New Resource Page: On Holy Communion

Holy communion (the Lord’s Supper, the Eucharist) is one of the two sacraments instituted by Christ (Matt 26:26–29; Mark 14:22–25; Luke 22:14–23; 1 Cor 11:23–34). In the Reformed tradition whereas Baptism is regarded as the sacrament of initiation into the visible church, the Supper is understood as the sacrament of nutrition (so, Petrus van Mastricht). It is for baptized believers who have made a credible profession of faith before the elders and who have been received as communicant members. There are essentially two views of the Supper present in the broader Reformed tradition. We might distinguish between a higher view and a lower view. Calvin, Beza, Vermigli, as well as the Heidelberg Catechism, the Belgic Confession, and the Westminster Standards articulate a higher view, in which believers are said to be fed, in the Supper, on the body and blood of Christ, through faith, by the mysterious work of the Spirit. The lower view, which is associated with the earlier Zürich Reformation and some American Presbyterians (e.g., Charles Hodge), tends to think of the Supper less in terms of an event in which believers are fed on the body of Christ and more as an event of remembering. The memorial (to the degree that is an accurate adjective) view began to fade already during the life of Heinrich Bullinger (1504–75), who formed a bridge between the earlier Zürich view and the later view represented by J. H. Heidegger at the end of the 17th century.

This resource page focuses on the Reformed doctrine of the Supper, it’s biblical foundations, its history, its theology, piety and practice. It includes a select bibliography on the Reformed theology, piety, and practice of the Supper, Heidelblog articles, podcasts, and quotations. Read more»


Subscribe to the Heidelblog today!