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Christ, Baptism and the Lord's Supper: Recovering the Sacraments for Evangelical Worship
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Christ, Baptism and the Lord's Supper: Recovering the Sacraments for Evangelical Worship

4.09 of 5 stars 4.09  ·  rating details  ·  80 ratings  ·  18 reviews
Winner of a Christianity Today 2005 Book Award! Baptism. The Lord's Supper. We recognize these church practices. But do we really grasp their meaning and place in Christian worship? Is our neglect of them hindering our communion with Christ? Are we missing the real drama of our salvation? Often the object of debate, the sacraments are likewise neglected and superficially u ...more
Paperback, 249 pages
Published August 10th 2004 by IVP Academic (first published August 2004)
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This is the best single-volume that I have read on the two sacraments of the church. I really appreciated Vander Zee’s tone; he is very respectful of differing traditions… I feel that he wants the reader to come away from this book with a deeper desire for the unity of the church as a whole. The sacraments are so often that which divides us as believers, while they should be that which unites us. Therefore, his tone is very warm, caring, and understanding to all different types of traditions, bo ...more
In many ways this book is a philosophy of the sacraments, focusing on things we don't think about often enough.
Gwen Burrow
Fabulous work. Does a great job of recovering a sacramental view of the world.
Before reading
Coming from a free-evangelical church background, I have experienced communion (the Lord's Supper) to be a powerful means of strengthening my Christian faith; I also delight in watching others engage in taking the bread and the wine within a church context, finding it to be a source of wonder as to what is actually occurring in front of my eyes. Similarly, my personal experience and engaged observation of baptism stirs faith within me.

Main reason for reading
Curious to find out mor
Alex Stroshine
This book was recommended to me by an Anglican deacon (now priest) and I am very impressed by it. In fact, I believe it to present the best theology of the sacraments I have read thus far.

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 deb
Ken Mcafee
This was a great book to help think through the sacraments, what they mean, what they do, how they do it, and even how we should practice them, re-thinking our approach for our cultural context. Vander Zee's approach not only helps the reader understand the reformed approach to the sacraments, but he also expounds upon the historical development of the various traditions in relation to the sacraments The reader comes away form this book with a better understanding of all the major Christian trad ...more
A instructive overview of baptism and the Supper from a high Reformed view. The core idea is ththat these are the Church's possession which we participate in -- this is a useful counter to the more personal and often privatized framing among Evangelicals and many western Christians.

This is not a full sacramental theology; the ethical dimensions are relatively under developed. Likewise the relationship to the a Reformed elevation of the Word. While the sacramental approach rests in and builds co
Darren Duke
Very, very helpful. I found myself saying, "If only..." throughout my reading. Highly recommended for those who want a once-over-the-Church treatment of the sacraments.

My only critique is that Vander Zee seems to be in a hurry at the end. It was as if he really wanted to get the book done and to the printers. His closing with a quote from Leithart seems to prove the point.

In any event, I think anyone who really wants to come to grips with the sacraments will benefit from this work.
Mixed feelings about this book. I found it's primary use to be informative about the Church's debates on the sacraments. Vander Zee obviously has been paying attention. He also has a very clear writing style. I only wish he had been clearer with what baptism WAS and with what it was NOT. Clarity is important, and Vander Zee doesn't quite nail it. I still don't understand. But I now know a lot of helpful terms.
Greg Baughman
Great book. One of the best I've read in seminary. Brief but theologically deep. This well organized book both challenges the common evangelical practice of the Eucharist and provides a way forward. His chapters on Baptism and Eucharist "for Today" were outstanding. Every page of this book is worth reading, and it is a book to which I will often return. In a word, excellent.
Great book for Reformed/Evangelical churches who need to think more deeply on the sacraments as a means of grace so we can bring more depth and intentionality to our teaching and practice. Also, if you are Reformed in your theology and think we have more in common with the Baptists than the Roman Catholics (on the sacraments) this book will challenge you in a good way!
Jason Knecht
Vander Zee has written an excellent introductory work that will be found most helpful to those orienting themselves to Sacramental Theology.
"It is the glory of God to conceal a matter. To search out a matter is the glory of kings." Vander Zee is no king. He does a good job of looking at the whole of Creation as a Sacrament, but unfortunately the very center of the book, in his dealing with Baptism, is lacking in its ability to explain what God has made mystery.
Mike Jorgensen
Very strong. Walks the line between academic and pastoral (if you buy into such distinctions), but ultimately falls into the "pastoral" category. Thoughtful, respectful, irenic, and well-researched.
Becky Pliego
I absolutely enjoyed reading and learning more about the sacraments. This is a pretty good book.
Most helpful read on the sacraments. Gives away too much in places, but still second to none.
One of my favorite's on sacramental theology. Profound but clear and accessible.
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“Torrance uses the analogy of an embrace. When we hug someone, there is a double movement. We open our arms and in so doing give ourselves to the beloved. But in the embrace we also draw that person close to us...One hand, Christ, opens the relationship, the other hand, the Holy Spirit draws us into that relationship with the Father.” 0 likes
“Hot dogs and Communion at the Hope Rescue Mission. I will always think of the body of Christ now with this scene in mind. Doctors and housewives and professors in nice shoes and brightly colored sweaters shuffling to the table together with men and women who hadn't changed clothes for days or weeks. The sophisticated smell of after-shave mixed with the sharp scent of dirty socks and stale smoke. People whose lives seemed all together sharing the same loaf with people whose lives were broken and tattered. We were all one body, for we all ate from the same loaf.” 0 likes
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