Recover the Eucharist for Church and Ministry. For John and Charles Wesley, few things were more important for both theology and ministry than attentiveness to the Lord’s Supper. But the commitment to the centrality of the Eucharist for Christian life and practice has waxed and waned, despite the fact that most Wesleyans believe in its importance. This book brings together scholars who seek to recover the importance of Holy Communion for theology and ministry. This book is in two parts. In the first, leading Wesleyan theologians reflect on the Eucharist in connection with each of the major areas of Christian theology: the doctrine of the Trinity (Geoffrey Wainwright), creation (Daniel Castelo), sin (Andrew Sung Park), Jesus Christ (John Drury), the Holy Spirit (Jason Vickers), the Church (William Abraham), salvation (Sarah Lancaster), and eschatology (Brent Peterson). In the second scholars reflect on the relationship between the Eucharist and aspects of Christian life and ministry: worship (Robin Knowles Wallace), preaching (Richard Eslinger), evangelism (Elaine Heath), formation (Paul Chilcote), ethics (Rebekah Miles), the use of money (Ed Phillips), pastoral care (Ed Wimberly), prayer (Ron Anderson), and ecumenism (Karen Westerfield Tucker).
the many rich gifts that John and Charles Wesley provided for their
Methodist people, one of the most striking is the deep conviction
evident in their practice and teaching of the centrality of regular
participation in the Lord’s Supper to awakening and nurturing Christian
life. These essays bear witness to renewed interest among Wesleyan
communities in this rich part of our heritage. More important, they
provide encouragement and wisdom for reclaiming the centrality of
Eucharist to Christian worship, nurture, and life.
—Randy L. Maddox, William Kellon Quick Professor of Wesleyan and Methodist Studies, Duke Divinity School
Vickers has assembled some of the greatest Wesleyan theologians and
historians who give us the very best thought on the Eucharist from a
Wesleyan perspective. In these reflections we see that we Wesleyans do
indeed have a vibrant theology of the Lord’s Supper and that this
theology is one of the greatest gifts we have to offer the church in its
reflection on sacraments, ministry, and the future of the Christian
—Will Willimon, Professor of the Practice of Christian Ministry, Duke Divinity School; United Methodist Bishop, retired; and author of Worship as Pastoral Care.
A Wesleyan Theology of the Eucharist is a book we have long needed. This mature collection of theological and practical reflections on the Eucharist by some of Methodism’s leading scholars brings together strands of thought from throughout global Wesleyanism and provided me with new insights on almost every page. It will prove valuable in the continued movement for Wesleyan sacramental and liturgical renewal.
—Jennifer L. Woodruff Tait, editor of Christian History Magazine and author of The Poisoned Chalice
Jason E. Vickers, PhD is Professor of Theology and Site Coordinator, Memphis Campus, Asbury Theological Seminary. Dr. Vickers is an elder the Western North Carolina Conference of The United Methodist Church, past president of the Wesleyan Theological Society, and current editor of the Wesleyan Theological Journal. Dr. Vickers is the author or editor of ten books.