Luther's Real Presence in History


I found this great quotation by Martin Luther on the Real Presence:

Luther, in a letter to Albert, Elector of Prussia, writes as follows :— ’ This article," says he (the real presence of Christ in the sacrament of the altar), ’ is not a doctrine or opinion invented by men, but clearly founded and laid down in the Gospel by the plain, evident, undoubted words of Christ, and, from the origin of the Christian Churches, down to the present hour, hath been unanimously believed and held throughout the whole world. This is proved by the dear Fathers, books, and writings, both in the Greek and the Latin tongues; and, moreover, by the daily use and practice of this Institution, down to the present day. This testimony of all the holy Christian Churches (had we even nothing more), should be alone sufficient to make us adhere to this article, and not to listen to, or be led by any fanatical spirit; for, it is dangerous and frightful to hear and believe anything contrary to the unanimous testimony, belief, and doctrine of all the holy Christian Churches, as from the 'beginning, and with one accord they have now taught, for upwards of fifteen hundred years, throughout the whole world. Had it been a new article, and not from the foundation of the holy Christian Churches ; or, had it not been so unanimously held by all Churches, and throughout all Christendom ; then it were not dangerous or frightful to doubt it, or to dispute whether it be true. But since it hath been believed from the very origin of the Church, and so far as Christendom extends ; whosoever doubts it, doth as much, as if he believed in no Christian Church, and not only condemns the whole Christian Church, as a damned heretic ; but condemns even Christ himself, with all the apostles and the prophets, who have laid down this article, which we utter, " I believe in one, holy Christian Church,"

Well said and beautifully argued I must concede. We know of course that Luther believed in Consubstantiation and we Transubstantiation. The point of course is that evangelical/fundamentalists types are often deluded into thinking their brand of Christianity is unalloyed Reformation Christianity citing Jude 3, 'earnestly contend for the faith which was once delivered unto the saints.'
How wrong can they be!


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