Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Sunday School Reading - June 14, 2009

Here are some recommended readings on the Lord's Supper. I'm going to go ahead and include everything here even though we'll finish our discussion on who should come to the Table next week. I really only have two books to recommend separately and both are older (one from the nineteenth century and one from the Reformation era). But with that said I want to point out that the majority of our systematic theologies are really very helpful on this subject and so I want to encourage you to look in those. I also would encourage you to read John Murray's articles on the Lord's Supper in Volume 2 of his Collected Writings.

First, here are the confessional sections dealing with the Supper:

Second, here are some book recommendations on the topic:
  • The Mystery of the Lord's Supper by Robert Bruce - Bruce was a Scottish Reformer who was a key figure for furthering Reformation preaching and ministry in Edinburgh and also during several exiles to Northern Scotland. This book is a collection of sermons preached by Bruce for the purpose of instructing his congregation on the Supper. I think that this book is very helpful in understanding a Presbyterian view of the Lord's Supper and while it is not the easiest read it is more than worth the effort of working through.
  • The Mystical Presence by John Williamson Nevin - Nevin was a German Reformed minister in Pennsylvania in the 19th Century. While there are some problems with other parts of his theology, I would argue that this book remains the best book devoted to the Lord's Supper written in American theology. It is a tough read but in terms of understanding what Presbyterians believe about communion with Christ in the Supper as opposed to Lutheran and Catholic views (or even mistaken Presbyterian views) it is essential.

Third, here are the relevant sections in several Presbyterian and Reformed systematic theologies:
  • Institutes of the Christian Religion by John Calvin - Calvin's excellent presentation of this doctrine is in Book 4, Chapters 17-18.
  • Reformed Dogmatics by Herman Bavinck - Bavinck discusses the Supper in Volume 4, Holy Spirit, Church, and New Creation, Chapter 11.
  • Systematic Theology by Charles Hodge - The Supper is discussed in Volume 3, Chapter 20, Sections 15-19 (free at the link provided).
  • Outlines of Theology by A.A. Hodge - The Supper is dealt with in Chapter 40 (available free at the link provided).
  • Systematic Theology by Robert Lewis Dabney - His treatment of the Supper is in Chapter 42 (available free at the link provided)
  • Systematic Theology by Louis Berkhof - Berkhof writes on the Supper in Chapter 5 of Part 5. This is available in the Church Library.
  • Concise Reformed Dogmatics by W.H. Velema and J.H. VanGenderen - They cover the Lord's Supper in section 53 under Chapter 14.

Finally, here are some articles and essays on the Supper that you can read online for free:

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