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Given for You: Reclaiming Calvin's Doctrine of the Lord's Supper
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Given for You: Reclaiming Calvin's Doctrine of the Lord's Supper

4.37  ·  Rating details ·  220 ratings  ·  37 reviews
The primary purpose of this book is to introduce, explain, and defend a particular doctrine of the Lord's Supper--the doctrine taught by John Calvin and most of the sixteenth-century Reformed confessions. It is the thesis of this book that Calvin's doctrine of the Lord's Supper is the biblical doctrine, the basic doctrine of the sixteenth century Reformed churches, and the ...more
Paperback, 370 pages
Published October 25th 2002 by P & R Publishing (first published October 2002)
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Apr 13, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2018
This is indeed the book to read on the doctrine of the Lord's Supper. It is comprehensive, even-handed, and deep in the theology of the sacrament. Mathison begins by retelling John Calvin's view of the Lord's Supper, and then follows that with a history of the subsequent centuries of Reformed theologians' writings on the doctrine. He then looks at the biblical texts that speak to the doctrine in both the Old and New Testaments. He critiques the main views, articulates his "Reformed Eucharistic O ...more
Jacob Aitken
EDIT: I feel I have to edit my review based on more reflection and rereading of Mathison. This book is still extremely valuable in clearly summarizing large and difficult swaths of 19th century Reformed theology. It is unsurpassed in that regard. I must take issue, however, with his treatment of William Cunningham. He references p. 254 of Cunningham (Theology of Reformers) as holding to a merely intellectual view of the Supper. Yet if he continued the discussion to the next page, he would see th ...more
Peter Jones
Aug 13, 2010 rated it it was amazing
A very, very good book. All of Mathison's books are worth reading. He knows his bible. He knows theology. And unlike most Protestants he knows his history. This book, along with Schenk's Presbyterian Doctrine of Children in the Covenant should be required reading for all ministers. Both books show how we have deviated from the Scriptural standards, which the reformers recovered. I wonder if his section on paedo-communion would even be published now following all the Federal Vision controversy. ...more
Joshua Schwisow
Oct 05, 2018 rated it it was amazing
One of the best modern treatments of the Lords Supper. Mathison cogently argues for Calvin’s doctrine of the Lords Supper.
In a video interview about Federal Vision, Doug Wilson mentions this book as a place that reveals Calvin's view of the Lord's Supper, and Wilson says that Calvin's view on this issue would probably get him in trouble with modern Presbyterian churches.

One of Wilson's arguments against Reformed theology, when he was still a Baptist, was that if you're going to baptize infants, why not give them communion too, ho, ho, ho. So the Reformers were great in getting us out of Rome, but they didn't go far
Peter Bringe
Feb 05, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: theology
My understanding of the Lord's Supper has greatly increased from reading this book. The Lord's Supper is a highly important regular part of the Christian life, and it's a shame that it is not studied and valued more by people today. Mathison does a good job laying out the historical and biblical teachings on the Eucharist, defending the view of Calvin, as opposed to the Romanist, Lutheran, and Zwinglian views (and the various modifications of Zwingli's view). ...more
Ben Zornes
May 16, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: history, theology, worship
For the most part, a very useful book. Mathison has done a lot of spade work to produce a faithful presentation of Calvin's view of the Lord's Supper. The first half is dedicated to how the ebb and flow of Protestants' view of the Lord's Supper for the last 500 years. The second half looks at the Biblical foundations for Calvin's view in the Old and New Testaments, followed by critiques of Roman Catholic and Lutheran views. He ends by surveying some of the "sticky issues" associated (i.e. grape ...more
Matthew Prydden
Jul 23, 2019 rated it really liked it
When R.C. Sproul calls this "the best and most comprehensive treatment of the Reformed doctrine of the Lord's Supper I have ever seen", the importance of this book should be made apparent. I did struggle to understand some of what Mathison was saying in the earlier parts of the books, although they began to make sense once I'd got further along, yet it would definitely help to have a reasonable understanding of the Lord's Supper before approaching this book. I have to say, though, that this book ...more
Mar 06, 2021 rated it it was amazing
Mathison explores John Calvin's understanding of the Lord's Supper (along with the views of Reformers such as Luther, Bucer, Zwingli, Bullinger, Melanchthon, Turretin, Owen, Ames, Edwards, etc.) and contrasts it with Roman Catholic, Lutheran, and symbolic memorial views. A very thorough study that provides history, interpretation of all relevant sections of Scripture, and practical guidance. ...more
Lee Wright
Feb 17, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Great book on the Lord’s Supper! Excellent historical content on Jean Calvin’s practices which influence most Reformed churches and help many in Presbyterianism to explain and ENJOY the sacrament! Loved this book and have referred to it several times!
Aug 03, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Life/worship changing
Alexander Yonjof
Dec 27, 2020 rated it it was amazing
As important as the sacraments are, very little is written on them. this is a dense, thorough, biblical and historical look at the Lord's Supper and worth every moment taken to read. ...more
Calvin’s doctrine of the Eucharist was not only Biblical, it was the main Confessional position of the 16th century. So argues the author, and he does so convincingly. Only gradually was it replaced by Symbolic Memorialism, which reached its height among the Reformed churches in the late 19th century.

Mathison first outlines from Calvin’s own writings and a number of top Calvin scholars the position of the great reformer of Geneva. He then looks at the position of others since; those following C
Dec 15, 2013 rated it really liked it
I thought this book did an excellent job of breaking down the issues and controversies surrounding the Eucharist and its application in Reformed churches. I felt both sides of any debate were given equal treatment, and Mathison makes his own arguments in a concise, well-argued manner.

If there was one thing I found missing or unsatisfactory about the book, it happens to be one of the principal arguments. Mathison explains how Catholic, Lutheran and "evangelical" understandings of the Lord's Suppe
Luke Brodine
Mar 03, 2010 rated it really liked it
Overall comprehensive look at Calvin's view of the sacrament and how that view has been passed down to us today. Great section discussing relevant passages in Old and New Testament, and helpful presentation of practical issues and debates.

In light of the amount of information covered, the book suffers from a writing voice that sounds more like a term paper than a speaker who draws you in for an intimate conversation on the subject. As a result, it's an easy book to pick up and then put back dow
Jan 17, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Mathison's Given For You on Calvin's view of the Supper is a must have. Not overly profound; reads kind of like a really, really good, long seminary paper, and occasionally cliched. But about as good of an overview as I've seen. Lots of nice, clearly outlined, short sub-chapters. Makes a good argument for wine in the Meal and even for paedo-communion. The part on Nevin is especially good. He also shows there were important differences on the meal between fellow Princeton theologians (as well as ...more
John Knox
May 06, 2014 rated it really liked it
A fantastic book on an important topic. Being raised non-denominational evangelical, the sacraments were unimportant. As I became reformed, I wanted to understand the significance placed on the sacraments in scripture, and this was a very helpful book. It addressed the 3 counter views of the Supper (transubstantiation, consubstantiation, and mere symbolism) and then forcefully asserted the historic reformed position, the real presence view. Nothing happens with the elements themselves, but the S ...more
CJ Bowen
Aug 22, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Mathison does a tremendous job explaining and commending Calvin's doctrine of the true presence of Christ in the Lord's Supper. When the believer takes the Supper, body and blood of Christ are made present to the believer by the Holy Spirit, and the believer feeds on the gift of Christ. The faithful response is gratitude, which makes the Supper a sacrifice of praise, a Eucharist.

Originally read in 2005.
May 20, 2015 rated it really liked it
By no means an exhaustive treatment on the subject, this is still a great comprehensive book explaining and defending the Reformed view of the Lord's Supper. Although I would have liked a little more explanation on the Biblical rationale, the historical survey from the Reformation onward to the present was a gem. The section on practical issues was also quite good (despite what might be interpreted as paedocommunion sympathies). ...more
Nov 28, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: theology
This is a well written, comprehensive look at Calvin's doctrine of the Lord's Supper. To say it has been neglected would be a massive understatement. Truly, I can't understand why churches bother with the sacraments apart from a Calvanistic theology. It is powerful and persuasive.

Having read it for a 2nd time, I ring the book even more compelling. To retain the doctrine of the Supper would inevitably lead to growth in faith and unity.
Cara Bergeron
Dec 22, 2008 marked it as to-read
Brian has read this book once and is reading it again. R.C. Sproul told Mathison, when he'd finished the manuscript for this book, "You can die now." Sproul says that this book is the greatest challenge to arrive in this century to tear down the Church's lazy and ignorant treatment and observance of the Lord's Supper. May it be so! ...more
Sep 08, 2014 rated it it was amazing
A very good defender of Calvin s view, one that also shows how this view was diluted in the post reformation period, on down through Hodge and Dabney. Nevin refers back to Calvin, and represents a revived calvinian sacramental theology.

His dealing with the RC doctrine is very helpful- it is implicitly Docetic.
Jan 28, 2009 rated it really liked it
Shelves: theology
First read in Feb '09.

Reading again for teaching on Communion. This is a fantastic book. Thorough and easy to comprehend. Mathison is one of my favorite theologians. Highly recommend to any Christian who wants to understand Communion.
Oct 03, 2009 rated it really liked it
Great read; I'd put it in my top 20. Mr. Mathison examines Calvin's Eucharistic theory in light of a careful historical and Biblical survey and then provides a summary of current Reformed opinions on the subject. ...more
Eric Molicki
Jan 02, 2013 rated it really liked it
This is a great historical theological study of the Lord's Supper. It goes far beyond Calvin though his understanding of the Supper is the main focus of the book. Greatly strengthened my conviction that the Lord's Supper should be celebrated every week in Reformed churches. ...more
Aaron Ventura
Oct 02, 2016 rated it really liked it
A good survey of the second sacrament and easy to read. His discussion of issues like frequency, wine/grape juice and paedocommunion were very fair and clear headed. Hope more pastors begin to adopt Calvin's view of the table. ...more
Jan 25, 2009 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: theology
Great Book!
Michael Tomko
that most evangelicals have no clue as to the historical and spiritual significance of this sacrament and it needs to be recovered as an essential means of grace.
Dec 16, 2012 rated it really liked it
This is a great introductory book
Benjamin Glaser
Mar 20, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: theology
This book is an excellent introduction to the Calvinist understanding of the Lord's Supper. Highly Recommend. ...more
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Dr. Keith A. Mathison is associate editor of Tabletalk magazine. He is also academic dean and professor of systematic theology at Reformation Bible College in Sanford, Fla., and author of From Age to Age: The Unfolding of Biblical Eschatology.

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  Kerine Wint is a software engineering graduate with more love for books than for computers. As an avid reader, writer, and fan of all things...
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