I find Ben Witheringon’s knowledge of the early church to be extensive and inciteful, but have not read it anywhere other than on his blog. I did finally borrow a copy of his look at The Lord’s Supper. I trust his research, but I’m just not sure to whom I would recommend this book. Here’s what I wrote at Librarything:
Mr. Witherington’s book is useful for anyone wishing to look at the history of communion practices. However, his suggestions for how churches might practice communion seem to place more empasis on how the early church observed the Lord’s Supper than on the practices of Christians through the thousands of years since. Simply because the early church followed certain practices does not mean that God has not continued to reveal himself through the sacraments of the church.
The other fault that I have with the book is that it seems to address the issue as if churches seem to be having controversial discussions of the topic. While I agree that there is vast difference between congregations in the ways the ordinance/sacrament is observed, I don’t think any individual traditions are unsettled about how they are involved.
I really should have edited that a bit, but you get the idea anyway. I doubt that there are any groups who think they’re doing it wrong, and Witherington doesn’t seem so adamant about it as to warrant any change. Anyone else had a chance to read this? Thoughts? Here’s what Witherington says on his own blog: BW3