These numbers look to be a little low. However, something to think about; with the Church focus on attracting the “younger generation” over the past decades these numbers are ironic. Could it possibly be that our efforts at making amends with the “younger generation” has actually had the reverse effect?
- Paperback: 152 pages
- Publisher: P & R Publishing (December 11, 2015)
- ISBN-10: 1629951765
- ISBN-13: 978-1629951768
Spreading the Feast is the latest publication from Howard Griffith (PhD, Westminster Theological Seminary and Associate Professor of Systematic Theology at Reformed Theological Seminary in Washington, DC.). The book as you can infer from the title is about the Lord’s Supper, Communion, Eucharist, what ever term you chose to use they all work for me, but they seem to have more significance depending on your ecclesiastical or church tradition. As a Baptist we like the term “Lord’s Supper” because it reminds us of the Last Supper upon which our Lord was betrayed and offered Himself up as He atoned for our sin by which we “memorialize” His death. It is at this point that Griffith is so very helpful as he shows from Scripture not only the memorial aspect of the Lord’s Supper but the benefits and blessing therein, something that we don’t hear about very often yet very essential to the believer regardless of your tradition.
The book itself is very accessible and a good read. It’s 152 pages broken down in to 2 parts with six chapters total. Interestingly Griffith explains a book that he read while still in seminary by John Murray simply entitled Table Addresses which became the motivation behind this book. Table addresses are just that, brief meditations on Christ’s person and work through the promises given in the OT and fulfilled in the NT presented at the Lord’s Supper Table every Sunday. The blessing this was to his congregation left no regret in his mind for providing these meditations and was the basis for his writing this book in order to help other ministers while they minister at the Lord’s Supper table.
However, Griffith doesn’t start the book out with these table meditations. In today’s Christian circles it has somewhat become common place to communicate in broad and general terms. Fortunately Griffith lays a solid foundation in part one of the book before he begins his discussion on table meditations. Here he clarifies what is meant by the Lord’s Supper and explains its antecedents in the Gospel and Covenant so as to leave no ambiguity. Once the foundation has been established he enters part 2 which is the central point of the book, the meditations.
I found this to be an enjoyable read. The book appears to be written for ministers. However, I am not a minister. I found the book to be helpful in my understanding of the theology of the Lord’s Supper. But not only that I found the meditations to be very encouraging. So I would not only recommend this title for ministers and seminarians but I would say even the laity will find it to be edifying.
PERSONAL RATING: 5 Stars
Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 <http://www.access.gpo.gov/nara/cfr/waisidx_03/16cfr255_03.html> : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”
What about the Crusades? Wasn’t this a form of Christian Jihad? These are good and very relevant questions. In this very brief video historian W. Robert Godfrey does a good job at explaining what motivated the Church during this very dark time in Church history.
Here are some interesting stats gauging the current condition of the American Megachurch. My interest in this is trivial at best but it is interesting to see what people are thinking about Church. This particular survey by Leadership Network shows that Megachurches are still bringing in the numbers. However, while older megachurches are hanging on to their baby boomers they are losing their gen-Xers and millennials. Some of the key areas of success are smaller venues (sanctuary, small groups), multiple campuses, increased number of weekly services (which only makes sense if you have smaller venues), Churches that “specialize” in global out reach, and a clear mission purpose.
This survey by Hartford Institute shows some of the pros and cons of younger churches before or after 1990. Older churches tend have more pastoral longevity, higher attendance, member involvement, and money.