40 QUESTIONS ABOUT BAPTISM AND THE LORD’S SUPPER, by John S. Hammett

Published on November 11, 2015 by Todd Scacewater

Kregel, 2015 | 336 pages

Baptism and the Lord’s Supper are one area of Christian practice in which all Christians agree … and disagree. Christians of all flavors observe these rites, but denominations have formed over our differences regarding their meaning and significance. We are usually happy to recognize their “second order” significance, so in most respects we can still enjoy fellowship with those who disagree. Yet they are hardly a subject of little importance – both were explicitly authorized by our Lord himself, after all – and so most of us give them high enough place to allow our churches to be defined by them.

Because the questions and points of dispute are many, definitions and precision in understanding are important. Just how should we understand these ceremonies which our Lord ordered as reminders of him?

It’s these kinds of considerations that point up the importance of a book like this, and John Hammett is to be commended for an excellent volume designed to give clarity – biblical, theological, historical, practical – to these ordinances that are so central to Christian faith and practice.
 

Table of Contents

Part 1: General Questions About Baptism & the Lord’s Supper
     1.  Are Baptism and the Lord’s Supper Sacraments or Ordinances?
     2.  How Many Ordinances/Sacraments Are There?
     3.  Who Can Administer Baptism or the Lord’s Supper?
     4.  Are Baptism and the Lord’s Supper Only for Churches?

Part 2: Questions about Baptism
Section A:  Introductory Questions
     5.  What Is the Origin of Christian Baptism?
     6.  What Is the Relationship of John’s Baptism to Christian Baptism?
     7.  What Is Spirit Baptism and How Does It Relate to Water Baptism?
     8.  Why Was Jesus Baptized?
Section B:  Denominational Views
     9.  What Is the Roman Catholic View of Baptism?
    10.  What Is the Lutheran View of Baptism?
    11.  What Is the Reformed View of Baptism?
    12.  What Is the Baptist View of Baptism?
    13.  What Is the View of Baptism in Other Traditions?
Section C:  Theological Issues
    14.  What Is the Meaning of Christian Baptism?
    15.  Does the Bible Teach Baptismal Regeneration?
    16.  Should Infants Be Baptized? (Part 1)
    17.  Should Infants Be Baptized? (Part 2)
    18.  Is Baptism a Divine Means of Grace or a Human Act of Obedience?
    19.  Is There a Proper Mode of Baptism?
Section D:  Practical Aspects
    20.  When Should a Child be Baptized?
    21.  Should Baptismal Beliefs Be a Cause of Division?

Part 3: Questions about the Lord’s Supper
Section A:  Introductory Questions
    22.  What Is the Correct Term for This Rite?
    23.  What Is the Origin of the Lord’s Supper?
    24.  Why Do We Celebrate the Lord’s Supper?
    25.  What Is the Meaning of the Lord’s Supper?
Section B:  Denominational Views
    26.  What Is the Roman Catholic View of the Lord’s Supper?
    27.  What Is the Lutheran View of the Lord’s Supper?
    28.  What Is the Reformed View of the Lord’s Supper?
    29.  What Is the Baptist View of the Lord’s Supper?
    30.  What Is the View of the Lord’s Supper in Other Traditions?
Section C:  Theological Issues
    31.  In What Sense Is Christ Present in the Lord’s Supper?
    32.  Who May Properly Partake of the Lord’s Supper? (Part 1)
    33.  Who May Properly Partake of the Lord’s Supper? (Part 2)
    34.  What Does It Mean to Partake of the Lord’s Supper in an Unworthy Manner?
    35.  What Does God Do in the Lord’s Supper?
Section D:  Practical Aspects
    36.  How Often Should the Lord’s Supper Be Observed?
    37.  What Should Be Included in a Proper Observance of the Lord’s Supper?
    38.  What Can You Do to Improve Your Worship through the Lord’s Supper?

Part 4:  Concluding Questions
    39.  What Is the Importance of Baptism and the Lord’s Supper for Theology?
    40.  What Is the Importance of Baptism and the Lord’s Supper for Christian Life?
 

Reflections

There are few Christians who have not asked these kinds of questions, and there are few who would not benefit from a fresh, clear discussion of them. Hammett’s presentation is well-informed and is marked by both simplicity and precision. At each turn his remarks are well-considered, and even in those areas of hottest dispute his spirit remains irenic. His 40 Questions about Baptism and the Lord’s Supper will not only be popular in the seminary classroom but –accessible as it is – is a welcome addition to every church library and eminently useful for the Sunday School and other teaching settings. I don’t know where you’d find a more helpful introduction to the various issues and questions surrounding the two ordinances of the Christian church. A very useful resource. Highly recommended.

Fred Zaspel

 

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40 Questions About Baptism And The Lord’s Supper

Kregel, 2015 | 336 pages