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Understanding Four Views on the Lord's Supper (Counterpoints: Church Life) Paperback – November 11, 2007

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Product Details

  • Series: Counterpoints: Church Life
  • Paperback: 224 pages
  • Publisher: Zondervan; First edition (November 11, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0310262682
  • ISBN-13: 978-0310262688
  • Product Dimensions: 5.3 x 0.5 x 8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #541,087 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

John H. Armstrong is president of ACT 3 in Carol Stream, Illinois and served as a pastor for more than twenty years. He is an adjunct professor of evangelism at Wheaton College Graduate School. His online commentaries regularly appear at www.Act3online.com. He holds degrees from Wheaton College, Wheaton Graduate School, and Luther Rice Seminary. He is the author or editor of a number of books including The Catholic Mystery, Five Great Evangelists, Understanding Four Views on the Lord’s Supper, and Understanding Four Views on Baptism

Paul E. Engle, series editor for Counterpoints Church Life, is an ordained minister who served for twenty-two years in pastoral ministry in Pennsylvania, Connecticut, Illinois, and Michigan. He is an adjunct teacher in several seminaries in this country and internationally. He serves as associate publisher and executive editor in the Church, Academic, and Ministry Resources team at Zondervan. He and his wife Margie, live in Grand Rapids, Michigan.

Russell D. Moore is dean of the school of theology and senior vice president for academic administration of The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville, Kentucky. He also serves as the executive director of the Carl F. H. Henry Institute for Evangelical Engagement and is a regular columnist for Baptist Press. He has served on the pastoral staffs of two churches and was an aide to a United States congressman. He and his wife, Maria, and three sons live in Louisville, Kentucky.

I. John Hesselink is the former Albertus C. van Raalte professor of systematic theology at Western Theological Seminary in Holland, Michigan. He also served as president of Western Theological Seminary from 1973 to 1985. He has served in a wide variety of roles―evangelist, missionary, lecturer, translator, and administrator. He received his BA from Central College (Iowa), his BD from Western Theological Seminary (Michigan), and his doctorate in theology from the University of Basel (1961). He served as a missionary to Japan from 1953 to 1973, where he also taught systematic theology. He studied under both Emil Brunner and Karl Barth, completing his doctoral degree on the law in John Calvin for Professor Barth. His research in Calvin has gained him a reputation as a respected specialist in Calvin studies. His books include Calvin’s First Catechism: A Commentary and On Being Reformed. He has contributed to numerous academic and popular journals and magazines and taught historical theolo?

David P. Scaer is chairman of the department of systematic theology at Concordia Theological Seminary in Fort Wayne, Indiana. He serves as editor of Concordia Theological Quarterly and previously served as the academic dean at Concordia Theological Seminary. He and his wife, Dorothy, and their five children live in Fort Wayne, Indiana.

Thomas A. Baima is a priest of the archdiocese of Chicago and provost of the University of Saint Mary of the Lake/Mundelein Seminary, where he also teaches systematic theology. He was the director of the Office for Ecumenical and Interreligious Affairs for the archdiocese of Chicago and served as associate pastor in several parish ministries. His teaching and research interests are in the areas of ecclesiology, ecumenism, interreligious dialogue, and missiology. He lives in Mundelein, Illinois.

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

13 of 14 people found the following review helpful By Trevin Wax on October 24, 2008
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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 (dean of the school of theology at Southern Seminary) 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.
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21 of 25 people found the following review helpful By Todd Grotenhuis on March 31, 2008
Format: Paperback
This book forms a companion with the previously-released Counterpoints "Understanding Four Views of Baptism." I was more impressed with the earlier book than with this one. Perhaps it's because I was already more familiar with the competing views of the Lord's Supper -- a subject which has caused some of the sharpest disagreements among the Christian community -- and this book didn't add much to my understanding.

This book is commendable (especially in comparison to the "Baptism" Counterpoints book) in that it includes a chapter devoted to the Roman Catholic view -- a stark contrast from the other 3 views. Each author also presents a succinct, easy-to-understand description of his respective position. Not only do they discuss the theology and nature of the Lord's Supper, but also practical considerations such as who may administer the sacrament, where should it be received, and who should receive it. Several authors include a brief historical overview of their tradition's development, in addition to its current practice.

Unfortunately, that is about all you get. The allure of the "Counterpoints" series has always been the way that different authors are able to defend their own views and critique those of their opponents. Here, the essays are so brief (barely 15 pages long) and the responses so cursory (about 3 pages apiece) that they barely scratch the surface of any deeper impications of each view. Consequently, many questions that might occur even to a casual reader are ignored. (e.g., Is the Roman Catholic "Mass" truly a heretical attempt to repeat the once-and-for-all sacrifice of Jesus on the cross?
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By jdb VINE VOICE on November 28, 2012
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I've enjoyed this book for a few years now and continue to go back to it again and again. I have gleaned much from this genre of theological studies and like adding to my collection these "multiple views" discussions. Understanding Four Views on the Lord's Supper I another great addition to my library.

In this volume, the four views represented are Baptist view (memorialism), Reformed view (spiritual presence), Lutheran view (consubstantiation), and Roman Catholic view (transubstantiation). I appreciate learning about traditions and practices other than my own and these perspectives, shared by respected leaders in their tradition are very helpful. The added benefit of having responses from other traditions helps (me) to balance the information presented without becoming swayed by any particular bias, which might easily happen because of my ignorance toward certain beliefs and practices. I've learned, after reading quite a number of these multiple perspective books, that "the ideal" positions are most often presented. What this means is that the position presented isn't always how the practice is interpreted in the world of the congregation. Hearing several views is most definitely helpful in working some of this out. What can be more helpful, and has been for me, is to visit congregations where these traditions are practiced and participate with them in their worship especially after having been educated a little through reading one of these books.

Understanding Four Views on the Lord's Supper has been most helpful to me as a resource not just having different views presented to me, but the wealth of great information presented in the introduction written by John Armstrong and the appendices.
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