Second Reformed Church

Monday, September 07, 2015

Review: "40 Questions About Baptism and the Lord's Supper"

John S. Hammett's 40 Questions About Baptism and the Lord's Supper is the second volume I have read in this series edited by Benjamin L. Merkle.  And, like the first one I read, I found this volume very readable, thought-provoking, and expansive in its coverage.

The first four questions are general questions about how many sacraments there are, are they sacraments or ordinances, who should preside over them and where.

Questions 5 through 8 consider the origin of baptism and compare it to John's baptism and Spirit baptism, and consider why Jesus was baptized.

Questions 9 through 13 present the major denominational views about baptism.

Questions 14 through 19 ask questions about infant baptism, grace in baptism, and the mode of baptism.

Questions 20 and 21 ask how all of this plays out, especially with regards to children.

Questions 22 through 25 present the origin, reason, and meaning for the Lord's Supper.

Questions 26 through 30 present a variety of denominational views of the Lord Supper.

Questions 31 through 35 ask whether and how Christ is present, who should receive, and what God does in the Lord's Supper.

Questions 36 through 38 consider how frequently the Lord Supper should be observed and what -- liturgically ought to be included in the Lord's Supper.

The book concludes with question 39 and 40 asking questions about the importance of both sacraments.

Hammett has done an admirable job is both raising the major questions and provoking thought about which view or views hold the better interpretation of the questions.  (There are also questions for discussion at the end of each question.)  He also does an admirable job in accurately presenting the variety of views on these questions.

However, as Hammett repeatedly confesses, he is a convinced Baptist, and the strongest criticism and most accepting interpretations come from his Baptist convictions.  Although he is obvious in his views (so much so, I found myself smiling at times!), but he is not offensive, even in his disagreement.

This is an excellent introduction to baptism and the Lord's Supper and the questions and views about them.  It will serve well as a general introduction and discussion study group volume.


[I received this book free from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.  This review appears on my blog and on Amazon,com.]

No comments: