Kingdom People

November 7, 2007

Book Review: Understanding 4 Views on the Lord’s Supper

Understanding Four Views on the Lord's Supper (Counterpoints: Church Life)I’m a big fan of Zondervan’s Counterpoints series. I enjoy reading different perspectives on any number of doctrines. I eagerly awaited the Counterpoints contribution to the Lord’s Supper, and I was not disappointed.

Understanding Four Views on the Lord’s Supper lays out the Baptist, Reformed, Lutheran, and Roman Catholic views of the Lord’s Supper. Russ Moore (our dean of the school of theology at Southern) starts off the book. It’s hard to believe that Moore is actually articulating a Baptist position! As a lifelong Baptist, I have yet to come across Baptist pastors who articulate such a rich, (indeed sacramental) understanding of the memorialist view (except perhaps for Charles Spurgeon). Moore’s contribution includes the most Scripture – another good thing for a Baptist. He also rightly shows how different atonement theories are visible in the Lord’s Supper proclamation.

John Hesselink brings the Reformed position into view, quoting Calvin and the Reformed confessions at length. David Scaer clearly articulates the Lutheran position, and Thomas Baima contributes the chapter on the Roman Catholic view.

Understanding Four Views on the Lord’s Supper is a terrific addition to the Counterpoints series. I find much to be commended in each of the four views, though I would probably land somewhere in between the Baptist and Reformed perspective. The authors’ responses to the other contributors also help the reader distinguish the differing doctrines. After reading this book, I came across with a clearer understanding of how all of our theology is affected by or at least made evident in our doctrine of the Lord’s Supper.

I must not fail to mention the helpful appendix. This section includes confessions of faith from many traditions as well as a compendium of quotes from important church figures, both Protestant and Roman Catholic. One’s view of the Lord’s Supper will be enriched simply by spending time with the giants of church history whose thoughts are included in this book.

written by Trevin Wax  © 2007 Kingdom People blog


  1. […] Trevin Wax reviews Zondervan’s book, Understanding Four Views on the Lord’s Supper. […]

    Pingback by Let’s Get Political: 11/9 Roundup | Said At Southern Seminary — November 9, 2007 @ 10:44 am

  2. Trevin,

    May I ask how one has a “sacramental memorial” view of the Lord’s Supper? That sounds a bit like an oxymoron.

    But I think what it shows is that the Baptists of today are quietly taking the Reformed position of the real spiritual presence of Christ in the Supper!

    And more power to them!

    Comment by Charles @ — November 20, 2007 @ 3:52 pm

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