Chapter 4 “The Table and the Font: Celebrating the Lord’s Supper and Baptism” pp. 51-62
Actions speak louder than words. Jesus gave the actions of communion and baptism, in Willimon’s words, to “convey both God’s love for them [God’s people] and their love for God” (p. 52) Willimon is pleased with ecumenical agreement about baptism and communion. The Sacraments are being restored to a position of value, centrality, and corporate unity. The importance of the symbolism in eating, drinking, and washing is being recognized.
Willimon suggests that communion should be celebrated frequently, by which he means monthly and on additional important days. He also recommends both simplifying celebrations and making them more biblical as well as bringing more congregational participation in. Teaching about the Sacraments brings a great benefit.
Willimon shows some deep theological weaknesses in this chapter. not only does he affirm acumenical agreement, but he asserts a view that an ordinance is the same as a sacrament. He views communion and baptism primarily as our work rather than God’s work. This man-centered ecumenism robs the Sacraments of their power.