Praise for River of Life, Feast of Grace

“In many local churches, baptism and the Lord’s Supper are often relegated to the status of obligatory rituals. In this beautifully written volume, Dr. Jennifer W. Davidson, a theologian of worship as well as a Sunday practitioner, challenges today’s pastors and church leaders to discover these rituals’ deeper, life-giving meaning. When baptism happens, a person not only dies, but also is reborn to discipleship in Christ. When the Lord’s Supper is shared, the gathered community embodies God’s realm of grace.

“Dr. Davidson’s personal stories and interviews from a diverse group of church leaders provide insights representative of today’s increasingly multicultural world. More than an historic study of these ordinances, the book is rich with biblical references and worship resources for local churches to revitalize worship with baptism and the Lord’s Supper taking center stage rather than hovering at the periphery. Take this refreshing resource seriously.. It can indeed revive the church!”

Rev. Dr. Don Ng, retired pastor, First Chinese Baptist Church, San Francisco;

President, American Baptist Churches, USA, 2013-2015

“As the two ordinances of Baptist and other free church traditions, baptism and communion are worthy of thoughtful preparation, renewed meaning-making, and intentional participation. River of Life, Feast of Grace is just the resource needed to instigate, inform, and inspire such endeavors among ministers and congregants alike. Davidson’s inclusion of diverse voices adds integrity and relevance for faith communities searching for fresh approaches to discipleship.”

Rev. Dr. Marie Onwubuariri, Regional Executive Minister,

American Baptist Churches of Wisconsin

“A beautifully written book, accessible to lay and ordained alike. Davidson’s deep appreciation for baptism and communion is evident, as is the wisdom stemming from her years of experience teaching in a Baptist seminary. Showing profound respect for the breadth of Baptist tradition, she offers a feast of images for understanding the ordinances of our faith. She gently encourages rituals that embody these rich meanings, trusting her readers to adopt practices best suited to their context.”

Ruth Meyers, PhD, Dean of Academic Affairs &

Hodges-Haynes Professor of Liturgics,

Church Divinity School of the Pacific, Berkeley, CA

“Jennifer W. Davidson hosts a wonderful conversation about two of our most sacred practices in the Christian church. She does not shy away from the tough topics, either. She handles with grace the common and the controversial in a way that reminds the reader of the Spirit’s presence in both. I applaud Davidson for introducing the reader to the reflections of other Baptist leaders, too. She incorporates historical and contemporary notions of baptism and communion in ways that remind us of the diversity and depth of our Baptist perspectives and traditions. Her personal anecdotes make the mystery of the ordinances accessible, while leaving enough mystery for our faith to kick in. This book is a great resource for the worship participant in the pulpit and the pew.”

Adam L. Bond, PhD

Samuel DeWitt Proctor School of Theology,

Virginia Union University

“Jennifer W. Davidson is among the most important scholars on worship in the Baptist traditions today, interweaving practical and theological conversations in this new volume on the ordinances. Her examination of baptism and communion is wonderfully ecumenical and intercultural in its theology, while also insisting on the local, contextual quality of each particular church. Davidson advocates for distinctively Baptist ways of doing theology and worship which are provisional, collegial, and rooted in community practices.”

Rev. Dr. Stephen Butler Murray,

past President and Professor of Systematic Theology & Preaching

Ecumenical Theological Seminary, Detroit, MI