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Source: (consider it) Thread: The Eucharist
Jengie jon

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Shows how much the Patriarch knows. Calvin the most intellectual of them was French.

Gamaliel

We need to split several things that are confused in your mind. The Continental Reformation is not the same as the the English Reformation which is not the same as the Scottish Reformation.

What is more the splits in the English Church are not reflected on the continent at all.

The splits between the Continental Protestant churches seem to largely be over Eucharist.

The splits between the English Protestant Churches are over Ecclesiology and the exercise of power. In this case, the CofE is definitely one. This is not the case on the continent (they wonder what we get so het up about). I have no need to talk about Roman Catholic or Orthodox Ecclesiology if I am characterising divisions between English Protestant Churches.


Anglicans might like to think it is differences over communion that make them distinctive but it isn't. It is having Bishops and the patronage-style power that is implied by that. The power to influence is given by largesse on the part of the Monarch and then the Bishops and so on down the line.

This is why there is a strong republican strand in Non-Conformity. We would rather be citizens than subjects. It is not antipathy towards the royal family. They do a pretty good job as far as I can tell. It is why we wanted a vote in parliament about triggering article 50, however sham that was.

Jengie

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Nick Tamen

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quote:
Originally posted by Kaplan Corday:
quote:
Originally posted by mousethief:
It was worked out 1850 years ago.

Trouble is, it wasn't.

You might not agree with the eucharistic views of Calvin, Luther or Zwingli, but they were intelligent men who were steeped in church history, including patristic theology (read Calvin's Institutes), and who were not challenging accepted interpretations for trivial reasons (except for Luther, of course, who only precipitated the Reformation, as everyone knows, because he wanted to get married....bloody sex fiend!)

To suggest that it was "all sorted out 1850 years ago" is ahistorical obscurantism.

I've got to go with mousethief on this one. I'd say it was worked out 1850 years ago; the West just became dissatisfied with how it was worked out.

1850 years ago, the near-universal understanding was, as I understand it, that in receiving the bread and wine, we receive the Body and Blood of Christ. It's a mystery how that happens, but the "how" is irrelevant and unknowable anyway; we believe it happens. If that had been the understanding in 16th Century Europe, I'm not sure there would have been a dispute about it. But two things had happened in the intervening centuries.

One was that in the West, there had been an increasing desire to explain and pin down "how" it happens. (Why has the West so often felt the need to explain everything?) This led to dogmatizing and anathematizing about the specifics of how Christ is present.

The other was the rise of devotions to the Blessed Sacrament—Benediction, Corpus Christi, etc.—that had no counterpart in the East and that the Reformers had problems with, thinking that they "overthrew the nature" of the Sacrament (per the 39 Articles).

That was the context the Reformers found themselves in, and what they were reacting against. There were a few glimmers of going back to the ancient position—the quote upthread attributed to Elizabeth I, for example, or the quote I gave from Calvin. (Although before he said what I quoted, he used a lot of ink trying to explain his understanding.). But for the most part, they continued looking for an adequate explanation.

The East, meanwhile, continues as it has for all these centuries, seeing no need to explain the presence of Christ i the sacrament, or value in doing so, I seems to me.

So I'd say it was worked out. The West just started moving away from that worked-out understanding many centuries later. I don't think that was to our benefit, frankly.

--------------------
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Albertus
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quote:
Originally posted by Gamaliel:
We all roll differently, Martin60.

I didn't make me angry. I was a visitor. When I visit people's houses I abide by their house rules.

Had I been confirmed, I might not have received either - not because of anger but because when I thought about it, I didn't particularly feel 'prepared'.

Don't get me wrong, I don't jump through hoops and perform rigorous feats of self-examination before receiving communion - but I do try to prepare as best I can. On that particular occasion, I didn't feel particularly prepared anyway ...

Besides, what's the big deal?

If I couldn't receive communion in that particular church because of their polity on eucharistic hospitality, why should I be offended or upset? I can always go to another Anglican or other church where they don't have that particular stipulation in place and I could receive there.

They are entitled to regulate their communion practices as they see fit.

BTW small point of fact- that wouldn't or shouldn't apply in the CinW now- since last Advent Sunday, communion has been open to anyone who is baptised. We could talk about the rights and wrongs of that elsewhere (and I suspect ad nauseam) but I've certainly found, as a Churchwarden, that it makes the welcome to visitors more straightforward.

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Arethosemyfeet
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quote:
Originally posted by Jengie jon:
Shows how much the Patriarch knows. Calvin the most intellectual of them was French.

Gamaliel

We need to split several things that are confused in your mind. The Continental Reformation is not the same as the the English Reformation which is not the same as the Scottish Reformation.

What is more the splits in the English Church are not reflected on the continent at all.

The splits between the Continental Protestant churches seem to largely be over Eucharist.

The splits between the English Protestant Churches are over Ecclesiology and the exercise of power. In this case, the CofE is definitely one. This is not the case on the continent (they wonder what we get so het up about). I have no need to talk about Roman Catholic or Orthodox Ecclesiology if I am characterising divisions between English Protestant Churches.


Anglicans might like to think it is differences over communion that make them distinctive but it isn't. It is having Bishops and the patronage-style power that is implied by that. The power to influence is given by largesse on the part of the Monarch and then the Bishops and so on down the line.

This is why there is a strong republican strand in Non-Conformity. We would rather be citizens than subjects. It is not antipathy towards the royal family. They do a pretty good job as far as I can tell. It is why we wanted a vote in parliament about triggering article 50, however sham that was.

Jengie

I think you're conflating episcopy with establishment. Anglicanism in Scotland has been non-conformist (and for a lot of that time considered borderline seditious) since the late 17th Century, while the Church of Scotland was subject to patronage well into the 20th Century.
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Forthview
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'Non-conformist' is another word which may mean different things to different people.The word hardly exists in Scotland and would really only be known by those interested in the history of religion in England. Obviously that's not everyone in Scotland.

The post Reformation church in Scotland was both episcopal and Presbyterian, with bishops sitting in the Scottish parliament ( as the King's men !)

Only from the time of the arrival in England of William of Orange did the Kirk become completely Presbyterian.The Presbyterians decided to support William of Orange's claim to the Scottish throne if he agreed to toss out of the Kirk the Scottish bishops and anyone else who agreed with episcopacy.

It was after this that we had the movement to found a clandestine episcopal church which existed like the Catholic church in the shadows till the end of the penal laws.

In the 1700s there were also the beginning of the many breakaways from the Presbyterian Church which are too many and too complicated to go into,though none of the arguments would have been about the eucharist.

The word 'non-conformist' would not have been used,however.

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Baptist Trainfan
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quote:
Originally posted by Jengie jon:
This is why there is a strong republican strand in Non-Conformity. We would rather be citizens than subjects. It is not antipathy towards the royal family. They do a pretty good job as far as I can tell.

I think that a lot of early 17th-century Nonconformists would dispute the last couple of sentences!

Of course they don't dislike the royal family as people, but they're against the institution.

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Gamaliel
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No Jengie, you are showing your own ignorance, not the Patriarch's.

Melanchthon wrote to the Patriarch. Melanchthon was German. Hence the reference to 'learned Germans'.

Had Calvin written to him then the answer might have been, 'learned Frenchmen ...'

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Jengie jon

Semper Reformanda
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quote:
Originally posted by Baptist Trainfan:
quote:
Originally posted by Jengie jon:
This is why there is a strong republican strand in Non-Conformity. We would rather be citizens than subjects. It is not antipathy towards the royal family. They do a pretty good job as far as I can tell.

I think that a lot of early 17th-century Nonconformists would dispute the last couple of sentences!

Of course they don't dislike the royal family as people, but they're against the institution.

That is what I am trying to say. They do the job well but the job should not exist.

Jengie

--------------------
"To violate a persons ability to distinguish fact from fantasy is the epistemological equivalent of rape." Noretta Koertge

Back to my blog

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Baptist Trainfan
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Ah, I see what you mean [Smile] .
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Kaplan Corday
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quote:
Originally posted by Gamaliel:
I've heard anyone claim that the only reason Luther precipitated the Reformation was to get his leg over ...

I came across it back in the Sixties at high school.

A girl who had previously attended an RC school joined our class, and as I headed up the school's ISCF group, she and I used to chat about religion.

She told me that the teaching sisters had told them that Luther kicked off the Reformation because he wanted to get married.

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Kaplan Corday
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quote:
Originally posted by Nick Tamen:
I'd say it was worked out 1850 years ago; the West just became dissatisfied with how it was worked out.

That might or might not be true of Luther and Calvin, but it certainly does not apply to Zwingli's memorialist position.

Zwingli might have modified his memorialism toward the end of his life, but by that time the position was out there independent of his later tergiversation, and remains there, and represents a radically different (and arguably far more scriptural) approach to the Lord's Supper.

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Nick Tamen

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quote:
Originally posted by Kaplan Corday:
quote:
Originally posted by Nick Tamen:
I'd say it was worked out 1850 years ago; the West just became dissatisfied with how it was worked out.

That might or might not be true of Luther and Calvin, but it certainly does not apply to Zwingli's memorialist position.

I'm not so sure of that. The question to me is whether anyone would have advocated a memorialist position to start with had the West not gone down the path it did in the preceding centuries. Zwingli's memorialist position can, I think, be seen as a direct reaction (and some might say over-reaction) to the sacramental understanding of the Western Church in his time.

[ 20. February 2017, 01:55: Message edited by: Nick Tamen ]

--------------------
The first thing God says to Moses is, "Take off your shoes." We are on holy ground. Hard to believe, but the truest thing I know. — Anne Lamott

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Gamaliel
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Sure, I don't doubt the nuns told her that in the 1960s. Heck, I know of people who were asked by Spanish nuns in the 1960s whether Protestants believed in Christ ...

That was then, this is now. Generally speaking, whatever our tradition we tend to be a lot better informed these days about one another's positions ...

It all depends where you are. I met a Romanian monk a few years ago who'd experienced a striking conversion from atheism / nominal Christianity in front of an icon of the Virgin Mary in a Russian art gallery ...

He told me that when he first entered a monastery out in the wilds of the Romanian woods the monks were all convinced that both Rome and all Protestants were demonic.

He reckons they only act more politely now as they've been told to be more ecumenical by the Romanian Orthodox authorities ... but deep down ...

Thing is, we can all find examples of that sort of thing. Chick Tracts anyone?

My Brethren buddy at school used to live next door to a lovely RC family. His parents and the next door parents became very close friends. They'd go on family holidays together. They shared meals together. They were like relatives rather than neighbours. But then, week by week down the Gospel Hall they were told how RCs were all going to Hell that there was no salvation for Catholics unless they were prepared to break with Rome ...

And so on and on and on ...

As to whether Zwinglian memorialism is 'more scriptural' than a sacramental understanding of these things - well, as I keep saying, it all depends on what lenses you are wearing in your spectacles.

Zwingli wasn't the first to 'break' with a more sacramental understanding - the Waldensians and Lollards had moved away from transubstantiation before the Reformation proper got underway.

But none of these things happen in a vacuum. There was a reaction to the private masses and paraphernalia.

It is, of course, purely conjectural as to whether the Christian East could have had similar controversies - any kind of Reformation would have been difficult under Ottoman rule.

That's not to say that the Eastern Churches didn't have their own exotic break-away groups - the Bogomils and so on ... plus the bewildering welter of often quite loopy sects which broke away from the Russian Orthodox Church in later times ... some of them with very bizarre practices indeed ... mass orgies in bath-houses, mass flagellations leading to frenzied sex ...

Human beings are capable of perverting almost anything and everything.

--------------------
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Martin60
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It's wonderfully depressing what utter crap we 'believe' whilst actually getting on with being halfway decent people.

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Love wins

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Gamaliel
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Speak for yourself ...

--------------------
Let us with a gladsome mind
Praise the Lord for He is kind.

http://philthebard.blogspot.com

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Martin60
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Er, I wish I could.

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Love wins

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Adeodatus
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At the risk of throwing a spanner in the works and/or a cat among the pigeons, I think the biggest mistake you can make in discussing the Eucharist is to home in on the nature and significance of the act of communion in isolation from everything else. The Eucharist is first and foremost ritual, an example of that profound means of communication that is what humans do when words alone can't do what we need to have done.

There are lots of theories of ritual, but I think one of the weakest and least convincing is that it is a set of words and actions designed to produce a specific result. The purpose of the Eucharist is not to turn bread and wine into the Body and Blood of Christ: that is a theory of ritual which runs perilously close to making it indistinguishable from magic. If ritual makes things happen at all, it does so on a rather different level (e.g. the classic example "I name this ship..."). Principally, I think, ritual of the kind exemplified by the Eucharist is mostly - not exclusively - about the celebration and proclamation of something that already is, namely the presence of Christ in the Church which also claims the name of his "Body". In doing so, it also has an eschatological role: each Eucharist moves the Church "from glory to glory" and makes a fresh imprint of the Kingdom of God on this world.

That's what I think, anyway. Such a pity it's all so well hidden on a dreary Sunday morning.

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"What is broken, repair with gold."

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Martin60
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Excellent. Rational. Faithful. Therefore it can't possibly catch on. Not without a zero sum game realisation by a billion people.

--------------------
Love wins

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Adeodatus
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quote:
Originally posted by Martin60:
Excellent. Rational. Faithful. Therefore it can't possibly catch on. Not without a zero sum game realisation by a billion people.

I claim no originality. 'Twas Aidan Kavanagh's books that really formed my ideas on the Eucharist; desultory readings in the theory of ritual thereafter.

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"What is broken, repair with gold."

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Stoic29
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quote:
Originally posted by Adeodatus:
Principally, I think, ritual of the kind exemplified by the Eucharist is mostly - not exclusively - about the celebration and proclamation of something that already is, namely the presence of Christ in the Church which also claims the name of his "Body". In doing so, it also has an eschatological role: each Eucharist moves the Church "from glory to glory" and makes a fresh imprint of the Kingdom of God on this world.

I think this right, even though I may word it differently.

Many people view the Eucharist (and the liturgy/mass) primarily as a means of grace and an aid in the spiritual life (which is, of course, true). However, I think that this a secondary. The only worship that is perfect and acceptable to the Father is the worship that Christ offered to God the Father. Our participation in the liturgy is our way of entering into that worship - the worship of Christ himself. In this way, we can truly be the body of Christ...meaning that, when we partake of the Eucharist, we are joined to Christ not only in a spiritual way, but a physical way. But this physical way cannot be our own flesh but must be the real/true Flesh of Christ himself.

The ritual is certainly not magic and many fall into this way of thinking... as if we can zap Christ into our midst. The mass/liturgy is our way of entering into the eschaton to where Christ is, not only spiritually by physically.

How Christ is revealed to us physically in the Eucharist is a deep mystery, but it certainly is his true, physical Body and Blood. If it is not the "real presence" (again, regardless of how this happens), then it is not the real Christ.

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Öd’ und leer das Meer

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mousethief

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That all sounds good to me, Stoic29.

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“Religion doesn't fuck up people, people fuck up religion.”—lilBuddha

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Enoch
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quote:
Originally posted by Stoic29:
quote:
Originally posted by Adeodatus:
Principally, I think, ritual of the kind exemplified by the Eucharist is mostly - not exclusively - about the celebration and proclamation of something that already is, namely the presence of Christ in the Church which also claims the name of his "Body". In doing so, it also has an eschatological role: each Eucharist moves the Church "from glory to glory" and makes a fresh imprint of the Kingdom of God on this world.

I think this right, even though I may word it differently.

Many people view the Eucharist (and the liturgy/mass) primarily as a means of grace and an aid in the spiritual life (which is, of course, true). However, I think that this a secondary. The only worship that is perfect and acceptable to the Father is the worship that Christ offered to God the Father. Our participation in the liturgy is our way of entering into that worship - the worship of Christ himself. In this way, we can truly be the body of Christ...meaning that, when we partake of the Eucharist, we are joined to Christ not only in a spiritual way, but a physical way. But this physical way cannot be our own flesh but must be the real/true Flesh of Christ himself.

The ritual is certainly not magic and many fall into this way of thinking... as if we can zap Christ into our midst. The mass/liturgy is our way of entering into the eschaton to where Christ is, not only spiritually by physically.

How Christ is revealed to us physically in the Eucharist is a deep mystery, but it certainly is his true, physical Body and Blood. If it is not the "real presence" (again, regardless of how this happens), then it is not the real Christ.

Adeodatus and Stoic29, I agree too. I think and hope that both of you have expressed that very well. Otherwise, I've been misunderstanding a lot for a long time.

So we don't, by kneeling at the rail (this is CofE speak) receive two little portions of grace to help us on our way for another week. In Holy Communion/The Eucharist/The Mass/The Holy Liturgy/The Lord's Supper/The Breaking of Bread Service/The Holy Qurbana (have I left any out) we are allowed to join in the worship of heaven, we participate in Christ's offering of himself, we anticipate the marriage feast of the Lamb and the full coming of the kingdom at the consummation of time, and so we feed on him in our hearts by faith with thanksgiving.

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Stoic29
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quote:
Originally posted by Enoch:
So we don't, by kneeling at the rail (this is CofE speak) receive two little portions of grace to help us on our way for another week.

Right. Essentially, this is a Nestorian view of the Eucharist. We would be joined to a man who became God through Grace rather than joined to man who is God by Nature.

By partaking in the Eucharist we receive Grace from He whom is Grace by Nature. The Eucharist is not a potion derived from magic but union with the Person (Body and Blood) of Christ...Who is still and always is real flesh and blood.

--------------------
Öd’ und leer das Meer

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Kaplan Corday
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quote:
Originally posted by Gamaliel:
Sure, I don't doubt the nuns told her that in the 1960s. Heck, I know of people who were asked by Spanish nuns in the 1960s whether Protestants believed in Christ ...

That was then, this is now. Generally speaking, whatever our tradition we tend to be a lot better informed these days about one another's positions ...

It all depends where you are. I met a Romanian monk a few years ago who'd experienced a striking conversion from atheism / nominal Christianity in front of an icon of the Virgin Mary in a Russian art gallery ...

He told me that when he first entered a monastery out in the wilds of the Romanian woods the monks were all convinced that both Rome and all Protestants were demonic.

He reckons they only act more politely now as they've been told to be more ecumenical by the Romanian Orthodox authorities ... but deep down ...

Thing is, we can all find examples of that sort of thing. Chick Tracts anyone?

My Brethren buddy at school used to live next door to a lovely RC family. His parents and the next door parents became very close friends. They'd go on family holidays together. They shared meals together. They were like relatives rather than neighbours. But then, week by week down the Gospel Hall they were told how RCs were all going to Hell that there was no salvation for Catholics unless they were prepared to break with Rome ...

And so on and on and on ...
[/UOTE]

And so on and so on indeed.

Enough already.

It was a frivolous throwaway line.

You are breaking a butterfly on the wheel.

[QUOTE]That's not to say that the Eastern Churches didn't have their own exotic break-away groups - the Bogomils and so on ... plus the bewildering welter of often quite loopy sects which broke away from the Russian Orthodox Church in later times ... some of them with very bizarre practices indeed ... mass orgies in bath-houses, mass flagellations leading to frenzied sex ...

Yes. I've often thought that such groups - or even the Adamites and Doukhobors with their straight nudity - have a lot to teach we Brethren about livening up servces to make them more attractive to young people....
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Martin60
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quote:
Originally posted by Stoic29:
quote:
Originally posted by Enoch:
So we don't, by kneeling at the rail (this is CofE speak) receive two little portions of grace to help us on our way for another week.

Right. Essentially, this is a Nestorian view of the Eucharist. We would be joined to a man who became God through Grace rather than joined to man who is God by Nature.

By partaking in the Eucharist we receive Grace from He whom is Grace by Nature. The Eucharist is not a potion derived from magic but union with the Person (Body and Blood) of Christ...Who is still and always is real flesh and blood.

For the infinity of sapient creatures from eternity? Or just infinitesimal us?

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Gamaliel
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You're onto something there, Kaplan ...

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Kaplan Corday
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quote:
Originally posted by Nick Tamen:
quote:
Originally posted by Kaplan Corday:
quote:
Originally posted by Nick Tamen:
I'd say it was worked out 1850 years ago; the West just became dissatisfied with how it was worked out.

That might or might not be true of Luther and Calvin, but it certainly does not apply to Zwingli's memorialist position.

I'm not so sure of that. The question to me is whether anyone would have advocated a memorialist position to start with had the West not gone down the path it did in the preceding centuries. Zwingli's memorialist position can, I think, be seen as a direct reaction (and some might say over-reaction) to the sacramental understanding of the Western Church in his time.
Perhaps we are talking past one another.

I am not questioning the fact that the church adopted a transubstantiationist (or proto-transubstantiationist) position quite early, but asking whether (Vincentian Canon notwithstanding) it was the correct one, and whether it was never thereafter validly interrogated.

The challenges to the eucharistic consensus, before and during the Reformation, of which Zwingli's memorialism was the most radical, have to be recogniised, and assessed seriously in the light of Scripture.

As the Pilgrim Fathers' pastor, John Robinson, famously observed: "I am verily persuaded that the Lord hath more truth and light yet to break forth from his holy word".

FWIW, while I personally favour memeorialism, I am tolerant of more sacramentalist positions which avoid transubstantiation.

[ 20. February 2017, 20:31: Message edited by: Kaplan Corday ]

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Gamaliel
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Interestingly, in my experience, those who quote Robinson approvingly are often the most reluctant to accept any 'new' insight or development ...

Have we had a thread about Robinson's quote and whether it can be trusted, how we decide what is further light and truth and not novelty for novelty's sake?

The operative word in Kaplan's post is, of course, 'personally' ...

I 'personally incline towards ...'

The corollary of that is, 'I believe that X is an example of further light and truth breaking out of God's most holy word even though the rest of you don't ...'

There's a balance somewhere. I don't know where.

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Baptist Trainfan
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quote:
Originally posted by Gamaliel:
Interestingly, in my experience, those who quote Robinson approvingly are often the most reluctant to accept any 'new' insight or development ...

Having quoted him approvingly on several occasions, I hope I am not among their number!
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Gamaliel
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Heh heh ...

The thing is, of course, is that people are highly selective in the way they quote Robinson.

They'll apply his quote only to endorse developments or positions they approve of.

We could parse this:

My development is an example of more light and truth breaking forth from God's most holy word.

Your development is a dangerous and unscriptural innovation.

In my experience - and I'm sure you don't fall into this - Robinson is often quoted by dispensationalists to excuse their eccentric interpretations, by the slightly better read among the charismatics or by neo-Calvinists.

The point is, who decides what comprises a legitimate 'Robinsonian' development and what doesn't?

Do you?

Do I?

Does Kaplan?

Or would it need all of us?

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Baptist Trainfan
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I have used it to justify changed approaches to sexuality and marriage. And I have paralleled it to Jesus' radical reinterpretation of the Law in the Sermon on the Mount.

By the way, you forgot to say that "Their understanding is yet another dangerous compromise with worldly values".

[ 21. February 2017, 07:53: Message edited by: Baptist Trainfan ]

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Kaplan Corday
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quote:
Originally posted by Gamaliel:
The point is, who decides what comprises a legitimate 'Robinsonian' development and what doesn't?

Not sure what the fuss is all about, because all Christian traditions recognise the principle which his words express, or at least practise it without admitting it, whether it is "semper reformanda"; "development of doctrine" in Roman Catholicism and to a lesser extent in Orthodoxy (or even "evolution of dogma"); or "contextualisation" in liberal, and even not so liberal, Protestantism.

And yes, it is a messy and untidy, while unavoidable, process.

[ 21. February 2017, 09:00: Message edited by: Kaplan Corday ]

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Adeodatus
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quote:
Originally posted by Martin60:
quote:
Originally posted by Stoic29:
quote:
Originally posted by Enoch:
So we don't, by kneeling at the rail (this is CofE speak) receive two little portions of grace to help us on our way for another week.

Right. Essentially, this is a Nestorian view of the Eucharist. We would be joined to a man who became God through Grace rather than joined to man who is God by Nature.

By partaking in the Eucharist we receive Grace from He whom is Grace by Nature. The Eucharist is not a potion derived from magic but union with the Person (Body and Blood) of Christ...Who is still and always is real flesh and blood.

For the infinity of sapient creatures from eternity? Or just infinitesimal us?
Option (a), Martin. It has to be option (a). Grace and salvation are cosmic, or not at all.

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Gamaliel
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Not so much a 'fuss' Kaplan as a question.

I've given some instances where the Robinsonian remark is used in a conservative way, Baptist Trainfan has given instances where it has been applied in a more liberal way.

Yes, it's messy. But that doesn't side-step the issue of who gets to decide what's a legitimate development and what isn't.

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mousethief

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Our dogma doesn't evolve.

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Baptist Trainfan
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But it does - just think of the work of theologians such as John Zizioulas.

[ 21. February 2017, 13:32: Message edited by: Baptist Trainfan ]

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Gamaliel
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If I understand it correctly, Orthodox theology evolves but dogma doesn't.

Zizoulas hasn't introduced any new dogma.

The Orthodox are less dogmatic than Rome and her daughters. They reckon all the dogma they need is contained in the great Creeds and the decisions of the Ecumenical Councils.

That doesn't mean that things are static when it comes to non-dogmatic issues but it does mean that dogma is pretty fixed.

I think you were using the term 'dogma' in a fairly loose way, Baptist Trainfan. As I understand it, 'dogma' in Orthodox terms refers to the non-negotiables, such as the Trinity and the Deity of Christ and the Deity of the Holy Spirit.

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Baptist Trainfan
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quote:
Originally posted by Gamaliel:
I think you were using the term 'dogma' in a fairly loose way, Baptist Trainfan.

Guilty as charged, m'lud!
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mousethief

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Which patriarchates have accepted Zizioulas' opinions as part of their official teachings?

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Baptist Trainfan
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I have no idea, I simply used him as an example of a theologian within your tradition who seemed to be doing some serious and hopefully original thinking.
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Kaplan Corday
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Evangelicals can argue that memorialism (or something like it) was the NT understanding of the Eucharist; that the church quickly lapsed into some sort of transubstantiationist misunderstanding of it; and that Robinsonian light burst forth before and during the Reformation to restore the truth.

Like wise RCs can argue that the NT church believed in Petrine episcopal primacy; that benighted Orthodox and Protestants deviated from it; and that later, Robinsonian truth broke forth to enlighten various Uniate groups who restored their allegiance to Rome.

The Orthodox can argue that Roman primacy is not taught in the NT; that the church got sucked into this error; and that the Orthodox received a Robinsonian revelation that Roman claims to precedence were not valid.

In other words we all do it, nobody really imagines that their set of interpretations are eternally set in concrete and have never changed, and the fact that there is not a unitary, objective authority to appeal to in cases of disagreement as to what is and is not a genuine case of "more truth breaking forth" is just something we have to live with.

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Martin60
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quote:
Originally posted by Adeodatus:
quote:
Originally posted by Martin60:
quote:
Originally posted by Stoic29:
quote:
Originally posted by Enoch:
So we don't, by kneeling at the rail (this is CofE speak) receive two little portions of grace to help us on our way for another week.

Right. Essentially, this is a Nestorian view of the Eucharist. We would be joined to a man who became God through Grace rather than joined to man who is God by Nature.

By partaking in the Eucharist we receive Grace from He whom is Grace by Nature. The Eucharist is not a potion derived from magic but union with the Person (Body and Blood) of Christ...Who is still and always is real flesh and blood.

For the infinity of sapient creatures from eternity? Or just infinitesimal us?
Option (a), Martin. It has to be option (a). Grace and salvation are cosmic, or not at all.
Indeed Adeodatus, soooo, is that through our flesh and blood Jesus only?

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Mudfrog
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I wonder what might have happened had the Jerusalem church not disintegrated and lost the Apostolic influence over the church.

Acts 15 shows that Jerusalem HQ directing affairs as far as the gentile converts were concerned and had AD70 come and gone with no crisis, I can imagine that any significant alteration of the Lord's Supper would have been frowned upon.

The Last Supper itself was seemingly the Passover meal with one of the elements given a new meaning to reflect the giving of the body and blood of Christ in a new covenant.

I don't see any of the mystery elements in that whatsoever and I do wonder what the first generation apostles themselves might have thought about the 2nd century changes.

I might also suggest that baptism also became a 'mystery' initiation rather than the oft-repeated ritual cleansing which Jesus instructed the disciples to continue to use, but this time instead of the Shema, they were to immerse in the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit.

Sadly, to my mind, the word 'baptise' nowadays only means the Christian sacrament and I wonder whether we read that meaning of the word back into what the apostles were doing; when I believe they were simply using the mikveh. The did not invent a new ceremony.

In conclusion, I feel that regrettably we lost the Jewish link and there is no obvious continuation with the Passover and mikveh anymore.

That, of course, was made worse by the anti-Semitism of the early church that deliberately moved Easter away from the Passover timing.

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Adeodatus
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quote:
Originally posted by Martin60:
Indeed Adeodatus, soooo, is that through our flesh and blood Jesus only?

If I read you right, Martin, I don't think grace comes to the cosmos through us alone, let alone through our sacraments alone. The Church will, of course, hold on to its sacraments like Kate Winslet in Titanic clinging to a floating chest of drawers (or whatever it was). It has to. But the older I get, the more I think we've not made enough out of "sacramentals", or of those other random moments of grace, remoter from any theological pinning-down, that occur within or - principally for me these days - without the Church.

But this is taking us far from a discussion of the theology of the Eucharist. Probably.

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Martin60
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You read me just fine Adeodatus, considering my witlessly gnomic propensities.

I think this is all very Eucharistic.

I agree that the universe is not saved through us let alone our sacraments, so it isn't saved by both in our Jesus, the Son of Man, by His flesh and blood. Let alone the infinite eternity of universes prior to and concurrent with ours.

The universe teems with at least trillions of sapient races like ours, our small galaxy alone must have ten at least. Which is absurdly small. One in forty thousand million star systems.

Incarnation will occur in all of them. And our universe is one of infinite from eternity.

God, including eternal creation salvation is a tad more vastly complex than we can possibly imagine.

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Love wins

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Enoch
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Adeodatus, I don't think that is quite so far from our discussion of what happens at the Eucharist as you might suggest.

Does 'grace come to the cosmos' at all? Is that what grace is, how it works, or what it means? It seems to me that's thinking of grace as a sort of hypostatic fluid, or celestial electricity, something with an independent existence of its own, that is somehow transmitted or impeded by certain actions.

I know some writers give that impression. It's particularly prevalent both among neo-Thomists and neo-Calvinists. However, IMHO it's a serious misunderstanding. It seems to me that grace is a word that better describes something about God's personality, his nature, the way he is, what he is like.

It's the hypostatic fluid, celestial electricity understanding that is hidden in the criticism I hope I implied in my phrase 'receive two little portions of grace to help us on our way for another week'.

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Adeodatus
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I share the qualms about speaking of grace as a sort of engodded ether pervading creation. Perhaps it's better to talk about graces - specific instances of divine gift, given not randomly or whimsically, but as acts of divine will, but which to really be graces must also be perceived and received, not randomly or whimsically, but as acts of human will. Or something like that. (And yes, I know that if you apply that to the Eucharist, there's a sniff of receptionism about it. But I think there should be - just a sniff. Seed falling on stony ground and all that.)

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Gamaliel
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quote:
Originally posted by Mudfrog:
I wonder what might have happened had the Jerusalem church not disintegrated and lost the Apostolic influence over the church.

Acts 15 shows that Jerusalem HQ directing affairs as far as the gentile converts were concerned and had AD70 come and gone with no crisis, I can imagine that any significant alteration of the Lord's Supper would have been frowned upon.

The Last Supper itself was seemingly the Passover meal with one of the elements given a new meaning to reflect the giving of the body and blood of Christ in a new covenant.

I don't see any of the mystery elements in that whatsoever and I do wonder what the first generation apostles themselves might have thought about the 2nd century changes.

I might also suggest that baptism also became a 'mystery' initiation rather than the oft-repeated ritual cleansing which Jesus instructed the disciples to continue to use, but this time instead of the Shema, they were to immerse in the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit.

Sadly, to my mind, the word 'baptise' nowadays only means the Christian sacrament and I wonder whether we read that meaning of the word back into what the apostles were doing; when I believe they were simply using the mikveh. The did not invent a new ceremony.

In conclusion, I feel that regrettably we lost the Jewish link and there is no obvious continuation with the Passover and mikveh anymore.

That, of course, was made worse by the anti-Semitism of the early church that deliberately moved Easter away from the Passover timing.

So effectively, the whole thing was holed below the waterline the moment the Jerusalem Church was scattered or disintegrated?

Everyone's been getting it wrong from the mid to late 1st century ...

I see ...

[Roll Eyes]

I agree with you on the anti-Semitism thing and the Epistle of Barnabas is part and parcel of all that, with the early Christians distancing themselves polemically from their Jewish roots ...

But we can't go crying over spilt milk, neither can we 'restore' things to how we imagine them to have been.

As for the views the Apostles might have had about subsequent developments, that's always going to be a matter of conjecture.

RCs and Orthodox are going to see subsequent developments as being commensurate and inline with the apostolic deposit.

Protestants - and particularly those of a revivalist or restorationist bent - are going to say, 'Oh no, it isn't ...' and suggest that the Apostles would have agreed with them.

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Praise the Lord for He is kind.

http://philthebard.blogspot.com

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Gamaliel
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It was said of the liberal 19th century scholars who went on 'the quest for the historical Jesus' that when they looked down the well they saw the reflection of themselves looking back up at them ...

It strikes me that the same could be said about evangelicals looking at the NT and at the early Christian writings ... they see themselves reflected back or else an image of what they think ought to be there ...

The same thing could be said, of course, about RCs and Orthodox but other than those who seem to take stories about St Luke being the first iconographer seriously ... most of those I've spoken to do accept some form of development between the immediate Apostolic period and what came afterwards - whilst, of course, maintaining that subsequent developments were commensurate with the Apostolic deposit ...

The difference, though, it seems to me, is that RCs and Orthodox are up-front about the role in tradition / Tradition in all of this - whereas evangelicals pretend that this doesn't come into it and that somehow everyone else is wearing spectacles except them ...

It's a big blindspot, I think ... he said paleo-orthodoxically ...

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Praise the Lord for He is kind.

http://philthebard.blogspot.com

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Martin60
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How frightfully Nietzschean!
The pit of postmodernism!

[ 22. February 2017, 19:09: Message edited by: Martin60 ]

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