Showing posts from August, 2019

A Trinitarian view of the Lord's Supper

This post explores the profound Christ-centered, Trinitarian meaning of the Lord's Supper as presented by theologians Thomas F. Torrance,  Daniel Migliore  and James B. Torrance. For a related post on baptism, click here ; for one on the sacraments in pastoral ministry, click here . "The Communion" by Velázquez (public domain via Wikimedia Commons) Thomas F. (TF) Torrance In Gospel, Church, and Ministry   (Jock Stein, Ed.), TF says this concerning the sacrament of the Lord’s Supper: It is at Holy Communion above all that we see Christ face to face and handle things unseen and feed upon his body and blood by faith. It is there in the real presence of Christ that we grasp something of the wonder of the Savior’s love and redeeming sacrifice, and understand that it is not our faith in Christ that counts but his vicarious life and sacrifice, his redeeming life and death that count. It is at Holy Communion when the bread and wine are put into our hands, that

A Trinitarian view of baptism

In this post we'll look at how three Trinitarian theologians address the sacrament of baptism. All three understand baptism to be a proclamation that we have been saved by Jesus Christ alone and not through our own repentance and faith. All three view baptism as a participation in the death and resurrection of Jesus, in which our old selves have been crucified and renounced in Christ and we have been freed from the shackles of the past and given new being through his resurrection. For all three, baptism proclaims the good news that Jesus has made us his own, and that it is only in him that our new life of faith and obedience emerges. Baptism of Christ (public domain via Wikimedia Commons) Migliore on baptism In Faith Seeking Understanding , Daniel Migliore calls baptism "the sacrament of initiation into life in Christ," noting that "it marks the beginning of the journey of faith and discipleship that lasts throughout one’s life" (p. 282). He finds auth

The sacraments in pastoral ministry

Sadly, the sacraments often are overlooked in discussing the theology and practice of pastoral ministry. I seek to address that deficit in my  Practice of Ministry  course at Grace Communion Seminary. Here is an excerpt from one of my lectures. In  Faith Seeking Understanding , Trinitarian theologian Daniel Migliore defines the sacraments as “visible words” that as “embodiments of grace” are “enacted testimonies to the love of God in Jesus Christ.” He notes that Augustine referred to the sacraments as “visible signs of an invisible grace” and that the  Westminster Shorter Catechism  calls a Sacrament “a holy ordinance instituted by Christ wherein by visible signs Christ and the benefits of the new covenant are represented, sealed and applied to believers.” Migliore adds that the sacraments are “palpable enactments of the gospel by means of which the Spirit of God confirms to us the forgiving, renewing, and promising love of God in Jesus Christ and enlivens us in faith, hope, and lov