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In the Name of Our Lord: Four Models of the Relationship Between Baptism, Catechesis, and Communion

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Who is a member of the church?

Christians divide on how one enters the church body. Matters are quickly complicated once other factors are considered, such as faith, instruction, baptism, first Communion, and formal membership. Who should be baptized? What role does instruction play? And what is the best sequence for these things?

Jonathan D. Watson’s In the Name of Our Lord provides an explanatory typology and incisive analysis for thinking through these interrelated questions. Watson’s four-model framework accounts for the major historical varieties of relationship between baptism and catechesis as rites of initiation into the church. With this framework in place, Watson then considers each model in relation to the others.

With a guide to navigating the terrain, readers can comprehend, compare, and contrast the different theological formulations of these practices. Readers will have a sophisticated but clear system for thinking through foundational matters that are important to every pastor and congregant.

Praise for In the Name of Jesus

The location and interrelationship of various biblical doctrines is a needful aspect of study in the realm of theological reflection. Watson has produced a study brimming with such considerations, dealing specifically with catechesis, baptism, and entrance into the covenant community of the local church. Sweeping in scope, the author engages readers with a working taxonomy of various positions on the interrelationship of these three ecclesiological categories. This work will offer clarity on the kinds of positions that are taken within various church traditions, showcasing the theological underpinnings of such practical matters. Such reflection will be of great benefit to the church at large, as the author compels us to think theologically about these practices.

—Jeremy M. Kimble, associate professor of theology, Cedarville University

With careful historical and theological precision, Jonathan Watson examines not only the presence of catechesis, baptism, and Communion in the life of the churches but also the relationship between them. Watson’s model for navigating this matrix of meaning and practice has considerable explanatory power for the study of historical theology and theological reflection on contemporary practice. For scholars and pastors, this volume would be an excellent initiation into this strategic area of ecclesiology. Warmly recommended!

—Ched Spellman, associate professor of biblical and theological studies, Cedarville University; author of Toward a Canon‐Conscious Reading of the Bible

In this well-researched and thought-provoking academic study, Jonathan Watson employs ‘liturgical logic’ to provide an insightful and scholarly analysis of how different church traditions relate baptism, catechism, and Communion to each other.

—Joel R. Beeke, president, Puritan Reformed Theological Seminary

Jonathan Watson has provided a useful introduction and classification of different approaches within Christianity for bringing together catechesis, baptism, and communion. Church leaders who are working through questions of how to structure basic doctrinal and ethical instruction in relationship to church ordinances will find Watson’s taxonomies informative, helpful, and insightful.

—D. Jeffrey Bingham, dean, school of theology, Southwestern Seminary

Studies in Historical and Systematic Theology

Studies in Historical and Systematic Theology is a peer-reviewed series of contemporary monographs exploring key figures, themes, and issues in historical and systematic theology from an evangelical perspective.

Learn more about the other titles in this series.

  • Mapping Diverse Patterns of Initiation
  • Constructing the Explanatory Framework
  • Retrospective Model
  • Prospective Model
  • Discerning a Theological Catalyst
  • Pastoral and Ecclesial Implications
  • Title: In the Name of Our Lord: Four Models of the Relationship Between Baptism, Catechesis, and Communion
  • Author: Jonathan D. Watson
  • Series: Studies in Historical and Systematic Theology
  • Publisher: Lexham Press
  • Publication Date: 2021
  • Pages: 192
  • Format: Logos Digital, Paperback
  • Trim Size: 6x9
  • ISBN: 9781683594918

Jonathan D. Watson (PhD, Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary) is associate professor and chair of Christian studies at Charleston Southern University.

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  1. TJ Torgerson

    TJ Torgerson

    8/4/2021

    55555
    In the Name of Our Lord: Four Models of the Relationship between Baptism, Catechesis, and Communion. The first thing one should know about this book, if you could not tell by the title, it is a kind of dry read. And By Kind of I mean very. This is the kind of book that would be required reading for a college course. This isn’t for everyone. With that said Watson has put the work in to develop 4 models that explain the relationship between Baptism Catechesis (discipleship/ teaching) and Communion in various faith communities. His 4 proposed models presupposes Discriminate Administration of the sacraments which Watson discusses his reasoning and a case to be made against indiscriminate administration ( chapter 2 and Chapter 6) This presupposition means that if a particular Faith community practices indiscriminate administration then there would not be a fit within Watson’s four Models. A interesting and valuable component of Watson’s proposed 4 models is that they are flexible (to use his adjective) enough to house faith traditions that may be surprising to some. The example Watson gives in the book is that the Quakers and John Bunyan have very different views on these matters they both fit into the same Model. This is because though they disagree in certain things they would in Watson’s estimation share the same “Liturgical logic” This book just on the sheer fact it is about the sacraments gets a high rating from me. It was a difficult read for me but I can see it being a book I go back and visit every now and again. It would be of great interest to me if Watson ever developed a book with this information but written on a Lay Person’s level. This book was provided free of Charge from Lexham Publishers in exchange for a fair review I was not required to give a positive review.
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