Thursday, October 15, 2015

The Lord's Supper Examined

Many of the books that I review on my blog come through crossfocusedreviews.com. As part of receiving the free book, I agree to post my review on my blog as well as on amazon.com. Occasionally, I will receive feedback from my blog readers, but most of the negative comments I receive are responses to my book reviews posted on the Amazon website. Therefore, I have a series of blog posts that I've labeled Countering Criticism where I evaluate the validity of the negative feedback I receive. Today, I would like to look at a comment from a poster named B.J. Foxx regarding my book review on The Christian Life. You can read my original review here.

On October 6, 2015, B. J. Foxx says:

"You misunderstood his ideas about the Lord's Supper. From Wikipedia: 'Lutherans explicitly reject transubstantiation [86] believing that the bread and wine remain fully bread and fully wine while also being truly the body and blood of Jesus Christ.[87][88][89][90] Lutheran churches instead emphasize the sacramental union[91] (not exactly the consubstantiation, as is often claimed)[92] and believe that within the Eucharistic celebration the body and blood of Jesus Christ are objectively present "in, with, and under the forms" of bread and wine (cf. Book of Concord).[87] They place great stress on Jesus' instructions to "take and eat", and "take and drink", holding that this is the proper, divinely ordained use of the sacrament, and, while giving it due...'"

I am aware that, as a rule, Lutherans believe in consubstantiation and Roman Catholics believe in transubstantiation.  From wikipedia.com:

"Consubstantiation is a theological doctrine that attempts to describe the nature of the Christian Eucharist in concrete metaphysical terms. It holds that during the sacrament, the fundamental "substance" of the body and blood of Christ are present alongside the substance of the bread and wine, which remain present."

"Transubstantiation is, according to the teaching of the Catholic Church, the change by which the bread and the wine used in the sacrament of the Eucharist become, not merely as a sign or a figure, but also in actual reality the body and blood of Christ."

In his book, Mr. Hein described the Lord's Supper as "God bring[ing] the forgiveness of sins through consecrated bread and wine and tell[ing] you that as you are eating and drinking this bread and wine, you are actually eating and drinking Christ's body and His blood," (Kindle location 357).  Based on his description, he aligned his belief of  the Lord's Supper more with the Roman Catholic mindset of transubstantiation.  Since the author did not use either term (transubstantiation or consubstantiation) and stated that "you are actually eating and drinking Christ's body and Christ's blood", I critiqued his belief based on what he wrote and not what Lutherans in general believe.

Neither consubstantiation nor transubstantiation is an orthodox view of the Lord's Supper.  Protestantism completely rejects the teaching that the bread and wine used during the Lord's supper literally or spiritually turns into the body and blood of Christ. Jesus was sacrificed once on the cross: "By the which will we are sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all," (Heb. 10:10).

In the 1689 London Baptist Confession of Faith, Chapter 30, para. 2: "In this ordinance [the Lord's Supper] Christ is not offered up to his Father, nor any real sacrifice made at all for remission of sin of the quick or dead, but only a memorial of that one offering up of himself by himself upon the cross, once for all; and a spiritual oblation of all possible praise unto God for the same.  So that the popish sacrifice of the mass, as they call it, is most abominable, injurious to Christ's own sacrifice the alone propitiation for all the sins of the elect. (Heb. 9:25,26,28; 1 Cor. 11:24; Matt. 26:26,27)."


***
"For Christ also hath once suffered for sins, the just for the unjust, that he might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh, but quickened by the Spirit," (1 Peter 3:18).