Christian History Institute

Sharing our story of faith across the ages

items tagged with lord's supper


14 Nov 2016

United with Christ in eternity and at the table

by Raymond A. Blacketer | Issue 120

Calvin memorial

IF I SAY LUTHER, you say “95 Theses .” If I say Zwingli, you say “sausage in Lent.” And if I say Calvin, you say “predestination!” Predestination is a biblical theme and a perennial topic of Christian theology: how God’s sovereignty interacts with our free will. It was not something Calvin invented. Why has his name become so closely tied to the doctrine? 

[Calvin memorial]

amazing grace, how sweet the sound. . .

Some theologians throughout church history, like Augustine, have considered salvation the work of God alone creating faith and...

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3 Aug 2016

BONUS ONLINE CONTENT: This is my body, argued for you

by David C. Steinmetz | Issue 118

CRITICS of Catholic sacramental theology found they could not talk about the presence of Jesus Christ in the Eucharist without clarifying what they believed about his identity. Who was Jesus, after all, and what could he have meant to imply about himself when, as the Gospel of Matthew reports, he broke bread and told his disciples to “take, eat, this is my body”?

Early Protestants were fairly certain they knew what Jesus did not mean. In their view he did not mean to suggest that bread and wine had been miraculously transformed or...

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14 Feb 2004

Turning Point: Luther’s Lost Opportunity

by Bruce Heydt | Issue 81

MARTIN LUTHER’S MIND was unshakably fixed as he sat in the great hall of the medieval castle in Marburg, Germany, on the morning of October 2, 1529.

He had come to Marburg grudgingly, at the request of the Protestant Landgrave of the German state, Philip of Hesse, who had summoned Luther and other leading German and Swiss reformers to a meeting ostensibly of great theological importance. But the real impetus for the gathering was strictly political. That underlying fact made the outcome of this “Marburg Colloquy” a foregone conclusion.


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28 Feb 1993

Repeating the Unrepeatable

by Aidan Kavanagh | Issue 37

AT THE LAST SUPPER, Jesus told the disciples to “keep on doing this as my commemoration.” But after Jesus had left them, early Christians recognized that the supper Jesus shared with his disciples had indeed been his last, and thus was unique. The conundrum was: how do we keep on doing an unrepeatable event?

For instance, if, as seems likely, the Last Supper was a Passover meal, or seder  (which means “order of service”), early Christians wondered if they should “do this” only once a year at Passover. Were they to obey his command literally...

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1 May 1985

From the Archives: This Is My Body… This Is My Blood…

by the Editors | Issue 6

TO UNDERSTAND how Baptists approach the Lord’s Supper or Holy Communion, one needs to be reminded that Baptists originally were part of the Puritan-Separatist reaction against excess sacramentalism in the Church of England and the Roman Catholic Church. Early on, most Baptists followed the thinking of Huldreich Zwingli (1484–1531) who maintained that Communion was primarily a memorial through which the worshipers were bound together in an expression of loyalty to their Lord. This was consistent with Baptists’ views on baptism, which they...

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1 Sept 1983

Archives: Wycliffe Causes Controversy Over Eucharist

by John Wycliffe | Issue 3

Although Wycliffe questioned many practices of the church of his day, his most controversial position was on transubstantiation. This was the belief that, upon the words of the priestly consecration in the Mass, the eucharistic elements of the bread and wine became the substance of the body and blood of Jesus Christ while keeping the appearance of bread and wine. Typical of Wycliffe’s comments on the Eucharist were the following:

“The nature of the bread is not destroyed by what is done by the priest, it is only elevated so as to become a...

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