Jan 13, 2011

Book Review: Come to the Table by John Mark Hicks

Come to the Table: Revisioning the Lord's SupperCome to the Table: Revisioning the Lord's Supper is an interesting treatise concerning the manner in which the Eucharist is observed in modern Christianity. This book takes the reader through a journey from the Scriptural attestation, a brief early Christian witness, and a modern application in 205 short pages. John Mark Hicks' treatment of this debated, diversely observed, and often divisive issue is fair-minded and communicated in a conversing manner. Come to the Table invites the reader to do just that, come and dine with the master, who is host of the table.

The Table discussion has long been a controversial subject amongst believers. The debate of trans-substantiation vs. con-substantiation has raged for ages. Zwingli and Luther debated the manner in which the table was conducted and sparked a reformation dialog the carried on for centuries. Is it really that simple? Or is it actually much simpler? Some questions that lack answers normally, receive an admirable treatment in Come to the Table. Some of them include,
  • What is discerning the body?
  • What is eating and drinking unworthily?
  • What is the table of demons and the table of the Lord?
I really enjoyed this book for it scriptural substance. Hicks is very purposeful in painting the picture of what the Lord's Table was according to Luke, Acts, and 1 Corinthians. You begin to find yourself seated at table with not only the Lord and his disciples, but also with those whom Paul is addressing in Corinth. Giving data from the Old Covenant, showing more clearly the data of the New, and modernizing our approach for today all come together quite well. I also  really enjoyed the audacity that Hicks demonstrates by taking the road less traveled and taking the debate out the picture by stating pretty plainly what scripture is saying.

If I could have my druthers with this book, I would opt for a more systematic approach to the topic. I am not sure that it could do the subject justice, but that tends to be my reading preference anyway. Of all the systematic deductions I have read, this book has gone an extra mile by delivering a simple, logical, and plain view without mucking it all up with presuppositions to support.

This book was much worth the read and if you are interesting in learning more about the Lord's table, maybe even 'revisioning' it, then this book will get you started. Hicks also provides a bit of a practical application guide for believers or congregations who are currently exploring the topic and looking for an example to kick things off with.

Hope you enjoy it, I did!

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