Appropriate for the student and thoughtful layperson, 40 Questions About Baptism and the Lord’s Supper answers 40 of the most common and most difficult questions about the two Protestant ordinances. There is significant diversity of views on these subjects and the skilled, evenhanded biblical analysis sheds lights on the many theological and pastoral considerations regarding baptism and communion. Baptism and the Lord’s Supper are practiced by almost all Christian churches, but they disagree on the meaning, proper participants, even the proper names for these observances. This book includes the major theological issues (such as infant baptism, open and closed communion, and the nature of God’s activity in these celebrations), the views held by different denominations (from Roman Catholic to Lutheran, Reformed, Baptist, and others), and a number of practical issues (such as the proper age at which to baptize a child, the frequency with which the Lord’s Supper should be observed, and whether these two practices should be observed only in churches). This volume will be helpful to pastors, worship leaders, college and seminary students, and of interest to all Christians who want to grow in their understanding of these two basic Christian acts of worship. Each chapter is succinct and readable, with footnotes indicating additional sources for those who wish to go further.
“Second, this means there is a strong measure of continuity between the Abrahamic covenant and the new covenant that Christ inaugurated. The claim is that both covenants deal with spiritual realities, though the Abrahamic covenant is acknowledged to have a national aspect as well. Both share the same Mediator, the same way of salvation, and the same blessings (such as regeneration and eternal life).” (Page 140)
“First is the importance of God’s word for baptism: ‘without God’s word the water is plain water and no Baptism.’19 Second is the power of God’s word.” (Page 88)
“‘They … dismissed any suggestion that clergy enjoyed distinctive powers, and refused to call baptism and communion anything but ordinances.’” (Page 36)
“This association of baptism with a gift of the Spirit is a major difference between John’s baptism and Christian baptism” (Page 60)
“Some argued that there was no reason why a layperson could not baptize or administer the Lord’s Supper.” (Pages 35–36)
Professor of Systematic Theology Associate Dean of Theological Studies, Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary.