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The Eucharist: Encounters with Jesus at the…

The Eucharist: Encounters with Jesus at the Table

by Robert D. Cornwall

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Too bloody short! This is one of Energion Publications’ Topical Line Drives booklets, meant to introduce a topic directly by zeroing in on the necessities, but this time the abbreviated coverage left me wanting much more. Maybe that’s a good thing.

Known as the Eucharist, the Lord’s Supper, or the Holy Communion, Cornwall traces the evolution of its practice and meaning through the centuries as this ritual evolved from an agape feast to a sporadic nibble of bread and sip of wine. Along the way, ideas such as “real presence” (Christ’s presence, of course) and transubstantiation developed. The reformation brought further debates about the meaning of the Lord’s Supper, and in modern developments a focal point has developed over thanksgiving (hence the word Eucharist). But what are we thankful for, and how much sacrificial imagery is appropriate? The idea of substitutional atonement can be dreary and uncomfortable for many Christians, so what is the sip and nibble supposed to mean to us?

Cornwall doesn’t insist on any interpretations, but his own opinion is that we should be able to share communion between denominations, and when we gather together at the table, we should learn from one another’s theology. For those who have fallen into a rote practice, there is value in recognizing what Orthodox and Roman Catholic theologians say about sacrifice, and ideas of “real presence” can enrich the ritual.

A good little introduction. Here’s hoping Robert Cornwall publishes more on the topic.

Energion Publications, © 2014, 34 pages

ISBN: 978-1-63199-011-3 ( )
  DubiousDisciple | Aug 5, 2014 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 163199011X, Paperback)

Holy Communion, the Lord's Supper, or the Eucharist are some of the names used to signify what is arguably the center of our worship as Christians. "Although the Eucharist may stand at the center of Christian worship, there are a great variety of theologies and practices present within the Christian community. For some it is a mere memorial of Jesus' last supper with his disciples. For others it is the place where one not only encounters Jesus' spiritual presence, but consumes his true body and true blood under the signs of bread and wine. Although rooted in the practices of the early Christians, time has witnessed considerable evolution, and with evolution comes diversity of practice and belief," says author, Dr. Robert Cornwall. This newest addition to the Topical Line Drives series offers a rich but brief stimulus for us to converse about our differences in theology and practice. It is Dr. Cornwall's hope that such conversations will increase our joy in the experience of this sacrament given to us by Jesus Christ.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:15:43 -0400)

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