Sacraments after Christendom by Janet Sutton and Andrew Francis


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Before COVID-19 reshaped the way we looked at the world and life’s big questions, the Western church was already being pushed from the center to the margins of society. We are entering a time which the experts call “after Christendom.” New and emerging churches are appearing and many traditional congregations are struggling. How can we do all that Jesus wants us to do as we follow him?

Jesus was baptized and shared bread and wine with his disciples—as the church does today. Most Christians believe baptism and the bread-and-wine moment are sacraments. What does that mean? There are many other Christians who believe that anointing, confirmation, marriage, ordaining Christian leaders, and penance (or reconciliation) are also sacraments. Are they? Why should we believe that? Who tells us that we should?

This book takes a dynamic approach, calling for a new way in thinking about, discussing, and sharing the sacraments. How do our past practices measure up to the mission of God today? What is the Holy Spirit saying? What are you going to do?

Janet Sutton and Andrew Francis are Ministers in the United Reformed Church.

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