Book Review: Subversive Meals: An Analysis of the Lord’s Supper under Roman Domination During the First Century

Subversive Meals: An Analysis of the Lord's Supper under Roman Domination during the First CenturySubversive Meals: An Analysis of the Lord’s Supper under Roman Domination during the First Century by R. Alan Streett
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

This book presents an informative and interesting study of the Graeco-Roman background of the first century churches’ communal meals, including the Lord’s Supper. It would have been good to have had some treatment of the Jewish background and influence on the early ekklesiai, and especially that of the synagogues. This approach to the New Testament suffers from a similar problem some have with Old Testament interpretation and the precise role of ANE mythopoeia. We certainly cannot ignore the Graeco-Roman milieu of the first century churches, but neither should we politicize the New Testament as though it were written entirely to subvert the Roman Empire. Egalitarian theology, two-age theology, and continuationism are a few problem theologies for the biblical interpretation in the book. With all that said, the Roman banquets and the extent of their influence on early churches hasn’t received enough attention.

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Book Review: Understanding the Congregation’s Authority

Understanding the Congregation's Authority (Church Basics)Understanding the Congregation’s Authority by Jonathan Leeman
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

I’m a firm believer in congregationalism as the only biblical model, but any attempt to build the case for congregationalism from the Old Testament is going to be problematic. First, the church is not in the Old Testament, but is a mystery revealed by Christ in the New Testament. That is not the same thing as saying the Old Testament has no relevance for the church. Leeman’s approach suffered from a covenant theology that has been developed theologically and not exegetically. He places the church at the end of the line of historical redemptive development as though the church is ultimate—Adam, Abraham, Moses, David, Christ, church. He actually made the church out to be another Adam, which confuses the churches’ purpose and mission. There is only the first Adam and the last Adam, which is Christ. There is the first Adam and the second Adam is Christ. Leeman puts the church in a universal, invisible kingdom where the church is another Adam taking dominion of the earth. This is an over-realized eschatology where the church supersedes Israel and serves as a second priesthood. More could be said.

Where Leeman actually addressed congregational authority from the New Testament, he did a good job. There’s definitely good in this book, but it’s a shame it’s in such a mixed bag.

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Book Review: The Mystery of the Lord’s Supper

The Mystery Of The Lord's Supper (Vintage Puritan)The Mystery Of The Lord’s Supper by Thomas Watson
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Watson is probably my favorite Puritan to read. I’m not a big Puritan fan altogether, and I am especially not a fan of modern Puritan wannabes. His approach is more theological and allegorical than exegetical, which is not unusual for Puritans. He is Christ-centered, devotional, and practical, which is where the book shines.

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Book Review: What is the Lord’s Supper?

What Is The Lord's Supper? (Crucial Questions #16)What Is The Lord’s Supper? by R.C. Sproul
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

This brief book is a part of the Crucial Questions series. Sproul had such a clear and concise style, this is an easy read. There are some points I am always going to differ with him, but there was a lot of good in this book. He does give quite a bit of space to historical issues surrounding the Lord’s Supper that may be more or less relevant depending on the reader’s background.

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Book Review: Understanding the Lord’s Supper

Understanding The Lord's SupperUnderstanding The Lord’s Supper by Bobby Jamieson
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This is a helpful book. Jamieson blends theological and practical considerations in a brief book. I differed in a few points and noticed it was where Jamieson’s points were farthest from any scriptural text. Overall good treatment.

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