Below are summary statements that correspond to chapters or sections of chapters in my most recent book Enter the Water, Come to the Table (Leafwood, 2014). They summarize the theology present in the book, which is deeply rooted (I hope) in the story of God as given to us in Scripture.
I am grateful for Highland View Church of Christ (Oak Ridge, TN) and my friend Curtis McClane for requesting these summary statements for their own use this summer.
Sacrament: God acts through appointed material (created) means to impart grace, assurance, and hope, and God uses these means to enjoy relationship with people and foster relationship among them.
Israel: Liberated from slavery and baptized into a new community, Israel begins its journey to the land of promise.
Israel: The sacrificed animal, along with bread and wine, becomes a joyous fellowship meal between God and Israel as well as with each other.
Jesus: Jesus entered the water to unite with others in their journey toward the kingdom of God and to begin his own ministry in the kingdom of God.
Jesus: Jesus shared table with others for the sake of witness, reconciliation, and justice; Jesus models table etiquette in the kingdom of God.
Acts: As with the baptism of Jesus, Spirit-baptism and water-baptism are a united witness to the reconciling work of God that intends to transform the world.
Acts: When disciples break bread together they eat in the presence of the resurrected Christ, which generates joy and comfort.
Paul: Through baptism God raises the dead and calls us into a new life characterized by a righteousness empowered through the indwelling Spirit.
Paul: Through eating and drinking together we participate in the reality effected by the body and blood of Christ wherein we commune with both God and each other.
Eschaton: Through our union with the resurrection of Jesus in baptism we begin our participation in the new creation as new creatures in Christ.
Eschaton: Through eating and drinking we experience the new creation in the present as a community nourished by the resurrection life of Jesus, who is the foundation and beginning of new creation.
Practice: Through baptism we enter into God’s own story, which absorbs our story, and we become partners with God in God’s mission.
Practice: The table of the Lord is a communal moment where God shares life with us and we share life with each other.