- Paperback: 249 pages
- Publisher: IVP Academic; 53372nd edition (August 10, 2004)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 9780830827862
- ISBN-13: 978-0830827862
- ASIN: 0830827862
- Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.7 x 9 inches
- Shipping Weight: 12 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 9 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #277,804 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Christ, Baptism and the Lord's Supper: Recovering the Sacraments for Evangelical Worship Paperback – August 10, 2004
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"From the ranks of deeply educated clergy Leonard Vander Zee steps forward to testify on the sacraments. He does so with power and beauty that stick in the mind. Absorbing!"--Cornelius Plantinga Jr., Ph.D., President and Professor of Systematic Theology, Calvin Theological Seminary
"The new attitude given to baptism and the Lord's Supper among evangelicals is a positive sign of the deepening of evangelical faith and worship. Christ, Baptism and the Lord's Supper is an important contribution to the current trend toward sacramental thinking because it is rooted in tradition and applied to the health of the present church. More than a study, it is a guide for thoughtful action."--Robert Webber, Myers Professor of Ministry, Northern Baptist Seminary
"In Christ, Baptism and the Lord's Supper Leonard Vander Zee offers a gift to the whole church. His marvelous clarity, theological acuity and personal warmth make this book a joy to read. Most of all, he helps us reclaim the worship practices of an embodied faith, the bath and the feast that demonstrate Christ's real presence in a world grown weary of mere words."--Andy Crouch, Columnist, Christianity Today
"Pastor Vander Zee invites evangelicals into a sacramental experience of the Savior they love. This engaging book unfolds biblical and theological teaching in ways that are both challenging and compelling."--M. Craig Barnes, Meneilly Professor of Leadership and Ministry, Pittsburgh Theological Seminary
"This insightful analysis from a pastor who practices what he preaches promises to deepen our view not only of baptism and the Lord's Supper but also of our Lord. Just as the eyes of Elisha's servant were opened to see the chariots of fire that encircled Elisha (2 Kings 6), so too the themes of this book can help us perceive the vibrant, nourishing ways that God works through worship. In an age tempted to treat worship merely as a means to other ends, this vision is one that will comfort, challenge and transform us."--John D. Witvliet, Calvin Institute of Christian Worship, Calvin College and Calvin Theological Seminary
Given the rise of contemporary worship services not only in evangelical churches, but also in main line denominations, Vander Lee's book is a must read. Being evangelical and liturgical--in both worship practice and sacramental theology--need not be exclusive of one another, and that contemporary worship need not be completely stripped of all historical and liturgical content in order to be relevant to contemporary society.--Sacramental Life, Summer 2007
"Here, at last, is a major primer on the sacraments for evangelicals. Drawing on the wisdom of the Reformation traditions, as well as the wider Christian heritage, Pastor Vander Zee shows us how our worship can be enriched, and God more greatly glorified, through a new focus on baptism and the Lord's Supper. A wonderful guide to a deeper understanding of 'the visible words of God.'"--Timothy George, Dean, Beeson Divinity School, Samford University, and Executive Editor, Christianity Today
About the Author
Leonard J. Vander Zee (M.Div., Calvin Theological Seminary) is editor in chief for Faith Alive Christian Resources. Previously he served in pastorates in Indiana, Michigan, Iowa and New York. He is the author of
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This is an excellent introduction and full account of the sacraments. I recommend it for all readers.
Craig Stephans, author of Shakespeare On Spirituality: Life-Changing Wisdom from Shakespeare's Plays
"...I firmly believe that there is a discernable thread of common understanding in the New Testament that flows, in turn, into the life and practices of the early church. I also beleive that all of the us, Catholics and Protestants, Baptists and Reformed, do in fact share 'one Lord, one faith, one baptism,' as Paul says in Ephesians 4.5. We all need to set aside our underlined proof texts, our favorite theologians (tho he does rely heavily upon Calvin but not exclusively by any means), and try to meet together in that biblical center from which all our understandings come, and where they can still converge." (p78)
In the preface VZ addresses the correlation between a deficiency in the sacraments and its inevitable impact upon ecclesiology. Following Philip Lee (Against the Protestant Gnostics) he questions the dualism or at worst gnostic tendencies of protestantism which tends to elevate the spiritual and denigrate the material and the body. What struck me was the very physicality of the sacraments.
At its heart, VZ locates the sacraments in their proper place deriving their "meaning from Christ and that is is Christ who through them, by the Holy Spirit, unites us to himself." (p.11)
Leonard Vander Zee admittedly comes from a Reformed perspective and so he favours infant baptism and relies heavily upon the use of John Calvin in his understanding of the sacraments, particularly the Lord's Supper. However, he also draws upon other thinkers, such as the Church fathers (noting Calvin's own debt to the Eastern fathers in his understanding of communion as heavenly participation, where believers are "lifted up" by the Spirit in divine worship of Christ), Catholic theologians, the Reformers and particularly among modern theologians, T.F. Torrance. Despite his own theological loyalties, Vander Zee is diligently respectful of other traditions, clearly explaining the reasons why Roman Catholics believe in transubstantiation (his contrast of Platonic vs. Aristotelian thinking is extremely helpful) and why many evangelicals hold to believer's baptism as well as laying out a understanding of the sacraments he believes is biblically and theologically faithful (e.g. for instance, he cites Calvin's concern regarding the "real presence" of the Eucharist that it did not properly honour Jesus' humanity if his physical presence is scattered all over time and space while his physical body ascended only once - as we await his return). While Vander Zee disagrees with certain traditions and thinkers, he notes that in many cases they altered course with the best of intentions (e.g. the use of grape juice to replace wine in the Lord's Supper for fears of intoxication).
Vander Zee structures the book by lamenting how the practice of the sacraments among evangelicals have languished (chiding churches for serving communion only once in a blue moon) and by setting up Jesus Christ as the ultimate sacrament. He spends the rest of the book discussing baptism and the Lord's Supper, starting with their Biblical background and then explaining practice and any changes to the practice that have since occurred.
This book certainly provides food for thought!