Packer on Restricted Communion

UPDATE: I'm so embarrassed! I accidentally titled my post "restricted baptism" rather than "communion". Wrong sacramental ordinance!

Out of Ur posted an interview with J. I. Packer today, discussing the topic of "restricted communion."

In short, he advocates the practice in two situations:

1. Unless "people . . . have shown that they can discern the Lord's body," i.e. "understand what the Communion service is all about."

2. "when individuals in the congregation are known to be living in sin" (cf. Matthew 18).

Now, i wonder how the first squares with the covenantal perspective that provides the justification for infant baptism (sign of the covenant/entrance into covenant community).

The second raises issues for larger congregations, in which accountability for sin (and thus obedience to Matt 18) is impossible. Perhaps it's possible in a small group setting, but what about large churches who take communion en masse? The best i've seen is the communion presider exhorting the congregation not to take the elements if they have unrepentant sin (or unresolved conflict with a brother/sister in the church). But this is not the same as restricted communion.


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