Friday, September 14, 2007

Ben Witherington on the Lord's Supper

Ben Witherington introduces his new book Making a Meal of it: Rethinking the Theology of the Lord's Supper. Here's his description:

In this study I argue that the Lord's Supper was originally part of a large meal, not a separate ritual or ceremony, and as such brought into play all the ancient understandings about hospitality, the welcoming of people to the table, and the like. I am also arguing that the early church did not see the Lord's Supper as merely a symbolic memorial ceremony. They actually saw some sort of spiritual transaction happening in the partaking of the Lord's Supper, and believed that partaking in an unworthy manner was spiritually dangerous, as Paul suggests in 1 Cor. 11. But what sort of spiritual transaction is going on in the Lord's Supper? This is discussed in some detail in the book, and I won't spoil it for you by dealing with that here.

Sounds interesting. I think Protestant churches should turf out their morsel of bread and drop of juice and its accompanying three minute guilt-trip sermonette in favour of a communal love feast instead.

2 comments:

Geoff Hudson said...

1 Cor.11 was not about the Lord's supper at all. It was not about eating (11.20), but about praying when they came together. And it wasn't about eating without waiting for someone else, it was about standing up and praying without waiting for the Spirit. Thus 'one remains standing (praying), another gets up (and has a go)' (11.21) - reminds me of my days in the Plymouth Brethren. Thus there was none of the nonsense about getting drunk (sorry to spoil the party guys) or of being hungry, and no love feast either.

Bryan L said...

"I think Protestant churches should turf out their morsel of bread and drop of juice and its accompanying three minute guilt-trip sermonette in favour of a communal love feast instead."

LOL!!