By Evan Knies
John Hammett is the professor of Systematic Theology at Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary in Wake Forest, North Carolina. Prior to his position at SEBTS, he served as a pastor and a missionary.
I love the “40 Questions” series that Kregel has put out. All of these books are extremely beneficial and really seem to cover all the questions one would ask. Particularly in this work, the author addresses those questions that are raised in regards to the church ordinances of baptism and the Lord’s Supper in the local church.
Hammett addresses the theological implications such as infant baptism, open and closed communion, the proper mode of Baptism, and how God works in and through the Lord’s Supper. In regards to the Supper, Hammett makes a compelling argument for closed communion, and in his discussion of baptism he addresses differing denominational views, (Catholic, Lutheran, Presbyterian, Baptist, as well as other traditions). Hammett also discusses questions such as whether Baptism and the Lord’s Supper are sacraments or ordinances, and the textual questions regarding why Jesus was baptized. Hammet’s work is a good introduction to these two local church ordinances and he presents the questions and answers in a way that is both helpful and applicable.
Why This Book is Beneficial for Believers and Local Churches in the South:
1. The book’s structure and format makes it accessible and easier for the reader to understand, and it provides clarity on some issues that traditionally might not be understood as well as they should be.
2. Baptism and the Lord’s Supper are crucial to the local church, and thus it must be important to believers. It matters. Pastors and laypersons should read this book if for no other reason than the subject is one of extreme importance.
3. The ordinances unite believers. The denominational questions that arise in the book are very important, the theology that flows from this work is important, and this work has helpful practical implications for the church.
Evan Knies, a Louisiana native, is a student at Boyce College in Louisville, Kentucky. You can follow him on twitter at @EvanKnies.