Baptists and the Supper

Some of my more sacramentally oriented friends (i.e. Anglicans) think that we Baptists are mere Memorialists when it comes to the Lord’s Supper. But this ain’t so! Although most Baptists today are of the so-called “Zwinglian” variety (though Zwingli was no Zwinglian), this has not always been the case. Historically speaking, Baptists are inheritors of the Calvinian tradition, especially when it comes to the Eucharist. Therefore we take there to be a real, or spiritual presence of Christ in the elements of the bread and wine (not grape juice!); that we take spiritual nourishment from the Supper; and have true communion with Christ. Ours is not a “real absence” view.

For instance, the Second London Confession of Faith (1689) in Chapter 30.7 says,

Worthy receivers, outwardly partaking of the visible Elements in this Ordinance, do then also inwardly by faith, really and indeed, yet not carnally, and corporally, but spiritually receive, and feed upon Christ crucified (l) & all the benefits of his death: the Body and Blood of Christ, being then not corporally, or carnally, but spiritually present to the faith of Believers, in that Ordinance, as the Elements themselves are to their outward senses.

l 1 Corinthians 10:16; 11:23-26.



Filed under baptists, eucharist

2 responses to “Baptists and the Supper

  1. Cool.

    I was pleased to see that Sam Storms has Calvin’s view of the eucharist. I have a limited experience with baptists and sacraments (through New Life and such) so this is pleasing to see.

    • If you can, find the works on Baptist sacramentalism by Stan Fowler and Anthony Cross (typically published by Paternoster). Also, read the hymns and poetry of the Calvinistic Baptist Anne Dutton; very rich on Christ in the Supper.

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