Name that Theologian


#1

Let’s play “Name that Theologian.” Vote in the poll who you think wrote the following, and post why you think so (vote before you read others responses!).

The reason these things, brothers and sisters, are called sacraments is that in them one thing is seen, another is to be understood. What can be seen has a bodily appearance, what is to be understood provides spiritual fruit. So if you want to understand the body of Christ, listen to [Paul] telling the faithful, You, though, are the body of Christ and its members (1 Cor 12:27). So if it’s you that are the body of Christ and its members, it’s the mystery meaning you that has been placed on the Lord’s table; what you receive is the mystery that means you. It is to what you are that you reply Amen, and by so replying you express your assent. What you hear, you see, is The body of Christ, and you answer, Amen. So be a member of the body of Christ, in order to make that Amen true.

So why in bread? Let’s not bring anything of our own to bear here, let’s go on listening to [Paul] himself, who said, when speaking of this sacrament, One bread, one body, we being many are (1 Cor. 10:17). Understand and rejoice. Unity, truth, piety, love. One bread; what is this one bread? The one body which we, being man, are. Remember that bread is not made from one grain, but from many. When you were being exorcised, it’s as though you were being ground. When you were baptized it’s as though you were mixed into dough. When you received the fire of the Holy Spirit, it’s as though you were baked. Be what you can see, and receive what you are.


#2

I picked Augustine because he’s big on signification and a quote commonly attributed to him (though I don’t know if it’s exactly from a source) runs something like “Receive what you are, become what you receive.”


#3

12 people have voted so far. I thought everyone was ignoring it :slight_smile:


#4

Exactly. The translation is annoyingly pseudo-colloquial (and quite clumsy), but it sounds like Augustine once you account for that.

Also, it’s obviously patristic and it’s not Justin Martyr. So the only other possibility is Chrysostom.

Edwin


#5

THis is not good because Von Balthasar regurgitated Augustine all the time. And the termnology is newer than the 5th century.

It s Hans!!!


#6

Wait Wait this is not fair I change my mind ITS LUTHER REGURGITATING AUGUSTINE.

he was an Augustinian no doubt. Its Luther.


#7

I thought about that quote and I voted for St John Chrysostom.
My comments in red below:
The reason these things, brothers and sisters **, are called sacraments is that in them one thing is seen, another is to be understood. What can be seen has a bodily appearance, what is to be understood provides spiritual fruit. So if you want to understand the body of Christ, listen to [Paul] telling the faithful, You, though, are the body of Christ and its members (1 Cor 12:27). So if it’s you that are the body of Christ and its members, it’s the mystery meaning you that has been placed on the Lord’s table; what you receive is the mystery that means you. [these last few sentences sound kind of modern] It is to what you are that you reply Amen, and by so replying you express your assent. What you hear, you see, is The body of Christ, and you answer, Amen. So be a member of the body of Christ, in order to make that Amen true. [this sounds like Chrysostom’s style of talking about community, though it also can be interpreted as a downplaying of the real presense in favor of a “community supper”, something a modern theologian would say]

So why in bread? ** Let’s not bring anything of our own to bear here, let’s go on listening [an ECF would talk like this “lets go on listening” thats not a modern way of talking] to [Paul] himself, who said, when speaking of this sacrament, One bread, one body, we being many are (1 Cor. 10:17). Understand and rejoice. Unity, truth, piety, love. * *One bread; what is this one bread? [more of the classical ECF style of question and answer sermon] The one body which we, being man, are. [this was not gender inclusive so I would rule out modern theologians] Remember that bread is not made from one grain, but from many. When you were being exorcised, it’s as though you were being ground. When you were baptized it’s as though you were mixed into dough. When you received the fire of the Holy Spirit, it’s as though you were baked. [these last lines are clearly Chrysostom’s style of linking all of salvation together] Be what you can see, and receive what you are.


#8

I voted for Augustine. Sacrament is a latin term that originated with Tertullian so it can’t be Justin Martyr and I doubt Chrysostom. It sounds patristic to me.


#9

I voted for St. Augustine. It sounded like something he would say. :slight_smile: .

I didn’t think Martin Luther would use the term “sacrament” (too “Catholic”) but then I could be wrong on that. St. Justin Martyr wrote apologies to the Roman emperor, so he wouldn’t be speaking to his “brothers and sisters” in his works. Those were the only two I could eliminate - after that I just guessed. :smiley:


#10

How long is the poll open? Will you give us the correct answer after it is closed?


#11

The poll is open until next Wednesday. I will give the answer after it closes.


#12

I have no idea, but you guys are really cool. :thumbsup: Name that theologian! I love it. This is the kinda of thing I propose to my wife and she looks at my like I am certifiable.


#13

WHAT…WHO is voting for Rowan Williams?


#14

I think it sounds very like Luther. I thought at first it might be Barth; but the tone

sounds (on balance) more like what I’ve read of Luther; so I settled for him: partly because the passage seems compatible with his strong belief in the reality of the Presence of Christ, partly because he never wearied of quoting St. Paul.

I’m probably wrong :slight_smile:


#15

I should think Barth was ruled out because the author references exorcism, which the Reformed removed from the baptismal rite. Even if 20th century Reformed Protestants had some practice of exorcism for the possessed, this would be far from a shared experience of the faithful.

Luther had no problem with the word sacrament - he still believed Baptism and the Lord’s Supper were true sacraments, remaining ambivalent about whether Confession/Reconciliation might not be at least a semi-sacrament as well. He just cut down the Catholic list because he didn’t see explicit institution by Christ for all of the Catholic 7.

That’s a good move placing the origins of “sacrament” to rule out Justin, but don’t you think the very fact of its being Latin should make you exclude, and not just doubt, Chrysostom? He would talk about “mysteries,” not “sacraments.”


#16

In further favor of my obviously correct choice of Augustine, let’s not forget that beyond his heavy emphasis on signification in sacraments, the above quote also reflects his frequent occupation with the totus Christus, refusing to treat Jesus Christ in isolation from those who have been incorporated into Him.


#17

I voted for Benedict, merely because it had a more modern ring to the words, with the initial address to ‘brothers and sisters’. Plus, the speech had a bit of a modern theme of unity. My second choice was Karl Rahner.


#18

I only doubted Chrysostom because it is possible (though extremely unlikely) that some Greeks might have taken it from the latins. After thinking about it more, I am pretty sure that even though it was Tertullian who was first to use it in a Christian reference, Augustine was the one who really popularized the term. This would rule out Chrysostom 100% since Chrysostom wrote his homilies and died before Augustine wrote most of what he wrote.


#19

Brothers and sisters, just remind yourselves what wine is made from; many grapes hang in the bunch, but the juice of the grapes is poured together in one vessel. That too is how the Lord Christ signified us, how he wished us to belong to him, how he consecrated the sacrament of our peace and unity on his table. Any who receive the sacrament of unity, and do not hold the bond of peace, do not receive the sacrament for their benefit, but a testimony against themselves.

–Sermon 272, 408 A.D.


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