Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Responding to James Jordan's 'Review' of Children and the Lord's Supper

Over at Amazon, I noticed that James Jordan has already posted a review of Children and the Lord's Supper edited by Guy Waters and Ligon Duncan. I only received my copy in the mail today, but I began reading it with much excitement. After only reading ten pages in the book, I felt compelled to respond to James Jordan's review. Here is his original 1-star review:
As a longtime advocate of paedocommunion, I can safely say that I have never heard of anyone who believes that children should be admitted to the Lord's Table on the basis of birth from one Christian parent. Admission to the Table is by baptism, and children should begin to eat in Church when they are old enough to eat at home. Growing up at Jesus' table is perfectly natural in the New Creation. Perhaps the authors in this symposium should have bothered to read what paedocommunionists actually believe before putting out their criticisms!
What follows is my response to Jordan's review:
Mr. Jordan: On page 11 of the book, they do in fact, define paedocommunion as they are using the term as "the admittance of a covenant child to the Lord's Supper on the basis of his descent from at least one professing Christian parent." This is the sentence you find fault with. However, the very next sentence of the book is helpful: "Paedocommunion, then, maintains that a child's membership in the visible church is sufficient to admit him to the Table." You agree with this statement. Your complaint is not with the form of paedocommunion, but with the method by which one is a member of the visible church. The Westminster Standards say that children are baptized by virtue of their already being within the covenant prior to their baptism (WLC Q.166). And so Waters and Duncan are assuming a traditional Reformed view of membership in the visible church in keeping with their own church's (PCA) confession.

Hence, the book appears to be aimed at those who hold a confessional view of admittance into the visible church. If you believe that it is baptism itself which makes one a member of the visible church then on such a basis I could see why you would disagree with the authors' definition of paedocommunion. It is my hope that you actually read this book completely before posting this review.
Another way of putting it is that Jordan's complaint is that the book is not geared towards a Federal Vision understanding of admission into the visible church.

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