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Understanding Four Views on the Lord's Supper (Counterpoints) [Paperback]

By John H. Armstrong (Editor), Paul E. Engle (Editor) & Russell D. Moore (Contribution by)
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Item description for Understanding Four Views on the Lord's Supper (Counterpoints) by John H. Armstrong, Paul E. Engle & Russell D. Moore...

Four different ways Christians understand the Lord?s Supper?Baptist view (memorialism), Reformed (spiritual presence), Lutheran (consubstantiation), and Roman Catholic (transubstantiation)?are fairly represented and debated to provide readers with an opportunity to draw their own conclusion on this important Christian institution.

Publishers Description
Who should participate in the Lord s Supper? How frequently should we observe it? What does this meal mean? What happens when we eat the bread and drink from the cup? What do Christians disagree about and what do they hold in common? These and other questions are explored in this thought-provoking book. This new volume in the Counterpoints: Church Life series allows four contributors to make a case for the following views: * Baptist view (memorialism) * Reformed view (spiritual presence) * Lutheran view (consubstantiation) * Roman Catholic view (transubstantiation) All contributors use Scripture to present their views, and each responds to the others essays. This book helps readers arrive at their own conclusions. It includes resources such as a listing of statements on the Lord s Supper from creeds and confessions, quotations from noted Christians, a resource listing of books on the Lord s Supper, and discussion questions for each chapter to facilitate small group and classroom use."

Citations And Professional Reviews
Understanding Four Views on the Lord's Supper (Counterpoints) by John H. Armstrong, Paul E. Engle & Russell D. Moore has been reviewed by professional book reviewers and journalists at the following establishments -
  • Christianity Today - 04/01/2008 page 70

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Item Specifications...

Studio: Zondervan
Pages   224
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 7.96" Width: 6.04" Height: 0.57"
Weight:   0.5 lbs.
Binding  Softcover
Release Date   Nov 11, 2007
Publisher   Zondervan Publishing
Age  18
Series  Counterpoints  
ISBN  0310262682  
ISBN13  9780310262688  
UPC  025986262686  

Availability  81 units.
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More About John H. Armstrong, Paul E. Engle & Russell D. Moore

Register your artisan biography and upload your photo! John H. Armstrong is president of ACT 3 in Carol Stream, Illinois and served as a pastor for more than twenty years. He is an adjunct professor of evangelism at Wheaton College Graduate School. His online commentaries regularly appear at He holds degrees from Wheaton College, Wheaton Graduate School, and Luther Rice Seminary. He is the author or editor of a number of books including The Catholic Mystery, Five Great Evangelists, Understanding Four Views on the Lord's Supper, and Understanding Four Views on Baptism

John H. Armstrong has published or released items in the following series...
  1. Counterpoints: Church Life

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Product Categories

1Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Christianity > Christian Living > General

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Books > Church & Ministry > Church Life > General

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Reviews - What do customers think about Understanding Four Views On The Lords Supper?

Good presentation of different views  Jan 13, 2009
This is a really informative and interesting contribution to the discussion of the role and theology of the Lord's Supper. All four of the contributors make good presentations and give constructive respons. For the reader who want's a short introducion to theology of the Lord's Supper and different points of views this is a first choice.
A Terrific Addition to the Counterpoints Series  Oct 24, 2008
I'm a big fan of Zondervan's Counterpoints series. I enjoy reading different perspectives on any number of doctrines. I eagerly awaited the Counterpoints contribution to the Lord's Supper, and I was not disappointed.

Understanding Four Views on the Lord's Supper lays out the Baptist, Reformed, Lutheran, and Roman Catholic views of the Lord's Supper. Russ Moore (dean of the school of theology at Southern Seminary) starts off the book. It's hard to believe that Moore is actually articulating a Baptist position! As a lifelong Baptist, I have yet to come across Baptist pastors who articulate such a rich, (indeed sacramental) understanding of the memorialist view (except perhaps for Charles Spurgeon). Moore's contribution includes the most Scripture - another good thing for a Baptist. He also rightly shows how different atonement theories are visible in the Lord's Supper proclamation.

John Hesselink brings the Reformed position into view, quoting Calvin and the Reformed confessions at length. David Scaer clearly articulates the Lutheran position, and Thomas Baima contributes the chapter on the Roman Catholic view.

Understanding Four Views on the Lord's Supper is a terrific addition to the Counterpoints series. I find much to be commended in each of the four views, though I would probably land somewhere in between the Baptist and Reformed perspective. The authors' responses to the other contributors also help the reader distinguish the differing doctrines. After reading this book, I came across with a clearer understanding of how all of our theology is affected by or at least made evident in our doctrine of the Lord's Supper.

I must not fail to mention the helpful appendix. This section includes confessions of faith from many traditions as well as a compendium of quotes from important church figures, both Protestant and Roman Catholic. One's view of the Lord's Supper will be enriched simply by spending time with the giants of church history whose thoughts are included in this book.
More definition and description than defense  Mar 31, 2008
This book forms a companion with the previously-released Counterpoints "Understanding Four Views of Baptism." I was more impressed with the earlier book than with this one. Perhaps it's because I was already more familiar with the competing views of the Lord's Supper -- a subject which has caused some of the sharpest disagreements among the Christian community -- and this book didn't add much to my understanding.

This book is commendable (especially in comparison to the "Baptism" Counterpoints book) in that it includes a chapter devoted to the Roman Catholic view -- a stark contrast from the other 3 views. Each author also presents a succinct, easy-to-understand description of his respective position. Not only do they discuss the theology and nature of the Lord's Supper, but also practical considerations such as who may administer the sacrament, where should it be received, and who should receive it. Several authors include a brief historical overview of their tradition's development, in addition to its current practice.

Unfortunately, that is about all you get. The allure of the "Counterpoints" series has always been the way that different authors are able to defend their own views and critique those of their opponents. Here, the essays are so brief (barely 15 pages long) and the responses so cursory (about 3 pages apiece) that they barely scratch the surface of any deeper impications of each view. Consequently, many questions that might occur even to a casual reader are ignored. (e.g., Is the Roman Catholic "Mass" truly a heretical attempt to repeat the once-and-for-all sacrifice of Jesus on the cross? Many Protestant theologians have maintained that it is, but I suspect the Catholic contributor to this book might have answered differently, or at least put a different nuance to this idea. But we cannot know, because none of the authors even raises the question.)

Also disappointing is the paucity of Scripture references in each of the essays. The Baptist author (Moore) makes the best attempt to ground his views in the Bible, but the other three quote Scripture sparingly, and appeal more to John Calvin, Martin Luther, and the Roman Catholic Church proclamations. While this tendency does define their views well, it also makes them difficult to critique -- the only people who will be convinced by each essay are the people who already hold that view anyway.

In short, this is an excellent introduction to four major views on the Lord's Supper. Readers will come away with a clear awareness of what the areas of agreement and disagreement are. But this book could have been even stronger if the authors had been encouraged to go a little deeper in defining their own views, or a little longer in their comments & critiques of the competing author's essays.

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