Need some thought


I just gone done discussing with my evangelical friend about the Eucharist. I showed him the scripture, some early church fathers writing about the Eucharist, and Eucharistic miracles. This is how he responded to all that:

“So about the Eucharist. I’m not going to say you are wrong because you could very well be right, but I read something about the Orthodox Christians that I kinda liked. They believe in transubstantiation but they don’t use the word. Jesus said, “This is my body,” so somehow it is his body. The Orthodox (I’m pretty sure) don’t have it as a written doctrine because it isn’t expounded on in scripture beyond the point of that it is his body. How exactly it is his body but still bread isn’t something (in my opinion) something to fight about because it isn’t clear and it doesn’t make sense to our human intelligence. I think that transubstantiation has led to a lot of superstitions because I think people take it a little too far, so I think I am safe to believe that it is his body by either Luther’s view or the Catholics view, but either way they are both taking part of the body of Christ.”

I don’t know how he came to his conclusion, and a lot of the stuff he said above is wrong, but I am not sure how to respond to this… any thoughts??? :shrug:


The view he just described is called the “dogmatic” view of the Eucharist, and it is the Lutheran view as well. The Lutherans would say, "Since the God who spoke ‘let there be light, and there was light’ has said ‘this is my body’ therefore in the same way and by the same Divine Fiat it is.

I actually don’t think it is too offensive in that at least the Lutherans and Orthodox are at least confessing that what is being consumed in the Eucharist is the Body of Christ.

I would also point out that the Eastern Orthodox Church is in communion with Rome.

So, the problem with your evangelical friend however, is that if you pressed him hard he really means by the body and blood that it is not the body and blood but a symbol of the body and blood made real by the faith of the believer. This is Calvin’s formula. That the believer raises himself up to Heaven (where Christ bodily is) and receives by faith the Heavenly Bread even though he is only eating mere bread.

And that is miles and miles and miles from what the Lutherans, Orthodox or Catholics confess. And evangelicals will always try to talk about the transubstantiation, because they really believe we think the transubstantiation is the Eucharist and not that bread is the body, and in fact every evangelical I have ever spoken too finds the notion that we eat the lord’s Body to be offensive, vulgar and pagan.

And I think if you pressed your friend a little beyond the transubstantiation to the actual Eucharist you would find this to be true. If he is really an evangelical believer.


Let him know that people taking it a little too far would not be enough reason to dismiss it.


Jesus clearly meant business with the communion ceremony. It was crossing the line even in Jesus’ own time, and he lost a lot of followers because of it.

And it was the crypto-cannibalistic overtones of the ceremony that was the sword that used against the Christians up until the times of Constantine.

No way to soft-pedal the meaning- you are eating Christ’s body and drinking his blood.


On a positive note that evangelical friend seems to be going in the right direction and may simply be working his way little by little to the fullness of the truth. Not often do I see evangelicals that open. At this point it looks like he could use some information about development of doctrine and how it is important that the Lord’s Church explains and articulates binding doctrine as time goes on in order to precisely preserve every element of truth and at the same time articulate it for the needs of new generations that face new challenges and new attacks that can confuse the faith. As we see Scripture alone does not and cannot be used to preserve Christian doctrine since doctrine can be compromised with Scripture alone.


It would be more correct to say Eastern Rite churches are in communion with Rome. No Orthodox churches are in communion with Rome. :o

closed #7

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