Taking a fresh look at what Scripture actually says about the Sacraments

The Sacraments and the Bible

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How can The Salvation Army justify non-adherence to
the sacraments of baptism and the Eucharist
when it seems clear that the vast majority of other
denominations regard them as being
an intrinsic part of the Christian faith?

 Can such a position be defended using the Bible alone?

 And he took bread, gave thanks and broke it,
and gave it to them, saying,
"This is my body given for you;
do this in remembrance of me."

 Luke 22v19

Therefore go and make disciples of all nations,
baptising them in the name of
the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit,
Matthew  28 v19
The Sacraments and the Bible

The official review by Major Ted Horwood as published in The Officer magazine, International Headquarters, September/October Issue 2007.

'This very concise, readable book will be helpful for those needing an introduction to the Army's biblical point of view.'

Few Topics have generated more discussion among officers and soldiers alike than the matter taken up by Captain Phil Layton - a corps officer at Hythe, in the United Kingdom Territory - in his book The Sacraments and the Bible in which he lays out the primary Scriptures that have influenced the Church toward the institution of baptism and the Eucharist. His intention is to demonstrate how the Army can 'justify non-adherence to these ceremonies when the vast majority of Christian denominations hold these sacraments as being an intrinsic part of the Christian faith'.

Through Scripture the author explores the two primary Protestant sacraments.

He purposefully addresses the matter of the sacraments without considering history, tradition, or the reasons that led the founder ultimately to make the decision that has been part of Salvation Army ecclesiology for nearly 123 years. And he challenges his readers to do the same.

Over the years, Salvationist writers have had much to say on this issue. As recently as March/April 2007, The Officer recorded General Shaw Clifton's candid and comprehensive reflection on the Army's sacramental stance. There he re-articulated the salient issues that have anchored the Army to an a-sacramental mooring since 1884.

This very concise, readable book will be helpful for those needing an introduction to the Army's biblical point of view.

General Bramwell Booth, reflecting on the early decision to discontinue the sacraments in Army worship, leads all believers to the heart of the matter when he writes: 'Life (ie eternal) does not come by a sacrament, nor is it maintained by a "sacramental substance" but by a Divine Person consciously revealed in us as a present redeeming, life-giving Saviour.'

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