Sunday, August 27, 2023

The Lord's Supper by Jonathan Black Book Review

About the Book:

From the very beginning, the Lord's Supper has stood at the heart of Christian worship. But over the years we've trivialized it, squeezing it in between "real" worship. If Jesus lives in us, and the Holy Spirit is poured out on us, why do we need to eat bread and drink grape juice or wine? Does it really matter?

It does matter--and it's life-changing, says leading Pentecostal theologian Jonathan Black. With warmth and depth, he explores not only how the table is still a powerful place of transformation and encounter with Jesus, but also how we can experience Christ's promise of presence, glory, healing, forgiveness, victory, and intimacy when we answer His call to come to the table.

Whether you're feeling the lack of His presence, are ashamed of sin in your life, or have never felt anything during Communion, Christ's invitation to partake in His feast is your invitation to taste and see that the Lord is good.

You can read an excerpt here.

My Review:

Raised in the Reformed tradition, I was taught a healthy reverence for communion. Having also attended charismatic churches, I understand Black's desire for charismatic Christians to have a greater emphasis on communion and what it means. I appreciate his exploration of the promises Jesus made about it. “Jesus is present in the supper in a way He isn't present anywhere else...” (42)

Black reminds us of the importance of preparing for the communion experience, such as self examination. He also explores the blessings of communion, both in the sense of fellowship with God and with other believers. He shares encouraging stories of people experiencing the presence of God in miraculous ways during communion. He is also realistic, noting that those experiences have been few and are not experienced by all.

This is a good book to remind charismatic Christians of the blessings available in communion. Jesus said there is life giving power available in His body and blood. (116) Jesus is present at communion and though we may disagree at to how that happens, we can experience His presence and receive from Him.

My rating: 4/5 stars.

About the Author:

Jonathan Black
, PhD, is an ordained pastor and teacher in the Apostolic Church and lecturer in theology at Regents Theological College, West Malvern, UK, where he is also co-director of the Institute for Pentecostal Theology. Originally from Northern Ireland, he studied theology at University of Cambridge (MA), Continental Theological Seminary/University of Wales (MTh), and University of Chester (PhD). He served on leadership at a church in Brussels, where he also taught at a theological college, and pastored a church in Leeds. Find out more at Photo credit: Jamie Winch

Chosen Books, 224 pages.

I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher. My comments are an independent and honest review.

(My star ratings: 5-I love it, 4-I like it, 3-It's OK, 2-I don't like it, 1-I hate it.)

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