Church History: Ulrich Zwingli

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318 Responses

  1. Xenia says:

    My mama said if you can’t think of anything good to say about a person, not to say anything at all.


  2. Jean says:

    I have a good thing to say about a person: Thank you for this post and another family history lesson Michael!

  3. Xenia says:

    But to say something good about someone else, St. John Chrysostom (4th century) also did verse by verse preaching. You can read many of his sermons online at

  4. Michael says:

    Thank you, Jean. 🙂
    Xenia, you are correct about Chrysostom…and the Reformers all read and appreciated him.

  5. Xenia says:

    and the Reformers all read and appreciated him.<<<<

    But not nearly enough.

  6. Xenia says:

    OK, enough cynical remarks from me this morning, forgive me.

    I need to go work on a project which will only work out well if God is in it. If not, my mood may turn sour and I might come back and say what I really think about Zwingli.

  7. Michael says:


    You’re welcome to comment on Zwingli…your perspective, from your tradition, is part of the learning process for all of us.

  8. Babylon's Dread says:

    Zwingli contributed more than that. He contributed to providing the fuel for the Radical Reformers … Zwingli’s rejection of the Swiss Brethren’s insistence upon believer baptism is the spark that fueled a reformation that has given us much of the definitions of religious freedom as we see it function in culture today.

    Zwingli’s marriage to the powers for his own validation in Zurich led to the persecution of his detractors. Those persecutions fueled the fires that separated faith and the state.

  9. Kevin H says:

    I don’t know a whole lot about Zwingli, but I’d be interested in Xenia’s take for learning purposes, even if it’s strongly negative. She always adds much to these history threads.

  10. Michael says:

    That’s next week…

  11. Kevin H says:

    I’ve never gotten the way that some CC people talk about verse by verse teaching like it’s some novel thing done by CC. Yes, it’s a distinctive, no arguing there. It’s actually my preferred way of teaching. But novel? Before my current CC church, I had regularly attended 3 other churches in my lifetime, comprised of 2 different denominations, and all 3 taught primarily verse by verse. So coming to Calvary and experiencing the teaching there was nothing new to me. Pretty much old hat.

  12. papiaslogia says:

    SO glad for these Church History posts. Thanks Michael!

    Funny story alert…

    I was able to teach a Church History class at CCCM for the Tuesday School of the Bible many moons ago. I love the early Church, so I started in Acts and went through the Middle Ages. When asked if I was going to do the class again for the next section of time, I said “sure”.

    When I saw the schedule I was mortified: the class I was to be teaching was from the Reformation onward, and I didn’t know as much about that period. So someone had to do ALOT of studying to prepare for. While I knew a bit about Clavin and Luther, Zwingli was one of the great surprises I got to learn about.

    BTW Michael – How did your interview go?

  13. Michael says:


    Unless they hire you, it’s not a good interview. 🙂
    No word yet…

  14. Neo says:

    X. Interesting perspective.

  15. Babylon's Dread says:

    The Reformation had a lot to do with men and their sex lives.

  16. Babylon's Dread says:

    Some other feminized men were reclaiming their manhood during this era… just saying.

  17. Xenia says:

    the Reformation onward, and I didn’t know as much about that period.<<<

    Same here. I have a number of Church history books that come in several volumes. The second half (the part about the Reformation and onward to the present) have not been read. Some of them are still in their original shrink wrap.

    So I have a lot to learn here.

  18. Nonnie says:

    “He believed in a “spiritual presence” and his exegesis provided the foundation of the “memorial view” of communion common today.”

    Question: Isn’t a spiritual presence very different from a memorial view of communion?

    If I understand correctly, the Anglican Church believes in a spiritual presence of Jesus in the communion which is very different from the memorial view of the elements as only a symbol or reminder.

    Do you know which is closer to what Zwingli believed? Just wondering.

  19. Babylon's Dread says:


    The memorial view is the view that goes back to Zwingli, he is the father of Baptist Communion.

    Transubstantiation – Catholic

    Consubstantiation – Lutheran

    Memorial – Zwinglian

    To say a ‘spiritual presence’ simply means the elements remain unchanged and are ingested by faith.

  20. Michael says:


    Great question!
    BD is partially right…for years only part of Zwingli’s teaching on communion was distributed and that part emphasized the memorial aspect denying the “real presence”.
    On closer examination, there is little difference between Zwingli and the Reformed and Anglican views…but Zwingli gets credit for his exegesis against the real presence.

  21. Nonnie says:

    Thanks, Babs. I thought “spiritual presence” was meaning “a presence of Christ” vs memorial. Thank you for the clarification.

  22. I think Zwingli was strictly memorial view – it means nothing more than a toast and for your communion hymn you sing “For He’s a Jolly Good Fellow” to Jesus – heck, in some churches you could even through the cups into the fireplace.

    Calvin held to the exact same view as Zwingli but was uncomfortable with the terminology – so he came up with the spiritual presence … which is really odd because, and this is my understanding of the view, Jesus is not spiritually present in the meal, but your spirit goes up into the presence of Jesus at the time of the communion.

    It’s really weird because it’s all based on the lack of mobility of Jesus … he is at the right hand of God and can be in no other place.

  23. Nonnie says:

    Michael, Ah….that changes things some. Thanks!

  24. Consubstantiation – Lutheran

    Wrong, it is a mislabeling that even some Lutherans misunderstand. Lutherans do not believe that the elements change at all – the ‘substantiation’ part. Jesus just becomes present with the element – in, with and under.

  25. Xenia says:

    Unexplanable Mystery – Eastern Orthodox

    We believe that the bread and wine are truly the Body and Blood of the Lord and that’s pretty much all we are going to say about it. We don’t use the words “transubstantion” or “consubstantiation*” at all. We call the Eucharist “the medicine of immortality” which is given for the forgiveness of sins (and other benefits.) We believe when we take Communion we are having an encounter with the risen Christ in a way that is different from, say, prayer or singing hymns.

    The Orthodox Church is a Eucharistic community. The reception of the Body and Blood of Christ is the purpose of the Liturgy. Everything in the service leads up to this moment. When we receive Communion, something supernatural happens to us. It is more than remembering what Christ did for us, although of course that is a part of it.

    So Mr. Zwingli…. may God have mercy on his soul…. made a grave error when he took this away from people.

    * I don’t think the Lutherans like the word “consubstantiation.”

  26. Here are the differences the way I see it – what are you taking in your mouth?

    Roman Catholic = Body & Blood
    Lutherans = Bread, Wine & Body, Blood
    Memorial = Bread & Wine

    Xenia – what would be the EO answer to “what are you taking in your mouth?”

  27. Michael says:


    There are places where Zwingli appears to have a straight memorial view and others where he sounds more inclined toward a “spiritual presence” in the elements.
    Calvin did not appreciate Zwingli…called his position as he understood it “profane”.

  28. ” It is more than remembering what Christ did for us, although of course that is a part of it.”

    The bigger issue is “what is the it” that we are doing – for “remembering what Christ did for us”?

  29. Michael says:

    Let me clarify Nonnies question a little more.

    Zwingli did not see the Eucharist as a means of grace…the Reformed and Lutherans, along with the RC and EO do.

    That would be the primary difference in my opinion.

  30. “Calvin did not appreciate Zwingli…called his position as he understood it “profane”.”

    So what is Calvin’s position -he doesn’t hold to the real presence, because as they say “the finite cannot contain the infinite”

  31. Xenia says:

    If, during Communion, some spills on the floor everything comes to a screeching halt while it is carefully cleaned up and the cloth used to clean the spill is burned (later), not tossed in the trash. Leftover Communion is consumed by the priest or deacon so there are no leftovers. (We don’t do Eucharistic Adoration, an RCC practice.)

    We receive the bread and wine (Body and Blood) on a spoon. This prevents mischief. I approach the chalice and Fr. G. says “Servant of God Xenia receives the Body and Blood of Christ for the remission of sins….” and he spoons the Eucharist (small piece of bread in warm wine) into my mouth. On either side of us stands the Deacon and an altar server, holding a cloth under my chin lest anything spill to the floor. The Deacon (and this is quite tender) pats my lips with the cloth. After this, I go to a small table and have a drink of ordinary diluted wine and a small piece of bread to make sure it all goes down the gullet w/o mishap. Babies receive Communion, too. In our parish, one must go to confession within 24 hours of receiving, usually the night before at All Night Vigil. (Lasts 2 hours, not all night.)

    So that’s how we do things around here.

  32. Xenia says:

    MLD, we are taking the Body and Blood of Christ into our mouths.

  33. Michael says:


    Calvin believed in the spiritual presence of Christ in the Eucharist and believed it to be a means of grace.

  34. Babylon's Dread says:

    I am enjoying this repartee and input from all. I cannot envision Jesus our Lord endorsing all the drama invoked by the description from Xenia though I do not mean that as a crass put down. I just honestly cannot imagine it. Of course the same might be said for the Catholic practices.

    When you take the communion you are receiving what Jesus gives us into your mouth.

  35. Michael,
    How does Calvin reconcile Jesus’ spirit apart from his body? I don’t know which one, but isn’t there a heresy there somewhere in that if he says it can be split.

  36. Babs,
    “When you take the communion you are receiving what Jesus gives us into your mouth”

    You are 100% correct – Jesus was very clear and told us what he was giving us into our mouth – “this IS my body – this IS my blood.”.

    So when will you start believing Jesus? 😉

  37. Babylon's Dread says:

    When did I cease?

  38. Michael says:


    Calvin doesn’t have to reconcile something he doesn’t teach, and calling him a heretic isn’t conducive to this discussion.
    Calvin’s primary doctrine wasn’t predestination…it was union with Christ.
    The Holy Spirit is the agent of that union and by the power of the Holy Spirit we are nourished by the body and blood of Christ in communion.

  39. Xenia says:

    I am going to relate something that I have told here before that I hope is not offensive but here goes.

    When I was an evangelical, even as a little Baptist kid, I dreaded Communion Sunday. Frankly, I couldn’t see it’s purpose but it seemed meaningful to everyone else because the pastor got somber, the music got atmospheric, and everyone seemed very serious. Evidently, I was supposed to be feeling something but what that was I did not know nor could I muster it up. The fact that I couldn’t muster up the proper thoughts (not knowing what they were supposed to be) was one more piece of evidence that I was not really a Christian. (I have shared this struggle with you all before.) It was torture. I squirmed in my seat. I hated Communion. We can’t just blame this on the bad preaching of one pastor because I have attended many Baptist churches plus one CC my entire life until age 50 when I converted to Orthodoxy.

    Now that I understand the meaning of the Eucharist, I receive it joyfully every Sunday.

    That’s just my own personal experience and I am not doubting anyone else’s experiences.

  40. Xenia says:

    Dread, I guess I did make it sound pretty dramatic. But it is a miracle, so a little accompanying drama is a good thing.

    It all goes very smoothly and quickly. Takes me longer to explain than to actually partake.

    And we almost never have spills. <— that can get pretty dramatic.

  41. Michael,
    “Calvin believed in the spiritual presence of Christ”

    I didn’t mean to call Calvin a heretic – perhaps you presented a heretical view of Calvin’s thoughts.

    Why is it that he can believe in a spiritual presence and reject so firmly a physical presence?

  42. Xenia says:

    If union with Christ was Calvin’s point of emphasis, that’s one thing we have in common that I didn’t realize. The phrase “union with Christ” was not a phrase I ever heard in the evangelical world although I did encounter the phrase in Catholic-leaning books. We call it theosis.

  43. Steve Wright says:

    Xenia…a question.

    Did the many Baptist churches and the one CC church in your past have on a regular basis the altar call to “rededicate” your life to Jesus?

  44. Babylon's Dread says:


    I understand and revere that testimony completely.

    At our evangelical renewal church we do not give an attempted ontological description. We do say that we are receiving Jesus; his body and his blood and we are proclaiming him as our Lord and God.

    We also state that anyone who has faith in him will by receiving him be proclaiming their faith. Thus there is NO reason to desist because of feeling unworthy. We do not take it because we are worthy but because he is worthy.

    When we come we are acknowledging that we are members of one another and we belong at the same table.

  45. Just read your article, Michael. Thank you so much for a digestible overview…. thank you. I don’t have the patience (or intelligence) to plow through history…. I appreciate your efforts. I’ve had a houseful of company all week…. have missed all previous discussions and don’t have time to read today’s comments above…

    Just wanted to say Thank you! God bless you….

  46. Xenia says:

    My project has been completed, by the way, with an adequate outcome.

    (Tomorrow is our parish’s feast day, St. Seraphim of Sarov. A bishop is coming and it is a Russian tradition (not theology, just a custom) to great the Bishop with bread and salt. (Not communion bread, just bread.) It is also traditional to decorate the bread with braids and leaves made of dough so the whole thing looks pretty. Why I get this particular job each year is beyond me andI’ve had some disasters. This year’s loaf turned out ok, maybe 80 percent ok. Better than last year. The Lord was with me but He is expecting me to practice a little before next year.)

  47. Xenia says:

    Steve, I only went to one church that had the rededication custom and that for a short time.

  48. Xenia says:

    We had a neighbor who was a wreck of a man who went up to for rededication at that church nearly every Sunday. Boy, talk about drama….

  49. Steve Wright says:

    I think an interesting research project would be the connection between views about communion and views about eternal security. I do think there is a connection.

  50. Michael says:

    Paige…thank you, my friend!

  51. Michael says:


    More than a few scholars have noted that there are some similarities between Calvin’s doctrine of union with Christ and theosis…

  52. Michael says:

    “I didn’t mean to call Calvin a heretic – perhaps you presented a heretical view of Calvin’s thoughts.”

    You might want to demonstrate where I did that…or was that just another classic MLD twist that I’m so sick of that I can’t stand it?

    “Why is it that he can believe in a spiritual presence and reject so firmly a physical presence?”

    Maybe because when the bread was baked it had no meat in the recipe and the wine was made from grapes, not blood.

  53. Jean says:

    It might be interesting to review the biblical basis for the various traditions regarding communion. As a starting point, we would have to agree on the relevant texts (that shouldn’t be too difficult?) Then we could offer our interpretations from our various traditions, which might lead to discussion. Is anyone up for that? Perhaps Open Blogging this weekend would be a convenient venue.

  54. Michael says:


    Most of the differences in views are not biblically based, but are metaphysical arguments.

  55. Michael,
    “Maybe because when the bread was baked it had no meat in the recipe and the wine was made from grapes, not blood.”

    now who is twisting words?

    I still want to know HOW you get a spiritual presence of Jesus without his body? Your words “Calvin believed in the spiritual presence of Christ ” no twist anywhere

  56. Michael says:


    “Spiritual” as I have already explained is when the Holy Spirt connects us to Christ in heaven…

  57. Jean says:

    #54 Michael, the metaphysical arguments are certainly present, however, some of the terminology used here may go beyond the metaphysical (e.g., “we are nourished by the body and blood of Christ in communion” and “union with Christ”), or is basically everything “mysterious” considered metaphysical?

    How would metaphysical arguments be regarded by followers of sola scriptura?


  58. Steve Wright says:

    Jean, the first question on the table for me would be if, when Jesus held up the Passover bread and cup and said “This is my body…this is my blood” is whether the Christian believes at that moment, pre-crucifixion. the elements became His body and blood, partaken of by the disciples in the upper room….again, pre-crucifixion.

    If someone affirms, yes, (as some do) the explanation is “God can do anything”

    While I affirm the idea behind “God can do anything” in discussing the miraculous, I simply can’t possibly affirm that somehow Jesus was standing before them while also holding Himself. It is a non-starter and to me misunderstands a huge part of what the Incarnation was all about.

    If, on the other hand, one says, no, at that moment He was not holding His own body and blood, then the whole “take Him literally” argument breaks down for me. If He is speaking symbolically in the upper room (in present tense), then I am content with the memorial view, and His words being an explanation (a new understanding) of what were the traditional Passover elements used for centuries.

  59. Xenia says:

    You all know that in the very early days of Christianity the non-Christians accused the Christians of being cannibals because (as they put it) they ate their God. So it seems from the very beginning the idea of eating real Blood and Flesh was prevalent.

  60. Steve Wright says:

    Xenia, I respect your scholarship. However, I have a hard time imagining that an unbeliever pagan would literally call someone a cannibal who was eating bread and drinking wine. If you have a source making that direct connection, then I would love to read it.

    I do not deny that they made accusations against those in the faith who connected the bread and wine to the body and blood, but that misunderstanding could easily be applied to a memorial view as well.

  61. Xenia,
    They also accused them of being atheists. That was not a good observation on the pagans part either.

  62. Michael says:


    Union with Christ is a doctrine that is easily shown from the Scriptures.

    The various takes on the Eucharist are a combination of Scripture, tradition, and (whether we like it or not) ancient philosophy.

  63. Xenia says:

    Steve, I can’t find a quote where the accusation of cannibalism is mentioned. All I can find are articles where people repeat what I said. So maybe you are right about that. I hear it said all the time.

  64. Jean says:

    So Steve, in the same way as the Jews celebrate the Passover with unleavened bread (which they don’t think changes into Manna during their liturgy), Christ used the unleavened bread as a symbol of the Lamb (himself) sent from Heaven (just as Manna was). Is that close to what you are saying in #58? Which is the Memorial View?


  65. Xenia says:

    Derek, right. Do you have a direct quote from some ancient person testifying of this? I can’t find one.

  66. I am sure that the accusations against the early church came not from non believers observing the communion – as they were not allowed, but from the first hand testimonies of the Christians themselves. They were probably asked, “what the heck are you guys doing in there that is so private?” and they probably answered “dude, eating the body and drinking the blood of our lord.!”

  67. Jean says:

    #63 Michael, I agree that union with Christ is biblical, but I think its biblical basis is not centered on the Eucharist. Correct?

  68. Michael says:


    It’s not centered on the Eucharist, but our ability to be nourished by the body and blood is dependent on our union with Christ.

  69. Steve,
    “is whether the Christian believes at that moment, pre-crucifixion. the elements became His body and blood, partaken of by the disciples in the upper room….again, pre-crucifixion.”

    The gospels are full of sayings and actions of Jesus that the disciples did not understand fully… pre crucifixion.

    That does not call into question what Jesus said or did

  70. Xenia says:

    MLD, that’s what I think happened but it would help if I could find some musty old quote saying so.

    Outsiders were not permitted to participate or observe Communion. They were asked to leave after the teaching (Epistle, Gospel, Psalm-singing and maybe homily) were done. The 2nd part is for those who have been baptized. This includes the recitation of the Creed and the reception of Holy Communion. Our services (and I am pretty sure yours, too) are still arranged like this except unbelievers (or catechumens) are allowed to stay for the whole service (no Communion for them, though.)

  71. Xenia says:

    Michael, we would say that Holy Communion is one means of grace that affects our union with Christ. To over simplify, if you want to be united with Christ, eat His Body and Blood. (Among other things.)

  72. Steve Wright says:

    Xenia, as to your link on Passover…

    When I read… it is very obvious that this meal could not have been a seder, a Passover meal,

    Isn’t that just a tad condescending to the rest of Christendom who don’t see this “obvious” problem. As if for centuries the rest are ignorant or incapable of seeing something “obvious” –

    I imagine it is sort of how you might feel when someone simply says “It is very obvious that Jesus said call no man, father,”

    Maybe a better word is simplistic – as in the article, because there have been many scholarly explanations offered OUTSIDE of Orthodox writers that do far more than an adequate job of explaining these so-called “obvious” difficulties.

  73. Michael says:


    Though our soteriology is different we would say something quite similar…

  74. Jean says:

    Michael #69,

    Very generally speaking, it seems to me that our “union with Christ” or “being in Christ” is related to our justification by faith (our adoption as children of the Father, siblings of Christ, co-heirs with Him). To the extent we are spiritually “nourished”, isn’t that the ministry of the Holy Spirit?

  75. Michael says:


    In the context of the Eucharist our spiritual nourishment comes from feeding on the body and blood of Christ through the power of the Holy Spirit.

  76. Xenia says:

    Steve, I apologize for any arrogance on the part of the author of that article. I just chose it because it offered an explanation of something. I did not mean to offend, forgive me.

    Sometimes I find a really good article that explains something we are talking about here but I don’t link to it for that exact reason. I goofed this time.

  77. Steve Wright says:

    The gospels are full of sayings and actions of Jesus that the disciples did not understand fully… pre crucifixion.
    I’m not talking about a lack of understanding at all, MLD. I am talking about the problems to the Incarnation if you have Jesus, fully man, and yet also holding Himself.

    But like I said, there are those like you (and we have said this before) who simply say “It was a miracle and God can do anything” and rest in that. I can’t so I don’t

  78. Jean says:

    Depending on how Steve answers my #65, I’m probably closer to Steve’s #58, but still listening.

  79. Steve Wright says:

    No sweat Xenia. 🙂 You ought to see how many guys I avoid linking to, even if I think they make a decent point. 🙂

    (Michael is smart to stick with Packer)

  80. I believe Athenagoras may have addressed both the issues of cannibalism and atheism charges that were being leveled at Christians.

  81. Here are a few of his words on the atheism charges against Christians.

  82. Xenia says:

    Thank you Derek, here it is:

    Athenagoras lived from 133 to 190 and wrote in his Plea a rebuttal to those who accused Christians of cannibalism.

  83. Steve,
    Does it do any injustice to the incarnation that Jesus, fully man, walked on water?

    I don’t rest in “it’s a miracle” at all – I rest in Jesus is fully man and fully God and can do whatever he wants with his body – even by pass a whole crowd of people who are trying to grab him … and they don’t know how he got past them.

  84. Steve Wright says:

    My #58: If someone affirms, yes, (as some do) the explanation is “God can do anything”

    MLD’s #84: I rest in Jesus is fully man and fully God and can do whatever he wants with his body

    I most certainly am not misrepresenting you….I just don’t agree and I really am not interested in discussing a bunch of unrelated questions as if they have any relevance to whether Jesus was holding up His own flesh and blood in the upper room.

    I will say this, with certainty. God was in North America, South America etc. while Jesus walked the earth. However, Jesus’ body was in none of those places at the time. In fact, it wasn’t even in Galilee at the upper room meal.

  85. Xenia says:

    I’m fine with “God can do anything.”

  86. Steve,
    “I just don’t agree and I really am not interested in discussing a bunch of unrelated questions as if they have any relevance to whether Jesus was holding up His own flesh and blood in the upper room.”

    Sorry, but i have to throw a penalty flag. You cannot say there are things Jesus cannot do because he is fully man and then say you do not want to discuss other instances where Jesus actually did those “kinds” of things as fully man and for some reason just discount that these other items do not do injustices to the incarnation.

    No other man in history has ever been able to walk on water on his own – just as you are saying that no man can hold himself in his own hands.

    Penalty is 15 yards.

  87. Xenia says:

    Along these lines…

    When the Lord fed bread and fish to the crowds, did He create new matter ex nilhilo? Or did he turn previously created matter into the large mass/volume of bread and fish? (Would there be a corresponding hole in the ground nearby where he converted dirt into bread and fish?)

  88. Steve Wright says:

    Walking on water is a violation of the natural laws, which only God can do – and while we may not be able to explain EXACTLY what happened, we could give it a shot by discussing the natural laws that were violated.

    Peter did the same thing too, with faith in God, until he didn’t.

    That is not even remotely the same as saying that a Man could hold up His own flesh and blood, without any actual removal of His flesh and blood. That is not a violation of natural laws, it is a violation of simple grammar and failure to recognize a metaphor.

    Much like “I am the door”, “Destroy this temple” etc

  89. So he held up the bread and should have said “this is NOT my body.”

    Do get into the “I am the door.” – Why is that a metaphor – he did not say I am A door.

    He said I am THE door
    He did not say I am A vine – he said I am THE vine
    He did not say I am a good shepherd – he said I am THE good shepherd.
    He didn’t say I am A way, A truth … He said I am THE way, THE truth …”

    No metaphors at all – in each one he is making claim to be it.

  90. That is not a violation of natural laws, it is a violation of simple grammar and failure to recognize a metaphor.

    I have to throw another penalty flag. Why can’t holding up your own flesh be a violation of natural law?

  91. Jim says:

    I had a feeling that this would go well… 🙂

  92. Steve Wright says:

    MLD, You seem to fixate on the definite article’s presence as excluding the possibility of a metaphor.

    I can’t say that I have ever seen people deny the use of metaphors by Jesus to speak spiritual truths, as you have just done Every hermeneutic book I have ever read acknowledges the Lord’s use of metaphors in His teaching.

    My question is, is this what is taught at Concordia and elsewhere to the pastors in training within Lutheranism? That these verses are not metaphors. Or is it your particular slant. Serious question.

    I guess if Jesus was holding up His flesh and blood on the night of the crucifixion, then yeah, that would be a violation of natural law. The problem I have is He was holding up bread and wine.

    He didn’t stay in the boat and then tell the disciples “I am walking on water” – He actually did it, as they all saw.

    Walking on water, multiplying bread and fish, all miracles immediately seen and recognized by those eyewitnesses. So the Upper Room would be the one example in the entire Bible when Jesus performed a miracle by violating natural law, told His audience He had just done so, and yet here is the one time they did not recognize a miracle as taking place….

    …or He placed a new meaning to the old Passover symbols using a figure of speech He often used when teaching the disciples.

    I choose the latter. It’s OK if you choose the former.

  93. I went to Paso Robles last week, went wine tasting.

    I was given a map which faithfully directed me to the wineries. It was purely truth, accurate, dependable.

    I didn’t see any sheepdogs, sheep or shepherd.

    I saw a few vineyards, saw the root vines which are in the ground (the ones the “wild grape vines” are grafted into to receive moisture and nutrients).

    I stayed in a hotel room that had a door, which gave me safety, privacy & protection.

    …and there were no metaphors at all.

  94. So when Jesus said he was THE good shepherd, he was not laying claim to be the one mentioned in the OT. The same with the vine? Like he was saying, look the Bible speaks of a good shepherd

    The door, the shepherd, the vine etc may have been a metaphor in their original use – but Jesus is laying a REAL claim that he IS those things – he isn’t claiming to be metaphorically them – he is them

  95. “My question is, is this what is taught at Concordia and elsewhere to the pastors in training within Lutheranism? That these verses are not metaphors. Or is it your particular slant. Serious question.”

    Lutherans are taught to not let people deny the truth by claiming something is a metaphor.

  96. Steve Wright says:

    Lutherans are taught to not let people deny the truth by claiming something is a metaphor.
    Just a moment ago I affirmed the use of metaphors by Jesus to teach spiritual truths (joining about 10 zillion Christians who came before me)…

    Now I’m denying the truth??

    Yes, we are done with the discussion. To go back to the start, it’s cool with me that you think a miracle happened in the upper room, and that “God can do anything He wants”. I just disagree that a miracle happened there, for the reasons already stated, while affirming the God of the miraculous (and the God of the figure of speech too) 🙂

  97. Babylon's Dread says:

    The interesting thing about the narrative where Jesus calls upon them to eat his flesh and drink his blood is that it is in John’s Gospel. In virtually every chapter before that narrative there is a use of symbolic language that has to be explained to the hearer.

    In fact over and over in the narrative their are people who err by taking Jesus at face value and expecting his language to be literal.

    So there is that.

    And I write as a very sacramental charismatic

  98. Xenia says:

    Yet here’s a curious thing. All Twelve Disciples (we will count Mathias instead of Judas) went all over the known world and preached the Gospel message to all kinds of people in Egypt, India, Great Britain, all over, founding churches everywhere, and in all these churches people believed and practiced the Orthodox/RCC/Lutheran version of the Eucharist. I conclude that this is the teaching the Apostles received from the Lord Himself, which they taught everywhere they went.

  99. Xenia says:

    It’s easy enough to read the letters of St. Ignatius of Antioch who was a disciple of the St. John, beloved of the Lord. First century bishop.

  100. Steve Wright says:


    What’s worse is that Jesus said if we do not eat His flesh and drink His blood, then we have no life in us.

    Which leads to a question I have asked here before, does a memorialist pastor like myself somehow manage to do what only the properly ordained priests and pastors in Orthodox/RCC/Lutheran circles (since Xenia combined the three) are ordained by God to do…..(maybe I do it also but by accident?) manage to make the transformation to body and blood before serving the communion.

    Does God reward my total denial and unbelief? If so, then what is the real issue. If not, then how do I and those I serve “have any life in us” – That would seem to make a memorialist view about as essential as denying the deity of Christ.

    Or can I still have life in me by seeing Jesus speaking as He does throughout John (living water, born again etc)

    Fortunately, during all the confusion in chapter six, Jesus also said ““It is the Spirit who gives life; the flesh profits nothing. The words that I speak to you are spirit, and they are life.”

    It does make me go back to the importance of this doctrine to those churches, which would include the Orthodox, RCC and Lutherans, who do not affirm the eternal security of the believer from the moment of the spiritual birth.

  101. Steve Wright says:

    Xenia, maybe the early Church had communion right, but we can’t deny that our Lord dictated seven letters in the late 1st century, through that same John, where He rebuked the Church for already having lots of things wrong in both their beliefs and practice.

  102. The late Paul Crouch of TBN claimed to be a direct descendent of Zwingli.

  103. Babs,
    “In fact over and over in the narrative their are people who err by taking Jesus at face value and expecting his language to be literal. ”

    Can you show me the scripture passage that points out they were in error because they took him at his word?

    When they left, why didn’t Jesus correct them? How easy would it have been for him to simply have chased after them and said, “look you knuckleheads, why did you take my words so literally? – come back, sit around the campfire, we will cook some smores and let me put it to you in a way you can understand. My gosh, I can’t believe you guys thought I really wanted you to bite me.”

  104. Jean says:

    In 1 Cor 11:26, Paul says “For every time you eat this bread and drink the cup, you proclaim the Lord’s death until he comes.” The emphasis appears to be on the “proclaiming”; nothing is said about eating the Lord or drinking His blood. One would think that Paul would have mentioned such a solemn ritual if Christ’s physical presence was actually there. On the other hand, Paul thought Christ was seated at the right hand of the Father.

    Steve is making a lot of thoughtful observations.

  105. But I do love it when I hear someone institutes the Lord’s Supper and during it, they correct the text. I heard Chuck Smith do this a couple of time … when he get’s to this is my body and this is my blood to go into a parenthetical and say “he didn’t really mean his real body and his real blood.”

  106. Jean,
    He already covered the relationship between the cup and the Blood and the bread on the Body in Chapter 10 – so when he got to 11, the people knew exactly what he was talking about.

    “16 The cup of blessing that we bless, is it not a participation in the blood of Christ? The bread that we break, is it not a participation in the body of Christ?

  107. “where He rebuked the Church for already having lots of things wrong in both their beliefs and practice.”

    So was the Lord’s Supper listed as one of those errors?

  108. Jean says:

    MLD, When Jesus said that the mustard seed is the “smallest of all seeds in the ground” (Mark 4:31), was Jesus being literal? Did he really believe that? Is that really true?

  109. Is “at the right hand of the Father” not here?
    Is God far away from us like in some castle on Jupiter? How sad to hear.

  110. Jean, why do you work so hard to deny something that Jesus said so clearly?

    It’s no different than when the Bible says “this baptism saves” and people say – it doesn’t mean that.
    Or when they say be baptized and you will receive the Holy Spirit – and people say “it doesn’t mean that.
    Or when the Bible says that the baptism is for your whole family — well, you know the chorus.

    Was he really saying”take and eat, this is NOT my body.”

  111. Steve Wright says:

    Is “at the right hand of the Father” not here?
    Not bodily. Jesus is fully God, and thus is omnipresent. He is with us always. He never leaves us. Two or more are gathered etc.

    You await the Second Coming too, MLD. What do you think that is if not the bodily return of the Lord to this earth. Putting His feet on this ground once more.

    Surely you don’t think His body dissolved when it disappeared from sight into the sky in chapter one of Acts, do you? Only to come back together Terminator 2 style for the Second Coming.

    Surely you believe His actual body ascended AND resides somewhere in the heavenlies until the day He returns, right?

  112. “Not bodily. Jesus is fully God, and thus is omnipresent. ”

    I will ask you the same question I asked Michael – you don’t see a problem separating Jesus’ spirit from His body?

    Jesus is here bodily – that is the point some of us make with the communion.

  113. Jean says:


    Don’t stop at 1 Cor 10:16, include verse 17: “Because there is one bread, we who are many are one body, for we all share in the one bread” What Paul is trying to say using “participation” or in my translation “sharing” is that the Corinthians should not participate in the Lord’s Supper and also participate in idol feasts. And Paul used the Jews as an example: “Are not those who eat the sacrifices partners in the alter?” (1 Cor 10:18b)

    The text is not about the presence of Christ’s physical body in the bread; its about avoiding idolatry and pagan worship practices.

  114. Jean,
    And how do you work the Blood of Christ into that? He is making 2 points and joining them together. But he has Body / bread and wine / Blood right there.

  115. Steve Wright says:

    you don’t see a problem separating Jesus’ spirit from His body?
    Sounds like you are confusing the Spirit of His deity with the spirit that is part of His humanity….because I (and I am sure Michael) have not said anything that would lead to such a silly question.

    Now answer mine. Did He dissolve when He ascended?

    He is here bodily you say, but only for a few moments at the communion service…and you can’t touch, hear, or see Him, bodily, and though the promise is for Him to one day return, and multiple prophecies speak to that special one day (as even you like to rip on me for dividing the return into two aspects)….yet you have Him returning in bits and pieces all over the world for thousands of years, but only at the select service and when ordained by the select leadership…

    Look…nobody is saying that wrestling with the Hypostatic Union is easy, but at some point we need to let the words of common communication that God intends us to use and with which He wrote the Bible, have their place.

    Bodily needs to mean something that makes sense. Second Coming likewise.

    When you say “Jesus is here bodily – that is the point some of us make with the communion.” – I really wonder how many Amens you get with that.

  116. Jean says:

    “Jean, why do you work so hard to deny something that Jesus said so clearly?”

    This is a very important question. My work is not to deny anything that Jesus or any other author of the bible intends to teach us. My passion is to meet God in the Scriptures and learn from Him, love and worship Him, and follow Him. The risk I take from reading Scripture out of context or without regard to rhetorical or literary method or genre is that I might miss the real meaning of the text that the author intended to convey. In that event, I have not respected the Bible. This is a weakness that I see in your hermeneutic MLD.

    You might ask, why would God make the Bible seemingly complicated? In response I would say two things: (1) Being 2,000 years removed from the writing of the NT and not fluent in Greek and 2nd temple Judaism and 1st Century Hellenistic/Roman culture, this presents a challenge; (2) I think God gave us a book that invites the serious student to “chew” on God’s written word. There’s something sanctifying that happens to each one of us when we study these texts. Not everything is spoon fed (e.g., parables).

    Part of the reason I said this is an important question is because it also applies to other important issues that are prevalent in the church and which impact evangelism and the standing of the church. Therefore, I’m glad you brought it up, even if you were maligning me.

  117. Steve Wright says:

    One of the central points to Paul’s teaching (mentioned earlier) was the communion among the believers as one body, sharing the one bread. I call this the horizontal aspect of communion, in addition to the vertical with the Lord.

    Therefore, I think we should ponder seriously any interpretation of communion that results in dividing the body of Christ.

    At our church, if you know the Lord, you are invited to communion. No matter what you think may or may not happen to the elements, our view on communion leads to unity in the Body of Christ. I do sternly warn unbelievers not to partake of course.

    As MLD has said many times (though Jean may not have read it before), he will refuse communion at a memorialist church like mine, and I would not be allowed to partake at a Lutheran church like his….I could not partake at Xenia’s church either she has told me. (I don’t know if she would excuse herself from ours…)

    Now, Michael’s view, while not technically the memorialist view, is a very close sibling in my opinion and I think (and he can chime in if I am wrong) that he would still take communion at a church like ours and he would allow me to partake of communion with his church if I came to visit.

  118. Michael says:

    I have made it very clear that there is nothing in my doctrine that separates Jesus body from His spirit.

    My belief is that the Supper is a means of grace and that Christ is spiritually present when we take the elements by faith.
    Any professing believer is welcome to take the Supper with us.

  119. Jean says:

    I read somewhere recently by a Protestant that the main reason he’s not RCC is because they are not catholic enough. Steve’s point.

  120. Michael says:

    I find it foolish to divide over the Eucharist.
    In all the tribes that believe that the Supper is a means of grace,there is great mystery over the actual mechanics involved.
    It is beyond understanding and I accept that part of what I believe is correct, probably isn’t.

  121. Jean says:

    #121, amen Michael.

  122. Steve Wright says:

    I amen Jean’s amen.

  123. I agree with Michael’s #121.

  124. The argument is not with the people who see it as a means of grace. The argument is with those who deny that it God delivers his grace, forgiveness and salvation through physical means..

  125. Michael says:

    Actually, the argument is also among those of us who see it as a means of grace.
    That argument is over the mode of presence.

    We take the Supper without fail every week.
    I offer our church the option of a two hour lecture on Calvin’s (and my) understanding of the Eucharist or they may just take by faith that somehow God is nourishing and strengthening us mysteriously and wonderfully through the bread and wine.

    So far it’s been option 2 for 14 years…

  126. “In all the tribes that believe that the Supper is a means of grace,there is great mystery over the actual mechanics involved.”

    I too believe in the great mystery. That is why we say that jesus is bodily present “in, with and under” the elements. It means we don’t know where or how, but we list it all just to cover ourselves.

    But Michael, you must admit that a memorialsts doesn’t think anything is happening … other that some sort of obedience.

    The question is – does it matter which way you go?

  127. For as often as you eat this bread and drink the cup, you proclaim the Lord’s death until he comes. (1 Corinthians 11:26 ESV)

    Anyone have any insights into the word “proclaimed” in this verse?

    I did a quick word search in a KJV with Strong’s numbers and it seems to be used a lot for actually verbally preaching the gospel.

  128. Babylon's Dread says:

    MLD per #104

    Your slight change of my words was significant. “take him at face value” vs “take him at his word” … it matters.

    and Michael # 121 BINGO!!!!

    We come to him and receive him and rejoice in him and proclaim him… Argument over… whosoever will … COME

  129. Michael says:


    My conviction, (even when I was in CC or the AoG) was that the memorial view was woefully inadequate way to describe the Supper.
    I still believe that, but I respect those who hold to the view.
    Does it matter?
    My guess is that the grace of God is so broad and deep that He overlooks their errors (and mine) and feeds us anyway when we take the Supper in faith.

  130. Michael,
    You confuse what people can agree on vs what people deny.

    How do you commune with someone (not just be friendly – I am friends with many people I don’t take communion with) but what communion is there with someone who says Jesus is not present in the supper in any form, that the supper is not a means of grace and pizza and coke is just as good as any other elements.

  131. Who says pizza and coke is just as good?
    You continuously bring up the most ridiculous examples?
    Did someone on here say that?
    If so, I haven’t seen that.

  132. Those in the emergent church used to make a big deal over their freedom to use pizza and coke.

  133. But if you can’t use coke, why is grape juice allowable?

  134. Michael says:


    My fellowship with the brethren isn’t centered on our doctrine of the Supper, but on our family relationship in Christ.
    My table is open to the whole family…

  135. Well then argue with them.
    No one on here has said that.

  136. Derek,
    So are you saying that you would not commune with those Christians who want to use pizza and coke?
    Why is that different than my view – we both draw lines.

  137. Jean says:

    Jesus shared His Supper with Judas. Why would Christians not share the Lord’s Supper together?

  138. For all the open mindedness around here – is there any setting that you would not commune with others?

  139. MLD,
    You are always using the most outrageous examples you can find to try to make memorialists look bad. It gets old.

  140. Jean says:


    Our liturgy says something to the effect of “if you know God a little, but would like to know Him more, then you’re welcome.” That’s because we believe it’s a means of grace.

  141. Michael says:

    I have known many folks who used Chicken in a Bisket and Coke for communion at home.
    I find it irreverent and unsettling, but the elements are merely symbols and if taken in faith are probably received in faith by God.

  142. Michael says:

    No, I can’t think of a situation where I would refuse to commune with brethren.
    I’m not that wonderful…

  143. Em says:

    many arguments here seem to say that Christ is not in me as I partake, however reverently, of the the bread and wine as symbolic and testimonial of the mystery… then there are those who reach the same conclusion due to the fact that I have no “tongue.”
    Oh well, I am a blessed pilgrim – shoeless, perhaps and with stubbed toes, but blessed by the immutable grace of the God Who saved my soul and has given me Life with a capital “L” – eyes to see, ears to hear and a circumcised heart to examine and believe this mysterious redemption.
    Perhaps and hopefully, some charitably ponder the possibility that I am in Christ, redeemed, and will experience a good Eternity… For them? I “charitably ponder” and hope that they’ve got their priorities lined up with God’s.
    Worship and respond to our Lover as He woos each of you according to how He has formed you – Flesh and Spirit
    God keep all in Christ and I pray Christ growing in each one of us

  144. Derek, you don’t answer my questions – that gets old.

    I answer everyone’s questions.

    So, pizza and coke with your Christian friends or do you pass the dish? I pass the dish.

    I have several instances that I don’t take communion. I spoke of one the other day when at a men’s conference the pastor halfway through his message said – “by the way, we have prepared bread and wine (grape juice) and it is up here at the table. When you feel led come up and partake.”

    I didn’t

    Or the time the elements we taped to the bottom of our chairs.

    I didn’t

  145. Jean says:

    #143, amen again. Michael’s on a roll! Preach it brother!

  146. And yes, you are right we draw lines.
    Coke and pizza would be one of them. I, like Michael, find it irreverent.
    Unlike Michael, I could not see it as communion.

    Sorry, I can see the sides of most of the arguments on here and respect them. The traditional views I can respect.

    But there isn’t much of a theological case for the coke and pizza communion.

    What I do dislike is the misrepresentation of the memorialist view that you engage in.

  147. Michael says:

    How are you?

  148. So, is coke and pizza a traditional view of communion?

  149. Jean says:

    #145, MLD, I don’t consider the 2 examples meeting the requirements of a memorial view and I don’t blame you. Jesus said “do this in remembrance of me.”

  150. I just don’t know how it is communion if you can’t agree wht you are doing, why you are doing it and with what you are doing it with.

  151. See, I have never had the experiences of communion that you have.
    I have never seen it treated irreverently.
    I am sorry you had to go through that, but I doubt it is a norm.

  152. Michael says:

    i can actually, easily, make a theological case for Coke and crackers.
    I don’t and won’t hold to it, but it isn’t a difficult case to make.

  153. Jean,
    “Jesus said “do this in remembrance of me.”

    See my #150 – do what? I say take the body and blood of the Lord Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of sin. Is that the same “do this” that you are doinf? If so, we can commune together.

  154. Michael says:


    It’s communion because we agree on Christ and are obeying His desire.
    Most of the rest is a mystery that we feel better about if we’re real dogmatic.

  155. i can actually, easily, make a theological case for Coke and crackers.

    I imagine some Jews can make a case for Chineese food for the Passover … so?

  156. What I am doing- Proclaiming the Lord’s death till he comes.
    Why I am doing it- Because, Jesus said to.
    What I am doing- Even though I hold to a memorialist view, I still can admit to the fact that I might not have that all down pat. I am okay with that.

  157. “i can actually, easily, make a theological case for Coke and crackers.”

    Well then do so.

  158. Derek,
    “What I do dislike is the misrepresentation of the memorialist view that you engage in.”

    Set me straight – what is happening at a memorialist communion service?

  159. Michael says:

    The statement “For as often as you eat this loaf and drink the cup, the Lord’s death you proclaim [καταγγέλλετε, katangellete; indicative mood, not imperative] until he comes” is the key for understanding why Paul recites the Last Supper tradition (Gaventa 1983: 378–79). The “for” links this statement to what precedes. Interpreters ask whether the Lord’s death is proclaimed by the action (Lietzmann 1949: 58; Gaventa 1983: 381–83) or by the spoken word in a homily (Bornkamm 1969: 141; Neuenzeit 1960: 132; Jeremias 1966a: 106–7; Barrett 1968: 270; Käsemann 1964: 120–21; Fee 1987: 556). Conzelmann (1975: 201) asserts, “There is no such thing as a sacrament without accompanying proclamation.” But the verbal element should not be played off against eating and drinking (Surburg 2000: 203–4). “Eating” and “drinking” are mentioned five times in 11:26–29, and this is what Paul wishes to emphasize more than the verbal repetition of the story of the Lord’s death. It is not what is said during or after the meal that concerns him, but what is said in the action of eating and drinking. He is interested only in the fact that “whenever Christians eat this bread and drink this cup, they are proclaiming the Lord’s death” (Engberg-Pedersen 1993: 116). He believes that their actions in their meal do not proclaim the Lord’s death, which is why he says that their meal is not the Lord’s Supper (11:20).
    The emphasis is on the death of the Lord, Christ crucified (1:18, 23; 2:2), which explains its forward reference in the clause (τὸν θάνατον τοῦ κυρίου καταγγέλλετε, ton thanaton tou kyriou katangellete). For Paul, the Lord’s Supper should evoke Christ’s obedience unto death, the humiliating death on a cross (Phil. 2:8). It should preach Christ crucified. Gaventa (1983: 384) comments, “That death, in Paul’s view, stands diametrically opposed to the claims of social status that were at work in the Corinthian community.” If they are proclaiming the Lord’s death in what they do at the Lord’s Supper, they will not overindulge themselves, despise others, shame them, or allow them to go hungry.
    Obviously, “remembrance” does not exhaust the meaning of the Supper. Witherington’s (1995: 251) observation is correct: “The Lord’s Supper is … part of the Christian witness to the crucified, risen, and returning Lord,” looking to the past, present, and future. But such affirmations are tangential to Paul’s purpose in citing the liturgical tradition. His focus is on the past—what Jesus did on the night he was handed over. It is not his purpose to develop fully a theology of the Lord’s Supper or to correct their theology. Those interpreters whose sole purpose in approaching this text is to mine it for its theological ore miss this crucial point.

    Garland, D. E. (2003). 1 Corinthians (pp. 548–549). Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Academic.

  160. Michael says:

    # 160 was for Derek on “proclaim”.

  161. Oh, but don’t forget to show how it is a traditional view?
    You know sources from like, tradition, you know.

  162. Thank you, Michael.

  163. Jean says:


    The reason why for me liturgy is essential at the Lord’s Supper is because the “do this in remembrance” is a remembering of Jesus’ making of the new covenant. It invites us to the table Jesus shared at that intimate moment with His disciples. It’s a drama.

  164. Michael says:


    I don’t have the time to go into it, but quite simply “bread” and “wine” are simply physical symbols of a heavenly reality.
    While I find substitutions irreverent, I think that may be the religious side of me stepping to the plate.

  165. #159. Nope, I need some theologizing with tradition first.

  166. What I find funny in discussions like this – and it doesn’t happen here because we have crossed this bridge so many times – is that people get mad that they can;t commune at my church. I ask them why would you want to, you don’t agree with a single thing we are doing, in fact if we went down the list, I’ll bet you would say each thing is wrong … but they still want in.

    I on the other hand respect people’s choices for communion and sit them out so as to not make a mockery of their ceremony.

  167. Michael,
    I was raised in the Christian Church (Church of Christ with music).
    They had communion every Sunday.
    It usually started with a short homily on the Lord’s Supper by an elder or deacon. Then the elders and deacons would step forward and verses relevant to communion would be read.
    I still think of how my own father prepared homilies when it was his turn to do one.
    They would then serve the Lord’s Supper.
    At this time, I would usually wait on it and meditate on the meaning and think of the Lord’s sacrifice for us and also try to think of anything that I would make me unworthy to partake.
    I can speak for no one else and their thought as they prepared to partake, but this was what was taught to me as I grew up from the communion service itself and I always saw it as a reverence.
    The Baptist tradition is much the same , except that they usually only have it once a month and their is no homily.
    Believe it or not, I still think it would be better to have it every Sunday and my mind still balks at once a month.
    I could not imagine a Christian having communion with pizza and coke.

    All that to say, the belittling of how memorialists view communion seems to be based for MLD in some experiences he has had, but I have never had those.

  168. Michael says:


    I don’t want in…I have to commune with you enough already. 🙂

  169. Jean says:

    “but they still want in.” LOL. One final twist before bed. MLD, thanks for staying true to form.

  170. Michael says:


    Calvin heavily stresses the memorial aspect of the Supper…he just thinks there’s more to it than that, as do I.
    However, I can respect your position and would partake with you as you would be welcome at our table.

    The people I’ve known who used Coke and crackers were some of the most Jesus loving people I’ve ever known.
    I’d never do it in my church,(and I’d prefer not to do it at all) but my soul says God was pleased with their effort.
    I might be wrong, but I’ll err on the side of grace on this one.

  171. Who is mad at you?
    Do not mistake me getting tired of old, worn out, non-applicable situations you present to show how you find the memorialist view to be profane as being “mad”.
    It is just me being tired of misrepresentation by exaggeration.
    Someone has to speak out against some of the more outrageous things you say.

  172. Jim says:

    32 years as a Christian, and have been committed to 5 churches, while visiting who knows how many. All used some type of cracker or wafer and grape juice. While I think bread and wine are probably more “correct”, I’m not sure one of the twelve would find it familiar.

    While I’m memorial on paper, I’ve always felt that something sacred and supernatural was involved, but I can’t say what. I see many things as a means of grace, meaning God’s kindness towards us, but hope that no one is saying that the supper has anything to do with receiving saving grace.

    I also know folks in the home church crowd who believe in the full meal view, and they make a strong case.

    I think that getting hung up on the physical nature of the elements used (cracker, wafer, bread) is kind of silly, and I’m not telling the full meal crowd they’re wrong, because I have no “right way” to point them to.

  173. Well to all – since elements and setting do not matter, let’s just consider if we ever meet at Starbucks we can have coffee and bicotti as our communion.

  174. Derek, I made a point to say no one here.

  175. Michael says:


    I wouldn’t say that it is a means of receiving saving grace, but a means of strengthening the faith and graces that the regenerate person has already received.

  176. Jim says:


    I prefer the beach. I yet to find a holy building.

  177. Michael says:


    So…Jesus can only slide “in, with, and under” bread and wine?
    Which bread?
    Which wine?
    If He’s that specific we need to know…

  178. Jim says:

    The specificity of the traditionalists is what I was alluding to. So very right in their own sight, yet probably wrong.

  179. Michael,
    I am honest enough to say I still see mystery in it. I just don’t know if I am able to be put into words.

    A memorial is enough for me.
    I know enough to say that I was told to “Do in remembrance”
    If more happens behind the scenes that is good too.

    The coke and pizza thing, to me, treads to close to what Paul was getting at in 1 Cor 11 for me. That will make me never able to commune with people that do that.

    I would confidently say I could take communion with most on here.

  180. Michael,
    You can use anything you want… in your supper. I just don’t know that it would be the Lord’s supper. This is why I am particular when and where I commune. If people are innovating just to show that they have some kind of freedom – hey God bless them … without my participation.

    I think some people can be legalists in their “open mindedness” – but that’s just me.

  181. Michael says:


    You didn’t answer the question.
    You’re the dogmatic one here on “proper” ways of the Eucharist.
    What bread and wine is acceptable?
    Mogen David and Wonder bread?

  182. Xenia says:

    where He rebuked the Church for already having lots of things wrong in both their beliefs and practice.<<<

    That's kinda weak, Steve because none of the letters mention Communion practices.

    The fact is, the early Church believed the bread and wine became the Body and Blood.

    Most of Christianity still believes this.

    Zwingli has stolen something very precious from you. I think you should denounce him. I know I did.

  183. Steve Wright says:

    MLD asked how we could have communion if we did not agree. Paul equated the bread with the body of Christ in terms of the believers as well. THAT is where our communion is found. There is only one Body of Christ (and many members) and unless one argues against salvation based on the view of the Supper, then we are united in fellowship in Christ.

    MLD also asked why we would get upset if we don’t agree with the Lutheran view. Well, there is a huge difference between becoming a member of a church and visiting on a given Sunday and being forbidden the table because one is not a Lutheran.

    (And for the record, I got a chuckle when MLD told Derek he answers all questions…there are a few on the table still up there 🙂 )

  184. Michael,
    “What bread and wine is acceptable?”

    It’s not about the bread or the wine. It’s like baptism – you use regular old tap water or water from a hose. It is the elements mixed with the word of God that is important.

    So, when you say of me “You’re the dogmatic one here on “proper” ways of the Eucharist.” are you claiming for yourself that there is NO proper way?

  185. Steve Wright says:

    That’s kinda weak, Steve because none of the letters mention Communion practices.
    Maybe so, but when the argument is expressed as proper simply in terms of how the earliest Christians did something, then it at least is worth a mention.

    I would argue the 7 letters are rather sparse on specifics anyway.

    Of course, it is also quite amazing to see just how little discussion there is about communion in the entirety of Scripture, given the debates today.

  186. Xenia says:

    Even though MLD and I more or less agree on the Eucharist, we still couldn’t take communion in each other’s churches. He doesn’t buy the whole Orthodox package and I don’t buy the Lutheran package.

  187. Steve Wright says:

    The fact is, the early Church believed the bread and wine became the Body and Blood.

    Most of Christianity still believes this.
    I also find it odd how in this thread somehow there is a lumping of 3 different beliefs as if they are all on the same team here……I admit that the three are far closer to each other than the memorial view, but they are three, distinct, nonetheless and that means 2 of the 3 are wrong at minimum.

  188. Steven
    ” and being forbidden the table because one is not a Lutheran.”

    Why are you so wrong on this so often. No one is denied communion because they are not a Lutheran – you are denied communion because you deny that the true body and blood are present in the elements.

  189. Babylon's Dread says:

    Table fellowship is the center of new covenant life in the Holy Spirit.
    Table fellowship in theology cannot be separated from the Eucharist.
    Table fellowship invites all who will sit to sit.
    Can anyone imagine Jesus refusing the various sects of Israel to participate in Passover because of their failure to agree all points?

  190. Xenia says:

    # 186 For all we know, maybe some of the churches had adopted a memorialist view and the Lord was rebuking that.

  191. Yeah Steve, I have yet to see a proper theology of pizza and coke from MLD.
    I need to get some sleep, I suffer enough from insomnia without being on here at midnight.

  192. Steve,
    “MLD asked how we could have communion if we did not agree.”

    Wrong again. I said if we can’t even agree with what we are doing, why we are doing it and with what we are doing with.

    I said nothing there about theological view point. I spoke only about what was happening at communion.

    It’s the San Francisco Giants invite the 49ers to play. The Giants show up with bats and balls and the 49ers show up with helmets and pads. They both probably agree on many things about life and sports – but they are not there in that setting for the same reason.

  193. Michael says:


    Upon closer examination I would say that part of the early church believed in a real presence, but not all.
    Clement explicitly denied it.

    “But we are God-taught, and glory in the name of Christ. How then are we not to regard the apostle as attaching this sense to the milk of the babes? And if we who preside over the Churches are shepherds after the image of the good Shepherd, and you the sheep, are we not to regard the Lord as preserving consistency in the use of figurative speech, when He speaks also of the milk of the flock?… Elsewhere the Lord, in the Gospel according to John, brought this out by symbols, when He said: “Eat ye my flesh, and drink my blood; ” describing distinctly by metaphor the drinkable properties of faith and the promise, by means of which the Church, like a human being consisting of many members, is refreshed and grows, is welded together and compacted of both,–of faith, which is the body, and of hope, which is the soul; as also the Lord of flesh and blood. For in reality the blood of faith is hope, in which faith is held as by a vital principle.” (ibid)

  194. Xenia says:

    A little more from St. Clement (of Alexandria)

    “And the blood of the Lord is twofold. For there is the blood of His flesh, by which we are redeemed from corruption; and the spiritual, that by which we are anointed. And to drink the blood of Jesus, is to become partaker of the Lord’s immortality; the Spirit being the energetic principle of the Word, as blood is of flesh.

    Accordingly, as wine is blended with water, so is the Spirit with man. And the one, the mixture of wine and water, nourishes to faith; while the other, the Spirit, conducts to immortality. And the mixture of both— of the water and of the Word— is called Eucharist, renowned and glorious grace; and they who by faith partake of it are sanctified both in body and soul. For the divine mixture, man, the Father’s will has mystically compounded by the Spirit and the Word. For, in truth, the spirit is joined to the soul, which is inspired by it; and the flesh, by reason of which the Word became flesh, to the Word.”

    Note he said “And to drink the blood of Jesus, is to become partaker of the Lord’s immortality; the Spirit being the energetic principle of the Word,”

  195. Well, the Dodgers’ game is over – so I guess it’s time for bed.

    You are all my brothers and sisters.

  196. Xenia says:

    Let me correct myself. He is not “Saint” Clement, he is just “Clement.” He was never canonized because he held to many odd ideas. (Check his Wikipedia article for some examples.)

  197. Steve Wright says:

    Upon closer examination I would say that part of the early church believed in a real presence, but not all.
    Clement explicitly denied it.
    Yeah I just spent about a half hour looking at a nice collection of early church quotes that certainly present a picture that at minimum is not clear cut. Many being the subsequent paragraphs to grant context to one or two lines presented.

    Plenty more study is warranted for that argument, and of course at the end of the day it still does not explain why Luther made his changes….

  198. Xenia says:

    Here’s the thing about reading the early church fathers. A father can have a 100 percent orthodox (and Orthodox) view of the Eucharist (he would have to, if he was also a bishop) and write clearly about it in one place but talk about it in symbolic terms in another place because both are true. Just like Clement of Alexandria up there. In one place he talks like a memorialist and in another place he talks like some who believes in the Real Presence. This is very typical of early church fathers’ writings.

  199. “Irreverence” is to miss the presence of Jesus in the midst of the company shared, the remembrance of Jesus, His life, birth, death, resurrection & ascension and promise to abide with His followers, individually and wherever 2 or more are gathered.

    It doesn’t matter if it’s diet Pepsi, Doritos & bean dip, it’s about our refocusing and no longer being distracted, that we recognize Jesus IN our brother/sister and His being our provider & provision.

    All the wrangling about transubstantiation, consubstantiation, real presence, memorial or symbol is irreverent, purely missing the intent that we remember that Jesus is God and He is forever among His people.

  200. Steve Wright says:

    Here is a good quote stumbled upon that speaks to a point made earlier when I spoke of Christ’s Incarnation, what it means to be here bodily, the 2nd Coming etc.

    Important for our conversation is that Christ had to be fully man to fully redeem us. Christ could not be a mixture of God and man, or he could only represent other mixtures of God and man. He is/was one person with two complete natures. These nature do not intermingle (they are “without confusion”). In other words, his human nature does not infect or corrupt his divine nature. And his divine nature does not infect or corrupt his human nature. This is called the communicatio idiomatum (communication of properties or attributes). The attributes of one nature cannot communicate (transfer/share) with another nature. Christ’s humanity did not become divinitized. It remained complete and perfect humanity (with all its limitations). The natures can communicate with the Person, but not with each other. Therefore, the attribute of omnipresence (present everywhere) cannot communicate to his humanity to make his humanity omnipresent. If it did, we lose our representative High Priest, since we don’t have this attribute communicated to our nature. Christ must always remain as we are in order to be the Priest and Pioneer of our faith. What does all of this mean? Christ’s body cannot be at more than one place at a time, much less at millions of places across the world every Sunday during Mass

  201. Steve Wright says:

    Sorry meant to include source…that quote is C Michael Patton

  202. PP Vet says:

    MLD refuses to get in bed with his wife until he verifies that they agree on the theology of marriage.

  203. I have a question for MLD and Xenia.
    Is the Eucharist not at some level a memorial?
    At Xenia’s suggestion I am reading through Ignatius on my breaks today.
    Got to go to work now.

  204. Babylon's Dread says:

    It is interesting that this is the thread that caught fire in our discussion of church history. I am looking forward to Calvin.

    Still I think Christians are more like other religions in the discussion of the Eucharist than any other matter. Seems to me we become religious, superstitious, mystical, and a variety of other descriptions in ways that we do not about our faith otherwise.

    We go on and on about form and style, and liturgy, and methodology, and spilling drops and dropping crumbs, I know I exaggerate a bit.

    The simple focus upon Jesus and his indescribable gift of loving grace is lost is in how and who and what and when.

    I cannot help but wonder if we miss the point over and again.

  205. PP Vet – “MLD refuses to get in bed with his wife until he verifies that they agree on the theology of marriage.”

    Probably not a bad idea before marriage –

  206. Babs – perhaps I could summarize your last post and perhaps it speaks for the many here.

    Theology cannot trump the kumbaya.

  207. Derek,
    “Is the Eucharist not at some level a memorial?”

    I have no problem with a memorial aspect to the Eucharist (as long as we are not making it similar to an Irish wake.)

    My disagreement has always been – and I have not varied on this at all – when Jesus says “do this” – what are we to do? what is the do this so that we can even get to the memorial part.

    I say that the “do this” is consume his literal Body and Blood as he presented it to us.

  208. Babylon's Dread says:


    I can summarize my last post. Those for whom Christ died are welcome at his table.

  209. “Those for whom Christ died are welcome at his table.”

    Christ died for all – even Muslims and Hindus – do they come to your table? If so, I think you will understand why I would politely withdraw.

    But that’s OK, we haven’t even gotten into who I would or would not pray with. 😉

  210. Babylon's Dread says:

    MLD, my avenue to Muslims and Hindus is to invite them to my table always. The Lord’s table however as you know is a confession of faith in him. It is his. If a Muslim or Hindu comes to his table they are confessing him. I would make that plain and welcome them to come.

  211. Jean says:

    For those who are early church history buffs, I wonder how the doctrine of the physical presence developed. I hope people don’t think the Eucharist is some sort of holy vitamin that one pops weekly/monthly for his/her personal sanctification or some other benefit.

  212. Steve Wright says:

    Jean, that was my point about eternal security…though I don’t know about the “vitamin” aspect, the simple fact is one way those who reject the idea of eternal security of the believer at the moment of the new birth is to continue at the table – and thus they are assured they are abiding in Christ. They are receiving His forgiveness of sins each time, as opposed to those who think all our sins are forgiven at the moment of the new birth and the blood of Christ cleanses a man (present active indicative) from all sin – 24/7 as the kids say 🙂

    MLD has made that point often (and I don’t think I am misrepresenting his position). He “receives” the forgiveness of sins each time at the table

  213. Babylon's Dread says:

    Protecting the table of the Lord is not a function of religious institutions. It is a function of the Holy Spirit and the proclamation of the Gospel. I believe it was a premise of the Reformation that the Gospel be proclaimed at the supper. Of course Paul said the participation in the Supper is a proclamation of the Gospel.

    I think all we need to do is to proclaim that those who eat and drink are confessing that Jesus is Lord and God. The table will then be protected by the nature of the thing and it is God’s work to sort it out. Religious institutions invariably make a mess of such things and turn them into burdens that no man can carry.

  214. Em says:

    Michael, I am fine altho the fires have taxed my stamina and challenged my capacities to respond physically and spiritually (BTW there was that mysterious, God supplied calm in the storm) – praying for folks to seek Christ thru the chaoses occurring and imminent

    just a quick drive-by last night and I hope to read more closely today as I anticipate the quiet house (it is still standing) this morning

    while I seldom have a chance to stop by here these days, so many thots go thru my mind as I read the well chosen and educated responses to Michael’s topics and teachings – I apologize for the knee-jerk and not edited ones that I post

    regarding the Lord’s Supper: ‘memorial’ in the sense of a dead, static symbol is a poor definition, but to come to the conclusion that my flesh can metabolize Christ makes no sense – is even a bit repugnant to me – my spirit may grow, may grow in its dominance and control of my flesh, but…

  215. Jean says:

    Yes, Steve, there seems to be some underlying doctrine that the physical presence conveys some sort of medicine (e.g., forgiveness) and/or nourishment/vitamin (e.g., greater Christlikeness). If Jesus really did mean that the bread was his physical body and He wanted the disciples to eat Him, one could infer a purpose beyond “remembrance.” You don’t have to eat someone to remember them. So then, what is the purpose of ingesting Jesus and why didn’t he tell the disciples what the purpose is (beyond remembering)?

  216. Em says:

    before I leave the thread, I said @215 that the concept of my flesh metabolizing the body and blood of Christ is repugnant to me… I did not mean the obvious ‘repugnant’ in the distorted accusation of it being cannibalism, rather in the sense that my body is a dying organism – it is my eternal soul and spirit that must be fed Christ, in all the ways and manifestations that are described to us in Scripture. I cannot see feeding the Holy Christ to my flesh – my spirit, however, may grow – must grow – in its dominance and control

  217. Babylon's Dread says:


    “Eating” in scripture is the key to your question. A simple look into the text will reveal that eating has been used to show a union all the way back to Genesis 1-3. The eating of the forbidden tree was death. It was union with the lie of Satan. Eating the tree of life was union with God.

    Eating is a sacred act of receiving life. What we eat we become. Consuming lies makes us weak and sick. Consuming truth makes us free and alive.

    Your line of thinking is too physical move to the metaphysical and you are there.

    Eucharist makes sense because it is participation in the tree of life. It is participation in life itself. The shadow points to the reality.

    The other key is the word REMEMBER. In the Bible to remember is not simply to call up a memory. To remember is to experience, to relive. It is the opposite of PTSD. It is post event life experience. It is bringing forward that which is behind. It is re-living.

  218. Babylon's Dread says:

    The last post was directed to not just Jean but to Em and all who follow the line of memorial and to all who reject it.

  219. Steve,
    “MLD has made that point often (and I don’t think I am misrepresenting his position). He “receives” the forgiveness of sins each time at the table”

    You have stated my position well – the scriptures say that we have been saved, we are being saved and we will be saved. Salvation is an ongoing thing – it is not a one and done event as some would suppose.

    As to continually receiving forgiveness of sin – that too is an ongoing event … what other sense can you make of 1 John 1:8-10? I think it is clearly written to believers.

    Are you saying you are withholding you confessions because you are already forgiven? Are you not allowing God to do his part in providing an ongoing process of forgiveness.

    These were hurdles I had to get over to make the exit over 8 yrs ago.

  220. Jean,
    ” You don’t have to eat someone to remember them.”

    I could be funny and say “why did you forget him?”

    I don’t think people are understanding what in remembrance of me means in the passage.

    What does it mean in the OT when God remembers his people vs when God does not remember his people. Know that and then you may understand the communion verse.

    Do some of you really forget Jesus? Talk about a medicine or vitamin – the bread and wine to a memorialist cures Alzheimers 🙂

  221. Steve Wright says:

    Dread @218 makes some great points and I would add that this is also why Jesus eating with sinners was such a scandal back in the day. It was not about germs or some sort of physical defilement that was the concern, but a spiritual defilement that was (wrongly) assumed to take place if Jesus dared eat with a sinner.

    Jesus corrected all that for us.

  222. Jean asked – “So then, what is the purpose of ingesting Jesus and why didn’t he tell the disciples what the purpose is (beyond remembering)?”

    Read closer, he said “for this is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many FOR the forgiveness of sins”.

    I don’t know about any other groups theological position but the Lutheran position (and I am sure several others) believe that what Jesus won for us on the cross are delivered to us through his means of grace. I cannot go back in time to Jerusalem 2,000 yrs ago and grab them like I would fruit off a tree.

    So scripture has told us how those gifts are delivered.

  223. Michael says:


    I like your #218…a lot.

  224. Steve Wright says:

    the scriptures say that we have been saved, we are being saved and we will be saved
    Agree 100%. As I say often, we have been saved from the PENALTY of our sins. All of them. Justification. We are being saved from the POWER of sin to rule our lives. Sanctification. We will be saved from the PRESENCE of sin. Glorification.

    You throw it all into justification, which I think is an error.

    As to continually receiving forgiveness of sin – that too is an ongoing event … what other sense can you make of 1 John 1:8-10 [Open in Logos Bible Software (if available)] ? I think it is clearly written to believers.
    I actually already quoted this above. John is writing about fellowship with God. Not our relationship as His child. If we sin, and do not walk in the light, and claim we are walking in fellowship with God, we lie. We confess our sins and restore the fellowship with God, and yet the blood of Jesus is already cleansing us 24/7 (from the penalty of sin).

    Put another way, if you neglect to confess a sin, you are not damned for that sin. That sin is still washed in the blood and you will be in heaven if you die in that state, however, your fellowship with God in the power of the Spirit is affected, because sins separates us from God.

    Relationship as His forgiven, adopted child, is far different than my fellowship on a moment by moment basis, whether walking in the Spirit or backslidden in the flesh.

  225. Jean says:

    BD, I agree with everything you said in #218, which is why I consider participating in the Lord’s Supper a means of grace. It’s not the only means of grace, but it’s very important because Christ commanded Christians to do it.

    I particularly like your biblical definition of “remembrance.” That is a key area where many independent churches today completely miss the boat when they hold communion.

    MLD is right on in paragraphs 2 and 3 of #220, but the only thing that connects those points to the Eucharist is if the Christian uses that ritual to confess his/her sins. There is nothing wrong with doing that as part of the self-examination, but the principal purpose of the Lord’s Supper should be the act of worship in proclaiming the Lord’s death.

  226. Steve Wright says:

    The other key is the word REMEMBER. In the Bible to remember is not simply to call up a memory. To remember is to experience, to relive
    Back to BD for a moment. This is very important, and is the reason why when we do have communion we always read from the Scriptures concerning the crucifixion. I rarely teach or add anything, but will read basically an entire chapter. We relive the crucifixion through the telling of the event in the pages of God’s word.

    And as an aside, it is AFTER we have done so that the offer to trust Christ is made, or the warning to not partake if still in unbelief is delivered. That is how we too avoid the Muslim, Hindu thing MLD brought up. If a Muslim in the crowd hears the Biblical message, then hears the offer of salvation that is available to him, coupled with the warning for unbelief, then I have done my job and as BD wrote @214 (another great post) I trust God to take care of the rest.

  227. Steve,
    “You throw it all into justification, which I think is an error.”

    Absolutely not – I am the one who always says that Salvation is made up of the 4 parts – Repentance – Justification – Sanctification – and Glorification. It is ongoing and not as you will claim the one and done eternal salvation.

    Also, I did not speak about the loss of salvation because of continued sin (1) because I do not believe that sinning causes one to lose salvation and (2) God is a forgiving God and his mercy of forgiveness in continual to the individual believer … again not a one and done forgiveness – but daily. Why else is Jesus as our high priest in heaven pleading our case if it is already done?

  228. Jean says:

    “The other key is the word REMEMBER. In the Bible to remember is not simply to call up a memory. To remember is to experience, to relive. It is the opposite of PTSD. It is post event life experience. It is bringing forward that which is behind. It is re-living.”

    I share BD’s definition of “remembrance.” However, MLD, I see the OT analogy not to God remembering or not remembering His people, but to the rituals instituted by God through Moses to “remember” Passover and other holy days. In those cultures where literacy was the exception, not the norm, oral traditions and rituals were instituted and passed down as a way of remembering and re-living important past events.

  229. Steve Wright says:

    I did not speak about the loss of salvation because of continued sin (1) because I do not believe that sinning causes one to lose salvation and (2) God is a forgiving God and his mercy of forgiveness in continual to the individual believer
    MLD – So you don’t consider departing from Christ to be a sin? To abandon Him for the love of the world, to follow the devil instead of Christ, to live for the flesh instead of the Spirit?

    I give you credit for at least stating (in the past) that it is HARD to depart Christ after being born again (as opposed to those who think one loses salvation at the first sin)…but the bottom line is you do allow for it, you do deny eternal security and thus your two points highlighted above are contradicted by those beliefs.

    I don’t allow for it. I believe the spiritual birth involves being placed into the Body of Christ, and sealed with the Holy Spirit until the day of redemption. A 1st century seal spoke to security and ownership in the Roman Empire. I am owned (bought) by God, secure in God, and the Spirit is also the downpayment (the earnest) for the day when God redeems this purchased possession.

    And I contend this is a direct connection between our views on communion.

    And I used to believe what you do about secure if you abide for years. It is the clearest theological example I have (coupled with the baptism of the Spirit which is connected to it) where I left the influence from Pastor Chuck from my early years.

  230. Michael says:

    Just for those interested…next week we’ll write on the Anabaptists, which may take two weeks.
    After that…Calvin…which may take two years. 🙂

  231. Jean,
    During my breaks at work, I have been reading the epistles of Ignatius. In his epistle to the Ephesians he calls the “one common breaking of bread” (which I am taking to mean the Eucharist) the “medicine of immortality, and the sovereign remedy by which we escape death and live in Jesus Christ for evermore.”
    If anyone has thoughts on this please add them and I will look at them when I get home today.
    I have some thoughts on Ignatius epistle to the Romans also, but they will have to wait till I am home and off the phone.
    Please excuse any mistakes as these keys are small and I am transcribing quotes from a paperback.

  232. Steve,
    I think I was making the common point of you cannot smke, drink, fornicate your way out of the kingdom.

    But unbelief will – not doubt but reverting to Richard Dawkins unbelief and mockery will – otherwise you will have unbelievers in heaven.

  233. Michael says:


    The “problem” with the early fathers is that they often times contradict themselves and each other because they were not dealing with fully developed theologies yet.
    At times, this is refreshing, as it tends to the paradoxical…at other times it’s more than a bit confusing.
    They are best used as markers for the development of doctrine, not as the last word on it, in my opinion.

  234. Jean says:

    Thanks Derek. Jesus is the great physician. Jesus death on our behalf is certainly the medicine of immortality. Beyond that I don’t know if Ignatius was being symbolic or literal. What’s your sense?

    One of my concerns is that I don’t think the Lord’s Supper should be used as a type of modern day indulgence. Jesus and the NT writers have handed down to us the cruciform path to eternal life. The Eucharist is a very important ritual that can convey grace, but it’s not a short cut or substitute for a life lived in submission to our Lord. I’m not saying you or any one else here is doing that.

  235. Michael says:


    Calvinism doesn’t believe in eternal security per se, but in the perseverance of the saints.
    The Eucharistic is one of the aids in that perseverance.

  236. Steve Wright says:

    I believe those who have been born again, (which I specifically see as the supernatural work of God, and why I reject any connection to infant baptism or the like,) – that they will persevere.

  237. “and why I reject any connection to infant baptism or the like,”

    Yet the NT is full of God’s supernatural work of salvation being done through physical means – which is it easier to say, your sins are forgiven or take up your mat and walk?

    Why can’t God work through means? How does he supernaturally work through paper and ink (your proclaimed method of salvation) and not through water and his word?

  238. “that they will persevere.”

    How is that different than what Xenia and the EO believe? – you have to wait until the very end to see if you actually crossed the finish line.

  239. Steve Wright says:

    By grace you are saved through faith.

    You have expressed that a newborn infant supernaturally receives the faith to believe when the parent brings that baby to the baptismal.

    You have also stated that if the baby dies in a car crash on the way to church for the baptism, he/she likely will still be in heaven – even though there never was a baptism

    And you have stated that the newborn infant supernaturally given the faith to believe at the baptismal can also reject that faith later as an adult.

    My point is that in our theologies there are many factors at play, all intertwined, and thus it is not simply a matter of changing our take on one issue but rather looking at the larger picture – and that is true for communion, baptism and how we understand a host of Scriptures, as I think we have shown in this discussion.


  240. “You have expressed that a newborn infant supernaturally receives the faith to believe when the parent brings that baby to the baptismal.”

    No, it has nothing to do with the parents – the faith is given when the word of God is spoken over the child. It is all god’s doing

    It is in the Bible – God does it all, even to the babies – look how it is God who makes babies trust God.(faith)

    Psalm 22:9-10 – Yet you are he who took me from the womb;
    you made me trust you at my mother’s breasts.
    10 On you was I cast from my birth,
    and from my mother’s womb you have been my God.

  241. Jim says:

    Us neocals made the “p” “preservation”. Fit in nicely with my already solidified belief in the security of the believer.

  242. Jean says:

    If your goal is to create a national religion or produce large church and/or denomination rolls, infant baptism is the way to go. Infant baptism creates great statistics.

    It may produce functional atheists (or at worst give a person a false sense of faith), but it produces numbers.

  243. Steve Wright says:

    No, it has nothing to do with the parents – the faith is given when the word of God is spoken over the child. It is all god’s doing
    That’s what I wrote – I mentioned parents only as the chaufuers. The baby isn’t bringing himself – The faith is given supernaturally to a baby, BECAUSE of the baptism ceremony, who then can reject the faith when old enough to think for himself

  244. Jim says:

    If I believed MLD’s 241, I’d revive the Crusades.

  245. “It may produce functional atheists (or at worst give a person a false sense of faith),”

    Is this any different than answering an altar call, which from what I have read in the past for Crusade results is 5% success?

    Yet I have heard many testimonies stating they were saved when they went forward at their church.

  246. If I believed MLD’s 241, I’d revive the Crusades.

    Billy Graham or Harvest??

  247. For the rejecter of infant baptism, and I was one for 25 yrs, I do understand how hard it is to say that salvation is God’s sovereign work, … except in the instance of a little babies

  248. Jean says:

    It would be extremely difficult and painful for a denomination which practices infant baptism to reform that practice because of the problem of what to say to, and do with, all the people who were brought up in that system.

  249. Jean,
    I think you have a poor understanding of baptism – at least in the Lutheran Church – no one is saved because they got wet.

  250. Jean says:

    MLD #250,
    I never said you believe that.

  251. So what did your #249 mean? Why would it be so difficult/ Wouldn’t it be difficult for a “believer’s baptism” church to change to a infant baptism church?

    I know it would be hard for me to go to a church that segregates who gets God’s blessings and who doesn’t. I wonder if the same churches who don’t baptize babies also don’t allow babies into the sanctuary for the worship service?

  252. Em says:

    a water baptism is symbolic, so it could be that an infant who claims and internalizes what was done to him at that baptismal font ( is that supposed to be in caps?) has received the purpose of ceremony just as much as the older soul in submission to the exhortation to repent and be baptized does…
    did those who were confessing and repenting and being baptized by John-the-Baptist – as was Jesus – have to submit to a second water baptism after Pentecost?

  253. Em,
    “a water baptism is symbolic,”

    A minority or the church for a minority of church history do believe this.

  254. Jean says:

    When the members in the denomination are informed that baptism is the believer’s public proclamation of his/her repentance from sin and allegiance to the risen Christ to whom God the Father has given all authority over the nations, the members will quite naturally ask, “where do I stand?” “Am I still a member?” “What must I do?” “What is this allegiance/lordship thing all about?” “Why the change?” “What about my deceased Mom?” etc.

  255. “What is this allegiance/lordship thing all about?”

    This is definitely a question I would ask right away.

    . I think you may have the cart before the horse. At baptism, adult or infant, is the time that Jesus is claiming his allegiance to us. It is a time that God says – “I claim this one as mine.”

    Tell me more – so you think at baptism you are claiming God to be your God?

  256. Jean says:


    “At baptism, adult or infant, is the time that Jesus is claiming his allegiance to us. It is a time that God says – ‘I claim this one as mine.’”

    MLD, show me where the Bible says that.

  257. The whole NT is about Jesus saving people – notice who does the action.

    On the day of Pentecost , notice that it says 3,000 were added to the church. Did they add themselves? “41 So those who received his word were baptized, and there were added that day about three thousand souls.”

    Who claims the souls and adds to the church? ” And the Lord added to their number day by day those who were being saved.”

    You can go back and read it, but I don’t see there anyone adding themselves to God’s church or worse yet adding God to themselves.

  258. Steve Wright says:

    It is a time that God says – “I claim this one as mine.”
    So no salvation UNTIL baptism. God did not claim me when He sealed me with His Spirit, but only a couple months later when I made it to pirates cove.

    Do you think at baptism you are claiming God to be your God?
    The word baptism speaks to IDENTIFICATION – so yeah, the believer is telling the world that Jesus is His God. Identifying with Christ’s death and resurrection. As I have said many times, THAT is the moment, at baptism, that the militant Hindus in India will burn your house down. You can go to church all you want but the moment you publicly forsake all other gods to live for the True and Living God, in identifying with Christ’s death and resurrection in baptism is the moment that “counting the cost” comes to reality for these believers.

    I have also said before that the expression I heard in India when I baptized there was “They are ready for baptism” – when I asked what “ready meant” they said “They had counted the cost” – Some had likely been Christians for more than a year, but to claim that only when they went to baptism did God get around to saying “OK, I claim this one” is something I just do not see supported by Scripture, life, or history.

  259. Steve Wright says:

    Nobody is saying that the Lord is not the One to add people to His Church. Once more you obfuscate when the shoe pinches a little…..

  260. Babylon's Dread says:

    Ah the Baptist are not far ….

  261. Jean says:

    #259, #260,

    Thank you Steve.

  262. Xenia says:

    Hi folks, I noticed that there’s a few questions and comments directed to me which I will answer eventually but not today because this is a very busy day. Not trying to avoid answering, just too busy to give answers worthy of the questions.


  263. Em says:

    #254 – perhaps ‘symbolic’ is too narrow, but what that baptized infant comes to believe as he grows and is taught in the Faith – what he gives assent to is really the crux of his hope of redemption… as it is with every redeemed soul of any age who then proceeds to submit to a water baptism

    I would like to think that the Church’s depth of understanding is maturing over the centuries without losing the Faith’s most essential core that was so well understood by the earliest members of the Body – the first love glorified and, perhaps, best celebrated by those among us who live out the Faith in the oldest traditions.

  264. OK, I took the boss to lunch – when it’s my turn to pay we go to Costco – $1.50 Hot Dog and Coke for each of us.

  265. Steve,
    The word Baptism speaks to WASHING.
    How are you saved if you have not proclaimed Christ as your Lord for a year?
    I think you lose it because you think of salvation as a moment – not as a process.
    When were you saved? I know the answer because you have stated it before – you don’t know the exact moment – but you would think you would since it is such an important event. I will bet it was actually that time period of when you started reading, going through the time when you think you accepted Christ all the way out until your baptism. All very important developmental stages to get you from your lost state at point A to the place God wanted you – point B in the baptismal waters.

    Baptism has all this salvation language surrounding it – so how do you get those benefits without the actual baptism.
    Paul says baptism washes away your sin – are you saved prior to baptism? Still walking around with your deadly sin still clinging to you?

    Paul says in Romans 6 that through baptism your are buried and raised with Jesus. So are you saved and not buried and raised with Jesus? That will come 2 months after salvation when you get baptized?

    Colossians says that in baptism we are clothed in Christ – so are you saved and not clothed in Christ until baptism?

    It goes on and on all the things associated with baptism – so in your theology people are saved and lacking those things. I know that it will be said “no, that’s another one of those things the Bible says that really doesn’t mean what it says” or you will go back to the fallback … and I have heard it “haven’t you heard of dehydrated baptism?” (my terminology for people trying to pull the wool over my eyes about waterless baptism)

  266. Em says:

    there is good teaching regarding baptism that separates the term from the physical, from water… it involves the work of the Holy Spirit in the born-again one, the work of the Word (not solely the Protestant canon, I know), the renewing of the mind etc. I am not in any way qualified to teach nor to recommend teachers, but when I first was exposed to the teaching it made sense and still does…
    do any who post here and are pastors and/or teachers teach these expansions on the concept?
    I would like to hear them properly presented to us here

  267. Em says:

    “Fire insurance,” “once saved, always saved,” etc. are dangerous to teach… doesn’t baptism as the means of salvation fall in the same category?
    Yet I think of wonderful romance stories such as MLD and Mrs. MLD and I know that it makes sense that some commit in like manner to the Lord when they discover Him, but there is also the process, the discovery and the growing without which Faith probably dies, but at the very least isn’t very attractive… yet there is the story of the prophet (Hosea?) who had to keep going and retrieving his unfaithful wife, so God knows and I imitate the angels and just watch and wonder… with the cross as my still point in the chaos

  268. Jean says:


    “Or don’t you know that all of us who were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death? We were therefore buried with him through baptism into death in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, we too may live a new life.” (Rom 6:3-4)

    The main point Paul is making in Rom 6 is that Christians are dead to sin (or “set free from sin”), and alive in Christ (or slaves to Righteousness). Agree?

    Paul definitely uses water baptism in this teaching to make his main point, but he is not expositing a theology of baptism.

    If you interpret Rom 6 for the proposition that baptism (or the Word proclaimed over the head of the baptized) saves, then you deny the rest of Romans that more clearly teaches that the Christian is justified by faith.

    “For we maintain that a person is justified by faith apart from the works of the law. Or is God the God of Jews only? Is he not the God of Gentiles too? Yes, of Gentiles too, since there is only one God, who will justify the circumcised by faith and the uncircumcised through that same faith.” (Rom 3:28-30)

    Therefore, it is my understanding that baptism always assumes faith for its validity. In other words, baptism in Romans 6 stands for the whole conversion-initiation experience, presupposing faith and the gift of the Spirit.

  269. Jean says:

    #268 Em,
    Your insightful observation is one of the reasons why I am not a fan of systematic theology. The story of the people of God, as we have it handed down to us in the Bible, does not easily fit into neat little boxes.

    If we try to create neat little boxes of our doctrines out of the Bible, the result is that we have to ignore, subordinate or de-emphasize those texts which tell a different story.

  270. Steve Wright says:

    Jean, MLD ignores any possibility of the baptism of the Spirit – as we have had this conversation many times. It just is not on his theological radar.

    And the fact that most in my tribe see it as some secondary empowerment means I have an uphill climb as I explain the view as equated to the moment of salvation.

    MLD, you are simply wrong in insisting the idea behind baptism is only washing – it is identification. You immerse/dip the thing into a vat of stuff and it’s identity is changed (i.e. the pickle or the dyed tunic)

    How were people baptized unto Moses? Baptized with fire? The word is used in other places besides believers baptism.

    I have a busy night, so that will have to do it for now. The idea that these Christians in India are somehow not believers because they have not been baptized is the sort of thing one can safely toss out from the comfort of their American living room, but counting the cost is a big deal in most countries of the world……as it was when Jesus walked the earth.

  271. Steve,
    “You immerse/dip the thing into a vat of stuff and it’s identity is changed (i.e. the pickle or the dyed tunic)”
    I will pick up on your thought the next time I see someone baptized in pickle juice or dye. That is just you saying / applying that – I gave the words of the Apostle Paul from Acts 22 to describe baptism as washing.

    Let’s be practical for a minute. I learned from CC and SBC that the reason for full immersion baptism was the description by Paul in Romans 6. How are you going to be buried with Christ if you are not fully immersed in the water? Am I wrong – why do you do full immersion? Full immersion into waterless baptism doesn’t make sense.

    Let’s look at a few more – and we can even lay aside the salvation issue in baptism for the sake of discussion – when Jesus commands that the disciples are to make more disciples by baptizing them – what was the baptism they used – with water or without? Simple question and I think we see the answer quite clearly in Acts.

    Going back to the same baptism claim – the command is clear that the process of baptism was also to baptize into the name of the triune God. It sounds to me, no baptism, no “into the name…”

    And still no one answers about Paul declaring in his own testimony about his salvation that it was the actually water baptism that washed away his sin.

    I cannot say this for 100% positive – but I will go out on a limb and say that every individual in the NT who was told to be baptized or any person who requested baptism had water involved one way or another. To say that dehydrated baptism is the same thing is just not honest.

  272. And Steve knows from previous conversations that I do not believe that you have to be baptized to be saved – but it is God’s method of saving people.

    So, if there are exceptions, I do not live by the exceptions – if God has chosen at times to go off plan, that is his choice. But the word is clear – but to some the thought that God uses physical means to save people is so disgusting that they even work to get rid of the means (in these case the water, the bread and the wine.)

  273. Steve Wright says:

    Like I said, the word baptism is used in different ways in Scripture and it speaks to identification. That is not some dispy twist – it is well traveled ground. Christianity used common words (like angel/messenger for example) and gave them their spiritual meaning. Of course, if the particular baptism under discussion is the water baptism, then it is not surprising to see washing connected – but that is secondary to the meaning of the word.

    And like I predicted, you wholly ignore everything that is not water baptism, especially Spirit baptism at the instant moment of salvation.

    I don’t understand your focus on full immersion. As an identification with Christ’s death, it makes sense. It’s not to wash the person. But let me ask you something. If the point of baptism is the washing, why not just dunk people in the water. Why not push them in head-first? Why not ask them to rub their arms and legs and face while in the water (for a good washing of course).

    Why is it the case that Christian baptisms that are full immersions are always imitating (identifying) with placing a corpse into a grave, on its back, as the believer remains motionless and the pastor lowers them in?

    Now if you don’t need to be baptized to be saved, then what do you do with every non-baby that gets baptized, knowingly professing Jesus Christ. My answer is very simple. You already are born again when you line up for the baptism. Christ already dwells in your heart by faith, the Spirit has already sealed you, you are justified in the sight of God and the baptism is the outward act of the inward reality.

    You like to have it both ways. On the one hand, you don’t want to sound like baptism is necessary for salvation, and you affirm that if someone dies in a car crash on the way to the beach to get baptized they are still saved. But then in the same teaching you affirm that people are not saved until they get baptized, once you remove the tragic death option – as you said about the former Hindus in my comment earlier.

    Quite convenient 🙂

  274. Xenia says:

    Answering some questions that were more or less directed in my direction:

    For those who are early church history buffs, I wonder how the doctrine of the physical presence developed.<<<

    It didn't develop, it was there from the very beginning. Christ taught it to the Apostles who taught it everywhere they went.

    Is the Eucharist not at some level a memorial?<<<<

    The Liturgy is a re-enactment of the life and passion of Christ so in a sense, the whole service is a memorial, that is, as participants, we are reminded of what Christ did for mankind. But when we receive the Eucharist, we are not told "Remember" but we hear "Servant of God Xenia receives the Body and Blood of Christ for the remission of sins … etc." So we remember, but we also experience a supernatural event.

    I think there was another question for me but I can't find it.

    Off to get a kitten! It's "name your own price" day at the SPCA! Two rabbits for ten dollars!

  275. Steve Wright says:

    But when we receive the Eucharist, we are not told “Remember

    Luke 22:19 “And he took bread, and gave thanks, and brake it, and gave unto them, saying, This is my body which is given for you: this do in remembrance of me.”

    Taught by and to the early church: 1 Cor 11:24 “and when he had given thanks, he broke it, and said, “This is my body which is for you. Do this in remembrance of me.”

  276. I still ask, when the scripture says “Do this” what is to be done by the participant – especially right after he says “This IS my body.”

    ““This is my body which is for you. Do this in remembrance of me.”

    Isn’t it funny, the first half of the sentence is questionable to some (not the majority of the church) as to meaning & clarity but the 2nd half you can be dogmatic

    I say the “do this” is following Jesus’ instruction – take and eat the body of Christ which is broken for YOU – drink from the cup his blood that is shed for YOU for the forgiveness of YOUR sins and by doing this, receiving his actual body and blood, YOU will be doing THIS in remembrance of him.

    But some folks don’t like to follow instructions properly. But if you don’t do it the way he says, well then you have just made up a religious ritual on your own that fits one’s fancy – which is the reason that most of those folks have moved it from sacrament to ordinance and have removed it from the weekly to the monthly or quarterly as they have removed all power and mystery from the supper.

    Just my editorial opinion … backed by scripture. 😉

  277. Xenia says:

    A whole slew of scriptures about the Eucharist are read in the course of the Liturgy and the “Do this in Remembrance” appears at that time, just not at the moment of reception.

  278. Xenia says:

    Two phrases that do NOT appear in the course of the Liturgy are “This is NOT my blood” and “this is NOT my body,” and I did hear these two non-scriptural phrases paraphrased many times in my years as an evangelical.

  279. Jean says:


    Why so grumpy?

    #277: “But some folks don’t like to follow instructions properly.”

    Perhaps it’s because some folks aren’t as obedient, faithful, intelligent and/or spiritual as you. Would one of those explanations satisfy you?

    Or, maybe it’s because some folks don’t interpret the relevant Scripture the same way you do.

    Maybe some people interpret Jesus’ speaking metaphorically about the bread being his body. Maybe some people interpret Jesus’ speaking about eating him as a metaphor for abiding in Him.

    Maybe the Earth was flat back in the day when Joshua prayed to the Lord to make the sun stand still over Gibeon. Maybe the sun literally stood still and the moon literally stood motionless back on that fateful day when on that flat earth God handed the Amorites over to the Israelites.

    Maybe back in the day, the mustard seed was the smallest of all seeds, because Jesus said so.

  280. Xenia says:

    MLD is correct, what is the “this” that we are doing in remembrance?

    Anyway, this topic generates more heat than light. When people ask me if I would ever consider returning to evangelicalism and I say No, this is the main reason. I would not give up Holy Communion for anything.

  281. Jean says:

    Xenia, my wife is RCC and I wouldn’t ask her to give up Holy Communion for anything.

  282. Jean,
    I apologize, but I don’t come from a place where anyone can interpret scripture any old way they wish.
    As I said 2 days ago, Chuck Smith would many times interject during the institution of the supper, right after quoting Jesus saying “this is my body…” saying “this is not really his body.”

    I need to go back and see how many others when Jesus said “I am the way …” that the pastor would say “Jesus is not really the way in the way he said it.” and get away with it.

    But you can hold your view – I guess I am not as open minded as you.

  283. Jean says:

    Unity in essentials, liberty in non-essentials, in all things compassion.

    Will anyone sign up to this?

  284. Xenia says:

    Except I think the Holy Eucharist is an essential.

  285. Jean says:


    So the rest of us are not Christian?

  286. Jim says:


    I think that PP is more than a blog, which is why Michael doesn’t receive daily emails from me, encouraging him to walk away from this. I think your 284 is the reality here, at least more so than on other blogs.

    The problem is, while sausage is great, it messy watching someone make it.

  287. Xenia says:

    Jean, I knew you were going to say that.

    God is in the business of saving people. How He chooses to save people is up to Him, not me.

  288. Xenia says:

    This is ironic. For fifty years (at least, those years I was old enough to understand a sermon) I heard, week after week, that Roman Catholics, Eastern Orthodox, and probably even Lutherans were not really Christians. Yet when I insist that the doctrine of the Real Presence is not negotiable, people say “What? You don’t think we are Christians?”

  289. Jean says:

    I don’t know what to say without being disagreeable, so I better say nothing.

  290. Xenia says:

    We have reached nearly 300 post debating this and I am sorry, Jean, but I am not going to wrap it all up with a group hug by saying the doctrine of the Real Presence is a secondary issue.

  291. SJ says:

    This post has been very enlightening to a member of a former RC family and now evangelical. I enjoy the theology and points made by both sides. I read the entire thing.

    For Xenia and MLD, Steve made a post above about the HS or Jesus being at millions of different places every Sunday. To me it is almost like man is conducting a invocation or divination of the HS. Do you see it this way? Which is to say is different then the passage, when two or more or gathered……the HS is there. If the communion was to be held in a much higher regard, in YHOs do you think there should be more to the Eucharistic verses?

    I was the last post of a dieing thread a few days ago, let’s see If that is me again. ;(

  292. Jean says:

    Xenia, big hug from here my friend.

  293. Xenia says:

    {{{{ Jean }}}}

  294. Xenia says:

    The idea of parsing out what particle of Jesus goes where is the sort of thing the Scholastics spent their time on. That is how the Catholics came up with their rather complicated idea of transubstantiation. In my Church we make almost no attempt to explain anything. It happens and we are glad.

    Jesus, as a member of the Holy Trinity, is omniscient, omnipresent and omnipotent.

  295. Steve Wright says:

    Steve made a post above about the HS or Jesus being at millions of different places every Sunday
    More precisely, Jesus, as to His Body. Yes, Xenia, Jesus as a member of the Trinity is omnipresent, but the issue is the Incarnation and His bodily presence. I think the quote I posted was a good summary of what I see is a serious problem to the view I have been challenging

    I’m not happy in not trying to explain something when the issue seems a pretty strong problem to the teachings of Scripture as to Jesus. Like I said before, hopefully nobody thinks Jesus dissolved when He went into the heavenlies

  296. SJ,
    What would you add? – he said here is my body and blood – eat and drink this for the forgiveness of your sin – by extension, do this is remembrance of me.

    I think anyone giving this a fair reading would come to that conclusion – you need to be taught – “those words do not mean that.”

    Also, the Matt 18 passage is in the context of ‘in the church’ – as in go tell it to the church. The passage actually has Jesus speaking and Jesus says where his people gather HE will be there amongst them – it does not say the Holy Spirit will be amongst them as you posted.

    We say that Jesus is where his church is gathered in the Eucharist – it all fits perfectly in scripture and we do not need to explain away plain verses.

  297. “hopefully nobody thinks Jesus dissolved when He went into the heavenlies”

    You mentioned this twice yesterday and I could not answer as I don’t even understand the concept. How is that relevant to the conversation? Are there groups that think that may have happened?

  298. Steve Wright says:

    We say that Jesus is where his church is gathered in the Eucharist
    So do we.

  299. Xenia says:

    Well, I’m going bowling. See you all later.

  300. Jean says:

    Out of every single sermon preached in the book of Acts, in the entire letter to the Romans, and in Paul’s summary of the gospel in 1 Cor 15, no where is the Eucharist even mentioned, much less used as a marker or requirement of salvation. The Eucharist is neither mentioned in the Apostle’s Creed nor the Nicene Creed. Can we keep things in perspective?

  301. SJ says:

    I would say he could be in your church w/o. Sorry for the misquote, don’t hold it against me. I should of confirmed it exactly with this group. Third post newb here.

  302. Jean,
    “much less used as a marker or requirement of salvation.” How did this come into your mind. Has anyone here called The Eucharist a salvation issue? The only thing I have seen is there is right way and a wrong way to read scripture – and that there is a right way and a wrong way to handle the elements (bread and wine or body and blood.)

    Being wrong doesn’t negate salvation. Denial of the real presence may skew your theology in other areas and send you in wrong directions … but wrong doesn’t make you unsaved.

    But I will ask you this – being wrong about anything, can that put you outside of salvation?

  303. SJ, I wasn’t being critical of what you said – you asked for comments.

  304. Jean says:

    MLD, you haven’t read the thread carefully, and I’m not going point you to it (because you have your big boy pants on and can find it yourself).

    There is not a single instance in the NT of anyone being saved by their doctrine of the Eucharist. On the other hand, there are records in the NT of thousands of people who were saved through the gospel preached by the apostles, which as recorded in the NT does not even mention the Eucharist.

    I’m comfortable defining the “essentials” of the faith as the Apostle’s Creed, although I’m open to the possibility (even probability) that Christ is not a legalistic as me.

  305. Jean,
    You are confusing a believer having his sins forgiven through the sacraments and salvation. The 2 are not the same and seem to be causing you great confusion.

    As to the Apostle’s Creed being an essential, you may want to look closer or in a different direction. A Mormon could and would affirm everything in the AC.- except that they reject creeds.

  306. Jean says:

    MLD, I’m not confusing anything. I read what was said and I understand what the writer meant: The Real Presence is “essential”, ” it is not a secondary issue. I get it; I understand; no confusion.

    As to Mormons, I’m not going to look closer or in a different direction. I confess the Apostle’s Creed. If they do too, and add other stuff on, they will have to answer for it before Christ. What do you want me to do? I stand by the Apostle’s Creed and what the Bible teaches. Anything else, if it contradicts either of those, I don’t believe it. However, Jesus is the judge and I’m pray for mercy from him for the things I misinterpret and for my failings as his disciple.

  307. Jean says:

    “Now receive the one who is weak in the faith, and do not have disputes over differing opinions. One person believes in eating everything, but the weak person eats only vegetables. The one who eats everything must not despise the one who does not, and the one who abstains must not judge the one who eats everything, for God has accepted him. Who are you to pass judgment on another’s servant? Before his own master he stands or falls. And he will stand, for the Lord is able to make him stand.

    One person regards one day holier than other days, and another regards them all alike. Each must be fully convinced in his own mind. The one who observes the day does it for the Lord. The one who eats, eats for the Lord because he gives thanks to God, and the one who abstains from eating abstains for the Lord, and he gives thanks to God. For none of us lives for himself and none dies for himself. If we live, we live for the Lord; if we die, we die for the Lord. Therefore, whether we live or die, we are the Lord’s. For this reason Christ died and returned to life, so that he may be the Lord of both the dead and the living.” (Rom 14:1-9)

    Our debates about who’s in and who’s out, or about who’s orthodox and who’s heterodox are not new. From the very beginning, Christ followers have been fencing themselves in/out. It seems as though the vast majority of Paul’s letters to his churches were about unity and reconciliation.

    I think the problem at its root is “grace.” It’s free; we don’t deserve it; and we can’t earn it. Therefore, there’s something in us that hates grace. We hate that we receive it for nothing, and we hate that other people get it for nothing. Sometimes we’re like the guys/gals who came to work at 8:00am sharp and got the same paycheck as the guy/gals who showed up at 4:00pm. We hate that.

    We say we don’t like the celebrity preachers and the mega-church phenomena, but without realizing it we fall into their paradigm: we are the enlightened; we are the authentic.

    “I thought to myself, “I have become much wiser than any of my predecessors who ruled over Jerusalem; I have acquired much wisdom and knowledge.” So I decided to discern the benefit of wisdom and knowledge over foolish behavior and ideas; however, I concluded that even this endeavor is like trying to chase the wind! For with great wisdom comes great frustration; whoever increases his knowledge merely increases his heartache.” (Eccl 1:16-18)

    I don’t mean to offend.

  308. Xenia says:

    “I thought to myself, “I have become much wiser than any of my predecessors who ruled over Jerusalem; I have acquired much wisdom and knowledge….” <<<

    But the exact opposite is going on here. MLD and I are not saying we are wiser than our predecessors, quite the opposite, we are saying we agree with them and intend to stick with their 2000 year old beliefs and practices. Who is saying he knows better than the fathers? It would be Mr. Zwingli, would it not?

  309. Jean,
    “Our debates about who’s in and who’s out, or about who’s orthodox and who’s heterodox are not new.” Jean if you think this is happening … well, stop doing it.

    Not a single person here has said a word about anyone being ‘in’ or being ‘out’ – so I must assume that you are bringing this up to cause the very trouble you feign to despise.

    This is a blog – this is a place where issues are discussed and for the 8 yrs I have been here, people have had the heart to discuss these issues vigorously.

    If I were a bean counter, I would estimate that you have told me 2 dozen times that I am wrong in method or content. I take no offense, I don’t make claims that you are trying to show me up, nor do I appeal as the weaker brother.

    Unity for the sake of unity is not noble – otherwise you would be listening to Latin Masses.

  310. Jean says:

    MLD, I think the problem is that Mark Driscoll is right: I’m pussified. I’m so pussified that I am ineffective regarding this topic. Maybe someone else who thinks the view of the Eucharist is not essential to the faith can defend that position. Maybe I’m the only one.

  311. Jean says:

    Oh, and I think there’s also something wrong with my computer (or maybe it’s Michael’s server), because when I type “A” or “B” into the blog, it apparently becomes “Y” or “Z” when it reaches MLD’s computer.

  312. Well as I argued no one has said it was essential to the faith – I think that what we have said is that what you do is essential and if you are not going to do it the way Jesus showed to do it, or that your don’t think the elements are essential (body & blood) – well yes there is a divide. (see that part is essential to most in the Church – what we do and why we do it. Along comes others with a new way and says nothing about the Supper is set or essential)

    Can I ask you, is there anything dealing with the Supper that if someone did it you would say they are out of bounds / not doing it right / are dishonoring the Supper? If you can think of anything, then you are just like me and Xenia.

    There are people who think that birthday parties can and should be drunken brawls – I disagree and do not participate if I think that will be the outcome.

    That does not mean they are less my friends or family – but their understanding is beyond the pale of what I find acceptable and I withhold myself. I do the same at the communion table – if you have a certain idea in your mind of what is acceptable at the table, feel free to do it and invite who you want.

  313. Gregory says:

    I think we’re connected with GOD by a saving faith in Christ Jesus of Nazareth. No middle man gurus. No ritual sacrament (7 or 2) needed. As an ex-altar boy long time ago in another galaxy far away …. I feel that the Sunday morning ritual (catholic or protestant or sometimes even non-denom) is vain repetition, prayers to anyone but JESUS full of idolatry and the idea of a wafer saving me defeats my born again experience and life in Christ. I remember Highschool living like the devil Monday-Saturday night then arriving hungover to serve on the altar and cleared myself by another sacrifice of the wafer. Mystery religion leftovers……just thinking about doctrine, nothing personal.

  314. WenatcheeTheHatchet says:

    as Zwingli fans on the internet in the English-speaking world go it’d be hard not to mention Jim West and his blog
    he’s more of a Bultmann fan than I personally am but he’s got interesting book recommendations at fairly regular intervals and if there’s a free e-book/pdf book from a biblical literature society he usually seems to find those. 80% done with the SBL volume on divination and prophecy as political speech in the Levant during the Persian/Babylonian eras right now.

  315. Gregory said – “can’t wait for the Radical Reformation”

    When man said to God – “step aside God, I think we have a better way.”

  316. Gregory says:

    I just meant that Michael was going to continue the study of the Swiss Reformation hopefully with commentary on the “radicals”….ie Zwingli’s students who were later labeled Anabaptists. My apologies MLD didn’t mean to offend you……I would like to recommend a nice book by a Mennonite scholar who studied the original city of Zurich documents while attending the University of Basel…….it became his thesis for graduate degree studies…….

    a great read so far I’m halfway through the thesis

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