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

9133273The Lord’s Supper: Remembering and Proclaiming Christ Until He Comes edited by Thomas Schreiner and Matthew Crawford is a far-reaching collection of essays on Communion from a biblical, historical, theological, and practical perspective. The contributors include a number of established Baptist scholars, such as Andreas J. Köstenberger, Jonathan T. Pennington, James M. Hamilton Jr., Gregg R. Allison, Bruce A. Ware, and more.

The Lord’s Supper opens with a brief introduction to orient the reader towards the volume. The initial three chapters are devoted to the biblical framework for the practice of Communion. The opening chapter by Köstenberger establishes the Lord’s Supper as a Passover Meal and provides readers a positive presentation with noteworthy interaction to critical voices. Pennington surveys the theme of the Lord’s Supper in the Fourfold Gospels, including the Passover festival and the New Exodus and the inauguration of the New Covenant. Lastly, the Hamilton investigates the Pauline epistles emphasizing the corporate nature of the Lord’s Supper, including the pastoral and theological implications of such practice in the life of the Church.

The following chapters are primarily historical in nature and survey the Patristic Era through the Reformation and beyond, including the views of the Catholic Church, Luther, Zwingli, and the various issues that surround open and closed communion in Baptist history. It would have been helpful to have a more widespread treatment of the Lord’s Supper from the Baptist perspective, but the contributors offer implicitly Baptist support throughout. The final chapters offer readers practical considerations regarding the role and administration of Communion in the life of the Church. These chapters provide a useful touchdown for the target audience as they seek to apply the content of the book to the practice of the church.

The extent of the essays in The Lord’s Supper is impressive and noteworthy. The reader is guided through the history of the Church and its Eucharistic expressions with thoroughness and clarity. Where I foresee some readers will be left wanting is in the area of biblical exposition. More specifically, interaction with the biblical text and the theme of the Lord’s Supper in the New Testament. I thought that Köstenberger, Pennington, and Hamilton did an excellent job, but more could have been explored in the Gospels and beyond. The historical essays were well done but lacked a distinctly Baptist presentation of Communion. Nevertheless, The Lord’s Supper: Remembering and Proclaiming Christ Until He Comes edited by Thomas Schreiner and Matthew Crawford remains one of the most comprehensive treatments on the market. It comes recommended with no reservations.

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