Could the Church Have It All Wrong?
by Vernard Eller

This publication shows a family resemblance to Vernard Eller's In Place of Sacraments (Grand Rapids: Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co., 1972), especially chapters 7-9, which are taken from that book with only minor changes, with permission. Yet this is enough larger and different that it must be regarded as a new publication, rather than just a new edition. Copyright (C) 1997, House Church Central.

Bible selections are from the New Revised Standard Version of the Bible, copyright 1989 (NRSV) by the Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the USA. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

This work may be freely reproduced and distributed provided that that no changes are made, no revenues are collected beyond the nominal cost of media, and credit is given to the author, Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co., and House Church Central. Any other use requires the written permission of the author. Citing this material on other Internet sites is encouraged, but is to be done only by providing a hypertext reference to this file on this server.

To those professors emeriti (by virtue of merit) MARKUS BARTH and ARTHUR COCHRANE who were on this trail long before I was but who invited me along as a peer.

Table of Contents

  1. Historical Recital or Sacramental Mystery?
    1. Formative Beginnings
    2. Fixing the Traditions
    3. The Temple of the Psalms and the Prophets
    4. Destroyers of the Temple: from Babylonians to Romans
    5. An Overall Assessment
    6. How Christianity Relates
    7. Christian History's Incredible Twist
  2. A New Testament Without Sacramentalism
    1. The Synoptic Gospels
    2. The Revelation
    3. Hebrews
    4. The Fourth Gospel
  3. The Centrality of Covenant
    1. The Covenant of Creation
    2. The Noanic Covenant
    3. The Abrahamic Covenant
    4. The Mosaic Covenant
    5. The Davidic Covenant
    6. The Remnant
    7. The Prophecy of "The New Covenant"
    8. Jesus the Messiah
    9. "The New Covenant in My Blood"
    10. The Geographical Spread of the Church
    11. The Numerical Growth of the Church
    12. The Inclusion of the Gentiles
    13. The New Creation
  4. I Baptize You
    1. The New Testament Witness
    2. B. The Biblical Theology of Baptism
  5. The Covenant of the Body Broken
    1. If the Supper Is Historical Recital, it Can't also be Sacramental Mystery
    2. The Supper's Relation to the Passover
    3. The Supper as Table Fellowship
  6. This Is My Body
  7. Broken for You
  8. In My Blood
  9. Until He Comes