Skip to comments.Transubstantiation: From Stumbling Block to Cornerstone
Posted on 01/21/2011 12:26:40 PM PST by marshmallow
The Catholic doctrine of the Eucharist is a real stumbling block to some Protestants who are seriously considering Catholicism. It was for me too, until I explored the subject, historically and scripturally. What follows is a summary of my deliberations.
Catholicism holds that bread and wine literally become the body and blood of Christ when they are consecrated by the priest celebrating the Mass. Oftentimes non-Catholics get hung up on the term transubstantiation, the name for the philosophical theory that the Church maintains best accounts for the change at consecration. The Churchs explanation of transubstantiation was influenced by Aristotles distinction between substance and accident.
Aristotle (384-322 B.C.), like most philosophers of his time, wanted to account for how things change and yet remain the same. So, for example, a substance like an oak tree remains the same while undergoing accidental changes. It begins as an acorn and eventually develops roots, a trunk, branches, and leaves. During all these changes, the oak tree remains identical to itself. Its leaves change from green to red and brown, and eventually fall off. But these accidental changes occur while the substance of the tree remains.
On the other hand, if we chopped down the tree and turned into a desk, that would be a substantial change, since the tree would literally cease to be and its parts would be turned into something else, a desk. According to the Church, when the bread and wine become the body and blood of Christ, the accidents of the bread and wine do not change, but the substance of each changes. So, it looks, tastes, feels, and smells like bread and wine, but it literally has been changed into the body and blood of Christ. Thats transubstantiation.
There are several reasons why it would be a mistake to dismiss transubstantiation simply because of the influence of Aristotle on its formulation. First, Eastern Churches in communion with the Catholic Church rarely employ this Aristotelian language, and yet the Church considers their celebration of the Eucharist perfectly valid. Second, the Catholic Church maintains that the divine liturgies celebrated in the Eastern Churches not in communion with Rome (commonly called Eastern Orthodoxy) are perfectly valid as well, even though the Eastern Orthodox rarely employ the term transubstantiation. Third, the belief that the bread and wine are literally transformed into Christs body and blood predates Aristotles influence on the Churchs theology by over 1000 years. For it was not until the thirteenth century, and the ascendancy of St. Thomas Aquinas thought, that Aristotles categories were employed by the Church in its account of the Eucharist. In fact, when the Fourth Lateran Council (1215) employed the language of substantial change, St. Thomas had not even been born!
It was that third point that I found so compelling and convinced me that the Catholic view of the Eucharist was correct. It did not take long for me to see that Eucharistic realism (as I like to call it) had been uncontroversially embraced deep in Christian history. This is why Protestant historian, J. N. D. Kelly, writes: Eucharistic teaching, it should be understood at the outset, was in general unquestioningly realist, i.e., the consecrated bread and wine were taken to be, and were treated and designated as, the Saviors body and blood. I found it in many of the works of the Early Church Fathers, including St. Ignatius of Antioch (A.D. 110), St. Justin Martyr (A.D. 151), St. Cyprian of Carthage, (A. D. 251), First Council of Nicaea (A. D. 325), St. Cyril of Jerusalem (A. D. 350), and St. Augustine of Hippo (A. D. 411) . These are, of course, not the only Early Church writings that address the nature of the Eucharist. But they are representative.
This should, however, not surprise us, given what the Bible says about the Lords Supper. When Jesus celebrated the Last Supper with his disciples (Mt. 26:17-30; Mk. 14:12-25; Lk. 22:7-23), which we commemorate at Holy Communion, he referred to it as a Passover meal. He called the bread and wine his body and blood. In several places, Jesus is called the Lamb of God (John 1: 29, 36; I Peter 1:19; Rev. 5:12). Remember, when the lamb is killed for Passover, the meal participants ingest the lamb. Consequently, St. Pauls severe warnings about partaking in Holy Communion unworthily only make sense in light of Eucharistic realism (I Cor. 10:14-22; I Cor. 11:17-34). He writes: The cup of blessing which we bless, is it not a participation in the blood of Christ? The bread which we break, is it not a participation in the body of Christ? . . . Whoever, therefore eats and drinks the cup of the Lord in an unworthy manner will be guilty of profaning the body and blood of the Lord. (I Cor. 10:16; 11:27)
In light of all these passages and the fact that Jesus called himself the bread of life (John 6:41-51) and that he said that his followers must eat the flesh of the Son of man and drink his blood (John 6:53), the Eucharistic realism of the Early Church, the Eastern Churches (both in and out of communion with Rome), and the pre-Reformation medieval Church (fifth to sixteenth centuries) seems almost unremarkable. So, what first appeared to be a stumbling block was transformed into a cornerstone.
Francis J. Beckwith is Professor of Philosophy and Church-State Studies at Baylor University. He tells the story of his journey from Catholicism to Protestantism and back again in his book, Return to Rome: Confessions of An Evangelical Catholic. He blogs at Return to Rome.
i am only required to love and forgive. God bless you.
Augustine was just a man. He was correct on some points and not on others, according to how faithful he was to the word of God.
But Roman Catholics tend to look to the young, early Augustine and ignore the fact that Augustine’s faith matured, leaving behind many of the trappings of what would later consume the church in Rome.
They also ignore the fact Augustine was thoroughly a predestinarian who believed God elected for His own good reasons and not according to men’s good works.
Augustine was a Christian. He wasn’t a Roman Catholic.
We agree, St Augustine was just a man. By his own words, he was a Catholic ( not sure where you get this “Roman Catholic” from ) Here is the funny part, you call this man who believed in baptismal regeneration, the Real Presence in the Eucharist, The Sacrifice of the Mass, the expanded OT canon, apostolic succession, the papacy, confession, purgatory, prayers to saints, prayers for the dead, infant baptism, one, holy, Catholic, apostolic Church, perpetual virginity of Mary a “Christian” because of one word - predestination. without that, he would be a pagan idolater just like every other Catholic who believes exactly what he believed! another “isn’t it ironic, alena morrisette moment.
I deny Augustine believed in the laundry list you’ve written. Augustine’s own words deny it, particularly his later, more mature work.
Augustine was a Christian; not a “Catholic.”
Was St. Augustine a Protestant?
St. Augustine is one of the greatest of catholic saints. He is revered by Western christians both Roman Catholic and Protestant, and especially by Calvinists and Lutherans. Dr. R. C. Sproul, a leading Calvinist theologian and writer in the U.S. has written that he (Sproul) is an “Augustinian”. On a theological forum sponsored by Dr. Sproul’s ministry, a participant made the audacious statement that “Calvin and Luther did not teach anything that Augustine did not teach.” Such statements are severely misinformed. After listening to these Protestants make the “Augustinian” claim, I have come to realize that what they mean is that they accept Augustine’s ideas of absolute predestination and salvation by grace. Catholics affirm with Protestants that salvation is by God’s grace. However, in regards to predestination, the Catholic Church has not made a dogmatic statement on the matter. In his writings on predestination, St. Augustine gave his private opinions and not the catholic consensus of the church. It is noteworthy that St. Augustine is nearly alone in affirming absolute predestination. His contemporaries and those who followed him did not follow such a rigid system but allowed the freedom of the will.
In his writings outside of his speculations on predestination, St. Augustine was generally reflecting the catholic consensus of the time, and the beliefs which he held as the catholic bishop of Hippo in North Africa. Here are some of the catholic beliefs of Aurelius Augustine, catholic Bishop of Hippo:
The canon of Scripture includes the Septuagint OT canon (deuterocanonicals, Apocrypha)
Baptismal regeneration and grace
Necessity of baptism for salvation
Real presence of Christ in the Eucharist (Lord’s Supper)
The Mass is a sacrifice
Necessity of the Lord’s Supper for salvation
Purgatory and praying for the departed
The communion of saints and saintly intercession
Authority of the Catholic Church
Possibility of falling from grace
The sacrament of penance
Mary was ever virgin
After looking at these beliefs, if someone claimed to be Augustinian, I think it is rather obvious that they would not be a Calvinist or a Protestant, but Catholic. Although some Protestant denominations such as the Lutherans may accept some of these beliefs, no Protestant denomination will accept them all. Calvinists reject every single one of these beliefs of Augustine. If anyone was to preach all these beliefs in a Protestant church, he would immediately be branded an arch heretic—yet, Protestants quote Augustine and consider him a hero. A heretic is a hero? At one of his ministry conferences, Dr. Sproul made the statement that (paraphrased), “Anyone who believes in Purgatory knows nothing of the Gospel.” The implications of Dr. Sproul’s extreme statement is that St. Augustine was not even a Christian. It seems somewhat hypocritical and logically contradictory to me for people like Dr. Sproul to count Augustine as “one of their own”, yet in other places to make statements that would exclude him from even being a Christian. It is time for Calvinists to be honest and admit that they are really not Augustinian, but that they follow Calvin alone. Remember one other thing: If Calvin and Luther taught the same doctrines as Augustine, they would not have been excommunicated. St. Augustine is considered an orthodox Doctor of Theology for the Catholic Church and the patron saint of theologians whereas Luther and Calvin are not. For more information, see Dave Armstrong’s page on St. Augustine and St. Thomas Aquinas.
Augustine believed the canon of Scripture to contain the Greek OT canon also known today as the deuterocanonicals or “Apocrypha”
“The whole canon of the Scriptures, however, in which we say that consideration is to be applied, is contained in these books: the five of Moses . . . and one book of Joshua [Son of] Nave, one of Judges; one little book which is called Ruth . . . then the four of Kingdoms, and the two of Paralipomenon . . . . [T]here are also others too, of a different order . . . such as Job and Tobit and Esther and Judith and the two books of Maccabees, and the two of Esdras . . . . Then there are the Prophets, in which there is one book of the Psalms of David, and three of Solomon. . . . But as to those two books, one of which is entitled Wisdom and the other of which is entitled Ecclesiasticus and which are called `of Solomon’ because of a certain similarity to his books, it is held most certainly that they were written by Jesus Sirach. They must, however, be accounted among the prophetic books, because of the authority which is deservedly accredited to them” (Christian Instruction 2:8:13 [A.D. 397]).
Augustine Believed in Authoritative Tradition
“[T]he custom [of not rebaptizing converts] . . . may be supposed to have had its origin in Apostolic Tradition, just as there are many things which are observed by the whole Church, and therefore are fairly held to have been enjoined by the Apostles, which yet are not mentioned in their writings” (On Baptism, Against the Donatists 5:23 [A.D. 400]).
“But the admonition that he [Cyprian] gives us, ‘that we should go back to the fountain, that is, to Apostolic Tradition, and thence turn the channel of truth to our times,’ is most excellent, and should be followed without hesitation” (ibid., 5:26).
“But in regard to those observances which we carefully attend and which the whole world keeps, and which derive not from Scripture but from Tradition, we are given to understand that they are recommended and ordained to be kept, either by the Apostles themselves or by plenary [ecumenical] councils, the authority of which is quite vital in the Church” (Letter to Januarius [A.D. 400]).
Augustine believed in Baptismal Regeneration and Grace
“It is this one Spirit who makes it possible for an infant to be regenerated . . . when that infant is brought to baptism; and it is through this one Spirit that the infant so presented is reborn. For it is not written, `Unless a man be born again by the will of his parents’ or `by the faith of those presenting him or ministering to him,’ but, `Unless a man be born again of water and the Holy Spirit.’ The water, therefore, manifesting exteriorly the sacrament of grace, and the Spirit effecting interiorly the benefit of grace, both regenerate in one Christ that man who was generated in Adam” (Letters 98:2 [A.D. 412]).
“Baptism washes away all, absolutely all, our sins, whether of deed, word, or thought, whether sins original or added, whether knowingly or unknowingly contracted” (Against Two Letters of the Pelagians 3:3:5 [A.D. 420]).
Augustine Believed Baptism was Necessary for Salvation
“There are three ways in which sins are forgiven: in baptism, in prayer, and in the greater humility of penance; yet God does not forgive sins except to the baptized” (Sermons to Catechumens, on the Creed 7:15 [A.D. 395]).
“[According to] Apostolic Tradition . . . the Churches of Christ hold inherently that without baptism and participation at the table of the Lord it is impossible for any man to attain either to the kingdom of God or to salvation and life eternal. This is the witness of Scripture too” (Forgiveness and the Just Deserts of Sin, and the Baptism of Infants 1:24:34 [A.D. 412]).
However, he did allow for exceptions—what he called baptism of desire or blood(martyrdom).
“That the place of baptism is sometimes supplied by suffering is supported by a substantial argument which the same blessed Cyprian draws from the circumstance of the thief, to whom, although not baptized, it was said, `Today you shall be with me in paradise’ [Luke 23:43]. Considering this over and over again, I find that not only suffering for the name of Christ can supply for that which is lacking by way of baptism, but even faith and conversion of heart [i.e., baptism of desire] if, perhaps, because of the circumstances of the time, recourse cannot be had to the celebration of the mystery of baptism” (ibid., 4:22:29).
Augustine Believed in the Real Presence
“Christ was carried in his own hands when, referring to his own Body, he said, ‘This is my Body’ [Matt. 26:26]. For he carried that body in his hands” (Explanations of the Psalms 33:1:10 [A.D. 405]).
“I promised you [new Christians], who have now been baptized, a sermon in which I would explain the sacrament of the Lord’s Table, which you now look upon and of which you last night were made participants. You ought to know that you have received, what you are going to receive, and what you ought to receive daily. That bread which you see on the altar, having been sanctified by the word of God, is the Body of Christ. That chalice, or rather, what is in that chalice, having been sanctified by the word of God, is the Blood of Christ” (Sermons 227 [A.D. 411]).
“What you see is the bread and the chalice; that is what your own eyes report to you. But what your faith obliges you to accept is that the bread is the Body of Christ and the chalice is the Blood of Christ. This has been said very briefly, which may perhaps be sufficient for faith; yet faith does not desire instruction” (ibid., 272).
Augustine Believed the Mass to be a Sacrifice
“In the sacrament he is immolated for the people not only on every Easter Solemnity but on every day; and a man would not be lying if, when asked, he were to reply that Christ is being immolated. For if sacraments had not a likeness to those things of which they are sacraments, they would not be sacraments at all; and they generally take the names of those same things by reason of this likeness” (Letters 98:9 [A.D. 412]).
“For when he says in another book, which is called Ecclesiastes, ‘There is no good for a man except that he should eat and drink’ [Eccl. 2:24], what can he be more credibly understood to say [prophetically] than what belongs to the participation of this table which the Mediator of the New Testament himself, the priest after the order of Melchizedek, furnishes with his own body and blood? For that sacrifice has succeeded all the sacrifices of the Old Testament, which were slain as a shadow of what was to come. . . . Because, instead of all these sacrifices and oblations, his body is offered and is served up to the partakers of it” (The City of God 17:20 [A.D. 419]).
Augustine Believed in the Necessity of the Lord’s Supper for Salvation
“[According to] Apostolic Tradition . . . the Churches of Christ hold inherently that without baptism and participation at the table of the Lord it is impossible for any man to attain either to the kingdom of God or to salvation and life eternal. This is the witness of Scripture too” (Forgiveness and the Just Deserts of Sin, and the Baptism of Infants 1:24:34 [A.D. 412]).
Augustine Believed in Purgatory and Praying for the Departed
“That there should be some fire even after this life is not incredible, and it can be inquired into and either be discovered or left hidden whether some of the faithful may be saved, some more slowly and some more quickly in the greater or lesser degree in which they loved the good things that perish, through a certain purgatorial fire” (Handbook on Faith, Hope, and Charity 18:69 [A.D. 421]).
“We read in the books of the Maccabees [2 Macc. 12:43] that sacrifice was offered for the dead. But even if it were found nowhere in the Old Testament writings, the authority of the Catholic Church which is clear on this point is of no small weight, where in the prayers of the priest poured forth to the Lord God at his altar the commendation of the dead has its place” (The Care to be Had for the Dead 1:3 [A.D. 421]).
Augustine Believed In the Communion of Saints and Saintly Intercession
“A Christian people celebrates together in religious solemnity the memorials of the martyrs, both to encourage their being imitated and so that it can share in their merits and be aided by their prayers” (Against Faustus the Manichean [A.D. 400]).
“At the Lord’s table we do not commemorate martyrs in the same way that we do others who rest in peace so as to pray for them, but rather that they may pray for us that we may follow in their footsteps” (Homilies on John 84 [A.D. 416]).
“For even now miracles are wrought in the name of Christ, whether by his sacraments or by the prayers or relics of his saints . . . The miracle which was wrought at Milan when I was there. . . [and when people] had gathered to the bodies of the martyrs Protasius and Gervasius, which had long lain concealed and unknown but where now made known to the bishop Ambrose in a dream and discovered by him” (City of God 22:8 [A.D. 419]).
This last quote showed that Augustine believed there was something special about the relics of the saints. Show me a Protestant who believes that!
Augustine Believed in the Authority of the Church
“We must hold to the Christian religion and to communication in her Church, which is Catholic and which is called Catholic not only by her own members but even by all her enemies. For when heretics or the adherents of schisms talk about her, not among themselves but with strangers, willy-nilly they call her nothing else but Catholic. For they will not be understood unless they distinguish her by this name which the whole world employs in her regard” (The True Religion 7:12 [A.D. 390]).
“If you should find someone who does not yet believe in the gospel, what would you [Mani] answer him when he says, ‘I do not believe’? Indeed, I would not believe in the gospel myself if the authority of the Catholic Church did not move me to do so” (Against the Letter of Mani Called ‘The Foundation’ 5:6).
See also the section on Purgatory whence Augustine claims belief in Purgatory would be proper if even only based on the teaching of the Church. Augustine’s belief in the authority of the church shows that he did not teach sola scriptura.
Augustine Believed in Apostolic Succession
“If the very order of episcopal succession is to be considered, how much more surely, truly, and safely do we number them [the bishops of Rome] from Peter himself, to whom, as to one representing the whole Church, the Lord said, ‘Upon this rock I will build my Church, and the gates of hell shall not conquer it.’ Peter was succeeded by Linus, Linus by Clement . . . In this order of succession a Donatist bishop is not to be found” (Letters 53:1:2 [A.D. 412]).
“[T]here are many other things which most properly can keep me in [the Catholic Church’s] bosom. The unanimity of peoples and nations keeps me here. Her authority, inaugurated in miracles, nourished by hope, augmented by love, and confirmed by her age, keeps me here. The succession of priests, from the very see of the Apostle Peter, to whom the Lord, after his resurrection, gave the charge of feeding his sheep [John 21:15-17], up to the present episcopate, keeps me here. And last, the very name Catholic, which, not without reason, belongs to this Church alone, in the face of so many heretics, so much so that, although all heretics want to be called ‘Catholic,’ when a stranger inquires where the Catholic Church meets, none of the heretics would dare to point out his own basilica or house” (Against the Letter of Mani Called ‘The Foundation’ 4:5 [A.D. 397]).
Augustine Believed in the Possibility of Falling from Grace
“I assert, therefore, that the perseverance by which we persevere in Christ even to the end is the gift of God; and I call that the end by which is finished that life wherein alone there is peril of falling. Therefore it is uncertain whether any one has received this gift so long as he is still alive. For if he fall before he dies, he is, of course, said not to have persevered; and most truly is it said.” (On The Gift Of Perseverance)
Augustine Believed in the Sacrament of Penance
“When you shall have been baptized, keep to a good life in the commandments of God so that you may preserve your baptism to the very end. I do not tell you that you will live here without sin, but they are venial sins which this life is never without. Baptism was instituted for all sins. For light sins, without which we cannot live, prayer was instituted. . . . But do not commit those sins on account of which you would have to be separated from the body of Christ. Perish the thought! For those whom you see doing penance have committed crimes, either adultery or some other enormities. That is why they are doing penance. If their sins were light, daily prayer would suffice to blot them out. . . . In the Church, therefore, there are three ways in which sins are forgiven: in baptisms, in prayer, and in the greater humility of penance” (Sermon to Catechumens on the Creed 7:15, 8:16 [A.D. 395]).
“I realize what the incontinent can say: . . . that if a man, accusing his wife of adultery, kills her, this sin, since it is finished and does not perdure in him [i.e., since he does not keep committing it], if it is committed by a catechumen, is absolved in baptism, and if it is done by one who is baptized, it is healed by penance and reconciliation” (Adulterous Marriages 2:16:16 [A.D. 419]).
Augustine’s belief in penance (and the necessity of baptism and the Eucharist) puts a death knell in the opinion that he taught sola fide.
Augustine Believed Mary To Be Ever Virgin
Mary “remained a virgin in conceiving her Son, a virgin in giving birth to him, a virgin in carrying him, a virgin in nursing him at her breast, always a virgin.” (Sermon 186)
“Heretics called Antidicomarites are those who contradict the perpetual virginity of Mary and affirm that after Christ was born she was joined as one with her husband” (Heresies 56).
Augustine On Mary’s Sinlessness/Sinfulness
We must except the holy Virgin Mary, concerning whom I wish to raise no question when it touches the subject of sins, out of honour to the Lord; for from Him we know what abundance of grace for overcoming sin in every particular was conferred upon her who had the merit to conceive and bear Him who undoubtedly had no sin. (On Nature and Grace, XXXVI)
Augustine does not come out and say whether he thinks Mary is sinless. Out of “honour to the Lord” he is silent about whether Mary was sinful or sinless. Augustine shows some restraint which would be good to remember and to emulate.
the above is an article written by Joseph Willcoxson. One can “deny the laundry list” all you want, but the we have the man’s writing and he wasn’t shy about sharing his faith!! i forgot to add “sacred tradition” to the laundry list, so he did not believe in sola scriptura.
why do some protestants try so hard to make St Augustine just a “Chrstian” and not a “Catholic Christian”?
the best answer i can come up with is that they are embarrassed not being able to name one Christian from the time St John died, until Martin Luther, so they decided to make St Augustine the one acceptable Catholic, again due to one word - predestination!
“privately speculating what one believes the Scriptures are saying is no substitute for following the Church authorized by the Lord to TEACH. our duty is to learn and pass the faith onto others. whether they accept or not, we cant control.”
Where in Scripture is the Roman Catholic Church named as the church authorized to teach?
Gotta hint for you... it’s not in the Bible. It’s made up by men and called “holy” tradition. What it is actually is false doctrine; a false gospel. Blasphemy.
No matter how you cut it, it still comes out the same: falsehood.
AMEN. Too bad Rome only looks at the early, more flawed man.
Augustine wasn’t a Protestant, nor was he a Catholic.
He was an early Christian who progressed in his sanctification to finally realize that God alone elects based on NO good work of men, but according to His good pleasure alone.
I understand Roman Catholics are disgruntled by Augustine’s correct understanding of God’s predestination of all things.
But them’s the breaks.
that would be Matthew 28:16-20. The Catholic Church is the Church authorized by Matthew because it can trace its existence back to the Apostles. Matthew 28 did not happen in the 16th century. There is only One Church, founded by Jesus, and no man is authorized to start another one! there is One Lord, One Faith, One Bread, One Baptism, One Body, One Faith. The false teachers will go out from the Church, 1 John 2:18-19.
not disgruntled at all, we named him a Doctor of the Church and the Doctor of Grace, we accept all of him, not cherry pick one word. if anyone is disgruntled, its those that accuse the Church of teaching we are saved by good works, St Augustine blows that accusation right out the window!
Once upon a time, before anything was created, when God in three persons dwelt happily in and of themselves, God the Father said, Hey, Ive got a great idea. Were going to create a universe by and through you, God the Son, and I am, before you create anything at all, going to determine how every single bit of it, from start to finish, from the beginning to the end, from the least quark to the biggest bang, is going to go."
"We will create an entire human race from an original male and female whom I will cause to be tempted and sin and, because of that, subject the rest of the human race to untold millennia of misery and suffering and death, all for my greater glory because it seemed good to me, all the while promising them a means of salvation from that misery Ive imposed on them as a result of their sin against me that I will have preordained."
"And a really cool thing is that we will tell them that if they listen to what they are told and follow it faithfully, we will hear them and answer them and heal their land but they wont know that in actuality they wont be able even to try unless we make a few of them do it and the vast majority we will keep in the bondage of sin and degradation and then hold them responsible for not doing what we created them to be unable to do."
"And the best thing of all, God the Son, is that because I will say that the sin that I will ordain and set into motion, to the very degree and extent that is my good pleasure according to the unfathomable counsel of my will, cannot be forgiven without a sacrifice and since no human will be able or capable or even willing to provide that sacrifice, because I will have made them unable, incapable, and unwilling, YOU are going to have lay aside your glory and the fellowship we enjoy to enter the human race and grow up among those who--but for the few I will have made to act to the contrary--wont listen because I will have made them unable to hear, who wont see because I will have blinded them to the truth, and who wont ask for forgiveness for something they were hopeless to avoid doing because I will have made them incapable of doing so and then have the ever loving crap beaten out of you, scourged to within an inch of your life, before being made to carry the instrument of your torture and death before jeering crowds, because I will have made them do that, to the place where others, because of my decree before the foundations of the earth according to my own good counsel, will drive spikes through your wrists and hoist you up to hang between criminalsand the best part of all, at that moment you are about to die, Ill turn my back on you!"
"But it will all be okay, right, because in three days, Ill raise you from the dead so that we can say that this proves you are who we already know you are without ever the necessity of our creating a universe or even a human race to begin with and then declare faith in that as the ostensible means by which we confer saving grace on the humans but without telling them, until John Calvin comes along, that what they think is turning to us in faith to freely receive the gift of forgiveness and salvation is every bit as programmed and inevitable as the fate of the majority of the human race on their way to burn and suffer eternally in the lake of fire for refusing to believe that which I will have made them unable to believe since before I will have ever created anything at all, and this all for my praise and glory. How does that sound?
And does God the Son say, Wait a second, youre going to create a universe with a world of conscious beings made in our image, screw them over in the most horrendous ways imaginable, hold them responsible for what youre going to compel them to do, and then, near the end of the whole shebang, make ME suffer for every sin they ever committed without their ever having had the capacity to decide otherwise and die so that those who dont even have the capacity to make anything but a faux choice will be saved? And that will make the relationship you and I and the Holy Spirit are sharing right now better how? or does he say, Hey, that sounds great and well call it the GOOD NEWS!
23 posted on Thursday, January 27, 2011 7:49:31 AM by aruanan
I thought it might be appropos on this thead. Posted by permission. I think it is a PERFECT explanation of the OPC brand of Creepy Calvinism.
Clement of Alexandria (150-220): “Christ freely brings...salvation to the whole human race.”
Eusebius (260-340): “It was needful that the Lamb of God should be offered for the other lambs whose nature He assumed, even for the whole human race.”
Athanasius (293-373): “Christ the Son of God, having assumed a body like ours, because we were all exposed to death [which takes in more than the elect], gave Himself up to death for us all as a sacrifice to His Father.”
Cyril of Jerusalem (315-386): “Do not wonder if the whole world was ransomed, for He was not a mere man, but the only-begotten Son of God.”
Gregory of Nazianzen (324-389): “The sacrifice of Christ is an imperishable expiation of the whole world.”
Basil (330-379): “But one thing was found that was equivalent to all men....the holy and precious blood of our Lord Jesus Christ, which He poured out for us all.”
Ambrose (340-407): “Christ suffered for all, rose again for all. But if anyone does not believe in Christ, he deprives himself of that general benefit.”
He also said, “Christ came for the salvation of all, and undertook the redemption of all, inasmuch as He brought a remedy by which all might escape, although there are many who...are unwilling to be healed.”
Augustine (354-430): Though Augustine is often cited as supporting limited atonement, there are also clear statements in Augustine’s writings that are supportive of unlimited atonement. For example: “The Redeemer came and gave the price, shed His blood, and bought the world. Do you ask what He bought? See what He gave, and find what He bought. The blood of Christ is the price: what is of so great worth? What, but the whole world? What, but all nations?”
He also stated, “The blood of Christ was shed for the remission of all sins.”
Cyril of Alexandria (376-444): “The death of one flesh is sufficient for the ransom of the whole human race, for it belonged to the Logos, begotten of God the Father.”
Prosper (a friend and disciple of Augustine who died in 463): “As far as relates to the magnitude and virtue of the price, and to the one cause of the human race, the blood of Christ is the redemption of the whole world: but those who pass through this life without the faith of Christ, and the sacrament of regeneration, do not partake of the redemption.”
He also said, “The Savior is most rightly said to have been crucified for the redemption of the whole world.” He then said, “Although the blood of Christ be the ransom of the whole world, yet they are excluded from its benefit, who, being delighted with their captivity, are unwilling to be redeemed by it.”
the above is from “reasoning from the scriptures minstries”
i am posting to show St Augustine rejected “limited atonement”
i didn’t see it, thanks for posting.
Aruanan, I posted your essay at 1251.
Dude, I thought you might find it interesting. Thanks for being a FRiend, BTW.
The “god” of Calvin is a demon.
I do find it interesting, Sister. Your FRiend in the Faith.
St. Justin Martyr was born a pagan but converted to Christianity after studying philosophy. He was a prolific writer and many Church scholars consider him the greatest apologist or defender of the faith from the 2nd century. He was beheaded with six of his companions some time between 163 and 167 A.D.
“This food we call the Eucharist, of which no one is allowed to partake except one who believes that the things we teach are true, and has received the washing for forgiveness of sins and for rebirth, and who lives as Christ handed down to us. For we do not receive these things as common bread or common drink; but as Jesus Christ our Savior being incarnate by God’s Word took flesh and blood for our salvation, so also we have been taught that the food consecrated by the Word of prayer which comes from him, from which our flesh and blood are nourished by transformation, is the flesh and blood of that incarnate Jesus.”
“First Apology”, Ch. 66, inter A.D. 148-155.
“God has therefore announced in advance that all the sacrifices offered in His name, which Jesus Christ offered, that is, in the Eucharist of the Bread and of the Chalice, which are offered by us Christians in every part of the world, are pleasing to Him.”
“Dialogue with Trypho”, Ch. 117, circa 130-160 A.D.
Moreover, as I said before, concerning the sacrifices which you at that time offered, God speaks through Malachias, one of the twelve, as follows: ‘I have no pleasure in you, says the Lord; and I will not accept your sacrifices from your hands; for from the rising of the sun until its setting, my name has been glorified among the gentiles; and in every place incense is offered to my name, and a clean offering: for great is my name among the gentiles, says the Lord; but you profane it.’ It is of the sacrifices offered to Him in every place by us, the gentiles, that is, of the Bread of the Eucharist and likewise of the cup of the Eucharist, that He speaks at that time; and He says that we glorify His name, while you profane it.”
-”Dialogue with Trypho”, [41: 8-10]
posted from the realprecense.org website.
of course they had altars, go to the roman catacombs. see above what Justin says about the Sacrifice being the Eucharist. Read Malachi 1:11 that he quotes and says is fulfilled by the Eucharist. No Protestant could receive the Eucharist with Justin, because according to him, they would not have been allowed because of their unbelief.
This food we call the Eucharist, of which no one is allowed to partake except one who believes that the things we teach are true, and has received the washing for forgiveness of sins and for rebirth, and who lives as Christ handed down to us
wanted you to especially note what he says about the “washing for forgiveness of sins and for rebirth”
many people who knew St John were still alive when he wrote that, puts the whole baptism is just a first act of obedience heresy in it’s proper light.
boatbums - “ no mention is made about the bread and wine being transubstantiated into the body and blood of Jesus”
For we do not receive these things as common bread or common drink; but as Jesus Christ our Savior being incarnate by Gods Word took flesh and blood for our salvation, so also we have been taught that the food consecrated by the Word of prayer which comes from him, from which our flesh and blood are nourished by transformation, is the flesh and blood of that incarnate Jesus. Justin Martyr’s response.
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