
  • 10. Gregory A. Wills, “Sounds from Baptist History”
  • 11. Brian J. Vickers, “Celebrating the Past and Future in the Present”
  • 12. Gregory Alan Thornbury, “The Lord’s Supper and Works of Love”
  • 13. Ray Van Neste, “The Lord’s Supper in the Context of the Local Church
  • Thomas R. Schreiner and Matthew R. Crawford, “Epilogue”
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