Incarnation and Sacrament: The Eucharistic Controversy between Charles Hodge and John Williamson Nevin
Bonomo, Jonathan G.
"Bonomo performs a great service by connecting the sacramental controversy between these two theological giants of the nineteenth century to the wider theological issues of Christology and soteriology. Irenically situated within the Reformed tradition, Bonomo expertly handles the historical and theological nuances of the debate. He is one of a rising younger generation of historical theologians whose work will change the way we talk about these issues in the years ahead."See All
Gordon-Cownell Theological Seminary
"Arguments about sacramental theology are never simply disputes about sacramental theology, but are always also about creation and Christology, time and metaphysics, anthropology and theological method. Jonathan Bonomo's balanced, clear, and insightful study of the intramural dispute between Charles Hodge and John Williamson Nevin has the great virtue of highlighting the clash of opposing visions and versions of Reformed theology and practice that lay at the heart of their debate about the real presence and the incarnation."See All
Peter J. Leithart
New St. Andrews College, Moscow, Idaho.
"Happily, there is renewed interest in the theology and significance of the Supper in Reformed circles today. Many of the same tensions in contemporary discussions reflect deeper issues that have always generated different sacramental views. With clarity matched by scholarship, Bonomo puts these issues in sharp focus by concentrating on a critical debate in American Calvinism. For historians as well as theologians and pastors, this is essential reading."See All
Westminster Seminary, California
"Charles Hodge at Princeton Seminary and John Williamson Nevin at Mercersburg Seminary in Pennsylvania drew the rapt attention of nineteenth century Reformed theologians when they battled with each other over the deepest themes of Christian thought, from sacraments and the Incarnation and to history and redemption . . . This is a revealing, brief introduction to a controversy that has continued to evoke interest and generate commentary almost two centuries after the two theologians began their exchange."See All
E. Brooks Holifield
"Jonathan Bonomo helps us relive one of the most important theological debates in nineteenth-century America, as represented in the exchanges between two giants of the time, Charles Hodge and John Williamson Nevin. With command of the scholarship, the author probes the views of Hodge and Nevin on the Lord's Supper/Eucharist and their underpinnings in the doctrines of Incarnation and Atonement . . . rightly appealing for what is called today, 'mutual affirmation and mutual admonition.'"See All
Andover Newton Theological School
The nineteenth century Eucharistic controversy between Charles Hodge and John Williamson Nevin is an important episode in the history of American Christianity. Hodge and Nevin battled over issues that lie at the heart of Christian faith and piety, such as: Why did God become man? What bearing does the incarnation of Christ have on the redemption of the world? How are believers on earth united with the ascended Christ who is in heaven? Is Christ really present in the Lord's Supper? And if so, then how is he made to be present? These are just a few of the age-old questions that Charles Hodge and John W. Nevin sought to answer, and over which they came to vigorously contend. Incarnation and Sacrament provides an in-depth historical and theological analysis and assessment of the controversy that arose between these two great nineteenth century American theologians. By doing so, it aims to provide some illumination on the theological heritage of the Protestant churches in the United States of the twenty-first century.
Published March 2010
About the Author
Jonathan G. Bonomo is a graduate of Philadelphia Biblical University (Biblical Studies) and Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary (Church History). He is currently pursuing further studies at Westminster Theological Seminary, Philadelphia (M.Div.), while serving as an intern at Calvary Presbyterian Church in Willow Grove, Pennsylvania.