Closed Communion

I know that this blog has been primarily a place for my sermons to collect.  But then I received a copy of “Come in We Are Closed” by Tyrel Bramwell.  And this book was an excellent read.  I sat down to read it and was immediately sucked into the pages, I didn’t want to put it down.  Imagine if the “Hammer of God” had a fourth part, a part that was all about closed communion.  This would fit in seamlessly to that book, and wouldn’t feel at all out of place, well except that there’s no mention of the rectory.

This book wasn’t a collection of Bible verses to use in an argument, but rather an unfolding of a realistic encounter.  Questions go back and forth from the unnamed main character and a pastor in the setting of a cafe.  And the conversation is patient and congenial.  Never escalating in anger or frustration.  Exactly how we wish every conversation about the Lord’s Supper could be.

If I had one wish for this book, it would be that our seminaries would integrate this into their curriculum.  I know from my time at Fort Wayne that seminary is already filled with many books to read, and so where do you fit this?  This would work well in either Pastoral Theology or in the Field Education class.  First of all, it’s a quick read.  Because of the conversational structure, this book reads much faster than a theological treatise of comparable size.  Second of all, this question is going to come up.  It will.  And so to give future pastors a resource like this, showing how a conversation about this can go, with patience and gentleness and teaching, would be of great benefit to them.

Closed communion is important.  It is the historic practice and teaching of the Christian church.  This book is an excellent contribution to that teaching.  I urge you, get your hands on this book, it is well worth it.

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