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The Unity Of The Church And The Pure Administration Of The Sacraments

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Chapter Summary

Over the centuries, the emphasis in the reformed tradition on the 'pure administration of the sacraments' has sometimes led to internal church divisions because of different views of baptism and the Lord's Supper. This chapter examines, first, two barriers to the unity of the church and then two bases for the unity of the church - all in our Reformed sacramental tradition. The two barriers are (1) a misunderstanding and misuse of the phrase 'pure administration of the sacraments' in Belgic Confession Article 29, and (2) a misunderstanding and misuse of 1 Corinthians 11 in our doctrine and practice of the Lord's Supper. The two bases are (1) the Reformed doctrine of baptism as laid out in our confessions and liturgical forms, and (2) the treatment of the Lord's Supper in the Heidelberg Catechism.

Keywords: baptism; Belgic Confession; church unity; Corinthians; Heidelberg Catechism; Lord's Supper; reformed tradition; sacraments



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