Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Response to Joe Heschmeyer

Joe Heschmeyer wrote a response (link to response) to my previous post (link to my post) regarding Bishop Olmsted.

He raises a number of objections to my post, and I'll try to deal with them in turn.

1. The "God Hath Joined Together" Objection

Mr. Heschmeyer objects that I'm trying to separate Christ and His church. This (like most of the post) is an emotional argument, not a rational one. I didn't suggest that Christ's church should be separated from Christ. What I said was:
I was also struck by the fact that the bishop's stated identity was not Christ alone, but "Christ and the Church." What he considers to be faithfulness to Christ is faithfulness to the rules of his church. However, in following the rules of his church, he's not following God's law.
The point that Mr. Heschmeyer has missed is that for the bishop his stated identity in Christ, because it is not in Christ alone, ends up being in his (the bishop's) church. But the bishop's church is not Christ's church, and the rules of his church are not the rules of God. What the bishop identifies with is a false christ, not the true Christ.

2. The Father Abraham Objection

Mr. Heschmeyer objects that I (like Aquinas) refer to hyper-dulia as a species of worship (cf. Summa 3.25.5 "Since, therefore, the Blessed Virgin is a mere rational creature, the worship of 'latria' is not due to her, but only that of 'dulia': but in a higher degree than to other creatures, inasmuch as she is the Mother of God. For this reason we say that not any kind of "dulia" is due to her, but 'hyperdulia.'"). That's because it is worship. Mr. Heschmeyer claims that the worship of Mary is more like "honoring Father Abraham, which Scripture clearly does." Suffice that there were no first century side altars with Father Abraham's likeness in the Temple or synagogues, there were no candles burnt before statues of Father Abraham, and no one is taught to pray to Father Abraham.

Ironically, Abraham is mentioned by name in 70 verses in the New Testament contrasted with 46 verses that use the name "Mary" (at least 10 of which are references to Mary Magdalene). For those wondering, the name "Jesus" occurs in 942 verses, "Lord" is in 670 verses, and "Christ" is in 532 verses, while "Paul" gets mentioned in 159 verses, "Peter" in 156 verses, "John" (includes both the baptizer and the beloved disciple) in 130 verses, "David" in 54 verses, "James" in 38 verses, "Silas" in 13 verses, "Andrew" in 12 verses, and "Timothy" in 9 verses. (statistics based on the KJV)

Mary's a relatively minor (but important) character in the New Testament, but she's the "Queen of Heaven" in Roman theology (cf. Jeremiah 7:18).

3. The Universal Apostasy Objection

Mr. Heschmeyer takes the position that my objection to Roman latria worship of the bread of the Eucharist requires me to say that there were no Christians from the first century to the eleventh century. This remarkable claim is flawed for several reasons.

a) There is no evidence that those who called themselves "Christians" were giving the bread the worship that belongs to Christ alone from the 1st century until around the 9th or 10th century (perhaps as late as the 11th or 12th century). I should obviously point out that if Mr. Heschmeyer disagrees, he's welcome to point me to someone before then who taught that the bread should be worshiped with the worship of latria.

b) We (Reformed) don't require moral or theological perfection of Christians. In fact, we try to judge by a very lenient standard. So, we're willing to accept as Christians even those who do engage in some sin, and those who do have some theological errors. Universal apostasy would not be the logical conclusion from mere widespread error of practice.

c) Mr. Heschmeyer seems to be unaware of the debunking of Roman claims regarding the views of the church about the Eucharist. He ought to be. Cosin provided an excellent debunking in the 17th century (link to book), not to cast aspersions on the many before him (such as Ridley in the 16th century - link to work or Wycliffe in the 14th century - link to work) and after him. That debunking is not merely a debunking of Rome's eisegesis of the key Scriptural texts, but also includes a debunking of Rome's historical claims. Suffice that Mr. Heschmeyer cannot locate a single father from the 1st to the 9th centuries that taught that the bread becomes not just the body but the body, blood, soul and divinity of Christ. In fact, Mr. Heschmeyer would have trouble finding any father that says that the bread is no longer truly bread after the consecration.

4. The Faith/Faithfulness Objection

Mr. Heschmeyer claims that I distinguish between faith and faithfulness, but "apparently not in the way that Scripture does." Mr. Heschmeyer's support for his objection seems to take him off on a variety of tangents. It's unclear whether Mr. Heschmeyer understands the difference between trust and obedience. Proper obedience (faithfulness) flows from a true and living faith (trust) in God. Perhaps he understands that, perhaps not. His rambling objection doesn't seem to address the distinction I was making. The bishop is (according to his own testimony) faithful in his duties, but this flows from his faith in his church.

5. The Murder is Never Self-Defense Objection

Mr. Heschmeyer's label "Murder is Never Self-Defense" shows either a penchant for the rhetorical or a fundamental misunderstanding of the moral categories. I'd rather not pick, so I'll just explain the principles that apply.

a. All murder (properly speaking, as distinct from hatred which is a species of murder broadly defined) involves killing (killing of a human being, but we'll just refer to it as "killing" to keep things concise).

b. Not all killing is murder.

c. Killing is murder, unless there is either an excuse or a justification.

d. We will leave aside the issue of "excuse," since - in any event - there does not appear to be an excuse available here.

e. Various justifications are permitted for killing. For example, soldiers can justly kill enemy soldiers in a just war, and the civil government has the power of the sword to execute those who are guilty of capital crimes.

f. One justification for killing is self-defense. Thomas Aquinas recognized this as a legitimate justification (Summa 2-2.64.7). Hopefully, Mr. Heschmeyer does not think that Aquinas was ill informed about moral theology.

g. Double-effect always exists in the case of true self-defense. In other words, one's intent in self-defense is not to kill the other person, the intent is to save one's own life.

h. The killing, in true self-defense, must be killing the person who is going to kill you.

i. The killing, in true self-defense, must be proportional to the need. In other words, when one can save one's life very easily another way, one cannot resort to using lethal force. However, the proportionality need not be scientifically exact. Thomas Aquinas explains this at the link I've provided above.

Mr. Heschmeyer poses a series of four examples in which he says it is obvious that one cannot take another's life. In each of his examples, there is a man who is facing death (we'll call him "the victim" just as shorthand) and this victim has the opportunity to save his own life by killing someone else. However, in each case, the person who the victim is contemplating killing is not the person who is killing the victim.

Mr. Heschmeyer, however, has failed to consider that in this case (according to the evidence we have) the baby was killing the mother. If the baby was not stopped from doing what it was doing, the mother would die. No one is saying that the baby intends to kill the mother, or that the baby's actions were themselves culpable.

Mr. Heschmeyer concludes:
This wasn't a case where the hospital found itself in a morally gray area, made the wrong decision, and was immediately and mercilessly thrown out. This is the culmination of years of open rebellion, where a hospital refusing to be Catholic was finally told, in effect, "You win. You're not Catholic." It's no more offensive than my telling Turretin Fan: you're not a Catholic. He knows. And by their conduct, it's clear St. Joseph's knows, too.
Actually, what happened is that the hospital didn't cave in to the following demands from the bishop:
• Acknowledge he was right and the hospital was wrong in its interpretation of a church health-care directive regarding so-called indirect abortions.

• Submit itself to a diocesan review and certification "to ensure full compliance" with Catholic moral teachings. Olmsted wrote that the certification would be similar to other accreditations that hospitals seek.

• Agree to give its medical staff ongoing training on the Ethical and Religious Directives, a document from the national bishops council that explains Catholic moral teachings for health-care providers.
Notice that the reason was not actually the killing of an innocent child. The issue was the challenge to the bishop's ego. The bishop disagreed with the nun, Sister Margaret McBride, who authorized the killing of the child, over the interpretation of Rome's rules related to when taking the life of a child is permitted. As summarized in an article just prior to to the bishop's de-labeling of the hospital:
St. Joseph's has since argued that the case was more akin to removing a pregnant woman's cancerous uterus, which is permissible under church doctrine, than to a standard abortion. McBride remains a nun on the hospital staff.

Two months of discussions followed but, according to Olmsted, did not resolve the question of whether the procedure was allowable. In the November letter, Olmsted said that he did not believe CHW intended to change its policies.
(source)

So, no, I don't think Mr. Heschmeyer's characterization of the situation is correct. As for the "Catholic," label - it better fits me than it fits him, since my church (a reformed and presbyterian church) doesn't practice the sectarianism that his church practices, and since my church holds to the once delivered Catholic and Apostolic faith that his church has abandoned.

-TurretinFan

55 comments:

Joe Heschmeyer said...

TF,

Thanks for responding. Taking your responses by point:

(1) "God Hath Joined Together": My point was that it's right to identify with "Christ and His Church" and wrong to imagine a "Christ alone" that separates Him from His Bride and Body the Church, based on what Scripture says. What's emotional or illogical about this? I understand that you disagree about who the Church is, and what membership looks like, but I already answered this in the post you're responding to.

(2) "Father Abraham": You're certainly smart enough to know that Aquinas wasn't writing the Summa in English. I'm betting that the word translated "worship" was "cultus,” although I haven't checked for sure, and that term can be applied to all manner of honor that neither of us would consider worship. The decision to use the word “worship” in English is based on the archaic (technically correct but misleading) sense of "worship" to mean "honor," just as they sometimes call judges "Your Worship" in the UK (which is synonymous with our “Your Honor”). Aquinas explicitly denies that the cultus is worship in the sense you’re using the term, which would be latria (a heresy known as Collyridianism). Augustine deals with this distinction explicitly in chapter ten of City of God. As for praying to Father Abraham, Jesus portrays the rich man in Luke 16:19-31 as clearly praying to him, and Abraham responding.

(3) "Universal Apostasy"
(a)I'd be glad to provide you resources. I have a list of my favorite five from before 200 A.D. here (http://catholicdefense.blogspot.com/2010/11/early-church-fathers-on-eucharist.html), and am working on 200-300 A.D. off and on. The list of Church Fathers who are quite clear on this issue from 300-400 A.D. is massive. I cover one of them here, a North African forerunner of St. Augustine, St. Optatus of Milevis (http://catholicdefense.blogspot.com/2010/11/early-church-father-worth-knowing.html). Called to Communion has a better list than my own here (http://www.calledtocommunion.com/2010/12/church-fathers-on-transubstantiation/), sorted by subject rather than date.

(b) I object to your premise, that the Reformed even *could* "require moral or theological perfection," as if they stand in judgment over the souls of the world, including those who lived and died in Christ before Calvin's birth. That aside, regardless of how leniently you judge the world, you can't escape the conclusion that if (i) all of Christendom [at any period in history, whether the first or tenth century] offered latria to the Eucharist, and (ii) Eucharistic latria is idolatry, and (iii) one can't be Christian and an idolater, then Christianity ceased to be.

(c) It really isn't very hard to find Church Fathers on the cessation of the common bread and wine at the Words of Institution at all. Besides the sources I link to in (a), there's folks like St. Gregory of Nyssa, who says in Chapter XXXVII of his Great Cathechism that the difference between the change of natural metabolism (in which bread and wine became Christ's Body and Blood gradually) and the change (or metabolen) at the words of consecration is one of speed; he says of the Eucharist, "not that it advances by the process of eating to the stage of passing into the body of the Word, but it is at once changed into the body by means of the Word, as the Word itself said, 'This is My Body.'" Gregory even describes the process as transelementation. Justin Martyr has a very similar description of the change in his First Apology, Chapter 66. He says that the Eucharist is no longer common bread and wine (since it has become the Living Bread Himself), and describes the process as transmutation, using the phrase "kata metabolen," similar to Gregory's own phrasing. There are many more examples in addition to these, and the C2C link I gave has a section on it.

(Continued: sorry for the length)

Joe Heschmeyer said...

(4) "Faith v. Faithfulness" - You acknowledge that Bp. Olmsted's faithfulness flows from his faith, although you say it's his faith in the Church, which you distinguish from Christ (see (1)). In any case, I think we agree he's not being legalistic, right?

(5)(f)&(g) You're quoting the exact passage I reference from Aquinas, without responding to any of the points I raised about it. Principle of double-effect only applies if it's first self-defense.

Your attempts to distinguish the hypos fall flat. You say that unlike those cases, here the baby is killing the mother since "If the baby was not stopped from doing what it was doing, the mother would die." But what the baby was "doing" that was stopped was living. In the same way, in all of the hypos I posed, if the victims in question were not stopped from living, the first person would die.

I'm pleased that you now acknowledge that this case was much broader than you'd originally understood, although you seem to have swung to the opposite extreme, and are now acting as if the child-killing played no part. It's not either of them sola. :-)

In Christ,

Joe.

louis said...

Ha, Joe, you almost had me. I actually followed your link on transubstantiation. lol.

Canadian said...

TF,
"a) There is no evidence that those who called themselves "Christians" were giving the bread the worship that belongs to Christ alone from the 1st century until around the 9th or 10th century"

He walked here in the same flesh, and gave us the same flesh to be eaten unto salvation. But no one eats that flesh unless he first adores it; and thus it is discovered how such a footstool of the Lord’s feet is adored; and not only do we not sin by adoring, we do sin by not adoring. – St. Augustine Commentary on Psalms 98:9

Then, after you have partaken of the Body of Christ, come forward only for the cup of the Blood. Do not stretch out your hands but bow low as if making an act of obeisance and a profound act of veneration. St. Cyril of Jerusalem Catechesis Mystagogica V, 11-22

This is the Body which He gave us, both to hold in reserve [for worship] and to eat, which was appropriate to intense love.
St. John Chrysostom Homily on the First Epistle to the Corinthians


TF: "cannot locate a single father from the 1st to the 9th centuries that taught that the bread becomes not just the body but the body, blood, soul and divinity of Christ. In fact, Mr. Heschmeyer would have trouble finding any father that says that the bread is no longer truly bread after the consecration."

We speak in an absurd and godless manner about the divinity of Christ’s nature in us — unless we have learned it from Him. He Himself declares: ‘For my flesh is food indeed, and my blood is drink indeed. He who eats my flesh and drinks my blood abides in me and I in him’ St. Hilary of Poitiers The Trinity 8.14

The bread and the wine are not merely figures of the body and blood of Christ (God forbid!) but the deified body of the Lord itself:
St. John of Damascus Exposition of the Orthodox Faith

we offer the unbloody sacrifice in the churches, and so go on to the mystical thanksgivings, and are sanctified, having received his holy flesh and the precious blood of Christ the Savior of us all. And not as common flesh do we receive it; God forbid: nor as of a man sanctified and associated with the Word according to the unity of worth, or as having a divine indwelling, but as truly the life-giving and very flesh of the Word himself. For he is the life according to his nature as God, and when he became united to his flesh, he made it also to be life-giving" (Session 1, Letter of Cyril to Nestorius 3rd Ecumenical Council)

Turretinfan said...

Joe:

As to (1), consider that it is only proper (in your theology) to offer latria to Christ and not to the church. This involves some kind of mental separation of the two concepts. You can't just throw out "what God has joined together" whenever you don't like concepts being treated separately, and such separate treatment doesn't involve either "separating Christ from his church," or denial of the maternal role of Christ's church. The link there is simply an emotional appeal to metaphors, rather than a logical criticism of anything that I wrote.

As to (2), you're way out of line. I'm using the term "worship" in exactly the way Aquinas used it and you're complaining about it when I do so, but not when he does so. That's ridiculous.

And further, does the text say he was praying to Abraham? Let's forget for a second that you've picked the behavior of a man in hell as your example of practice and let's also forget for a second that this is parable.

As to (3)(a), perhaps you didn't read my request. But if you did, and you really think those meet my request, I'll be happy to respond. Do you really think those examples show the fathers teaching that the bread becomes not just the body of Christ, but the body, blood, soul, and divinity of Christ? Or alternatively, that after the consecration, the bread is not bread any more?

As to (3)(b), I dispute your unprovable item (i) and I am open to the possibility that (iii) is wrong (which was my whole point about judging sinners leniently).

As to (3)(c), see my response to (3)(a). I'm happy to provide a more detailed response, if needed.

As to (4), no - Rome's religion is a religion of legalism. He's seeking salvation the way the church tells him, through faithfulness. He's not quite the Saul of Tarsus of Roman bishops, but he certainly makes himself sound very zealous.

As to (5), if you can identify "points" that you think were not addressed, I'd be happy to respond to them. Your bare assertion, "Principle of double-effect only applies if it's first self-defense," suggests you don't understand that self-defense is one category of double-effect, rather than double-effect being a category of self-defense. But who knows! It doesn't seem to directly respond to what I wrote.

Contrary to your assertion, it was not simply living that was killing the mother. It was living off of and within the mother. It was the direct physical interaction between the baby and the baby's mother that was killing the mother.

That's quite different from the hypotheticals you raised in which the person who wishes to live is not being harmed by the being person whose death is sought.

- TurretinFan

Turretinfan said...

Canadian:

Let's number your quotations.

1) He walked here in the same flesh, and gave us the same flesh to be eaten unto salvation. But no one eats that flesh unless he first adores it; and thus it is discovered how such a footstool of the Lord’s feet is adored; and not only do we not sin by adoring, we do sin by not adoring. – St. Augustine Commentary on Psalms 98:9

2) Then, after you have partaken of the Body of Christ, come forward only for the cup of the Blood. Do not stretch out your hands but bow low as if making an act of obeisance and a profound act of veneration. St. Cyril of Jerusalem Catechesis Mystagogica V, 11-22

3) This is the Body which He gave us, both to hold in reserve [for worship] and to eat, which was appropriate to intense love.
St. John Chrysostom Homily on the First Epistle to the Corinthians

4) We speak in an absurd and godless manner about the divinity of Christ’s nature in us — unless we have learned it from Him. He Himself declares: ‘For my flesh is food indeed, and my blood is drink indeed. He who eats my flesh and drinks my blood abides in me and I in him’ St. Hilary of Poitiers The Trinity 8.14

5) The bread and the wine are not merely figures of the body and blood of Christ (God forbid!) but the deified body of the Lord itself:
St. John of Damascus Exposition of the Orthodox Faith

6) we offer the unbloody sacrifice in the churches, and so go on to the mystical thanksgivings, and are sanctified, having received his holy flesh and the precious blood of Christ the Savior of us all. And not as common flesh do we receive it; God forbid: nor as of a man sanctified and associated with the Word according to the unity of worth, or as having a divine indwelling, but as truly the life-giving and very flesh of the Word himself. For he is the life according to his nature as God, and when he became united to his flesh, he made it also to be life-giving" (Session 1, Letter of Cyril to Nestorius 3rd Ecumenical Council)

In my next comment, I'll respond to them by number.

Turretinfan said...

Canadian:

As to (1), there's no mention of the Eucharist.

As to (2), "as if" clearly distinguishes the act from what it resembles. Moreover, "veneration," is mentioned but not the worship of latria (at least, not on the face of your quotation).

As to (3), "intense love" is not the worship of latria, is it? If so, we're going to have trouble obeying the command to love one another - or for husbands to love their wives.

As to (4), I'm not sure why you think that this is relevant, particularly since the metaphor employed is almost the opposite of transubstantiation's claim (body is bread, vs. bread is body, blood, soul, and divinity and not bread).

As to (5), where does John of Damascus (father of the iconodule heresy) say that the bread ceases to be bread? or that the bread becomes the soul as well as the deified body?

As to (6), the "unbloody sacrifice" comment at the beginning is pretty strong evidence that the person thinks no actual blood is involved. And, as well, this looks like Cyril is sticking pretty closely to the Biblical metaphor - there's no talk of the bread becoming the blood, or the soul, or the divinity of Christ - just that the bread is received as though it were the flesh of Christ.

Incidentally, this may address some of the very quotations that Joe was thinking to provide. So, Joe, if you provide some quotations, please start at (7).

-TurretinFan

Canadian said...

TF:"In fact, Mr. Heschmeyer would have trouble finding any father that says that the bread is no longer truly bread after the consecration."

[Since you are] fully convinced that the apparent bread is not bread, even though it is sensible to the taste, but the body of Christ, and that the apparent wine is not wine, even though the taste would have it so, . . . partake of that bread as something spiritual, and put a cheerful face on your soul”
St. Cyril of Jerusalem Catechetical Lectures

The bread and the wine of the Eucharist before the holy invocation of the adorable Trinity were simple bread and wine, but the invocation having been made, the bread becomes the body of Christ and the wine the blood of Christ. – St. Cyril of Jerusalem Catechetical Lectures 19:7

that He may make the Bread the Body of Christ, and the Wine the Blood of Christ; for whatsoever the Holy Ghost has touched, is surely sanctified and changed. Ibid. 23.7

Now we, as often as we receive the Sacramental Elements, which by the mysterious efficacy of holy prayer are transformed into the Flesh and the Blood, ‘do show the Lord’s Death.’ – St. Ambrose On the Christian Faith 4, 10:125

We ought . . . not regard [the elements] merely as bread and cup, but as the body and blood of the Lord, into which they were transformed by the descent of the Holy Spirit. – Theodore of Mopsuestia Catechetical Homilies 5:1

The bread again is at first common bread; but when the mystery sanctifies it, it is called and actually becomes the Body of Christ – St. Gregory of Nyssa Sermon on the Day of Lights or on The Baptism of Christ

The body which is born of the holy Virgin is in truth body united with divinity, not that the body which was received up into the heavens descends, but that the bread itself and the wine are changed into God’s body and blood.
St. John of Damascus Exposition of the Orthodox Faith

Canadian said...

TF,
You stumble over deified body as inadequate and unbloody. But if you had a more sound Christology you would understand the patristic terms and ideas. Christ is not present except in both natures. The flesh becomes divinized because of the inseparable union with a divine person. The Councils and father's said we receive the whole Christ because of obvious Christological implications. You can't separate body and blood from divinity. You would also know from other Ecumenical Councils that the human nature of Christ is consubstantial with us except for sin and he has a human will, soul, body inseparably united to his divine person. He gives himself in the Eucharist, not some abstract instance of meat, platelettes and hemoglobin as you crudely seem to imply.

CathApol said...

TF writes: What I said was: I was also struck by the fact that the bishop's stated identity was not Christ alone, but "Christ and the Church." However, what did Bp. Olmsted say in context? Let's look:

My identity comes from Christ. Christ is present in His Living Body, the Church. That's my identity, it comes from that. If I am unfaithful to that then whether I am looked at one way or another; if I am given praise, or I am given ridicule - it doesn't matter. What I am called to be is faithful to Jesus Christ and His Church.

So when it is said that Bp. Olmsted finds his identity with Jesus Christ and His Church, these really are not two different things - in the context of which Bp. Olmsted spoke. He finds his identity in Jesus Christ and is faithful to Jesus Christ and His Church. One who is not faithful to His Church cannot be faithful to Him who built that Church.

Scott<<<
CathApol

Turretinfan said...

Canadian:

You wrote: "You stumble over deified body as inadequate and unbloody."

I don't stumble over it at all.

You wrote: "But if you had a more sound Christology you would understand the patristic terms and ideas."

Bulverism.

You wrote: "Christ is not present except in both natures."

That's the opinion of the church you're siding with. Find it in the fathers, if you can.


You wrote: "The flesh becomes divinized because of the inseparable union with a divine person."

And that is likely all that's meant by deified or divinized body. It doesn't mean that there is a confusion or blending of the natures (both of which heresies the orthodox fathers rejected).

You wrote: "The Councils and father's said we receive the whole Christ because of obvious Christological implications."

Where do the councils and fathers say that? I see what Trent says (and what Eadmer says), but I don't see that in the early church fathers.

You wrote: "You can't separate body and blood from divinity."

a) Can you separate the body from the blood?

b) Can God?

c) How about the soul from the body?

d) Can Jesus be spiritually present without being bodily present?

You wrote: "You would also know from other Ecumenical Councils that the human nature of Christ is consubstantial with us except for sin and he has a human will, soul, body inseparably united to his divine person."

Let's ignore my counter-arguments above. Where did the fathers or councils make this observation in reference to the bread of the Eucharist? Where do they say that the bread of the Eucharist becomes not just the body, but also the blood, soul, and divinity of Christ?

"He gives himself in the Eucharist, not some abstract instance of meat, platelettes and hemoglobin as you crudely seem to imply."

Jesus give his literal body, meat, platelettes, and hemoglobin on the cross. That's what literally hung on the cross.

And before you accuse me of separating things, consider this separation:

Matthew 10:28 And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.

-TurretinFan

Turretinfan said...

Scott:

You've correctly identified the problem - the inability to distinguish Christ and the Roman church in the Roman religion. Not everyone in that religion falls into that trap, but it is easy to do.

-TurretinFan

Turretinfan said...

Continuing the numbering quotations that have been submitted:

7) [Since you are] fully convinced that the apparent bread is not bread, even though it is sensible to the taste, but the body of Christ, and that the apparent wine is not wine, even though the taste would have it so, . . . partake of that bread as something spiritual, and put a cheerful face on your soul”
St. Cyril of Jerusalem Catechetical Lectures

8) The bread and the wine of the Eucharist before the holy invocation of the adorable Trinity were simple bread and wine, but the invocation having been made, the bread becomes the body of Christ and the wine the blood of Christ. – St. Cyril of Jerusalem Catechetical Lectures 19:7

9) that He may make the Bread the Body of Christ, and the Wine the Blood of Christ; for whatsoever the Holy Ghost has touched, is surely sanctified and changed. Ibid. 23.7

10) Now we, as often as we receive the Sacramental Elements, which by the mysterious efficacy of holy prayer are transformed into the Flesh and the Blood, ‘do show the Lord’s Death.’ – St. Ambrose On the Christian Faith 4, 10:125

11) We ought . . . not regard [the elements] merely as bread and cup, but as the body and blood of the Lord, into which they were transformed by the descent of the Holy Spirit. – Theodore of Mopsuestia Catechetical Homilies 5:1

12) The bread again is at first common bread; but when the mystery sanctifies it, it is called and actually becomes the Body of Christ – St. Gregory of Nyssa Sermon on the Day of Lights or on The Baptism of Christ

13) The body which is born of the holy Virgin is in truth body united with divinity, not that the body which was received up into the heavens descends, but that the bread itself and the wine are changed into God’s body and blood.
St. John of Damascus Exposition of the Orthodox Faith

Turretinfan said...

As to (7), that looks pretty clearly like "spiritual" (in so many words) presence.

As to (8), this is just a repetition of the Biblical metaphor. Nothing here about the bread becoming blood, or soul, or divinity. It's the sort of comment someone who held to a bare symbolic view could make just as easily as the most radical transubstantiationist.

As to (9), looks like spiritual presence - the Holy Spirit is even mentioned as touching the elements.

As to (10), you might want to check what word is translated "transformed" there (is it not transfiguratur?). But, of course, this is just like (8) a repetition of the Biblical metaphor.

As to (11), notice that "regard" shows the distinction between what the things are, and what they are considered to be. The descent of the Holy Spirit suggests a spiritual presence, similar to item (9).

As to (12), there's essentially just a repetition of the metaphor here. Someone might say "actually becomes" has a stronger ring to it - and it does sound stronger on its face. But, of course, we have only the identification of bread with the body of Christ here, not with the blood, soul, and divinity of Christ, and certainly nothing saying that the bread is no longer bread. On its face (and without looking at the original languages or context), this seems like the strongest quotation offered, and yet it falls miserably short of transubstantiation.

As to (13) (which comes from roughly the same place as 5, above), it sounds even stronger than (12). After all, there is discussion of "change" and of "divinity." But where is there mention of the bread becoming the blood? or of the bread becoming the soul? or - for that matter - the bread becoming the divinity? It says that the flesh is united with the divinity - yes - but not that the bread becomes the divinity. Nor does it say that the bread ceases to be bread.

(read the context to see whether he continues to refer to it as bread, even after the consecration)

-TurretinFan

steve said...

Canadian said...

"He gives himself in the Eucharist, not some abstract instance of meat, platelettes and hemoglobin as you crudely seem to imply."

Oh, dear! And here I thought Roman Catholics lecture us on how Protestants tamper with the plain sense of John 6.

But, of course, when we do press the literal implications of the sacramental reading of Jn 6, Roman Catholics suddenly do a sideways waffle and introduce various buffers to distance themselves from a truly literal interpretation of the passage.

CathApol said...

TF writes: You've correctly identified the problem - the inability to distinguish Christ and the Roman church in the Roman religion. Not everyone in that religion falls into that trap, but it is easy to do.

Problem? I merely identified that Bp. Olmsted affirms that his identity is in Jesus Christ and that the Church truly is His Body. He is faithful to Jesus Christ AND His Church - and you can't have one without the other. I have to agree with him 100% on that, and not just because he's my bishop - but because it is true, a necessary truth.

Scott<<<
CathApol

Canadian said...

steve,
You missunderstand. I said TF was trying to allow for an incorrect sacrament of body and blood as if it was not the divine body and blood of the one Divine Christ who is eternally united to his divinized humanity. You can't crudely think of it as an abstract instance of his human nature alone. Smacks of Nestorianism. The hypostatic union causes the humanity to take properties not natural to it, like shining as the sun at the Transfiguration or dissappearing from sight, or knowing thoughts. John 6, written around 40 years after the eucharist began to be celebrated was clearly recognized by the readers as a reference to the flesh and blood of Christ in the sacrament. This was not recognized by the original hearers when John 6 took place.

CathApol said...

I would add, it is important to SEE Christ in His Church. The problem, as I see it, is that many try too hard to separate Christ from His Body.

Scott<<<
CathApol

Canadian said...

Steve,
This is why the 3rd Ecumenical Council said:

"And not as common flesh do we receive it; God forbid: nor as of a man sanctified and associated with the Word according to the unity of worth, or as having a divine indwelling, but as truly the life-giving and very flesh of the Word himself. For he is the life according to his nature as God, and when he became united to his flesh, he made it also to be life-giving" (Session 1, Letter of Cyril to Nestorius 3rd Ecumenical Council)

Turretinfan said...

Canadian:

a) Letters to a council are not the decrees of the council.

b) That quotation is already addressed as #6 above.

Cathapol:

Thanks for your additional comments.

- TurretinFan

steve said...

Canadian said...

"You missunderstand. I said TF was trying to allow for an incorrect sacrament of body and blood as if it was not the divine body and blood of the one Divine Christ who is eternally united to his divinized humanity. You can't crudely think of it as an abstract instance of his human nature alone."

You keep using that phrase "abstract instance." That's nonsensical. By definition, an "instance" is a concrete exemplification of an abstract property. There's no such thing as an "abstract instance." That's a contradiction in terms. An "instance" is inherently concrete.

"Smacks of Nestorianism. The hypostatic union causes the humanity to take properties not natural to it, like shining as the sun at the Transfiguration or dissappearing from sight, or knowing thoughts."

i) There are different ways of parsing the hypostatic union. Calvinism, Roman Catholicism, Eastern Orthodoxy, and Lutheranism all have different models.

ii) None of the phenomena you cite are distinctive to the Incarnation. These can be paralleled elsewhere in Scripture.

" John 6, written around 40 years after the eucharist began to be celebrated was clearly recognized by the readers as a reference to the flesh and blood of Christ in the sacrament."

How do you know what they knew?

"This was not recognized by the original hearers when John 6 took place."

Actually, it's incumbent on readers of the Gospel to put themselves in the situation of the characters in the narrative, and hear what Jesus said from the historical horizon of the Jewish audience to whom Jesus spoke "40+ years" earlier.

"This is why the 3rd Ecumenical Council said..."

Whatever the independent merits of that statement, it's irrelevant to the interpretation of Jn 6.

Canadian said...

TF,
"a) Letters to a council are not the decrees of the council."

Surely you know that Cyril's letters were to Nestorius and they were read and made part of the official Council documents and proceedings.

TF:
"b) That quotation is already addressed as #6 above."

Yes, addressed with a wave of the metaphorical hand. I already responded to your misplaced confusion about metaphor in Cyril and the Council's use of "unbloodied" and language of the life-giving, divine flesh and blood received not as common flesh etc.

Here's your hermeneutic of personal interpretation of the sources again, without submission to the interpretive authority of the church.

Turretinfan said...

Canadian:

"Surely you know that Cyril's letters were to Nestorius and they were read and made part of the official Council documents and proceedings."

I hope you don't think that justifies your statement: "This is why the 3rd Ecumenical Council said:" when in fact it what was said to the council. Maybe the better tack would be to simply say "This is why Cyril said" if that's what you meant. It's not what the council said, which is why I objected.

"Yes, addressed with a wave of the metaphorical hand."

That's an inaccurate description of my response.

"I already responded to your misplaced confusion about metaphor in Cyril and the Council's use of "unbloodied" and language of the life-giving, divine flesh and blood received not as common flesh etc."

You may have responded, but your response has been answered. Simply assertion confusion and attributing Cyril's words to the Council (are you confused about whose words they are?) aren't a legitimate rebuttal.

"Here's your hermeneutic of personal interpretation of the sources again, without submission to the interpretive authority of the church."

a) Rome (nor any other church) has not given an authoritative interpretation of that particular writing.

b) Everyone interprets what they read. That's not itself a "hermeneutic."

c) Simply reading Rome's doctrine into the fathers is a hermeneutic of bias and prejudice. That's not a legitimate way to make an historical investigation.

d) The same, incidentally, applies to the Scriptures. Pouring Rome's doctrines (or any other church's doctrines) into them is the error of heretics, not the faith of the orthodox.

-TurretinFan

Canadian said...

Steve,
Abstract: vague, theoretical, impersonal.
Instance: an occasion, occurance, case.

How are these terms not appropriate for confronting the theoretical occasion of human body and blood (crude idea of the components thereof) which is not the common body and blood of a man alone?
Rather, it is the divine body and blood of our Lord Jesus Christ.


How do you know what they knew?

Because John 6 is always described with sacramental implications for centuries, from the beginning.

"Actually, it's incumbent on readers of the Gospel to put themselves in the situation of the characters in the narrative, and hear what Jesus said from the historical horizon of the Jewish audience to whom Jesus spoke "40+ years" earlier."

Ok. So how does that negate that Jesus was meaning what he said about his body and blood in Jn.6?
And if you are implying that the later readers did interpret it sacramentally but would not have if they would have just used the grammatial-historical method, then I disagree.
Either way, history reveals the sacramental interpretation of John 6. A little farther in Cyril's letter to Nestorius from the 3rd Ec. Council I quoted before, he refers to John 6 in sacramental terms. Sorry, but the church has correlated them from the beginning.
But like a good protestant you are free to examine the sources for yourself and go with what you think they mean without deferrence to any pillar and ground of the truth. Hey, you are even free to choose your pillar and ground of the truth, too.

Ryan said...

"But like a good protestant you are free to examine the sources for yourself and go with what you think they mean without deferrence to any pillar and ground of the truth. Hey, you are even free to choose your pillar and ground of the truth, too"


Whether or not you intended it, this particular aspect of your post is rich with irony. If you so "choose" (I am under the impression you are "considering" the RCC as a viable option from a previous post, making the irony of the situation all the more palpable) the RCC as your pillar and ground of truth, would you not have made this choice based upon your own determination that the RCC is the actual embodiment of the "pillar and ground of truth" as opposed to say Eastern Orthodox or the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints?

Ryan said...

"Ok. So how does that negate that Jesus was meaning what he said about his body and blood in Jn.6?
And if you are implying that the later readers did interpret it sacramentally but would not have if they would have just used the grammatial-historical method, then I disagree.
Either way, history reveals the sacramental interpretation of John 6. A little farther in Cyril's letter to Nestorius from the 3rd Ec. Council I quoted before, he refers to John 6 in sacramental terms. Sorry, but the church has correlated them from the beginning."

Perhaps you might wish to clarify what you mean when employing the term "sacramentally". It is not as though Protestant churches are without the term sacrament. Are you referring specifically to the concept of the Sacrament of Eucharist in RC theology? Or are you referring to the general concept of sacrament as a means/visible form of grace? If the former, than you are begging the question and avoiding precisely what TF is asking for, proof that it was understood in the same fashion as RC theology. If the latter, you have simply furnished a definition that a Protestant would agree to, but have not established any proof that the early fathers viewed/practiced that means of grace in the same fashion as that of the RCC

Canadian said...

Ryan,
Your objection to the fact the someone must "choose" to be Catholic is dealt with by others more competent than myself here:

http://www.calledtocommunion.com/2010/05/the-tu-quoque/

Turretinfan said...

Ryan's not objecting to that fact, he's pointing out that fact.

As for the CTC article, it contains more fallacies than one can shake a stick at. It's certainly long - but it's not strong.

It's fundamental flaw is its failure to recognize the concept of subordinate authority - but there are many others.

Turretinfan said...

"Ok. So how does that negate that Jesus was meaning what he said about his body and blood in Jn.6? "

You mean this?

Johm 6:55 For my flesh is meat indeed, and my blood is drink indeed.

Where Jesus claims that his body is actually meat and drink under the accidents of flesh and blood?

And it says "indeed"! So it means he really really meant it.

No? That's not what you meant? You recognize he's being metaphorical there? Oh, how silly of me.

I don't see how citing John 6 for transubstantiation isn't the most idiotic prooftexting possible, since it says exactly the opposite of "this is my body."

And, of course, we all know that when Jesus says it that way (without the emphatic "indeed") he means to suggest transubstantiation (insert a large amount of obviously sarcastic body language here, so no one thinks I'm serious).

Sometimes I really wonder about the intelligence of Rome's advocates (both those who have already joined up, and those who are in RCIA).

Just think about it:

If "This is my body" means "bread is body" means "bread is transubstantiated into body"

Then "my flesh is meat indeed" must mean exactly the opposite, if someone is going to seriously say that Jesus wants us to take his metaphors transubstantially.

There is, of course, an easier solution. Jesus meant that the bread stands for and represents his body, and that the cup stands for and represents his blood. That's what he meant by those expressions.

Is there a real spiritual presence? Well, that's another discussion - and an interesting one. It is not, however, resolved by brainless appeals to conflicting metaphors.

-TurretinFan

steve said...

Canadian said...

"Abstract: vague, theoretical, impersonal.
Instance: an occasion, occurance, case."

By definition, an "occasion" or "occurrence" is actual, not "theoretical."

"How are these terms not appropriate for confronting the theoretical occasion of human body and blood (crude idea of the components thereof) which is not the common body and blood of a man alone?"

Jesus didn't have a theoretical "human body and blood." He had a real "human body and blood."

If that's too "crude" for you, then you're a closet gnostic. Like the apostle's heretical opponents in 1 John.

"Because John 6 is always described with sacramental implications for centuries, from the beginning."

You haven't presented any evidence "from the beginning" that the original recipients of the Fourth Gospel construed Jn 6 sacramentally. Rather, you're substituting anachronistic evidence.

"Ok. So how does that negate that Jesus was meaning what he said about his body and blood in Jn.6?"

Of course, that's a loaded question since the issue is not *negating* what he meant, but *ascertaining* what he meant. Even you admit that a sacramental understanding would be inaccessible to the original Jewish audience.

"And if you are implying that the later readers did interpret it sacramentally but would not have if they would have just used the grammatial-historical method, then I disagree."

You're disagreement doesn't constitute a reasoned argument.

"Either way, history reveals the sacramental interpretation of John 6."

History reveals many falsehoods. Thanks for the reminder.

"A little farther in Cyril's letter to Nestorius from the 3rd Ec. Council I quoted before, he refers to John 6 in sacramental terms. Sorry, but the church has correlated them from the beginning."

Cyril's later fails to document how "the church" correlated them "from the beginning." A 5C bishop is hardly a spokesman "from the beginning."

Are you really so blind that you fail to see such rudimentary distinctions?

Cyril's letter could hardly be a reference point for either the original Jewish audience to whom Jesus addressed the Bread of Life Discourse or the original Christian audience to whom John addressed his Gospel.

The proper reference frame for Jn 6 is Johannine Christology, not Cyrillian Christology.

"But like a good protestant you are free to examine the sources for yourself and go with what you think they mean without deferrence to any pillar and ground of the truth."

In context, that would be the mid-1C church of Ephesus. Do you defer to the mid-1C church of Ephesus?

"Hey, you are even free to choose your pillar and ground of the truth, too."

You mean, like that way you yourself are free to choose your "pillar and ground of truth," depending on whether you pick the Roman Catholic denomination, an Eastern Orthodox denomination, or something along those lines?

Canadian said...

Steve,
"Jesus didn't have a theoretical "human body and blood." He had a real "human body and blood."

Obviously. But I was addressing TF's earlier inferences that the sacramental body and blood are some
abstract/impersonal/theoretical body and blood alone, as he desired me to show where anybody said Christ's divinity was there too. It is not common human flesh and blood but, as Cyril says, BECAUSE OF THE UNION of natures in Christ as a divine person, the flesh becomes life-giving as it has not only natural (crude if alone in eucharist) but supernatural properties.

Turretinfan said...

"Obviously. But I was addressing TF's earlier inferences that the sacramental body and blood are some
abstract/impersonal/theoretical body and blood alone, as he desired me to show where anybody said Christ's divinity was there too."

a) Those are your inferences, not mine.

b) It was very easy for Trent to say it, why is it so hard to find it in the fathers? I'll tell you why: because that wasn't their view.

You wrote: "It is not common human flesh and blood but, as Cyril says, BECAUSE OF THE UNION of natures in Christ as a divine person, the flesh becomes life-giving as it has not only natural (crude if alone in eucharist) but supernatural properties."

a) The Cyril/Nestorius controversy was not over the Eucharist, it was over the type of union that existed between the human nature and the divine nature.

b) Cyril's appeal to the Eucharist is an appeal to the metaphor to demonstrate the reality. Why would we eat something that represented simply ordinary flesh?

c) But - even suppose that it did mean (as you clearly wish that it does) that in the Eucharist the bread becomes the body and divinity. What about the blood and spirit? Where does Cyril say that the bread of the Eucharist becomes those things?

- TurretinFan

Canadian said...

TF: "The Cyril/Nestorius controversy was not over the Eucharist, it was over the type of union that existed between the human nature and the divine nature."
The Christological controversy revealed implications of other church practices. This is why the Eucharist and Mary as Mother of God were directly discussed and related.

TF:"Where does Cyril say that the bread of the Eucharist becomes those things?"

"And not as common flesh do we receive it; God forbid: nor as of a man sanctified and associated with the Word according to the unity of worth, or as having a divine indwelling, but as truly the life-giving and very flesh of the Word himself. For he is the life according to his nature as God, and when he became united to his flesh, he made it also to be life-giving" (Session 1, Letter of Cyril to Nestorius 3rd Ecumenical Council)

"Christ said indicating (the bread and wine): 'This is My Body,' and "This is My Blood," in order that you might not judge what you see to be a mere figure. The offerings, by the hidden power of God Almighty, are changed into Christ's Body and Blood, and by receiving these we come to share in the life-giving and sanctifying efficacy of Christ."
St. Cyril of Alexandria, Commentary on the Gospel of Matthew

"We have been instructed in these matters and filled with an unshakable faith, that that which seems to be bread, is not bread, though it tastes like it, but the Body of Christ, and that which seems to be wine, is not wine, though it too tastes as such, but the Blood of Christ … draw inner strength by receiving this bread as spiritual food and your soul will rejoice." St. Cyril of Alexandria, "Catecheses,"

Turretinfan said...

Canadian:

You wrote: "The Christological controversy revealed implications of other church practices. This is why the Eucharist and Mary as Mother of God were directly discussed and related."

Your first sentence is correct, but not helpful to you. Your second sentence, as best understood, is partly correct. Calling Mary "God-bearer" became a watchword of those in Cyril's camp - although it did not have an especially ancient lineage (try to find an example prior to Athanasius, for example).

Neither of these, of course, change the facts that I pointed out, namely that there was an appeal to the metaphor to explain the reality. It wasn't Cyril's only such appeal. He described the union of Christ's natures as being similar to the union in every man between body and soul, for example.

-TurretinFan

Turretinfan said...

As for your new quotations, it would be courteous of you to adhere to the numbering convention I've requested.

Your first quotation is already numbered and addressed above as #6.

14) "Christ said indicating (the bread and wine): 'This is My Body,' and "This is My Blood," in order that you might not judge what you see to be a mere figure. The offerings, by the hidden power of God Almighty, are changed into Christ's Body and Blood, and by receiving these we come to share in the life-giving and sanctifying efficacy of Christ."
St. Cyril of Alexandria, Commentary on the Gospel of Matthew

15) "We have been instructed in these matters and filled with an unshakable faith, that that which seems to be bread, is not bread, though it tastes like it, but the Body of Christ, and that which seems to be wine, is not wine, though it too tastes as such, but the Blood of Christ … draw inner strength by receiving this bread as spiritual food and your soul will rejoice." St. Cyril of Alexandria, "Catecheses,"

Turretinfan said...

As to (14), this "not mere figure" language means that the author didn't view them as mere figures. It doesn't mean he thought that the bread became the body, blood, soul, and divinity of Christ.

As to (15), "spiritual food" makes it sound like the author means for the reader to understand that Christ's presence is spiritual as distinct from carnal.

As for the "not bread," it seems (based on the very limited context provided) that what is being discussed is what the eyes of faith see, as opposed to the physical reality. But without considering the larger context, let's assume (for the sake of the argument) that Cyril means both that there is a spiritual presence (of some kind) AND that the bread becomes the body of Christ? Where does he say that the bread becomes the blood of Christ? I don't see that.

-TurretinFan

Canadian said...

TF,
It's remarkable how you are relentless (I don't mind, it challenges me) with "show me this before Athanasius, or show me that that Council said this, this, this ,this, this AND THIS. But if I say show me numerous things in your confession from/at any certain point in history, you allow proofs to be non existant or much more vague than THIS IS NOT BREAD, THOUGH IT TASTES LIKE IT, BUT THE BODY OF CHRIST.

In my feeble way, I have tried to show that in the church's Christology all aspects of Christ's humanity (will, soul, flesh etc) relates to his divinity in hypostatic union and that therefore you have the body, blood, soul and divinity of a single undivided Person in the eucharist. Not common body and blood but the divine Christ himself.

I am back to work, so going to have to end here, I think.
Thanks for this.

Turretinfan said...

Canadian:

"It's remarkable how you are relentless (I don't mind, it challenges me) with "show me this before Athanasius, or show me that that Council said this, this, this ,this, this AND THIS."

Thanks. There are a number of claims that people hastily throw out that turn out not to be well-supported by the facts. I don't think that most people throw out those claims in bad faith - but I've carefully studied these matters, and I'm pretty well acquainted with the documentary support that is alleged.

"But if I say show me numerous things in your confession from/at any certain point in history, you allow proofs to be non existant or much more vague than THIS IS NOT BREAD, THOUGH IT TASTES LIKE IT, BUT THE BODY OF CHRIST."

You may well be right, but I don't make the same historical claims that Rome makes. I make much more reasonable (in my opinion, naturally) claims - claims that I can substantiate when asked to do so.

"In my feeble way, I have tried to show that in the church's Christology all aspects of Christ's humanity (will, soul, flesh etc) relates to his divinity in hypostatic union and that therefore you have the body, blood, soul and divinity of a single undivided Person in the eucharist."

But remember, Christ did not say "these are each my person," he said "This is my body," and of the cup (and the cup alone) "this is my blood."

Rome's view that the bread is both the body and the blood (not to mention the rest) ... well that just doesn't make sense. I understand how it came about historically, but Scripturally, rationally, and patristically, it is strange.

I understand the desire to keep Christ whole, but it is Christ himself who made the division in his own words between "body" and "blood." And the memorial is reminder of his death not (in itself) of his life. And death involves the separation of body and spirit.

So, I think your concerns are misplaced.

- TurretinFan

natamllc said...

I make fire of fodder and hay:

The great Turretin Fan, the great Turretin Fan, Magisterium of One, full of intelligence and Scriptures!

Hooray!

Act 14:11 And when the crowds saw what Paul had done, they lifted up their voices, saying in Lycaonian, "The gods have come down to us in the likeness of men!"
Act 14:12 Barnabas they called Zeus, and Paul, Hermes, because he was the chief speaker.
Act 14:13 And the priest of Zeus, whose temple was at the entrance to the city, brought oxen and garlands to the gates and wanted to offer sacrifice with the crowds.
Act 14:14 But when the apostles Barnabas and Paul heard of it, they tore their garments and rushed out into the crowd, crying out,
Act 14:15 "Men, why are you doing these things? We also are men, of like nature with you, and we bring you good news, that you should turn from these vain things to a living God, who made the heaven and the earth and the sea and all that is in them.


:)

Canadian said...

Natamllc,
I've seen you wave your pom poms before, but I think Marian devotion might be easier to stomach than what you just said.
:-)
weird!

Kinda reminds me of Monty Python's guys calling "bring out your dead" except with dancing and timbrels.
Well, I'm not dead and certainly unpersuaded by the grate...I mean great one.

Bye for now, guys.

Turretinfan said...

NatAmLLC anticipated my response with his Scriptural quotation. I appreciate the encouragement, of course, but sometimes exaggerated praise can go too far.

Thanks for your kind words, NatAmLLC.

Coram Deo said...

NatAmLLC may be a bit exuberant, but I'll gladly second his "amen chorus" in this thread - TF has utterly dominated this entire exchange from beginning to end with surgical precision.

I'm glad just to be able to read here - I learn so much.

Thanks for using your talents to the glory of God, TF. I really appreciate you, brother.

In Christ,
CD

Turretinfan said...

While I appreciate the support, I did not initially recognize that NatAmLLC was poking fun at negative comments about me posted elsewhere. That discussion doesn't really have anything to do with this post. So, I've deleted the last few comments that have been made, so as to avoid further discussion of me personally here. This blog is by me, but it is not about me.

-TurretinFan

natamllc said...

This post is by me but it is not about me!

"... This blog is by me, but it is not about me."

Yes, quite right.

The irony is how the issue seems to turn from the essential issue to the one making the essential issue essential.

Canadian, I take it then that we will have to agree to disagree?

As to my waiting for your response, when you click on the link provided above by TurrentinFan, the second one about the previous thread on Bishop Olmsted, I responded to your remarks and comments. I mis-spelled your name so that may be why you did not respond?

I wrote Candian instead of Canadian. I should have checked before pushing the publish button. It is my error. I should not have made that mistake, Canadian.

Accept my apologies.

Viisaus said...

"Mr. Heschmeyer takes the position that my objection to Roman latria worship of the bread of the Eucharist requires me to say that there were no Christians from the first century to the eleventh century."

Many Protestants have seen post-Constantinian or Medieval churches prophetically corresponding to the churches of Pergamon and Thyatira in Revelation 2-3.

Those examples are a Biblical proof that some churches can do even a lot of good while being very seriously contaminated by the syncretistic doctrines of Balaam and Jezebel (as we would claim RC and EO churches to have been).

But after the appearance of Reformers, these churches "doubled down" on their sins by sinning against the light of better knowledge - by rejecting the Reformation.

Viisaus said...

Another metaphor: by violently rejecting the Reformation, RC and EO churches behaved like the wicked husbandmen in Christ's parable (Matt 21:33-45; Mark 12:1-12; Luke 20:9-19), who beated or killed those Lord's servants who came to collect His rents - that is, reformers who came to remind the spiritual descendants of Pharisees of their false self-righteous ways.

In that parable, God had originally provided a goodly vineyard for the tenants - like God had helped the early church to triumph over Greco-Roman paganism and Arian heresy - but they later abused that legacy and began to consider the vineyard as their own personal property, becoming ecclesiolaters.

Viisaus said...

Regarding the language that church fathers used about the Eucharist; J.N. Darby illustrated how they for all their rhetorical bombast did not really mean to support an idea like the medieval doctrine of transubstantiation.

Darby does not shrink from the challenge, but here tackles Cyril of Jerusalem, who is often used as one of strongest patristic prooftexts by RCs:

http://www.stempublishing.com/authors/darby/DOCTRINE/31001E_b.html

"43 Cyril of Jerusalem uses language as strong in appearance as may be, but not that the substance is changed, but that faith sees the body there, and he really uses language which shews he never thought of such a change. Thus in the very place where he uses the strongest language, he says (Cat. 22, Myst. 4), "Do not regard (proseche) the bread and the wine as merely such (psilois), for they are the body and blood of Christ according to the Lord's declaration." They were still bread and wine, but to be received as the body and blood of Christ by faith, and citing Psalm 23 (22), interpreting it as a mystical table, apprehended by the understanding (noeten). I quote this the rather because it shews how the passages which speak of Christ's flesh and blood do not contemplate any change of the substance; faith receives it; it is noeta, received by the mind. As bread suits the body, so the word the soul. So in 3, "For in the figure (tupo) of bread, His body is given to you, and in the figure of wine, His blood." They are the tupoi, figures, of the body and blood.

...

So that far as Cyril went in the system of superstition, it is (I think) plain he did not believe in any real change of substance. The strongest term he uses is metabebletai, cap. 23, Myst. 5, 7; the Holy Spirit sanctifies and changes all it touches, but it is clear that this cannot be said of everything. W as Christ changed, transubstantiated, when the Holy Ghost came upon Him? or the hundred and twenty on the day of Pentecost? A change took place, but there was no transubstantiation, and this is so clearly the case that he uses the same language in Cat. 21, Myst. 3, as to the anointing: it is not mere (psilon) oil, but efficient for communicating the Spirit, comparing it in terms with the Eucharist. "For as the bread of the Eucharist after the invocation of the Holy Ghost is not mere bread, but the body of Christ, so this holy ointment is no longer mere [ointment] but the charisma of Christ made effectual by the presence of His divinity, and is symbolically applied to thy forehead and other senses. And while the body is anointed with visible ointment, the soul is sanctified with the holy and vivifying Spirit." (Compare 23, 7, and the language of 22, Myst. 4, 6.) He calls it tupon of bread (Cat. 13). If you desire to see the uncertainty and absurdity of the Father's interpretation, read this Cat. 13, 21. The idea of transubstantiation was foreign to Cyril; but what his language shews is that, with these Fathers, those who use the strongest do not mean transubstantiation thereby as now held at Rome."

Viisaus said...

When Paschasius Radbertus introduced the first (not yet complete) form of transubstantiation-theory in the 9th century, it was such a novelty that many important prelates of the Frankish empire opposed it in writing - most important rebuttal coming from one Ratramnus:

http://homepage.mac.com/shanerosenthal/reformationink/srratramnus.htm

"Paschasius Radbertus wrote his little tract "De Corpore et Sanguine Domini" for a friend in 831, and later revised it and sent it as a gift to Charles the Bald in 844. Ratramnus, on the other hand, wrote his tract of the same title on behest of King Charles personally­­ probably somewhere between 845-850.
...

While I am not inclined to agree with Schaff's assessment that Radbertus was a bona fide transubstantiationist, I do think that he was very close to the position. He taught that the elements of bread and wine were ontologically "changed" into a new substance at the words of consecration. This change was not conceived along the same metaphysical lines as the traditional transubstantiation position was constructed, but the fact that some of the basic elements are there is self evident.

Ratramnus on the other hand advocates a clear Augustinian distinction between the sign and the thing signified. The bread and wine physically remain what they are, but after the prayer of consecration they can be called something else by virtue Christ's spiritual presence. This bears a close resemblance to Calvin's understanding of the Lord's Supper as an example of sacramental metonomy."

Viisaus said...

Darby explains a simple but startling historical fact: it was not until 1215 that an ecumenical Lateran council officially declared transubstantiation as binding "de fide" doctrine for all Romish believers!

http://www.stempublishing.com/authors/darby/DOCTRINE/31001E_b.html

"I quote a summary (from Gieseler, 3rd Div. chap. 5, sec. 77) by Algenis of the current opinions about 1130. "Some think the bread and wine are not changed, but that it is only a sacrament, as the water of baptism and oil of the chrism; they say that it is called the body of Christ not truly but figuratively. Others say that the bread is not only a sacrament but that Christ is, as it were, embodied in the bread [impanatum] as God was personally incarnate in flesh. Others that the bread and wine are changed into flesh and blood, but not that of Christ, but of some son of man holy and accepted of God, that what Christ said may be fulfilled, 'unless ye eat the flesh of [a] Son of man [carnem filii hominis] ye will not have life in you.' Others, that evil in the consecrator annulled the invocation of the divine name. Others, that it was really changed; but by evil in recipients it returned into a mere sacrament."

Now it is perfectly impossible a person, presbyter and afterwards monk, could write in this way if it had been a fixed dogma of the church. I have already referred to Bernard in the middle of the twelfth century (Sermo I, in Coena Dom. 2). Indeed the mystics generally took the spiritual as contrasted with the material side. Finally in the fourth Council of Lateran under Innocent III in 1215, it was decided to be the faith of the church.

69 Other circumstances confirm this. It was then the giving the communion to children began to be set aside, it continued locally for two or three centuries; the cup began to be withheld from the laity, although by many such a practice was entirely condemned. Gratian (De ret p. 3, Dist. 2, 5, 12) quoting Pope Gelasius that they should take it in both species or not at all. And this was general, but the withdrawal of the cup began now. Alexander Hales (whose works I have not) discusses it at large. In two centuries the cup was universally refused to the laity."

natamllc said...

Viisaus,

interesting read.

Would you exegete or opine this verse?

It takes a step back a bit so a broader sense can be made:

Luk 22:17 And he took a cup, and when he had given thanks he said, "Take this, and divide it among yourselves.

Turretinfan said...

Viisaus,

Perhaps you would agree that what we see - in terms of the history of Transubstantiation - is this:

1. No documentable belief in the patristic era;

2. Partial belief in the mid- to late-medieval period.

3. Promulgation (Definition may be too strong a term) in the 13th century, but with numerous bodies of professing Christians outside this both in the East and the Waldensians in the West.

4. Refutation of transubstantiation by Wycliffe and the Lollards beginning in the 14th century.

5. And - of course - as the Reformation blossomed, widespread rejection of Transubstantiation in the West among the Reformed churches, with Trent feeling compelled to define (again?) the dogma.

6. Subsequently no significant "Protestant" body has adopted transubstantiation, despite a complete absence of central control of "Protestant" denominations.

If that's a fair history, and the evidence certainly points that way, it's a pretty weak doctrine.

It's plainly not Scriptural, not Patristic, and really the only reason to adopt it is if you decide to submit to Rome's grandiose claims of authority. It's a true example of sola ecclesia.

-TurretinFan

Viisaus said...

"Would you exegete or opine this verse?"

My opinion would be that that verse (and its synoptic equivalents) provides one of the most blatant examples of just how brazenly Rome can oppose the clear teaching of the Holy Scriptures as well as church history when it feels like doing so. It is a great "warning from history" for Protestants.

Both the Bible AND traditions of the first millennium of church history were overwhelmingly for all believers taking both forms of the Eucharist. It was through NO other authority but dictatorial "because-we-say-so" Sola Ecclesia arrogance that the council of Constance in 1415 took away the cup from laymen.

This particular outrage has been somewhat modified since Vatican II, which allowed again cup to be enjoyed by the laymen. But we should never forget nor forgive (spiritually speaking) the way Rome for more than four centuries imperiously took away the cup from a vast majority of its followers, and even bloodily persecuted people who opposed this move, like the Hussites.

Viisaus said...

"It's plainly not Scriptural, not Patristic, and really the only reason to adopt it is if you decide to submit to Rome's grandiose claims of authority. It's a true example of sola ecclesia."

What even more, transubstantiation is a prime example of Roman syncretism - how RC dogma has been influenced by philosophy of the world (Colossians 2:8).

http://www.stempublishing.com/authors/darby/DOCTRINE/31001E_a.html

"The doctrine of transubstantiation is simply the fruit of the scholastic use of Aristotle in the middle ages. It depends, on the face of it, on the difference of substance and accidents. The substance of bread is changed into the substance of the Lord's body, the accidents of bread remain. Without this theory, the idea could not exist. But this theory of a particular substance and accidents was a mere metaphysical theory, without any real foundation. We have got nowadays to molecules and atoms infinitely minute, which may be called perhaps substance or essential matter; but all this Aristotelian theory of an imaginary substance and accidents in material objects, is a mere groundless fancy. We see different qualities which awaken sensations in us; colour, form, hardness, etc., and the mind recognises there is something there. Of this conviction, which in relation to us creatures I do not dispute, Aristotle and the schoolmen, who were as a rule wholly under his influence, made a distinct but imaginary substratum in which the various qualities were inherent. There was the substance of bread, etc. But this was a mere philosophical notion, a mere theory of the heathen Aristotelian school, adopted by the schoolmen, and has no other foundation whatever. But the whole doctrine of transubstantiation, and even the word, depends on it, cannot exist without it, is the mere expression of it, only bringing in a miracle on the ground of it, as to the Lord's supper.

14 D. But do you mean to say that the Holy Catholic church, in its most solemn and essential rite, founds its doctrine on a piece of heathen metaphysics? It is a dreadful and irreverent thought.

N*. Most irreverent is the fact that they have done so, in itself, and it shews the wretched state into which the professing church had fallen. But I affirm it distinctly, and, what is more important, the Roman church affirms it. In the catechism of the Council of Trent, De Eucharistiae Sacramento, I read Section 26:*

"There are these three things most deserving of admiration and veneration, which the Catholic faith unhesitatingly believes, and confesses to be accomplished in this sacrament by the words of consecration; the first, that the real body of Christ, the same that was born of the Virgin, and sits at the right hand of the Father in heaven, is contained in this sacrament; the second, that, however remote from and alien to the senses it may seem, no substance of the elements remains in the sacrament; the third, an easy consequence of the two preceding, although the words of consecration express it principally, that the accidents, which present themselves to the eyes or other senses exist in a wonderful and ineffable manner without a subject (sine ulla re subjecta esse). All the accidents of bread and wine we indeed may see: they inhere however in no substance, but exist by themselves; whereas the substance of the bread and wine is so changed into the body and blood of our Lord, that the substance of bread altogether ceases to exist.""

Turretinfan said...

Anonmyous: Monothelitism and the debate over monothelitism are off topic with respect to this post.

Truth Unites... and Divides said...

These sidepaths are interesting and all, but here's something about Bishop Olmstead and the Phoenix hospital that's quite interesting:

Catholic Hospitals vs. the Bishops

Excerpts:

"In explaining his decision, Rev. Thomas Olmsted, bishop of the Phoenix Diocese, was the first to explicitly point to the role played by Catholic theologians in providing theological cover for "a litany of practices in direct conflict with Catholic teachings.""

(Are these Catholic theologians applying private fallible judgment about Catholic Church teachings?)

and

"Many theologians, like Prof. Nicholas Healy of St. John's University in New York, write that theologians comprise "an alternative magisterium" to the teaching authority of the bishops."

An alternative magisterium.

An alternative magisterium?

An alternative magisterium!

How about a private magisterium of one? How about Catholics who are their own popes? Who woulda thunk it?