Why do so many people believe this is what Lutherans teach

I’ve heard a Lutheran or two use the term which is why I have used it before realizing it’s incorrect as applied to Lutherans, but why is this so often thought?


Just some speculation, Mary.

  1. Since the time the Calvinists accused us of this, it has had time to grow, particularly with polemicists.
  2. If one’s thinking process regarding the issue is metaphysics, ie. Transubstantiation, Sacramental Union can appear, on casual observation, to resemble the teachings of people such as Duns Scotus.
  3. Sometimes we Lutherans have done a lousy job in explaining it. Sometimes we have over-used the phrase “in, with, and under”, instead of Luther’s better phrase, “ist ist st”.


That makes good sense Jon thanks. I just wondered why it seems to be so prevalent on so many threads (don’t drop over dead Jon it just showed up on another one that Lutherans teach consubstantiation but Ben addressed it).

Was that Marburg Colloquy where Luther said ist ist ist?
Or I am remembering that wrong, it’s been awhile LOL! :slight_smile:

Perhaps I’m confused. Is literal bread, in substance not just appearce, physically and literally present after the words of consecration in Lutheran theology?

In general, Lutherans prefer not to venture an explanation of the mystery of Christ’s real presence in the Eucharist. Lutherans believe that Christ’s Body and Blood are truly [physically] present at the consecration.

Yes, but when words like “in with and under” are used during Holy Communion it seems as if an explanation is being rendered. That might be why the oft thought Lutherans are explaining things a “different way than Rome” thus Consubstantiation.


“In general” is often a bad description of Lutherans. synod to synod the variance in theology can be quite wide. Just as in politics where if Ronald Reagan was still alive, he would scarcely recognize as conservative, those today who call themselves conservatives, Martin Luther might hardly consider Lutherans of today who call themselves orthodox to hold beliefs that are even remotely similar to his.

And so, “Lutherans believe” might be far too much a generalization without the qualifier “some”.

In sacramental theology there is very little difference of opinion, if any, among Lutherans.

So the difference in open/close/closed Communion between the synods has nothing to do with the Sacramental Understanding of the Sacrament?


I think the best way to gauge what Lutherans believe can be observed in the Mass. Like Anglicans, some Lutherans use sanctus bells, incense, elevations, genuflection at the consecration. In awe, we know Christ is now fully present among us. Others are less demonstrative, but the belief in the Real Presence is universal among Lutherans.

Yes, the worthiness of the communicant is a different question. Some Lutherans literally do not allow anyone to commune unless they are in full agreement on all theological issues. The majority of Lutherans, however, welcome all Christians who are baptized and believe in the Real Presence of Christ in the Mass.

I had a LCMS pastor friend and I attended Lutheran Worship as a visitor ( I did not Commune of Course; I am Catholic) but they did say “in with and under” which is an explanation of Holy Communion in my opinion.

That lends itself then to thoughts of the understanding of Consubstantiation.

They don’t call their service Mass here.

I must yield to Jon on the issue of consubstantiation. Attempting to explain how Christ is present in the sacrament is impossible. Luther taught us that Christ “is” there in that piece of bread and cup of wine.

American Lutherans mostly refer to the sacrament as either Holy Communion or Eucharist. European Lutherans call it Mass.

He already addressed the in with and under issue in his first post. I’m sure he’ll be here
to comment :smiley:

Reminds me of “Jeopardy” We have the definition, but now it needs the word.
Example. What is it when you swim, bike and run??

Yep in with and Under is not Is like Luther stated.

At my church, the pastors never say “in,with, and under”. They always emphasize that we receive Christ’s Body in the host and His Blood in the wine. Like other Lutherans on this site it is emphasized that we do not explain the change from bread to His Body or wine to His Blood. Like others on this site, the Calvinist accuse Lutherans of consubstantiation because they believe in a spiritual presence because Christ’s Body is locked up heaven and that they spiritually ascend to heaven to have communion with Christ. Only his spiritual presence is here on earth. In their Hieldberg Catechism, question 77, it is emphasized that communion is a spiritual eating and that anyone saying that it is actual is in error.

Well…in the other thread…I tried to search for the word origin of consubstantiation…from what I could research…it was coined around 1590. I thought it was coined to describe the Lutheran belief.

Anyway…I came across this:

*Lutheran teachings reject any attempt to explain philosophically the means by which Christ is present in the Eucharist. Luther did teach that the body and blood of Christ are present “in, with, and under the forms” of bread and wine, and present-day Lutherans hold to this statement while disagreeing about its exact meaning.

Some Lutherans do use the term “consubstantiation” to refer to this belief, but the theology intended is not the same as the philosophical theory described above.

Luther illustrated his belief about the Eucharist “by the analogy of the iron put into the fire whereby both fire and iron are united in the red-hot iron and yet each continues unchanged,” 1 a concept which he called sacramental union.

So…this brings up some questions:

Luther did not believe or agree in the catholic term of transub…but he came up with his own doctrine of Sacramental union…:shrug:…I thought this is quite ironic.

And in the analogy of fire and iron…so by SU…the sense I get is the body and blood somehow unites with the bread and wine.

So how is this not trying to come up with an explanation of the Real Presence?

When Luther came up with this analogy…Luther illustrated his belief about the Eucharist “by the analogy of the iron put into the fire whereby both fire and iron are united in the red-hot iron and yet each continues unchanged,”

How is this not trying to explain the change? or trying to come up with an explanation?

In with and under is an explanation of the Real Presence. It’s Luther’s expression so I stand corrected. I have not heard a Lutheran state Martin Luther used those words but he did and so that’s why this LCMS church uses those words

It’s certainly not scriptural by any means.

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