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Re-membering the Body

Scott W. Bullard   ·  ISBN 9781630870188
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Publisher Wipf and Stock Publishers
Author(s) Scott W. Bullard
Published 11012013
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For centuries, Baptists have regarded the Eucharist, or Lord's Supper, as "merely symbolic" rather than as sacramental. Historically speaking, Baptists have also participated in the practice of the Supper less frequently than other Christian groups, all the while lodging complaints about a lack of ecclesial unity. In response to these trends, this book argues for a sacramental understanding of the Eucharist and focuses on the way in which the Eucharist conveys grace by drawing the church together as the body of Christ. It focuses especially on the theology of James Wm. McClendon Jr., who was Baptist but nonetheless illustrated that through the Eucharist God "re-members" the church as the body of Christ. Together with Lutheran theologian Robert Jenson and Catholic theologian Cardinal Henri de Lubac, McClendon's work has had an enormous impact on contemporary free church discussions about the Supper and ecclesial unity. In a final chapter, therefore, the study examines a number of contemporary Baptists dubbed the "new Baptist sacramentalists." These men and women are influenced by McClendon, Jenson, and de Lubac, and they offer a fresh approach to the ongoing puzzle of the church's disunity through the Eucharist.
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