Christ, Baptism and the Lord's Supper: Recovering the Sacraments for Evangelical Worship
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InterVarsity Press / 2004 / Paperback

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Christ, Baptism and the Lord's Supper: Recovering the Sacraments for Evangelical Worship

InterVarsity Press / 2004 / Paperback

In Stock
Stock No: WW27861

Product Description

Winner of the top book for pastoral leadership in 2005 from Christianity Today: "Clear as air, brilliantly organized and written, this book offers sources and insight to pastors of any Christian tradition, including the emergent church." Celebrating the sacraments as a key to church renewal. 249 pages, softcover. InterVarsity.

Product Information

Format: Paperback
Number of Pages: 252
Vendor: InterVarsity Press
Publication Date: 2004
Dimensions: 9 X 6 (inches)
ISBN: 0830827862
ISBN-13: 9780830827862

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Publisher's Description

Winner of a Christianity Today 2005 Book Award! Baptism. The Lord's Supper. We recognize these church practices. But do we really grasp their meaning and place in Christian worship? Is our neglect of them hindering our communion with Christ? Are we missing the real drama of our salvation? Often the object of debate, the sacraments are likewise neglected and superficially understood. Leonard Vander Zee makes a compelling case that these problems can be overcome when we see the connection between Baptism and the Lord's Supper and the continuing ministry of Jesus Christ, the incarnate Word of God. Founding his discussion in biblical teaching reaching back to the creation narrative and forward to the teaching of Jesus and the apostle Paul, Vander Zee sees the Christ-centered celebration of these sacraments as essential to the renewal of the church. A reappropriation of Baptism and the Eucharist, especially in the evangelical church, holds great promise for healing the rift between the natural and the spiritual, the personal and social, the head and the heart, and between the body of believers and our Lord Jesus Christ who died for us and now lives to make intercessions for us. In Christ, Baptism and the Lord's Supper,Vander Zee not only opens up a Christ-centered approach to the sacraments but also provides guidance on the practical matters that face pastors and parishioners in the pursuit of a renewed and authentic Christian worship.

Author Bio

Leonard J. Vander Zee (M.Div., Calvin Theological Seminary) is editor in chief for Faith Alive Christian Resources. Previously he served in pastorates in Indiana, Michigan, Iowa and New York. He is the author of (CRC Publications, 1992) and (CRC Publications, 1995). His articles have appeared in and

Editorial Reviews

"Pastor Vander Zee invites evangelicals into a sacramental experience of the Savior they love. This engaging book unfolds biblical and theological teaching in ways that are both challenging and compelling."
Given the rise of contemporary worship services not only in evangelical churches, but also in main line denominations, Vander Lee’s book is a must read. Being evangelical and liturgical--in both worship practice and sacramental theology--need not be exclusive of one another, and that contemporary worship need not be completely stripped of all historical and liturgical content in order to be relevant to contemporary society.
"In Christ, Baptism and the Lord's Supper Leonard Vander Zee offers a gift to the whole church. His marvelous clarity, theological acuity and personal warmth make this book a joy to read. Most of all, he helps us reclaim the worship practices of an embodied faith, the bath and the feast that demonstrate Christ's real presence in a world grown weary of mere words."
"This insightful analysis from a pastor who practices what he preaches promises to deepen our view not only of baptism and the Lord's Supper but also of our Lord. Just as the eyes of Elisha's servant were opened to see the chariots of fire that encircled Elisha (2 Kings 6), so too the themes of this book can help us perceive the vibrant, nourishing ways that God works through worship. In an age tempted to treat worship merely as a means to other ends, this vision is one that will comfort, challenge and transform us."
"Here, at last, is a major primer on the sacraments for evangelicals. Drawing on the wisdom of the Reformation traditions, as well as the wider Christian heritage, Pastor Vander Zee shows us how our worship can be enriched, and God more greatly glorified, through a new focus on baptism and the Lord’s Supper. A wonderful guide to a deeper understanding of 'the visible words of God.'"
"From the ranks of deeply educated clergy Leonard Vander Zee steps forward to testify on the sacraments. He does so with power and beauty that stick in the mind. Absorbing!"
"The new attitude given to baptism and the Lord's Supper among evangelicals is a positive sign of the deepening of evangelical faith and worship. Christ, Baptism and the Lord's Supper is an important contribution to the current trend toward sacramental thinking because it is rooted in tradition and applied to the health of the present church. More than a study, it is a guide for thoughtful action."

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  1. Mr Bultitude
    Age: 18-24
    Gender: Male
    5 Stars Out Of 5
    Best Book On Sacraments
    August 22, 2014
    Mr Bultitude
    Age: 18-24
    Gender: Male
    Quality: 5
    Value: 5
    Meets Expectations: 5
    This book was recommended to me by an Anglican deacon (now priest) and I am very impressed by it. In fact, I believe it to present the best theology of the sacraments I have read thus far.

    Leonard Vander Zee admittedly comes from a Reformed perspective and so he favours infant baptism and relies heavily upon the use of John Calvin in his understanding of the sacraments, particularly the Lord's Supper. However, he also draws upon other thinkers, such as the Church fathers (noting Calvin's own debt to the Eastern fathers in his understanding of communion as heavenly participation, where believers are "lifted up" by the Spirit in divine worship of Christ), Catholic theologians, the Reformers and particularly among modern theologians, T.F. Torrance. Despite his own theological loyalties, Vander Zee is diligently respectful of other traditions, clearly explaining the reasons why Roman Catholics believe in transubstantiation (his contrast of Platonic vs. Aristotelian thinking is extremely helpful) and why many evangelicals hold to believer's baptism as well as laying out a understanding of the sacraments he believes is biblically and theologically faithful (e.g. for instance, he cites Calvin's concern regarding the "real presence" of the Eucharist that it did not properly honour Jesus' humanity if his physical presence is scattered all over time and space while his physical body ascended only once - as we await his return). While Vander Zee disagrees with certain traditions and thinkers, he notes that in many cases they altered course with the best of intentions (e.g. the use of grape juice to replace wine in the Lord's Supper for fears of intoxication). He convincingly demonstrates that the passage in 1 Corinthians referring to "discerning the body" is NOT referring to the physical properties of the bread but the community (the church in Corinth was divided between rich and poor and this communal aspect of the sacrament is stressed by the author).

    Vander Zee structures the book by lamenting how the practice of the sacraments among evangelicals have languished (chiding churches for serving communion only once in a blue moon) and by setting up Jesus Christ as the ultimate sacrament. He spends the rest of the book discussing baptism and the Lord's Supper, starting with their Biblical background and then explaining practice and any changes to the practice that have since occurred. He concludes by stating that the Lord's Supper is the meal of the church and should thus be reserved for believers (I think I'm more radically open than he).

    This book certainly provides food for thought!
  2. Uri Brito
    4 Stars Out Of 5
    March 16, 2007
    Uri Brito
    Vandee Zee writes out of a deep sense of grief over the evangelical denial/neglect of the Sacraments. This is what truly drives him to write this informative book. In his own words, Evangelicals apparently are not very interested in the sacraments, which seems to correspond to their lack of interest in ecclesiology in general. Vander Zee masterfully exegetes what is at the heart of this great Protestant abandonment of a robust view of the waters of baptism and the Eucharistic meal. The church is deeply offended by things that are beautiful. Instead, they have made the preaching the center of all worship, and the Lords Table an unfortunate monthly/quarterly inconvenience. The evangelical (broadly speaking) world needs to be called back to where the Scriptures and the church have been calling for centuries: to the frequent table feast and the powerful sign and seal of baptism. Vander Zee helpfully reorients the reader to see in these sacraments more than mere church activities or necessary duties, but rather a life transforming and soul changing rites that impart to the elect real grace. The book is divided into 12 chapters. Each chapter focuses on a particular dimension of sacramental theology. The reader who has had little exposure to this topic will find himself familiarized with historical, theological, and existential levels of sacramental thinking after reading this tome. As a result, he will become aware of different theological traditions, and, furthermore, of why the church from her early days has made these sacraments an essential part of their worship.Vander Zee approaches these topics from a distinctly Reformed perspective. Nevertheless, he has carefully analyzed other traditions where the Eucharist and Baptism are inextricably tied to their liturgy and life.
  3. Marie Dershem
    5 Stars Out Of 5
    June 6, 2005
    Marie Dershem
    This book was recently awarded the Christianity Today 2005 Book Award for it's category. Here's the comment: "Clear as air and brilliantly organized and written, this book offers sources and insight to pastors of any Christian tradition, including the emergent church."
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