Two Good Posts

Joel and Dennis are absolutely right, as usual.

On the question of the Real Presence, I feel a duty to conform my language on the subject to that of the Church Fathers and to the weight of the Church’s tradition. I would rather do this than play linguistic hopscotch, trying to avoid stepping on the toes of Reformed people who have abandoned the teaching of the Church on this issue and seeking to wring as high a doctrine of the Supper as I can out of unwilling confessional documents. The Reformed doctrine of the Supper is insipid. By the time that you are able to make any affirmation on the presence of Christ in the Supper in Reformed circles your statements have to be so diluted by qualifications and clarifications as to be relatively meaningless.

I strongly affirm that in the Supper the Body and Blood of our Lord are truly present and that we eat and drink them. Everyone who rejects this has departed from the Scriptures and the Christian tradition. I do not make this claim as an unwilling concession to the larger Christian tradition. It is not a doctrine that I have come to only through careful study to ascertain whether the Reformed faith will permit me to hold such a position. This is just plain vanilla Christian faith and does not need to be justified by the Reformed confessional documents. To the degree that the Reformed confessional documents mute, obscure, omit or deny this doctrine, it is they that stand in need of justification, not the larger tradition.

About Alastair Roberts

Alastair Roberts (PhD, Durham University) writes in the areas of biblical theology and ethics, but frequently trespasses beyond these bounds. He participates in the weekly Mere Fidelity podcast, blogs at Alastair’s Adversaria, and tweets at @zugzwanged.
This entry was posted in The Blogosphere, The Sacraments, Theological. Bookmark the permalink.

8 Responses to Two Good Posts

  1. Josh S says:

    It’s a good thing your blog is too opaque for your average PCA-er or Reformed Baptist to read, or all hell would break loose in 5…4…3…

  2. adam naranjo says:

    I pretty much agree. However, paedocommunion is much more important in my opinion. We don’t really KNOW what happens at the supper, but we surely ought to KNOW who should get it, because WE are held accountable for excluding some, while God is responsible for feeding us His sons body and blood.

  3. Josh S says:

    That sounds like the classic Reformed view, “We don’t really KNOW what happens at baptism, but we surely ought to KNOW who should get it.” Just sayin’.

  4. David Wright says:

    I landed here from a BHT link. I have to say that my first reaction was that calling the Reformed understanding of communioninsipid is a tad uncharitable. I blanch to think what you might say of the a typical Baptist understanding, where there isn’t a hint of even spiritual presence.

    I realize that the combativeness on this goes both ways. Those who don’t accept real presence are often less than irenic about it toward others.

    But is diversity in this area not best treated with caution? Or is the understanding of eucharist so central that it must be gotten right?

  5. John H says:

    Amen! Amen! Amen!

    And if you’re looking for a congregation in which true Reformation Christianity including the Real Presence in the Lord’s Supper are clearly confessed, then you’re only, um, er, 90 miles from your nearest Lutheran congregation! Jooo-i-i-i-i-n us! Don’t be afr-a-a-a-id (of a five-hour round trip to get to church each Sunday)…

    Seriously, great post.🙂

  6. Thomas says:

    To get an idea of how central the Eucharist is, let’s do an experiment:

    ‘I realize that the combativeness on this goes both ways. Those who don’t accept the doctrine of *the Trinity* are often less than irenic about it toward others.

    ‘But is diversity in this area not best treated with caution? Or is the understanding of who *the Trinity* is so central that it must be gotten right?’

    I’m just sayin…

  7. pencils says:

    Long live brother Zwingli! Not that you agree…

  8. Pingback: Confessing Evangelical » Blog Archive » Blogroll update

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