Why Lutherans don’t believe in consubstantiation

While browsing through the bookstore at Concordia Publishing House at my final board meeting, I came across a book entitled Understanding Four Views on the Lord’s Supper (Counterpoints: Church Life).  It featured a Roman Catholic, a Lutheran, a Calvinist, and a Baptist reflecting on each tradition’s understanding of the Lord’s Supper, with each participant also responding to that understanding.  It was a good format for theological debate.  Anyway, David Scaer ably presented the Lutheran position.  I appreciated his explanation of why the term “consubstantiation,” which the Catholics and the Reformed say is what Lutherans believe is rejected by Lutherans themselves.

The term, he says, indicates that there are two “substances” in the Lord’s supper.  That, however, keeps them apart, as two separate things.  The Lutheran confessions speak rather of a “sacramental union.”  The bread and the wine are somehow united to Christ’s Body and Blood.  Thinking in terms of “consubstantiation” misses that entirely. (As does “transubstantiation.”  The Roman Catholic participant in the forum did not realize that Lutherans hold such a high view of the Sacrament.  Actually, it could be argued that Lutherans hold a higher view than Roman Catholics do.)

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About Gene Veith

Professor of Literature at Patrick Henry College, the Director of the Cranach Institute at Concordia Theological Seminary, a columnist for World Magazine and TableTalk, and the author of 18 books on different facets of Christianity & Culture.

  • Pete

    Hmm. Doesn’t the term “union” within the term “sacramental union” imply two substances? For example, a marriage is a union between two separate entities – man and woman (or, nowadays, between two separate committed gay partners – oy!) So Christ’s body and blood are truly present as are bread and wine. Is the term “consubstantiation” truly incompatible with the Lutheran formulation of “in, with and under”? Just asking.

  • Pete

    Hmm. Doesn’t the term “union” within the term “sacramental union” imply two substances? For example, a marriage is a union between two separate entities – man and woman (or, nowadays, between two separate committed gay partners – oy!) So Christ’s body and blood are truly present as are bread and wine. Is the term “consubstantiation” truly incompatible with the Lutheran formulation of “in, with and under”? Just asking.

  • MikeR

    It could also be argued that the Reformed have a higher view than either Lutherans or Roman Catholics because we don’t believe that there has to be some sort of physical mumbo-jumbo going on with the elements for Christ to be truly present. :-p

  • MikeR

    It could also be argued that the Reformed have a higher view than either Lutherans or Roman Catholics because we don’t believe that there has to be some sort of physical mumbo-jumbo going on with the elements for Christ to be truly present. :-p

  • Larry

    Firstly, there is no “one reformed view” that may be called “the reformed view” whereby anyone could imagine the “reformed view” is higher. One has to have such a well defined and singular view to have a “reformed view” to even make the statement “the reformed view is higher”. As Luther pointed out from day one the ONLY thing they agree upon concerning the LS is what it is not, not what it is and that is just as they say the plain facts of the matter. Thus, the reformed need to settle that matter before they even come to the table with the mysterious urban myth of “a reformed view” of the sacrament of the altar, the “big foot” and alleged “leprechaun” that no one has EVER seen that is supposed to be “higher”. Secondly, of course that presupposes the “reformed view” to be true in the first place, otherwise (from a “neutral point of view”) IF it is really the true and real body and blood of Christ and not just philosophical signs and symbols, then the “reformed view” is not just a “low view” but an utter and absolute non-view of the sacrament.

    Which points out the difference in the two; Lutherans don’t believe that the Reformed have a “low view” but a “no” view of the sacraments – i.e. it is not the sacrament because it is not the Words of Christ the reformed preach, teach and confess (e.g. “this is NOT My body/blood…”).

    Just because its well above fallen human reason which feeds original sin as ridden and dictated by Satan (enthusiasm), it does not mean its “mumbo jumbo” any more than is creation ex nihilo “mumbo jumbo”, the incarnation “mumbo jumbo”, the Trinity “mumbo jumbo”, God dying on a cross at the hands of the very sinners He is dying for “mumbo jumbo”, Christ body walking on water “mumbo jumbo”, Christ body rising from the dead “mumbo jumbo”, Christ ascension to the right hand of power of God “mumbo jumbo”, nor Christ’s return at the end of the eschaton “mumbo jumbo”.

    In fact all articles of faith of necessity offend fallen human reason, this is why the Cross is the folly of God that destroys the wisdom and debaters of this age. As Luther rightly points out “in the incarnation God is hidden as he is in this sacrament – most of all”. Thus, people no less deny Christ was the Christ circa 30 A.D. and do not see God where He has hidden Himself to be found savingly, than they do the Sacrament of the altar.

  • Larry

    Firstly, there is no “one reformed view” that may be called “the reformed view” whereby anyone could imagine the “reformed view” is higher. One has to have such a well defined and singular view to have a “reformed view” to even make the statement “the reformed view is higher”. As Luther pointed out from day one the ONLY thing they agree upon concerning the LS is what it is not, not what it is and that is just as they say the plain facts of the matter. Thus, the reformed need to settle that matter before they even come to the table with the mysterious urban myth of “a reformed view” of the sacrament of the altar, the “big foot” and alleged “leprechaun” that no one has EVER seen that is supposed to be “higher”. Secondly, of course that presupposes the “reformed view” to be true in the first place, otherwise (from a “neutral point of view”) IF it is really the true and real body and blood of Christ and not just philosophical signs and symbols, then the “reformed view” is not just a “low view” but an utter and absolute non-view of the sacrament.

    Which points out the difference in the two; Lutherans don’t believe that the Reformed have a “low view” but a “no” view of the sacraments – i.e. it is not the sacrament because it is not the Words of Christ the reformed preach, teach and confess (e.g. “this is NOT My body/blood…”).

    Just because its well above fallen human reason which feeds original sin as ridden and dictated by Satan (enthusiasm), it does not mean its “mumbo jumbo” any more than is creation ex nihilo “mumbo jumbo”, the incarnation “mumbo jumbo”, the Trinity “mumbo jumbo”, God dying on a cross at the hands of the very sinners He is dying for “mumbo jumbo”, Christ body walking on water “mumbo jumbo”, Christ body rising from the dead “mumbo jumbo”, Christ ascension to the right hand of power of God “mumbo jumbo”, nor Christ’s return at the end of the eschaton “mumbo jumbo”.

    In fact all articles of faith of necessity offend fallen human reason, this is why the Cross is the folly of God that destroys the wisdom and debaters of this age. As Luther rightly points out “in the incarnation God is hidden as he is in this sacrament – most of all”. Thus, people no less deny Christ was the Christ circa 30 A.D. and do not see God where He has hidden Himself to be found savingly, than they do the Sacrament of the altar.

  • MikeR

    @Larry: The emoticon at the end of my post was intended to signal that my comment wasn’t meant to be taken too seriously, but apparently that went totally over your head. Obviously, the only important question is which view of the Lord’s Supper is true, whether a view is “higher” or “lower” is totally irrelevant.

    The idea that the Reformed lack a “well defined and singular view” of the Lord’s Supper is ridiculous. Orthodox Reformed churches today teach the same doctrine that Calvin taught 500 years ago. There is not mass confusion within Reformed circles regarding this doctrine. And our doctrine is NOT that the supper is “just philosophical signs and symbols”, nor is it that “this is NOT My body/blood”.

    From that absurdity you move on to a level of vitriol and utter lack of Christian charity that is rather shocking. Because I (again, jokingly) used the phrase “mumbo-jumbo”, apparently that makes me equivalent to a Satanic denier of the Trinity or creation ex nihilo. Apparently my “fallen human reason” is offended by the Lutheran view. I’m left wondering based on your post whether you think I’m even a Christian. I’ll concede that I should have been clearer that I was rather joking in what I said, but give me a break.

  • MikeR

    @Larry: The emoticon at the end of my post was intended to signal that my comment wasn’t meant to be taken too seriously, but apparently that went totally over your head. Obviously, the only important question is which view of the Lord’s Supper is true, whether a view is “higher” or “lower” is totally irrelevant.

    The idea that the Reformed lack a “well defined and singular view” of the Lord’s Supper is ridiculous. Orthodox Reformed churches today teach the same doctrine that Calvin taught 500 years ago. There is not mass confusion within Reformed circles regarding this doctrine. And our doctrine is NOT that the supper is “just philosophical signs and symbols”, nor is it that “this is NOT My body/blood”.

    From that absurdity you move on to a level of vitriol and utter lack of Christian charity that is rather shocking. Because I (again, jokingly) used the phrase “mumbo-jumbo”, apparently that makes me equivalent to a Satanic denier of the Trinity or creation ex nihilo. Apparently my “fallen human reason” is offended by the Lutheran view. I’m left wondering based on your post whether you think I’m even a Christian. I’ll concede that I should have been clearer that I was rather joking in what I said, but give me a break.

  • Joe

    Pete – sacramental union does not deny that prior to the Words of Institutional the bread is distinct from the body and the blood is distinct from the wine. But, once the Words of Institution have been proclaimed they are united into a unified singular.

  • Joe

    Pete – sacramental union does not deny that prior to the Words of Institutional the bread is distinct from the body and the blood is distinct from the wine. But, once the Words of Institution have been proclaimed they are united into a unified singular.

  • Dennis Peskey

    “Hoc est corpus meum.” M.L., Marburg 1529 a. d.
    “Touto estin mou to soma.” Jesus of Narareth, Jerusalem 33 a.d.

  • Dennis Peskey

    “Hoc est corpus meum.” M.L., Marburg 1529 a. d.
    “Touto estin mou to soma.” Jesus of Narareth, Jerusalem 33 a.d.

  • Larry

    Mike,

    I “got” the “emoticon”.

    I’m only being truthful on this which is charity, I don’t blur the lines. You are not correct in saying that the idea that the Reformed lack a “well defined and singular view” of the Lord’s Supper is ridiculous. Calvin refutes Zwingli’s version and others refute others, yet no Calvinist is consistent on internal agreement. One cannot have it both, or in this case, “all ways”. When I was a reformed person this was a very internal reality/argument. Some siding with Calvin in that “we part take of the real presence up in heaven…etc…etc…”, others, Reformed, crying, “that’s crypto Lutheran it’s just signs and symbols”. None of this is new at all.

    Is it Calvin: “…an external sign, by which the Lord seals on our consciences his promises of a good-will toward us, in order to sustain the weaknesses of our faith, and we in our turn testify our piety towards him, both before himself, and before angels as well as men.” (Institutes, 4.14.1)

    Or is it Zwingli: “A sacrament is the sign of a holy thing. When I say: The sacrament of the Lord’s body, I am simply referring to that bread which is the symbol of the body of Christ who was put to death for our sakes…. Now the sign and the thing signified cannot be one and the same. Therefore the sacrament of the body of Christ cannot be the body itself.” (Bromiley, p. 188)

    Is it Charles Hodge or John Nevin who argued that Calvin’s high view of the Lord’s Supper was abandoned for Zwingli’s pure symbolic view of the Lord’s Supper? Hodge who wrote the his famous land mark three volume set on Reformed Systematic Theology (a classic “goto” book in Reformed circles, I still have my copies) – who HIMSELF said that it is nearly impossible to determine the authorized Reformed view of the Lord’s Supper and dismissed Calvin’s own distinction between eating as faith and eating as a consequence of faith. In Hodge’s debate with Nevin over this issue, Nevin who took Calvin’s higher view over Zwingli’s, Hodge concluded (here it comes the same thing I ran into) that Nevin’s view (Calvin’s high view) was somewhere between Lutheran and Catholic views. Charging against, Hodge a Reformed icon, Calvin via Nevin that Nevin taught that people receive “a mysterious supernatural efficacy flowing from the glorified body of Christ in heaven”.

    That’s just the tip of the iceberg, this is an “in house” debate among the Reformed. One has this debate between the ‘calvinistic’ baptist (all pure Zwinglian) and the Reformed (capital “R”). I ran into this when I was still Reformed moving from Baptist and further. But not as if that is just it, the baptist/reformed breach, but within its own capital “R” Reformed the issue about “what is the Lord’s Supper” is everywhere, PCA, you name it. Hodge was absolutely correct about it being nearly impossible (if not entirely impossible) to determine the authorized Reformed view of the Lord’s Supper. You can go to any reformed confessing type church then another and visit and still not be sure what it is you are receiving in the Lord’s Super. Is it a sign only, something whereby faith elevates itself into the fiery heaven to eat and drink spiritually of Christ? And what does the body receive? Just bread and wine? Just bread and wine as signs and symbols? Just bread and wine as spring board sign/symbols in order to excite the faculties of reason and thus elevate “faith” upward into the fiery heaven? Does the Holy Spirit take us up into heaven (Calvin and some, very few Reformed) or not (Zwingli, the majority report reformed). Who knows? Who can tell? And what do the unbelieving eat, what is in their mouths? Up is down and down is up, it’s all over the road like a drunk stumbling over himself.

    So the Reformed are far far far away from having a “well defined and singular view” concerning what IS the Lord’s Supper, and thus only agree (albeit from silence) in what it is not and that agreement is that it is not really and truly the flesh and blood of Christ. You may indeed give me the version you concur and confess with, but another reformed person will say another thing. If you say Calvin’s view they will say, “sounds a bit too much like Luther ergo Zwingli”. And if you say Zwingli’s view others will say, “Calvin did not concur with Zwingli as it being bare and naked symbols, in fact Calvin said that ergo Calvin.” And all the shades there in between.

    It is true, however, from a Lutheran perspective when all is said and done that all, Zwingli through to Calvin really are saying the same thing, which is the negative, “there is no body and blood of Christ” in their meal.

  • Larry

    Mike,

    I “got” the “emoticon”.

    I’m only being truthful on this which is charity, I don’t blur the lines. You are not correct in saying that the idea that the Reformed lack a “well defined and singular view” of the Lord’s Supper is ridiculous. Calvin refutes Zwingli’s version and others refute others, yet no Calvinist is consistent on internal agreement. One cannot have it both, or in this case, “all ways”. When I was a reformed person this was a very internal reality/argument. Some siding with Calvin in that “we part take of the real presence up in heaven…etc…etc…”, others, Reformed, crying, “that’s crypto Lutheran it’s just signs and symbols”. None of this is new at all.

    Is it Calvin: “…an external sign, by which the Lord seals on our consciences his promises of a good-will toward us, in order to sustain the weaknesses of our faith, and we in our turn testify our piety towards him, both before himself, and before angels as well as men.” (Institutes, 4.14.1)

    Or is it Zwingli: “A sacrament is the sign of a holy thing. When I say: The sacrament of the Lord’s body, I am simply referring to that bread which is the symbol of the body of Christ who was put to death for our sakes…. Now the sign and the thing signified cannot be one and the same. Therefore the sacrament of the body of Christ cannot be the body itself.” (Bromiley, p. 188)

    Is it Charles Hodge or John Nevin who argued that Calvin’s high view of the Lord’s Supper was abandoned for Zwingli’s pure symbolic view of the Lord’s Supper? Hodge who wrote the his famous land mark three volume set on Reformed Systematic Theology (a classic “goto” book in Reformed circles, I still have my copies) – who HIMSELF said that it is nearly impossible to determine the authorized Reformed view of the Lord’s Supper and dismissed Calvin’s own distinction between eating as faith and eating as a consequence of faith. In Hodge’s debate with Nevin over this issue, Nevin who took Calvin’s higher view over Zwingli’s, Hodge concluded (here it comes the same thing I ran into) that Nevin’s view (Calvin’s high view) was somewhere between Lutheran and Catholic views. Charging against, Hodge a Reformed icon, Calvin via Nevin that Nevin taught that people receive “a mysterious supernatural efficacy flowing from the glorified body of Christ in heaven”.

    That’s just the tip of the iceberg, this is an “in house” debate among the Reformed. One has this debate between the ‘calvinistic’ baptist (all pure Zwinglian) and the Reformed (capital “R”). I ran into this when I was still Reformed moving from Baptist and further. But not as if that is just it, the baptist/reformed breach, but within its own capital “R” Reformed the issue about “what is the Lord’s Supper” is everywhere, PCA, you name it. Hodge was absolutely correct about it being nearly impossible (if not entirely impossible) to determine the authorized Reformed view of the Lord’s Supper. You can go to any reformed confessing type church then another and visit and still not be sure what it is you are receiving in the Lord’s Super. Is it a sign only, something whereby faith elevates itself into the fiery heaven to eat and drink spiritually of Christ? And what does the body receive? Just bread and wine? Just bread and wine as signs and symbols? Just bread and wine as spring board sign/symbols in order to excite the faculties of reason and thus elevate “faith” upward into the fiery heaven? Does the Holy Spirit take us up into heaven (Calvin and some, very few Reformed) or not (Zwingli, the majority report reformed). Who knows? Who can tell? And what do the unbelieving eat, what is in their mouths? Up is down and down is up, it’s all over the road like a drunk stumbling over himself.

    So the Reformed are far far far away from having a “well defined and singular view” concerning what IS the Lord’s Supper, and thus only agree (albeit from silence) in what it is not and that agreement is that it is not really and truly the flesh and blood of Christ. You may indeed give me the version you concur and confess with, but another reformed person will say another thing. If you say Calvin’s view they will say, “sounds a bit too much like Luther ergo Zwingli”. And if you say Zwingli’s view others will say, “Calvin did not concur with Zwingli as it being bare and naked symbols, in fact Calvin said that ergo Calvin.” And all the shades there in between.

    It is true, however, from a Lutheran perspective when all is said and done that all, Zwingli through to Calvin really are saying the same thing, which is the negative, “there is no body and blood of Christ” in their meal.

  • http://lutherama.blogspot.com Dr. Luther in 21st Century

    @#1
    Pete, yes, the term consubstantiation is incompatible simply because the term in itself seeks to define the nature of the union con – meaning with. The Lutheran understanding maintains the mystery of the exact means and we seek to emphasize the presence within the context of the sacrament only, hence our preference for the term sacramental union. We proclaim the physical presence of the Body and Blood because Christ Himself said they were there and the bread and the wine because they are also said to be there. We do not propose to define the exact nature of the union and the term consubstantiation does.

  • http://lutherama.blogspot.com Dr. Luther in 21st Century

    @#1
    Pete, yes, the term consubstantiation is incompatible simply because the term in itself seeks to define the nature of the union con – meaning with. The Lutheran understanding maintains the mystery of the exact means and we seek to emphasize the presence within the context of the sacrament only, hence our preference for the term sacramental union. We proclaim the physical presence of the Body and Blood because Christ Himself said they were there and the bread and the wine because they are also said to be there. We do not propose to define the exact nature of the union and the term consubstantiation does.

  • http://www.IndyOPC.org Larry Wilson

    Thank you, Dr. Veith, for pointing out this book. I love that kind of format. I’ve ordered it and I look forward to reading Dr. Scaer’s presentation.

    I realize that my Lutheran brethren are skeptical of this claim–some have even presumed to read hearts and impugn motives–but Reformed believers at least *confess* that they believe in “sacramental union” (see Westminster Confession of Faith 27:2) and in the real presence of Christ at the Supper. The main difference seems to be that the Lutheran view explains this by the ubiquity of the human nature of Jesus, whereas the Reformed view explains it by the agency of the Holy Spirit. For example,

    Heidelberg Catechism #75
    Q. How does the Lord’s Supper
    remind you and assure you
    that you share in
    Christ’s one sacrifice on the cross
    and in all his gifts?

    A. In this way:
    Christ has commanded me and all believers
    to eat this broken bread and to drink this cup.
    With this command he gave this promise:

    First,
    as surely as I see with my eyes
    the bread of the Lord broken for me
    and the cup given to me,
    so surely
    his body was offered and broken for me
    and his blood poured out for me
    on the cross.

    Second,
    as surely as
    I receive from the hand of the one who serves,
    and taste with my mouth
    the bread and cup of the Lord,
    given me as sure signs of Christ’s body and blood,
    so surely
    he nourishes and refreshes my soul for eternal life
    with his crucified body and poured-out blood.

    Heidelberg Catechism #76
    Q. What does it mean
    to eat the crucified body of Christ
    and to drink his poured-out blood?

    A. It means
    to accept with a believing heart
    the entire suffering and death of Christ
    and by believing
    to receive forgiveness of sins and eternal life.

    But it means more.
    Through the Holy Spirit, who lives both in Christ and in us,
    we are united more and more to Christ’s blessed body.
    And so, although he is in heaven and we are on earth,
    we are flesh of his flesh and bone of his bone.
    And we forever live on and are governed by one Spirit,
    as members of our body are by one soul.

    Westminster Larger Catechism #170.
    Q. How do they that worthily communicate in the Lord’s Supper feed upon the body and blood of Christ therein?

    A. As the body and blood of Christ are not corporally or carnally present in, with, or under the bread and wine in the Lord’s supper, and yet are Spiritually present to the faith of the receiver, no less truly and really than the elements themselves are to their outward senses; so they that worthily communicate in the sacrament of the Lord’s Supper, do therein feed upon the body and blood of Christ, not after a corporal and carnal, but in a Spiritual manner; yet truly and really, while by faith they receive and apply unto themselves Christ crucified, and all the benefits of his death.

    LEW — If I may append my own note, “Spiritually” means “by the agency of the Holy Spirit.”

  • http://www.IndyOPC.org Larry Wilson

    Thank you, Dr. Veith, for pointing out this book. I love that kind of format. I’ve ordered it and I look forward to reading Dr. Scaer’s presentation.

    I realize that my Lutheran brethren are skeptical of this claim–some have even presumed to read hearts and impugn motives–but Reformed believers at least *confess* that they believe in “sacramental union” (see Westminster Confession of Faith 27:2) and in the real presence of Christ at the Supper. The main difference seems to be that the Lutheran view explains this by the ubiquity of the human nature of Jesus, whereas the Reformed view explains it by the agency of the Holy Spirit. For example,

    Heidelberg Catechism #75
    Q. How does the Lord’s Supper
    remind you and assure you
    that you share in
    Christ’s one sacrifice on the cross
    and in all his gifts?

    A. In this way:
    Christ has commanded me and all believers
    to eat this broken bread and to drink this cup.
    With this command he gave this promise:

    First,
    as surely as I see with my eyes
    the bread of the Lord broken for me
    and the cup given to me,
    so surely
    his body was offered and broken for me
    and his blood poured out for me
    on the cross.

    Second,
    as surely as
    I receive from the hand of the one who serves,
    and taste with my mouth
    the bread and cup of the Lord,
    given me as sure signs of Christ’s body and blood,
    so surely
    he nourishes and refreshes my soul for eternal life
    with his crucified body and poured-out blood.

    Heidelberg Catechism #76
    Q. What does it mean
    to eat the crucified body of Christ
    and to drink his poured-out blood?

    A. It means
    to accept with a believing heart
    the entire suffering and death of Christ
    and by believing
    to receive forgiveness of sins and eternal life.

    But it means more.
    Through the Holy Spirit, who lives both in Christ and in us,
    we are united more and more to Christ’s blessed body.
    And so, although he is in heaven and we are on earth,
    we are flesh of his flesh and bone of his bone.
    And we forever live on and are governed by one Spirit,
    as members of our body are by one soul.

    Westminster Larger Catechism #170.
    Q. How do they that worthily communicate in the Lord’s Supper feed upon the body and blood of Christ therein?

    A. As the body and blood of Christ are not corporally or carnally present in, with, or under the bread and wine in the Lord’s supper, and yet are Spiritually present to the faith of the receiver, no less truly and really than the elements themselves are to their outward senses; so they that worthily communicate in the sacrament of the Lord’s Supper, do therein feed upon the body and blood of Christ, not after a corporal and carnal, but in a Spiritual manner; yet truly and really, while by faith they receive and apply unto themselves Christ crucified, and all the benefits of his death.

    LEW — If I may append my own note, “Spiritually” means “by the agency of the Holy Spirit.”

  • Pete

    21 Century Dr. L., (@8)

    Thanks. So the shortcoming of the term “consubstantiation”, from our Lutheran perspective, is that it only covers the “with” in “in, with and under”?

  • Pete

    21 Century Dr. L., (@8)

    Thanks. So the shortcoming of the term “consubstantiation”, from our Lutheran perspective, is that it only covers the “with” in “in, with and under”?

  • http://www.utah-lutheran.blogspot.com Bror Erickson

    Larry Wilson,
    Not sure where in that quotation from the Heidelberg Catechism you get any “sacramental union.” All I see there is that some how the physical is to represent something spiritual that is happening quite apart from the physical eating and drinking.
    But I must also say, that though the ubiquity of Christ often comes into the argumentation with the reformed, it is a tangent and it seems not a helpful one, because the reformed can’t seem to see where a proposition is being used to destroy their argumentation, and where we are arguing positively for our position.
    We rest our doctrine solely on this. Jesus Christ is God, he tells the truth, and does what he wants. For you to deny that he can make the bread his body, and the wine his blood, is for you to essentially deny that Jesus is God for whom all things are possible. Denying that Jesus is God leads to all sorts of bad repercussions.
    Lutherans are actually quite reticent to say anything concerning the “how” of the Lord’s Supper, but what only what is. And it is because Jesus says it is.

  • http://www.utah-lutheran.blogspot.com Bror Erickson

    Larry Wilson,
    Not sure where in that quotation from the Heidelberg Catechism you get any “sacramental union.” All I see there is that some how the physical is to represent something spiritual that is happening quite apart from the physical eating and drinking.
    But I must also say, that though the ubiquity of Christ often comes into the argumentation with the reformed, it is a tangent and it seems not a helpful one, because the reformed can’t seem to see where a proposition is being used to destroy their argumentation, and where we are arguing positively for our position.
    We rest our doctrine solely on this. Jesus Christ is God, he tells the truth, and does what he wants. For you to deny that he can make the bread his body, and the wine his blood, is for you to essentially deny that Jesus is God for whom all things are possible. Denying that Jesus is God leads to all sorts of bad repercussions.
    Lutherans are actually quite reticent to say anything concerning the “how” of the Lord’s Supper, but what only what is. And it is because Jesus says it is.

  • http://www.utah-lutheran.blogspot.com Bror Erickson

    I find it dumbfounding at times, that people honestly don’t seem to know anything about Lutherans, including that we have such a high view of the Lord’s Supper.
    I remember listening to Scott Hahn make his apologetic for Roman Catholicism. A priest gave it to me after I had a conversation with him concerning this. As I was listening to the tape I couldn’t help but to think all the way through that if he had investigated the Lutheran position he would have found better answers than either the Reformed or Roman Catholic positions give.

  • http://www.utah-lutheran.blogspot.com Bror Erickson

    I find it dumbfounding at times, that people honestly don’t seem to know anything about Lutherans, including that we have such a high view of the Lord’s Supper.
    I remember listening to Scott Hahn make his apologetic for Roman Catholicism. A priest gave it to me after I had a conversation with him concerning this. As I was listening to the tape I couldn’t help but to think all the way through that if he had investigated the Lutheran position he would have found better answers than either the Reformed or Roman Catholic positions give.

  • http://lutherama.blogspot.com Dr. Luther in 21st Century

    @10
    Pete, that is pretty much it in a nut shell.

    @12
    Bror, you and me both. I was in a CPE group with a Eastern Orthodox priest and he thought we believed communion was purely symbolic. He was very surprised to find out we had such a high view of the sacrament and believed in a physical presence. I fear we Lutherans are victims of our inability to be heard over the masses.

  • http://lutherama.blogspot.com Dr. Luther in 21st Century

    @10
    Pete, that is pretty much it in a nut shell.

    @12
    Bror, you and me both. I was in a CPE group with a Eastern Orthodox priest and he thought we believed communion was purely symbolic. He was very surprised to find out we had such a high view of the sacrament and believed in a physical presence. I fear we Lutherans are victims of our inability to be heard over the masses.

  • Tom Hering

    “… it is because Jesus says it is.” Bror Erickson @ 11.

    It all comes down to what Scripture says about the Lord’s Supper. Do the verses mean what they plainly mean? Is there anything in Scripture that compels us to conclude the meaning of these verses is not plain? Does the Holy Spirit say one thing in Scripture, and do something else in the Supper? Does a low view work backwards, from what it reasons is possible in the Supper, to a conclusion that the verses cannot be plain statements?

  • Tom Hering

    “… it is because Jesus says it is.” Bror Erickson @ 11.

    It all comes down to what Scripture says about the Lord’s Supper. Do the verses mean what they plainly mean? Is there anything in Scripture that compels us to conclude the meaning of these verses is not plain? Does the Holy Spirit say one thing in Scripture, and do something else in the Supper? Does a low view work backwards, from what it reasons is possible in the Supper, to a conclusion that the verses cannot be plain statements?

  • Joe

    Bror and DL21C – the problem is that we willingly allow our selves to be lumped in the “protestant” category whenever Christianity is discussed in the public square. We spend so much time an energy making sure that everyone who can hear knows we are not Catholic that we never bother to spend any time discussing the fact that we are not Reformed, Baptist, Methodist, etc. It does not help that “Lutheran” as a shorthand in the public square for a set of beliefs and doctrines has become largely useless due to the very misguided ELCA.

  • Joe

    Bror and DL21C – the problem is that we willingly allow our selves to be lumped in the “protestant” category whenever Christianity is discussed in the public square. We spend so much time an energy making sure that everyone who can hear knows we are not Catholic that we never bother to spend any time discussing the fact that we are not Reformed, Baptist, Methodist, etc. It does not help that “Lutheran” as a shorthand in the public square for a set of beliefs and doctrines has become largely useless due to the very misguided ELCA.

  • David

    Catholics and E. Orthodox, it would seem, have the highest view since they believe, teach and confess that “this IS my body.” The Eucharist is Christ. Meanwhile, Baptists, etc., take the symbolic view, a position that’s also not hard to understand.
    But Lutherans hold a middle view, which I can’t fathom and wihc even Lutherans, it seems, don’t really understand. For example, Lutherans say that the elements are the true body and blood; so why do they throw the elements in the trash after communion? Are they the true body and blood only inside the body of the Lutheran who takes them into his mouth?
    It’s interesting because Luther’s assertion to Zwingli (“Hoc est corpus meam”) seems so plain (Catholic), but I guess Luther’s successors downplayed Luther’s literalness of the Eucharist while keeping his words. Or so it seems to this Catholic.

  • David

    Catholics and E. Orthodox, it would seem, have the highest view since they believe, teach and confess that “this IS my body.” The Eucharist is Christ. Meanwhile, Baptists, etc., take the symbolic view, a position that’s also not hard to understand.
    But Lutherans hold a middle view, which I can’t fathom and wihc even Lutherans, it seems, don’t really understand. For example, Lutherans say that the elements are the true body and blood; so why do they throw the elements in the trash after communion? Are they the true body and blood only inside the body of the Lutheran who takes them into his mouth?
    It’s interesting because Luther’s assertion to Zwingli (“Hoc est corpus meam”) seems so plain (Catholic), but I guess Luther’s successors downplayed Luther’s literalness of the Eucharist while keeping his words. Or so it seems to this Catholic.

  • Tom Hering

    Joe @ 15, if someone claims their words or actions are “Lutheran,” without showing how these conform to our Confessions, their claim is meaningless.

  • Tom Hering

    Joe @ 15, if someone claims their words or actions are “Lutheran,” without showing how these conform to our Confessions, their claim is meaningless.

  • Tom Hering

    David @ 16, I’d argue that the Lutheran view is highest, because it not only sees the Lord’s Supper as a Mystery, it accepts it as mysterious (is happy not to explain the “how” of it).

  • Tom Hering

    David @ 16, I’d argue that the Lutheran view is highest, because it not only sees the Lord’s Supper as a Mystery, it accepts it as mysterious (is happy not to explain the “how” of it).

  • David

    Tom @18.
    Are you saying that ‘literal’ and ‘mysterious’ are exclusive?
    In Martin Chemnitz’s book on the Lord’s Supper, he collected hundreds (if not more) citations from the Church Fathers and others to show, as I see it, that Lutherans had retained the orthodox (small ‘o’) teaching that “this is my body.” It seems to me that it’s modern Lutherans who have more of a problem with what they believe. They don’t want to appear Catholic, but they insist that “this is my body” while acting (discarding the elements in trash) like “this is a symbol for my body.”
    Sure, it’s ‘mysterious.’ Even those who believe the elements are symbols concede a certain mystery to the Lord’s Supper. How are modern Lutherans any different?

  • David

    Tom @18.
    Are you saying that ‘literal’ and ‘mysterious’ are exclusive?
    In Martin Chemnitz’s book on the Lord’s Supper, he collected hundreds (if not more) citations from the Church Fathers and others to show, as I see it, that Lutherans had retained the orthodox (small ‘o’) teaching that “this is my body.” It seems to me that it’s modern Lutherans who have more of a problem with what they believe. They don’t want to appear Catholic, but they insist that “this is my body” while acting (discarding the elements in trash) like “this is a symbol for my body.”
    Sure, it’s ‘mysterious.’ Even those who believe the elements are symbols concede a certain mystery to the Lord’s Supper. How are modern Lutherans any different?

  • http://lutherama.blogspot.com Dr. Luther in 21st Century

    @15
    I don’t know if it is so much us trying to say we aren’t RCC as we just lack a public voice. Take the popular media, if they show a church it is either RCC or generic protestant or a liberal mainline or if they need a bad guy a bible thumping fundie. Rarely is it a Lutheran and when it is nothing distinguishes it from a random mainline. In Christian, media circles we have Moody, CCM stations, TBN and ETVN; all of which are predominately Armenian protestant or Catholic. We, Lutherans, have LHM a single 30 minute radio program and Issues, etc which sadly has a nearly non existent radio presence. To top it off CPH has very little presence in the major Christian Bookstore chains (something I wish would change, simply b/c it would be nice to expose the world at large to our wonderful authors.) Our Amazon presence is nice TLSB is getting spectacular reviews particularly in comparison to the ELCA study bible. I really think it would be helpful for us to make a concerted effort to get into the public media venue. We are doing well in developing a web presence but we need to do more in radio, music, and tv.

  • http://lutherama.blogspot.com Dr. Luther in 21st Century

    @15
    I don’t know if it is so much us trying to say we aren’t RCC as we just lack a public voice. Take the popular media, if they show a church it is either RCC or generic protestant or a liberal mainline or if they need a bad guy a bible thumping fundie. Rarely is it a Lutheran and when it is nothing distinguishes it from a random mainline. In Christian, media circles we have Moody, CCM stations, TBN and ETVN; all of which are predominately Armenian protestant or Catholic. We, Lutherans, have LHM a single 30 minute radio program and Issues, etc which sadly has a nearly non existent radio presence. To top it off CPH has very little presence in the major Christian Bookstore chains (something I wish would change, simply b/c it would be nice to expose the world at large to our wonderful authors.) Our Amazon presence is nice TLSB is getting spectacular reviews particularly in comparison to the ELCA study bible. I really think it would be helpful for us to make a concerted effort to get into the public media venue. We are doing well in developing a web presence but we need to do more in radio, music, and tv.

  • Tom Hering

    “It seems to me that it’s modern Lutherans who have more of a problem with what they believe. They don’t want to appear Catholic, but they insist that ‘this is my body’ while acting (discarding the elements in trash) like ‘this is a symbol for my body.’” – David @ 19.

    There is neither command nor example in Scripture to reserve the elements. Reservation of the elements is tradition, and this tradition varies – across time, and within Lutheranism.

  • Tom Hering

    “It seems to me that it’s modern Lutherans who have more of a problem with what they believe. They don’t want to appear Catholic, but they insist that ‘this is my body’ while acting (discarding the elements in trash) like ‘this is a symbol for my body.’” – David @ 19.

    There is neither command nor example in Scripture to reserve the elements. Reservation of the elements is tradition, and this tradition varies – across time, and within Lutheranism.

  • Catherine

    This past weekend I was driving with an atheist friend of mine looking for food in Paducah, KY at 11 PM (why we were there is a whole other story) discussing religion in a fairly non-debate way. The subject of communion came up. He made the comment that communion is straight up cannibalism. He was obviously joking, but I think a part of him was really freaked out by the practice. Had it not been so late, and I not been so faint with hunger and sleepiness, I might have said something more intelligent than “That’s us Christians, cannibalizing Jesus!”

    Just goes to show you shouldn’t discuss religious matters when you’re not in your right mind! Not that I could have said much better if I was. Communion is such a complex issue, it’s amazing to me to research other denominations’ beliefs on the subject.

  • Catherine

    This past weekend I was driving with an atheist friend of mine looking for food in Paducah, KY at 11 PM (why we were there is a whole other story) discussing religion in a fairly non-debate way. The subject of communion came up. He made the comment that communion is straight up cannibalism. He was obviously joking, but I think a part of him was really freaked out by the practice. Had it not been so late, and I not been so faint with hunger and sleepiness, I might have said something more intelligent than “That’s us Christians, cannibalizing Jesus!”

    Just goes to show you shouldn’t discuss religious matters when you’re not in your right mind! Not that I could have said much better if I was. Communion is such a complex issue, it’s amazing to me to research other denominations’ beliefs on the subject.

  • Larry

    For general out reach how about a Luther movie that doesn’t just focus on the ninety five thesis and some highlights there after, as much as I’ve LOVED those (the old and newer one) movies.

    How about a movie about the later years of Luther that ties together and the battles therein on both sides, Rome on one side and the proto-reformed on the other side. One that tells the story of the confessor at Augsburg is the same confessor at Marburg (as Sasse states) and you can’t have one with out the other, one that weaves the whole story/battle together in which the beginning of Luther’s life was to discover and defend “what is the Gospel” and the end of his which defended the same “that this sacrament is the Gospel” and the Gospel is this sacrament.

    Some of the most powerful and gripping (and confessing before the world) Gospel moments of Luther’s life lay near the end in defense of this Gospel (and the Gospel sacrament). The scene of a frail failing health, aging, Luther growing weary and spilling the sacrament of the wine/blood during administration of it only to drop to the floor to lick it up while the congregation weeps at it all practically sells itself on the Gospel. His prophetic warning of the “razing” that would occur when this sacrament would be removed. His foreseeing of the raging war with the sacramentarians on this issue (Rome wasn’t the only battle for the Gospel during the reformation). His final confession before death concerning this Gospel sacrament, etc… All of that is generally skipped and all but forgotten in the “general history” of the Reformation one learns in “general Protestantism”, yet in truth it was second apex of the two battles concerning the Gospel.

    You could call the movie title “Marburg”, plain and simple.

  • Larry

    For general out reach how about a Luther movie that doesn’t just focus on the ninety five thesis and some highlights there after, as much as I’ve LOVED those (the old and newer one) movies.

    How about a movie about the later years of Luther that ties together and the battles therein on both sides, Rome on one side and the proto-reformed on the other side. One that tells the story of the confessor at Augsburg is the same confessor at Marburg (as Sasse states) and you can’t have one with out the other, one that weaves the whole story/battle together in which the beginning of Luther’s life was to discover and defend “what is the Gospel” and the end of his which defended the same “that this sacrament is the Gospel” and the Gospel is this sacrament.

    Some of the most powerful and gripping (and confessing before the world) Gospel moments of Luther’s life lay near the end in defense of this Gospel (and the Gospel sacrament). The scene of a frail failing health, aging, Luther growing weary and spilling the sacrament of the wine/blood during administration of it only to drop to the floor to lick it up while the congregation weeps at it all practically sells itself on the Gospel. His prophetic warning of the “razing” that would occur when this sacrament would be removed. His foreseeing of the raging war with the sacramentarians on this issue (Rome wasn’t the only battle for the Gospel during the reformation). His final confession before death concerning this Gospel sacrament, etc… All of that is generally skipped and all but forgotten in the “general history” of the Reformation one learns in “general Protestantism”, yet in truth it was second apex of the two battles concerning the Gospel.

    You could call the movie title “Marburg”, plain and simple.

  • http://www.utah-lutheran.blogspot.com Bror Erickson

    DL21,
    I agree we need to tap into the media better. And we need to assert ourselves in the public square better, and quit being apologetic for who we are, and what we believe. Sometimes I wonder, but it seems that we are often embarrassed to be Lutheran.
    Issues etc. It would be great to see that get more airtime on the radio. It’s great having it on the internet, but it seems so much preaching to the choir on the internet. No one “stumbles” across it while changing stations.
    I sometimes wonder about Christian book stores too. Perhaps they intentionally don’t buy from CPH. I don’t know. It would be nice if the books were on a shelf. The internet has done much to change they way books are bought. But there is still something about going to a book store and fondling your new found love there before bringing it home for an honest read. Every once in a while you find stuff at Barnes and Noble, or Borders. We have a book store in Salt Lake that sells CPH stuff next to the holy trinketarian isle. They say it sell well.

  • http://www.utah-lutheran.blogspot.com Bror Erickson

    DL21,
    I agree we need to tap into the media better. And we need to assert ourselves in the public square better, and quit being apologetic for who we are, and what we believe. Sometimes I wonder, but it seems that we are often embarrassed to be Lutheran.
    Issues etc. It would be great to see that get more airtime on the radio. It’s great having it on the internet, but it seems so much preaching to the choir on the internet. No one “stumbles” across it while changing stations.
    I sometimes wonder about Christian book stores too. Perhaps they intentionally don’t buy from CPH. I don’t know. It would be nice if the books were on a shelf. The internet has done much to change they way books are bought. But there is still something about going to a book store and fondling your new found love there before bringing it home for an honest read. Every once in a while you find stuff at Barnes and Noble, or Borders. We have a book store in Salt Lake that sells CPH stuff next to the holy trinketarian isle. They say it sell well.

  • Joe

    Tom – I would argue that while there is no a specific command regarding the left over elements it is pretty clear what should be done with them. They are Christ’s body and blood. Once the Words of Institution are pronounced there is no going back. The body and blood does not stop being “in, with and under” just because you have leftovers. I think it would be pretty hard to justify not reserving the elements when you keep this in mind.

  • Joe

    Tom – I would argue that while there is no a specific command regarding the left over elements it is pretty clear what should be done with them. They are Christ’s body and blood. Once the Words of Institution are pronounced there is no going back. The body and blood does not stop being “in, with and under” just because you have leftovers. I think it would be pretty hard to justify not reserving the elements when you keep this in mind.

  • Tom Hering

    Catherine @ 22, is communion cannibalism? Eating dead flesh off a human body that’s laid out before us – in whole, or in parts? Obviously not.

  • Tom Hering

    Catherine @ 22, is communion cannibalism? Eating dead flesh off a human body that’s laid out before us – in whole, or in parts? Obviously not.

  • Tom Hering

    Joe @ 25, sure, you can reserve them if you want to. I think our conscience is free either way. But can the elements be of any benefit to those who were not present to hear the Words of Institution, and believe them? (A serious question asked to further our discussion.)

  • Tom Hering

    Joe @ 25, sure, you can reserve them if you want to. I think our conscience is free either way. But can the elements be of any benefit to those who were not present to hear the Words of Institution, and believe them? (A serious question asked to further our discussion.)

  • Catherine

    Tom @26 I know. I didn’t have the presence of mind to actually explain to my friend, and went with the joke instead. But that’s a good way to explain it!

  • Catherine

    Tom @26 I know. I didn’t have the presence of mind to actually explain to my friend, and went with the joke instead. But that’s a good way to explain it!

  • Tom Hering

    Catherine @ 28, but only after the 11 PM restaurant meal! :-)

  • Tom Hering

    Catherine @ 28, but only after the 11 PM restaurant meal! :-)

  • Mary

    re Catherine and Tom:

    Isn’t that what the early Christians accused of? The pagans and Jews thought the Christians were drinking blood and eating flesh? The early Christians must have taught body and blood were indeed present at the Lords’s Table.

  • Mary

    re Catherine and Tom:

    Isn’t that what the early Christians accused of? The pagans and Jews thought the Christians were drinking blood and eating flesh? The early Christians must have taught body and blood were indeed present at the Lords’s Table.

  • Joe

    “The early Christians must have taught body and blood were indeed present at the Lords’s Table.”

    They are.

  • Joe

    “The early Christians must have taught body and blood were indeed present at the Lords’s Table.”

    They are.

  • http://lutherama.blogspot.com Dr. Luther in 21st Century

    @24 Oh my, does your wife know about your affair with books? :-0 I agree there is something about walking up and down the aisles of a bookstore. Plus, it is easier to indulge my American sense of immediate satisfaction.

    @25 The promise of the presence is given with in the context of eating and drinking, the purpose for which they were given. There is no promise that the Body and Blood are present in union with bread and wine outside of that context. It is explicitly stated in Lutheran teaching that the sacramental union is temporary and only in the context of participation in the sacrament as instituted. Outside of that context it is just bread and wine. Otherwise, we fall into the trap of the RCC which led to the abuse of the sacrament and the development of adoration of the host and Corpus Cristi parades.

  • http://lutherama.blogspot.com Dr. Luther in 21st Century

    @24 Oh my, does your wife know about your affair with books? :-0 I agree there is something about walking up and down the aisles of a bookstore. Plus, it is easier to indulge my American sense of immediate satisfaction.

    @25 The promise of the presence is given with in the context of eating and drinking, the purpose for which they were given. There is no promise that the Body and Blood are present in union with bread and wine outside of that context. It is explicitly stated in Lutheran teaching that the sacramental union is temporary and only in the context of participation in the sacrament as instituted. Outside of that context it is just bread and wine. Otherwise, we fall into the trap of the RCC which led to the abuse of the sacrament and the development of adoration of the host and Corpus Cristi parades.

  • Larry

    My own “journey” if you will from atheist to immediate Christian then into the SB church, then to PCA finally to confessional Lutheran was this (how the thinking went) and this is about as honest and openly as I can put it:

    Coming in as an ex-atheist to the faith it was never a problem to believe, for me, that the words meant what they said. Keep in mind though adult at conversion and decently educated otherwise I had no doctrinal moorings or background, so I was “green as gourd” and the “naked” Scriptural language for this sacrament pretty much meant what it meant to me (so did baptism) – in short before I even knew what “Lutheran” meant, nearly a decade, I understood it “as written” as Lutheran’s confess it. It’s not a hard “leap” to make if God can create ex nihilo, even an ex atheist can “see that”. It was later that I found, via the Zwinglian/Calvinistic based doctrines the whole sign/seal thing. In other words I had to be taught out of the Scriptural words that come rather forthrightly otherwise. But, it appealed to my sense of reason and so forth. So one gets “locked” into, often unawares, in baptistic/reformed circles to the “if it’s the body and blood of Christ, the how so?” You start intuitively being led unknown by the nose into that question and once you are in it you don’t realize it, you don’t realize its really leading by the nose and closing your ears to scripture. Searching the inscrutable you begin to (albeit in somewhat innocent ignorance, per se) close your ears to what the Scripture really says and thus begin to loose the Gospel that goes along as a necessary consequence of the logic in answer the “how” question.

    So you have this Baptist/reformed debate with Baptist/reformed on one side (the side you are on) and Rome, and of course your so anti-roman (you forget what the essence of the reformation was about so anything anti roman to greater or lesser degrees depending on your particular moment in reformed doctrine and rigidity there unto) that ANYTHING “NOT-Rome” goes. Thus, the “how” question becomes your weapon against Rome’s transubstantiation and if you know anything at all about Lutheran all you’ve probably heard is cosubstantiation and that just sounds like transubstantiation by another name. cosubstantiation is of course a lame reformed attempt to answer the problem question in the first place “how”.

    Now why is the Lutheran position never heard? Well when in that Reformed mind set you tend to think cosubstantiation or something like it the explanation for the “how” question (how is always at the forefront of your question and really keeping you from hearing the truth on the issue, though you don’t realize this). If the Lutherans could answer your “how” you would at least evaluate it and maybe concur, possibly depending on the believability of the answer to the “how”. But again, it is this “how” trap that is keeping you from hearing the Gospel, the real body and blood of Christ in the sacrament, but it NEVER EVER dons on you that that is your problem. So you keep asking, if you ever get around to asking a Lutheran, the “how” question. It never ever ever dons on you that the REAL ANSWER to the “how” is a “NO” answer or a “shut up and listen only answer” and “by the way you are never going to get an answer to the ‘how’ question”. So this unbelieving brick wall just stays up there and up there and up there in your thinking. Until one day it is pointed out to you that the “how” question is the problem, the original enthusiasm and root of original sin, to “see God in the inscrutable way”, to “get behind the deity” as it were. You’d deny doing so or meaning to do so, I did, but in the “head on the pillow nights” in your thoughts you begin to realize, “it is true, my never ending quest for the ‘how’ is forbidding me to see the Gospel here”. When this is pointed out to you, at first, it is very frightening because suddenly you are going to really really really just trust the Word of God on this and subdue fallen reason to the Word’s of Christ (which is what bound Luther). You realize your “reformed” “good and necessary consequence” hermeneutic is just a surreptitious way of getting around to actually listening humbly to the Scriptures.

    Once you throw away the “how” and you have to do it actively, for the first time you begin to hear the “This is My body…this is My blood…”. Ceasing to stop seeing ‘God in the nude, in inscrutable ways…”, you begin to hear for the first time what Christ is saying to you. And in a way its that simple yet the unbelief is like granite because it cloaks itself with apparent “piety” and otherwise good gifts like human reason.

    It’s kind of like your children who you call to you to give them a treat and a gift but they so suspect they are in trouble (because of sin) they just don’t trust you won’t spank them and keep asking why, all the while never coming to you. You keep saying to them, “just come here I have something for you.” “Why” they keep inquiring, like “how”.

    This is why St. Paul says that we don’t ascend high into heaven to bring Christ down (e.g. Calvin’s/Zwingli’s supper), nor do we descend down to bring Him up… But what, the Word IS NEAR YOU! “This is My body/blood…” is so near yet held so far away by our own unbelief in asking “how”. Same with baptism and the actual giving of forgiveness of sin, the Holy Spirit, etc…. In this way we resist the Holy Spirit, its so very simple yet so very deadly. As Luther said concerning this sacrament in particular but all in general, “where there is (actual) forgiveness of sin (literally given), there is life and salvation”. The same thing Paul said in Romans, “the Word is NEAR YOU…”.

  • Larry

    My own “journey” if you will from atheist to immediate Christian then into the SB church, then to PCA finally to confessional Lutheran was this (how the thinking went) and this is about as honest and openly as I can put it:

    Coming in as an ex-atheist to the faith it was never a problem to believe, for me, that the words meant what they said. Keep in mind though adult at conversion and decently educated otherwise I had no doctrinal moorings or background, so I was “green as gourd” and the “naked” Scriptural language for this sacrament pretty much meant what it meant to me (so did baptism) – in short before I even knew what “Lutheran” meant, nearly a decade, I understood it “as written” as Lutheran’s confess it. It’s not a hard “leap” to make if God can create ex nihilo, even an ex atheist can “see that”. It was later that I found, via the Zwinglian/Calvinistic based doctrines the whole sign/seal thing. In other words I had to be taught out of the Scriptural words that come rather forthrightly otherwise. But, it appealed to my sense of reason and so forth. So one gets “locked” into, often unawares, in baptistic/reformed circles to the “if it’s the body and blood of Christ, the how so?” You start intuitively being led unknown by the nose into that question and once you are in it you don’t realize it, you don’t realize its really leading by the nose and closing your ears to scripture. Searching the inscrutable you begin to (albeit in somewhat innocent ignorance, per se) close your ears to what the Scripture really says and thus begin to loose the Gospel that goes along as a necessary consequence of the logic in answer the “how” question.

    So you have this Baptist/reformed debate with Baptist/reformed on one side (the side you are on) and Rome, and of course your so anti-roman (you forget what the essence of the reformation was about so anything anti roman to greater or lesser degrees depending on your particular moment in reformed doctrine and rigidity there unto) that ANYTHING “NOT-Rome” goes. Thus, the “how” question becomes your weapon against Rome’s transubstantiation and if you know anything at all about Lutheran all you’ve probably heard is cosubstantiation and that just sounds like transubstantiation by another name. cosubstantiation is of course a lame reformed attempt to answer the problem question in the first place “how”.

    Now why is the Lutheran position never heard? Well when in that Reformed mind set you tend to think cosubstantiation or something like it the explanation for the “how” question (how is always at the forefront of your question and really keeping you from hearing the truth on the issue, though you don’t realize this). If the Lutherans could answer your “how” you would at least evaluate it and maybe concur, possibly depending on the believability of the answer to the “how”. But again, it is this “how” trap that is keeping you from hearing the Gospel, the real body and blood of Christ in the sacrament, but it NEVER EVER dons on you that that is your problem. So you keep asking, if you ever get around to asking a Lutheran, the “how” question. It never ever ever dons on you that the REAL ANSWER to the “how” is a “NO” answer or a “shut up and listen only answer” and “by the way you are never going to get an answer to the ‘how’ question”. So this unbelieving brick wall just stays up there and up there and up there in your thinking. Until one day it is pointed out to you that the “how” question is the problem, the original enthusiasm and root of original sin, to “see God in the inscrutable way”, to “get behind the deity” as it were. You’d deny doing so or meaning to do so, I did, but in the “head on the pillow nights” in your thoughts you begin to realize, “it is true, my never ending quest for the ‘how’ is forbidding me to see the Gospel here”. When this is pointed out to you, at first, it is very frightening because suddenly you are going to really really really just trust the Word of God on this and subdue fallen reason to the Word’s of Christ (which is what bound Luther). You realize your “reformed” “good and necessary consequence” hermeneutic is just a surreptitious way of getting around to actually listening humbly to the Scriptures.

    Once you throw away the “how” and you have to do it actively, for the first time you begin to hear the “This is My body…this is My blood…”. Ceasing to stop seeing ‘God in the nude, in inscrutable ways…”, you begin to hear for the first time what Christ is saying to you. And in a way its that simple yet the unbelief is like granite because it cloaks itself with apparent “piety” and otherwise good gifts like human reason.

    It’s kind of like your children who you call to you to give them a treat and a gift but they so suspect they are in trouble (because of sin) they just don’t trust you won’t spank them and keep asking why, all the while never coming to you. You keep saying to them, “just come here I have something for you.” “Why” they keep inquiring, like “how”.

    This is why St. Paul says that we don’t ascend high into heaven to bring Christ down (e.g. Calvin’s/Zwingli’s supper), nor do we descend down to bring Him up… But what, the Word IS NEAR YOU! “This is My body/blood…” is so near yet held so far away by our own unbelief in asking “how”. Same with baptism and the actual giving of forgiveness of sin, the Holy Spirit, etc…. In this way we resist the Holy Spirit, its so very simple yet so very deadly. As Luther said concerning this sacrament in particular but all in general, “where there is (actual) forgiveness of sin (literally given), there is life and salvation”. The same thing Paul said in Romans, “the Word is NEAR YOU…”.

  • Peter Leavitt

    Veith is right that within Christianity we have varying traditions on the subject of the Lord’s Supper. While in danger of taking an unseemly relativist position, I should say that the differences among the positions are within the range of legitimate debate. The Bible is hardly crystal clear on the issue.

    One of the tragedies of Reformation history is that Luther and Zwingli differed on the Lord’s Supper at Marburg in October 1529; Phillip of Hesse was right to encourage Reformation unity. Later John Calvin, though in substantial agreement with Melanchthon, was unable to conciliate with conservative Lutherans.

    I understand that the Lord’s Supper is a crucial element of any Christian tradition, though frankly I question whether the distinctions amount to important differences. My guess is that much denominational hubris is involved in these arguments.

  • Peter Leavitt

    Veith is right that within Christianity we have varying traditions on the subject of the Lord’s Supper. While in danger of taking an unseemly relativist position, I should say that the differences among the positions are within the range of legitimate debate. The Bible is hardly crystal clear on the issue.

    One of the tragedies of Reformation history is that Luther and Zwingli differed on the Lord’s Supper at Marburg in October 1529; Phillip of Hesse was right to encourage Reformation unity. Later John Calvin, though in substantial agreement with Melanchthon, was unable to conciliate with conservative Lutherans.

    I understand that the Lord’s Supper is a crucial element of any Christian tradition, though frankly I question whether the distinctions amount to important differences. My guess is that much denominational hubris is involved in these arguments.

  • Larry

    That’s definitely NOT the position Luther took, in fact, “its only so much denominational hubris” is always the position of the reformed on the issue. Luther saw it no less a battle for the Gospel than day one. In fact you endanger men’s souls and cause them to struggle in the faith by saying, “eehhh its only so much denominational hubris”. It’s a subtle form of persecution that says, “eeehhh, just much to do about nothing, six one way, half a dozen another…”, to the poor and struggling Christian who invests his/her very soul in the fact that they are in fact eating and drinking, as Christ said to do, that which really and truly was given for them for the forgiveness of their sins as opposed to some philosophical road sign.

    In fact Luther said this regarding the matter of silence on the matter, “If you believe as you speak in my presence, then speak the same way in church, in public lectures, in sermons and in private discussions, and strengthen your brethren, and lead the erring back to the right way, contradict the willful spirits; otherwise your confession is a mere sham and will be of no value whatever.”

    Now that’s a shepherd fighting off the incessant wolves with his staff from his sheep given him under the care of Christ, as opposed to some lazy belly worshipper worshipping his own belly.

  • Larry

    That’s definitely NOT the position Luther took, in fact, “its only so much denominational hubris” is always the position of the reformed on the issue. Luther saw it no less a battle for the Gospel than day one. In fact you endanger men’s souls and cause them to struggle in the faith by saying, “eehhh its only so much denominational hubris”. It’s a subtle form of persecution that says, “eeehhh, just much to do about nothing, six one way, half a dozen another…”, to the poor and struggling Christian who invests his/her very soul in the fact that they are in fact eating and drinking, as Christ said to do, that which really and truly was given for them for the forgiveness of their sins as opposed to some philosophical road sign.

    In fact Luther said this regarding the matter of silence on the matter, “If you believe as you speak in my presence, then speak the same way in church, in public lectures, in sermons and in private discussions, and strengthen your brethren, and lead the erring back to the right way, contradict the willful spirits; otherwise your confession is a mere sham and will be of no value whatever.”

    Now that’s a shepherd fighting off the incessant wolves with his staff from his sheep given him under the care of Christ, as opposed to some lazy belly worshipper worshipping his own belly.

  • http://www.utah-lutheran.blogspot.com Bror Erickson

    @32,
    My wife is insanely jealous of my affair with books. She requests that I have the decency to at least leave the affair at the office so she does not have to compete with them under her own roof. But this is not always possible for me to oblige.

  • http://www.utah-lutheran.blogspot.com Bror Erickson

    @32,
    My wife is insanely jealous of my affair with books. She requests that I have the decency to at least leave the affair at the office so she does not have to compete with them under her own roof. But this is not always possible for me to oblige.

  • http://www.IndyOPC.org Larry Wilson

    Clearly, there is a disagreement between the Lutheran view and the Reformed view. But often more heat than light is shed when these respective views are caricatured, no doubt by folk on both sides of the debate. Tom Hering @ 17 rightly protests, “Joe @ 15, if someone claims their words or actions are ‘Lutheran,’ without showing how these conform to our Confessions, their claim is meaningless.” I would suggest that the same is true of the “Reformed” view. It is not enough to relate one’s own subjective experience with confusion here or inconsistency there or sin somewhere else, as my namesake does @ 3, 7, 23, 33, and 35. I don’t deny his experiences, but is there not plenty of ignorance and inconsistency and sin to go around? Thank the Lord that he came into this world to *save* sinners, of whom I (and my ilk) are the chief.

    The Reformed confessions teach that Christ’s human nature, his physical body, is in heaven and therefore the Bread and the Cup cannot become that. Yet, he has poured out his Holy Spirit, so that by his Spirit, he is present throughout the world at once. Their understanding of the Scriptures drew the Reformed churches to conclude (contra Zwingli’s view) that the Sacrament is not only a memorial, but is also much more.

    To excise the polemical denials from the Westminster Larger Catechism quote cited in full @ 9, consider what it positively affirms: “As the body and blood of Christ … are Spiritually [i.e., by the agency of the Holy Spirit] present to the faith of the receiver, no less truly and really than the elements themselves are to their outward senses; so they that worthily communicate in the sacrament of the Lord’s Supper, do therein feed upon the body and blood of Christ … in a Spiritual manner [i.e., by the agency of the Holy Spirit], yet truly and really, while by faith they receive and apply unto themselves Christ crucified, and all the benefits of his death.” Admittedly, the answer in full does deny the Lutheran explanation for how this could be. But it does not deny that this is the case. Indeed, it is arguable that what this view is seeking to do is to embrace and submit to the Scriptural mystery.

    Accordingly, of the Supper, John Calvin wrote: “It is a mystery of Christ’s secret union with the devout which is by nature incomprehensible. If anybody should ask me how this communion takes place, I am not ashamed to confess that that is a secret too lofty for either my mind to comprehend or my words to declare. And to speak more plainly, I rather experience than understand it” (Institutes, IV, 17, 32).

    I think there’s a lot of uncomfortable truth in Peter Leavitt’s post @ 34. As I said in an earlier post, I look forward to reading Dr. Scaer’s contribution to the book Dr. Veith mentioned. I also look forward to reading the other contributions. May I encourage my brethren here to do the same?

  • http://www.IndyOPC.org Larry Wilson

    Clearly, there is a disagreement between the Lutheran view and the Reformed view. But often more heat than light is shed when these respective views are caricatured, no doubt by folk on both sides of the debate. Tom Hering @ 17 rightly protests, “Joe @ 15, if someone claims their words or actions are ‘Lutheran,’ without showing how these conform to our Confessions, their claim is meaningless.” I would suggest that the same is true of the “Reformed” view. It is not enough to relate one’s own subjective experience with confusion here or inconsistency there or sin somewhere else, as my namesake does @ 3, 7, 23, 33, and 35. I don’t deny his experiences, but is there not plenty of ignorance and inconsistency and sin to go around? Thank the Lord that he came into this world to *save* sinners, of whom I (and my ilk) are the chief.

    The Reformed confessions teach that Christ’s human nature, his physical body, is in heaven and therefore the Bread and the Cup cannot become that. Yet, he has poured out his Holy Spirit, so that by his Spirit, he is present throughout the world at once. Their understanding of the Scriptures drew the Reformed churches to conclude (contra Zwingli’s view) that the Sacrament is not only a memorial, but is also much more.

    To excise the polemical denials from the Westminster Larger Catechism quote cited in full @ 9, consider what it positively affirms: “As the body and blood of Christ … are Spiritually [i.e., by the agency of the Holy Spirit] present to the faith of the receiver, no less truly and really than the elements themselves are to their outward senses; so they that worthily communicate in the sacrament of the Lord’s Supper, do therein feed upon the body and blood of Christ … in a Spiritual manner [i.e., by the agency of the Holy Spirit], yet truly and really, while by faith they receive and apply unto themselves Christ crucified, and all the benefits of his death.” Admittedly, the answer in full does deny the Lutheran explanation for how this could be. But it does not deny that this is the case. Indeed, it is arguable that what this view is seeking to do is to embrace and submit to the Scriptural mystery.

    Accordingly, of the Supper, John Calvin wrote: “It is a mystery of Christ’s secret union with the devout which is by nature incomprehensible. If anybody should ask me how this communion takes place, I am not ashamed to confess that that is a secret too lofty for either my mind to comprehend or my words to declare. And to speak more plainly, I rather experience than understand it” (Institutes, IV, 17, 32).

    I think there’s a lot of uncomfortable truth in Peter Leavitt’s post @ 34. As I said in an earlier post, I look forward to reading Dr. Scaer’s contribution to the book Dr. Veith mentioned. I also look forward to reading the other contributions. May I encourage my brethren here to do the same?

  • Peter Leavitt

    Larry, reasonable Christians may differ on such complex issues as the Lord’s Supper. Terming one’s opponents on theological issues as “incessant wolves” is one reason that Christ’s hope, as stated by John, that His Church may be One [ut unum sint] is being rather rigidly pharisaical in tone.

  • Peter Leavitt

    Larry, reasonable Christians may differ on such complex issues as the Lord’s Supper. Terming one’s opponents on theological issues as “incessant wolves” is one reason that Christ’s hope, as stated by John, that His Church may be One [ut unum sint] is being rather rigidly pharisaical in tone.

  • jwb

    Calvin taught that the Eucharist provides “undoubted assurance of eternal life.” And while Calvin stopped short of the Catholic, or even the Lutheran, understanding of the Eucharist, he still retained a doctrine of the Real Presence. He taught that the Eucharist provides a “true and substantial partaking of the body and blood of the Lord” and he rejected the notion that communicants receive “the Spirit only, omitting flesh and blood.” Institutes 4.17.17; 4.17.19

    Terms:
    Real Presence: doctrine that Christ true body and blood are communicated in the supper.
    Transubstantiation: Catholic doctrine on HOW the body and blood are communicated.
    Consubstantiation: Lutheran doctrine on HOW
    Mystical Presence: Calvin’s doctrine on HOW.

    Calvin both rejected a local presence (both Catholic and Luther’s view), but affirmed a real presence. Yet he strongly opposed the merely symbolic view of the supper.

  • jwb

    Calvin taught that the Eucharist provides “undoubted assurance of eternal life.” And while Calvin stopped short of the Catholic, or even the Lutheran, understanding of the Eucharist, he still retained a doctrine of the Real Presence. He taught that the Eucharist provides a “true and substantial partaking of the body and blood of the Lord” and he rejected the notion that communicants receive “the Spirit only, omitting flesh and blood.” Institutes 4.17.17; 4.17.19

    Terms:
    Real Presence: doctrine that Christ true body and blood are communicated in the supper.
    Transubstantiation: Catholic doctrine on HOW the body and blood are communicated.
    Consubstantiation: Lutheran doctrine on HOW
    Mystical Presence: Calvin’s doctrine on HOW.

    Calvin both rejected a local presence (both Catholic and Luther’s view), but affirmed a real presence. Yet he strongly opposed the merely symbolic view of the supper.

  • Peter Leavitt

    Pardon the awkward phrasing at #38.

  • Peter Leavitt

    Pardon the awkward phrasing at #38.

  • Peter Leavitt

    jwb, that’s an excellent summary of Calvin’s position. Thank you.

  • Peter Leavitt

    jwb, that’s an excellent summary of Calvin’s position. Thank you.

  • http://lutherama.blogspot.com Dr. Luther in the 21st Century

    @34 It is only unclear when you over think the question rather than simply saying, “yes Lord!” Calvin, Zwingli, and the RCC all fell into the same trap, they tried to explain beyond the words of Christ.

    @36 ROFL, following in the image I guess you could say my dear wife and I have an “open” relationship with books. Our major decorating theme is books. We are both serious bibliophiles. I love the smell of a library in the morning. In fact, we need to add shelf space; all of our shelves at home are triple stacked and are starting to bow under the weight and we have stacks with out a shelf home.

  • http://lutherama.blogspot.com Dr. Luther in the 21st Century

    @34 It is only unclear when you over think the question rather than simply saying, “yes Lord!” Calvin, Zwingli, and the RCC all fell into the same trap, they tried to explain beyond the words of Christ.

    @36 ROFL, following in the image I guess you could say my dear wife and I have an “open” relationship with books. Our major decorating theme is books. We are both serious bibliophiles. I love the smell of a library in the morning. In fact, we need to add shelf space; all of our shelves at home are triple stacked and are starting to bow under the weight and we have stacks with out a shelf home.

  • http://www.utah-lutheran.blogspot.com Bror Erickson

    Peter Leavitt,
    May two reasonable brothers merely disagree over the contents of their father’s last will and testament? How does that work.
    This is not an issue that one can merely disagree on.
    The reformed have been trying to do that with Lutherans forever, trying to make us out to be the bad guys for tenaciously holding to our views on it. Sorry, what keeps this church divided is not polemics but that which gives rise to the need for polemics, and that is the false doctrine that does not care to hear or listen to the clear words of Christ in this. Lutherans understand that if we give this up, we give up the gospel. The Calvinist doctrine is a direct assault on the divinity of Jesus, and as such must be rebuked as the error that it is.

  • http://www.utah-lutheran.blogspot.com Bror Erickson

    Peter Leavitt,
    May two reasonable brothers merely disagree over the contents of their father’s last will and testament? How does that work.
    This is not an issue that one can merely disagree on.
    The reformed have been trying to do that with Lutherans forever, trying to make us out to be the bad guys for tenaciously holding to our views on it. Sorry, what keeps this church divided is not polemics but that which gives rise to the need for polemics, and that is the false doctrine that does not care to hear or listen to the clear words of Christ in this. Lutherans understand that if we give this up, we give up the gospel. The Calvinist doctrine is a direct assault on the divinity of Jesus, and as such must be rebuked as the error that it is.

  • Tom Hering

    “Consubstantiation: Lutheran doctrine on HOW” – jbw @ 39.

    Did you read the title of Dr. Veith’s post?

    Consubstantiation: Reformed and Roman Catholic make-believe when it comes to Lutherans.

  • Tom Hering

    “Consubstantiation: Lutheran doctrine on HOW” – jbw @ 39.

    Did you read the title of Dr. Veith’s post?

    Consubstantiation: Reformed and Roman Catholic make-believe when it comes to Lutherans.

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    Peter (@34), how are you going to lead the culture war against the relativists when you embrace their logic?

    “I should say that the differences among the positions are within the range of legitimate debate.” And are the differences among the positions on Christ’s divinity within the range of legitimate debate? How about the various positions on justification, or man’s sinfulness? And how does one know which of these areas are okay for relativism, and which we dare not strike a relativist position?

    “The Bible is hardly crystal clear on the issue.” Indeed. Did God really say “This is my body”?

    And you still don’t understand the unity that Christ discusses in the book of John. You wield that verse as some sort of cudgel everytime you want to gloss over Biblical truths, and every time you do, I will remind you that the unity that Christ wanted between Himself and the church is the same unity that He shares with the Father — which is exactly the opposite of your position in which “reasonable Christians may differ on such complex issues as the Lord’s Supper.” Do the Father and the Son differ reasonably on that topic?

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    Peter (@34), how are you going to lead the culture war against the relativists when you embrace their logic?

    “I should say that the differences among the positions are within the range of legitimate debate.” And are the differences among the positions on Christ’s divinity within the range of legitimate debate? How about the various positions on justification, or man’s sinfulness? And how does one know which of these areas are okay for relativism, and which we dare not strike a relativist position?

    “The Bible is hardly crystal clear on the issue.” Indeed. Did God really say “This is my body”?

    And you still don’t understand the unity that Christ discusses in the book of John. You wield that verse as some sort of cudgel everytime you want to gloss over Biblical truths, and every time you do, I will remind you that the unity that Christ wanted between Himself and the church is the same unity that He shares with the Father — which is exactly the opposite of your position in which “reasonable Christians may differ on such complex issues as the Lord’s Supper.” Do the Father and the Son differ reasonably on that topic?

  • jwb

    @44 Yes, I read the title; ‘consubstantiation’ works for me.
    Judging here, there seems to be consensus that Lutheran teach that the presence is mystical and utter imcomprehensible. It’s called the real presence, but it’s real for only as long as it takes to swallow the elements. And the presence is only in those elements that are consumed. Whatever is not eaten or drunk is tossed into the trash, though there’s debate about that.
    I need to read more ur-Lutheran texts to get to the bottom of this, but from what I read here, the Lutheran position isn’t dissimilar from Calvin’s.

  • jwb

    @44 Yes, I read the title; ‘consubstantiation’ works for me.
    Judging here, there seems to be consensus that Lutheran teach that the presence is mystical and utter imcomprehensible. It’s called the real presence, but it’s real for only as long as it takes to swallow the elements. And the presence is only in those elements that are consumed. Whatever is not eaten or drunk is tossed into the trash, though there’s debate about that.
    I need to read more ur-Lutheran texts to get to the bottom of this, but from what I read here, the Lutheran position isn’t dissimilar from Calvin’s.

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    JWB (@46), if by “mystical” you mean “not in a real sense, but only in a non-physical sense”, then you have it wrong. Lutherans teach Christ’s real (i.e. physical) presence. I would also disagree that it is “utterly incomprehensible”, though I would agree that it is a mystery. I mean, I understand Jesus’ words (as well as Paul’s explanation) plainly enough. I just don’t understand how that works. But then, nor do I need to.

    As for your statement that “the presence is only in those elements that are consumed,” you will notice that the Bible is silent as to Christ’s presence in the elements outside of the context of the Lord’s Supper. Accordingly, so are Lutherans. But then, what does it even mean to discuss such things outside of that context? The Lord’s Supper was “given for you”: “This is my body given for you.” If there is no one to whom it can be given, then we’re outside of the context of those words.

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    JWB (@46), if by “mystical” you mean “not in a real sense, but only in a non-physical sense”, then you have it wrong. Lutherans teach Christ’s real (i.e. physical) presence. I would also disagree that it is “utterly incomprehensible”, though I would agree that it is a mystery. I mean, I understand Jesus’ words (as well as Paul’s explanation) plainly enough. I just don’t understand how that works. But then, nor do I need to.

    As for your statement that “the presence is only in those elements that are consumed,” you will notice that the Bible is silent as to Christ’s presence in the elements outside of the context of the Lord’s Supper. Accordingly, so are Lutherans. But then, what does it even mean to discuss such things outside of that context? The Lord’s Supper was “given for you”: “This is my body given for you.” If there is no one to whom it can be given, then we’re outside of the context of those words.

  • jwb

    tODD @47, thanks.
    What do you mean by saying that Bible is silient about the presence outside the supper? I’m thinking of the elements as they sit in the tray or cup at the altar, just after the words of institution are spoken. The pastor takes a wafer from the tray, offers it, then takes a cup and offers it. My understanding is that the presence is in all the elements that are consecrated, whether consumed or not, and remains in the elements afterwards. You’re saying that the presence is only in what’s offered to the congregant and consumed? The rest remain mere bread and wine? I’m not arguing, just asking for clarification.

  • jwb

    tODD @47, thanks.
    What do you mean by saying that Bible is silient about the presence outside the supper? I’m thinking of the elements as they sit in the tray or cup at the altar, just after the words of institution are spoken. The pastor takes a wafer from the tray, offers it, then takes a cup and offers it. My understanding is that the presence is in all the elements that are consecrated, whether consumed or not, and remains in the elements afterwards. You’re saying that the presence is only in what’s offered to the congregant and consumed? The rest remain mere bread and wine? I’m not arguing, just asking for clarification.

  • http://www.utah-lutheran.blogspot.com Bror Erickson

    I do not know of a Lutheran church that throws any of the unconsumed elements in the trash. Though the plastic jiggers so in vogue today do end up there. And maybe some residue from the wine.
    I would rather do other things, but there is no command. Jesus told us to eat and drink, not to reserve in a monstrance and worship.

  • http://www.utah-lutheran.blogspot.com Bror Erickson

    I do not know of a Lutheran church that throws any of the unconsumed elements in the trash. Though the plastic jiggers so in vogue today do end up there. And maybe some residue from the wine.
    I would rather do other things, but there is no command. Jesus told us to eat and drink, not to reserve in a monstrance and worship.

  • jwb

    Bror, in two churches in my city I’ve seen the undrunken wine poured from the cup onto the ground or back into the Manechevitz bottle and the uneated wafers put back into the bag for next time. Any wafer that falls to the floor is tossed.
    If the real presence was never in these elements, I see no problem with that. But wouldn’t one want to be sure, rather than claim it’s adiaphora?

  • jwb

    Bror, in two churches in my city I’ve seen the undrunken wine poured from the cup onto the ground or back into the Manechevitz bottle and the uneated wafers put back into the bag for next time. Any wafer that falls to the floor is tossed.
    If the real presence was never in these elements, I see no problem with that. But wouldn’t one want to be sure, rather than claim it’s adiaphora?

  • Peter Leavitt

    Bror, the difference between Calvin and Luther’s views on the Lord’s Supper, while debatable, need not be polemical. See jwb’s post at #39.

    Essentially the debate comes down to Aristotle and Aquinas’s view of substance and form versus Luther’s more literal view of “This is My Body [Hoc est Corpus Meum]. Luther objected to the distinction of substance and form, which is really more a philosophical than a theological issue. All of this is rather different than two brothers disagreeing over the terms of a temporal will.

    As to the Calvinist “assault” on the divinity of Jesus due to his distinction between form and substance, give us a break. Calvin throughout his Institutes is four square on Jesus as true God and true man. Calvin was a great admirer of Luther, though he had a minor difference with him on the subject of the Lord’s Supper. Calvin and Melanchton at one point were in substantial agreement on the subject of the Lord’s Supper. Many lesser Lutherans and Calvinists inflate the differences between these two blessed and brilliant men.

    Your rhetoric about “rebuking” Calvinists for their views is rather typical of those who keep Christendom in a sad state of sectarian division.

  • Peter Leavitt

    Bror, the difference between Calvin and Luther’s views on the Lord’s Supper, while debatable, need not be polemical. See jwb’s post at #39.

    Essentially the debate comes down to Aristotle and Aquinas’s view of substance and form versus Luther’s more literal view of “This is My Body [Hoc est Corpus Meum]. Luther objected to the distinction of substance and form, which is really more a philosophical than a theological issue. All of this is rather different than two brothers disagreeing over the terms of a temporal will.

    As to the Calvinist “assault” on the divinity of Jesus due to his distinction between form and substance, give us a break. Calvin throughout his Institutes is four square on Jesus as true God and true man. Calvin was a great admirer of Luther, though he had a minor difference with him on the subject of the Lord’s Supper. Calvin and Melanchton at one point were in substantial agreement on the subject of the Lord’s Supper. Many lesser Lutherans and Calvinists inflate the differences between these two blessed and brilliant men.

    Your rhetoric about “rebuking” Calvinists for their views is rather typical of those who keep Christendom in a sad state of sectarian division.

  • MikeR

    Larry Wilson @37, your comments are well appreciated. It’s nice to see that some Lutherans, at least, can show a little bit of respect towards the Reformed.

    Bror @43, I agree that the Lord’s Supper is an important doctrine, and I commend Lutherans for arguing strongly for their views, but you can show a little bit of humility in so doing without succumbing to relativism. The idea that Calvinists are engaged in a “direct assault on the divinity of Jesus” is a stupid caricature. I’m left wondering–again–whether some of you believe it is possible to be a non-Lutheran Christan.

    tODD @45, @47, your conflation of “real” with “physical” is utterly gratuitous. As others have pointed out, the Reformed do believe that Christ is REALLY present in the Supper, that we REALLY feed on Christ’s body and blood (just not physically). Many Lutherans try to wield “this is my body” as though it were Reformed kryptonite, as though Reformed theologians have never considered the meaning of these words. If you want to argue that our interpretation of the Bible is defective, fine, but to claim that anyone who disagrees with you is flat-out denying the words of Christ shows a rather disturbing level of arrogance.

  • MikeR

    Larry Wilson @37, your comments are well appreciated. It’s nice to see that some Lutherans, at least, can show a little bit of respect towards the Reformed.

    Bror @43, I agree that the Lord’s Supper is an important doctrine, and I commend Lutherans for arguing strongly for their views, but you can show a little bit of humility in so doing without succumbing to relativism. The idea that Calvinists are engaged in a “direct assault on the divinity of Jesus” is a stupid caricature. I’m left wondering–again–whether some of you believe it is possible to be a non-Lutheran Christan.

    tODD @45, @47, your conflation of “real” with “physical” is utterly gratuitous. As others have pointed out, the Reformed do believe that Christ is REALLY present in the Supper, that we REALLY feed on Christ’s body and blood (just not physically). Many Lutherans try to wield “this is my body” as though it were Reformed kryptonite, as though Reformed theologians have never considered the meaning of these words. If you want to argue that our interpretation of the Bible is defective, fine, but to claim that anyone who disagrees with you is flat-out denying the words of Christ shows a rather disturbing level of arrogance.

  • http://www.IndyOPC.org Larry Wilson

    I am very thankful for this discussion, and how it evidences that people care very deeply about the Lord, about the teaching of his Word, and about the means of grace. And certainly, it is much better to hear people speak for their own views than it is to hear an opponent of those views make a straw man of them.

    So — regarding the deity of Christ — if a “Calvinist” agrees with the Westminster Confession of Faith 8:2, then he believes that “The Son of God, the second person in the Trinity, being very and eternal God, of one substance and equal with the Father, did, when the fullness of time was come, take upon him man’s nature, with all the essential properties, and common infirmities thereof, yet without sin; being conceived by the power of the Holy Ghost, in the womb of the virgin Mary, of her substance. So that two whole, perfect, and distinct natures, the Godhead and the manhood, were inseparably joined together in one person, without conversion, composition, or confusion. Which person is very God, and very man, yet one Christ, the only Mediator between God and man.”

    I am such a “Calvinist,” and I truly cannot see how my “doctrine is a direct assault on the divinity of Jesus, and as such must be rebuked as the error that it is” as Bror Erickson avers @43. I know, however, that I am prone to error; so I am sincerely open to such rebuke, if it comes from God’s Word. But while I am being rebuked, it may help me better to receive it if I am at the same time better informed. So I have some questions. How is it not rather the case that the Lutheran understanding is an undermining of the doctrine of the true humanity of the divine-human Person, involving its “conversion, composition, or confusion”? I ask that because that’s what it looks like to me. Moreover, many in this discussion have said that the Lutheran view simply submits to our Lord’s words, “This is my body.” But how is the proposition, “The bread and wine are the Lord’s body and blood” equal to the proposition, “The Lord’s body and blood are present in, with, or under the bread and the wine”? I ask that because they do not look at all equal to me.

  • http://www.IndyOPC.org Larry Wilson

    I am very thankful for this discussion, and how it evidences that people care very deeply about the Lord, about the teaching of his Word, and about the means of grace. And certainly, it is much better to hear people speak for their own views than it is to hear an opponent of those views make a straw man of them.

    So — regarding the deity of Christ — if a “Calvinist” agrees with the Westminster Confession of Faith 8:2, then he believes that “The Son of God, the second person in the Trinity, being very and eternal God, of one substance and equal with the Father, did, when the fullness of time was come, take upon him man’s nature, with all the essential properties, and common infirmities thereof, yet without sin; being conceived by the power of the Holy Ghost, in the womb of the virgin Mary, of her substance. So that two whole, perfect, and distinct natures, the Godhead and the manhood, were inseparably joined together in one person, without conversion, composition, or confusion. Which person is very God, and very man, yet one Christ, the only Mediator between God and man.”

    I am such a “Calvinist,” and I truly cannot see how my “doctrine is a direct assault on the divinity of Jesus, and as such must be rebuked as the error that it is” as Bror Erickson avers @43. I know, however, that I am prone to error; so I am sincerely open to such rebuke, if it comes from God’s Word. But while I am being rebuked, it may help me better to receive it if I am at the same time better informed. So I have some questions. How is it not rather the case that the Lutheran understanding is an undermining of the doctrine of the true humanity of the divine-human Person, involving its “conversion, composition, or confusion”? I ask that because that’s what it looks like to me. Moreover, many in this discussion have said that the Lutheran view simply submits to our Lord’s words, “This is my body.” But how is the proposition, “The bread and wine are the Lord’s body and blood” equal to the proposition, “The Lord’s body and blood are present in, with, or under the bread and the wine”? I ask that because they do not look at all equal to me.

  • MikeR

    Larry W, I misunderstood you earlier, I should have a known a Lutheran wouldn’t be that gracious to the Reformed view. Oh well…

  • MikeR

    Larry W, I misunderstood you earlier, I should have a known a Lutheran wouldn’t be that gracious to the Reformed view. Oh well…

  • Tom Hering

    “‘consubstantiation’ works for me.” – jwb @ 46. Yup. Make-believe.

    “The words of institution, ‘Take, eat; this is My body,’ clearly state: ‘With this bread I give you My body.’ So these words are explained 1 Co 10:16. There is no transubstantiation of the bread and wine into the body and blood of Christ, nor any consubstantiation or impanation. In, with, and under the bread and wine a communicant, also an unbelieving communicant (1 Co 11:27–29), receives Christ’s true body, given into death, and His true blood, shed for sins. This is the point of controversy between Lutherans and Reformed. The question is not whether Christ is present according to His divine nature in the Sacrament, or whether the soul by faith is united with Christ (spiritual eating and drinking), or whether the believing communicant receives the merits of Christ’s shed blood by faith (all of which is acknowledged as true by both Lutherans and Reformed). In Lutheran terminology the eating and drinking of Christ’s body and blood in, with, and under the bread and wine is called sacramental eating and drinking. The Reformed deny that the words of institution should be taken in a literal sense, or that in, with, and under the bread and wine the true body and blood of Christ are really present (Real Presence, a mystery). The Reformed teach instead the real absence of Christ’s body and blood in the Sacrament by resorting to a figurative, or symbolical, interpretation. Karlstadt sought the figure in ‘this,’ H. Zwingli in ‘is’ (making ‘is’ mean ‘represents’), J. Calvin and others in ‘body’ (making ‘body’ mean ‘the sign of My body’), and others (e.g., W. Bucanus, B. Keckermann, and H. Zanchi) in the entire statement. The multifarious attempts to pervert the proper sense of the words are but so many evidences of the persistent refusal of the words to yield to perversion.” – Lutheran Cyclopedia / Grace, Means of / IV 3.

  • Tom Hering

    “‘consubstantiation’ works for me.” – jwb @ 46. Yup. Make-believe.

    “The words of institution, ‘Take, eat; this is My body,’ clearly state: ‘With this bread I give you My body.’ So these words are explained 1 Co 10:16. There is no transubstantiation of the bread and wine into the body and blood of Christ, nor any consubstantiation or impanation. In, with, and under the bread and wine a communicant, also an unbelieving communicant (1 Co 11:27–29), receives Christ’s true body, given into death, and His true blood, shed for sins. This is the point of controversy between Lutherans and Reformed. The question is not whether Christ is present according to His divine nature in the Sacrament, or whether the soul by faith is united with Christ (spiritual eating and drinking), or whether the believing communicant receives the merits of Christ’s shed blood by faith (all of which is acknowledged as true by both Lutherans and Reformed). In Lutheran terminology the eating and drinking of Christ’s body and blood in, with, and under the bread and wine is called sacramental eating and drinking. The Reformed deny that the words of institution should be taken in a literal sense, or that in, with, and under the bread and wine the true body and blood of Christ are really present (Real Presence, a mystery). The Reformed teach instead the real absence of Christ’s body and blood in the Sacrament by resorting to a figurative, or symbolical, interpretation. Karlstadt sought the figure in ‘this,’ H. Zwingli in ‘is’ (making ‘is’ mean ‘represents’), J. Calvin and others in ‘body’ (making ‘body’ mean ‘the sign of My body’), and others (e.g., W. Bucanus, B. Keckermann, and H. Zanchi) in the entire statement. The multifarious attempts to pervert the proper sense of the words are but so many evidences of the persistent refusal of the words to yield to perversion.” – Lutheran Cyclopedia / Grace, Means of / IV 3.

  • jwb

    @55, no offense. “Works for me” sounded flip, but I only meant that I don’t see a difference between ‘consubstantiation’ and ‘sacramental union.’ In fact, isn’t consubstaniation etymologocially only Latin for with, under and in? Correct me if I’m wrong there.
    Lutherans can easily distinguish their view from that of the evangelicals, whom Lutherans wrongly call reformed. But I think a more pertinent discussion would distinguish the Lutheran from the Catholic view.

  • jwb

    @55, no offense. “Works for me” sounded flip, but I only meant that I don’t see a difference between ‘consubstantiation’ and ‘sacramental union.’ In fact, isn’t consubstaniation etymologocially only Latin for with, under and in? Correct me if I’m wrong there.
    Lutherans can easily distinguish their view from that of the evangelicals, whom Lutherans wrongly call reformed. But I think a more pertinent discussion would distinguish the Lutheran from the Catholic view.

  • Joe

    DR.L21C – “It is explicitly stated in Lutheran teaching that the sacramental union is temporary and only in the context of participation in the sacrament as instituted. Outside of that context it is just bread and wine.”

    Could you expand on this? Are you saying that the instituted elements become un-instituted at some point? When does this happen and how do we know? Is it when the last congregate gets off his knees? When the Pastor concludes the service with the benediction. How does this square with Luther diving on the floor and licking up spilled wine? And, could you direct me to which Lutheran teachings you are referring to? I really want to get a better understanding of this point.

    tODD – you bring in the context of “given for you.” Obviously, that is the purpose of the Sacrament – it is a gift for us, but the Sacrament was given for all man kind. Your comment seems to suggest that when a pastor speaks the Words of Institution that the given for you becomes restricted to only those present in that particular place? In other words are you suggesting that the number of faithful folks in the pew limits the reached of the Sacrament? I am of the thinking that the only temporal limit of the Words of Insinuation was the amount of wine and bread on the alter, not the number of folks in the building. Am I reading your comment correctly?

    Thanks guys.

  • Joe

    DR.L21C – “It is explicitly stated in Lutheran teaching that the sacramental union is temporary and only in the context of participation in the sacrament as instituted. Outside of that context it is just bread and wine.”

    Could you expand on this? Are you saying that the instituted elements become un-instituted at some point? When does this happen and how do we know? Is it when the last congregate gets off his knees? When the Pastor concludes the service with the benediction. How does this square with Luther diving on the floor and licking up spilled wine? And, could you direct me to which Lutheran teachings you are referring to? I really want to get a better understanding of this point.

    tODD – you bring in the context of “given for you.” Obviously, that is the purpose of the Sacrament – it is a gift for us, but the Sacrament was given for all man kind. Your comment seems to suggest that when a pastor speaks the Words of Institution that the given for you becomes restricted to only those present in that particular place? In other words are you suggesting that the number of faithful folks in the pew limits the reached of the Sacrament? I am of the thinking that the only temporal limit of the Words of Insinuation was the amount of wine and bread on the alter, not the number of folks in the building. Am I reading your comment correctly?

    Thanks guys.

  • Tom Hering

    jwb, consubstantiation means the substance of Christ’s body is present alongside the substance of bread, which is also present. “Alongside” is definitely not in, with and under or sacramental union or “This [bread] IS My body [My flesh].” (Transubstantiation, of course, means the substance of bread is no longer present.)

  • Tom Hering

    jwb, consubstantiation means the substance of Christ’s body is present alongside the substance of bread, which is also present. “Alongside” is definitely not in, with and under or sacramental union or “This [bread] IS My body [My flesh].” (Transubstantiation, of course, means the substance of bread is no longer present.)

  • jwb

    @58, I think the common meaning of consubstantiation isn’t ‘alongside’ so much as it is ‘co-exist.’ The bread and wine remain present. The real presence somehow co-exists with these elements. But if there’s a division between the real presence and the elements, maybe ‘alongside’ fits, though it sounds awkward.
    I’m also curious why Lutherans admit the real presence, but not the divinity of Christ in the elements.

  • jwb

    @58, I think the common meaning of consubstantiation isn’t ‘alongside’ so much as it is ‘co-exist.’ The bread and wine remain present. The real presence somehow co-exists with these elements. But if there’s a division between the real presence and the elements, maybe ‘alongside’ fits, though it sounds awkward.
    I’m also curious why Lutherans admit the real presence, but not the divinity of Christ in the elements.

  • jwb

    “I’m also curious why Lutherans admit the real presence, but not the divinity of Christ in the elements.”

    In other words, if “This [bread] IS My body [My flesh].” isn’t it also true that “My body [My flesh] IS this [bread]‘? Which leads directly to Joe’s questions @57.

  • jwb

    “I’m also curious why Lutherans admit the real presence, but not the divinity of Christ in the elements.”

    In other words, if “This [bread] IS My body [My flesh].” isn’t it also true that “My body [My flesh] IS this [bread]‘? Which leads directly to Joe’s questions @57.

  • Tom Hering

    I think we’re seeing how the Reformed approach the Lord’s Supper with doubts. “But isn’t this …?” “But isn’t that …?” “But what if we turn it inside-out and upside-down and look at it that way?” Whereas Lutherans approach it with faith in the plain meaning of Christ’s words: with this bread I give you My body.

  • Tom Hering

    I think we’re seeing how the Reformed approach the Lord’s Supper with doubts. “But isn’t this …?” “But isn’t that …?” “But what if we turn it inside-out and upside-down and look at it that way?” Whereas Lutherans approach it with faith in the plain meaning of Christ’s words: with this bread I give you My body.

  • http://www.IndyOPC.org Larry Wilson

    Tom @ 61, would you please pity this doubting Thomas and do him the kindness, then, of explaining how translating “This is my body” into, “My body is present in, with, or under this bread” is approaching with faith the plain meaning of Christ’s words? How can that honestly be understood as saying the same thing twice?

    Is it not actually the case that just as the Reformed view has to interpret this in accord with its understanding of the sacramental union of the body and the bread, so also the Lutheran view has to interpret this in accord with its understanding of the sacramental union of the body and the bread. Thus, the alleged high ground of simply submitting to the plain meaning of Christ’s words is an illusion. Maybe the Roman Catholic view can make that claim (but only by doing violence to other teachings of Scripture), but I cannot see how the Lutheran view can.

  • http://www.IndyOPC.org Larry Wilson

    Tom @ 61, would you please pity this doubting Thomas and do him the kindness, then, of explaining how translating “This is my body” into, “My body is present in, with, or under this bread” is approaching with faith the plain meaning of Christ’s words? How can that honestly be understood as saying the same thing twice?

    Is it not actually the case that just as the Reformed view has to interpret this in accord with its understanding of the sacramental union of the body and the bread, so also the Lutheran view has to interpret this in accord with its understanding of the sacramental union of the body and the bread. Thus, the alleged high ground of simply submitting to the plain meaning of Christ’s words is an illusion. Maybe the Roman Catholic view can make that claim (but only by doing violence to other teachings of Scripture), but I cannot see how the Lutheran view can.

  • Tom Hering

    Larry Wilson, “sacramental union” and “in, with and under” aren’t meant as equivalents for Christ’s words. They’re descriptions of the words that, in argument, help us to refute the specifics in gross errors. They’re not explanations of the words. The way “It’s a non-living hardness” is an imperfect description of the words, “This is a stone,” but not an explanation of how stone is stone.

  • Tom Hering

    Larry Wilson, “sacramental union” and “in, with and under” aren’t meant as equivalents for Christ’s words. They’re descriptions of the words that, in argument, help us to refute the specifics in gross errors. They’re not explanations of the words. The way “It’s a non-living hardness” is an imperfect description of the words, “This is a stone,” but not an explanation of how stone is stone.

  • helen

    50 jwb June 15, 2010 at 5:59 pm
    Bror, in two churches in my city I’ve seen the undrunken wine poured from the cup onto the ground or back into the Manechevitz bottle and the uneated wafers put back into the bag for next time. Any wafer that falls to the floor is tossed.
    If the real presence was never in these elements, I see no problem with that. But wouldn’t one want to be sure, rather than claim it’s adiaphora?

    I have served on Altar Guild several places over the years. The education of those who work in the Sacristy varies greatly, despite the fact that CPH puts out a very good book on the subject!

    Our Pastors drink the remainder in the chalice at the end of the communion. The “little glasses” are a problem.
    We have emptied them into the chalice and poured it out on clean ground, in the absence of a piscina.
    Next the glasses and chalice are rinsed and that water is poured out. Finally everything is washed and dried.
    [Or if you've descended to plastic, it's discarded, but not before being rinsed.]

    I would like to think that the above is only needed by non Lutherans but in a long life, I’ve learned otherwise! :(

  • helen

    50 jwb June 15, 2010 at 5:59 pm
    Bror, in two churches in my city I’ve seen the undrunken wine poured from the cup onto the ground or back into the Manechevitz bottle and the uneated wafers put back into the bag for next time. Any wafer that falls to the floor is tossed.
    If the real presence was never in these elements, I see no problem with that. But wouldn’t one want to be sure, rather than claim it’s adiaphora?

    I have served on Altar Guild several places over the years. The education of those who work in the Sacristy varies greatly, despite the fact that CPH puts out a very good book on the subject!

    Our Pastors drink the remainder in the chalice at the end of the communion. The “little glasses” are a problem.
    We have emptied them into the chalice and poured it out on clean ground, in the absence of a piscina.
    Next the glasses and chalice are rinsed and that water is poured out. Finally everything is washed and dried.
    [Or if you've descended to plastic, it's discarded, but not before being rinsed.]

    I would like to think that the above is only needed by non Lutherans but in a long life, I’ve learned otherwise! :(

  • Bryan Lindemood

    Good instruction, Helen. Always good to review these things with the Altar Guild. And why do we do these things or similar practices? To minimize the burden to one’s conscience of a flippant attitude toward such things. The bread that is uneaten where I serve, is reserved for the Pastor’s use with the shut-ins of the congregation.

  • Bryan Lindemood

    Good instruction, Helen. Always good to review these things with the Altar Guild. And why do we do these things or similar practices? To minimize the burden to one’s conscience of a flippant attitude toward such things. The bread that is uneaten where I serve, is reserved for the Pastor’s use with the shut-ins of the congregation.

  • Joanne

    I saw something at #37 (Larry Wilson): “As the body and blood of Christ … are Spiritually [i.e., by the agency of the Holy Spirit] present to the faith of the receiver, no less truly and really …” and “Accordingly, of the Supper, John Calvin wrote: “It is a mystery of Christ’s secret union with the devout which is by nature incomprehensible.
    To a Lutheran, real presence means that the faith of the communicant and the faith of the dispensing pastor does not effect the presence of the body and blood of God. If the sacrament is performed properly and the word of God is applied to the physical elements, you have a sacramental union, during the time of the sacrament. If this is so, there is the real possibility that a non-believer can approach the altar and take the body and blood of God, which can be spiritually damaging to the unbeliever. Lutherans and all the Christians who distribute the body and blood of God from their family tables, are very careful about distribution issues.
    Would I be right in saying that the Reformed believe that faith is the channel for the body and blood of Christ in the Reformed sacrament and that an unbeliever could not take the body and blood of Christ at a Reformed altar? Would Mr. Leavitt find anything here worth discussing? Would this also effect the Reformed attitude toward distribution issues? Is communion a “secret union with the devout” no matter how big a crowd of strangers rushes the altars?

  • Joanne

    I saw something at #37 (Larry Wilson): “As the body and blood of Christ … are Spiritually [i.e., by the agency of the Holy Spirit] present to the faith of the receiver, no less truly and really …” and “Accordingly, of the Supper, John Calvin wrote: “It is a mystery of Christ’s secret union with the devout which is by nature incomprehensible.
    To a Lutheran, real presence means that the faith of the communicant and the faith of the dispensing pastor does not effect the presence of the body and blood of God. If the sacrament is performed properly and the word of God is applied to the physical elements, you have a sacramental union, during the time of the sacrament. If this is so, there is the real possibility that a non-believer can approach the altar and take the body and blood of God, which can be spiritually damaging to the unbeliever. Lutherans and all the Christians who distribute the body and blood of God from their family tables, are very careful about distribution issues.
    Would I be right in saying that the Reformed believe that faith is the channel for the body and blood of Christ in the Reformed sacrament and that an unbeliever could not take the body and blood of Christ at a Reformed altar? Would Mr. Leavitt find anything here worth discussing? Would this also effect the Reformed attitude toward distribution issues? Is communion a “secret union with the devout” no matter how big a crowd of strangers rushes the altars?

  • http://lutherama.blogspot.com Dr. Luther in the 21st Century

    @57
    Joe, your question is merely a question of how many angels can dance on the head of the pin question. At what point when and what happens or doesn’t happen is not a question that can be answered. All we can say is that which Christ Himself said “Take and eat, this is my body given for you …” no more, no less. Any thing else is pointless speculation.

    That said, even the words of institution should not be regarded as some magical incantation that cause the Body and Blood to be present, they serve as a reminder of the promise of what we are to receive.

  • http://lutherama.blogspot.com Dr. Luther in the 21st Century

    @57
    Joe, your question is merely a question of how many angels can dance on the head of the pin question. At what point when and what happens or doesn’t happen is not a question that can be answered. All we can say is that which Christ Himself said “Take and eat, this is my body given for you …” no more, no less. Any thing else is pointless speculation.

    That said, even the words of institution should not be regarded as some magical incantation that cause the Body and Blood to be present, they serve as a reminder of the promise of what we are to receive.

  • ptl

    Can anyone please explain why the Lord’s Supper and especially the Real Presence was not included in either the Apostle’s or Nicene Creeds? Baptism was, the Trinity was, the virgin birth and our Lord’s resurrection and ascension too, but nothing on the Last Supper, is that correct? Perhaps those authors did not feel a need to address issues of different interpretations like we have read today?

  • ptl

    Can anyone please explain why the Lord’s Supper and especially the Real Presence was not included in either the Apostle’s or Nicene Creeds? Baptism was, the Trinity was, the virgin birth and our Lord’s resurrection and ascension too, but nothing on the Last Supper, is that correct? Perhaps those authors did not feel a need to address issues of different interpretations like we have read today?

  • Steve Demlow

    Several posters have referenced the apparent practice in some Lutheran congregations of “throwing away” the leftover elements, presumably consecrated. I agree that this unfortunate practice can be seen as a (hopefully unwitting) denial of what the evangelical Lutheran church has always confessed. In our Lutheran congregation the consecrated elements are always completely consumed during the distribution. Our altar guild is conservative in allotting the elements to be initially consecrated, with the pastor consecrating more elements if needed during the distribution. We do not use individual/disposable cups. I greatly appreciate our pastor’s appreciation of not only the Biblical teaching on the Lord’s Supper but also how our practice reinforces (or denies) it, and his patient teaching of this to the congregation.

  • Steve Demlow

    Several posters have referenced the apparent practice in some Lutheran congregations of “throwing away” the leftover elements, presumably consecrated. I agree that this unfortunate practice can be seen as a (hopefully unwitting) denial of what the evangelical Lutheran church has always confessed. In our Lutheran congregation the consecrated elements are always completely consumed during the distribution. Our altar guild is conservative in allotting the elements to be initially consecrated, with the pastor consecrating more elements if needed during the distribution. We do not use individual/disposable cups. I greatly appreciate our pastor’s appreciation of not only the Biblical teaching on the Lord’s Supper but also how our practice reinforces (or denies) it, and his patient teaching of this to the congregation.

  • http://www.newreformationpress.com Patrick Kyle

    Both the RC view and the Reformed view deal with HOW the Lord’s Supper works by using Aristotelian(RC) and Platonic(Reformed) categories. Consubstantiation is a ploy to get the Lutherans to answer the ‘how’ question also. Scripture does not answer this question. It does however answer the question of what the LS is.

    The Reformed view that faith is required on the part of the recipient for it to be a ‘real’ Lord’s Supper, makes us the arbiter over the Lord’s body and blood and would make it impossible for anyone to eat and drink judgment upon themselves, because if they lack faith or believe incorrectly they are only receiving bread and wine.

  • http://www.newreformationpress.com Patrick Kyle

    Both the RC view and the Reformed view deal with HOW the Lord’s Supper works by using Aristotelian(RC) and Platonic(Reformed) categories. Consubstantiation is a ploy to get the Lutherans to answer the ‘how’ question also. Scripture does not answer this question. It does however answer the question of what the LS is.

    The Reformed view that faith is required on the part of the recipient for it to be a ‘real’ Lord’s Supper, makes us the arbiter over the Lord’s body and blood and would make it impossible for anyone to eat and drink judgment upon themselves, because if they lack faith or believe incorrectly they are only receiving bread and wine.

  • Kelly

    Ptl@68: I’m not entirely sure what you’re asking or suggesting. That because the doctrine of the Real Presence is not spelled out in the creeds, that it was deemed of lesser importance in the early church? An idea that there were as many different opinions on the nature of the Sacrament back then as there are today, but the authors of the creed felt the differences weren’t important enough to spell out? Can you be more specific with what you’re getting at?

    Mind, a confession of the Holy Spirit, holy catholic Church, the communion of saints, and the forgiveness of sins does have very important bearing on the nature of the Sacrament and our communion with God and each other.

  • Kelly

    Ptl@68: I’m not entirely sure what you’re asking or suggesting. That because the doctrine of the Real Presence is not spelled out in the creeds, that it was deemed of lesser importance in the early church? An idea that there were as many different opinions on the nature of the Sacrament back then as there are today, but the authors of the creed felt the differences weren’t important enough to spell out? Can you be more specific with what you’re getting at?

    Mind, a confession of the Holy Spirit, holy catholic Church, the communion of saints, and the forgiveness of sins does have very important bearing on the nature of the Sacrament and our communion with God and each other.

  • MikeR

    Joanne @66, You are correct, in the Reformed view an unbeliever who partakes receives only bread and wine. However, we do still believe that the unbeliever “eats and drinks judgment on himself,” and for that reason Reformed churches do fence the table.

  • MikeR

    Joanne @66, You are correct, in the Reformed view an unbeliever who partakes receives only bread and wine. However, we do still believe that the unbeliever “eats and drinks judgment on himself,” and for that reason Reformed churches do fence the table.

  • Joe

    DR.L21 – lets take it back a step then. Forget about the when. Do/can consecrated elements ever become unconsecrated? You stated that there is a specific Lutheran teaching on that the sacramental union is temporary consecration:

    @ 32 : “It is explicitly stated in Lutheran teaching that the sacramental union is temporary and only in the context of participation in the sacrament as instituted. Outside of that context it is just bread and wine.”

    What teaching are you referring to? I want to figure this out and if you are going to actually the questions raised by your earlier statement, at least point to a resource.

  • Joe

    DR.L21 – lets take it back a step then. Forget about the when. Do/can consecrated elements ever become unconsecrated? You stated that there is a specific Lutheran teaching on that the sacramental union is temporary consecration:

    @ 32 : “It is explicitly stated in Lutheran teaching that the sacramental union is temporary and only in the context of participation in the sacrament as instituted. Outside of that context it is just bread and wine.”

    What teaching are you referring to? I want to figure this out and if you are going to actually the questions raised by your earlier statement, at least point to a resource.

  • Larry

    Peter,

    It is not ever an issue of “I don’t like you and you don’t like me”. Nor is the issue “I’m right and your wrong or vice versa.” The form of your arguments is exactly the same form of argument that a pagan might make for Christians in general “being too narrow minded about Jesus being the only way, truth and light…why not just have a merciful god revealed via other ways. Why do you insist on Jesus alone, why so unloving, why so narrowly dogmatic, why so polemical…blah, blah, blah” (goes the argument/approach). After all pagan religions only differ with us on content no less than Calvin did with Luther.

    The issue is the Gospel make no mistake about it. “This sacrament is the Gospel” is not just some toss away catch phrase, it is literal and any alteration of that sacrament is of necessity an alteration of the Gospel. And the Gospel, that is to say the Cross and Christ crucified for us is by its very nature polemical.

    Again, its not an issue of “I’m right you are wrong or vice versa”. You need to understand the nature of the warfare at hand, how Satan vexes and leads men astray, drives to despair. That’s why Luther said one needs to confess it as is TO STRENGTHEN the brethren. Orthodoxy is OBLIGATED to speak, teach and confess the truth for those under her care and when it does, confesses this Gospel, it is polemical by nature. Is that truth going to be saying that this other thing is false, you bet it will. Is truth going to call a spade a spade, that it is antichristic, etc…absolutely.

    Words mean and do things, they either strengthen faith or seek to destroy it, nourish it or persecute it. Oh yes persecution is more than just the sword. All persecution is designed to unhinge believing the Word of God and most critically the “for me” and actual forgiveness of sin that the Gospel yields. Paul calls something as simple as laughter (at the promise) in Galatians (Ishmael to Isaac) persecution. Men and women who are given by their pastors the forgiveness of sin actually and really and are taught to BELIEVE this forgiveness is from God (whether in baptism, absolution or the Lord’s Supper) who hear of laughter or doctrines that deny or make them doubt it receive the trial and persecutions that THAT doctrine brings, another word, another gospel, another spirit that is in fact an antichristic docrtrine (because it attacks not aids the real Gospel). And all the more that it comes from otherwise fine men who are good and believable. Nothing so assails faith as that does. And THAT is what Luther was getting at in his quote regarding silence in particular and the battle in general over this sacrament and the other.

    So yes the Gospel IS polemical by its very nature, it is a war against the false doctrine in every sense. Whether it paganism or Calvin’s supper.

    It is not a neutral endeavor at all, it’s not an aloof academic exercise of debate amid a bunch of ivory tower pipe smoking thinkers (nothing wrong with that by the way), words against this sacrament (and the other) are not things about which we may “agree to disagree” or “we are just talking past each other”. The “other views” on the sacrament are not “some gospel” (just missing Luther’s part). There’s no such thing as “some gospel”. They are the Gospel, its full content from top to bottom and it has the critical element of “I God/Christ forgive YOU Peter/Larry/etc…in particular” not just in history 2000 years ago now aloof to you…I God baptize your body, put my body and blood in YOUR mouth, the same body and blood shed for the forgiveness of YOUR sins.” It is Christ incarnate STILL coming all the way down to us and saying to us very personally like the prostitute, “your sins which are many are forgiven”. Because we don’t easily retain that. We live in the ever present with sins behind us in the past and coming in front of us in the future, but most of all RIGHT NOW in the ever ticking present tense. So absolving incarnate Word comes to us REAL time, EVER present to say “forgiven”. And that is why baptism, absolution and the Lord’s Supper are by their very essence the Gospel. That’s why the battle is there and, yes again, it is by its very nature polemical. Other “views” on the sacraments are not Christian “options”, they are false views, satanic, other gospels, other christs and other spirits. That is not saying people in such are not Christians, but that the doctrines are antiChristic and they need to get out as much as any of us need to get out of them and leave them behind (which John, by the way whom you quote states rather polemically in his second letter). This is the same John that would not even bathe with one of the Gnostic heretics of his time for fear of the building coming down upon them. One of the first formal heresies regarding the deity of Christ via the Gnostics of that day hinged upon nothing more than one single word in the Nicene Creed, same versus similar. The Gnostics, who otherwise confessed Christ as the only way, truth and life chose “similar”. “Is” as in “this is My body/blood….” is not a neutral issue at all. All forms of Gnosticism whether they be gross forms that a pagan could discern or more subtle forms always reveal themselves in their doctrine down the road as Christ “for me” becomes removed. For some of the Gnostics of old Christ as a similar but not God dies for man (which kills and persecutes faith that believes it was God that died for me). Similarly, it is no mere accident that Calvin’s doctrine on the supper begets his version of absolution which is no absolution at all, no real forgiveness given. It is no mere coincident that the more Zwinglian inheritors of his pure sign/symbol doctrine, some Reformed and all baptist, have absolutely no absolution to and for the man in particular in their doctrine or churches. That’s why starving to death Christians in their churches anxiously walk the aisle “one more time”, because they are DYING literally to hear “I Christ/God forgive you Bob/in particular”. They are dying for it that’s why they walk the aisle time and time and time again. But there will be no true pastor their to give it to them, not in absolution, not in baptism, not in their false supper…just Gnostic “elevate your minds and faith”. No warm hand of God via the pastor putting the flesh and blood of Christ which was given and shed for them into their mouths so they can have it as there’s, possess it as there’s, know it is there’s, eat and drink it and live (where there IS IN FACT FOR REAL AND TRUTH forgiveness of sins, there IS IN FACT FOR REAL AND TRUTH life and salvation, literally, the reversal of the source of death…sin itself!).

    This is why its not a “neutral issue”.

  • Larry

    Peter,

    It is not ever an issue of “I don’t like you and you don’t like me”. Nor is the issue “I’m right and your wrong or vice versa.” The form of your arguments is exactly the same form of argument that a pagan might make for Christians in general “being too narrow minded about Jesus being the only way, truth and light…why not just have a merciful god revealed via other ways. Why do you insist on Jesus alone, why so unloving, why so narrowly dogmatic, why so polemical…blah, blah, blah” (goes the argument/approach). After all pagan religions only differ with us on content no less than Calvin did with Luther.

    The issue is the Gospel make no mistake about it. “This sacrament is the Gospel” is not just some toss away catch phrase, it is literal and any alteration of that sacrament is of necessity an alteration of the Gospel. And the Gospel, that is to say the Cross and Christ crucified for us is by its very nature polemical.

    Again, its not an issue of “I’m right you are wrong or vice versa”. You need to understand the nature of the warfare at hand, how Satan vexes and leads men astray, drives to despair. That’s why Luther said one needs to confess it as is TO STRENGTHEN the brethren. Orthodoxy is OBLIGATED to speak, teach and confess the truth for those under her care and when it does, confesses this Gospel, it is polemical by nature. Is that truth going to be saying that this other thing is false, you bet it will. Is truth going to call a spade a spade, that it is antichristic, etc…absolutely.

    Words mean and do things, they either strengthen faith or seek to destroy it, nourish it or persecute it. Oh yes persecution is more than just the sword. All persecution is designed to unhinge believing the Word of God and most critically the “for me” and actual forgiveness of sin that the Gospel yields. Paul calls something as simple as laughter (at the promise) in Galatians (Ishmael to Isaac) persecution. Men and women who are given by their pastors the forgiveness of sin actually and really and are taught to BELIEVE this forgiveness is from God (whether in baptism, absolution or the Lord’s Supper) who hear of laughter or doctrines that deny or make them doubt it receive the trial and persecutions that THAT doctrine brings, another word, another gospel, another spirit that is in fact an antichristic docrtrine (because it attacks not aids the real Gospel). And all the more that it comes from otherwise fine men who are good and believable. Nothing so assails faith as that does. And THAT is what Luther was getting at in his quote regarding silence in particular and the battle in general over this sacrament and the other.

    So yes the Gospel IS polemical by its very nature, it is a war against the false doctrine in every sense. Whether it paganism or Calvin’s supper.

    It is not a neutral endeavor at all, it’s not an aloof academic exercise of debate amid a bunch of ivory tower pipe smoking thinkers (nothing wrong with that by the way), words against this sacrament (and the other) are not things about which we may “agree to disagree” or “we are just talking past each other”. The “other views” on the sacrament are not “some gospel” (just missing Luther’s part). There’s no such thing as “some gospel”. They are the Gospel, its full content from top to bottom and it has the critical element of “I God/Christ forgive YOU Peter/Larry/etc…in particular” not just in history 2000 years ago now aloof to you…I God baptize your body, put my body and blood in YOUR mouth, the same body and blood shed for the forgiveness of YOUR sins.” It is Christ incarnate STILL coming all the way down to us and saying to us very personally like the prostitute, “your sins which are many are forgiven”. Because we don’t easily retain that. We live in the ever present with sins behind us in the past and coming in front of us in the future, but most of all RIGHT NOW in the ever ticking present tense. So absolving incarnate Word comes to us REAL time, EVER present to say “forgiven”. And that is why baptism, absolution and the Lord’s Supper are by their very essence the Gospel. That’s why the battle is there and, yes again, it is by its very nature polemical. Other “views” on the sacraments are not Christian “options”, they are false views, satanic, other gospels, other christs and other spirits. That is not saying people in such are not Christians, but that the doctrines are antiChristic and they need to get out as much as any of us need to get out of them and leave them behind (which John, by the way whom you quote states rather polemically in his second letter). This is the same John that would not even bathe with one of the Gnostic heretics of his time for fear of the building coming down upon them. One of the first formal heresies regarding the deity of Christ via the Gnostics of that day hinged upon nothing more than one single word in the Nicene Creed, same versus similar. The Gnostics, who otherwise confessed Christ as the only way, truth and life chose “similar”. “Is” as in “this is My body/blood….” is not a neutral issue at all. All forms of Gnosticism whether they be gross forms that a pagan could discern or more subtle forms always reveal themselves in their doctrine down the road as Christ “for me” becomes removed. For some of the Gnostics of old Christ as a similar but not God dies for man (which kills and persecutes faith that believes it was God that died for me). Similarly, it is no mere accident that Calvin’s doctrine on the supper begets his version of absolution which is no absolution at all, no real forgiveness given. It is no mere coincident that the more Zwinglian inheritors of his pure sign/symbol doctrine, some Reformed and all baptist, have absolutely no absolution to and for the man in particular in their doctrine or churches. That’s why starving to death Christians in their churches anxiously walk the aisle “one more time”, because they are DYING literally to hear “I Christ/God forgive you Bob/in particular”. They are dying for it that’s why they walk the aisle time and time and time again. But there will be no true pastor their to give it to them, not in absolution, not in baptism, not in their false supper…just Gnostic “elevate your minds and faith”. No warm hand of God via the pastor putting the flesh and blood of Christ which was given and shed for them into their mouths so they can have it as there’s, possess it as there’s, know it is there’s, eat and drink it and live (where there IS IN FACT FOR REAL AND TRUTH forgiveness of sins, there IS IN FACT FOR REAL AND TRUTH life and salvation, literally, the reversal of the source of death…sin itself!).

    This is why its not a “neutral issue”.

  • http://www.utah-lutheran.blogspot.com Bror Erickson

    hwb@50
    so you admit that they don’t throw it in the trash. I believe the women probably pour it on the ground in a garden because they believe that would be better than washing it down the drain and mixing it with the contents of the sewer.

  • http://www.utah-lutheran.blogspot.com Bror Erickson

    hwb@50
    so you admit that they don’t throw it in the trash. I believe the women probably pour it on the ground in a garden because they believe that would be better than washing it down the drain and mixing it with the contents of the sewer.

  • http://www.utah-lutheran.blogspot.com Bror Erickson

    Jwb@60
    “I’m also curious why Lutherans admit the real presence, but not the divinity of Christ in the elements.”

    In other words, if “This [bread] IS My body [My flesh].” isn’t it also true that “My body [My flesh] IS this [bread]‘? Which leads directly to Joe’s questions @57.”

    What? Lutherans do not separate the hypostatic union of the two natures of Christ. Where he is he is there according to both natures, human and divine. Could I ask that you educate yourself, or ask your questions in a more charitable manner, rather than in a manner that accuses us of believing things we do not believe, and not believing things we do?

  • http://www.utah-lutheran.blogspot.com Bror Erickson

    Jwb@60
    “I’m also curious why Lutherans admit the real presence, but not the divinity of Christ in the elements.”

    In other words, if “This [bread] IS My body [My flesh].” isn’t it also true that “My body [My flesh] IS this [bread]‘? Which leads directly to Joe’s questions @57.”

    What? Lutherans do not separate the hypostatic union of the two natures of Christ. Where he is he is there according to both natures, human and divine. Could I ask that you educate yourself, or ask your questions in a more charitable manner, rather than in a manner that accuses us of believing things we do not believe, and not believing things we do?

  • http://lutherama.blogspot.com Dr. Luther in 21st Century

    @73 Again you are asking how many angels. Don’t you get it? As a Lutheran I am not going to say more about Communion than what Christ says. I am not going to engage in pointless sophistry. If this disappoints you get used to it. Any Lutheran worth their salt is going to say the same thing.

  • http://lutherama.blogspot.com Dr. Luther in 21st Century

    @73 Again you are asking how many angels. Don’t you get it? As a Lutheran I am not going to say more about Communion than what Christ says. I am not going to engage in pointless sophistry. If this disappoints you get used to it. Any Lutheran worth their salt is going to say the same thing.

  • Joe

    DR.L21C – why the anger? All I want you to do is point me to the teaching you referenced in comment 32. I admit my last post was sans coffee and a little less coherent than I had hoped. Here is my question (and I am not talking about more than scripture):

    In the Words of Institution Christ says “This is my body.” You suggested that this is only temporary. I don’t see that in these words and I would like to understand your position. Just tell me what to read. What Lutheran teaching were you referencing in 32? Help a guy out.

    And as far as whether I am a Lutheran worth my salt, please let me know when it became inappropriate for a Lutheran to ask ‘What does this mean?”

  • Joe

    DR.L21C – why the anger? All I want you to do is point me to the teaching you referenced in comment 32. I admit my last post was sans coffee and a little less coherent than I had hoped. Here is my question (and I am not talking about more than scripture):

    In the Words of Institution Christ says “This is my body.” You suggested that this is only temporary. I don’t see that in these words and I would like to understand your position. Just tell me what to read. What Lutheran teaching were you referencing in 32? Help a guy out.

    And as far as whether I am a Lutheran worth my salt, please let me know when it became inappropriate for a Lutheran to ask ‘What does this mean?”

  • http://www.utah-lutheran.blogspot.com Bror Erickson

    Joe,
    perhaps I can help you here. Jesus gave us his body to be eaten, He gave us his blood to be drunk. He did not give it to us to be worshiped in and of itself, carried in parades, prayed to etc. So Lutherans believe whatever else circumstances may require, the elements are for eating and drinking, nothing more, nothing less.

  • http://www.utah-lutheran.blogspot.com Bror Erickson

    Joe,
    perhaps I can help you here. Jesus gave us his body to be eaten, He gave us his blood to be drunk. He did not give it to us to be worshiped in and of itself, carried in parades, prayed to etc. So Lutherans believe whatever else circumstances may require, the elements are for eating and drinking, nothing more, nothing less.

  • Tom Hering
  • Tom Hering
  • Joe

    Bror – I don’t disagree with anything you have said and I don’t want to revive the Corpus Christi procession by any means. I know why they are given. All I am really trying to figure out is what happens to the elements that are not consumed at the Holy Meal. Do they stop being the body and blood simply because they are left overs? Some here have suggested they have. I am not understanding how we get to that conclusion. I am not even saying it is wrong, I just want to try to understand what I have been told is a Lutheran teaching.

    Tom – thanks for that; it helps some.

  • Joe

    Bror – I don’t disagree with anything you have said and I don’t want to revive the Corpus Christi procession by any means. I know why they are given. All I am really trying to figure out is what happens to the elements that are not consumed at the Holy Meal. Do they stop being the body and blood simply because they are left overs? Some here have suggested they have. I am not understanding how we get to that conclusion. I am not even saying it is wrong, I just want to try to understand what I have been told is a Lutheran teaching.

    Tom – thanks for that; it helps some.

  • Larry

    Joe,

    A great book on this and he discusses it at length is Sasse’s “This Is My Body”. It’s pretty inexpensive and well worth the money and effort.

    In it he pretty much discusses all the issues you bring up.

    I hope that helps.

    Larry

  • Larry

    Joe,

    A great book on this and he discusses it at length is Sasse’s “This Is My Body”. It’s pretty inexpensive and well worth the money and effort.

    In it he pretty much discusses all the issues you bring up.

    I hope that helps.

    Larry

  • Joe

    Thanks Larry.

  • Joe

    Thanks Larry.

  • Tom Hering

    “All I am really trying to figure out is what happens to the elements that are not consumed at the Holy Meal. Do they stop being the body and blood simply because they are left overs?”

    Joe, I think this is the relevant statement from the article I linked to:

    “Fifth, if there is no reservation, the question of what the elements are apart from the use, which ‘disturb the simplicity of the doctrine and faith concerning the Eucharist,’ is avoided.” (Page 15 of the pdf.)

  • Tom Hering

    “All I am really trying to figure out is what happens to the elements that are not consumed at the Holy Meal. Do they stop being the body and blood simply because they are left overs?”

    Joe, I think this is the relevant statement from the article I linked to:

    “Fifth, if there is no reservation, the question of what the elements are apart from the use, which ‘disturb the simplicity of the doctrine and faith concerning the Eucharist,’ is avoided.” (Page 15 of the pdf.)

  • Joe

    Tom, I agree with you that if we don’t reserve then we don’t have to answer the question. But I don’t think it goes so far as to says that is is okay to toss them into the trash can and not answer the question. I think the implied alternative in the article is to consume the left over elements. I am going to try to track down the book Larry referenced.

  • Joe

    Tom, I agree with you that if we don’t reserve then we don’t have to answer the question. But I don’t think it goes so far as to says that is is okay to toss them into the trash can and not answer the question. I think the implied alternative in the article is to consume the left over elements. I am going to try to track down the book Larry referenced.

  • Bryan Lindemood

    I am also uncomfortable with “trashing” the bread and wine left over from the sacrament, whether or not the words of institution were technically said over them when the lid was off. I think the thing to do which with good teaching can address the consciences of all those around the supper (serving and/or receiving) is to consume them (privately – for even this will offend some) or to reserve them for later, only for the use they are given: Holy Communion. At the church where I serve we do a little of both actually. In my practice sometimes it is a comfort for the shut-in that this bread and/or wine comes from the same table that they were not able to go to themselves, and even then, I speak the words of institution over the elements again so that the person there before me also hears these very important Words of Jesus also for their comfort. Does that “reconsecrate” these elements? I have no idea. But I leave those logistics to the Lord. I trust Him as I try the best I can to distribute His gift of Christ’s body and blood for His people to eat and to drink for the forgiveness of sins. Someone please inform me if the practice I’ve described is not right, but this is where we have ended up in practice in struggling with these very good questions. Peace.

  • Bryan Lindemood

    I am also uncomfortable with “trashing” the bread and wine left over from the sacrament, whether or not the words of institution were technically said over them when the lid was off. I think the thing to do which with good teaching can address the consciences of all those around the supper (serving and/or receiving) is to consume them (privately – for even this will offend some) or to reserve them for later, only for the use they are given: Holy Communion. At the church where I serve we do a little of both actually. In my practice sometimes it is a comfort for the shut-in that this bread and/or wine comes from the same table that they were not able to go to themselves, and even then, I speak the words of institution over the elements again so that the person there before me also hears these very important Words of Jesus also for their comfort. Does that “reconsecrate” these elements? I have no idea. But I leave those logistics to the Lord. I trust Him as I try the best I can to distribute His gift of Christ’s body and blood for His people to eat and to drink for the forgiveness of sins. Someone please inform me if the practice I’ve described is not right, but this is where we have ended up in practice in struggling with these very good questions. Peace.

  • Tom Hering

    “I think the implied alternative in the article is to consume the left over elements.” – @ 85.

    Joe, I think what is stated rather than implied in the article, is that we have no command or example in Scripture about this matter. So let each one do as his conscience dictates, and let no one bind the conscience of another with an extra-Biblical tradition. Further, let no one distort the simplicity of the Sacrament, or trouble the simple faith of others (regarding the Sacrament), by continually raising questions that have no Scriptural answers.

  • Tom Hering

    “I think the implied alternative in the article is to consume the left over elements.” – @ 85.

    Joe, I think what is stated rather than implied in the article, is that we have no command or example in Scripture about this matter. So let each one do as his conscience dictates, and let no one bind the conscience of another with an extra-Biblical tradition. Further, let no one distort the simplicity of the Sacrament, or trouble the simple faith of others (regarding the Sacrament), by continually raising questions that have no Scriptural answers.

  • http://www.utah-lutheran.blogspot.com Bror Erickson

    Bryan,
    I too like the idea of consuming the elements consecrated in Sunday’s Divine Service, if there are any left over, with those who cannot make it. I too say the words again, and consecrate or reconsecrate, leaving that to the Lord. Perhaps it is sheer romantic symbolism that we are eating from the same table, making it an expression of the fact that they are still part of the communion of the local congregation. I don’t know. I also make it a habit to commune with them, so that at least one person who communed at the table on Sunday, is communing with them in their home. Though the reality is much greater than all that, in that we are communing with all the saints, company of heaven, angels and archangels. But I think it does help the people realize they are still connected to the congregation when they don’t have to commune alone.

  • http://www.utah-lutheran.blogspot.com Bror Erickson

    Bryan,
    I too like the idea of consuming the elements consecrated in Sunday’s Divine Service, if there are any left over, with those who cannot make it. I too say the words again, and consecrate or reconsecrate, leaving that to the Lord. Perhaps it is sheer romantic symbolism that we are eating from the same table, making it an expression of the fact that they are still part of the communion of the local congregation. I don’t know. I also make it a habit to commune with them, so that at least one person who communed at the table on Sunday, is communing with them in their home. Though the reality is much greater than all that, in that we are communing with all the saints, company of heaven, angels and archangels. But I think it does help the people realize they are still connected to the congregation when they don’t have to commune alone.

  • jwb

    Here’s my conclusion.
    This is one of those topics about which Lutherans can talk to each other but not very well to Christians outside the conservative synods.
    There’s an insular feature of these synods that may explain why American Lutheran theological works seldom break into the larger Christian world. Or if you hear from Lutherans, like Ron Rosenbladt, it’s only when they fit nicely with Reformed writers like Michael Horton.
    Historically, Lutherans have jealously kept themselves apart, hoping to avoid seeming too similar to either the Roman Catholic/Orthodox or the Calvinists/evangelicals. But the results are synods that neither evangelize nonChristians adults well nor mix easily with nonLutheran Christians, except when the topic is not Lutheran theology.

  • jwb

    Here’s my conclusion.
    This is one of those topics about which Lutherans can talk to each other but not very well to Christians outside the conservative synods.
    There’s an insular feature of these synods that may explain why American Lutheran theological works seldom break into the larger Christian world. Or if you hear from Lutherans, like Ron Rosenbladt, it’s only when they fit nicely with Reformed writers like Michael Horton.
    Historically, Lutherans have jealously kept themselves apart, hoping to avoid seeming too similar to either the Roman Catholic/Orthodox or the Calvinists/evangelicals. But the results are synods that neither evangelize nonChristians adults well nor mix easily with nonLutheran Christians, except when the topic is not Lutheran theology.

  • http://www.utah-lutheran.blogspot.com Bror Erickson

    jwb,
    I don’t think it is that we can’t talk to those outside our conservative synods. We do at times, and do so very well.
    But there is strong prejudice against the Lutheran Confession among the reformed, who sometimes strike me as if they feel betrayed by us. And long story short, for the most part it is a case of “I’m not listening!” Lutherans buy reformed books, reformed don’t buy Lutheran books, then they complain that they can’t find any.

  • http://www.utah-lutheran.blogspot.com Bror Erickson

    jwb,
    I don’t think it is that we can’t talk to those outside our conservative synods. We do at times, and do so very well.
    But there is strong prejudice against the Lutheran Confession among the reformed, who sometimes strike me as if they feel betrayed by us. And long story short, for the most part it is a case of “I’m not listening!” Lutherans buy reformed books, reformed don’t buy Lutheran books, then they complain that they can’t find any.

  • Tom Hering

    “There’s an insular feature of these synods that may explain why American Lutheran theological works seldom break into the larger Christian world.” – jwb @ 89.

    Or, it’s because these works are distinctively Lutheran, and the larger Christian world is not Lutheran at all. Is it our fault other Christians are wrong about some particulars of the Christian faith? No. :-(

    “But the results are synods that neither evangelize nonChristians adults well nor mix easily with nonLutheran Christians, except when the topic is not Lutheran theology.” – jbw @ 89.

    What statistics are you using to say Lutherans don’t evangelize well? What about retention of converts? As for our not playing well with others when it comes to discussing Lutheran theology – well, who’s playing? We’re serious. :-)

  • Tom Hering

    “There’s an insular feature of these synods that may explain why American Lutheran theological works seldom break into the larger Christian world.” – jwb @ 89.

    Or, it’s because these works are distinctively Lutheran, and the larger Christian world is not Lutheran at all. Is it our fault other Christians are wrong about some particulars of the Christian faith? No. :-(

    “But the results are synods that neither evangelize nonChristians adults well nor mix easily with nonLutheran Christians, except when the topic is not Lutheran theology.” – jbw @ 89.

    What statistics are you using to say Lutherans don’t evangelize well? What about retention of converts? As for our not playing well with others when it comes to discussing Lutheran theology – well, who’s playing? We’re serious. :-)

  • Bryan Lindemood

    I take exception to your conclusive assertions jwb @ 89. Three adults are being baptized into the Christian Faith through the ministry of the congregation I serve this coming weekend. And there is more joy in heaven over that than any Christian Pastor ever deserves to be a part of. But that’s the Word of the Lord for you – always bringing beautiful things into existence out of nothing. Sweet!

  • Bryan Lindemood

    I take exception to your conclusive assertions jwb @ 89. Three adults are being baptized into the Christian Faith through the ministry of the congregation I serve this coming weekend. And there is more joy in heaven over that than any Christian Pastor ever deserves to be a part of. But that’s the Word of the Lord for you – always bringing beautiful things into existence out of nothing. Sweet!

  • Larry Wilson

    If anyone here is willing to listen to another nonLutheran perspective, it seems to me that JWB @ 89 is close to the target. Does not even this dialogue demonstrate that our Lutheran brethren find it difficult to interact charitably with friendly inquirers *on their own turf*?

  • Larry Wilson

    If anyone here is willing to listen to another nonLutheran perspective, it seems to me that JWB @ 89 is close to the target. Does not even this dialogue demonstrate that our Lutheran brethren find it difficult to interact charitably with friendly inquirers *on their own turf*?

  • Tom Hering

    Larry Wilson @ 93, of what does our lack of charity consist? Calling error “error”? Pointing out the dangers of such? What? No one – no one – here has said that non-Lutherans aren’t Christians. This, in and of itself, is extremely charitable, considering how wrong you guys are about some things. :-P

  • Tom Hering

    Larry Wilson @ 93, of what does our lack of charity consist? Calling error “error”? Pointing out the dangers of such? What? No one – no one – here has said that non-Lutherans aren’t Christians. This, in and of itself, is extremely charitable, considering how wrong you guys are about some things. :-P

  • MikeR

    Tom @94, Maybe not in so many words, but some here have strongly implied that non-Lutherans might not be Christians. For example, Larry @3 said used the phrase “fallen reason…as ridden and dictated by Satan” in attacking my comments contra the Lutheran view.
    Bror @43 called the Reformed view “a direct assault on the divinity of Jesus” and said that on this issue Lutherans cannot “merely disagree”.

    Overall, the attitude of some Lutherans on this thread has been something like: “I’m not interpreting the text, I’m just reading what it says. You Reformed are denying the clear words of Jesus.” It’s the same attitude Arminians take with John 3:16: “It says ‘whosoever believes’! That must mean people aren’t elected, I’m just reading the text.”

    Everyone(!!) interprets the text. Your interpretation may be right, and mine may be wrong, and it’s fine if you say so, but to basically claim that you can go from the words of Christ to the Lutheran view without any fallible interpretation involved is arrogance disguised as humility, not to mention uncharitable.

  • MikeR

    Tom @94, Maybe not in so many words, but some here have strongly implied that non-Lutherans might not be Christians. For example, Larry @3 said used the phrase “fallen reason…as ridden and dictated by Satan” in attacking my comments contra the Lutheran view.
    Bror @43 called the Reformed view “a direct assault on the divinity of Jesus” and said that on this issue Lutherans cannot “merely disagree”.

    Overall, the attitude of some Lutherans on this thread has been something like: “I’m not interpreting the text, I’m just reading what it says. You Reformed are denying the clear words of Jesus.” It’s the same attitude Arminians take with John 3:16: “It says ‘whosoever believes’! That must mean people aren’t elected, I’m just reading the text.”

    Everyone(!!) interprets the text. Your interpretation may be right, and mine may be wrong, and it’s fine if you say so, but to basically claim that you can go from the words of Christ to the Lutheran view without any fallible interpretation involved is arrogance disguised as humility, not to mention uncharitable.

  • http://www.utah-lutheran.blogspot.com Bror Erickson

    By the way, jbw, it is Rod Rosenbladt, and if you knew him as I do, and ever been in on many conversations with the man, you would realize that he gives the reformed very few if any passes. It is to Michale Hortons credit that he is just a bit more thick skinned than many other reformed out there, and can see his conversation with Rod for what it is, honest.
    As for evangelizing adults? Well, Bryan and I are both in Utah, and both of our congregations see a fair amount of adult converts. Now other denominations often see the “conversion” of mainline protestant to their sect as being evangelism. More and more I am beginning to think that perhaps we should be actively seeking to pluck families out of these “christian” communions too. But normally we try to be charitable and consider them Christian if they believe in the Triune God, and concentrate on getting those who do not have a church affiliation, or belong to a cult.

  • http://www.utah-lutheran.blogspot.com Bror Erickson

    By the way, jbw, it is Rod Rosenbladt, and if you knew him as I do, and ever been in on many conversations with the man, you would realize that he gives the reformed very few if any passes. It is to Michale Hortons credit that he is just a bit more thick skinned than many other reformed out there, and can see his conversation with Rod for what it is, honest.
    As for evangelizing adults? Well, Bryan and I are both in Utah, and both of our congregations see a fair amount of adult converts. Now other denominations often see the “conversion” of mainline protestant to their sect as being evangelism. More and more I am beginning to think that perhaps we should be actively seeking to pluck families out of these “christian” communions too. But normally we try to be charitable and consider them Christian if they believe in the Triune God, and concentrate on getting those who do not have a church affiliation, or belong to a cult.

  • Larry Wilson

    “Of what does our lack of charity consist? ” — Tom Hering @ 94. At first, I wasn’t going to answer because I wondered if it was a sincere question. But then it occurred to me that I was being uncharitable in thinking that way. So let me start by admitting that I need to ask myself that question as much as (perhaps more than) anyone else does.

    But let’s think of it in light of the Golden Rule. First, if someone accuses your view of being in error, even in serious error, will you not want your accuser at least to be able accurately to state your view (Prov. 18:13)? Second, if you attempt to understand your accuser’s reason for deeming you be be in such serious error and thus you ask some questions, will you not want them to try to answer your questions? Third, will you not hope that your accuser will critique your view rather than insult your person? I perceive this conversation to have shortcomings on all three counts.

    Nevertheless, I am thankful for you brethren. You are by no means apathetic! And I rejoice to hear of the evangelistic fruit in the last few posts. By the way, Bror, if it gives you any encouragement, this “Calvinist” is presently reading *Concordia: The Lutheran Confessions: A Reader’s Edition of the Book of Concord.* And I did order the book that Dr. Veith referenced, and I do intend to read that. Cheers, and adieu (for now).

  • Larry Wilson

    “Of what does our lack of charity consist? ” — Tom Hering @ 94. At first, I wasn’t going to answer because I wondered if it was a sincere question. But then it occurred to me that I was being uncharitable in thinking that way. So let me start by admitting that I need to ask myself that question as much as (perhaps more than) anyone else does.

    But let’s think of it in light of the Golden Rule. First, if someone accuses your view of being in error, even in serious error, will you not want your accuser at least to be able accurately to state your view (Prov. 18:13)? Second, if you attempt to understand your accuser’s reason for deeming you be be in such serious error and thus you ask some questions, will you not want them to try to answer your questions? Third, will you not hope that your accuser will critique your view rather than insult your person? I perceive this conversation to have shortcomings on all three counts.

    Nevertheless, I am thankful for you brethren. You are by no means apathetic! And I rejoice to hear of the evangelistic fruit in the last few posts. By the way, Bror, if it gives you any encouragement, this “Calvinist” is presently reading *Concordia: The Lutheran Confessions: A Reader’s Edition of the Book of Concord.* And I did order the book that Dr. Veith referenced, and I do intend to read that. Cheers, and adieu (for now).

  • http://lutherama.blogspot.com Dr. Luther in 21st Century

    @78

    My apologies

    From the Solid Declaration of the Formula of Concord “Holy Supper”

    85] [Let us now come also to the second point, of which mention was made a little before.] To preserve this true Christian doctrine concerning the Holy Supper, and to avoid and abolish
    manifold idolatrous abuses and perversions of this testament, the following useful rule and standard has been derived from the words of institution: Nihil habet rationem sacramenti extra
    usum a Christo institutum (“Nothing has the nature of a sacrament apart from the use instituted by Christ”) or extra actionem divinitus institutam (“apart from the action divinely instituted”). That is: If the institution of Christ be not observed as He appointed it, there is no sacrament. This is by no means to be rejected, but can and should be urged and maintained with profit in the
    Church of God. 86] And the use or action here does not mean chiefly faith, neither the oral participation only, but the entire external, visible action of the Lord’s Supper instituted by Christ,
    [to this indeed is required] the consecration, or words of institution, the distribution and reception, or oral partaking [manducation] of the consecrated bread and wine, [likewise the
    partaking] of the body and blood of Christ. 87] And apart from this use, when in the papistic mass the bread is not distributed, but offered up or enclosed, borne about, and exhibited for
    adoration, it is to be regarded as no sacrament; just as the water of baptism, when used to consecrate bells or to cure leprosy, or otherwise exhibited for worship, is no sacrament or baptism. For against such papistic abuses this rule has been set up at the beginning [of the reviving Gospel], and has been explained by Dr. Luther himself, Tom. IV, Jena.

  • http://lutherama.blogspot.com Dr. Luther in 21st Century

    @78

    My apologies

    From the Solid Declaration of the Formula of Concord “Holy Supper”

    85] [Let us now come also to the second point, of which mention was made a little before.] To preserve this true Christian doctrine concerning the Holy Supper, and to avoid and abolish
    manifold idolatrous abuses and perversions of this testament, the following useful rule and standard has been derived from the words of institution: Nihil habet rationem sacramenti extra
    usum a Christo institutum (“Nothing has the nature of a sacrament apart from the use instituted by Christ”) or extra actionem divinitus institutam (“apart from the action divinely instituted”). That is: If the institution of Christ be not observed as He appointed it, there is no sacrament. This is by no means to be rejected, but can and should be urged and maintained with profit in the
    Church of God. 86] And the use or action here does not mean chiefly faith, neither the oral participation only, but the entire external, visible action of the Lord’s Supper instituted by Christ,
    [to this indeed is required] the consecration, or words of institution, the distribution and reception, or oral partaking [manducation] of the consecrated bread and wine, [likewise the
    partaking] of the body and blood of Christ. 87] And apart from this use, when in the papistic mass the bread is not distributed, but offered up or enclosed, borne about, and exhibited for
    adoration, it is to be regarded as no sacrament; just as the water of baptism, when used to consecrate bells or to cure leprosy, or otherwise exhibited for worship, is no sacrament or baptism. For against such papistic abuses this rule has been set up at the beginning [of the reviving Gospel], and has been explained by Dr. Luther himself, Tom. IV, Jena.

  • http://www.utah-lutheran.blogspot.com Bror Erickson

    Glad to hear, Larry that you are now reading the Book of Concord, and have ordered the book Vieth Referenced. You may also order Veiths book. For that matter I have a few lists of them on Amazon. Give them a helpful vote if you check them out.
    Yes, if I was questioning someones point of view I would want them to answer the questions. But then often the questions are asked in such a way, and from such pompousness that they really do deserve the sarcastic answers they get. When I truly don’t know something and want to find out, I try to ask in much more humble ways than most of the questions have been asked in this thread. I mean it is funny to see people insult (intentionally or not) the Lutheran position, and then ask “how could you believe such a ridiculous thing?” only to be flabbergasted by the uncharitable response they receive. Such as to assert that we believe in consubstantiation, even when we are explaining what that word means and why we don’t subscribe to this intentionally misleading term. Or to say you throw the leftovers in the trash, why don’t you believe that it is still Christ’s body and blood after communion, I can believe you throw him in the trash? And then to find out by trash he means poured out in a reverent manner in a garden, and not down the sewer. (the other nut job on that is thinking that all who call themselves Lutherans do the same thing).
    If someone is wanting charitable and positive answers, their questions ought not be accusations.

  • http://www.utah-lutheran.blogspot.com Bror Erickson

    Glad to hear, Larry that you are now reading the Book of Concord, and have ordered the book Vieth Referenced. You may also order Veiths book. For that matter I have a few lists of them on Amazon. Give them a helpful vote if you check them out.
    Yes, if I was questioning someones point of view I would want them to answer the questions. But then often the questions are asked in such a way, and from such pompousness that they really do deserve the sarcastic answers they get. When I truly don’t know something and want to find out, I try to ask in much more humble ways than most of the questions have been asked in this thread. I mean it is funny to see people insult (intentionally or not) the Lutheran position, and then ask “how could you believe such a ridiculous thing?” only to be flabbergasted by the uncharitable response they receive. Such as to assert that we believe in consubstantiation, even when we are explaining what that word means and why we don’t subscribe to this intentionally misleading term. Or to say you throw the leftovers in the trash, why don’t you believe that it is still Christ’s body and blood after communion, I can believe you throw him in the trash? And then to find out by trash he means poured out in a reverent manner in a garden, and not down the sewer. (the other nut job on that is thinking that all who call themselves Lutherans do the same thing).
    If someone is wanting charitable and positive answers, their questions ought not be accusations.

  • jwb

    Bror @99, I second Larry Wilson’s gracious comment @97.
    My comment @89 was intended to be more frank than harsh. I see no reason why fellow Christians shouldn’t speak frankly to each other.

    A last point. I see no difference between ridding oneself of undrunk communion wine by pouring it on the lawn as opposed to down the sink. Perhaps this is another Lutheran distinctive lost on me. The question is, do Lutherans believe that the real presence of Christ remains in unused yet consecrated elements? That answer appears to be no, but after reading this thread I can’t say I know that for sure.
    God bless you all.

  • jwb

    Bror @99, I second Larry Wilson’s gracious comment @97.
    My comment @89 was intended to be more frank than harsh. I see no reason why fellow Christians shouldn’t speak frankly to each other.

    A last point. I see no difference between ridding oneself of undrunk communion wine by pouring it on the lawn as opposed to down the sink. Perhaps this is another Lutheran distinctive lost on me. The question is, do Lutherans believe that the real presence of Christ remains in unused yet consecrated elements? That answer appears to be no, but after reading this thread I can’t say I know that for sure.
    God bless you all.

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    JWB (@100), you asked (or, rather, continued to ask), “do Lutherans believe that the real presence of Christ remains in unused yet consecrated elements?” I think it’s plain that the Lutheran answer is to ask another question: “What does the Bible say on the matter?” And I think it’s plain that the Bible doesn’t discuss it. It is the theological equivalent of “If a tree falls in a forest …” Christ promises us that, in the Lord’s Supper, we receive his body, given for us. Paul tells us that the bread that we break is a participation in the body of Christ. We aren’t told what happens outside that context, with elements that are not given to or eaten by anyone. The words of the Bible are given to reassure us that in Communion, we truly interact bodily with our Lord, and we truly receive his forgiveness. Can the ground (or the piscina or the trash can) receive forgiveness? Does it need to be reassured of Christ’s presence? Do we need to be reassured of Christ’s presence when disposing of the elements? These questions just don’t make sense.

    In short, if you’re frustrated with Lutherans for not giving you a clear answer, you’ll probably have to take it up with the author of the Scriptures.

    Now, all that said, I think it’s clear that, so as not to cause offense, many Lutherans (at least here, though these practices are not universal even in Confessional Lutheranism) do take precautions when dealing with the elements after Communion.

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    JWB (@100), you asked (or, rather, continued to ask), “do Lutherans believe that the real presence of Christ remains in unused yet consecrated elements?” I think it’s plain that the Lutheran answer is to ask another question: “What does the Bible say on the matter?” And I think it’s plain that the Bible doesn’t discuss it. It is the theological equivalent of “If a tree falls in a forest …” Christ promises us that, in the Lord’s Supper, we receive his body, given for us. Paul tells us that the bread that we break is a participation in the body of Christ. We aren’t told what happens outside that context, with elements that are not given to or eaten by anyone. The words of the Bible are given to reassure us that in Communion, we truly interact bodily with our Lord, and we truly receive his forgiveness. Can the ground (or the piscina or the trash can) receive forgiveness? Does it need to be reassured of Christ’s presence? Do we need to be reassured of Christ’s presence when disposing of the elements? These questions just don’t make sense.

    In short, if you’re frustrated with Lutherans for not giving you a clear answer, you’ll probably have to take it up with the author of the Scriptures.

    Now, all that said, I think it’s clear that, so as not to cause offense, many Lutherans (at least here, though these practices are not universal even in Confessional Lutheranism) do take precautions when dealing with the elements after Communion.

  • jwb

    No frustration on my part, tODD.
    But I’ll bet you dollars to doughnuts you’re Wisconsin synod.

  • jwb

    No frustration on my part, tODD.
    But I’ll bet you dollars to doughnuts you’re Wisconsin synod.

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    JWB (@102), while you’re right that I am currently a WELS member, I was raised LCMS. Did you pick up on that as well? I’m not sure what point you’re making with that statement.

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    JWB (@102), while you’re right that I am currently a WELS member, I was raised LCMS. Did you pick up on that as well? I’m not sure what point you’re making with that statement.

  • Joe

    DR.L21C – thanks. I am getting it. I have always been very nervous about how to handle the elements. This helps very much.

    tODD& Bror& Tom H. – thanks for your comments too. As borne out hear, this has been an issue that I have struggled with.

  • Joe

    DR.L21C – thanks. I am getting it. I have always been very nervous about how to handle the elements. This helps very much.

    tODD& Bror& Tom H. – thanks for your comments too. As borne out hear, this has been an issue that I have struggled with.

  • Joe

    Also please forgive the many typos today …

  • Joe

    Also please forgive the many typos today …

  • http://www.utah-lutheran.blogspot.com Bror Erickson

    Jwb,@100
    Perhaps you treat you lawn as a personal dump, and that is what causes the confusion?
    Further more I would like to know how you RC parish handles the residue, those few precious drops inevitably y left over in the chalice? Don’t tell me you just rinse it out and let it go down the drain?
    See Lutherans don’t tend to be creative about these practices. We inherited the from someone. Care to guess who?

  • http://www.utah-lutheran.blogspot.com Bror Erickson

    Jwb,@100
    Perhaps you treat you lawn as a personal dump, and that is what causes the confusion?
    Further more I would like to know how you RC parish handles the residue, those few precious drops inevitably y left over in the chalice? Don’t tell me you just rinse it out and let it go down the drain?
    See Lutherans don’t tend to be creative about these practices. We inherited the from someone. Care to guess who?

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    While I wait for JWB to get back to me, can any of you LCMSers tell me what in my comments above was so obviously WELSian? I’m just curious. Bror?

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    While I wait for JWB to get back to me, can any of you LCMSers tell me what in my comments above was so obviously WELSian? I’m just curious. Bror?

  • Joe

    tODD – I did not detect anything that outed your WELSishness but of course, I have been the Lutheran who started the day extremely confused and concerned about what to do with the leftovers – so perhaps today is not my day for evaluating Lutheranness or type.

  • Joe

    tODD – I did not detect anything that outed your WELSishness but of course, I have been the Lutheran who started the day extremely confused and concerned about what to do with the leftovers – so perhaps today is not my day for evaluating Lutheranness or type.

  • http://www.utah-lutheran.blogspot.com Bror Erickson

    That’s easy tODD, he applied the techniques of the Bible code to your text, and found that subconsciouslly you were cheering for the Packers, and giving homage to muehlhaeusen.
    That or he is a lurker. Or it was that you didn’t mention being LCMSn and you referred to THE author of Holy Scripture as if there was only one. Though there is only one Primary Author, and I could make the saame comment in good conscience. So really I don’t know.

  • http://www.utah-lutheran.blogspot.com Bror Erickson

    That’s easy tODD, he applied the techniques of the Bible code to your text, and found that subconsciouslly you were cheering for the Packers, and giving homage to muehlhaeusen.
    That or he is a lurker. Or it was that you didn’t mention being LCMSn and you referred to THE author of Holy Scripture as if there was only one. Though there is only one Primary Author, and I could make the saame comment in good conscience. So really I don’t know.

  • Dennis Peskey

    Todd – didn’t detect a WELS word in any remark you’ve made. Heard a goodly deal of Lutheranism properly distinguished. My experience as an elder in the LC-MS is to consider the remanent hosts and wine as holy in that, during the sacrament, they were in direct contact with the second person of the Trinity, Jesus. The understanding our individual church uses is Christ promised to be present during the supper. To look for him afterwards has no assurance of sucess for He has not promised to be in that place “for you” as in the Lord’s Supper. Perhaps this may bring some measure of peace to Joe. Treat what is leftover with respect and dignity – but we do not reverance bread and wine. As for our reformed and Calvanist friends who have endured this blog posting, the Lutherans may, at times, sound harsh or direct but I found no lack of concern or love in the responses. False doctrine is a very serious matter to Lutherans and when we get done dealing with our Reformed brothers, we get to turn the other cheek and address our RC and Orthodox brothers. The way is very narrow and I would invite all Reformed contributors to join in a local lutheran confessional study – if you think we are savage here, come taste and see the fun with confessional lutherans debating parts of the Book of Concord. I hold to my original entry (#6) with the words of Luther and Christ; “This is my body.”
    Peace,
    Dennis

  • Dennis Peskey

    Todd – didn’t detect a WELS word in any remark you’ve made. Heard a goodly deal of Lutheranism properly distinguished. My experience as an elder in the LC-MS is to consider the remanent hosts and wine as holy in that, during the sacrament, they were in direct contact with the second person of the Trinity, Jesus. The understanding our individual church uses is Christ promised to be present during the supper. To look for him afterwards has no assurance of sucess for He has not promised to be in that place “for you” as in the Lord’s Supper. Perhaps this may bring some measure of peace to Joe. Treat what is leftover with respect and dignity – but we do not reverance bread and wine. As for our reformed and Calvanist friends who have endured this blog posting, the Lutherans may, at times, sound harsh or direct but I found no lack of concern or love in the responses. False doctrine is a very serious matter to Lutherans and when we get done dealing with our Reformed brothers, we get to turn the other cheek and address our RC and Orthodox brothers. The way is very narrow and I would invite all Reformed contributors to join in a local lutheran confessional study – if you think we are savage here, come taste and see the fun with confessional lutherans debating parts of the Book of Concord. I hold to my original entry (#6) with the words of Luther and Christ; “This is my body.”
    Peace,
    Dennis

  • Tom Hering

    tODD, you haven’t offered to pray with us on this thread, so you obviously won’t participate in prayer fellowship with us, so you’re obviously WELS.

  • Tom Hering

    tODD, you haven’t offered to pray with us on this thread, so you obviously won’t participate in prayer fellowship with us, so you’re obviously WELS.

  • Larry

    MikeR,

    Several things to help you frame the debate in the right way if you will; The short version of this, from a neutral point of view (if you will for the sake of argument) is that one confessional doctrine has to be Satanic. Is that word harsh to the Christian ear? Yes and it should be.

    1. If one willfully remains in error, not seeking to understand what the truth is, then one must be considered as one who has rejected the faith. Scripture speaks this way, not “just Lutherans”. E.g. 2 Thess. 2:10-11, (one of the most terrifying scriptures and realities), “God will send them powerful errors, so that they believe the lie”.

    2. Hitting on the same note where you quote me and Bror; during the Marburg Colloque on this very issue Luther and the Lutherans were surprised even shocked that the Zwinglians and Bucer didn’t level the same charges back at them! In fact Luther said basically (my paraphrase), ‘if your doctrine is the truth of Scripture you should hand ME over to Satan’. In fact the Lutherans then, even now (at least should if they understand the reality and what’s at stake for certain) took that, that the Zwinglians would not level the charge back and them (and mean it), as a sign of the weakness of their own doctrine and that they themselves didn’t believe it as the truth as they otherwise say and confess. See the point? If you leveled the same charge back at me (or Bror or any Lutheran) you’d at LEAST be in principle beginning to see things more clearly. It’s more offensive that one does not level that charge back because it means one really does not take the Word nor the doctrine seriously at all. It would not personally offend me like you were calling me a name or something and AT LEAST you’d begin to see the seriousness of the issue and the seriousness of the doctrine. We’d at least be closer to the truth of the principle at hand concerning the Word.

    3. From a neutral point, again in order to see the principle; one doctrine is of necessity of Satan and antichristic, that in and of itself is a truth to be recognized, demanding recognition even.

    4. Luther’s favorite response to the counter argument that the Zwinglians believed the entire gospel except for this matter was this, “When one blasphemously gives the lie to God in a single word, or says it is a minor matter if God is blasphemed or called a liar, one blasphemes the entire Godhead and makes light of all blasphemy”.

    5. “Everyone(!!) interprets the text. Your interpretation may be right, and mine may be wrong, and it’s fine if you say so, but to basically claim that you can go from the words of Christ to the Lutheran view without any fallible interpretation involved is arrogance disguised as humility, not to mention uncharitable.” –end quote. This is simply self contradictory. It is worse to teach that the Word of God is uncertain than down right falsehood. “Uncharitable”, nonsense it’s utterly unloving, indeed antichristic to teach, confess or imply that the Word of God is uncertain. For if the Word of God is at length is uncertain nothing is of value in this life even charity itself!

    6. Everyone talks a lot regarding no one battles for the Gospel hardly anymore, but THIS IS THE BATTLE FOR THE GOSPEL and it is never a pretty war. We don’t like it because its not pretty, we always want to hone the rough edges and offenses off of the Gospel. This sacrament IS the Gospel and yet when it is battled for it gets uncomfortable. Evangelism, the mission field from the NT forward has ALWAYS been the battle for the truth (e.g. the proto-gnostics and judiazers in Paul’s and John’s epistles).

    7. It’s false humility to say in essence, “it is better to say ‘I don’t know’” at the confessional point of view. However, if one personally does not know and is honestly seeking, that’s humility. See the difference? To say “I don’t know” and insist that “no one knows the truth” at the confessional level is really to say God has revealed nothing concerning himself or salvation, nothing certain at least. To paraphrase Luther if God had not wanted us to know He would not have sent Christ nor given us the very sacraments themselves (for assurance/certitude). That’s altogether different than honestly inquiring into “why do you confess such and such” teach me this so that I might understand.

    8. It’s worthless to argue thus: You Lutherans are wrong in insisting on confessing that your confession confesses the truth of Scripture and “ours” do not, which we take the position that we should at least doubt in part our own confessions confess the truth of the Word of God. Then, expect ANYONE to take your confession seriously. Seriously! If what you confess and believe about the sacraments in general and the LS in particular is malleable and uncertain so much so that you are unwilling to even ‘turn us over to Satan’ (to borrow Luther), then its worthless and ought never have been written down on paper as a “CONFESSION of faith”. Because confessions of faith MUST confess the CERTAIN TRUTH not uncertain truth nor uncertain falsehood. Saying explicitly or implying that the Zwinglian or Calvinistic view on the supper “may be true, maybe not” is like saying, “maybe Jesus was incarnate or maybe not”.

    9. If one’s position is truly a form of “I/we cannot know for sure” in terms of one’s own personal “I don’t know” (not at the confessional/denominational level), especially on these words, “This is My body/blood…”, then the safe position would be to take the Words as Jesus spoke them. It’s perilous at best to say, “Well even though I don’t know for sure I shall depart from the plain and simple words of Christ for no reason whatsoever other than I can’t figure out how the deity can do this.” In other words if you don’t personally know but would like to, as we all experience from time to time on an issue of Scripture, then you cannot very well confess Westminster either.

    It’s not a personal issue, “I don’t like you and you don’t like me”, not at all. Rather an issue of confession and the faith. Saying X is antichristic or Satanic is not the same as calling my mother a name or saying I’m an ugly bald guy. And there’s a difference in laity who remain unwittingly in heterodoxy but yet do not really believe it versus those who continue to defend heterodoxy against orthodoxy when they’ve been shown. The later, yes fall under the category of apostasy. Now does that both sound scary and offensive? Yes, it should and that should begin to give one the WEIGHT of the issue at hand.

    I hope that helps a bit more,

    Larry

  • Larry

    MikeR,

    Several things to help you frame the debate in the right way if you will; The short version of this, from a neutral point of view (if you will for the sake of argument) is that one confessional doctrine has to be Satanic. Is that word harsh to the Christian ear? Yes and it should be.

    1. If one willfully remains in error, not seeking to understand what the truth is, then one must be considered as one who has rejected the faith. Scripture speaks this way, not “just Lutherans”. E.g. 2 Thess. 2:10-11, (one of the most terrifying scriptures and realities), “God will send them powerful errors, so that they believe the lie”.

    2. Hitting on the same note where you quote me and Bror; during the Marburg Colloque on this very issue Luther and the Lutherans were surprised even shocked that the Zwinglians and Bucer didn’t level the same charges back at them! In fact Luther said basically (my paraphrase), ‘if your doctrine is the truth of Scripture you should hand ME over to Satan’. In fact the Lutherans then, even now (at least should if they understand the reality and what’s at stake for certain) took that, that the Zwinglians would not level the charge back and them (and mean it), as a sign of the weakness of their own doctrine and that they themselves didn’t believe it as the truth as they otherwise say and confess. See the point? If you leveled the same charge back at me (or Bror or any Lutheran) you’d at LEAST be in principle beginning to see things more clearly. It’s more offensive that one does not level that charge back because it means one really does not take the Word nor the doctrine seriously at all. It would not personally offend me like you were calling me a name or something and AT LEAST you’d begin to see the seriousness of the issue and the seriousness of the doctrine. We’d at least be closer to the truth of the principle at hand concerning the Word.

    3. From a neutral point, again in order to see the principle; one doctrine is of necessity of Satan and antichristic, that in and of itself is a truth to be recognized, demanding recognition even.

    4. Luther’s favorite response to the counter argument that the Zwinglians believed the entire gospel except for this matter was this, “When one blasphemously gives the lie to God in a single word, or says it is a minor matter if God is blasphemed or called a liar, one blasphemes the entire Godhead and makes light of all blasphemy”.

    5. “Everyone(!!) interprets the text. Your interpretation may be right, and mine may be wrong, and it’s fine if you say so, but to basically claim that you can go from the words of Christ to the Lutheran view without any fallible interpretation involved is arrogance disguised as humility, not to mention uncharitable.” –end quote. This is simply self contradictory. It is worse to teach that the Word of God is uncertain than down right falsehood. “Uncharitable”, nonsense it’s utterly unloving, indeed antichristic to teach, confess or imply that the Word of God is uncertain. For if the Word of God is at length is uncertain nothing is of value in this life even charity itself!

    6. Everyone talks a lot regarding no one battles for the Gospel hardly anymore, but THIS IS THE BATTLE FOR THE GOSPEL and it is never a pretty war. We don’t like it because its not pretty, we always want to hone the rough edges and offenses off of the Gospel. This sacrament IS the Gospel and yet when it is battled for it gets uncomfortable. Evangelism, the mission field from the NT forward has ALWAYS been the battle for the truth (e.g. the proto-gnostics and judiazers in Paul’s and John’s epistles).

    7. It’s false humility to say in essence, “it is better to say ‘I don’t know’” at the confessional point of view. However, if one personally does not know and is honestly seeking, that’s humility. See the difference? To say “I don’t know” and insist that “no one knows the truth” at the confessional level is really to say God has revealed nothing concerning himself or salvation, nothing certain at least. To paraphrase Luther if God had not wanted us to know He would not have sent Christ nor given us the very sacraments themselves (for assurance/certitude). That’s altogether different than honestly inquiring into “why do you confess such and such” teach me this so that I might understand.

    8. It’s worthless to argue thus: You Lutherans are wrong in insisting on confessing that your confession confesses the truth of Scripture and “ours” do not, which we take the position that we should at least doubt in part our own confessions confess the truth of the Word of God. Then, expect ANYONE to take your confession seriously. Seriously! If what you confess and believe about the sacraments in general and the LS in particular is malleable and uncertain so much so that you are unwilling to even ‘turn us over to Satan’ (to borrow Luther), then its worthless and ought never have been written down on paper as a “CONFESSION of faith”. Because confessions of faith MUST confess the CERTAIN TRUTH not uncertain truth nor uncertain falsehood. Saying explicitly or implying that the Zwinglian or Calvinistic view on the supper “may be true, maybe not” is like saying, “maybe Jesus was incarnate or maybe not”.

    9. If one’s position is truly a form of “I/we cannot know for sure” in terms of one’s own personal “I don’t know” (not at the confessional/denominational level), especially on these words, “This is My body/blood…”, then the safe position would be to take the Words as Jesus spoke them. It’s perilous at best to say, “Well even though I don’t know for sure I shall depart from the plain and simple words of Christ for no reason whatsoever other than I can’t figure out how the deity can do this.” In other words if you don’t personally know but would like to, as we all experience from time to time on an issue of Scripture, then you cannot very well confess Westminster either.

    It’s not a personal issue, “I don’t like you and you don’t like me”, not at all. Rather an issue of confession and the faith. Saying X is antichristic or Satanic is not the same as calling my mother a name or saying I’m an ugly bald guy. And there’s a difference in laity who remain unwittingly in heterodoxy but yet do not really believe it versus those who continue to defend heterodoxy against orthodoxy when they’ve been shown. The later, yes fall under the category of apostasy. Now does that both sound scary and offensive? Yes, it should and that should begin to give one the WEIGHT of the issue at hand.

    I hope that helps a bit more,

    Larry

  • Larry

    Lutherans don’t have a “how” doctrine at all, in fact one might say our doctrine on “how” is an anti-how doctrine. That is to say we confess there is no “how” doctrine.

    Calvin’s real presence communicated is just a subtle polished form of Zwingli’s. It’s notable that the Gnostics of old also used subtle language to enforce their doctrines. Calvin on the one hand goes a long way to confess that he does not understand this mystery but then goes on to explain the mystery. His doctrine on the Holy Spirit concerning the “how” we commune, at the end of the day, has never been shown from Scripture but is rather Calvin’s own insertion to make a “patch” as it were to have a doctrine not entirely Zwinglian. In other words take away his mystery of the Holy Spirit doing it and his doctrine is exactly Zwingli’s doctrine, empty naked signs and symbols. This is the key upon which Calvin’s doctrine turns in so much that Calvin and Calvinist attempt to say “we are not Zwinglian” (yet some Calvinist confess Zwingli directly, so that’s confusing too). Yet, Calvin’s critical doctrine that is thought to separate him from Zwingli has never been proven from Scripture, not even by Calvin himself (as far as I’m aware). That’s putting a lot of trust on a lot of nothing.

    The debate was never about “the real presence”. Sasse makes this point in his reconstruction of Marburg. “Real presence” hides the real debate and issue, its whether or not real flesh and blood are given, to wit in order to ferret out Calvin’s subtly Lutherans ask two questions: 1. What is it that the pastor puts into your mouth and 2. What do the unbelieving eat and drink?

    This is in fact the simple test that brings out the doctrine. The term “real presence”, though it may be used correctly, is often used to escape the real issue concerning the words, “This is My body and blood…”

  • Larry

    Lutherans don’t have a “how” doctrine at all, in fact one might say our doctrine on “how” is an anti-how doctrine. That is to say we confess there is no “how” doctrine.

    Calvin’s real presence communicated is just a subtle polished form of Zwingli’s. It’s notable that the Gnostics of old also used subtle language to enforce their doctrines. Calvin on the one hand goes a long way to confess that he does not understand this mystery but then goes on to explain the mystery. His doctrine on the Holy Spirit concerning the “how” we commune, at the end of the day, has never been shown from Scripture but is rather Calvin’s own insertion to make a “patch” as it were to have a doctrine not entirely Zwinglian. In other words take away his mystery of the Holy Spirit doing it and his doctrine is exactly Zwingli’s doctrine, empty naked signs and symbols. This is the key upon which Calvin’s doctrine turns in so much that Calvin and Calvinist attempt to say “we are not Zwinglian” (yet some Calvinist confess Zwingli directly, so that’s confusing too). Yet, Calvin’s critical doctrine that is thought to separate him from Zwingli has never been proven from Scripture, not even by Calvin himself (as far as I’m aware). That’s putting a lot of trust on a lot of nothing.

    The debate was never about “the real presence”. Sasse makes this point in his reconstruction of Marburg. “Real presence” hides the real debate and issue, its whether or not real flesh and blood are given, to wit in order to ferret out Calvin’s subtly Lutherans ask two questions: 1. What is it that the pastor puts into your mouth and 2. What do the unbelieving eat and drink?

    This is in fact the simple test that brings out the doctrine. The term “real presence”, though it may be used correctly, is often used to escape the real issue concerning the words, “This is My body and blood…”

  • Larry

    Bror,

    “Lutherans buy reformed books, reformed don’t buy Lutheran books, then they complain that they can’t find any.”

    You’ve nailed a very real issue, I know this coming from within the Reformed camp myself. Very rarely do you find a baptist or reformed person who has actually read any Lutherans at great length other than maybe “Bondage of the Will” because they think it’s the same as “Total Depravity” (at least that’s why I first read it). Few ever read Sasse or Chemnitz at length or even much more of Luther.

    It’s something I’d encourage anyone to do, read some of these at length. It challenged everything I myself believed and takes a while to sink in. After all one finds at some point, “Reformed doesn’t = Lutheran and vice versa, both are not the same faith and I’m now entering into a paradigm altogether different than I’ve ever known”. Because the tendency, I say this as a confession of what I dealt with personally, the tendency is to read “Reformed like” Lutheran things, if you will. E.g. Why does Luther say the sacramentarians don’t really have the Lord’s Supper? That use to bug me to death while I was still PCA and was monthly taking the crackers and juice. I thought to myself, “am I not taking the Lord’s Supper.” It’s a shocking reality at first, one that “hits hard at home”. “What do you mean!” I use to ask the book I was reading. But if you still read the LS and the words of institution as the Reformed (and Baptist) do you’ll not understand why Luther could say this. It takes a “I’ll be open to understand Luther and Lutheran confessions on this”, read, digest, ruminate, ponder, begin to put ALL the pieces together…it takes time before one understands such a thing.

    In a way it’s as simple as this: Everyone uses the term “grace”. Rome, Evangelicals (all non-Lutheran protestants), Lutherans, Mormons, other overtly false religions by name, pagans. Yet they all really mean something different and construct massive paradigms, true or false around that term the sum of which only ONE of them is true and ALL the rest are false.

  • Larry

    Bror,

    “Lutherans buy reformed books, reformed don’t buy Lutheran books, then they complain that they can’t find any.”

    You’ve nailed a very real issue, I know this coming from within the Reformed camp myself. Very rarely do you find a baptist or reformed person who has actually read any Lutherans at great length other than maybe “Bondage of the Will” because they think it’s the same as “Total Depravity” (at least that’s why I first read it). Few ever read Sasse or Chemnitz at length or even much more of Luther.

    It’s something I’d encourage anyone to do, read some of these at length. It challenged everything I myself believed and takes a while to sink in. After all one finds at some point, “Reformed doesn’t = Lutheran and vice versa, both are not the same faith and I’m now entering into a paradigm altogether different than I’ve ever known”. Because the tendency, I say this as a confession of what I dealt with personally, the tendency is to read “Reformed like” Lutheran things, if you will. E.g. Why does Luther say the sacramentarians don’t really have the Lord’s Supper? That use to bug me to death while I was still PCA and was monthly taking the crackers and juice. I thought to myself, “am I not taking the Lord’s Supper.” It’s a shocking reality at first, one that “hits hard at home”. “What do you mean!” I use to ask the book I was reading. But if you still read the LS and the words of institution as the Reformed (and Baptist) do you’ll not understand why Luther could say this. It takes a “I’ll be open to understand Luther and Lutheran confessions on this”, read, digest, ruminate, ponder, begin to put ALL the pieces together…it takes time before one understands such a thing.

    In a way it’s as simple as this: Everyone uses the term “grace”. Rome, Evangelicals (all non-Lutheran protestants), Lutherans, Mormons, other overtly false religions by name, pagans. Yet they all really mean something different and construct massive paradigms, true or false around that term the sum of which only ONE of them is true and ALL the rest are false.

  • Larry

    Larry W. asks some a very good question when he states, “…I truly cannot see how my “doctrine (on the Lord’s Supper – Larry H., I assume is meant) is a direct assault on the divinity of Jesus…”. I was just discussing this the other day that as an ex-reformed person coming in this was the toughest thing to see for me and lamenting that as far as I know (could be my ‘green-ness’ in Lutheran confessions) this is not pointed out as well as it should be. At least not concisely in a book or highly visible paper addressing this issue specifically. This I think is the toughest for a reformed confessor to see and if/when they would they’d likely overthrow Calvin and embrace Luther on the matter. Sasse does about the best job on this that I’m aware of. However, it’s buried in the back of a much bigger book on a much bigger subject. Not that that is bad, but it my pay to have a book or article on this specific issue produced that is more clear.

    The most direct way I know to begin to talk about it is it hits home with Calvin’s definition of the two natures and how Calvin more or less sees the humanity attached to the side of the deity as it were, the finite attached to the infinite as it were. Calvin couldn’t say “where there is no human God the Son there is no deity God the Son”. I think that phrase captures it somewhat. And this in turn plays out in Calvin’s fundamental problem with the Lord’s Supper per Luther, his, Calvin’s, problem with it is entirely a philosophical problem no less than Rome’s.

    I believe it was Sasse that points out that Rome and Reformed have the same issue concerning the supper and that transubstantiation is the reverse side of the same coin as Zwingli/Calvin’s supper. That problem? The “is” to both Rome and Reformed must mean “equals” and therein lay the problem. This is why Rome on one hand attempts to resolve by making the bread and wine CHANGE into body and blood, resolving the = sign. While the Reformed basically make it symbolic, thus resolving the tension of the = sign. The “is” for Lutherans is not an = sign, but more like a saying when a mugger says, “your wallet or your life”. He really doesn’t want my worn out leather back pocket pouch, he wants my money. It’s not an = sign. But his speech, quite natural, is putting the two together if you will. A synecdoche as they say. Like holding a mug up and saying, “this is beer”. So the bread doesn’t = body as in it turns bread into body (Rome) destroying the later, nor is it symbolism in which at the end of the day only bread is put INTO MY MOUTH (Reformed), denying what Christ said so plainly and what is very natural human language. At root here we see why the = sign resolution comes about, why one cannot take Christ at His Word (this is…). One refuses to see or believe sans reason that the deity can communicate the humanity in this very way. The “right hand of God” is not a position in time and space or even in infinity, it is His rule and power. Christ’s humanity sits there, has the full power of the deity, “all power in heaven and on earth are given to Me…”. Christ humanity is not some attachment of finitude on the side of the infinite deity (Calvin’s fundamental error).

    That in some way might begin to explain Larry W.’s very good question. Any Lutherans know of any good books or papers on this issue to help?

    Larry

  • Larry

    Larry W. asks some a very good question when he states, “…I truly cannot see how my “doctrine (on the Lord’s Supper – Larry H., I assume is meant) is a direct assault on the divinity of Jesus…”. I was just discussing this the other day that as an ex-reformed person coming in this was the toughest thing to see for me and lamenting that as far as I know (could be my ‘green-ness’ in Lutheran confessions) this is not pointed out as well as it should be. At least not concisely in a book or highly visible paper addressing this issue specifically. This I think is the toughest for a reformed confessor to see and if/when they would they’d likely overthrow Calvin and embrace Luther on the matter. Sasse does about the best job on this that I’m aware of. However, it’s buried in the back of a much bigger book on a much bigger subject. Not that that is bad, but it my pay to have a book or article on this specific issue produced that is more clear.

    The most direct way I know to begin to talk about it is it hits home with Calvin’s definition of the two natures and how Calvin more or less sees the humanity attached to the side of the deity as it were, the finite attached to the infinite as it were. Calvin couldn’t say “where there is no human God the Son there is no deity God the Son”. I think that phrase captures it somewhat. And this in turn plays out in Calvin’s fundamental problem with the Lord’s Supper per Luther, his, Calvin’s, problem with it is entirely a philosophical problem no less than Rome’s.

    I believe it was Sasse that points out that Rome and Reformed have the same issue concerning the supper and that transubstantiation is the reverse side of the same coin as Zwingli/Calvin’s supper. That problem? The “is” to both Rome and Reformed must mean “equals” and therein lay the problem. This is why Rome on one hand attempts to resolve by making the bread and wine CHANGE into body and blood, resolving the = sign. While the Reformed basically make it symbolic, thus resolving the tension of the = sign. The “is” for Lutherans is not an = sign, but more like a saying when a mugger says, “your wallet or your life”. He really doesn’t want my worn out leather back pocket pouch, he wants my money. It’s not an = sign. But his speech, quite natural, is putting the two together if you will. A synecdoche as they say. Like holding a mug up and saying, “this is beer”. So the bread doesn’t = body as in it turns bread into body (Rome) destroying the later, nor is it symbolism in which at the end of the day only bread is put INTO MY MOUTH (Reformed), denying what Christ said so plainly and what is very natural human language. At root here we see why the = sign resolution comes about, why one cannot take Christ at His Word (this is…). One refuses to see or believe sans reason that the deity can communicate the humanity in this very way. The “right hand of God” is not a position in time and space or even in infinity, it is His rule and power. Christ’s humanity sits there, has the full power of the deity, “all power in heaven and on earth are given to Me…”. Christ humanity is not some attachment of finitude on the side of the infinite deity (Calvin’s fundamental error).

    That in some way might begin to explain Larry W.’s very good question. Any Lutherans know of any good books or papers on this issue to help?

    Larry

  • Dennis Peskey

    Larry – I am in the process of reading David Scaer’s “Law and Gospel and the Means of Grace” which is part of the Confessional Lutheran Dogmatics series. This is what drew my interest to this posting initially. I’ve completed the Law and Gospel section then, upon reading this posting, jumped to the end chapter; “The Philosophical and Historical Roots of Reformed Thought.” If your familiar with the CLD series or Dr. Scaer, this edition will enlighten and strengthen your Lutheran understanding. Also, you may wish to avail yourself of the treasurer of CTSFW. The Fort is putting it’s entire library on-line and already is a tremendous resource for seminary quality material. Go to http://media.ctsfw.edu/ and search to your heart and minds delight. (P.S. – enter Marburg Colloquy for several excellent papers directly related to this issue.)
    Peace,
    Dennis

  • Dennis Peskey

    Larry – I am in the process of reading David Scaer’s “Law and Gospel and the Means of Grace” which is part of the Confessional Lutheran Dogmatics series. This is what drew my interest to this posting initially. I’ve completed the Law and Gospel section then, upon reading this posting, jumped to the end chapter; “The Philosophical and Historical Roots of Reformed Thought.” If your familiar with the CLD series or Dr. Scaer, this edition will enlighten and strengthen your Lutheran understanding. Also, you may wish to avail yourself of the treasurer of CTSFW. The Fort is putting it’s entire library on-line and already is a tremendous resource for seminary quality material. Go to http://media.ctsfw.edu/ and search to your heart and minds delight. (P.S. – enter Marburg Colloquy for several excellent papers directly related to this issue.)
    Peace,
    Dennis

  • Larry

    Dennis,

    Thank much! I appreciate that. I can’t wait to check it out.

    Larry

  • Larry

    Dennis,

    Thank much! I appreciate that. I can’t wait to check it out.

    Larry

  • Tom Hering

    C.F.W. Walther defines consubstantiation:

    “Consubstantiation, as the word indicates, means a combination of two substances in such a way that by being mixed together they are fused into one substance or mass, consisting of different ingredients.” (From an editorial in “Lehre und Wehre.”)

    So, we do not believe in consubstantiation, because if we did, we would believe we are receiving strange mixtures that are neither body nor bread, blood nor wine.

  • Tom Hering

    C.F.W. Walther defines consubstantiation:

    “Consubstantiation, as the word indicates, means a combination of two substances in such a way that by being mixed together they are fused into one substance or mass, consisting of different ingredients.” (From an editorial in “Lehre und Wehre.”)

    So, we do not believe in consubstantiation, because if we did, we would believe we are receiving strange mixtures that are neither body nor bread, blood nor wine.

  • Tom Hering

    Actually, I’d rephrase my last paragraph to read:

    “So, we do not believe in consubstantiation, because if we did, we would believe we are receiving two strange, single substances – one of which is neither body nor bread, and the other neither blood nor wine.”

  • Tom Hering

    Actually, I’d rephrase my last paragraph to read:

    “So, we do not believe in consubstantiation, because if we did, we would believe we are receiving two strange, single substances – one of which is neither body nor bread, and the other neither blood nor wine.”

  • Amy C.

    @119
    Not necessarily, Mr. Herring.
    Consubstantion means that two things are ‘with’ each other, and Lutherans believe that. Basically, Catholics believe that when Christ said “This is my Body … this is my Blood” He meant IS in a persistent, present tense. Consubstantiation is the belief that it is Body AND bread, Blood AND wine; and that the Body and Blood substances aren’t persistent. Obviously, this isn’t what Christ said … Christ didn’t say “This is my Body, and a piece of bread”; nor did He say, “This is my Body, until you’re done handing it out at communion.”

  • Amy C.

    @119
    Not necessarily, Mr. Herring.
    Consubstantion means that two things are ‘with’ each other, and Lutherans believe that. Basically, Catholics believe that when Christ said “This is my Body … this is my Blood” He meant IS in a persistent, present tense. Consubstantiation is the belief that it is Body AND bread, Blood AND wine; and that the Body and Blood substances aren’t persistent. Obviously, this isn’t what Christ said … Christ didn’t say “This is my Body, and a piece of bread”; nor did He say, “This is my Body, until you’re done handing it out at communion.”

  • http://www.utah-lutheran.blogspot.com Bror Erickson

    “The bread that we break, is it not a participation in the Body of Christ”
    See, Amy C. Lutherans reject consubstantiationn because we reject Transubstantiation, and CS is nothing but a bastardized version of TS. TS, not being Biblical, but an attempt to explain away the mystery using Aristotelian Philosophy. And though that is laudable as an apologetic against Avicena and Averoes, it makes for lousy dogma. It is an extra Biblical explanation, which ends up contradicting scripture.

  • http://www.utah-lutheran.blogspot.com Bror Erickson

    “The bread that we break, is it not a participation in the Body of Christ”
    See, Amy C. Lutherans reject consubstantiationn because we reject Transubstantiation, and CS is nothing but a bastardized version of TS. TS, not being Biblical, but an attempt to explain away the mystery using Aristotelian Philosophy. And though that is laudable as an apologetic against Avicena and Averoes, it makes for lousy dogma. It is an extra Biblical explanation, which ends up contradicting scripture.

  • Amy C.

    Mr. (pastor?) Erickson,
    I understand your loyalty to the Lutheran schism, but its doctrine of the Eucharist is not orthodox. Rather, the Orthodox/Catholic teaching is the Church’s historic position, and it gives full effect to Christ’s words.

  • Amy C.

    Mr. (pastor?) Erickson,
    I understand your loyalty to the Lutheran schism, but its doctrine of the Eucharist is not orthodox. Rather, the Orthodox/Catholic teaching is the Church’s historic position, and it gives full effect to Christ’s words.

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    Amy (@122), if you want to give “full effect to Christ’s words”, then you will also heed the words of Paul that Bror quoted (after all, Paul “received from the Lord what [he] also passed on to you.”) And you’ll note that Paul asks, “The cup of blessing which we bless, is it not a participation in the blood of Christ? The bread which we break, is it not a participation in the body of Christ?” To deny the existence of bread and wine in the Lord’s Supper is to render Paul’s words as nonsense, for you could not say with him that “we all partake of the one bread” — Catholics do not believe they partake of bread at all!

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    Amy (@122), if you want to give “full effect to Christ’s words”, then you will also heed the words of Paul that Bror quoted (after all, Paul “received from the Lord what [he] also passed on to you.”) And you’ll note that Paul asks, “The cup of blessing which we bless, is it not a participation in the blood of Christ? The bread which we break, is it not a participation in the body of Christ?” To deny the existence of bread and wine in the Lord’s Supper is to render Paul’s words as nonsense, for you could not say with him that “we all partake of the one bread” — Catholics do not believe they partake of bread at all!

  • http://www.utah-lutheran.blogspot.com Bror Erickson

    tODD,
    EXACTLY what I was getting at! And was about to post.
    Amy C. I am a pastor. And one who holds to the Lutheran position, only because after investigating quite thoroughly, the other position find it to be the orthodox and catholic position, and this because it lone give justice to Christ’s words. Thomas is great in many ways, and I even have respect for what he did with Transubstantiation. However, as good an apologetic arGument as it is, it is not good dogma, and does compromise Chirsts words when elevated to that which Thomas himself would not have appreciated.

  • http://www.utah-lutheran.blogspot.com Bror Erickson

    tODD,
    EXACTLY what I was getting at! And was about to post.
    Amy C. I am a pastor. And one who holds to the Lutheran position, only because after investigating quite thoroughly, the other position find it to be the orthodox and catholic position, and this because it lone give justice to Christ’s words. Thomas is great in many ways, and I even have respect for what he did with Transubstantiation. However, as good an apologetic arGument as it is, it is not good dogma, and does compromise Chirsts words when elevated to that which Thomas himself would not have appreciated.

  • Tom Hering

    Amy C @ 120, Our opponents’ definitions of consubstantiation seem to vary. So, what they accuse us of believing seems to vary. How convenient for them in arguments!

    How about arguing against what we say we believe? Instead of arguing against what you say we believe? You could start with some selections from our Confessions.

  • Tom Hering

    Amy C @ 120, Our opponents’ definitions of consubstantiation seem to vary. So, what they accuse us of believing seems to vary. How convenient for them in arguments!

    How about arguing against what we say we believe? Instead of arguing against what you say we believe? You could start with some selections from our Confessions.

  • kerner

    Bror @ 106 mentioned something that I think bears some consideration.

    I don’t believe it is physically possible to perfectly reserve every mollecule of the elements, certainly some of the wine (under the best of circumstances) is wiped by cloth, which gets washed and rinsed with water that goes down the drain. Since the most consciencious among us trashes SOME (however small) amount of the elements, I fail to see why we fixate so much on what happens to the unconsumed elements. It also explains why there is no command about what to do with them. It also gives some credence to the Lutheran position that the elements are the Body and Blood of Christ at the “given for you” stage, but not otherwise.

  • kerner

    Bror @ 106 mentioned something that I think bears some consideration.

    I don’t believe it is physically possible to perfectly reserve every mollecule of the elements, certainly some of the wine (under the best of circumstances) is wiped by cloth, which gets washed and rinsed with water that goes down the drain. Since the most consciencious among us trashes SOME (however small) amount of the elements, I fail to see why we fixate so much on what happens to the unconsumed elements. It also explains why there is no command about what to do with them. It also gives some credence to the Lutheran position that the elements are the Body and Blood of Christ at the “given for you” stage, but not otherwise.

  • Larry

    MUCH thanks to Dennis for turning me onto this web link http://media.ctsfw.edu/.

    (Larry W., or anyone for that matter, I’d highly recommend this for your question, you will not be disappointed see discussion at 115 and 116 for reference)

    There is a brilliant article on the site (search under Marburg Colloquy and look for the pdf link “greentrueissuemarburg1529.pdf”. It is an article in “The Springfielder”, April 1976, Volume 40, Number 2 by Lowell C. Green. Worth every penny to read.

    But it reminded me in part of Larry W.’s question above about the connection between the denying the real presence (mean true body and true blood “in, with and under” the bread and wine) in the sacrament being an ultimate denial of the incarnation. Really on the level of the same denial as the Gnostics that denied in various ways that Christ had actually come in the flesh.

    First, let us recall why Gnosticism is so bad besides “just being wrong”. Why is it deadly to the soul, leading to hell and not just “doctrinally wrong” (as in ‘the wrong answer to the test question’), because that is something we tend to even forget when we realize the heresy of Arius or any heresy. It’s not just “the wrong test question answer” but that such denials equate to realities that deceive, delude and ultimately damn a man, denying the Gospel altogether. As John put it regarding the proto-gnostics that those who deny Christ actually and truly came in the flesh (the Greek Gnostics and their line of thinking regarding spirit versus flesh) are of the anti-christ and not of Christ.

    So what about Larry W.’s question, connecting the subtle dots as it were, an issue I myself wrestled with…I too couldn’t connect the dots so easily (something we Lutherans, having myself been an ex-baptist then ex-reformed person couldn’t see right away…my own hidden Gnosticism). Quick rabbit trail: Lutherans you want to invest in apologetics more, here’s one for you this very issue, the question Larry W. asked about the connection between the true body and blood presence in the supper and its connection to the actual denial that Christ came in the flesh. Because that’s not so obvious under the reformed/baptist supper paradigm, because one under such positively does affirm the true incarnation and negatively condemns those that do not. I think this apologetic for the supper needs more elevation and visibility than it often gets. One has to really DIG for it to find it. End of related rabbit trail.

    Here’s the quote that helps much (remember Calvin TOO adhered to the finite cannot contain the infinite – it fueled his view of the supper as much as it did Zwingli’s, Calvin’s hidden neo-platonism, which is rooted in Greek Gnostic thought – hidden I even suspect to Calvin himself). One has to fundamentally see the “building blocks” that lead to the denial of the real presence (always meaning true flesh and blood of Christ) as the same as that which denied the incarnation for it is the ROOT of both issues and the BASIS for both false doctrines (that’s critically important to see!). Recall that gnostic dualism in any form calls “flesh” the things of this world (like flesh and blood) and elevates “spirit” to mean “reason”. Not the biblical “flesh” as all that is fallen within a man INCLUDING his spirit, soul and reason – all that he is versus Christ’s flesh and blood which IS efficacious and in fact saving! God condescending to become united so intimately with man so to save him in all that he was created, flesh (body, spirit, soul, mind, reason, etc…); and “spirit” to mean that very Gospel (in short)! So what did Luther SEE SO VERY CLEARLY HERE:

    “But Luther’s fundamental acceptance of the material world of creation stood of necessity in irreconcilable opposition to Zwingli’s spiritualistic Reductionism of the sacrament. The reformer of Zurich insisted that bread and wine could not become vehicles of the body and blood of Christ because the finite could not contain the infinite. Once more, we are standing before the spirit of Greek philosophy as it sought to grasp the wonders of God within the confines of human reason. If God and his creation (man, bread) are incompatible, not only the sacramental real presence would have to be rejected, BUT ALSO THE INCARNATION ITSELF.”

    If Zwingli (and Bucer and Calvin, etc…) were to stand on this doctrine the critical God-man, God the son uniting himself and becoming in the great mystery in intimacy and fullness of a human nature, then becomes a façade and no longer a brother who suffers for us yet himself without sin – but rather a kind of aloof deity in possession of an otherwise inanimate avatar, at best, and at worst, never did become and possess a true human nature. The gospel, thus, lost, Christ and Him crucified gone in one fail swoop of Gnostic thought!

    The gravity of the real presence (true and real flesh and blood) becomes more visible!

  • Larry

    MUCH thanks to Dennis for turning me onto this web link http://media.ctsfw.edu/.

    (Larry W., or anyone for that matter, I’d highly recommend this for your question, you will not be disappointed see discussion at 115 and 116 for reference)

    There is a brilliant article on the site (search under Marburg Colloquy and look for the pdf link “greentrueissuemarburg1529.pdf”. It is an article in “The Springfielder”, April 1976, Volume 40, Number 2 by Lowell C. Green. Worth every penny to read.

    But it reminded me in part of Larry W.’s question above about the connection between the denying the real presence (mean true body and true blood “in, with and under” the bread and wine) in the sacrament being an ultimate denial of the incarnation. Really on the level of the same denial as the Gnostics that denied in various ways that Christ had actually come in the flesh.

    First, let us recall why Gnosticism is so bad besides “just being wrong”. Why is it deadly to the soul, leading to hell and not just “doctrinally wrong” (as in ‘the wrong answer to the test question’), because that is something we tend to even forget when we realize the heresy of Arius or any heresy. It’s not just “the wrong test question answer” but that such denials equate to realities that deceive, delude and ultimately damn a man, denying the Gospel altogether. As John put it regarding the proto-gnostics that those who deny Christ actually and truly came in the flesh (the Greek Gnostics and their line of thinking regarding spirit versus flesh) are of the anti-christ and not of Christ.

    So what about Larry W.’s question, connecting the subtle dots as it were, an issue I myself wrestled with…I too couldn’t connect the dots so easily (something we Lutherans, having myself been an ex-baptist then ex-reformed person couldn’t see right away…my own hidden Gnosticism). Quick rabbit trail: Lutherans you want to invest in apologetics more, here’s one for you this very issue, the question Larry W. asked about the connection between the true body and blood presence in the supper and its connection to the actual denial that Christ came in the flesh. Because that’s not so obvious under the reformed/baptist supper paradigm, because one under such positively does affirm the true incarnation and negatively condemns those that do not. I think this apologetic for the supper needs more elevation and visibility than it often gets. One has to really DIG for it to find it. End of related rabbit trail.

    Here’s the quote that helps much (remember Calvin TOO adhered to the finite cannot contain the infinite – it fueled his view of the supper as much as it did Zwingli’s, Calvin’s hidden neo-platonism, which is rooted in Greek Gnostic thought – hidden I even suspect to Calvin himself). One has to fundamentally see the “building blocks” that lead to the denial of the real presence (always meaning true flesh and blood of Christ) as the same as that which denied the incarnation for it is the ROOT of both issues and the BASIS for both false doctrines (that’s critically important to see!). Recall that gnostic dualism in any form calls “flesh” the things of this world (like flesh and blood) and elevates “spirit” to mean “reason”. Not the biblical “flesh” as all that is fallen within a man INCLUDING his spirit, soul and reason – all that he is versus Christ’s flesh and blood which IS efficacious and in fact saving! God condescending to become united so intimately with man so to save him in all that he was created, flesh (body, spirit, soul, mind, reason, etc…); and “spirit” to mean that very Gospel (in short)! So what did Luther SEE SO VERY CLEARLY HERE:

    “But Luther’s fundamental acceptance of the material world of creation stood of necessity in irreconcilable opposition to Zwingli’s spiritualistic Reductionism of the sacrament. The reformer of Zurich insisted that bread and wine could not become vehicles of the body and blood of Christ because the finite could not contain the infinite. Once more, we are standing before the spirit of Greek philosophy as it sought to grasp the wonders of God within the confines of human reason. If God and his creation (man, bread) are incompatible, not only the sacramental real presence would have to be rejected, BUT ALSO THE INCARNATION ITSELF.”

    If Zwingli (and Bucer and Calvin, etc…) were to stand on this doctrine the critical God-man, God the son uniting himself and becoming in the great mystery in intimacy and fullness of a human nature, then becomes a façade and no longer a brother who suffers for us yet himself without sin – but rather a kind of aloof deity in possession of an otherwise inanimate avatar, at best, and at worst, never did become and possess a true human nature. The gospel, thus, lost, Christ and Him crucified gone in one fail swoop of Gnostic thought!

    The gravity of the real presence (true and real flesh and blood) becomes more visible!

  • Tom Hering

    Larry @ 127, the CTS site is indeed a great resource. I add my thanks to Dennis Peskey @ 116.

    Search for “consubstantiation” and the results will include “The Sacramental Presence In Lutheran Orthodoxy” by Eugene F. Klug. I like the following from Klug’s article:

    “They [Luther and Chemnitz] consistently refrained from attempting to explain how or when Christ effected the sacramental union, though the fact of it in every proper celebration of the Supper they defended tooth and nail. This has always been the stance of the Lutheran church from the time of Luther.” (Page 8 pdf., emphasis added.)

    “… ‘no great dogmatician of our Church, who has treated of the Lord’s Supper at all, has failed to protest in some form against the charge we are considering.’ The ‘charge’ to which he [Krauth] refers is that the Lutherans taught consubstantiation. This accusation Krauth lays to rest as absurd, and the same for any charges of transubstantiation or impanation. No Lutheran theologian worth his salt ever taught anything other than the true sacramental presence of Christ’s body and blood.” (Page 11 pdf.)

    (Klug also deals with reservationism.)

    Refutations of the charge of consubstantiation by Krauth, Walther and Nagel are here at Kyrie Eleison.

  • Tom Hering

    Larry @ 127, the CTS site is indeed a great resource. I add my thanks to Dennis Peskey @ 116.

    Search for “consubstantiation” and the results will include “The Sacramental Presence In Lutheran Orthodoxy” by Eugene F. Klug. I like the following from Klug’s article:

    “They [Luther and Chemnitz] consistently refrained from attempting to explain how or when Christ effected the sacramental union, though the fact of it in every proper celebration of the Supper they defended tooth and nail. This has always been the stance of the Lutheran church from the time of Luther.” (Page 8 pdf., emphasis added.)

    “… ‘no great dogmatician of our Church, who has treated of the Lord’s Supper at all, has failed to protest in some form against the charge we are considering.’ The ‘charge’ to which he [Krauth] refers is that the Lutherans taught consubstantiation. This accusation Krauth lays to rest as absurd, and the same for any charges of transubstantiation or impanation. No Lutheran theologian worth his salt ever taught anything other than the true sacramental presence of Christ’s body and blood.” (Page 11 pdf.)

    (Klug also deals with reservationism.)

    Refutations of the charge of consubstantiation by Krauth, Walther and Nagel are here at Kyrie Eleison.

  • fws

    Joe @73

    great discussion. Joe here is the confessional resource:
    let me know if you need more.

    btw: something is “Lutheran” only if it can be demonstrated in the confessions. Luther said alot of stuff. we do not bind consciences to that stuff. we DO bind consciences to the confessions.

    formula of concord article VII of the holy supper:

    note the following…

    Why the Lutheran Confessions use the words “in,with, and under”:

    “35] For the reason why, in addition to the expressions of Christ and St. Paul (the bread in the Supper is the body of Christ or the communion of the body of Christ), also the forms: under the bread, with the bread, in the bread [the body of Christ is present and offered], are employed, is that by means of them the papistical transubstantiation may be rejected and the sacramental union of the unchanged essence of the bread and of the body of Christ indicated”

    What the Lutheran confessions say about reserving the host and when christ in present in the host:

    14] They confess, according to the words of Irenaeus, that in this Sacrament there are two things, a heavenly and an earthly. Accordingly, they hold and teach that with the bread and wine the body and blood of Christ are truly and essentially present, offered, and received. And although they believe in no transubstantiation, that is, an essential transformation of the bread and wine into the body and blood of Christ, nor hold that the body and blood of Christ are included in the bread localiter, that is, locally, or
    are otherwise permanently united therewith apart from the use of the Sacrament, yet they concede that through the sacramental union the bread is the body of Christ, etc. [that when the bread is offered, the body of Christ is at the same time present, and is truly tendered]. 15] For apart from the use, when the bread is laid aside and preserved in the sacramental vessel [the pyx], or is carried about in the procession and exhibited, as is done in popery, they do not hold that the body of Christ is present.

    What the Lutheran Confessions reject about the reformed “real presence”:

    2] Although some Sacramentarians strive to employ words that come as close as possible to the Augsburg Confession and the form and mode of speech in its [our] churches, and confess that in the Holy Supper the body of Christ is truly received by believers, still, when we insist that they state their meaning properly, sincerely, and clearly, they all declare themselves unanimously thus: that the true essential body and blood of Christ is absent from the consecrated bread and wine in the Holy Supper as far as the
    highest heaven is from the earth. For thus their own words run: Abesse Christi corpus et sanguinem a signis tanto intervallo dicimus. That is: “We say that the body and blood of Christ are as far from the signs as the earth is distant from the highest heaven.” 3] Therefore they understand this presence of the body of Christ not as a presence here upon earth, but only respectu fidei (with respect to faith) [when they speak of the presence of the body and blood of Christ in the Supper, they do not mean that they are
    present upon earth, except with respect to faith], that is, that our faith, reminded and excited by the visible signs, just as by the Word preached, elevates itself and ascends above all heavens, and receives and enjoys the body of Christ, which is there in heaven present, yea, Christ Himself, together with all His benefits, in a manner true and essential, but nevertheless spiritual only. For [they hold that] as the bread and wine are here upon earth and not in heaven, so the body of Christ is now in heaven and not upon
    earth, and consequently nothing else is received by the mouth in the Holy Supper than bread and wine.

    4] Now, originally, they alleged that the Lord’s Supper is only an external sign, by which Christians are known, and that nothing else is offered in it than mere bread and wine (which are bare signs [symbols] of the absent body of Christ). When this [figment] would not stand the test, they confessed that the Lord Christ is truly present in His Supper, namely per communicationem idiomatum (by the communication of attributes), that is, according to His divine nature alone, but not with His body and blood.

    5] Afterwards, when they were forced by Christ’s words to confess that the body of Christ is present in the Supper, they still understood and declared it in no other way than spiritually [only of a spiritual presence], that is, of partaking through faith of His power, efficacy, and benefits, because [they say] through the Spirit of Christ, who is everywhere, our bodies, in which the Spirit of Christ dwells here upon earth, are united with the body of Christ, which is in heaven.

    6] The consequence was that many great men were deceived by these fine, plausible words, when they alleged and boasted that they were of no other opinion than that the Lord Christ is present in His [Holy] Supper truly, essentially, and as one alive; but they understand this according to His divine nature alone, and not of His body and blood, which, they say, are now in heaven, and nowhere else, and that He gives us with the bread and wine His true body and blood to eat, to partake of them spiritually through faith,
    but not bodily with the mouth.

    7] For they understand the words of the Supper: Eat, this is My body, not properly, as they read, according to the letter, but figurate, as figurative expressions, so that eating the body of Christ means nothing else than believing, and body is equivalent to symbol, that is, a sign or figure of the body of Christ, which is not in the Supper on earth, but only in heaven. The word is they interpret
    sacramentaliter seu modo significativo (sacramentally, or in a significative manner), nequis rem cum signis ita putet copulari, ut Christi quoque caro nunc in terris adsit modo quodam invisibili etincomprehensibili (in order that no one may regard the thing so joined with the signs that the flesh also of Christ is now present on earth in an invisible and incomprehensible manner); 8] that is, that the body of Christ is united with the bread sacramentally, or significatively, so that believing, godly Christians as surely partake spiritually of the body of Christ, which is above, in heaven, as they eat the bread with the mouth. But that the body of Christ is present here upon earth in the Supper essentially, although invisibly
    and incomprehensibly, and is received orally, with the consecrated bread, even by hypocrites or those who are Christians only in appearance [by name] I this they are accustomed to execrate and condemn as a horrible blasphemy.

    http://www.bookofconcord.org/sd-supper.php

    read the entire section. this should clear up the many misunderstandings of both the reformed and lutheran positions here.

  • fws

    Joe @73

    great discussion. Joe here is the confessional resource:
    let me know if you need more.

    btw: something is “Lutheran” only if it can be demonstrated in the confessions. Luther said alot of stuff. we do not bind consciences to that stuff. we DO bind consciences to the confessions.

    formula of concord article VII of the holy supper:

    note the following…

    Why the Lutheran Confessions use the words “in,with, and under”:

    “35] For the reason why, in addition to the expressions of Christ and St. Paul (the bread in the Supper is the body of Christ or the communion of the body of Christ), also the forms: under the bread, with the bread, in the bread [the body of Christ is present and offered], are employed, is that by means of them the papistical transubstantiation may be rejected and the sacramental union of the unchanged essence of the bread and of the body of Christ indicated”

    What the Lutheran confessions say about reserving the host and when christ in present in the host:

    14] They confess, according to the words of Irenaeus, that in this Sacrament there are two things, a heavenly and an earthly. Accordingly, they hold and teach that with the bread and wine the body and blood of Christ are truly and essentially present, offered, and received. And although they believe in no transubstantiation, that is, an essential transformation of the bread and wine into the body and blood of Christ, nor hold that the body and blood of Christ are included in the bread localiter, that is, locally, or
    are otherwise permanently united therewith apart from the use of the Sacrament, yet they concede that through the sacramental union the bread is the body of Christ, etc. [that when the bread is offered, the body of Christ is at the same time present, and is truly tendered]. 15] For apart from the use, when the bread is laid aside and preserved in the sacramental vessel [the pyx], or is carried about in the procession and exhibited, as is done in popery, they do not hold that the body of Christ is present.

    What the Lutheran Confessions reject about the reformed “real presence”:

    2] Although some Sacramentarians strive to employ words that come as close as possible to the Augsburg Confession and the form and mode of speech in its [our] churches, and confess that in the Holy Supper the body of Christ is truly received by believers, still, when we insist that they state their meaning properly, sincerely, and clearly, they all declare themselves unanimously thus: that the true essential body and blood of Christ is absent from the consecrated bread and wine in the Holy Supper as far as the
    highest heaven is from the earth. For thus their own words run: Abesse Christi corpus et sanguinem a signis tanto intervallo dicimus. That is: “We say that the body and blood of Christ are as far from the signs as the earth is distant from the highest heaven.” 3] Therefore they understand this presence of the body of Christ not as a presence here upon earth, but only respectu fidei (with respect to faith) [when they speak of the presence of the body and blood of Christ in the Supper, they do not mean that they are
    present upon earth, except with respect to faith], that is, that our faith, reminded and excited by the visible signs, just as by the Word preached, elevates itself and ascends above all heavens, and receives and enjoys the body of Christ, which is there in heaven present, yea, Christ Himself, together with all His benefits, in a manner true and essential, but nevertheless spiritual only. For [they hold that] as the bread and wine are here upon earth and not in heaven, so the body of Christ is now in heaven and not upon
    earth, and consequently nothing else is received by the mouth in the Holy Supper than bread and wine.

    4] Now, originally, they alleged that the Lord’s Supper is only an external sign, by which Christians are known, and that nothing else is offered in it than mere bread and wine (which are bare signs [symbols] of the absent body of Christ). When this [figment] would not stand the test, they confessed that the Lord Christ is truly present in His Supper, namely per communicationem idiomatum (by the communication of attributes), that is, according to His divine nature alone, but not with His body and blood.

    5] Afterwards, when they were forced by Christ’s words to confess that the body of Christ is present in the Supper, they still understood and declared it in no other way than spiritually [only of a spiritual presence], that is, of partaking through faith of His power, efficacy, and benefits, because [they say] through the Spirit of Christ, who is everywhere, our bodies, in which the Spirit of Christ dwells here upon earth, are united with the body of Christ, which is in heaven.

    6] The consequence was that many great men were deceived by these fine, plausible words, when they alleged and boasted that they were of no other opinion than that the Lord Christ is present in His [Holy] Supper truly, essentially, and as one alive; but they understand this according to His divine nature alone, and not of His body and blood, which, they say, are now in heaven, and nowhere else, and that He gives us with the bread and wine His true body and blood to eat, to partake of them spiritually through faith,
    but not bodily with the mouth.

    7] For they understand the words of the Supper: Eat, this is My body, not properly, as they read, according to the letter, but figurate, as figurative expressions, so that eating the body of Christ means nothing else than believing, and body is equivalent to symbol, that is, a sign or figure of the body of Christ, which is not in the Supper on earth, but only in heaven. The word is they interpret
    sacramentaliter seu modo significativo (sacramentally, or in a significative manner), nequis rem cum signis ita putet copulari, ut Christi quoque caro nunc in terris adsit modo quodam invisibili etincomprehensibili (in order that no one may regard the thing so joined with the signs that the flesh also of Christ is now present on earth in an invisible and incomprehensible manner); 8] that is, that the body of Christ is united with the bread sacramentally, or significatively, so that believing, godly Christians as surely partake spiritually of the body of Christ, which is above, in heaven, as they eat the bread with the mouth. But that the body of Christ is present here upon earth in the Supper essentially, although invisibly
    and incomprehensibly, and is received orally, with the consecrated bread, even by hypocrites or those who are Christians only in appearance [by name] I this they are accustomed to execrate and condemn as a horrible blasphemy.

    http://www.bookofconcord.org/sd-supper.php

    read the entire section. this should clear up the many misunderstandings of both the reformed and lutheran positions here.

  • Larry Wilson

    Thank you all for this good discussion. To me, this does raise another question, a hypothetical question. What if–by reading original sources–a faithful Lutheran became persuaded that the Formula of Concord was incorrect and unjust in what it alleges about the Reformed view of the Lord’s Supper? What might/should he do?

  • Larry Wilson

    Thank you all for this good discussion. To me, this does raise another question, a hypothetical question. What if–by reading original sources–a faithful Lutheran became persuaded that the Formula of Concord was incorrect and unjust in what it alleges about the Reformed view of the Lord’s Supper? What might/should he do?

  • fws

    Larry Wilson @130

    “What if–by reading original sources–a faithful Lutheran became persuaded that the Formula of Concord was incorrect and unjust in what it alleges about the Reformed view of the Lord’s Supper? What might/should he do?”

    The Lutheran Confessions claim that the Reformed believe two things that are false:

    1) That faith is what enables one to eat the Body and Blood of Christ along with the bread and wine. and that therefore….

    2) unbelievers do not actually eat with their mouth´s Christ´s Body and Blood.

    These are the two points that the Concordia claims is taught by the reformed that are false and to be rejected. Can you show me anywhere in any Reformed Confession where I can see that these two charges are false?

    Thank you for your patience and the polite form of your question and response!

  • fws

    Larry Wilson @130

    “What if–by reading original sources–a faithful Lutheran became persuaded that the Formula of Concord was incorrect and unjust in what it alleges about the Reformed view of the Lord’s Supper? What might/should he do?”

    The Lutheran Confessions claim that the Reformed believe two things that are false:

    1) That faith is what enables one to eat the Body and Blood of Christ along with the bread and wine. and that therefore….

    2) unbelievers do not actually eat with their mouth´s Christ´s Body and Blood.

    These are the two points that the Concordia claims is taught by the reformed that are false and to be rejected. Can you show me anywhere in any Reformed Confession where I can see that these two charges are false?

    Thank you for your patience and the polite form of your question and response!

  • fws

    Larry Wilson @140

    here is a blog that I think articulates the position of John Calvin fairly on both christology and it´s influence on his view of the sacraments.

    Christology will govern the view of the sacraments.

    As for the reformed confessions, I would rejoice to see that they rejected what john Calvin (and the late Melancthon) taught and believed! I would be surprised to hear that someone who holds to the westminster confession or the heidelberg catechism would say that those two documents clearly reject the teachings of John Calvin as to christology and the blessed sacrament. Let me know. Interesting.

    http://www.theologian.org.uk/doctrine/calvinonthelordssupper.html

  • fws

    Larry Wilson @140

    here is a blog that I think articulates the position of John Calvin fairly on both christology and it´s influence on his view of the sacraments.

    Christology will govern the view of the sacraments.

    As for the reformed confessions, I would rejoice to see that they rejected what john Calvin (and the late Melancthon) taught and believed! I would be surprised to hear that someone who holds to the westminster confession or the heidelberg catechism would say that those two documents clearly reject the teachings of John Calvin as to christology and the blessed sacrament. Let me know. Interesting.

    http://www.theologian.org.uk/doctrine/calvinonthelordssupper.html

  • Larry

    “In order to explain how the exalted Christ could be at God’s right hand and locally present in the Supper Luther developed the doctrine of ubiquity. The key to this was to understand, against Rome and Zwingli, that,
    The right hand of God is not a specific place in which a body must or may be, such as on a golden throne, but is the almighty power of God, which at one and the same time can be nowhere and yet must be everywhere.[19]
    In addition to this, Luther argues for the direct communication of the Christ’s natures which meant that whatever is predicated of Christ’s divine nature can also be predicated of his human nature. As a result, Christ could be physically present anywhere, even in many places at once: his body, as well as his divine nature, is ubiquitous. To suggest otherwise, according to Luther, would be to separate the divine and human natures, and so fall into Nestorianism. Because of the doctrine of ubiquity, Luther could construct a neat syllogism:
    Christ’s body is at the right hand of God…. The right hand of God, however, is everywhere…. Therefore, [Christ’s body] surely is present also in the bread and wine at table.”

    –End Quote Mason

    Mason already starts out on the wrong foot. The point is continually missed almost recalcitrantly. Luther did not first seek to “explain” how and then proceed. These formulations, e.g. above, were formulated to show how the alleged “good and necessary consequence” of Zwingli and later Calvin’s thought were not scripturally so. In other words we are still attempting to do what both Rome and the Reformed do explain the inscrutable mystery. I.e. Mason has already gotten away from the Word’s of Christ and into explaining Calvin’s philosophical presupposition, roping Luther and Lutheran’s into “please explain our doctrine back to us and why its wrong”.

    The Reformed have never bothered to give an answer as to why they leave Christ’s words as is. Then when they trick Lutherans into explaining “their problem” they turn around a pretend Luther came from a presupposition as they did. He did not. Luther time and time and time again said this is what the words say. Period end of story. He does not set out to “explain how it happens” only in so much as to show that the alleged “good and necessary consequence” is really just human reason and imagination (i.e. the finite cannot contain the infinite). And therein lies the poison as Luther would say.

    Let’s look at it this way: Christ said what He said. One has to ask themselves, “do I believe it or do I have to insert some interpretation or not. If the later what is it and why is it? In other words if you ask the Reformed the very fundamental question, “Why do you depart from Christ’s clear words – “this is…” – why do you do so? What underlies that? We will find at length it is ultimately is the Gnostic greek philosophy of “the finite cannot be contained by the infinite”. And hence the heresy and all that goes with it.

    To ask the question fairly lets ask it back to the Lutherans as coming from the Reformed. As such we must ask it in a way that is asking as the Reformed confess and think it. Thus we ask (from the Reformed paradigm); why do you Lutherans depart from Christ’s words? Meaning something like “this represents…this is a sign of…etc…”. The Lutheran answer? Because that’s not what Christ said. See no philosophical presupposition only “that’s not what Christ said”.

    The same cannot be answered back to the same question given the Reformed (why do you depart from Christ’s words). Why? At the risk of being utterly redundant, obvious, overt, apparent, unambiguous, plain, unequivocal – BECAUSE that (what the Reformed say) is not what Christ actually said.

    Put another way: Why do not the Reformed in all their translations of the Scripture interpret the words of Christ “this is…” to the various forms of “this represents…this is a sign/seal…etc…”? If that IS (not represents pun intended) what Christ said and the Reformed dogmatically say that is what Christ “meant” to say, i.e. the real meaning of His words, then why not just come out and interpret all the English bibles that way rather than hiding out behind Reformed confessions or in the footnotes in commentary bibles? I mean if that’s what Christ “said” then why not say it plainly and boldly.

    That’s why the Lutherans can answer the question “why do you (Lutherans) depart (per the Reformed meaning) from the words of Christ?” with a resounding, “BECAUSE THAT’S NOT WHAT CHRIST SAID.”

  • Larry

    “In order to explain how the exalted Christ could be at God’s right hand and locally present in the Supper Luther developed the doctrine of ubiquity. The key to this was to understand, against Rome and Zwingli, that,
    The right hand of God is not a specific place in which a body must or may be, such as on a golden throne, but is the almighty power of God, which at one and the same time can be nowhere and yet must be everywhere.[19]
    In addition to this, Luther argues for the direct communication of the Christ’s natures which meant that whatever is predicated of Christ’s divine nature can also be predicated of his human nature. As a result, Christ could be physically present anywhere, even in many places at once: his body, as well as his divine nature, is ubiquitous. To suggest otherwise, according to Luther, would be to separate the divine and human natures, and so fall into Nestorianism. Because of the doctrine of ubiquity, Luther could construct a neat syllogism:
    Christ’s body is at the right hand of God…. The right hand of God, however, is everywhere…. Therefore, [Christ’s body] surely is present also in the bread and wine at table.”

    –End Quote Mason

    Mason already starts out on the wrong foot. The point is continually missed almost recalcitrantly. Luther did not first seek to “explain” how and then proceed. These formulations, e.g. above, were formulated to show how the alleged “good and necessary consequence” of Zwingli and later Calvin’s thought were not scripturally so. In other words we are still attempting to do what both Rome and the Reformed do explain the inscrutable mystery. I.e. Mason has already gotten away from the Word’s of Christ and into explaining Calvin’s philosophical presupposition, roping Luther and Lutheran’s into “please explain our doctrine back to us and why its wrong”.

    The Reformed have never bothered to give an answer as to why they leave Christ’s words as is. Then when they trick Lutherans into explaining “their problem” they turn around a pretend Luther came from a presupposition as they did. He did not. Luther time and time and time again said this is what the words say. Period end of story. He does not set out to “explain how it happens” only in so much as to show that the alleged “good and necessary consequence” is really just human reason and imagination (i.e. the finite cannot contain the infinite). And therein lies the poison as Luther would say.

    Let’s look at it this way: Christ said what He said. One has to ask themselves, “do I believe it or do I have to insert some interpretation or not. If the later what is it and why is it? In other words if you ask the Reformed the very fundamental question, “Why do you depart from Christ’s clear words – “this is…” – why do you do so? What underlies that? We will find at length it is ultimately is the Gnostic greek philosophy of “the finite cannot be contained by the infinite”. And hence the heresy and all that goes with it.

    To ask the question fairly lets ask it back to the Lutherans as coming from the Reformed. As such we must ask it in a way that is asking as the Reformed confess and think it. Thus we ask (from the Reformed paradigm); why do you Lutherans depart from Christ’s words? Meaning something like “this represents…this is a sign of…etc…”. The Lutheran answer? Because that’s not what Christ said. See no philosophical presupposition only “that’s not what Christ said”.

    The same cannot be answered back to the same question given the Reformed (why do you depart from Christ’s words). Why? At the risk of being utterly redundant, obvious, overt, apparent, unambiguous, plain, unequivocal – BECAUSE that (what the Reformed say) is not what Christ actually said.

    Put another way: Why do not the Reformed in all their translations of the Scripture interpret the words of Christ “this is…” to the various forms of “this represents…this is a sign/seal…etc…”? If that IS (not represents pun intended) what Christ said and the Reformed dogmatically say that is what Christ “meant” to say, i.e. the real meaning of His words, then why not just come out and interpret all the English bibles that way rather than hiding out behind Reformed confessions or in the footnotes in commentary bibles? I mean if that’s what Christ “said” then why not say it plainly and boldly.

    That’s why the Lutherans can answer the question “why do you (Lutherans) depart (per the Reformed meaning) from the words of Christ?” with a resounding, “BECAUSE THAT’S NOT WHAT CHRIST SAID.”

  • Larry

    What if–by reading original sources–a faithful Lutheran became persuaded that the Formula of Concord was incorrect and unjust in what it alleges about the Reformed view of the Lord’s Supper?

    I’m not a pastor but I would concur with FWS’s answer. How could it? I suppose that’s a many faceted question. What is incorrect that it alleges is unjust?

    I use to try and hope to reconcile these myself coming in from Reformed to Lutheranism, I use to think, “we are just talking past each other”. But I couldn’t get past ‘words mean something’ else there’s no point making a distinction without a difference.

    For analysis only:

    Let’s forget ‘whose right or whose wrong’ for a minute and just look at what each says plainly:

    Luther: real and true flesh and blood is put into your physical mouth.

    Calvin: only bread and wine your physical mouth.

    Two things we can each agree on, neither side will disagree with this and these two are wholly utterly irreconcilable realities (as in A and not-A, theirs is no middle ground).

    Now how can the charge back at the Reformed be unjust when they themselves confess, the point of confession is to confess what you believe true, this to be the case.

    Now if a Lutheran became persuaded that the FoC was incorrect, that is that this is not what Scripture says, what might/should he do? Well it depends on who you ask, another Lutheran or a Reformed person. The Reformed person would say, leave join the truth, etc… The Lutheran would say he/she should seek out his pastor because he/she is being greatly tempted by Satan (I know how that sounds) and if he/she continues he/she will leave the orthodoxy that is the truth and put him/her self in immortal danger of rejecting the faith. Because he/she, if he/she leaves, will be put under various false teachings. One would be leaving a true confession and joining a false confession or church.

    I know how “harsh” that sounds but that’s not meant to be “harsh” for the sake of “being harsh” but stating the reality. It’s like asking what if my child finds that my warning to not run out into oncoming traffic is a true thing and she does so. What might I say to my child then? The realities here we speak of are not “neutral things” about which we can simply agree to disagree. The realities are spiritual life and spiritual death and not less. The gravity is that much. One can fall away from the faith by such a hardening of their heart against such (I realize Reformed don’t believe that, which is another related issue).

  • Larry

    What if–by reading original sources–a faithful Lutheran became persuaded that the Formula of Concord was incorrect and unjust in what it alleges about the Reformed view of the Lord’s Supper?

    I’m not a pastor but I would concur with FWS’s answer. How could it? I suppose that’s a many faceted question. What is incorrect that it alleges is unjust?

    I use to try and hope to reconcile these myself coming in from Reformed to Lutheranism, I use to think, “we are just talking past each other”. But I couldn’t get past ‘words mean something’ else there’s no point making a distinction without a difference.

    For analysis only:

    Let’s forget ‘whose right or whose wrong’ for a minute and just look at what each says plainly:

    Luther: real and true flesh and blood is put into your physical mouth.

    Calvin: only bread and wine your physical mouth.

    Two things we can each agree on, neither side will disagree with this and these two are wholly utterly irreconcilable realities (as in A and not-A, theirs is no middle ground).

    Now how can the charge back at the Reformed be unjust when they themselves confess, the point of confession is to confess what you believe true, this to be the case.

    Now if a Lutheran became persuaded that the FoC was incorrect, that is that this is not what Scripture says, what might/should he do? Well it depends on who you ask, another Lutheran or a Reformed person. The Reformed person would say, leave join the truth, etc… The Lutheran would say he/she should seek out his pastor because he/she is being greatly tempted by Satan (I know how that sounds) and if he/she continues he/she will leave the orthodoxy that is the truth and put him/her self in immortal danger of rejecting the faith. Because he/she, if he/she leaves, will be put under various false teachings. One would be leaving a true confession and joining a false confession or church.

    I know how “harsh” that sounds but that’s not meant to be “harsh” for the sake of “being harsh” but stating the reality. It’s like asking what if my child finds that my warning to not run out into oncoming traffic is a true thing and she does so. What might I say to my child then? The realities here we speak of are not “neutral things” about which we can simply agree to disagree. The realities are spiritual life and spiritual death and not less. The gravity is that much. One can fall away from the faith by such a hardening of their heart against such (I realize Reformed don’t believe that, which is another related issue).

  • Larry Wilson

    Thank you for your patient responses. It has been interesting to hear Lutheran perspectives. To quote Robert Burns:

    O wad some Pow’r the giftie gie us
    to see oursels as others see us!
    It wad frae mony a blunder free us,
    an’ foolish notion!
    What airs in dress an’ gait wad lea’e us,
    and ev’n devotion!

    It seems to me that the Formula of Concord codifies a suspicious narrative that John Calvin protested (in vain) as “calumnies.” Whether or not that is correct, I have been sincere in listening. If any wishes to hear this same narrative from a different vantage, here are some links:

    http://www.ccel.org/ccel/schaff/hcc8.iv.xv.xv.html

    http://www.ccel.org/ccel/schaff/hcc8.iv.xv.xvi.html

    http://calvin500blog.files.wordpress.com/2009/06/mcgoldrick_-_luther_and_calvin.pdf

    By the bye, the book that Dr. Veith referenced just arrived in my mail, so I look forward to reading that.

    Cheers.

  • Larry Wilson

    Thank you for your patient responses. It has been interesting to hear Lutheran perspectives. To quote Robert Burns:

    O wad some Pow’r the giftie gie us
    to see oursels as others see us!
    It wad frae mony a blunder free us,
    an’ foolish notion!
    What airs in dress an’ gait wad lea’e us,
    and ev’n devotion!

    It seems to me that the Formula of Concord codifies a suspicious narrative that John Calvin protested (in vain) as “calumnies.” Whether or not that is correct, I have been sincere in listening. If any wishes to hear this same narrative from a different vantage, here are some links:

    http://www.ccel.org/ccel/schaff/hcc8.iv.xv.xv.html

    http://www.ccel.org/ccel/schaff/hcc8.iv.xv.xvi.html

    http://calvin500blog.files.wordpress.com/2009/06/mcgoldrick_-_luther_and_calvin.pdf

    By the bye, the book that Dr. Veith referenced just arrived in my mail, so I look forward to reading that.

    Cheers.

  • Larry

    It is any Christians duty to find out what is true and what is false regarding the faith, Calvin and even Luther. Luther would agree with this. It is never “Because Luther said so…”. But that never equates to, especially something so high as the sacraments, “it cannot be found out”. The problem is not that scripture is too confusing on this issue, its not, its actually quiet clear. The problem lays within us to believe it. It’s not an issue of more “reasoning” needed, rather an issue of faith. Reason here is a great temptress, I think all of us would agree with that and so did Luther when speaking to Zwingli on the matter. But for Luther as he said, ‘these words are too strong for me’. Apparently not Zwingli.

    It is true that some, not all, of Luther’s contemporary supporters did not see the approaching storm that this would be. They did not understand the “razing of the country side” that Luther almost prophetically saw. Few had his long term vision of the problem during Marburg. But that was short lived as Lutheran’s began to see the issue as Luther did and the problems with Phillip basically being tempted and drawn away through Calvin.

    The entire fact that Calvin (and later Calvinist) do see the importance of the issue and relegated it to “merely a mode” issue speaks volumes. Again it goes to the fundamental question of “why do you depart from Christ’s Words”. That principle, the why, is the same principle that ultimately denies the two natures of Christ. Luther saw this very clearly with Zwingli in particular and that he would interpret all sorts of Scripture according to this one principle error, and so Zwingli, and later Calvin did (Zwingli more grossly than Calvin). There is no ‘mystery’ why the sacraments have fallen on hard times, at best, in Reformed churches, and at worst null and void in Baptistic like churches. A thing Calvin himself began to lament later in his own life as he saw the sacrament disappearing in his own churches (a point Sasse makes). It is why fundamentally in Calvinstic churches, as Phillip Carey points out, faith means “I believe” while under Luther it means “God cannot lie”. The issue of the sacraments, how used, how taken to heart, etc… and the issue of “what is faith” are intimately connected. The reason baptism IS the actual and true forgiveness of sins ‘to the man’ and God doing it in the present (not symbolically, generally in the past but really and truly, for me, in the present), absolution is ‘to the man’ and God speaking it in the present (not symbolically, generally in the past but really and truly, for me, in the present), and the Lord’s Supper the very and true flesh and blood of Christ (the sacrifice given/shed for us, Paul’s point of comparison with demonic sacrifices being eaten – sacrificed animals to demons) give/shed for you (to the man) for the actual and real forgiveness of sin by God Himself in the present – these are linked to why faith for Calvin and his churches is ultimately “I believe” (how do I know I am elect) versus Luther in which faith IS “God cannot lie”. Those are the ties if you will and why its not just “mode”.

    As to where Zwingli was a recalcitrant heretic, Calvin was an epic tragedy of immeasurable proportions.

  • Larry

    It is any Christians duty to find out what is true and what is false regarding the faith, Calvin and even Luther. Luther would agree with this. It is never “Because Luther said so…”. But that never equates to, especially something so high as the sacraments, “it cannot be found out”. The problem is not that scripture is too confusing on this issue, its not, its actually quiet clear. The problem lays within us to believe it. It’s not an issue of more “reasoning” needed, rather an issue of faith. Reason here is a great temptress, I think all of us would agree with that and so did Luther when speaking to Zwingli on the matter. But for Luther as he said, ‘these words are too strong for me’. Apparently not Zwingli.

    It is true that some, not all, of Luther’s contemporary supporters did not see the approaching storm that this would be. They did not understand the “razing of the country side” that Luther almost prophetically saw. Few had his long term vision of the problem during Marburg. But that was short lived as Lutheran’s began to see the issue as Luther did and the problems with Phillip basically being tempted and drawn away through Calvin.

    The entire fact that Calvin (and later Calvinist) do see the importance of the issue and relegated it to “merely a mode” issue speaks volumes. Again it goes to the fundamental question of “why do you depart from Christ’s Words”. That principle, the why, is the same principle that ultimately denies the two natures of Christ. Luther saw this very clearly with Zwingli in particular and that he would interpret all sorts of Scripture according to this one principle error, and so Zwingli, and later Calvin did (Zwingli more grossly than Calvin). There is no ‘mystery’ why the sacraments have fallen on hard times, at best, in Reformed churches, and at worst null and void in Baptistic like churches. A thing Calvin himself began to lament later in his own life as he saw the sacrament disappearing in his own churches (a point Sasse makes). It is why fundamentally in Calvinstic churches, as Phillip Carey points out, faith means “I believe” while under Luther it means “God cannot lie”. The issue of the sacraments, how used, how taken to heart, etc… and the issue of “what is faith” are intimately connected. The reason baptism IS the actual and true forgiveness of sins ‘to the man’ and God doing it in the present (not symbolically, generally in the past but really and truly, for me, in the present), absolution is ‘to the man’ and God speaking it in the present (not symbolically, generally in the past but really and truly, for me, in the present), and the Lord’s Supper the very and true flesh and blood of Christ (the sacrifice given/shed for us, Paul’s point of comparison with demonic sacrifices being eaten – sacrificed animals to demons) give/shed for you (to the man) for the actual and real forgiveness of sin by God Himself in the present – these are linked to why faith for Calvin and his churches is ultimately “I believe” (how do I know I am elect) versus Luther in which faith IS “God cannot lie”. Those are the ties if you will and why its not just “mode”.

    As to where Zwingli was a recalcitrant heretic, Calvin was an epic tragedy of immeasurable proportions.

  • fws

    Larry Wilson @135

    It seems that you can talk “about” the Lutherans and the formula of concord, but you can not speak specifically to the very words of that same formula of concord. Your veneer of seeming charity wears rather thin therefore.

    can you please attempt to answer my post @ 132? I doubt that you can honestly.

  • fws

    Larry Wilson @135

    It seems that you can talk “about” the Lutherans and the formula of concord, but you can not speak specifically to the very words of that same formula of concord. Your veneer of seeming charity wears rather thin therefore.

    can you please attempt to answer my post @ 132? I doubt that you can honestly.

  • fws

    larry at 135

    the two charges of the formula you can find in my post @ 131. you say that calvin and any reformed confession would also condemn these two views as clearly wrong?

    I.don´t.think.so.

  • fws

    larry at 135

    the two charges of the formula you can find in my post @ 131. you say that calvin and any reformed confession would also condemn these two views as clearly wrong?

    I.don´t.think.so.

  • Larry Wilson

    FWS, of course I do not say that the Reformed confessions teach what the Lutheran confessions teach on this topic. See what I said @ 37 and in my other posts. Thanks for bearing with me so long. Fare well.

  • Larry Wilson

    FWS, of course I do not say that the Reformed confessions teach what the Lutheran confessions teach on this topic. See what I said @ 37 and in my other posts. Thanks for bearing with me so long. Fare well.

  • Larry

    One cannot get past the massive root philosophical presupposition of Zwingli and Calvin driving the whole boat. That is key, “why depart from the words of Christ?” It’s the same issue concerning infant baptism that Reformed have to fend off from the Baptist.

    Thus an irony of the Reformed position on that doctrine’s supper is the same error they reject of the Baptist, i.e. “the good and necessary consequence” that they extract from the sign/symbol supper they have is precisely the argument any Baptist worth his salt makes concerning baptism in Acts.

    E.g. in his commentaries Calvin on the book of Acts chapter 2 comments where Peter says, “repent and be baptized for the promise is to you and your children…” that this silences forever the Anabaptist on the issue and is beyond controversy. Yet the Baptist will simply go down a few verses where it reads those who repented/believed were baptized and say, “see only adults can do this”…ergo believers (adult only) baptism. Walla, a “good and necessary consequence” distilled (per se) from Scripture. No different than the Reformed on the supper issue.

    The Baptist equally argues from reason, “infants cannot reason or make a decision or believe”, therefore how can they be or why should they be baptized. Same thing as, “infinitum non capax finite”, therefore as Calvin says his body can never leave heaven or be every where at once. Same reasoning, same ‘good and necessary consequence’ “drawn from scripture”.

  • Larry

    One cannot get past the massive root philosophical presupposition of Zwingli and Calvin driving the whole boat. That is key, “why depart from the words of Christ?” It’s the same issue concerning infant baptism that Reformed have to fend off from the Baptist.

    Thus an irony of the Reformed position on that doctrine’s supper is the same error they reject of the Baptist, i.e. “the good and necessary consequence” that they extract from the sign/symbol supper they have is precisely the argument any Baptist worth his salt makes concerning baptism in Acts.

    E.g. in his commentaries Calvin on the book of Acts chapter 2 comments where Peter says, “repent and be baptized for the promise is to you and your children…” that this silences forever the Anabaptist on the issue and is beyond controversy. Yet the Baptist will simply go down a few verses where it reads those who repented/believed were baptized and say, “see only adults can do this”…ergo believers (adult only) baptism. Walla, a “good and necessary consequence” distilled (per se) from Scripture. No different than the Reformed on the supper issue.

    The Baptist equally argues from reason, “infants cannot reason or make a decision or believe”, therefore how can they be or why should they be baptized. Same thing as, “infinitum non capax finite”, therefore as Calvin says his body can never leave heaven or be every where at once. Same reasoning, same ‘good and necessary consequence’ “drawn from scripture”.

  • http://www.utah-lutheran.blogspot.com Bror Erickson

    Larry Wilson @139,
    Come on now. Answer the question fws asked. He didn’t ask if YOU rejected this view, but if the reformed confessions condemned this view as strongly as the Formula of Concord.
    And most clearly they don’t. In fact It can be found in almost all Reformed Dogmatics, that unbelievers do not consume the Body and Blood in the Lord’s Supper, but only believers.

  • http://www.utah-lutheran.blogspot.com Bror Erickson

    Larry Wilson @139,
    Come on now. Answer the question fws asked. He didn’t ask if YOU rejected this view, but if the reformed confessions condemned this view as strongly as the Formula of Concord.
    And most clearly they don’t. In fact It can be found in almost all Reformed Dogmatics, that unbelievers do not consume the Body and Blood in the Lord’s Supper, but only believers.

  • fws

    bror @141

    I think brother Larry the calvinist just gave us a live demonstration of how calvinists twist the truth and then say that we Lutherans are “unjustly” judging the doctrine of the reformed on this.

    I can see why our Lutheran ancestors got so very frustrated at times. It appears that the end justifies the means. rather than identify and sharpen differences, they think it is moral to obsfuscate and hide them.

  • fws

    bror @141

    I think brother Larry the calvinist just gave us a live demonstration of how calvinists twist the truth and then say that we Lutherans are “unjustly” judging the doctrine of the reformed on this.

    I can see why our Lutheran ancestors got so very frustrated at times. It appears that the end justifies the means. rather than identify and sharpen differences, they think it is moral to obsfuscate and hide them.

  • Larry

    Luther once commented that like Christ during His earthly ministry and crucifixion is most hidden so is He most hidden in this very sacrament. So that unbelief does not see God in suffering for sin, yet hidden to reason, experience and affections and the wisdom of the world (God is not seen there) He is yet “seen” by faith (God is seen and savingly so).

    Thus, so Christ was rejected in such statements when He forgave the many in particular absolution of their sins the response was, “Only God can forgive sin” (implication being you/Jesus are not God). God hidden to unbelief manifest itself saying, “only God can forgive sin”. So to is this the way in which the sacraments (baptism and the supper) and absolution are rejected by other protestant denomination, the to the man or for me in particular actual and real forgiveness is rejected. To wit: “Baptism does not save”, “The Holy Spirit is not given in baptism”, “baptism does not forgive sin”, “God doesn’t baptize anyone a pastor does”; and “there is no real forgiveness of sin given one in the LS”, “there is not body and blood (that which was given/shed in reality for the forgiveness of sin) truly in the bread and wine given and shed for the forgiveness of sin”, “a pastor cannot absolve you and it actually be God doing so”…”only God can forgive sin”. Same thing, just as God was hidden most in Christ, so to is God/Christ hidden to fallen human reason, experience, affections and wisdom in the sacraments and absolution and most of all in the Holy Supper;, “just water”, “just bread and wine”, “just a man/pastor saying something…only God can forgive sin”.

    The sacrament(s) are no less rejected than was/is the incarnation so rejected. And where these are is also where the highest battle between darkness and light for the Gospel. It’s why we can “agree to the Gospel” ecumenically as long as its “high up and in theory” and awaiting some work (even faith or repentance) and not agree actually and really given by God Himself. No one actually gets upset until actual forgiveness is given and to the man, but when that happens (the real Gospel) then the war between light and darkness quickens immediately. This is most acutely so surrounding the sacraments because it is there in which actual Gospel is given and not just a hypothetical generic Gospel awaiting at least the work of faith to ferret out the elect/truly reborn/truly converted/truly saved (which is no Gospel at all).

    We often wish no battle over the sacraments but this can never be since the sacraments and the LS in particular ARE the Gospel (Luther said), and where it is and the defense of it suffering (primarily and directly anguish of conscience which is where faith is) via persecution, heresy or temptation of ease will necessarily come both to the church and to the believer.

    Thus, while “new methods” by heterodoxy are invented to draw people to the other gospel, orthodoxy MUST suffer the loss at times. Luther’s “seventh sign” of the church was a suffering church that looks like nothingness for the sake of the Gospel she defends. And if in our day and age that means “little numbers”, “people vacating”, “broken ecumenicalism” then it does for such reject the Gospel (this sacrament is the Gospel). This is not a desire to be isolationist but a fact of the often effect of the Gospel, so that’s God’s power in weakness is made plain against the wisdoms of the world. Confess, preach and teach the sacraments it may or may not grow your church, make you many friends, and its not a wise method, in fact it offends. Yet the tiniest church with the oldest dying members that seems to be on its last leg that holds to this, this seeming nothingness, is the power of God for her message sake.

    The temptation Luther did not succumb to at Marburg was the great temptation in order to “hammer Rome” was the great temptation to give up the Gospel in this sacrament by alliance with Zwingli and Bucer (and later Calvin) in order to be all the more powerful against Rome. Rather the Word was preserved in suffering and similitude to nothingness so that all might know it was God alone. What is “just water, bread and wine” is the very power that created the universe and creates believers BY forgiving them, but to the world it is not any of those things.

  • Larry

    Luther once commented that like Christ during His earthly ministry and crucifixion is most hidden so is He most hidden in this very sacrament. So that unbelief does not see God in suffering for sin, yet hidden to reason, experience and affections and the wisdom of the world (God is not seen there) He is yet “seen” by faith (God is seen and savingly so).

    Thus, so Christ was rejected in such statements when He forgave the many in particular absolution of their sins the response was, “Only God can forgive sin” (implication being you/Jesus are not God). God hidden to unbelief manifest itself saying, “only God can forgive sin”. So to is this the way in which the sacraments (baptism and the supper) and absolution are rejected by other protestant denomination, the to the man or for me in particular actual and real forgiveness is rejected. To wit: “Baptism does not save”, “The Holy Spirit is not given in baptism”, “baptism does not forgive sin”, “God doesn’t baptize anyone a pastor does”; and “there is no real forgiveness of sin given one in the LS”, “there is not body and blood (that which was given/shed in reality for the forgiveness of sin) truly in the bread and wine given and shed for the forgiveness of sin”, “a pastor cannot absolve you and it actually be God doing so”…”only God can forgive sin”. Same thing, just as God was hidden most in Christ, so to is God/Christ hidden to fallen human reason, experience, affections and wisdom in the sacraments and absolution and most of all in the Holy Supper;, “just water”, “just bread and wine”, “just a man/pastor saying something…only God can forgive sin”.

    The sacrament(s) are no less rejected than was/is the incarnation so rejected. And where these are is also where the highest battle between darkness and light for the Gospel. It’s why we can “agree to the Gospel” ecumenically as long as its “high up and in theory” and awaiting some work (even faith or repentance) and not agree actually and really given by God Himself. No one actually gets upset until actual forgiveness is given and to the man, but when that happens (the real Gospel) then the war between light and darkness quickens immediately. This is most acutely so surrounding the sacraments because it is there in which actual Gospel is given and not just a hypothetical generic Gospel awaiting at least the work of faith to ferret out the elect/truly reborn/truly converted/truly saved (which is no Gospel at all).

    We often wish no battle over the sacraments but this can never be since the sacraments and the LS in particular ARE the Gospel (Luther said), and where it is and the defense of it suffering (primarily and directly anguish of conscience which is where faith is) via persecution, heresy or temptation of ease will necessarily come both to the church and to the believer.

    Thus, while “new methods” by heterodoxy are invented to draw people to the other gospel, orthodoxy MUST suffer the loss at times. Luther’s “seventh sign” of the church was a suffering church that looks like nothingness for the sake of the Gospel she defends. And if in our day and age that means “little numbers”, “people vacating”, “broken ecumenicalism” then it does for such reject the Gospel (this sacrament is the Gospel). This is not a desire to be isolationist but a fact of the often effect of the Gospel, so that’s God’s power in weakness is made plain against the wisdoms of the world. Confess, preach and teach the sacraments it may or may not grow your church, make you many friends, and its not a wise method, in fact it offends. Yet the tiniest church with the oldest dying members that seems to be on its last leg that holds to this, this seeming nothingness, is the power of God for her message sake.

    The temptation Luther did not succumb to at Marburg was the great temptation in order to “hammer Rome” was the great temptation to give up the Gospel in this sacrament by alliance with Zwingli and Bucer (and later Calvin) in order to be all the more powerful against Rome. Rather the Word was preserved in suffering and similitude to nothingness so that all might know it was God alone. What is “just water, bread and wine” is the very power that created the universe and creates believers BY forgiving them, but to the world it is not any of those things.

  • Larry Wilson

    Warm greetings. I thought that everyone had left this room. Well, at least I’m still a brother, if only one with a thin veneer of seeming charity who twists the truth. But I do hope you brothers will appreciate a few factors.

    First, I am ever conscious that I am a guest on a Lutheran site, and that I do not presume that Dr. Veith has any obligation to tolerate a contrary propaganda.

    Second, I am not and never have been a Lutheran. You may not be fully aware that you have a different ecclesiastical culture and speak a different religious language than I am used to. So my primary purpose in joining this conversation has not been to engage in polemics so much as to try to understand what you believe and why. I have tried to bow out of this on several occasions because I feared I might be crossing the line. Believe me, it’s not as easy for an outsider to understand you as you might think. So I have been trying to listen before I speak (Prov. 18:13).

    Third, I am at a distinct disadvantage–I can only look on the outward appearance, while you brothers seem to be able to look on hearts and to read motives. Remarkable! Here I’ve been surrounded by them and I still can’t read their hearts or predict their actions, nor yours. That’s why I have tried to scruple to speak of “the Lutheran view” and “the Reformed view” and to define those views by what the Confessions and Catechisms teach, not by what this or that individual says. But apparently you all can.

    I do suppose it was foolish of me to imagine that you all were keeping track of all my comments, because I thought that I had already answered the questions earlier.

    In an article in the Concordia Theological Quarterly (Vol. 54, No. 1), Ken Schurb wrote, “Calvin taught that Protestants all stood beneath an overarching unity of thought … and that this umbrella encompassed sufficient space for legitimate development. The sacraments made for an obvious area of divergence, but even there Calvin was convinced that he had maintained Luther’s fundamental concern. Thus, Calvin and his followers were amazed and miffed at the criticisms they drew from Lutherans in the second half of the century, to say nothing of refusals of church fellowship.” And you may say that I’ve inherited part of that ethos–the fervent desire for observable unity in the Body of Christ–so that I too have been amazed at the apparently hostile and seemingly angry responses my comments and questions have drawn here.

    And that brings me to the part of the Formula of Concord which I challenge. Not the two points you identify, FWS (By the bye, that was helpful. Thank you). If the Formula simply pointed out that–in your words–”the Lutheran Confessions claim that the Reformed believe two things that are false:
    1) That faith is what enables one to eat the Body and Blood of Christ along with the bread and wine. And that therefore….
    2) unbelievers do not actually eat with their mouths Christ’s Body and Blood.”
    and that we reject these as errors, then I could have no objection. Yes, the Westminster Confession and Catechisms–which I confess–do state those things (see the Catechism answer I quoted @ 37), and you do reject them as errors. That is not the part I question.

    I question the narrative that conflates Zwingli’s view and Calvin’s view as if they are one. That is certainly not the way we see it. And I question its repeating what Calvin and others insisted to be “calumnies” impugning the motives of Bucer, Calvin, Vermigli, and others on the “Calvinist” side of the disagreement. I suggested some links @ 135 that give an alternate perspective on that controversy.

    At least Rev. Schurb was willing to grant the judgment of charity, “The sacraments made for an obvious area of divergence, but even there Calvin was convinced that he had maintained Luther’s fundamental concern.” And frankly, that’s the perspective I started out with in this conversation.

    And now you may each have the last word. I am bowing out. And I am sincere when say that I wish you to fare well.

  • Larry Wilson

    Warm greetings. I thought that everyone had left this room. Well, at least I’m still a brother, if only one with a thin veneer of seeming charity who twists the truth. But I do hope you brothers will appreciate a few factors.

    First, I am ever conscious that I am a guest on a Lutheran site, and that I do not presume that Dr. Veith has any obligation to tolerate a contrary propaganda.

    Second, I am not and never have been a Lutheran. You may not be fully aware that you have a different ecclesiastical culture and speak a different religious language than I am used to. So my primary purpose in joining this conversation has not been to engage in polemics so much as to try to understand what you believe and why. I have tried to bow out of this on several occasions because I feared I might be crossing the line. Believe me, it’s not as easy for an outsider to understand you as you might think. So I have been trying to listen before I speak (Prov. 18:13).

    Third, I am at a distinct disadvantage–I can only look on the outward appearance, while you brothers seem to be able to look on hearts and to read motives. Remarkable! Here I’ve been surrounded by them and I still can’t read their hearts or predict their actions, nor yours. That’s why I have tried to scruple to speak of “the Lutheran view” and “the Reformed view” and to define those views by what the Confessions and Catechisms teach, not by what this or that individual says. But apparently you all can.

    I do suppose it was foolish of me to imagine that you all were keeping track of all my comments, because I thought that I had already answered the questions earlier.

    In an article in the Concordia Theological Quarterly (Vol. 54, No. 1), Ken Schurb wrote, “Calvin taught that Protestants all stood beneath an overarching unity of thought … and that this umbrella encompassed sufficient space for legitimate development. The sacraments made for an obvious area of divergence, but even there Calvin was convinced that he had maintained Luther’s fundamental concern. Thus, Calvin and his followers were amazed and miffed at the criticisms they drew from Lutherans in the second half of the century, to say nothing of refusals of church fellowship.” And you may say that I’ve inherited part of that ethos–the fervent desire for observable unity in the Body of Christ–so that I too have been amazed at the apparently hostile and seemingly angry responses my comments and questions have drawn here.

    And that brings me to the part of the Formula of Concord which I challenge. Not the two points you identify, FWS (By the bye, that was helpful. Thank you). If the Formula simply pointed out that–in your words–”the Lutheran Confessions claim that the Reformed believe two things that are false:
    1) That faith is what enables one to eat the Body and Blood of Christ along with the bread and wine. And that therefore….
    2) unbelievers do not actually eat with their mouths Christ’s Body and Blood.”
    and that we reject these as errors, then I could have no objection. Yes, the Westminster Confession and Catechisms–which I confess–do state those things (see the Catechism answer I quoted @ 37), and you do reject them as errors. That is not the part I question.

    I question the narrative that conflates Zwingli’s view and Calvin’s view as if they are one. That is certainly not the way we see it. And I question its repeating what Calvin and others insisted to be “calumnies” impugning the motives of Bucer, Calvin, Vermigli, and others on the “Calvinist” side of the disagreement. I suggested some links @ 135 that give an alternate perspective on that controversy.

    At least Rev. Schurb was willing to grant the judgment of charity, “The sacraments made for an obvious area of divergence, but even there Calvin was convinced that he had maintained Luther’s fundamental concern.” And frankly, that’s the perspective I started out with in this conversation.

    And now you may each have the last word. I am bowing out. And I am sincere when say that I wish you to fare well.

  • http://www.utah-lutheran.blogspot.com Bror erickson

    Larry Wilson,
    No one is trying to read your heart, what we are doing is listening to your words and watching your actions.
    Now, if you want to bow out that is fine. We are though all guests on Veiths blog, which he desires not to be a “lutheran” blog. what he does is provides a forum for discussion, and you are welcome as far as I know to speak your mind, so much as you do so in a respectful way and don’t call names etc.
    So don’t be self conscious. Join the conversation and speak your mind. Lutherans tend to respect that. I’d say more, but I am going to get a beer, and checking out for a week or so.

  • http://www.utah-lutheran.blogspot.com Bror erickson

    Larry Wilson,
    No one is trying to read your heart, what we are doing is listening to your words and watching your actions.
    Now, if you want to bow out that is fine. We are though all guests on Veiths blog, which he desires not to be a “lutheran” blog. what he does is provides a forum for discussion, and you are welcome as far as I know to speak your mind, so much as you do so in a respectful way and don’t call names etc.
    So don’t be self conscious. Join the conversation and speak your mind. Lutherans tend to respect that. I’d say more, but I am going to get a beer, and checking out for a week or so.

  • fws

    Larry Wilson @144

    LARRY W: “Yes, the Westminster Confession and Catechisms–which I confess–do state those things [that reformed believe that any "real presence" is only made real by faith and that unbelievers recieve no real presence in the sacrament] (see the Catechism answer I quoted @ 37), and you do reject them as errors. That is not the part I question.

    “I question the narrative that conflates Zwingli’s view and Calvin’s view as if they are one. That is certainly not the way we see it.”

    FRANK: Okaaaaay. Check this Out Larry Wilson. Calvin calls the Lutheran view “perverse and impious superstition. Preposterous interpreters. repugnant to christ…”. How is what is written here in any way substantionally different then Zwingli´s views?

    I am all ears here. But of course you will again not respond directly to this post will you? Even though this is written by John Calvin himself.

    JOHN CALVIN:

    “The Consensus Tigurinus
    – John Calvin (1549) translated by Henry Beveridge

    Mutual Consent in Regard to the Sacraments Between the Ministers of the Church of Zurich and John Calvin, Minister of the Church of Geneva. Now published by those who framed it. MDLIV

    Article 21. No Local Presence Must Be Imagined.
    We must guard particularly against the idea of any local presence. For while the signs are present in this world, are seen by the eyes and handled by the hands, Christ, regarded as man, must be sought nowhere else than in Heaven, and not otherwise than with the mind and eye of faith. Wherefore it is a perverse and impious superstition to inclose him under the elements of this world.

    Article 22. Explanation of the Words “This Is My Body.”
    Those who insist that the formal words of the Supper, “This is my body; this is my blood,” are to be taken in what they call the precisely literal sense, we repudiate as preposterous interpreters. For we hold it out of controversy that they are to be taken figuratively, the bread and wine receiving the name of that which they signify. Nor should it be thought a new or unwonted thing to transfer the name of things figured by metonomy [modern spelling: metonymy] to the sign, as similar modes of expression occur throughout the Scriptures, and we by so saying assert nothing but what is found in the most ancient and most approved writers of the Church.

    Article 23. Of the Eating of the Body.
    When it is said that Christ, by our eating of his flesh and drinking of his blood, which are here figured, feeds our souls through faith by the agency of the Holy Spirit, we are not to understand it as if any mingling or transfusion of substance took place, but that we draw life from the flesh once offered in sacrifice and the blood shed in expiation.

    Article 24. Transubstantiation and Other Follies.
    In this way are refuted not only the fiction of the Papists concerning transubstantiation, but all the gross figments and futile quibbles which either derogate from his celestial glory or are in some degree repugnant to the reality of his human nature. For we deem it no less absurd to place Christ under the bread or couple him with the bread, than to transubstantiate the bread into his body.

    Article 25. The Body of Christ Locally in Heaven.
    And that no ambiguity may remain when we say that Christ is to be sought in Heaven, the expression implies and is understood by us to intimate distance of place. For though philosophically speaking there is no place above the skies, yet as the body of Christ, bearing the nature and mode of a human body, is finite and is contained in Heaven as its place, it is necessarily as distant from us in point of space as Heaven is from Earth.

    http://www.bookofconcord.org/consenus-tigurinus.php

    So ok brother Larry. Point by point here, show us Lutherans how any of these points are substantially different than the teachings of Zwingli on the Holy Supper.

  • fws

    Larry Wilson @144

    LARRY W: “Yes, the Westminster Confession and Catechisms–which I confess–do state those things [that reformed believe that any "real presence" is only made real by faith and that unbelievers recieve no real presence in the sacrament] (see the Catechism answer I quoted @ 37), and you do reject them as errors. That is not the part I question.

    “I question the narrative that conflates Zwingli’s view and Calvin’s view as if they are one. That is certainly not the way we see it.”

    FRANK: Okaaaaay. Check this Out Larry Wilson. Calvin calls the Lutheran view “perverse and impious superstition. Preposterous interpreters. repugnant to christ…”. How is what is written here in any way substantionally different then Zwingli´s views?

    I am all ears here. But of course you will again not respond directly to this post will you? Even though this is written by John Calvin himself.

    JOHN CALVIN:

    “The Consensus Tigurinus
    – John Calvin (1549) translated by Henry Beveridge

    Mutual Consent in Regard to the Sacraments Between the Ministers of the Church of Zurich and John Calvin, Minister of the Church of Geneva. Now published by those who framed it. MDLIV

    Article 21. No Local Presence Must Be Imagined.
    We must guard particularly against the idea of any local presence. For while the signs are present in this world, are seen by the eyes and handled by the hands, Christ, regarded as man, must be sought nowhere else than in Heaven, and not otherwise than with the mind and eye of faith. Wherefore it is a perverse and impious superstition to inclose him under the elements of this world.

    Article 22. Explanation of the Words “This Is My Body.”
    Those who insist that the formal words of the Supper, “This is my body; this is my blood,” are to be taken in what they call the precisely literal sense, we repudiate as preposterous interpreters. For we hold it out of controversy that they are to be taken figuratively, the bread and wine receiving the name of that which they signify. Nor should it be thought a new or unwonted thing to transfer the name of things figured by metonomy [modern spelling: metonymy] to the sign, as similar modes of expression occur throughout the Scriptures, and we by so saying assert nothing but what is found in the most ancient and most approved writers of the Church.

    Article 23. Of the Eating of the Body.
    When it is said that Christ, by our eating of his flesh and drinking of his blood, which are here figured, feeds our souls through faith by the agency of the Holy Spirit, we are not to understand it as if any mingling or transfusion of substance took place, but that we draw life from the flesh once offered in sacrifice and the blood shed in expiation.

    Article 24. Transubstantiation and Other Follies.
    In this way are refuted not only the fiction of the Papists concerning transubstantiation, but all the gross figments and futile quibbles which either derogate from his celestial glory or are in some degree repugnant to the reality of his human nature. For we deem it no less absurd to place Christ under the bread or couple him with the bread, than to transubstantiate the bread into his body.

    Article 25. The Body of Christ Locally in Heaven.
    And that no ambiguity may remain when we say that Christ is to be sought in Heaven, the expression implies and is understood by us to intimate distance of place. For though philosophically speaking there is no place above the skies, yet as the body of Christ, bearing the nature and mode of a human body, is finite and is contained in Heaven as its place, it is necessarily as distant from us in point of space as Heaven is from Earth.

    http://www.bookofconcord.org/consenus-tigurinus.php

    So ok brother Larry. Point by point here, show us Lutherans how any of these points are substantially different than the teachings of Zwingli on the Holy Supper.

  • Larry Wilson

    OK, OK, since you fellows are so warm and genial, I guess I will stick around a little longer. But you’ll have to give me time. I have other responsibilities that I need to attend to. I’ll be back.

  • Larry Wilson

    OK, OK, since you fellows are so warm and genial, I guess I will stick around a little longer. But you’ll have to give me time. I have other responsibilities that I need to attend to. I’ll be back.

  • fws

    Larry Wilson @147

    That´s Great! I am pretty sure we are all happy to have you here to keep us all honest with respect to Reformed doctrines.

    Sincerely.

    Arguments among christian brothers should never be about setting up strawmen to easily knock down.

    My personal interest, by the way, with the Reformed, is in the area of “sanctification”. I put that word in quotes, because I think most Lutherans here actually and unknowingly hold to Calvin´s views here and don´t realize that the Lutheran Confessions teach something far different. Hint/preview: What most modern Lutherans and calvinists and evangelicals would call “sanctification”, the Old Lutherans would place entirely under the category of “mortification of the Flesh” “Old Adam” and “Law”. Luther: “Life is Mortification”.

  • fws

    Larry Wilson @147

    That´s Great! I am pretty sure we are all happy to have you here to keep us all honest with respect to Reformed doctrines.

    Sincerely.

    Arguments among christian brothers should never be about setting up strawmen to easily knock down.

    My personal interest, by the way, with the Reformed, is in the area of “sanctification”. I put that word in quotes, because I think most Lutherans here actually and unknowingly hold to Calvin´s views here and don´t realize that the Lutheran Confessions teach something far different. Hint/preview: What most modern Lutherans and calvinists and evangelicals would call “sanctification”, the Old Lutherans would place entirely under the category of “mortification of the Flesh” “Old Adam” and “Law”. Luther: “Life is Mortification”.

  • Larry Wilson

    OK, I’ve gotten caught up a bit with things, so I can return. Is anybody still in this room?

    When I first lobbed what I thought was a irenic comment into this discussion, I little realized that it was like Brer Rabbit punching the tar baby.

    Now then, where were we? fws says, “Calvin calls the Lutheran view “perverse and impious superstition. Preposterous interpreters. repugnant to Christ…”. How is what is written here in any way substantionally different then Zwingli´s views?” Then he quotes from the Consensus Tigurinus (1549).

    First, as to the colorful invective, I don’t defend it. What can I say? We can’t all be models of temperate, soothing speech like Dr. Luther was. ;-)

    As for the difference, first, what was Zwingli’s view? I understand it to be just as David Scaer summarized it in the book Veith referenced, Understanding the Four Views on the Lord’s Supper — “that the Lord’s Supper is hardly more than a memorial meal and a sign” (p. 48). I confess that I myself have read nothing by Zwingli, so I’m counting on others to adequately summarize his view. As his view is popularized in many contemporary churches, including — alas! — many Presbyterian churches (as Larry charged above), the Lord’s Supper is basically a devotional tool by which believers recall the finished work of Christ, and by which they stir themselves to renewed commitment to God. That is, the Lord’s Supper is hardly a means of grace by which Christ gives himself to believers. Instead, it is a devotional tool by which believers give themselves to Christ.

    Calvin’s view did overlap with Zwingli’s. Citing Calvin’s Catechism, B.A. Gerrish writes,

    “The resemblance of Calvin’s sacramental ideas to those of Zwingli is striking, and it is not surprising that the two positions have been judged substantially the same. …three ingredients of Zwingli’s position all reappear in Calvin.

    “In general, Calvin views the sacraments as pledges of God’s goodwill toward us, which represent His spiritual benefits (Q. 310). This is their primary function.

    “They also serve, secondly, as ‘badges of our profession,’ by which we identify ourselves with the Christian Church (Q. 362).

    “Finally, like Zwingli, Calvin has a fondness for elaborating the details of sacramental symbolism. The pouring of water pictures both cleansing from sin and the drowning of the old Adam (Qq. 325-326). Eating and drinking picture the sustenance and exhilaration we receive from Christ’s Body and Blood (Q. 341)” [ ].

    However, in a letter to Martin Bucer, Calvin identified 3 main points in the Consensus Tigurinus where he believed he had persuaded Bullinger and the Zurichers to modify their views from Zwingli’s:

    1) that sacraments are not merely signs of external profession, but true testimonies and seals of the grace of God.
    2) that grace is not simply offered to us there, but that God efficaciously works through them.
    3) that those who receive them by faith, find Christ there with all his gifts.

    Now then, that statement was an attempt at a compromise document, seeking to draw together the Swiss Protestants. Was that wise? Did he overly compromise? Perhaps.

    But I don’t think that it’s correct to call that his own unadulterated view.

    Moreover, neither the continental Reformed churches, nor the Presbyterian churches adopted or confess that document. Rather, that document was just part of the conversation that led to their later confessions and catechisms, which I think, by and large reject the Zwinglian view.

    Does that mean that those Reformed confessions affirm the Lutheran view? No.

  • Larry Wilson

    OK, I’ve gotten caught up a bit with things, so I can return. Is anybody still in this room?

    When I first lobbed what I thought was a irenic comment into this discussion, I little realized that it was like Brer Rabbit punching the tar baby.

    Now then, where were we? fws says, “Calvin calls the Lutheran view “perverse and impious superstition. Preposterous interpreters. repugnant to Christ…”. How is what is written here in any way substantionally different then Zwingli´s views?” Then he quotes from the Consensus Tigurinus (1549).

    First, as to the colorful invective, I don’t defend it. What can I say? We can’t all be models of temperate, soothing speech like Dr. Luther was. ;-)

    As for the difference, first, what was Zwingli’s view? I understand it to be just as David Scaer summarized it in the book Veith referenced, Understanding the Four Views on the Lord’s Supper — “that the Lord’s Supper is hardly more than a memorial meal and a sign” (p. 48). I confess that I myself have read nothing by Zwingli, so I’m counting on others to adequately summarize his view. As his view is popularized in many contemporary churches, including — alas! — many Presbyterian churches (as Larry charged above), the Lord’s Supper is basically a devotional tool by which believers recall the finished work of Christ, and by which they stir themselves to renewed commitment to God. That is, the Lord’s Supper is hardly a means of grace by which Christ gives himself to believers. Instead, it is a devotional tool by which believers give themselves to Christ.

    Calvin’s view did overlap with Zwingli’s. Citing Calvin’s Catechism, B.A. Gerrish writes,

    “The resemblance of Calvin’s sacramental ideas to those of Zwingli is striking, and it is not surprising that the two positions have been judged substantially the same. …three ingredients of Zwingli’s position all reappear in Calvin.

    “In general, Calvin views the sacraments as pledges of God’s goodwill toward us, which represent His spiritual benefits (Q. 310). This is their primary function.

    “They also serve, secondly, as ‘badges of our profession,’ by which we identify ourselves with the Christian Church (Q. 362).

    “Finally, like Zwingli, Calvin has a fondness for elaborating the details of sacramental symbolism. The pouring of water pictures both cleansing from sin and the drowning of the old Adam (Qq. 325-326). Eating and drinking picture the sustenance and exhilaration we receive from Christ’s Body and Blood (Q. 341)” [ ].

    However, in a letter to Martin Bucer, Calvin identified 3 main points in the Consensus Tigurinus where he believed he had persuaded Bullinger and the Zurichers to modify their views from Zwingli’s:

    1) that sacraments are not merely signs of external profession, but true testimonies and seals of the grace of God.
    2) that grace is not simply offered to us there, but that God efficaciously works through them.
    3) that those who receive them by faith, find Christ there with all his gifts.

    Now then, that statement was an attempt at a compromise document, seeking to draw together the Swiss Protestants. Was that wise? Did he overly compromise? Perhaps.

    But I don’t think that it’s correct to call that his own unadulterated view.

    Moreover, neither the continental Reformed churches, nor the Presbyterian churches adopted or confess that document. Rather, that document was just part of the conversation that led to their later confessions and catechisms, which I think, by and large reject the Zwinglian view.

    Does that mean that those Reformed confessions affirm the Lutheran view? No.

  • fws

    Larry W @ 149

    I throughout our exchange have merely been attempting to respond to the thread that runs down the middle of your comments:

    @144
    “I question the narrative that conflates Zwingli’s view and Calvin’s view as if they are one. That is certainly not the way we see it.”

    @135
    “It seems to me that the Formula of Concord codifies a suspicious narrative that John Calvin protested (in vain) as “calumnies.” ”

    @130
    “To me, this does raise another question, a hypothetical question. What if–by reading original sources–a faithful Lutheran became persuaded that the Formula of Concord was incorrect and unjust in what it alleges about the Reformed view of the Lord’s Supper? What might/should he do?”
    @97
    First, if someone accuses your view of being in error, even in serious error, will you not want your accuser at least to be able accurately to state your view (Prov. 18:13)? Second, if you attempt to understand your accuser’s reason for deeming you be be in such serious error and thus you ask some questions, will you not want them to try to answer your questions? Third, will you not hope that your accuser will critique your view rather than insult your person?

    @93
    “it seems to me that JWB @ 89 is close to the target. Does not even this dialogue demonstrate that our Lutheran brethren find it difficult to interact charitably with friendly inquirers *on their own turf*?” [ I understood you here to mean that Lutherans are not good when they have to deal with a context and terminology outside of their own parochial one. or else they simply refuse to do this].

    and finally your leadoff post…

    @9
    “I realize that my Lutheran brethren are skeptical of this claim–some have even presumed to read hearts and impugn motives–but Reformed believers at least *confess* that they believe in “sacramental union” (see Westminster Confession of Faith 27:2) and in the real presence of Christ at the Supper. The main difference seems to be that the Lutheran view explains this by the ubiquity of the human nature of Jesus, whereas the Reformed view explains it by the agency of the Holy Spirit. For example [you cite various reformed confessions here].” [you have agreed that The Formula of concord DOES indeed understand those confessions and identifies, without calumny and accurately, where the two points of difference are in your post @144…

    “Yes, the Westminster Confession and Catechisms–which I confess–do state those things (see the Catechism answer I quoted @ 37), and you do reject them as errors. That is not the part I question.

    I question the narrative that conflates Zwingli’s view and Calvin’s view as if they are one. That is certainly not the way we see it. And I question its repeating what Calvin and others insisted to be “calumnies” impugning the motives of Bucer, Calvin, Vermigli, and others on the “Calvinist” side of the disagreement. ”

    So now we agree that that is simply not true right? We don´t care about “motives”. But we can read what they write and then disagree with it. And that is no calumny is it? That is called an honest disagreement.

    Now we are reading through the consensus tigurinus together. Calvin wrote everything there. I cannot really see how there is any difference there between Zwingli´s theology and his that would really make a Lutheran see a difference that matters to them.

    Ok. You see an imporant and very very significant radical difference between calvin and zwingli´s theology of the Holy Supper. In fact this supposed difference is so great and important that to not see it is a “calumny”

    cal·um·nies
    1. A false statement maliciously(!!) made to injure another’s reputation.
    2. The utterance of maliciously false statements; slander.

    After reading the consensus tigurinus I don´t see this. and we are already agreed that the Formula nails the two places where Westminster and all reformed confessions vary from our Lutheran one.

    So then….

    we are really not at a point where Lutherans are misunderstanding or mischaractarizing Calvin´s views are we? I think that , in charity, what the Formula of Concord says is reasonably on target in identifying the differences ? and does so in a factual way?

    So where does that leave us now Larry W?

    I hope that you feel that I have given you , and the reformed confessions, and john calvin, a full and fair hearing and that I have judges words and confessions and not committed “calumny” as to impugning the motives of anyone at all.

    If I have not done that. Feel free to call me on it specifically at the point where I have not been fair or open minded.

    I eagerly await your response!

  • fws

    Larry W @ 149

    I throughout our exchange have merely been attempting to respond to the thread that runs down the middle of your comments:

    @144
    “I question the narrative that conflates Zwingli’s view and Calvin’s view as if they are one. That is certainly not the way we see it.”

    @135
    “It seems to me that the Formula of Concord codifies a suspicious narrative that John Calvin protested (in vain) as “calumnies.” ”

    @130
    “To me, this does raise another question, a hypothetical question. What if–by reading original sources–a faithful Lutheran became persuaded that the Formula of Concord was incorrect and unjust in what it alleges about the Reformed view of the Lord’s Supper? What might/should he do?”
    @97
    First, if someone accuses your view of being in error, even in serious error, will you not want your accuser at least to be able accurately to state your view (Prov. 18:13)? Second, if you attempt to understand your accuser’s reason for deeming you be be in such serious error and thus you ask some questions, will you not want them to try to answer your questions? Third, will you not hope that your accuser will critique your view rather than insult your person?

    @93
    “it seems to me that JWB @ 89 is close to the target. Does not even this dialogue demonstrate that our Lutheran brethren find it difficult to interact charitably with friendly inquirers *on their own turf*?” [ I understood you here to mean that Lutherans are not good when they have to deal with a context and terminology outside of their own parochial one. or else they simply refuse to do this].

    and finally your leadoff post…

    @9
    “I realize that my Lutheran brethren are skeptical of this claim–some have even presumed to read hearts and impugn motives–but Reformed believers at least *confess* that they believe in “sacramental union” (see Westminster Confession of Faith 27:2) and in the real presence of Christ at the Supper. The main difference seems to be that the Lutheran view explains this by the ubiquity of the human nature of Jesus, whereas the Reformed view explains it by the agency of the Holy Spirit. For example [you cite various reformed confessions here].” [you have agreed that The Formula of concord DOES indeed understand those confessions and identifies, without calumny and accurately, where the two points of difference are in your post @144…

    “Yes, the Westminster Confession and Catechisms–which I confess–do state those things (see the Catechism answer I quoted @ 37), and you do reject them as errors. That is not the part I question.

    I question the narrative that conflates Zwingli’s view and Calvin’s view as if they are one. That is certainly not the way we see it. And I question its repeating what Calvin and others insisted to be “calumnies” impugning the motives of Bucer, Calvin, Vermigli, and others on the “Calvinist” side of the disagreement. ”

    So now we agree that that is simply not true right? We don´t care about “motives”. But we can read what they write and then disagree with it. And that is no calumny is it? That is called an honest disagreement.

    Now we are reading through the consensus tigurinus together. Calvin wrote everything there. I cannot really see how there is any difference there between Zwingli´s theology and his that would really make a Lutheran see a difference that matters to them.

    Ok. You see an imporant and very very significant radical difference between calvin and zwingli´s theology of the Holy Supper. In fact this supposed difference is so great and important that to not see it is a “calumny”

    cal·um·nies
    1. A false statement maliciously(!!) made to injure another’s reputation.
    2. The utterance of maliciously false statements; slander.

    After reading the consensus tigurinus I don´t see this. and we are already agreed that the Formula nails the two places where Westminster and all reformed confessions vary from our Lutheran one.

    So then….

    we are really not at a point where Lutherans are misunderstanding or mischaractarizing Calvin´s views are we? I think that , in charity, what the Formula of Concord says is reasonably on target in identifying the differences ? and does so in a factual way?

    So where does that leave us now Larry W?

    I hope that you feel that I have given you , and the reformed confessions, and john calvin, a full and fair hearing and that I have judges words and confessions and not committed “calumny” as to impugning the motives of anyone at all.

    If I have not done that. Feel free to call me on it specifically at the point where I have not been fair or open minded.

    I eagerly await your response!

  • Larry Wilson

    Warm greetings, fws,

    Thank you for pushing me to the wall on these things. Do I accuse you of calumny or uncharity? No, and I ask you forgiveness for implying so. My reason for using the word, “calumnies,” was to allude to two treatises of Calvin where he defended himself and his colleagues from The Calumnies of Joachim Westphal, not to apply it to you or anyone else here.

    Have you given the “Calvinist” view a full and fair hearing? Fair maybe, as far as you’ve gone. I’m not so sure about full. You’ve brushed aside my protests that the Consensus Tigurinus is not the place to camp out. Maybe there is a reason that I don’t understand why you, and my Lutheran brethren, seem to fixate on that particular document. But I don’t understand it.

    I also do not understand why the Zwinglian view that the Lord’s Supper is a devotional tool by which Christ’s people rededicate themselves to him and the Reformed view that the Lord’s Supper is a means of grace by which Christ feeds his people looks so similar that it would not really make a Lutheran see a difference that matters to him, as you say.

    When I was a child, if I got in trouble for fighting, I could never get away with saying, “he started it,” or trying to shift the blame. Their stock answer was, “It takes two to fight.” And that last statement pretty much sums up my concern in this discussion.

    Regarding what you call that “thread that runs right down the middle of [my] comments,” what I’ve really been after is a sympathic hearing to the possibility that there is another side to that story. And I sincerely have been trying to give my own sympathic hearing to the Lutheran side. I was trying to do so without giving offense, but I think the way I did so kind of backfired.

    In his Short Treatise on the Lord’s Supper [ ], Calvin gave his take on the failed struggle to come to a Protestant consensus on the Lord’s Supper. You may find it surprising.

    55. HISTORY OF THE CONTROVERSY ON THIS SUBJECT AMONG THE REFORMERS.—LUTHER.
    When Luther began to teach, he took a view of the subject which seemed to imply, that in regard to the corporal presence in the Supper he was willing to leave the generally received opinion untouched; for while condemning transubstantiation, he said that the bread was the body of Christ, inasmuch as it was united with him.

    Besides, he added similitudes which were somewhat harsh and rude; but he was in a manner compelled to do so, as he could not otherwise explain his meaning. For it is difficult to give an explanation of so high a matter without using some impropriety of speech.

    56. VIEWS OF ZUINGLIUS AND ŒCOLOMPADIUS.
    On the other hand arose Zuinglius and Œcolompadius, who, considering the abuse and deceit which the devil had employed in establishing such a carnal presence of Christ as had been taught and held for more than six hundred years, thought it unlawful to disguise their sentiments, since that view implied an execrable idolatry, in that Jesus Christ was worshipped as enclosed in the bread.

    Now, as it was very difficult to remove this opinion, which had been so long rooted in the hearts of men, they applied all their talents to bring it into discredit, showing how gross an error it was not to recognise what is so clearly declared in Scripture touching the ascension of Jesus Christ, that he has been received in his humanity into heaven, and will remain there until he descend to judge the world.

    Meantime, while engrossed with this point, they forgot to show what presence of Jesus Christ ought to be believed in the Supper, and what communion of his body and blood is there received.

    57. LUTHER IMPUGNS THEIR VIEWS.
    Luther thought that they meant to leave nothing but the bare signs without their spiritual substance. Accordingly he began to resist them to the face, and call them heretics. After the contention was once begun it got more inflamed by time, and has thus continued too bitterly for the space of fifteen years or so without the parties ever listening to each other in a peaceful temper. For though they once had a conference, there was such alienation that they parted without any agreement. Instead of meeting on some good ground, they have always receded more and more, looking to nothing else than to defend their own view and refute the opposite.

    58. ATTEMPTED RECONCILIATION.—CAUSE OF FAILURE.
    We thus see wherein Luther failed on his side, and Zuinglius and Œcolompadius on theirs.

    It was Luther’s duty first to have given notice that it was not his intention to establish such a local presence as the Papists dream; secondly, to protest that he did not mean to have the sacrament adored instead of God; and lastly, to abstain from those similitudes so harsh and difficult to be conceived, or have used them with moderation, interpreting them so that they could not give rise to any scandal. After the debate was moved, he exceeded bounds as well in declaring his opinion, as in blaming others with too much sharpness of speech. For instead of explaining himself in such a way as to make it possible to receive his view, he, with his accustomed vehemence in assailing those who contradicted him, used hyperbolical forms of speech very difficult to be borne by those who otherwise were not, much disposed to believe at his nod.

    The other party also offended, in being so bent on declaiming against the superstitious and fanatical opinion of the Papists, touching the local presence of Jesus Christ within the sacrament, and the perverse adoration consequent upon it, that they laboured more to pull down what was evil than to build up what was good; for though they did not deny the truth, they did not teach it so clearly as they ought to have done. I mean that in their too great anxiety to maintain that the bread and wine are called the body of Christ, because they are signs of them, they did not attend to add, that though they are signs, the reality is conjoined with them, and thus protest, that they had no intention whatever to obscure the true communion which the Lord gives us in his body and blood by this sacrament.

    Cheers. Have a blessed Lord’s Day.

  • Larry Wilson

    Warm greetings, fws,

    Thank you for pushing me to the wall on these things. Do I accuse you of calumny or uncharity? No, and I ask you forgiveness for implying so. My reason for using the word, “calumnies,” was to allude to two treatises of Calvin where he defended himself and his colleagues from The Calumnies of Joachim Westphal, not to apply it to you or anyone else here.

    Have you given the “Calvinist” view a full and fair hearing? Fair maybe, as far as you’ve gone. I’m not so sure about full. You’ve brushed aside my protests that the Consensus Tigurinus is not the place to camp out. Maybe there is a reason that I don’t understand why you, and my Lutheran brethren, seem to fixate on that particular document. But I don’t understand it.

    I also do not understand why the Zwinglian view that the Lord’s Supper is a devotional tool by which Christ’s people rededicate themselves to him and the Reformed view that the Lord’s Supper is a means of grace by which Christ feeds his people looks so similar that it would not really make a Lutheran see a difference that matters to him, as you say.

    When I was a child, if I got in trouble for fighting, I could never get away with saying, “he started it,” or trying to shift the blame. Their stock answer was, “It takes two to fight.” And that last statement pretty much sums up my concern in this discussion.

    Regarding what you call that “thread that runs right down the middle of [my] comments,” what I’ve really been after is a sympathic hearing to the possibility that there is another side to that story. And I sincerely have been trying to give my own sympathic hearing to the Lutheran side. I was trying to do so without giving offense, but I think the way I did so kind of backfired.

    In his Short Treatise on the Lord’s Supper [ ], Calvin gave his take on the failed struggle to come to a Protestant consensus on the Lord’s Supper. You may find it surprising.

    55. HISTORY OF THE CONTROVERSY ON THIS SUBJECT AMONG THE REFORMERS.—LUTHER.
    When Luther began to teach, he took a view of the subject which seemed to imply, that in regard to the corporal presence in the Supper he was willing to leave the generally received opinion untouched; for while condemning transubstantiation, he said that the bread was the body of Christ, inasmuch as it was united with him.

    Besides, he added similitudes which were somewhat harsh and rude; but he was in a manner compelled to do so, as he could not otherwise explain his meaning. For it is difficult to give an explanation of so high a matter without using some impropriety of speech.

    56. VIEWS OF ZUINGLIUS AND ŒCOLOMPADIUS.
    On the other hand arose Zuinglius and Œcolompadius, who, considering the abuse and deceit which the devil had employed in establishing such a carnal presence of Christ as had been taught and held for more than six hundred years, thought it unlawful to disguise their sentiments, since that view implied an execrable idolatry, in that Jesus Christ was worshipped as enclosed in the bread.

    Now, as it was very difficult to remove this opinion, which had been so long rooted in the hearts of men, they applied all their talents to bring it into discredit, showing how gross an error it was not to recognise what is so clearly declared in Scripture touching the ascension of Jesus Christ, that he has been received in his humanity into heaven, and will remain there until he descend to judge the world.

    Meantime, while engrossed with this point, they forgot to show what presence of Jesus Christ ought to be believed in the Supper, and what communion of his body and blood is there received.

    57. LUTHER IMPUGNS THEIR VIEWS.
    Luther thought that they meant to leave nothing but the bare signs without their spiritual substance. Accordingly he began to resist them to the face, and call them heretics. After the contention was once begun it got more inflamed by time, and has thus continued too bitterly for the space of fifteen years or so without the parties ever listening to each other in a peaceful temper. For though they once had a conference, there was such alienation that they parted without any agreement. Instead of meeting on some good ground, they have always receded more and more, looking to nothing else than to defend their own view and refute the opposite.

    58. ATTEMPTED RECONCILIATION.—CAUSE OF FAILURE.
    We thus see wherein Luther failed on his side, and Zuinglius and Œcolompadius on theirs.

    It was Luther’s duty first to have given notice that it was not his intention to establish such a local presence as the Papists dream; secondly, to protest that he did not mean to have the sacrament adored instead of God; and lastly, to abstain from those similitudes so harsh and difficult to be conceived, or have used them with moderation, interpreting them so that they could not give rise to any scandal. After the debate was moved, he exceeded bounds as well in declaring his opinion, as in blaming others with too much sharpness of speech. For instead of explaining himself in such a way as to make it possible to receive his view, he, with his accustomed vehemence in assailing those who contradicted him, used hyperbolical forms of speech very difficult to be borne by those who otherwise were not, much disposed to believe at his nod.

    The other party also offended, in being so bent on declaiming against the superstitious and fanatical opinion of the Papists, touching the local presence of Jesus Christ within the sacrament, and the perverse adoration consequent upon it, that they laboured more to pull down what was evil than to build up what was good; for though they did not deny the truth, they did not teach it so clearly as they ought to have done. I mean that in their too great anxiety to maintain that the bread and wine are called the body of Christ, because they are signs of them, they did not attend to add, that though they are signs, the reality is conjoined with them, and thus protest, that they had no intention whatever to obscure the true communion which the Lord gives us in his body and blood by this sacrament.

    Cheers. Have a blessed Lord’s Day.

  • fws

    larry wilson @155

    Dear brother in Christ,

    LARRY “[you have given me a ] Fair [hearing ] maybe, as far as you’ve gone. I’m not so sure about full.”

    FRANK How so? What more would I need to do to give “your side” a fair AND full hearing? We have heard from the Reformed Confessions. They disagree on two important points 1) the real presence actualized by faith of the recipient and , 2) so no receipt of the body and blood by an unbeliever. These are the two sticking points. How to get around them?

    You pointed out that Calvin claimed that the Lutherans were commiting “calumny” and misrepresenting his position. That is precisely why I brought in the “consensus tigurinus.” That seemed extremely fair to me Larry W. There was no “camping out”. Calvin wrote it. If he did not mean what he wrote, then that is a problem for me. I think it is fair to hold Calvin to that document since he issued it as his personal and public confession on the Blessed Sacrament. I AM aware that this confession was not adopted by other Reformed. Ok. But we have nailed down Calvin´s views there yes?

    LARRY “You’ve brushed aside my protests that the Consensus Tigurinus is not the place to camp out. ”

    FRANK Actually, I asked you to take up the words of Calvin in the Consensus and show me there how what he says differs materially from the end result of Zwingli´s view

    Here is the fundamental Lutheran problem here, which I don´t think you are getting. It is a deeply pastoral one: there is no OBJECTIVE real presence that does not depend on the faith of the recipient.

    I am not “camping out”. We have two fronts of discussion I think, the reformed confessions and what John Calvin believed. I am trying to be sensitive to your line of discussion and so am trying to deal with these as separate issues. This is to avoid charges that I am misrepresenting or slandering someone or that my beloved Book of Concord is doing that. You have implied that we are doing that intentionally or unintentionally yes? Show me. I would not want to do that. It would be wrong to do so.

    LARRY “I also do not understand why the Zwinglian view that the Lord’s Supper is a devotional tool by which Christ’s people rededicate themselves to him and the Reformed view that the Lord’s Supper is a means of grace by which Christ feeds his people looks so similar that it would not really make a Lutheran see a difference that matters to him, as you say.”

    FRANK I can read. I see that Zwingli says that nothing happens in the supper. The elements are like looking at a picture and remembering. Calvin thinks that the Holy Spirit uses our faith to connect us to the Body and Blood of Jesus in the reaches of heaven which are far removed from earth and the bread and wine. I get that.

    I also see that this touches on Christology. If Jesus body is real and human than it must be localized in Calvin´s view. There is simply NO other possibility. So Christ´s Body simply cannot be in more than one place at any given time. I get that. This is extremely logical. I get that too. But I don´t accept it. Jesus, being God, can do whatever He wants. I say this agreeing that this would defy any known logical system. That does not bother me. If Jesus says “This is my body”, then I don´t feel any need at all to explain how this can be or what mode this happens in or whatever. None. “In, with and under” is the Lutheran shorthand for saying that the ‘what” is important and “how” doesn´t matter in any way whatsoever to us. None. Zip. Nada. Ubiquity is NOT a Lutheran doctrine this means. It is a theory. I don´t care whether it is true or not. I DO care that when I take the bread and wine during the distribution of the Blessed Sacrament, that I am recieving in my hand and mouth the bread and wine AND the body and blood of Christ “realiter”. I am also most concerned that this recieving does not depend in any way at all upon my personal faith. This last point is EXTREMELY important to me and to my brother Lutherans. Try to understand THIS point and you will have given a sympathetic and full hearing to the Lutheran side. You have not yet done that is it fair to say Larry W? Perhaps you were not aware that this was a huge deal to us. Not just Supper, but also baptism and personal application in any form at all of the Holy Gospel.

    So he [and you] feel that this should resolve any issues a Lutheran might have, since calvin says that somehow a believer does feed on body and blood spiritually. so the same gifts are received in your mind. So your question from that is : where is the issue then? response: those two points identified in the Formula of Concord.

    LARRY ““It takes two to fight.” And that last statement pretty much sums up my concern in this discussion.”

    FRANK Where is the fight. You and calvin and the reformed simply do not believe the same as us, and you all get flustered and claim to believe the same , in the essentials of the matter, as we do. What you are missing is that we Lutherans do not agree with what Calvin is certain he has identified as the essential thing (reception of body and blood by believer in some real yet spiritual way), and so is just flummoxed and puzzled as to why Lutherans say that he is off by a mile. Again. what am I and are we missing here Larry W?

    Could it be that you are all missing something that we Lutherans think is important? That you are missing what WE see as the essential thing and why we think it is so very very important? Apparently yes right? Otherwise, how could I regurgitate Calvin and the reformed confessions in their own words and still say that you all have completely missed our concerns? How would that be possible? Again. What is it I am missing here?

    Calvin and Zwingli both deny an OBJECTIVE real presence of body and blood along with the bread and wine that is in NO WAY dependent on the faith of the recipient. This is extremely important for a Lutheran, not only in the Holy Supper, but also in baptism and also on the Confession of Sins and Absolution of the Pastor. It is important to us to believe that the forgiveness offered is given independent of whether one has faith or not.

    Why? How do I know I have faith? How do I know I have enough faith or the right kind of faith or repentence or whatever it is IN ME that the forgiveness offered and delivered is dependent upon? I have no way to know that do I? My christian life? Hardly.

    LARRY “what I’ve really been after is a sympathic hearing to the possibility that there is another side to that story.

    FRANK If the “other side” is that Calvin tried hard to reconcile Luther to Zwigli with a middle way that could be embraced by both sides, I get that. He simply did not succeed. Please help me see what you think I am missing. I am sincerely open to that. Do not send me off to Schaff. Let´st stick with source documents. Confessions, writings of Luther and Calvin and Zwingli.

    You might check out the book “This is My Body, Luther´s Contention for the real presence in the Lord´s Supper” by Herman Saase if you truly are interested in understanding the Lutheran side so that you can work, as a christian to try to heal the breech between us. You will not be able to do any healing if you only read reformed stuff like Schaff ok? Saase´s book is as good as it gets Larry! This is a book that in detail discusses the meeting at marburg between zwingli and Luther. I know it is not about calvin. But it really does reflect not only Luther´s concerns and his hermeneutics but also my own and that of other Lutherans. And so you will quickly see that it also would have to frame our views of Calvin and the Reformed confessions.

    LARRY ” And I sincerely have been trying to give my own sympathic hearing to the Lutheran side”

    FRANK It doesn´t seem like you even have a clue why we Lutherans have a problem with Calvin. I hope you are not offended at that. Feel free to be equally blunt about what I am missing from your side ok? I will not be offended at all. You seem to assume that we simply don´t get Calvin. What are we missing then if that is so? Or … or that we are myopic in some other way…. Again how so? I think that the Formula of Concord gets it.

    I eagerly await your reply. Try to respond to my specific points if that is possible. I feel you still owe me a separate accounting of where Calvin´s Confession differs in any way materially from Zwingli´s views point by point using the actual text of that confession. This is important IF you want to establish that Calvin´s view is, in fact, materially different from Zwigli´s. If you want to concede that point , then you can just do that.

    Fraternally,

    frank william.

  • fws

    larry wilson @155

    Dear brother in Christ,

    LARRY “[you have given me a ] Fair [hearing ] maybe, as far as you’ve gone. I’m not so sure about full.”

    FRANK How so? What more would I need to do to give “your side” a fair AND full hearing? We have heard from the Reformed Confessions. They disagree on two important points 1) the real presence actualized by faith of the recipient and , 2) so no receipt of the body and blood by an unbeliever. These are the two sticking points. How to get around them?

    You pointed out that Calvin claimed that the Lutherans were commiting “calumny” and misrepresenting his position. That is precisely why I brought in the “consensus tigurinus.” That seemed extremely fair to me Larry W. There was no “camping out”. Calvin wrote it. If he did not mean what he wrote, then that is a problem for me. I think it is fair to hold Calvin to that document since he issued it as his personal and public confession on the Blessed Sacrament. I AM aware that this confession was not adopted by other Reformed. Ok. But we have nailed down Calvin´s views there yes?

    LARRY “You’ve brushed aside my protests that the Consensus Tigurinus is not the place to camp out. ”

    FRANK Actually, I asked you to take up the words of Calvin in the Consensus and show me there how what he says differs materially from the end result of Zwingli´s view

    Here is the fundamental Lutheran problem here, which I don´t think you are getting. It is a deeply pastoral one: there is no OBJECTIVE real presence that does not depend on the faith of the recipient.

    I am not “camping out”. We have two fronts of discussion I think, the reformed confessions and what John Calvin believed. I am trying to be sensitive to your line of discussion and so am trying to deal with these as separate issues. This is to avoid charges that I am misrepresenting or slandering someone or that my beloved Book of Concord is doing that. You have implied that we are doing that intentionally or unintentionally yes? Show me. I would not want to do that. It would be wrong to do so.

    LARRY “I also do not understand why the Zwinglian view that the Lord’s Supper is a devotional tool by which Christ’s people rededicate themselves to him and the Reformed view that the Lord’s Supper is a means of grace by which Christ feeds his people looks so similar that it would not really make a Lutheran see a difference that matters to him, as you say.”

    FRANK I can read. I see that Zwingli says that nothing happens in the supper. The elements are like looking at a picture and remembering. Calvin thinks that the Holy Spirit uses our faith to connect us to the Body and Blood of Jesus in the reaches of heaven which are far removed from earth and the bread and wine. I get that.

    I also see that this touches on Christology. If Jesus body is real and human than it must be localized in Calvin´s view. There is simply NO other possibility. So Christ´s Body simply cannot be in more than one place at any given time. I get that. This is extremely logical. I get that too. But I don´t accept it. Jesus, being God, can do whatever He wants. I say this agreeing that this would defy any known logical system. That does not bother me. If Jesus says “This is my body”, then I don´t feel any need at all to explain how this can be or what mode this happens in or whatever. None. “In, with and under” is the Lutheran shorthand for saying that the ‘what” is important and “how” doesn´t matter in any way whatsoever to us. None. Zip. Nada. Ubiquity is NOT a Lutheran doctrine this means. It is a theory. I don´t care whether it is true or not. I DO care that when I take the bread and wine during the distribution of the Blessed Sacrament, that I am recieving in my hand and mouth the bread and wine AND the body and blood of Christ “realiter”. I am also most concerned that this recieving does not depend in any way at all upon my personal faith. This last point is EXTREMELY important to me and to my brother Lutherans. Try to understand THIS point and you will have given a sympathetic and full hearing to the Lutheran side. You have not yet done that is it fair to say Larry W? Perhaps you were not aware that this was a huge deal to us. Not just Supper, but also baptism and personal application in any form at all of the Holy Gospel.

    So he [and you] feel that this should resolve any issues a Lutheran might have, since calvin says that somehow a believer does feed on body and blood spiritually. so the same gifts are received in your mind. So your question from that is : where is the issue then? response: those two points identified in the Formula of Concord.

    LARRY ““It takes two to fight.” And that last statement pretty much sums up my concern in this discussion.”

    FRANK Where is the fight. You and calvin and the reformed simply do not believe the same as us, and you all get flustered and claim to believe the same , in the essentials of the matter, as we do. What you are missing is that we Lutherans do not agree with what Calvin is certain he has identified as the essential thing (reception of body and blood by believer in some real yet spiritual way), and so is just flummoxed and puzzled as to why Lutherans say that he is off by a mile. Again. what am I and are we missing here Larry W?

    Could it be that you are all missing something that we Lutherans think is important? That you are missing what WE see as the essential thing and why we think it is so very very important? Apparently yes right? Otherwise, how could I regurgitate Calvin and the reformed confessions in their own words and still say that you all have completely missed our concerns? How would that be possible? Again. What is it I am missing here?

    Calvin and Zwingli both deny an OBJECTIVE real presence of body and blood along with the bread and wine that is in NO WAY dependent on the faith of the recipient. This is extremely important for a Lutheran, not only in the Holy Supper, but also in baptism and also on the Confession of Sins and Absolution of the Pastor. It is important to us to believe that the forgiveness offered is given independent of whether one has faith or not.

    Why? How do I know I have faith? How do I know I have enough faith or the right kind of faith or repentence or whatever it is IN ME that the forgiveness offered and delivered is dependent upon? I have no way to know that do I? My christian life? Hardly.

    LARRY “what I’ve really been after is a sympathic hearing to the possibility that there is another side to that story.

    FRANK If the “other side” is that Calvin tried hard to reconcile Luther to Zwigli with a middle way that could be embraced by both sides, I get that. He simply did not succeed. Please help me see what you think I am missing. I am sincerely open to that. Do not send me off to Schaff. Let´st stick with source documents. Confessions, writings of Luther and Calvin and Zwingli.

    You might check out the book “This is My Body, Luther´s Contention for the real presence in the Lord´s Supper” by Herman Saase if you truly are interested in understanding the Lutheran side so that you can work, as a christian to try to heal the breech between us. You will not be able to do any healing if you only read reformed stuff like Schaff ok? Saase´s book is as good as it gets Larry! This is a book that in detail discusses the meeting at marburg between zwingli and Luther. I know it is not about calvin. But it really does reflect not only Luther´s concerns and his hermeneutics but also my own and that of other Lutherans. And so you will quickly see that it also would have to frame our views of Calvin and the Reformed confessions.

    LARRY ” And I sincerely have been trying to give my own sympathic hearing to the Lutheran side”

    FRANK It doesn´t seem like you even have a clue why we Lutherans have a problem with Calvin. I hope you are not offended at that. Feel free to be equally blunt about what I am missing from your side ok? I will not be offended at all. You seem to assume that we simply don´t get Calvin. What are we missing then if that is so? Or … or that we are myopic in some other way…. Again how so? I think that the Formula of Concord gets it.

    I eagerly await your reply. Try to respond to my specific points if that is possible. I feel you still owe me a separate accounting of where Calvin´s Confession differs in any way materially from Zwingli´s views point by point using the actual text of that confession. This is important IF you want to establish that Calvin´s view is, in fact, materially different from Zwigli´s. If you want to concede that point , then you can just do that.

    Fraternally,

    frank william.

  • fws

    larry @ 151

    “Thank you for pushing me to the wall on these things. ”

    I sincerely did not mean to do that Larry W. I am glad that these things matter to you and that you are feeling a sense that it would be good to do your part to understand other christian sects and so try in your way to make things better. That is a christian impulse isn´t it?

    Even if we don´t persuade one another, the Lutheran hope is to more radically make everything theological about the life death and resurrection of Jesus and making every thing do service to that one thing. Our discussion helps me in this desire dear brother.

    “Do I accuse you of calumny or uncharity?”

    I was clear that you were quoting Calvin there. I suppose it would have been logical to assume that by extension you were accusing the Lutherans of calumny but I didn´t take it there.

    By the way, the only think that makes one a Lutheran is subscription to the Lutheran Confessions. Period. And if someone asks me what I believe, I can point them to those confessions and say that they completely and accurately reflect my beliefs. Without any reservations whatsoever.

    The Book of Concord is a thick book. I moved to Brasil 4 years ago. I have instant fellowship here with Lutherans who , in spite of a different language and culture, believe quite identically to my own beliefs. Not just formally, but in a very organic way. Meaning if we have a discussion about a and then b, we both arrive at the same followon c. I am still not sure how this kind of unity is even possible. I am just grateful for it. No not every lutheran has read the entire book of concord. but somehow, by being catechised in the small catechism alone, Lutherans just sorta seem to know the rest. This continues to surprise me.

    Note Larry W that I happen to be a gay man. Other Lutherans here often strongly disagree with me as to what the significance of that is and what that all should mean. So we strongly disagree. Yet if you follow this blog, you will sense a bond between all of us that trumps those disagreements. we don´t even really have to agree to disagree to get along. So this agreement I am trying to discribe is not some sort of cookie cutter , formulaic , check-list sorta unity. It is something other.

    And I guess I am suggesting that why this like mindedness can exist is also the same reason why we Lutherans cling so dearly to the real presence as we Lutherans understand it. We would simply cease to be Lutheran if we saw things Calvin´s way. It is that interconnected to the whole of what being Lutheran is about.

    One must say “Reformed Churches”. Plural. In a very real and organic sense one can say “The Evangelical Lutheran Church” . Singular.

  • fws

    larry @ 151

    “Thank you for pushing me to the wall on these things. ”

    I sincerely did not mean to do that Larry W. I am glad that these things matter to you and that you are feeling a sense that it would be good to do your part to understand other christian sects and so try in your way to make things better. That is a christian impulse isn´t it?

    Even if we don´t persuade one another, the Lutheran hope is to more radically make everything theological about the life death and resurrection of Jesus and making every thing do service to that one thing. Our discussion helps me in this desire dear brother.

    “Do I accuse you of calumny or uncharity?”

    I was clear that you were quoting Calvin there. I suppose it would have been logical to assume that by extension you were accusing the Lutherans of calumny but I didn´t take it there.

    By the way, the only think that makes one a Lutheran is subscription to the Lutheran Confessions. Period. And if someone asks me what I believe, I can point them to those confessions and say that they completely and accurately reflect my beliefs. Without any reservations whatsoever.

    The Book of Concord is a thick book. I moved to Brasil 4 years ago. I have instant fellowship here with Lutherans who , in spite of a different language and culture, believe quite identically to my own beliefs. Not just formally, but in a very organic way. Meaning if we have a discussion about a and then b, we both arrive at the same followon c. I am still not sure how this kind of unity is even possible. I am just grateful for it. No not every lutheran has read the entire book of concord. but somehow, by being catechised in the small catechism alone, Lutherans just sorta seem to know the rest. This continues to surprise me.

    Note Larry W that I happen to be a gay man. Other Lutherans here often strongly disagree with me as to what the significance of that is and what that all should mean. So we strongly disagree. Yet if you follow this blog, you will sense a bond between all of us that trumps those disagreements. we don´t even really have to agree to disagree to get along. So this agreement I am trying to discribe is not some sort of cookie cutter , formulaic , check-list sorta unity. It is something other.

    And I guess I am suggesting that why this like mindedness can exist is also the same reason why we Lutherans cling so dearly to the real presence as we Lutherans understand it. We would simply cease to be Lutheran if we saw things Calvin´s way. It is that interconnected to the whole of what being Lutheran is about.

    One must say “Reformed Churches”. Plural. In a very real and organic sense one can say “The Evangelical Lutheran Church” . Singular.

  • Larry Wilson

    Dear Frank,

    I do hope that the delays between responses don’t lead you to suspect anger or offense-taking on my part, or unwillingness to continue this discussion. The fact is that I do have a number of other pressing concerns on which I need to focus.

    I want to assure you that not only am I not offended by our discussion, but also that I am very refreshed. This conversation — to me at least — has shed more light than heat.

    I will read Sasse. Thank you for that counsel.

    May I suggest that you look at Calvin’s Short Treatise on the Lord’s Supper. You say, “I think it is fair to hold Calvin to [the Consensus Tigurinis] since he issued it as his personal and public confession on the Blessed Sacrament.” But I would suggest that that is precisely not what that document is. It was a compromise document hammered out in dialogue with Heinrich Bullinger. It was an attempt to try to find a umbrella under which the Swiss Protestant churches could claim unity. There were political pressures, as you know, on all the Reformation churches, to unify for the sake of survival. Fault Calvin for compromising with Bullinger in that document if you wish, but if you want to read his personal and public confession on the Blessed Sacrament, then look instead at his Short Treatise on the Lord’s Supper.

    I do wish you the best, brother, and I do more or less follow this blog, so it is likely that our paths will cross once again.

    But now I really must attend to other things.

    Cordially, with blessings, in the Lamb of God,
    Larry

  • Larry Wilson

    Dear Frank,

    I do hope that the delays between responses don’t lead you to suspect anger or offense-taking on my part, or unwillingness to continue this discussion. The fact is that I do have a number of other pressing concerns on which I need to focus.

    I want to assure you that not only am I not offended by our discussion, but also that I am very refreshed. This conversation — to me at least — has shed more light than heat.

    I will read Sasse. Thank you for that counsel.

    May I suggest that you look at Calvin’s Short Treatise on the Lord’s Supper. You say, “I think it is fair to hold Calvin to [the Consensus Tigurinis] since he issued it as his personal and public confession on the Blessed Sacrament.” But I would suggest that that is precisely not what that document is. It was a compromise document hammered out in dialogue with Heinrich Bullinger. It was an attempt to try to find a umbrella under which the Swiss Protestant churches could claim unity. There were political pressures, as you know, on all the Reformation churches, to unify for the sake of survival. Fault Calvin for compromising with Bullinger in that document if you wish, but if you want to read his personal and public confession on the Blessed Sacrament, then look instead at his Short Treatise on the Lord’s Supper.

    I do wish you the best, brother, and I do more or less follow this blog, so it is likely that our paths will cross once again.

    But now I really must attend to other things.

    Cordially, with blessings, in the Lamb of God,
    Larry

  • http://aliengoodnews.wordpress.com/ Larry

    I moved from arminian SB to calvinistic/reformed SB through to reformed PCA then finally to confessional Lutheran. Granted I did not have the “life long” Christian up bringing that tends to bind on, per se, to a “denominational group” (other than a two or three year SB church attending when I was very very little). For most of my adult developmental life I was an agnostic/atheist about as far out from the church as one can get.

    When one approaches these questions of essential things of the faith one has to be brutally honest and ask “what is the truth” sans any denominational moorings. This can be a slow process. And to not be satisfied with the canned denominational answers, e.g. back when I first began to learn about infant baptism versus baptism a lot of the canned Baptist answers were basically a form of “that’s a hold over from Rome” by Calvin or Luther. Even as an analytical scientist that answer was quite stupid and basically a form of “wrong by mere association”, as if an atheist were to say “the sky is blue” and we must disagree ‘just because an atheist observed and said it”.

    So whether Baptist or Reformed looking into Lutheran doctrine on the sacraments, it takes time, the paradigm is so different one cannot understand it from one’s own paradigm. It’s that MUCH different. Right down to, for example, why “total depravity” does not equal “bondage of the will” and the former still retains much synergism albeit ‘hidden’. All these things, why Lutherans confess, that true Christians can fall away, the real presence, regenerative baptism, faith is “God cannot lie”, the Gospel is not just a Word message but an action in real time and space, why worship is not “just word driven” like the OT but word and action driven, etc…all these things form a cohesive paradigm of the true faith. It is as Luther said that the Christian faith is a tapestry upon which if you alter one single thread the whole is destroyed.

    I tried for several years to square Reformed sacraments with Lutheran sacraments only to find it impossible simply because X and not-X cannot ever be the same and there is no middle ground, as the logic goes. The language can sound the same, e.g. “sacraments” or “gospel” or “simul Justus et peccator” and confessed in words to seem to be the same, but one must analyze what is the essence of each thing, the sine quo non of each that without which cannot be (Luther’s tapestry analogy). This Luther especially advises in his opening of Romans on what terms mean like faith, justification, etc…

    One of the things our pastor pointed out for us is that all Gnostic thought at length robs and takes away the incarnation from us. Christ becomes a symbol at length. The same happens in the sacraments they become just signs and symbols, e.g., “The pouring of water pictures both cleansing from sin and the drowning of the old Adam”. Like the Gnostics of old it becomes some distant thing, a symbol, sign, avatar, etc… This is the root of all Gnosticism whether overt types or the more covert types in Reformed thinking.

    I’d start thinking like that, you’ll have to reconstruct as it were everything you think you believe. Don’t read the sacraments through your “home” grid be it Baptist or Reformed or whatever. It takes time.

    The book FWS recommended by Sasse is an excellent starting place. It really pulls apar the history of the issue. One ought have a solid grasp of this. As a Baptist that’s one thing woefully missing from my background was the historical “where did this come from”, it didn’t just pop out of the blue sky or from the infamous Baptist “trail of blood” (since disavowed by most Baptist). What was behind Zwingli, Bucer, Calvin and Luther’s thought.

    Then maybe move on to Chemnitz’s “The Lord’s Supper” for a bigger treatment of the subject. I read Sasse first then Chemnitz, that’s my advice.

    Larry

  • http://aliengoodnews.wordpress.com/ Larry

    I moved from arminian SB to calvinistic/reformed SB through to reformed PCA then finally to confessional Lutheran. Granted I did not have the “life long” Christian up bringing that tends to bind on, per se, to a “denominational group” (other than a two or three year SB church attending when I was very very little). For most of my adult developmental life I was an agnostic/atheist about as far out from the church as one can get.

    When one approaches these questions of essential things of the faith one has to be brutally honest and ask “what is the truth” sans any denominational moorings. This can be a slow process. And to not be satisfied with the canned denominational answers, e.g. back when I first began to learn about infant baptism versus baptism a lot of the canned Baptist answers were basically a form of “that’s a hold over from Rome” by Calvin or Luther. Even as an analytical scientist that answer was quite stupid and basically a form of “wrong by mere association”, as if an atheist were to say “the sky is blue” and we must disagree ‘just because an atheist observed and said it”.

    So whether Baptist or Reformed looking into Lutheran doctrine on the sacraments, it takes time, the paradigm is so different one cannot understand it from one’s own paradigm. It’s that MUCH different. Right down to, for example, why “total depravity” does not equal “bondage of the will” and the former still retains much synergism albeit ‘hidden’. All these things, why Lutherans confess, that true Christians can fall away, the real presence, regenerative baptism, faith is “God cannot lie”, the Gospel is not just a Word message but an action in real time and space, why worship is not “just word driven” like the OT but word and action driven, etc…all these things form a cohesive paradigm of the true faith. It is as Luther said that the Christian faith is a tapestry upon which if you alter one single thread the whole is destroyed.

    I tried for several years to square Reformed sacraments with Lutheran sacraments only to find it impossible simply because X and not-X cannot ever be the same and there is no middle ground, as the logic goes. The language can sound the same, e.g. “sacraments” or “gospel” or “simul Justus et peccator” and confessed in words to seem to be the same, but one must analyze what is the essence of each thing, the sine quo non of each that without which cannot be (Luther’s tapestry analogy). This Luther especially advises in his opening of Romans on what terms mean like faith, justification, etc…

    One of the things our pastor pointed out for us is that all Gnostic thought at length robs and takes away the incarnation from us. Christ becomes a symbol at length. The same happens in the sacraments they become just signs and symbols, e.g., “The pouring of water pictures both cleansing from sin and the drowning of the old Adam”. Like the Gnostics of old it becomes some distant thing, a symbol, sign, avatar, etc… This is the root of all Gnosticism whether overt types or the more covert types in Reformed thinking.

    I’d start thinking like that, you’ll have to reconstruct as it were everything you think you believe. Don’t read the sacraments through your “home” grid be it Baptist or Reformed or whatever. It takes time.

    The book FWS recommended by Sasse is an excellent starting place. It really pulls apar the history of the issue. One ought have a solid grasp of this. As a Baptist that’s one thing woefully missing from my background was the historical “where did this come from”, it didn’t just pop out of the blue sky or from the infamous Baptist “trail of blood” (since disavowed by most Baptist). What was behind Zwingli, Bucer, Calvin and Luther’s thought.

    Then maybe move on to Chemnitz’s “The Lord’s Supper” for a bigger treatment of the subject. I read Sasse first then Chemnitz, that’s my advice.

    Larry

  • Larry Wilson

    Thank you, Larry.

  • Larry Wilson

    Thank you, Larry.


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