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    1. #551
      Albion's Avatar
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      Quote Originally Posted by Sean611 View Post
      As a Lutheran, as I understand it, the body and blood is taken in a physical and literal sense. It is actually very close to the Catholic understanding. What I like about the Lutheran POV is that it takes Christ at his word and doesn't attempt to use human logic to try and understand it. Christ said this "is", so it must be so.
      Here's why I think someone is fooling himself with that argument, Sean. If we say "this is" --just is, and that's all-- we cannot simultaneously insist that the presence is carnal rather than spiritual. Obviously, both of those meet the definition of is, of real. Once you stipulate that the body and blood are real in a physical sense and also joined to bread and wine that has not changed its nature in the process, etc. etc. you have abandoned the "doesn't attempt to use human logic to try to understand it" concept.

    2. #552
      Josiah's Avatar
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      Quote Originally Posted by Albion View Post
      Here's why I think someone is fooling himself with that argument, Sean. If we say "this is" --just is, and that's all-- we cannot simultaneously insist that the presence is carnal rather than spiritual. Obviously, both of those meet the definition of is, of real. Once you stipulate that the body and blood are real in a physical sense and also joined to bread and wine that has not changed its nature in the process, etc. etc. you have abandoned the "doesn't attempt to use human logic to try to understand it" concept.

      @Albion @Sean611



      My theology teacher commented that error is nearly always the case of "over-thinking".... of essentially subjecting what Scripture says to all the processing of their brain, to their concepts and philosophies.... My Greek Orthodox friend says that error is nearly always the case of people not being willing to "leave well enough alone" and "not knowing how to shut up."


      In my heart, Christianity is pretty simple. Now, I'm not a stupid man.... I have a brain and it does tend to zip along pretty well.... but one of the things that appeals to me about Lutheranism is that it seems to embrace Luther's comment that "Humility is the foundation of all good theology." Luther's emphasis that we are STEWARDS (caretakers) of the MYSTERIES of God (Lutherans use that word "mystery" a lot). Now, Lutherans don't press that to an extreme.... they aren't opposed to thinking or theorizing per se, but there is an unmistakable attitude, a humility that underpins everything.... there is a respect, an AWE as we bow before God (and to a lesser extent, historic/ecumenical Tradition)... and even a bit of caution as we approach some NEW, individual thing (from a singular person acor denomination) seeking to correct God. As a convert from Catholicism to Lutheranism, this was probably the first thing that stunned me. My wife is a convert from very conservative Reformed to Lutheranism and she (altogether on her own) noted the same thing. There is a respect, a humility, an awe.... willingness to accept our puny brains may not be able to wrap around the things of God. And that's okay.... AND THAT'S OKAY. One of the reasons why my Greek Orthodox friend (whom I met as a undergrad) and I found "theological soulmates" and enjoyed discussing together is that we share a bit of this attitude... we come at all this from different directions (I'll forever have Catholic roots, as does Lutheranism - we are Western, for better or worse) but with much the same spirit.


      Lutherans embrace Real Presence. It's really very simple. "Is" = is (real, being, existing, present) ... "Body" = body. "Blood" = blood. "Forgiveness" = forgiveness (funny how that last part seems forgotten by so many). That's it. That's all. True - Christians have rejected since the Second Century that this makes us canibles BUT we accept that "is" means "is" and not "sort of is." There is MYSTERY here.... we don't get into the physics here (not even me, and I have a Ph.D. in physics)... we don't deny anything... this isn't about denial and doubt and limiting, it's about believing an celebrating and blessing. Now.... I admit.... at least for several centuries before Trent and Zwingli, people asked questions.... even proposed human theories formed out of the philosophies and prescience ideas of the day... but these weren't dogmas, these didn't displace Real Presence.... they were just possible ways of looking at the mystery, of addressing questions people have that God didn't address.


      For 1500 years, no Christian had any "problem" in Real Presence. It was even typically referred to as "The MYSTERY of Real Presence" (by the way, people referred to the Trinity as "The MYSTERY of the Trinity", as well - another doctrine that has some physics loose-ends). Then came along Zwingli and the RCC's meeting at Trent and their dogmas of "Real Absence" and dogmatically insistences about what is NOT there and their dogmatic "science" declarations about what "is" isn't. Lutherans are pretty uncomfortable with such.... both the attitude that seeks this and the resulting new dogmas.



      As for the Anglican pov.... all this is new to me.... I thought the Anglians had ONE dogma: "Transubstantiation is wrong" but that informally, some Anglicans accepted and taught Real Presence and some taught Calvin's view and the majority followed Zwingli's invention - but all those unofficially. At least that's what the Anglicans/Episcopalians I know have told me. The "SPIRITUAL" view you are conveying is... well.... suspect. Is this the same as "Jesus rose from the dead SPIRITUALLY?" "Jesus was SPIRITUALLY God but only a man?" Or is it denouncing the Mystery of the Two Natures by saying that the Divine Nature is present but not the Human nature (a problem of some of Calvin's followers, as well... a view that leads to Zwingli's invention)? Ah.... probably another discussion. Lutherans - like Catholics - accept that Christ ALWAYS has TWO inseparable natures - He always is 100% God and 100% man - although that is MYSTERY. Destroying the Doctrine of the Two Natures of Christ in order to substantiate doubting what Jesus said and Paul penned seems to ME (ex-Catholic, now Lutheran) making a bad situation much, much worse.... if you remove Christ from the Eucharist, you just have an empty Eucharist..... remove the Two Natures from Jesus and you have an empty Savior. But again, maybe that's a discussion for another day.


      You and I may or may not agree on Real Presence.... but I hope you better understand the perspective and perhaps a bit more why Lutherans embrace and continue it. IF so, my hope is fulfilled. I don't seek to convince or convert, just to improve understanding.



      Thank you!


      - Josiah




      .
      Last edited by Josiah; 10-29-2018 at 11:47 AM.
      We are justified by works - just not our own.

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    4. #553
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      Quote Originally Posted by Sean611 View Post
      A fascinating discussion thus far! When I was an Anglican (Episcopal), I was taught that we received the spiritual body and blood of our Lord. However, I also came to understand that a spiritual body is a real body and not something to think of as being less.

      As a Lutheran, as I understand it, the body and blood is taken in a physical and literal sense. It is actually very close to the Catholic understanding. What I like about the Lutheran POV is that it takes Christ at his word and doesn't attempt to use human logic to try and understand it. Christ said this "is", so it must be so.
      Galatians 4:25 says:
      Now Hagar is Mount Sinai in Arabia; she corresponds to the present Jerusalem, for she is in slavery with her children.
      Do you take that literally?
      Is Hagar actually Mount Sinai? Is she in slavery with her children?
      Now, look at what Jesus said. Did he cut up his actual body and have his disciples eat? Did Jesus open up a vein and actually have his disciples drink his blood?
      The answer is obvious. No, Jesus did not do this. Nor is Hagar actually Mt Sinai. Both are figurative. This is especially true when we recognize that Jesus was pointing toward the Passover in the supper.

    5. #554
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      Quote Originally Posted by Albion View Post
      Here's why I think someone is fooling himself with that argument, Sean. If we say "this is" --just is, and that's all-- we cannot simultaneously insist that the presence is carnal rather than spiritual. Obviously, both of those meet the definition of is, of real. Once you stipulate that the body and blood are real in a physical sense and also joined to bread and wine that has not changed its nature in the process, etc. etc. you have abandoned the "doesn't attempt to use human logic to try to understand it" concept.
      I certainly understand where you are coming from Albion, as I was one of those Episcopalians who actually tried to understand what the Episcopal Church officially believed lol (sometimes a lonely position to be in!!). That said, I think that if "is" is meant to be something different than what it literally means, why wouldn't Christ make it clear that "is" doesn't mean "is my body" and "is my blood" in a literal sense? Why not say "this is my spiritual body" or something to that effect? For those who don't believe in any sort of presence, why couldn't Christ just say this "represents my body" and avoid a lot of confusion?

      I think Christianity has its mysteries, as Josiah pointed out. For my part, I struggle understanding election (sometimes called predestination) and I am not always fully comfortable with it. That said, I sometimes put too much trust in my own logic, when I should be looking to Christ and trusting his promises.

    6. #555
      Albion's Avatar
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      Quote Originally Posted by Sean611 View Post
      I certainly understand where you are coming from Albion, as I was one of those Episcopalians who actually tried to understand what the Episcopal Church officially believed lol (sometimes a lonely position to be in!!).
      Ironically, what Anglicanism believes and has long believed is what the Lutherans here have tried to explain to me is the Lutheran POV--is means is, and that's it. The problem is that the Lutheran belief as expounded here by several Lutherans isn't that at all.


      That said, I think that if "is" is meant to be something different than what it literally means, why wouldn't Christ make it clear that "is" doesn't mean "is my body" and "is my blood" in a literal sense? Why not say "this is my spiritual body" or something to that effect? For those who don't believe in any sort of presence, why couldn't Christ just say this "represents my body" and avoid a lot of confusion?
      I can sympathize with those thoughts, but you know that quite a few things Jesus said to his disciples and others left them mystified. It is not just this issue concerning the nature of the Supper.

      But BTW, if we decided that we would take Christ strictly at face value (This IS my body), we wouldn't have any of that four-way stuff of a real physical change or entrance into the elements, which nevertheless doesn't look like that is what happened, but, at the same time, not a change since the bread and wine are still bread and wine, etc, etc. It--the Lutheran POV--is as convoluted and speculative as the Roman theory is.
      Last edited by Albion; 10-29-2018 at 08:08 PM.

    7. #556
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      Quote Originally Posted by Sean611 View Post
      I certainly understand where you are coming from Albion, as I was one of those Episcopalians who actually tried to understand what the Episcopal Church officially believed lol (sometimes a lonely position to be in!!). That said, I think that if "is" is meant to be something different than what it literally means, why wouldn't Christ make it clear that "is" doesn't mean "is my body" and "is my blood" in a literal sense? Why not say "this is my spiritual body" or something to that effect? For those who don't believe in any sort of presence, why couldn't Christ just say this "represents my body" and avoid a lot of confusion?

      I think Christianity has its mysteries, as Josiah pointed out. For my part, I struggle understanding election (sometimes called predestination) and I am not always fully comfortable with it. That said, I sometimes put too much trust in my own logic, when I should be looking to Christ and trusting his promises.
      1Cor 11:25
      After the same manner also He took the cup,
      after He had supped, saying,
      "This Cup is the New Covenant in My Blood:
      this do ye,
      as oft as ye drink it,
      in remembrance of me."


      So Christ takes the Cup and Blesses it, and tells His disciples:
      "This Cup is the New Covenant in My Blood - Be ye doing this..."

      The Cup is the New Covenant in His Blood... It does not mean his present blood prior to His Passion, Resurrection, and Ascension... Indeed, the Church has always taught that the Wine IS the Blood of His Glorified Body... The very Body which passed through walls, ate honey and fish, appeared and disappeared on the Road to Emmaeus, and into Which Thomas thrust his hand and then believed in Christ... THAT Body, you see... Not His fleshly flesh and blood of His Incarnation, but of His Body which had ascended as human flesh unto His Father, and then returned to the earth for awhile, appearing to many... That Body is NOT the Body that first came to Mary Magdalene when He said to her: "Touch me not, for I have not yet ascended to My Father..."

      Which explains why He was not taking slices off His arm and opening a vein for the disciples... He was establishing for them the New Covenant in His Body and His Blood, right there, at that supper, and the Disciples on the Road to Emmaeus did not know Him, until they SAW Him blessing and breaking the Bread at Table... THEN they knew Him... And then He disappeared from their sight...

      Arsenios

    8. #557
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      Quote Originally Posted by Albion View Post
      Ironically, what Anglicanism believes and has long believed is what the Lutherans here have tried to explain to me is the Lutheran POV--is means is, and that's it. The problem is that the Lutheran belief as expounded here by several Lutherans isn't that at all.


      I can sympathize with those thoughts, but you know that quite a few things Jesus said to his disciples and others left them mystified. It is not just this issue concerning the nature of the Supper.

      But BTW, if we decided that we would take Christ strictly at face value (This IS my body), we wouldn't have any of that four-way stuff of a real physical change or entrance into the elements, which nevertheless doesn't look like that is what happened, but, at the same time, not a change since the bread and wine are still bread and wine, etc, etc. It--the Lutheran POV--is as convoluted and speculative as the Roman theory is.
      When Christ Takes, Blesses, and Breaks the Bread as He did at that Supper, the Bread and the Wine become and then ARE the Body and Blood of the Risen Lord - He had not yet been crucified and arisen when He established this Mystery... Nor are we arisen when we so do as He did and as He commanded us to do...

      Arsenios
      Last edited by Arsenios; 10-31-2018 at 08:40 AM.

    9. #558
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      If bread and cup become the actual body and blood that would mean Jesus is being offered up over and over. Breaking the bread would be equal to breaking the body, which is a violation of Scripture.

      Sent from my Z557BL using Tapatalk
      "Therefore, having been justified by faith, [a]we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ Romans 5:1

    10. #559
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      Quote Originally Posted by RichWh1 View Post
      If bread and cup become the actual body and blood that would mean Jesus is being offered up over and over. Breaking the bread would be equal to breaking the body, which is a violation of Scripture.


      Your "issue" would be exclusively with post Trent Catholics, with the dogma of Transubstantiation - at most (and I don't think it would apply even there).

      No breaking bread is breaking bread. I know of no law regarding breaking bread.


      "Is" means "is." Not becomes. "Is" means that body and blood are PRESENT - not that anything converted into anything via the precise physics mechanism of an alchemic transubstantiation leaving behind a unknowable mixture of reality and Aristotelian Accidents. And it seems to ME that if Jesus said to do it, it likely is not wrong to to do it. I don't think He was wrong to say "IS" or to say "DO it." I don't think Jesus was wrong about anything. But that's just my opinion.





      .
      Last edited by Josiah; 11-02-2018 at 04:58 PM.
      We are justified by works - just not our own.

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