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Christian Theologies of the SacramentsA Comparative Introduction$
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Justin S. Holcomb and David A. Johnson

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9780814724323

Published to NYU Press Scholarship Online: September 2018

DOI: 10.18574/nyu/9780814724323.001.0001

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Menno Simons

Menno Simons

(p.175) 10 Menno Simons
Christian Theologies of the Sacraments

Scot Mcknight

NYU Press

This chapter addresses the Anabaptist theology of the sacraments of Menno Simons. The way the Anabaptists viewed the sacraments took considerable courage because it could be life-threatening and lead to their martyrdom. Nevertheless, Simons advocated personal conversion and regeneration versus simply participating in the institutional church, believers’ baptism versus infant baptism, and all believers receiving both the bread and wine at Eucharist versus only clergy receiving the wine. Moreover, he maintained that baptism “accomplished nothing in sacramental terms” but was rather an act of obedience to Jesus’s command and example. Eucharist in his view did not involve any “re-sacrificing” of Christ, nor did the bread and wine undergo transubstantiation into the Body and Blood of Christ—rather, it was an expression of the love of God for the church. Thus the sacramental theology of Menno Simons and the Anabaptists could essentially be deemed non-sacramental.

Keywords:   sacrament, Eucharist, baptism, Menno Simons, transubstantiation, Anabaptists

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