Come in, We Are Closed


by Rev. Tyrel Bramwell

Rating: 5 out of 5.

Many evangelicals are unfamiliar with it, don’t understand it, and are often offended when they encounter it, but when it comes to the Lord’s Supper, the Scriptures clearly teach that Holy Communion is not for anybody and everybody. In this short work of fiction Rev. Tyrel Bramwell recalls the questions he had when he first encountered closed Communion as a young evangelical and the conversations he has had as a pastor, in order to dispel false assumptions, and provide the biblical answers to real misunderstandings.

What people are saying…

According to the classical education tradition, the best way to find genuine understanding is through dialectic; that is, dialogue, in which two people simply have a conversation to arrive at truth.  The dialogues of Socrates took philosophy about as far as it could go.  St. Anselm wrote a dialogue to explore the doctrine of Christ’s Atonement.  And Luther’s Catechism sets up a dialogue designed to teach the Christian faith and to answer the question, “What does this mean?” Now Tyrel Bramwell has written a dialogue about the much misunderstood doctrine of Closed Communion.  And in approaching the issues from unique angles, he illuminates not only this controversial practice, but Holy Communion in general, as well as the Christian faith that it embodies.

Dr. Gene Edward Veith
Author and professor emeritus

There is hardly a more sensitive issue with which pastors have to deal with than closed Communion. This is not something new, but has been exasperated by the individualism that everyone can choose what he or she wants to believe and what kind of God one wants. Pastors are trained theologically to handle closed Communion. Tyrel Bramwell fills the gap in providing real life situations that reflect how members of our churches and others see the issue. He provides enough stories so that every pastor will see a dilemma he has already faced and will most likely face. Rather than leaving the reader hanging on what the outcome should be, he provides solutions. A great strength of Come in, We Are Closed is its readability. The title speaks volumes. In the face of an aging and thus declining membership, our congregations and pastors are working to extend the church’s boundaries. Closed Communion isn’t an obstacle to church growth but an opportunity. After reading Come in, We Are Closed, you will see why Pastor Bramwell is among the up and coming authors in the Lutheran church.

Rev. Dr. David Scaer
Author and professor at Concordia Theological Seminary

Closed Communion is usually pictured as uninviting and lacking in grace. Through a series of cafe conversations, Pastor Bramwell portrays another picture. Using imagery from the Scriptures and early Church, the author invites readers to think about closed Communion in light of Christ’s gift and our need.

Rev. John Pless
Author and professor at Concordia Theological Seminary

Want to read more by Rev. Bramwell?

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