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In this brief overview two pastors outline central teachings concerning baptism and the Lord’s Supper.

The sacraments of baptism and the Lord’s Supper have played an important role in the church since its earliest days. There has also been much disagreement within the church about how to understand them.

Pastors Thabiti Anyabwile and J. Ligon Duncan have teamed up to outline the Bible’s basic teaching about baptism and the Lord’s Supper. Speaking from different traditions, they bring perspective to the discussion while both observing that baptism and the Lord’s Supper should be fundamentally understood as pointing to something greater. This new booklet from the Gospel Coalition will bring clarity for those wanting to understand the importance of baptism and the Lord’s Supper.

The authors offer a thoughtful explanation for point 12 of the Gospel Coalition’s Confessional Statement. The coalition is an evangelical renewal movement dedicated to a Scripture-based reformation of ministry practices.


Author Information

  • Thabiti M. Anyabwile is senior pastor of First Baptist Church of Grand Cayman and the author of numerous books, including What Is a Healthy Church Member? and Finding Faithful Elders and Deacons. He serves as a council member with the Gospel Coalition, is a lead writer for 9Marks Ministries, and regularly blogs at Pure Church, hosted by the Gospel Coalition.

  • Dr. J. Ligon Duncan III, a native of Greenville, South Carolina, was born and reared in the home of an eighth generation Southern Presbyterian Ruling Elder. A 1983 graduate of Furman University, he received an MDiv from Covenant Theological Seminary and studied Systematic Theology at the Free Church of Scotland College under Professor Donald Macleod. He earned the PhD from the University of Edinburgh, Scotland, in 1995. He served on the staff of The Covenant Presbyterian Church of St. Louis from 1984-1987, and supplied pulpits in churches of the Presbyterian Association of England, Church of Scotland, and Free Church of Scotland while in Britain from 1987-1990. In 1990 he was ordained in the Presbyterian Church in America (PCA) and joined the faculty of Reformed Theological Seminary (RTS), Jackson, Mississippi where he was Chairman of the Department of Systematic Theology, and the John R. Richardson Professor of Theology. At RTS he was responsible for teaching courses such as Systematic Theology, Ethics, Apologetics, History of Philosophy and Christian Thought, Covenant Theology, Patristics, Evangelism, and Theology of the Westminster Standards. He became the Senior Minister of First Presbyterian, Jackson in 1996. Duncan is an active churchman and has been involved in the courts of the PCA in various ways for many years. He was appointed to the General Assembly’s Committee on Psalmody, and has served on Committees of Commissioners for Covenant Seminary, MNA, and Bills and Overtures in 2002. He has been a member and Chairman of the Credentials Committee of the Presbytery of the Mississippi Valley (1996-2002). He was the Vice-Chairman of the General Assembly’s Creation Study Committee (1998-2000), a member of the Search Committee for a Coordinator of Reformed University Ministries, and currently is the Chairman of the General Assembly’s Theological Examination Committee, and is also a member of the PCA’s Strategic Planning Committee. Duncan was elected as Moderator of the Presbytery of the Mississippi Valley in 2001. At the annual denominational meeting, held in June of 2004, he was elected the Moderator of the General Assembly of the PCA (2004-2005) – the youngest minister to serve as moderator in the denomination’s history.

  • D.A. Carson (b. 1946) is one of the most respected New Testament scholars in the world. A respected teacher, author, and speaker, he is currently research professor of New Testament at Trinity Evangelical Divinity School, and the president of The Gospel Coalition. He has served as pastor of Richmond Baptist Church and as the first dean of the seminary of Northwest Baptist Theological College, now known as Northwest Baptist Seminary. Logos has collected his sermons—including audio—in the D.A. Carson Sermon Archive.

    Carson lectures in academic and church settings around the world, and is the author of more than 50 books, including Exegetical Fallacies, Pillar New Testament Commentary: The Gospel According to John, The Gagging of God, Showing the Spirit: A Theological Exposition of 1 Corinthians 12–14 and the Intolerance of Tolerance. He is the editor of the Pillar New Testament Commentary series, and coedited of the Commentary on the New Testament Use of the Old Testament with G.K. Beale, and the Studies in New Testament Greek series with Stanley Porter. You can find more of Carson’s work in the Baker D.A. Carson Collection (15 vols.).

  • Timothy Keller is the founding pastor of Redeemer Presbyterian Church in Manhattan, which he started in 1989. For over 20 years, he has led a diverse congregation of young professionals with a weekly attendance of over 5,000. He is also president of Redeemer City to City, which plants new churches in New York and other cities. For the last decade, the organization has launched over 200 churches in 35 cities. Logos has collected his sermons in the Timothy Keller Sermon Archive (1989–2011) and Timothy Keller Sermon Archive (2012–2013).

    Keller has written multiple New York Times bestselling books, including The Reason for God and the The Prodigal God. His recent work includes The Meaning of Marriage: Facing the Complexities of Commitment with the Wisdom of God, Walking with God through Pain and Suffering, and Every Good Endeavor: Connecting Your Work to God's Work. He is also writing his own commentary and study guide series. Christianity Today has said, “Fifty years from now, if evangelical Christians are widely known for their love of cities, their commitment to mercy and justice, and their love of their neighbors, Timothy Keller will be remembered as a pioneer of the new urban Christians.”