40 QUESTIONS ABOUT BAPTISM AND THE LORD’S SUPPER
John S. Hammett
This is a part of the 40 Questions series by Kregel Publications. It certainly covers two subjects that have been controversial and debated since the beginning of the church. I was interested in the subject since I am not of the same viewpoint as the authors. I must admit that I am not a Baptist, so my perception comes from an independent non-Baptist view. I did not come with the idea of being critical, but the idea of wanting to better understand their positions on these two great subjects. Overall the book seems fair, but also biased. The book does answer important questions about the subjects with clarity and is uunderstandably He does bring out good information on the basic denominational differences—except for those who doe not practice water baptism nor practice the Lord’s Supper, which their views are noticeably absent. While these views are relatively small in the world of Christianity, they deserved to be at least given some notice or mention.
There is merit in the book on the subject of baptism, however it is limited to the practice of water baptism, not a study of baptism overall. It should be re-titled Questions on Water Baptism and Lord's Supper. It gives good basic overall history of the subject of the doctrine and its development. For those who have questions on the subject will likely find it here: e.g. baptismal regeneration, infant baptism, and means of grace.
However, I am disappointed mainly by what is not included on the subject of baptism. There is nothing on the types of baptism that do not include water (e.g. the baptism of fire). Likewise, the subject of spiritual baptism is only spoken of in relationship to water baptism. All which limits the subject.
In my opinion the sections and questions on the Lord’s Supper is not much better than the ones of baptism. Like the subject of baptism, the author gives a fair view of the differences among Christians. He deals with the major issues. One will find areas that one agrees with and some he disagrees with. Like baptism he says we celebrate the Lord’s Supper because it is commanded. He does well on the meaning of the Lord’s Supper, but seems to favor a closed communion, and suggests that the movement to an open communion is due to downplaying of theological and biblical standards (p 272). He concludes with some practical suggestions on how to use the Lord’s Supper in worship.
The book is organized well, and spurs thought by questions at the end of each chapter. It is readable, and not overly technical. It gives good overall information and will answer basic questions one may have on the subjects. It is not a strong book for a detailed study of the subjects. There are better books on the subjects.
I received this book free from Kregel Publications for the purpose of reviewing it. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255.