Disciples at the Table: Re-inviting Historical Anabaptist Theology to the Lord’s Supper
This dissertation examines the liturgical practices of the Lord’s Supper in Mennonite congregations in the United States, evaluating their coherence with historical Mennonite beliefs about the Lord’s Supper. The thesis is that by constructing an appropriate liturgical framework, Mennonite congregations could allow the practices of the Lord’s Supper to be coherent with the historically held beliefs and convictions of Mennonites, teaching and reinforcing our characteristic theological convictions as well as forming the life of obedience of the people of the congregation. The research methods appropriated first involve developing a liturgical theology for free church traditions, with particular attention to requirements associated with Mennonite theology. This liturgical theology will examine the relationship between beliefs and practices, using authors from other traditions as well as recent authors in the free church traditions. This is followed by an examination of writings from historical and contemporary Mennonite theologians, as well as confessional statements from Mennonite groups, to establish what has been generally accepted as a Mennonite theology, particularly a theology of the Lord’s Supper. Given that these congregations are in America, the American church tradition with its frontier roots and current Megachurch manifestation will be examined to assess where these influences may have shaped the practice of the Lord’s Supper in Mennonite congregations in the United States. By way of conclusion, suggestions will be made on how to shape a liturgy that is coherent with Mennonite theology.
PHD in Theology
Johnson, Todd E.
Mennonites, Liturgy, Anabaptists, Doctrines, Lord's Supper
Missions and World Christianity
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