(for staunch evangelicals)
One of the most solid doctrines I find in Catholicism is the notion of the Real Presence in the Eucharist. Not only do Catholic scholars point out how in John 6 only literal words can be used, but there is also historical evidence from the early second century that the Eucharist was seen as the sacrafice re-presented, and as the actual Body and Blood of Christ.
I have read some evangelical apologetics which claim that Christ is speaking figuratively when he speaks of the Eucharist, and he speaks spiritually rather than literally–or something like that. I also understand that some Protestant churches still maintain some belief in Christ’s Real Presence in the Eucharist. Could some evangelicals please tell me what the scholarly attitudes of evangelicals towards the Real Presence, and how these evangelical scholars fit this in with certain evangelical theologies? I’m especially interested how groups that believe only in the symbolic nature of the Eucharist (such as the Baptists) interpret these defenses of the Real Presence made by Catholics and others.
I’m not trying to put the pressure on any evangelicals. Unlike some issues like the papacy, I unfortunately have yet to find any good defenses of why the Eucharist is symbolic, or why there is consubstantiation instead of transubstantiation. Thanks for any help!