Author Topic: Convince me that Anglicanism is false  (Read 61223 times)

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Offline byhisgrace

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Re: Convince me that Anglicanism is false
« Reply #360 on: June 13, 2015, 04:28:15 PM »
Martin Luther completely ignored Christ's directive that we be perfect; Lutheran theology cant even support the notion of humans becoming perfect except through divine grace (Soli deo gloria).

But if this is what our Lord meant, he would not have issued commandments.

Fwiw, I have not found this argument convincing as a Protestant. Protestants (at least the non-liberal types) don't deny the call to holiness and following God's commandments. They just disagree on what those commandments may be, how they are practically applied in this life, and exactly how it contributes to our salvation. There is a temptation among apologists of all sides to present false dichotomies. Example: Sola Fide = antinomianism; Theosis = Pharisaism (if that's a word.)   
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Offline Daedelus1138

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Re: Convince me that Anglicanism is false
« Reply #361 on: June 13, 2015, 05:06:51 PM »
Luther didn't ignore Christ's command to be perfect, he just saw himself as unable to do that, so he had to figure out the "why" behind it.   It's not like he didn't try- he seems to have thrown himself into the life and doctrines of the Roman Catholic Church 110 percent.   Just keep in mind, Luther was an incredibly broken, flawed man.  He basically grew up in a home where physical abuse and emotional abuse was routine, and he was terrified of God because in his understanding, God was incomprehensible and allowed some horrendous things to happen, so there was little reason to think that God was merciful to him, especially when so many of Catholic doctrines stated otherwise.  That doesn't make his theological insights irrelevant- we live in a fallen world, there is a little Luther in all of us.   
« Last Edit: June 13, 2015, 05:10:48 PM by Daedelus1138 »
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Re: Convince me that Anglicanism is false
« Reply #362 on: June 13, 2015, 05:17:55 PM »
Luther didn't ignore Christ's command to be perfect, he just saw himself as unable to do that, so he had to figure out the "why" behind it.   It's not like he didn't try- he seems to have thrown himself into the life and doctrines of the Roman Catholic Church 110 percent.   Just keep in mind, Luther was an incredibly broken, flawed man.  He basically grew up in a home where physical abuse and emotional abuse was routine, and he was terrified of God because in his understanding, God was incomprehensible and allowed some horrendous things to happen, so there was little reason to think that God was merciful to him, especially when so many of Catholic doctrines stated otherwise.  That doesn't make his theological insights irrelevant- we live in a fallen world, there is a little Luther in all of us.   

I have a great deal of sympathy for Luther, but many Orthodox saints endured far worse, and nothing you just said about Luther seems to me to be a good argument for listening to him on theological matters.

Orthodox saints in many cases attained visible degrees of Theosis in this life precisely on account of their worldly suffering.  Humans can become perfect, and Luther is a figure to be pitied; he did a good service in breaking the back of the papacy, but his doctrines deny Christians who follow them the promise of deification, which seems an unintentional cruelty on Luther's part.
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Offline Daedelus1138

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Re: Convince me that Anglicanism is false
« Reply #363 on: June 13, 2015, 09:09:04 PM »
Orthodox saints in many cases attained visible degrees of Theosis in this life precisely on account of their worldly suffering.  Humans can become perfect, and Luther is a figure to be pitied; he did a good service in breaking the back of the papacy, but his doctrines deny Christians who follow them the promise of deification, which seems an unintentional cruelty on Luther's part.

Lutherans do believe in glorification, but they emphasize it happening in the next world, where God will make a new Heaven and a new Earth.

I have read alot of Orthodox saints and I don't know a single one that believed they were sinless.  Isn't that the whole point of the Jesus Prayer? (which seems to be increasingly popular with Lutherans).
"I have held many things in my hands, and I have lost them all; but whatever I have placed in God's hands, that I still possess."   - Martin Luther

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Re: Convince me that Anglicanism is false
« Reply #364 on: June 14, 2015, 12:22:55 AM »
Luther didn't ignore Christ's command to be perfect, he just saw himself as unable to do that, so he had to figure out the "why" behind it.   It's not like he didn't try- he seems to have thrown himself into the life and doctrines of the Roman Catholic Church 110 percent.   Just keep in mind, Luther was an incredibly broken, flawed man.  He basically grew up in a home where physical abuse and emotional abuse was routine, and he was terrified of God because in his understanding, God was incomprehensible and allowed some horrendous things to happen, so there was little reason to think that God was merciful to him, especially when so many of Catholic doctrines stated otherwise.  That doesn't make his theological insights irrelevant- we live in a fallen world, there is a little Luther in all of us.   

I have a great deal of sympathy for Luther, but many Orthodox saints endured far worse, and nothing you just said about Luther seems to me to be a good argument for listening to him on theological matters.

Orthodox saints in many cases attained visible degrees of Theosis in this life precisely on account of their worldly suffering.  Humans can become perfect, and Luther is a figure to be pitied; he did a good service in breaking the back of the papacy, but his doctrines deny Christians who follow them the promise of deification, which seems an unintentional cruelty on Luther's part.

did he now?

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Re: Convince me that Anglicanism is false
« Reply #365 on: June 14, 2015, 03:54:01 AM »
Orthodox saints in many cases attained visible degrees of Theosis in this life precisely on account of their worldly suffering.  Humans can become perfect, and Luther is a figure to be pitied; he did a good service in breaking the back of the papacy, but his doctrines deny Christians who follow them the promise of deification, which seems an unintentional cruelty on Luther's part.

Lutherans do believe in glorification, but they emphasize it happening in the next world, where God will make a new Heaven and a new Earth.

I have read alot of Orthodox saints and I don't know a single one that believed they were sinless.  Isn't that the whole point of the Jesus Prayer? (which seems to be increasingly popular with Lutherans).

It's kind of a paradox. St. Sisoes the Great, for example, on his deathbed cried out to God because he had "not yet begun to repent."

I tend to think that Orthodoxy supports something of a middle ground- perfection in this life can and does happen, we're supposed to always strive for it, but we should never conclude that someone living is definitely there.
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Re: Convince me that Anglicanism is false
« Reply #366 on: July 05, 2015, 04:41:00 PM »
Lutherans do believe in glorification, but they emphasize it happening in the next world, where God will make a new Heaven and a new Earth.
Glorification has its beginnings and firm reality in this present age.
"And we all, who with unveiled faces contemplate the Lord's glory, are being transformed into his image with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit" 2 Cor 3:18.

This is abundantly clear on reading the excellent article "Glory" in Colin Brown, ed., New International Dictionary of NT Theology.

Orthodox saints in many cases attained visible degrees of Theosis in this life precisely on account of their worldly suffering.  Humans can become perfect, and Luther is a figure to be pitied; he did a good service in breaking the back of the papacy, but his doctrines deny Christians who follow them the promise of deification, which seems an unintentional cruelty on Luther's part.

Lutherans do believe in glorification, but they emphasize it happening in the next world, where God will make a new Heaven and a new Earth.

I have read alot of Orthodox saints and I don't know a single one that believed they were sinless.  Isn't that the whole point of the Jesus Prayer? (which seems to be increasingly popular with Lutherans).

It's kind of a paradox. St. Sisoes the Great, for example, on his deathbed cried out to God because he had "not yet begun to repent."

I tend to think that Orthodoxy supports something of a middle ground- perfection in this life can and does happen, we're supposed to always strive for it, but we should never conclude that someone living is definitely there.
"One limit of perfection is the fact that it has no limit. For that divine Apostle, great and lofty in understanding, ever running the course of virtue, never ceased straining toward those things that are still to come... We should show great diligence not to fall away from the perfection which is attainable but to acquire as much as possible." -St. Gregory of Nyssa, The Life of Moses (CWS/Classsics of Western Spirituality Series, 1979) p. 30.

"Not that I have already obtained it, or have already become perfect, but I press on in order that I may lay hold of that for which also I was laid hold of by Jesus Christ." Phil 3:12

“Repentance is fitting at all times and for all persons. To sinners as well as to the righteous who look for salvation. There are no bounds to perfection, for even the perfection of the most perfect is naught but imperfection. Hence, until the moment of death neither the time nor the works of repentance can ever be complete” (St. Isaac the Syrian, as quoted in Lossky, Mystical Theology of the Eastern Church, p. 204).

Protestants (at least the non-liberal types) don't deny the call to holiness and following God's commandments. They just disagree on what those commandments may be, how they are practically applied in this life, and exactly how it contributes to our salvation. There is a temptation among apologists of all sides to present false dichotomies. Example: Sola Fide = antinomianism; Theosis = Pharisaism (if that's a word.)

The Eastern Church views this as a two sided coin: the Christian working out his or her salvation "with fear and trembling" is a repentant sinner (notice there are two variables, not just one) -neither "morally perfect" (moralism/perfectionism) nor unrepentant (antinomianism); according to the Eastern fathers there is only one sin which is called mortal (1 Jn 5): refusal to repent. This is consonant with the dire warning in Heb 10 which speaks of continual willful sin rather than particular sins as such, and 1 Jn 3:9 which translates a verb in the Greek present/continual tense. All sin can blind, corrupt, harm, and deceive the sinner; one can "know" Christianity "ideologically" and be far from God; on the other hand "If any man will do his will, he shall know of the doctrine, whether it be of God, or whether I speak of myself" (Jn 7:17). Western Christianity sometimes tends to bifurcate into incomplete and often unbalanced alternatives of moralistic legalism on the one hand and undisciplined "hyper-grace" antinomianism on the other; the New Covenant as spoken of in Jeremiah taught the creation of a new heart which would cause us to walk in his ways, as opposed to a religion of tablets and laws (Jer 31), or devil-may-care lawlessness in effect denying Him even if drawing near with the lips and the mind alone (Titus 1:16: "They profess to know God, but they deny him by their works"). Neither trust in the sufficiency of one's own moral achievements nor despair in the face of impossible standards are issues in the Christian East.; similarly there is no tension between such categories as self-discipline as a Spiritual fruit (Gal 5:22). The Orthodox faith understands both the reality and seriousness of our present sin even in the midst of repentance as well as the uncomprormising upward call to holiness ("pursue... holiness, without which no one will see the Lord" -Heb 12:14); where one of these poles is emphasized to the exclusion or minimization of the other the disciple becomes unbalanced, whether in a Pharisaical direction or legalistic moralism, or the equally perilous direction of the lawless who regard continual repentance and the call to holiness as matters to minimize in the least and/or dismiss. The heart of the manner of our continual hope is exemplified by the ancient Jesus Prayer, which we pray at all times: "Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on me, a sinner."
« Last Edit: July 05, 2015, 05:01:47 PM by xariskai »

Offline NoahB

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Re: Convince me that Anglicanism is false
« Reply #367 on: July 05, 2015, 04:58:03 PM »
Just a quick note on the filioque controversy...

Most Anglo-Catholics I've talked to agree that it was wrong for it to be added to the Creed without the consent of the whole Church, however, it is also understood in a different way than most here believe. When we say he proceeds from the Father and the Son, we are talking about the economy of salvation, not the procession of the Godhead. I believe even Orthodox Christians can affirm that in the economy of salvation, the Holy Spirit is sent from both the Father and the Son. But when talking about the Godhead by itself, it is true that he proceeds only from the Father.
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Offline Peter J

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Re: Convince me that Anglicanism is false
« Reply #368 on: July 07, 2015, 11:55:59 AM »
Wow.

I got out of the habit of checking this section ... looks like I missed a lot in the last couple months.  ;)

Okay. I'll narrow it down to High Church.   

High church Anglican is a good beginning. (Edit: Hopefully that doesn't come across as too condescending.)

I don't know if you've read Evangelical is Not Enough: Worship of God in Liturgy and Sacrament, but I would recommend at least reading the Postscript ... or better yet, if you've got 5 or 10 minutes, go back two pages to the one starting with "Little is".
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Offline byhisgrace

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Re: Convince me that Anglicanism is false
« Reply #369 on: July 12, 2015, 04:02:59 PM »
The 2 pages before the postscript was a good read.
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Re: Convince me that Anglicanism is false
« Reply #370 on: July 12, 2015, 06:14:18 PM »
People still need to be convinced that Anglicanism and Episcopaganism are false??
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Re: Convince me that Anglicanism is false
« Reply #371 on: July 12, 2015, 07:44:23 PM »
People still need to be convinced that Anglicanism and Episcopaganism are false??

Well, with both their numbers plummeting, I dont think anyone will need convincing since both will be dead in 50 years, 75 tops. 
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Re: Convince me that Anglicanism is false
« Reply #372 on: July 12, 2015, 08:11:29 PM »
It might still exist but "the empire strikes back"; it won't be British anymore. It will be African, maybe a little paganized around the edges but conservative and definitely Protestant. As for the rest, elementary as Holmes said. If you teach heresy about the Eucharist (as in the Thirty-Nine Articles), you don't have holy orders anymore, even though you still have a line of succession. (That what Pope Leo XIII taught.) So Anglicanism is not a "church"; it's an "ecclesial community," polite Vaticanese for a group of Christians, Protestants, who are not a church.

The Orthodox line is almost the same: it's outside the church and impossible to graft in as a group, so individual conversions are the way to go.
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Offline Peter J

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Re: Convince me that Anglicanism is false
« Reply #373 on: July 13, 2015, 10:02:23 AM »
As you say, the Orthodox line is almost the same -- almost being the key word, since we recognize them as a Church but not vice versa.
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Re: Convince me that Anglicanism is false
« Reply #374 on: July 13, 2015, 10:08:37 AM »
The 2 pages before the postscript was a good read.

 :)
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Re: Convince me that Anglicanism is false
« Reply #375 on: July 13, 2015, 08:03:35 PM »
It might still exist but "the empire strikes back"; it won't be British anymore. It will be African, maybe a little paganized around the edges but conservative and definitely Protestant. As for the rest, elementary as Holmes said. If you teach heresy about the Eucharist (as in the Thirty-Nine Articles), you don't have holy orders anymore, even though you still have a line of succession. (That what Pope Leo XIII taught.) So Anglicanism is not a "church"; it's an "ecclesial community," polite Vaticanese for a group of Christians, Protestants, who are not a church.

The Orthodox line is almost the same: it's outside the church and impossible to graft in as a group, so individual conversions are the way to go.

Ugandicanism FTW!
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Offline Peter J

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Re: Convince me that Anglicanism is false
« Reply #376 on: July 13, 2015, 08:06:04 PM »
People still need to be convinced that Anglicanism and Episcopaganism are false??

 I don't need to be convinced, I can quit any time I want.
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Offline Daedelus1138

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Re: Convince me that Anglicanism is false
« Reply #377 on: July 15, 2015, 05:41:16 PM »
. As for the rest, elementary as Holmes said. If you teach heresy about the Eucharist (as in the Thirty-Nine Articles), you don't have holy orders anymore, even though you still have a line of succession. (That what Pope Leo XIII taught.)

1) How do you know this to be true?

2) How does the sacramental grace of ordination end with teaching "heresy"?  I thought a sacrament's validity was not determined by the worthiness of ministers?

3) What makes you think transubstantiation was the belief of the early church?
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Re: Convince me that Anglicanism is false
« Reply #378 on: July 15, 2015, 05:59:01 PM »
Re 3: The writings of those in the early Church.

Offline Peter J

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Re: Convince me that Anglicanism is false
« Reply #379 on: July 15, 2015, 07:24:47 PM »
1) How do you know this to be true?

Search your feelings, you know it to be true.
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Re: Convince me that Anglicanism is false
« Reply #380 on: July 15, 2015, 07:45:08 PM »
1) How do you know this to be true?

Search your feelings, you know it to be true.

Nice Empire Strikes Back reference. 
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Offline Daedelus1138

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Re: Convince me that Anglicanism is false
« Reply #381 on: July 15, 2015, 08:28:36 PM »
Search your feelings, you know it to be true.

No, that's not true! That's impossible!
« Last Edit: July 15, 2015, 08:36:21 PM by Daedelus1138 »
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Re: Convince me that Anglicanism is false
« Reply #382 on: July 17, 2015, 09:09:40 AM »
Try to get a low church Anglican and a high church Anglican in one room and start talking about what Anglicanism is and isn't. You'll be in for a lot of fun.
Okay. I'll narrow it down to High Church.

Even that doesn't say much. You have Anglo-Papalists, who are pretty much only the latter, people who are only in it for the aesthetics and Oxford Movement Anglicans. Since recently there even are "Anglo-Orthodox" who have doubts about the filioque and the penal atonement.

Yeah, Anglo-Papalists and Anglo-Orthodox are probably the most interesting Anglicans ...
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Re: Convince me that Anglicanism is false
« Reply #383 on: March 30, 2016, 12:04:46 PM »
A main difference with Anglicanism is not so much prima scriptura, but rather views on the Eucharistic food. Orthodoxy, Lutheranism, Catholicism agree that Jesus is directly in the food itself, and so whether or not a person is faithful and worthy, he/she actually eats Jesus' body because he/she puts it in the mouth. Luther explained:
Quote
Of all the [Church] fathers, as many as you can name, not one has ever spoken about the sacrament as these fanatics do. None of them uses such an expression as, ‘It is simply bread and wine,’ or, ‘Christ’s body and blood are not present.’ Yet since this subject is so frequently discussed by them [the Church Fathers], it is impossible that they should not at some time have let slip such an expression as, ‘It is simply bread,’ or, ‘Not that the body of Christ is physically present,’ or the like [if they had believed this], since they are greatly concerned not to mislead the people; actually, they simply proceed to speak as if no one doubted that Christ’s body and blood are present. Certainly among so many fathers and so many writings a negative argument should have turned up at least once, as happens in other articles; but actually they all stand uniformly and consistently on the affirmative side.” – Martin Luther. [1] That These Words of Christ, ‘This is My Body’ Still Stand Firm Against the Fanatics, 1527, in Luther’s Works, Word and Sacrament III,

In contrast, Cranmer, a founding figure of the English Reformation, took a position of Receptionism, whereby Jesus is not actually in the bread and so only the worthy receive that body.

Here is what the Articles of Religion says in the Anglican Church:
Quote
XXVIII. Of the Lord's Supper

The Supper of the Lord is not only a sign of the love that Christians ought to have among themselves one to another; but rather is a Sacrament of our Redemption by Christ's death: insomuch that to such as rightly, worthily, and with faith, receive the same, the Bread which we break is a partaking of the Body of Christ; and likewise the Cup of Blessing is a partaking of the Blood of Christ.

Transubstantiation (or the change of the substance of Bread and Wine) in the Supper of the Lord, cannot be proved by holy Writ; but is repugnant to the plain words of Scripture, overthroweth the nature of a Sacrament, and hath given occasion to many superstitions.

The Body of Christ is given, taken, and eaten, in the Supper, only after an heavenly and spiritual manner. And the mean whereby the Body of Christ is received and eaten in the Supper is Faith.

The Sacrament of the Lord's Supper was not by Christ's ordinance reserved, carried about, lifted up, or worshipped.

XXIX. Of the Wicked which eat not the Body of Christ in the use of the Lord's Supper


The Wicked, and such as be void of a lively faith, although they do carnally and visibly press with their teeth (as Saint Augustine saith) the Sacrament of the Body and Blood of Christ, yet in no wise are they partakers of Christ: but rather, to their condemnation, do eat and drink the sign or Sacrament of so great a thing.

So my question is: on the face of it, which position does this support: The Lutheran/Orthodox/RC position whereby Jesus is directly in the food, or the Calvinist position of Cranmer, whereby it isn't and "eating" Jesus' body just means believing in Jesus, as in Calvin's reading of John 6.
« Last Edit: March 30, 2016, 12:05:50 PM by rakovsky »
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Re: Convince me that Anglicanism is false
« Reply #384 on: March 30, 2016, 12:32:03 PM »
That's not really an accurate summary of Calvin's views. There is a certain sacramental union, whereby worthy partakers are some how brought up to feed on Christ's body in heaven. The Anglican article is basically Calvinist.
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Re: Convince me that Anglicanism is false
« Reply #385 on: March 30, 2016, 12:49:59 PM »
That's not really an accurate summary of Calvin's views. There is a certain sacramental union, whereby worthy partakers are some how brought up to feed on Christ's body in heaven. The Anglican article is basically Calvinist.
Thanks.
The "feeding" they see as a metaphor for communing / spiritual uniting, not actual eating.

The Calvinist/Anglican position is forced to and does read "eat my flesh" in John 6 as referring to "believing" in Jesus' real, literal "flesh". But it sounds weird to speak of "believing in Jesus' flesh", as opposed to believing in Jesus himself.
And then the Calvinist/Anglican position is forced to turned around and read "Take eat, this is my body" as referring to real, physical eating, but then read the verb "is" as "signifies".

And then when you go back to the Articles, things get really incongruous with the gospels' words of Institution, because the articles say: "The Body of Christ is given, taken, and eaten, in the Supper, only after an heavenly and spiritual manner." The Anglican understanding is that the Words of Institution in the gospels say "taken and eaten" literally, but here in the Anglican articles, "taken, eaten" is not meant literally.

It's a very jumbled use of the words of Institution. And on top of it, Bishop Guest in the 16th century wrote that he intentionally introduced the word "given" into the articles in order to make the Articles support Jesus' real, direct presence in the food itself (ie. not the Calvinist view). But the second of those two articles I cited was intended to support the Calvinist view.
« Last Edit: March 30, 2016, 01:01:46 PM by rakovsky »
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Offline Iconodule

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Re: Convince me that Anglicanism is false
« Reply #386 on: March 30, 2016, 01:12:42 PM »
That's not really an accurate summary of Calvin's views. There is a certain sacramental union, whereby worthy partakers are some how brought up to feed on Christ's body in heaven. The Anglican article is basically Calvinist.
Thanks.
The "feeding" they see as a metaphor for communing / spiritual uniting, not actual eating.

The Calvinist Eucharistic theology is clunky and tortured but I wouldn't say "metaphor" quite describes their view.
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Offline rakovsky

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Re: Convince me that Anglicanism is false
« Reply #387 on: March 30, 2016, 03:02:40 PM »
That's not really an accurate summary of Calvin's views. There is a certain sacramental union, whereby worthy partakers are some how brought up to feed on Christ's body in heaven. The Anglican article is basically Calvinist.
Thanks.
The "feeding" they see as a metaphor for communing / spiritual uniting, not actual eating.

The Calvinist Eucharistic theology is clunky and tortured but I wouldn't say "metaphor" quite describes their view.
The Calvinist Eucharistic theology says that believers have communion with Jesus during the ritual, but that when it comes to "eating Jesus' flesh/body", then either "eating" is a metaphor for believing and communing (see Calvin's commentary on John 6), or else eating is physical, but the bread only "signifies" Jesus' "flesh/body".

I realize that this is "clunky and tortured" reasoning.

Here is where the articles imply to many readers that they use "eating" as a metaphor for something else and not actual "chewing" (John 6 says both "eating" and "chewing", BTW):
"And the mean whereby the Body of Christ is received and eaten in the Supper is Faith."
The ocean, infinite to men, and the worlds beyond it, are directed by the same ordinances of the Lord. ~ I Clement 20