William Lane Craig Explains Catholic's transubstantiation

William Lane Craig Explains Catholic’s transubstantiation in a lecture series. He first presents the “sacramentalists” view and explains it to his audience, in a somewhat unbiased way. Subsequent lectures provides the Ordinance view. His audience is Baptist.
In this particular lecture he gets into scripture and a little Early Church Fathers. He seems to try to describe the *development *of the Doctrine. Sort of a working it out with writings, decent, councils and doctrine, as if it wasn’t there all along but developed and nuanced.

A few interesting points and questions:
[LIST]
*]Craig says we consume “the human nature of Christ, not the divine nature.” but I always heard it was body, blood, soul, and and divinity in the Eucharist.
*]Of the Church Fathers, Craig says Cyprian and Augustine were “symblogoists”
*]The Real Presence formed in the East and came West. The West was Symbolists and the East was Transubstantiationists
*]Tertulian says the Body and Blood were “Figures”
[/LIST]
This again is his “unbiased” description of our beliefs. later he will tear it apart and provide the Ordinance view.

More here:
reasonablefaith.org/defenders-2-podcast/transcript/s12-5

I like Craig, at least when he is cleaning the floor with atheists, but he is creating a straw man here.

  1. We believe we consume the WHOLE Christ, Body, Blood, Soul, and Divinity, in the Eucharist, not just His human nature. How exactly does one consume a “nature” anyhow? I enjoy a good steak, but I haven’t tasted “cow nature” and suppose I never will.

  2. The Fathers both believed the bread literally became the Body of Christ and they also valued the symbolic power of the Eucharist. This is a both/and, not an either/ or situation. St. Augustine, for example, writes “The bread which you see on the altar is, sanctified by the word of God, the body of Christ; that chalice, or rather what is contained in the chalice, is, sanctified by the word of God, the blood of Christ.” and “What you see is the bread and the chalice . . . But what your faith obliges you to accept is that the bread is the Body of Christ and the chalice the Blood of Christ.” among other things.

No Christian denied what we now call transubstantiation for the first millennium of Church History.

Are you looking for arguments proving he is wrong or what? I would say read the Catechism on the Eucharist and the Summa Theologiae. All the Father’s believed in the Real Presence of the Whole Christ, including Cyprian and Augustine. The first Christians understood this, though they wouldn’t have been able to define it exactly as we can now. But Christ left no doubts that what we believe now is what he meant then. His words were absolutely clear and the early Christians took him at his word.

Linus2nd.

Craig simply doesn’t know what he’s talking about and should NEVER speak for the Catholic Church. I believe he is doing this on purpose. The more confusing junk they can throw out there about the Catholic Church, the less creditable it looks, at least to them. God Bless, Memaw

William who?

point one is completely wrong we believe that Christ’s divine nature is in the Eucharist. Plus you can’t divine the natures in the person of Christ (I think). Christ has two natures in one person, Christ is fully divine and fully human at all times. Because Christ takes on the bread and the wine substantially we believe that Christ is fully present both his human nature and his divine nature.

Note: if only his human nature was in the Eucharist I’m violating the first commandment where you shall have no other God’s before you. Even though Christ is God, if only his human nature is in the Eucharist I’m worshiping his human nature and not his divine nature. This is absurd and we don’t believe this. Christ is fully present in the sacrament of the Eucharist, both his Divine nature and Human nature.

The only difference between Christ who walked around on earth, did miracles, died on a cross, etc. is the accidental properties. The same substance on the Cross at Calvary is the same substance we worship in the Mass. The accidents though are completely different.

Hilarious last sentence, but so, so effective! :thumbsup::thumbsup:

Craig is a great apologist in regards to atheism. But his theological arguments are far less credible.

Makes you scratch your head…:ehh:

No, not really looking for arguments, when I read this it didn’t sound right so I thought I would put here to confirm. Also this was meant to bring awareness to Craig’s lecture series. He is pretty influential on thinking Evangelicals. If you care to return to this topic when he starts tearing Communion apart, it might be interesting particularly where this forum is concerned. Have you read the transcript to his lecture? There is more to come, for this and every Sacrament. He already did Baptism.

Yeah, it’s really odd that he would say that. Craig’s not an ignorant guy, it would only take a quick search on the Internet to find out what Catholics actually believe about the Eucharist. It’s not that hard. At worst he’s being dishonest, at best just plain lazy.

In either case I’m disappointed in him here. He knows better.

This is what he actually said…

Now this occasions a question: when the communicant takes the blood and the body of Christ and eats them and digests them, why isn’t the body and blood of Christ sort of eaten up after a while? Is there a sort of infinite body and blood? Remember we are talking about the human nature of Christ, not the divine nature. In his divine nature, the second person of the Trinity is immaterial. He doesn’t have a body. So we are talking about the human[6] nature of Christ. So as communicants eat the body of Jesus and drink his blood, one might ask, “Why isn’t it all consumed? Why isn’t he eaten up?” And I asked this question once of a Fordham University philosopher who is a priest, and he said, “You don’t consume the substance in the Lord’s Supper. You only eat the accidents.” And it was like the veil fell from my eyes. I suddenly understood. When the communicant takes the elements in, he doesn’t really consume or digest the body and blood of Christ. He only consumes the accidents. And that is why it is not used up. That puts a somewhat different spin on transubstantiation. I remember one Catholic girl saying to me once that she liked the doctrine of transubstantiation because it made her feel so close to Christ, that she was actually eating his flesh and drinking his blood. It was such an intimate union. Well, that is not really true on the classic doctrine. She is really only consuming the accidents of the bread and the wine, not the substance of the Lord’s body and blood.

Read more: reasonablefaith.org/defenders-2-podcast/transcript/s12-5

Thanks for that. It seems less likely now that he was purposefully making a straw man so much as he really doesn’t quite understand what the terms we use mean, particularly substance and accidents. What he said at the end really demonstrated this:

[quote=William Lane Craig]I remember one Catholic girl saying to me once that she liked the doctrine of transubstantiation because it made her feel so close to Christ, that she was actually eating his flesh and drinking his blood. It was such an intimate union. Well that is not really true on the classic doctrine. She is really only consuming the accidents of the bread and the wine, not the substance of the Lord’s body and blood.
[/quote]

No. We absolutely do believe that we are consuming the substance of the Lord’s body and blood. That’s exactly what transubstantiation means. The substance of bread and wine are changed to the substance of the body, blood, soul and divinity of Christ. The accidents of bread and wine remain, that’s it. I don’t think Dr. Craig quite grasps the distinction. Which I don’t blame him for, but if he’s going to claim to be presenting Catholic doctrine fairly, an understanding of those terms are essential.

I’m a little confused how a priest could tell him we don’t consume the substance of Christ though. Unless he actually meant the accidents of flesh and blood, and either Craig misheard him, or he misspoke. Because it’s hard for me to see how a priest could mix that up and say that.

Still, I think Craig would have been better off by referencing official Church documents, and not a nameless priest from Fordham, to try to teach our doctrine.

it is a sign of how few people actually know what the Catholic Church teaches.

there are only a few people who hate the Catholic Church, but there are Millions who hate their own view of the Church.

Why don’t we all fervently pray for this man and all who think like him or believe him. For their true and sincere conversion. God Bless, Memaw

[quote=William Lane Craig] when the communicant takes the blood and the body of Christ and eats them and digests them, why isn’t the body and blood of Christ sort of eaten up after a while? Is there a sort of infinite body and blood?
[/quote]

This is a sort of stupid question by Lane. No, of course not. If God can do anything, he can make an infinite supply of himself for the Holy Eucharist. The multiplying of the loaves and fish is great example of making more from less. Plus the changing water into wine.

[quote=William Lane Craig]By contrast, in the West, Augustine and most of the Western theologians tended to be symbolists – that there wasn’t an actual transubstantiation taking place, but that these elements represented the body and blood of Christ. But in the East the view of transubstantiation gained ground and later, as we will see, was ratified as official Catholic doctrine.

[/quote]

This is one little snippet of what he says about the ECF’s in the West. Where is he getting this stuff?

I don’t think his Baptist background will permit him to see things as they are. Nevertheless, his scholarship on Transubstantiation is not only erroneous, but grievously lacking in scholarship. I suppose it is interesting to see how the enlightened Protestants have made almost no progress in their understanding of this Christian doctrine.

This is the MP3 audio of the part 2 of the discussion on the Transubstantiation followed by some on the Lutheran Consubstantiation. The written transcript is usually a day later.
Some discussion on Tradition and Scripture.
reasonablefaith.org/mediaf/podcasts/uploads/DEF_Doctrine_of_Church_Part6_Series_2.mp3

maybe craig is just incomplete. maybe the substance of Christ consumes us.

peace
steve

Here’s the transcript for part two. Still not really the contentious part. He provides the Catholic and Lutheran views here. He kind of beats up Lutherans a little bit.
reasonablefaith.org/defenders-2-podcast/transcript/s12-6
There is a lot of discussion about Tradition and its role and significance. The Baptist seem to be trying to understand that Scripture isn’t all there is.

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