Book Review: Understanding Four Views on the Lord’s Supper

Book Review: Understanding Four Views on the Lord’s Supper

Author |Editor: John Armstrong

Publisher: Zondervan ISBN: 9780310262688

Understanding Four Views on the Lord’s Supper

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 is 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. There are over twenty pages of creeds, confessions, and catechisms regarding statements on the Lord’s Supper. There is also another twenty pages of quotations on the Lord’s Supper spanning the entirety of the Church history. These resources were a great and welcome surprise to me. These have provided me with a wealth of information proven useful to me time and time again.

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