A Brief History of Communion: Contemporary Christianity

This post is the final in our series on the history of communion. The Contemporary Church In general, the five major Reformation views on Communion persist today, although with literally tens of thousands of denominations worldwide, explanations of Communion can vary greatly among contemporary churches. Adding further complexity is the “rediscovery” of worldwide Christianity inContinue reading “A Brief History of Communion: Contemporary Christianity”

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A Brief History of Communion: Five Reformation Views

This post is part of an ongoing series on the history of communion. The Reformation Church With the outbreak of theological reforms in the 16th century came considerable revisions and specifications of the theologies and practices of Communion. Essentially, five major views solidified: Tridentine, Consubstantial, Reformed, Via Media, and Memorialist.

A Brief History of Communion: Medieval Christianity

This post is part of an ongoing series on the history of communion. The Medieval Church During the medieval period, the Church began to use a common liturgy for Eucharistic celebration, with prescribed texts and traditions for services and practice. Some differences emerged between the Eastern and Western branches of Christianity, differences which were formalizedContinue reading “A Brief History of Communion: Medieval Christianity”

A Brief History of Communion: 2nd to 5th Centuries

This post is part of an ongoing series on the history of communion. Second to Fifth Centuries After Justin, we see a proliferation of Christian writers, many of whom speak about Communion, some with great regularity. These Christians come from all corners of the Roman Empire and beyond: Gaul (Irenaeus), Egypt (Clement of Alexandria andContinue reading “A Brief History of Communion: 2nd to 5th Centuries”

A Brief History of Communion: Justin’s Apology

This post is part of an ongoing series on the history of communion. Justin’s Apology Justin Martyr, writing around 150 CE in Rome, provides a unique perspective into the weekly practice of Communion among second century Christians. Toward the end of his First Apology he outlines the liturgy of the Roman Church: Scripture readings followedContinue reading “A Brief History of Communion: Justin’s Apology”

A Brief History of Communion: Apostolic Fathers

This post is part of an ongoing series on the history of communion. The Apostolic Fathers The earliest non-canonical references to Communion come in the writings of the Apostolic Fathers, namely Ignatius of Antioch (c. 108 CE) and the Didache (c. 110 CE). Ignatius, much like Paul in 1 Corinthians, indicates that he is veryContinue reading “A Brief History of Communion: Apostolic Fathers”

A Brief History of Communion: Origins

Christians of all sorts partake of some form of communion. Known by different names—the Lord’s Supper, Eucharist, Holy Communion, Breaking of Bread, Mass—and taken at different frequencies—daily, weekly, monthly, quarterly—this practice involving bread and wine stands as a testament to both Christian unity as well as divisions. What do contemporary Christians believe about the Lord’sContinue reading “A Brief History of Communion: Origins”

On Baptism (Part II)

This post continues my reflections on baptism, focusing on the covenantal and sacramental aspects of Christian baptism. Covenantal Theology Those beginning an exploration of historic baptismal theology will almost immediately run into the concept of covenantal theology. As commonly defined, a covenant is a formal agreement made between God and humans, typically one that onlyContinue reading “On Baptism (Part II)”

On Baptism (Part I)

In this two-part article, I offer some reflections on baptism, beginning in this post with the Bible and history and wrapping up with some musings on covenant and sacrament in the next. Baptism in the Acts of the Apostles Last summer I led a Bible study on the Acts of the Apostles. While I hadContinue reading “On Baptism (Part I)”

The Christology Debate

The Early Christian Church spent hundreds of years seeking a definitive answer to the question, “Who is Jesus?” The answer to this all-important question formed the basis for much of Christian theology and practice. Who is Jesus? Is He God? Is He Man? How does Jesus save us? These are the questions that early theologiansContinue reading “The Christology Debate”