The Mingled Cup, part 5

The liturgical mixing of water with wine is a Roman novelty born of ignorance and misunderstanding.
The liturgical mixing of water with wine is a Roman novelty born of ignorance, misunderstanding and myth.

As we noted in our first installment in this series, Roman Catholicism has added to the Eucharistic liturgy a step that is unscriptural and therefore generally unfamiliar to most Protestants. As part of the liturgy, the priest pours a little water into the wine that is used to celebrate the Lord’s Supper. Unable to justify the rite from the Scriptures, Roman Catholicism makes its typical appeal to antiquity, claiming that the rite certainly must be of apostolic origins because it is found in the earliest traditions of the Church. But in this series we have analyzed the data from the Early Church and found that our early forebears knew of no such “apostolic” ritual.

This week we will conclude the series on the Mingled Cup by showing that the Roman Catholic liturgical tradition of Jesus mixing a small quantity of water to the wine during the Last Supper cannot legitimately be inferred from the secular Mediterranean practice of mixing a large quantity of water to merum prior to a meal. We will also show just how selective Rome is in its appeals to the Early Church to justify its liturgy. While the liturgical mixing of water with wine at the altar cannot be found any earlier than Ambrose, many other Eucharistic practices that clearly can be found in the Early Church have long since been dismissed by Rome as irreverent, sacrilegious, unnecessary, outdated and impractical.

A typical, and we add revealing, justification for the rite of adding water to wine during the Eucharist is found in A Catechism for the Right Understanding of the Sacrifice and Liturgy of the Mass, by Roman Catholic priest, Rev. John MacDonald. He writes:

“Q. Why does the priest mix a small quantity of water with the wine?

A. It is by order of the Church, on the strength of a most ancient, and, it is supposed, apostolical tradition, that the water is added to the wine. The practice is symbolical of the Incarnation; the wine, as the more precious element, representing the Divinity of Christ, and the water, as inferior, representing His Sacred Humanity. (MacDonald, John, A Catechism for the Right Understanding of the Sacrifice and Liturgy of the Mass.” (London: Thomas Richardson & Sons (1875) 117)

Rev. MacDonald’s justification for the rite is neither unique nor profound but is representative of a longstanding confusion that exists within Rome about where the rite originated, what it means and how it is to be performed. The addition of water to wine as an “ancient” and “apostolical” liturgical rite is actually found no earlier than the latter part of the 4th century, and even then there was—and still now there remains—no consensus on the origins, mode and significance of the rite. In short, the “strength of a most ancient … apostolical tradition” is utterly lacking. Roman Catholicism does not know why she has added the rite, does not know where it came from and does not know what it means, but nevertheless has made the denial of it an excommunicable offense (Council of Trent, Session 22, Canons on the Sacrifice of the Mass, Canon IX). So thin is the foundation of this novel step in Rome’s liturgy.

Was the mixing liturgical or secular?

As we showed in the second and third installments, those “most ancient” and supposedly “apostolical” traditions in the early patristic writings were in fact simple references to the ancient Mediterranean manufacturing process for wine. In that process, water was added to merum to make it palatable for drinking. Since merum was known as “pure wine,” “wine alone” or “undiluted wine,” the resulting mixture was called “wine and water,” “wine with water,” “mingled wine,” or simply “wine.” The ancient Greeks, Jews, Romans and Christians all had an aversion to drinking merum straight—to do so was considered uncivilized—and thus water was always mixed with merum as a final step in the manufacturing process. That is why the description of mixed wine in the early patristic writings was usually accompanied by a similar description of the manufacturing process for bread.

In describing these processes the Early Church had ritualized neither the mixing of water with merum to make wine, nor the grinding of grains to make bread, nor the adding of water to flour to make dough, nor the baking of dough to make bread. They had simply acknowledged the suitability of both mixtures as figures for the Incarnation, since Jesus had “mixed Himself up” with us. As the bread was mixed and baked before the meal, so too was the wine prepared prior to the meal. Cyprian acknowledged this explicitly: adding water to wine was “just as” the adding of water to flour to make bread, and mixing water with wine was “in like manner” with the grinding and mixing of grain to make bread (Cyprian of Carthage, Epistle 62, paragraph 13). As we noted in previous installments, a liturgical rite cannot be validly inferred from a secular manufacturing process, and a secular manufacturing process was all they had in mind when they spoke of the “mixed cup.”

Did the mixing take place before or during the liturgy?

As the title of his book suggests, Rev. MacDonald insisted that the mixing of water must take place during the Eucharistic liturgy. Thomas Aquinas, too, objected to any suggestion of simply adding water to the barrel in advance of the Mass. Thomas insisted, rather, that the water must be added to the wine during the sacrament:

“If water were added to a cask, it would not suffice for the signification of this sacrament, but the water must be added to the wine at the actual celebration of the sacrament.” (Thomas Aquinas, Summa Theologica, Part III, Question 74, Article 8, Reply to Objection 3)

Yet Justin Martyr’s description from the 2nd century—the earliest patristic description of the mixed Eucharistic cup on record—has the wine and water mixed before the Eucharistic liturgy even began, for “bread and a cup of wine mixed with water” were brought forward to “the president of the brethren,” the president then taking and blessing a cup that had already been mixed in advance (Justin Martyr, First Apology, Chapter 65). Even as late as the early 4th century, Aphrahat of Persia was still insisting that “the cup of redemption [was] mixed” before Jesus even took His seat at the table (Aphrahat of Persia, Demonstrations, Demonstration 6: On Covenanters, chapter 6). Thus, in the earliest depictions of the liturgy, the water was not “added to the wine at the actual celebration of the sacrament” as Aquinas insisted.

Given Rome’s conviction that it is an “ancient” and “apostolical” tradition that Jesus added water to wine at the table, the early evidence is flatly hostile to the claim. A tradition of Jesus mixing the cup Himself at the Supper can hardly be validly inferred from a tradition of the cup being mixed before He even sat down at the table.

Was water added in great or in small quantities?

Next, MacDonald writes that “a small quantity of water” is to be added to the wine. His description comports with the Third Council of Braga (675 A.D.) which decreed that the Eucharist was to be celebrated “with bread and wine mixed with a drop of water in a chalice” (Catholic Encyclopedia, Councils of Braga). It is also consistent with Redemptionis Sacramentum, an instruction on the proper celebration of the Mass, which requires “a small quantity of water … to be mixed with” the wine (Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacrament, Redemptionis Sacramentum, Chapter III, paragraph 50 (2004)).

In view of how Rome attempts to establish the antiquity of the practice, however, the suggestion of “a small quantity” or “a drop of water” is a gross historical non sequitur. As we have noted in this series, Zenit, the Roman Catholic news agency, makes the argument for adding water to wine, by saying that “this was the common practice among the Jews and in Mediterranean culture in general” (Father Edward McNamara, Zenit Roman Catholic News, Why Water and Wine?, June 29, 2004). Likewise, in  our previous installment, in the 12th century dialogue between Anselm of Havelberg and Nicetas of Nicomedia, Anselm argued for the mixing of water based on the same Mediterranean custom (Anselm Of Havelberg, Anticimenon: On the Unity of the Faith and the Controversies with the Greeks, Ambrose Criste & Carol Neel, trans. (Order of St. Benedict, Collegeville, Minnesota, 2010).

The reason the argument is a such a grotesque non sequitur is that neither the Greeks, Jews, Romans nor Christians added “a small quantity of water” and certainly not merely “a drop.” In fact, they added a great volume of water, and certainly much more water than merum. According to Encyclopedia Romana, in the Mediterranean cultures, the practice was to add two, three or four parts water to wine (Encylopedia Romana, Wine and Rome). Adding that much water to wine or merum is by no means adding “a small quantity of water.”

As we noted in our first installment, the Roman poet Martial testified that even if one desired purposefully to become inebriated, the ratio of water to merum would still only be reduced from the standard Roman ratio of two-to-one down to a much less diluted one-to-one (Martial, Epigrams, Book XI, chapter 6). We keep that in mind as we consider Clement of Alexandria’s belief that water, “the medicine of temperance,” had to be added to merum, “the Bacchic fuel,” to avoid drunkenness and “the agitation of lust.” It was in view of that prohibition of drunkenness that Clement insisted that “it is best to mix the wine with as much water as possible” (Clement of Alexandria, Pædagogus, Book II, chapter 2, “On Drinking”). A liturgical tradition of adding “a small quantity of water” to the Eucharistic wine can hardly be validly inferred from a secular tradition of mixing one, two, three or four parts water to one part merum, or from Clement’s insistence on adding “as much water as possible.”

Is water added to the wine, or is wine added to the water?

Next, consider MacDonald’s insistence that the water must be added to the wine. No such liturgical order can be found prior to Ambrose.

Justin Martyr (100 – 165 A.D.) made reference to the mixed cup, but did not speak of a liturgical order of mixing.

Irenæus of Lyons (early 2nd century – 202 A.D.) made no reference to a liturgical order of mixing. However, by stating that the water signified Adam who was expelled from the garden, and the “heavenly commixture” signified God “having become united with the ancient substance of Adam’s formation” (Irenæus of Lyons, Against Heresies, Book V, Chapter 1, paragraph 3), he seems to have wine being added to redeem the “water” of Adam’s substance.

Clement of Alexandria (c. 150 – c. 215 A.D.) insisted that water be added in large quantities to prevent drunkenness, but when he spoke of the wine at Cana, he called it a mixture of the “watery element … of the law” to which was added the wine of “the new word.” When he spoke of the Eucharistic cup, he said “the mixture of wine and water” symbolized that the Jews first drank the water of temperance in the desert, and then “[a]fterwards the sacred vine produced the prophetic cluster,” at which point “the blood of the grape … desired to be mixed with water, as His blood is mingled with salvation” (Clement of Alexandria, Pædagogus, Book II, chapter 2, “On Drinking”). Again, the merum, or “the blood of the grape,” came last and was added to the water of temperance.

Cyprian of Carthage (c. 200 – 258 A.D.) in Epistle 62 argued that wine is typically made by adding water, just as bread is made by adding water to flour, but noted with Clement that the miracle at Cana had been performed by the miraculous addition of merum (symbolizing Christ) in order to purify the water (symbolizing His people) in conjugal union (paragraphs 12, 13)—the merum obviously coming last. Also, because the entire epistle was written against the illicit practice of using water alone in the cup, he spent considerable time correcting the practice by insisting that the cup was to be “mixed with wine” and “mingled with wine” (paragraphs 2, 4, 11,17)—as if the practice could be corrected simply by adding wine to the water.

Aphrahat referred to the mixed cup, but made no mention of the order of mixing. Thus, from Justin in the early 2nd century to Aphrahat in the mid 4th century, there appears to be no concern at all regarding the order of adding the water to the wine as a liturgical obligation.

A liturgical tradition of adding water to a cup of wine can hardly be validly inferred from the writings of men who make no mention of it, or who mention the mixture but do not have any sense of an apostolic mandate as to the order. It certainly cannot be inferred from Cyprian who corrected an errant practice by insisting that wine must be added to the water.

What do the water and wine signify?

In his explanation of the rite, Rev. MacDonald alleged that the wine represents “the Divinity of Christ,” and the water represents “His Sacred Humanity,” but we are hard pressed to find such symbolism in the Early Church.

In his brief treatment of the symbolical meaning of the elements, Irenæus had the water representing “Adam who had been conquered and was expelled from Paradise.” If there is any symbolism to be found in him, it is that the mixture of water with wine signifies that “the Word of the Father and the Spirit of God” have “become united with the ancient substance of Adam’s formation,” which would seem to make the merum symbolize both Christ and the Holy Spirit (Irenæus, Against Heresies, Book V, chapter 1, paragraph 3), although Irenæus does not dwell significantly on the topic.

Later that century, Clement had “the watery portion” of the mixture signifying “the lusts of the flesh” of men, and the wine signifying the elect (Clement of Alexandria, The Pædagogus, Book I, chapter 6). In another place, Clement had the “watery element” signifying “the old law” and the merum signifying Christ, “the new word”  (Clement of Alexandria, The Pædagogus, Book II, chapter 6). In yet another place, Clement seems to have the water and the merum both signifying Jesus’ humanity—the water flowing from “the smitten Rock,” and the wine flowing from “the great cluster the Word, bruised for us” (Clement of Alexandria, The Pædagogus, Book II, chapter 2: on Drinking).

The next century, Cyprian thought the water  was a figure of the Jewish people apart from Christ, for “among the Jews there was a want of spiritual grace,” and therefore “wine also was wanting” (Cyprian of Carthage, Epistle 62, paragraph 12). But in the mixing, water signified the people (based on Revelation 17:15), and the wine represented Christ (Cyprian of Carthage, Epistle 62, paragraph 13).

These are all the early references to the symbology of the water and the wine. From which of these diverse symbologies does Rev. MacDonald authoritatively trace his belief that the wine represents Christ’s divinity and the  water His humanity? There was no consensus at all among the early writers, and thus no indication that they believed they were passing on an inspired apostolic symbology.

Even today, there remains no clear consensus within Rome about what the water and wine mean. David Philipart, writing for US Catholic, and Jeffrey Pinyan writing for Praying the Mass, sum it up best when they explain the late origin of the symbology which “may never have been intended in the beginning,” and only “gained significance” much later:

“Both actions are very ancient and began as practical necessities [of winecraft], but eventually the necessities disappeared and were even forgotten. Later when Christians started to ask what these two gestures meant, they began to interpret the actions symbolically. While these symbols may never have been intended in the beginning, the better ones made sense and became part of our rich tradition.” (David Phillippart, “Why does the priest pour water into the wine and put a piece of the bread into the cup?”, US Catholic (Vol. 70, No. 1, page 43), January 2005).

“But the wine used at Mass is no longer as thick or strong as the wine used two thousand years ago. What was once necessary [as part of winecraft] gained a spiritual significance which has endured long after the necessity has ceased.” (Jeffrey Pinyan, Praying the Mass, “Mixing the Wine with Water,” June 10 2014).

These statements are tacit acknowledgement that the symbolism currently attached to the ingredients came well after the Last Supper. Thus in the 1,600 years of its existence, Roman Catholicism has yet to determine the actual symbology of its ritual, is unable even to trace it authoritatively to the Early Church, and much less to the apostles and to Christ.

The selective Roman appeal to the Church Fathers

By reviewing Justin, Irenæus, Clement, Cyprian and Aphrahat, we have surveyed the whole of Rome’s ancient patristic arguments for mixing the cup at the altar during Mass. “We must mix the cup,” Rome’s apologists declare, “because it is an ancient patristic tradition.” “We must not break with the tradition of the fathers,” they insist. But while Rome seeks to prove the novel mixing rite from an imagined tradition from the early writers, many actual documented Eucharistic practices of the Early Church have long since been abandoned by Rome as meaningless, insignificant, impractical and even irreverent and sacrilegious. In fact, Rome is so selective in its appeal to the Early Church, that it becomes clear that the argument for pouring water into the wine at the altar by the priest was never really about apostolic antiquity at all.

Communion in the hand

Consider the early practice of receiving communion in the hand. Cyprian of Carthage described the practice (Cyprian of Carthage, Epistle 55, paragraph 9), as did Cyril of Jerusalem (Cyril of Jerusalem, Catechetical Lectures, Lecture 23, paragraph 21). Chrysostom, too, said Jesus had given us His body “both to hold and to eat” (John Chrysostom, Homily 24 on 1 Corinthians, paragraph 7).

Yet Rome resents that early practice and seeks to diminish it. The 1969 Instruction, Memoriale Domini, published by the Sacred Congregation for Divine Worship, lamented the 20th century desire of some Roman Catholics “to return to the ancient usage of depositing the eucharistic bread in the hand of the communicant” (Memoriale Domini). The early but apparently offensive Christian practice of taking the bread in the hand was abandoned centuries later when “a deepening understanding … of the presence of Christ” in the Eucharist dawned in the novel Roman religion:

“Later, with a deepening understanding of the truth of the eucharistic mystery, of its power and of the presence of Christ in it, there came a greater feeling of reverence towards this sacrament and a deeper humility was felt to be demanded when receiving it. Thus the custom was established of the minister placing a particle of consecrated bread on the tongue of the communicant.” (Memoriale Domini)

Thus this Eucharistic practice of the Early Church, so plainly stated in the early writers, is set aside by Rome based on later  developments on the significance of the sacrament. Notable for its absence is any call from the Magisterium to return to taking the bread in hand on the authority of the early fathers.

Deacons and laity taking the Eucharist to those who were absent

Consider as well Justin Martyr’s explanation that the deacons administered the bread and the cup to those present, and then took some of the bread and wine to those who were absent:

“And when the president has given thanks, and all the people have expressed their assent, those who are called by us deacons give to each of those present to partake of the bread … and to those who are absent they carry away a portion.” (Justin Martyr, First Apology, chapter 65)

“… to those who are absent a portion is sent by the deacons.” (Justin Martyr, First Apology, chapter 67)

The practice, known as “reservation,” continued for centuries after Justin, even among the laity whe kept a portion for later consumption. Tertullian (On Prayer, chapter 19), Cyprian, (On the Lapsed, paragraph 26), Basil, (Epistle 93), and Jerome (Letter 48, chapter 15) all mention it unobjectionably, as if it was a perfectly acceptable and even commendable way to handle the elements.

But reservation by the deacons and laity was abandoned later with the dawning of “a deepening understanding … of the presence of Christ” in the Eucharist in Rome:

“Soon the task of taking the Blessed Eucharist to those absent was confided to the sacred ministers alone, so as the better to ensure the respect due to the sacrament and to meet the needs of the faithful.” (Memoriale Domini)

Again, this Eucharistic practice of the Early Church, so plainly stated in the early writers, was set aside by Rome based on a much later “deepened” understanding on the significance of the sacrament. Notable for its absence is any call from Roman apologists to return the practice of reservation by deacons and laypersons on the authority of the fathers.

Mixing all of the wine with water

It would seem that if Christ mixed the cup Himself, as Rome alleges, then every communion cup ought to be mixed in imitation of Him, but Rome does not consistently mingle all of its cups during the Mass. We recall Justin’s explanation that “wine mixed with water” was administered “to each of those present” (Justin Martyr, First Apology, paragraph 65).  Also, Irenæus observed that “the substance of our flesh is increased and supported” by “the mingled cup” (Irenæus, Against Heresies, Book V, Chapter 2, paragraph 3). We recall as well Cyprian’s admonition that “the cup of the Lord is not indeed water alone, nor wine alone, unless each be mingled with the other” (Cyprian of Carthage, Epistle 62, paragraph 13).

Rome insists on the mixed cup based on Justin, Irenæus and Cyprian among others, but when it comes to the practicalities of large Masses, only one cup apparently needs to be mixed and the remaining cups can be unmingled “wine alone.”

For good reason, Roman Catholics are occasionally confused by this. Is it not an ancient apostolic tradition to use a mingled cup? Should not all of the cups be mixed? And yet the General Instruction of the Roman Missal (GIRM) only calls for water to be added to a single chalice. Busted Halo, a ministry of the Paulist Fathers, attempts to explain away the inconsistency:

“The GIRM is calling attention to the ONE cup in which we all partake, meaning that we call attention to one consecrated cup in the Eucharistic Prayer because we all share in one cup, even though for the sake of allowing the blood of Christ to be available to all present we often use more than one container, all of those containers are considered ONE sacrament that we share together. This is more likely the intention and therefore the rubric calls for the priest to pour water into the cup that he will raise during consecration.” (Mike Hayes, Busted Halo, Why do Priests Pour Holy Water Into the Main Chalice Instead of Each Cup? , September 2, 2014)

The Paulist Fathers explain in true Orwellian fashion that adding water to all the cups is actually ill-advised and “can send a mixed message.” “All the chalices,” they claim, “indeed contain the blood of Christ despite the lack of water in some” (Mike Hayes, Why do Priests Pour Holy Water Into the Main Chalice Instead of Each Cup?). Given the arguments Rome uses that the cup must be mixed in accordance with “ancient apostolic tradition,” we find their arguments for not mixing all the cups to be less than compelling.

Clearly, if every cup is not mixed, then a mixed cup cannot be administered “to each of those present” in accordance with the practice of the early church. Notable for its absence is any call from Roman apologists to return the practice of mixing all the wine with water based on the authority of the fathers.

Everyone partaking of wine

The night before Jesus died, He took the cup and “gave it to them, saying, Drink ye all of it” (Matthew 26:27), “and they all drank of it” (Mark 14:23).  If everyone is to drink of the cup (per Matthew 26 and Mark 14), if everyone is to drink of the mixed cup (per Justin Martyr), and if the “antitypes” of “both the bread the body of Christ, and the cup the blood of Christ” are to be received by all believers (Irenæus, Fragment 37),  and if Jesus’ command to “Eat my flesh, and drink my blood” was given to the whole Church “consisting of many members” (Clement of Alexandria, The Paedagogus, Book I, chapter 6), and if the “brotherhood” must not “blush to drink the blood of Christ” per Cyprian (Epistle 62, paragraph 15), and if all catechumens were instructed to receive both “the anti-typical Body and Blood of Christ” (Cyril of Jerusalem, Catechetical Lecture 23, paragraph 20), then the drinking of the cup would appear to be of some supreme apostolic importance to the early church. Indeed, the Catholic Encyclopedia concedes that this practice prevailed for nearly 1100 years:

“It may be stated as a general fact, that down to the twelfth century, in the West as well as in the East, public Communion in the churches was ordinarily administered and received under both kinds.” (Catholic Encyclopedia, Communion under both kinds)

Yet here, Rome has simply changed the ancient practice on her own authority:

“[I]n the course of time, holy mother the Church, mindful of her authority in the administration of the Sacraments, and influenced by weighty and just reasons, has approved the custom of communicating under one kind, and decreed it to have the force of a law, which may not be set aside or changed but by the Church’s own authority” (Catholic Encyclopedia, Communion under both kinds)

Notable for its absence is any call from the Magisterium to return to the ancient practice of everyone receiving communion under both kinds on the authority of the early church fathers.

The use of red wine

Justin Martyr, when explaining the significance of the Lord’s Supper, said that “in the remembrance effected by their solid and liquid food” the suffering of Christ “is brought to mind.” He further noted that Rahab’s scarlet thread “also manifested the symbol of the blood of Christ” (Justin Martyr, Dialogue with Trypho, chapters 111, 117). Clearly, Justin thought “the symbol of the blood” ought to be red in order for Christ’s sufferings to be “brought to mind.” Cyprian, when correcting the practice of using water alone in the Lord’s supper in order to avoid detection by Roman authorities, asked, “Can water make garments red? … Assuredly, therefore, mention is made of wine, that the Lord’s blood may be understood” (Cyprian of Carthage, Epistle 62, paragraph 7). Cyprian clearly thought the contents of the cup should be red, so that “the Lord’s blood” may be properly understood. Even the Catholic Encyclopedia acknowledges that among the various depictions of the Eucharist in the catacombs may be seen “a glass containing red wine” (Catholic Encyclopedia, Roman Catacombs). Despite these, the Catholic Encyclopedia teaches that the color of the wine does not matter. “It may be white or red” (Catholic Encyclopedia, Altar Wine). Notable for its absence is any call from Rome’s apologists to return to the use of red wine on the authority of the early church.

Standing during the Lord’s Supper

As we noted in our article, “It’s Complicated”, the Early Church did not kneel on Sundays, and therefore certainly did not kneel during the Lord’s Supper. Tertullian said the early church considered “kneeling in worship on the Lord’s day to be unlawful” (Tertullian, De Corona, Chapter 3). The 20th canon of Nicæa established the standing posture as normative:

“Forasmuch as there are certain persons who kneel on the Lord’s Day and in the days of Pentecost, therefore, to the intent that all things may be uniformly observed everywhere (in every parish), it seems good to the holy Synod that prayer be made to God standing.” (Canon XX, Council of Nicæa, 325 A.D.)

Later that century, Basil reminded his hearers that “We pray standing, on the first day of the week,” for “the rules of the church have educated us to prefer the upright attitude of prayer” (Basil, de Spiritu Sancto, chapter 27). Pope Leo the Great reinforced this, saying that Nicæa had “laid down a code of canons for the Church to last till the end of the world” (Leo the Great, Letter 106, paragraph 4).

Thus, standing on the Lord’s day, even by the standards of 5th century Roman Catholicism, was a permanent, perpetual statute, to last forever. The Early Church Fathers, Nicæa, and even the pope, taught against kneeling on the Lord’s Day. And if one cannot kneel on the Lord’s Day, then one cannot kneel at the Lord’s Supper, either. Yet for all this, Rome simply dismisses the early practice of standing during the Lord’s Supper, and imposes a kneeling posture instead:

“Eventually kneeling became more common in public prayer with the increase of adoration of the Blessed Sacrament. … Some may like to stand, but the Holy See does not allow for this”(Jason Evert, Catholic Answers, Should we stand or kneel at Mass?)

Notable for its absence is any call from Rome’s apologists to return to the early practice of prohibiting kneeling during the consecration.

The real reason for adding water to wine at the altar

We recount all these instances of Rome’s flagrant violation and systemic rejection of the Eucharistic practices of the Early Church in order to demonstrate the utter vacuity of Rome’s appeal to the “authority” of the Early Church for the mixing of water with wine at the altar. On the one hand, the practice of the minister mixing water with wine at the table during the Lord’s Supper cannot be found before Ambrose, yet Rome attempts to claim apostolic antiquity based on the early writers. On the other hand, many other practices that actually can be traced to the Early Church and the Scriptures are dismissed out of hand.

Ask a Roman apologist why Roman Catholicism frowns upon communion in the hand as practiced by the Early Church, and he will say that his church now thinks it wise to avoid the practice.

Ask him why the practice of reservation, clearly practiced by the deacons and laity in the Early Church, has now been limited to the clergy, and he will say that his church thought it was unwise to continue the ancient practice.

Ask him why all the wine used at the Lord’s Supper is not mixed with water, as clearly practiced in the Early Church, and he will say that his church now thinks it impractical and unnecessary to do so.

Ask him why most participants at the Mass do not even partake of the cup at all, even though the Early Church insisted that all drink of it, and he will tell you that his church has determined that it is not necessary.

Ask him why Rome does not care about the color of the wine, even though the Early Church clearly did, and he will tell you that his church has simply determined otherwise.

Ask him why his church now requires kneeling during the consecration, even though the Early Church forbade kneeling during the service, and he will tell you that his church has simply determined that the new posture is more reverent.

But dare to question the liturgical rite of mixing water with wine at the table during the Lord’s Supper, even though the Early Church did not practice it, and the Roman apologist will attempt to defend the practice on the authority of the Early Church.

Clearly the authority of the Early Church has absolutely nothing to do with it. To the Roman apologist, only one thing really matters: Holy mother the Church, mindful of her authority, has instituted a new practice. That is all. If some semblance of a fabricated defense can be constructed from the Early Church, all the better, but no such defense is really required. As Rev. MacDonald noted above, the real reason for mixing water with wine during the Mass “is by order of the Church.”

The problem, as we have shown in this series, is that the “order of the Church” is founded upon on misunderstanding, error, myth and ignorance of ancient winecraft. It is suitable therefore to conclude the series with Thomas Aquinas’ abject confusion and historical errors related to the rite. His defense of the rite is found in Summa Theologica, and he lists four reasons for the liturgical mixing:

First of all on account of its institution: for it is believed with probability that our Lord instituted this sacrament in wine tempered with water according to the custom of that country: hence it is written (Prov. 9:5): “Drink the wine which I have mixed for you.”

Secondly, because it harmonizes with the representation of our Lord’s Passion: hence Pope Alexander I says (Ep. 1 ad omnes orth.): “In the Lord’s chalice neither wine only nor water only ought to be offered, but both mixed because we read that both flowed from His side in the Passion.”

Thirdly, because this is adapted for signifying the effect of this sacrament, since as Pope Julius says (Concil. Bracarens iii, Can. 1): “We see that the people are signified by the water, but Christ’s blood by the wine. Therefore when water is mixed with the wine in the chalice, the people is made one with Christ.”

Fourthly, because this is appropriate to the fourth effect of this sacrament, which is the entering into everlasting life: hence Ambrose says (De Sacram. v): “The water flows into the chalice, and springs forth unto everlasting life.” (Thomas Aquinas, Summa Theologica, Part III, Question 74, Article 6)

These arguments are quite telling, both in their wording and in their questionable historicity, and only one—from the late 4th century—has any ground at all.

The first argument may be dismissed out of hand for the reasons we have noted throughout this series, namely that a secular custom of mixing merum with water does not validly imply that Jesus mixed the wine Himself at the table,  and a custom of adding a little water cannot be validly derived from a custom of adding a lot. Jesus also would have used bread made of flour mixed with water, but the mixing of the dough is not liturgized on account of that. Remarkably, Aquinas unwittingly concedes this very point when responding to an objection that “nothing is added to the bread” and thus, “neither should anything be added to the wine.” Aquinas’ counter argument, repeating Cyprian, was that the adding of water was simply part of the manufacturing process for both elements: “Bread is made of water and flour; and therefore, since water is mixed with the wine, neither is without water” (Thomas Aquinas, Summa Theologica, Part III, Question 74, Article 6, response to objection 3). In his inductive, illogical Thomistic method, Aquinas had actually provided an argument against liturgizing either the mixing of the bread or the wine at the table, for indeed it was “the custom of that country” to mix both before the meal. Even his appeal to Proverbs 9:5 to support mixing at the altar is invalid, for Proverbs 9:2 shows that the wine was “mingled” in advance, before the table was “furnished.”

Aquinas’ second argument is from an epistle allegedly from “Pope” Alexander I (d. 115) “To All Priests.” That epistle has since proved to be a forgery, being found among the Pseudo-Isodorian Decretals and Other Forgeries, from the 9th century. The alleged 2nd century argument for mixing water with wine during the mass, as put forth in the forged epistle, is not actually found until Ambrose’s Concerning the Sacraments (Book V, chapter 1, paragraph 4). As is typical in Roman Catholicism, the forged epistle’s authors had tried to imbue Ambrose’s late 4th century novel arguments with ante-Nicæan legitimacy, and Aquinas swallowed the forgery whole.

His third argument is from the Third Council of Braga (675 A.D.), which simply recites Cyprian’s ancient argument about what he believed the water is intended to signify (Cyprian of Carthage, Epistle 62, paragraph 13). As we have shown here, however, Cyprian did not make an argument for mixing the water with the wine at the table during the Lord’s Supper, and in fact believed that the mixing of water with wine was no more liturgically significant than the mixing of water with flour. Further, Cyprian’s opinion on the symbolism of the water is hardly authoritative since there were so many other earlier patristic opinions that differed from his—e.g., Clement who thought that the water signified Christ, “the smitten rock,” and the wine signified Christ, the cluster of grapes “bruised for us.” As we have noted here, even Rome’s apologists acknowledge that “these symbols may never have been intended in the beginning,” and what symbolism has been extracted has no consensus from the early church.

His fourth argument, the only one that is valid, is simply a citation from Book V of Ambrose’s On the Sacraments (c. 387 A.D.), the first known description of the rite of the priest pouring water into wine at the altar ostensibly in imitation of Christ. Thus, for all of his attempts to trace the rite to Christ and to the apostles, the best Aquinas can do is trace the rite to the late 4th century.

Rome is therefore left with such justifying rationale as, “it is believed with probability,” and “it is supposed,” and “the Fathers from the earliest times have tried to find reasons” for the rite. Lacking any evidence or direct knowledge of any such apostolic rite, Rome is left with its empty arguments, still unable to prove that Jesus, the Apostles and the early church practiced the rite, even as the Magisterium flatly rejects the things they actually practiced.

It is fitting, therefore to conclude this series with one of the most fancifully revisionist summaries of the rite that can be found in all the literature that has been devoted to it. Michael Aquilina, Roman Catholic apologist and “author or editor of more than forty books, including The Fathers of the Church, The Mass of the Early Christians, and Angels of God,” offers us this highly imaginative historical gloss:

“As the priest pours the two elements, a devout Christian can’t help but remember this scene from the Scriptures.” (Mike Aquilina, Why does the priest mix water and wine?, February 1, 2016)

Which scene would that be? It cannot be found in the Scriptures. Like Aquinas and the Pseudo-Isodorian forgeries, Aquilina has only one authentic source for the rite—Ambrose of Milan, from the late 4th century:

“We said, therefore, that the cup and the bread are set on the altar. What is poured into the cup? Wine. And what else? Water.” (Ambrose of Milan, Concerning the Sacraments, Book V, chapter 1, paragraph 2).

Like his forebears, Aquilina—and all of Rome with him—must strain against history and rely on his own imagination in order to place the novel rite in the ante-Nicæan and apostolic era. But it simply cannot be done. The rite, along with so many others of Rome’s novelties, belongs to the late 4th century.

583 thoughts on “The Mingled Cup, part 5”

  1. Tim,

    Would you please read this short booklet and let me know your views? Will you be posting any further research on how the Scriptures migrated into Britain/Scotland before the 4th century?

    I know that everyone considers Rome the “eternal city” but have you looked into the importance of Britain and Scotland, and her colonies, in the history of God’s providence. Perhaps it is true that Rome is the center of Antichrist and the root of all the global wickedness being promoted since the 4th century, but where did the path of Apostolic truth follow?

    http://www.reformedpresbytery.org/books/anglobroke/anglobroke.pdf

    While I know you don’t agree with the concept of civil and church reformation leading to the a kingdom of God on earth, I would still like any research you have gathered on where the actual Greek received text and manuscripts traveled prior to the 4th century.

    Walt.

  2. Tim,

    I saw the comments and new blog by ex-Calvinist. I just wanted to say that I’m praying for your kind and gentle responses in hopes not to get too deep into an unhelpful debate with those who are anti-christ and anti-biblical in their teachings. The ex-Calvinist is deeply hardened and as most scholars of today are so blinded by their own presuppositions it is impossible to teach them any significant truths of history or scripture.

    Certainly it is interesting to learn about the views of early church fathers, and to pinpoint their claims in rebuttal to Rome’s dogma, don’t forget that it is sola scriptura that Protestants were murdered by Rome for teaching and believing as the final authority to believe and put faith in as our source documents. Any subordinate standard or secondary standard must conform with the true teaching and inerrant literal sense interpretation of Scripture.

    Rome (and ex-Calvinist) do not hold these principles as being truthful, and rather look to the teaching of only men as their supreme authority. That is why ex-Calvinist will spend a lot of time trying to refute your excellent research with a bunch of quotes hoping to convince readers that the truth of who God really is lies in the teaching of Rome and the Early Fathers, not in the Scriptures.

    Beware, be careful and may the Lord guide your rebuttal.

  3. Tim, wow I guess you did lose quite a bit of sleep after our debate. Obviously someone who writes a 5 piece article on the Mingled cup is dealing with a guilty conscience. Did you ever find out what kind of wine they use in your church and rather they mix wine with water in the manufacturing process. Until you find out I suspect you will continue to have sleepless nights. I guess I won’t be allowed to critique your article but if you ever want to debate again just let me know.
    Actually I have been so busy I really had not had a chance to visit your site. My main reason for returning was to ask you the same question I asked Brian and I suspect I will get the same response I got from him. Complete silence. So let’s see if I am right. First, Did Jesus establish a visible Church with teaching authority? Second, Does that Church still exist? And third, If it no longer exists approximately when did it cease to exist?. I will continue to pray for you and your family.

    1. Timothy P,

      You can feel free to assume that I have had sleepless nights. Whether I do or not does not appear to matter to you. If it ever occurs to you to inquire after my nocturnal bliss, I would answer honestly. Have you ever considered just asking?

      You then asked,

      “Did Jesus establish a visible Church with teaching authority?”

      Wow, that’s a big question. I suppose that depends on what you mean by “teaching authority”. By “teaching authority” to you mean a visible institution, centrally administered, endowed with dominion and authority? I don’t know if you mean that or not. Can you help me understand your question?

      I also believe Jesus and His apostles prophesied the rise of a damnable error from within the church in the form of a visible apostasy that would manifest in the relatively near future within the time frame of the fragments of the Roman empire, and the deception would be so convincing that almost everybody in the world would fall for it, except for His visible church. Do you think He was lying about that part?

      Thanks, and I look forward to your answers.

      Tim

      1. Tim K, sorry I did not respond sooner but I am no longer getting notified about comments on your site and just happened to be on vacation this week and realized you had responded to my questions. Your answer, “Wow, that’s a big question”. Not really, it’s a very simple question that can be answered Yes or No. Your Protestant bias is obviously showing for instead of answering the question you run off on other tangents, ie “visible institution, centrally administered, endowed with dominion and authority” and “I also believe Jesus and His apostles prophesied the rise of a damnable error from within the church in the form of a visible apostasy that would manifest in the relatively near future within the time frame of the fragments of the Roman empire, and the deception would be so convincing that almost everybody in the world would fall for it, except for His visible church. Do you think He was lying about that part?””
        Do I think He was lying about that part? No Timothy K I do not believe He was lying, I believe you are misinterpreting Scripture and History unfortunately to your own destruction. In fact you have so convinced yourself that the Catholic Church is the Whore of Babylon that it blinds you to reasonable discussions on such topics as Irenaeus’s teaching on the real presence. How anyone can look at those 6 explicit quotes I gave you and deny Irenaeus’s belief in the real presence is a perfect example of your bias. You will never admit you are wrong
        Now the importance of such a question, Did Christ establish a visible Church with teaching authority is that it is so clearly taught in Scripture. Remember the Great Commission at the end of Matthew’s Gospel.
        “The Great Commission
        16 Then the eleven disciples went to Galilee, to the mountain where Jesus had told them to go.
        17 When they saw him, they worshiped him; but some doubted.
        18 Then Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me.
        19 Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit,
        20 and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.” ”
        So the Apostles were visible, we know their names and they were given teaching authority, wouldn’t you agree? So does that visible Church with teaching authority still exist and if not when did it cease to exit? These are very simple questions and the only reason you don’t want to give simple answers is you know it undermines your belief system. Later We can discuss where you get your teaching authority from

        1. Timothy P, since you state as a “fact” that I believe the Catholic Church is the Whore of Babylon, would you be so kind as to provide evidence of this “fact”? Where have I ever stated that “the Catholic Church is the Whore of Babylon”? I do not believe Roman Catholicism is the Whore of Babylon, and if at some time in the past I ever stated as much, I would gladly retract it. Just let me know where I said it, and I’ll correct it immediately.

          Next, you said, “Not really, it’s a very simple question that can be answered Yes or No.”

          No, actually, it can’t be answered until you define your term. That’s why I said, “I suppose that depends on what you mean by ‘teaching authority.'” I don’t know what you mean by that term, and so I can’t say Yes or No until you define it. If by “teaching authority” you mean “pepperoni pizza,” then my answer is No. But I don’t think you mean “pepperoni pizza,” so why don’t you tell me what that term means to you in the context of your question? Typically, by “teaching authority” Romanists mean “the current form and function of the magisterium of the Roman Catholic Church,” which loads the question with Roman Catholic bias from the outset. Maybe you don’t define “teaching authority” that way, so, to make this conversation productive, why don’t you just tell me what “teaching authority” means?

          Thanks,

          Tim

          1. I truly apologize Timothy K for my error in suggesting that you had understood the Whore of Babylon to be Catholicism as I had assumed that was your belief since you apparently do believe the Catholicism represents the rise of a damnable error and took over pretty much the entirety of Christianity. Thank you for correcting me.
            Some how I don’t seem to understand the difficulty in understanding what teaching authority means. It’s a little bit like Bill Clinton wanting to argue over the meaning of the word “is” during the Monica Lewinski debacle.
            Of course the questions are loaded because the fact that you will not concede that Christ established a visible Church with teaching authority shows you own personal Protestant bias. You cannot read the Great Commission and answer that question in any other way other then yes. Christ said “All authority in heaven and earth has been given to me”, then he tells the apostles to go make disciples of all nations, baptizing them and teaching them. So where does that authority originate?
            Now obviously I realize Timothy K that you do not recognize the teaching authority of the Catholic church today. That’s OK. I am just interested in when you believe that original Visible Church with teaching authority however you want to define teaching authority ceased to exist.

          2. Timothy P,

            The “whore of Babylon” is a city, not a religion: “And the woman which thou sawest is that great city…” (Revelation 17:18). That’s why I don’t think Roman Catholicism is “the whore of Babylon.”

            You wrote,

            “Some how I don’t seem to understand the difficulty in understanding what teaching authority means.”

            Timothy P, the first rule in effective communication is to define your terms. If you do not understand the significance of defining your terms, you do not know how to communicate effectively. You continued,

            “It’s a little bit like Bill Clinton wanting to argue over the meaning of the word “is” during the Monica Lewinski debacle.”

            Timothy P, were the borogoves all mimsy?

            Just answer the question. Or do you not understand what that means? Are you like Bill Clinton, wondering what “mimsy” and “borogoves” are? You can’t answer my question if you don’t know what I mean by it. And I cannot answer your question if I do not know what you mean by it.

            “Of course the questions are loaded because the fact that you will not concede that Christ established a visible Church with teaching authority shows you own personal Protestant bias.”

            When did I ever “refuse” to concede that Christ established a visible church? I have not even responded to your question except to ask you what you mean by “teaching authority.” I have simply invited you to communicate effectively. Do you not wish to do so? Why are you so reticent to define what you mean by “teaching authority”? Why are you not willing to communicate effectively?

            Thanks,

            Tim

  4. I am sitting here after watching the movie on the Catholic Priest scandal and the Boston Globe reporters in 2001-2002.

    The movie is called Spotlight.

    There is one thing that is clear. The Catholic Church is among the most powerful, influential and wicked organizations in the world…bar none. It has its defenders at all cost no matter how many children are abused.

    I would ask everyone to watch the movie Spotlight. It is really an incredible story of persistence and incredible fearlessness by these reporters who against all odds persisted to uncover that very few would ever discuss…as it is all “conspiracy” for those poor victims who tried to tell their story.

    The movie is free on netflix. I suggest you all watch it, and understand what is going on in the Catholic Church!

    1. try the HBO documentary call “Mea Maxima Culpa”, not a movie, but a true eye opener about the RCC and it’s handling of the child abuse cases.

  5. Thanks for the link. I just tried to find it on YouTube and came up with these other documentaries. WOW, CRAZY!!!

    Deliver Us from Evil (2006) Official Trailer # 1 – Documentary HD

    Mea Maxima Culpa”: Film Exposes Horror of Catholic Child Sex Abuser, Heroism of His Victims (2012)

    Breaking News Pope Benedict to Seek Immunity and Protection from Italian President child torture

  6. Timothy P said ” it blinds you to Iranaeus discussions on the real presence ” Where has Iranaeus done a paper on the real presence? He never mentions the words real presence. You have imported transubstantiation to his teaching. ” ” so the Apostles were visible, we know their names and they were given teaching authority” Yes they were. Each has a pillar. I missed the pillars in scripture named for your popes? ” so does the visible church with teaching authority still exist” I think you may be confused. Paul uses church as a metaphor for the body of believers. We are individual members of Christ’s body. Some arms, some legs, a nose, etc. According to scripture, we are not to go on beyond what is written. Timothy P, it isn’t reasonable nor safe for a true believer to trust anything not specifically taught in the word of God. Jesus said ” if someone comes to YOU and says I am the Christ, don’t believe Him. ” Notice, he doesn’t say consider it, he commands me to reject it. So when my pastor teaches me the word of God I listen, but the moment He claims more than this, for instance infallibility, or the claim that his church is Christ’s historical and natural body, or He is Christ on earth, I am commanded to reject him. And if you obeyed the gospel, you should also reject all claims to Christ, other than Jesus himself. K

    1. Kevin; you wrote

      ” Timothy P said ” it blinds you to Irenaeus discussions on the real presence ” Where has Irenaeus done a paper on the real presence? He never mentions the words real presence. You have imported transubstantiation to his teaching. ”

      Kevin, Irenaeus never wrote a paper on the real presence but if you for just a moment will take off your Protestant blinders and read the following quotes I think you will agree that Irenaeus was speaking of the real presence, not a symbolic presence. And if you don’t agree maybe you could go over each quote and tell me why you believe Irenaeus was suggesting a symbolic presence. Would you mind sharing the quotes with friends and relatives and see what they think? I’ll do the same and we can compare notes.
      Irenaeus wrote:

      1, But vain in every respect are they who despise the entire dispensation of God, and disallow the salvation of the flesh, and treat with contempt its regeneration, maintaining that it is not capable of incorruption. But if this indeed do not attain salvation, then neither did the Lord redeem us with His blood, nor is the cup of the Eucharist the communion of His blood, nor the bread which we break the communion of His body. 1 Corinthians 10:16 For blood can only come from veins and flesh, and whatsoever else makes up the substance of man, such as the Word of God was actually made.

      2) And as we are His members. we are also nourished by means of the creation (and He Himself grants the creation to us, for He causes His sun to rise, and sends rain when He wills Matthew 5:45). He has acknowledged the cup (which is a part of the creation) as His own blood, from which He bedews our blood; and the bread (also a part of the creation) He has established as His own body, from which He gives increase to our bodies.

      3. When, therefore, the mingled cup and the manufactured bread receives the Word of God, and the Eucharist of the blood and the body of Christ is made, from which things the substance of our flesh is increased and supported, how can they affirm that the flesh is incapable of receiving the gift of God, which is life eternal, which [flesh] is nourished from the body and blood of the Lord, and is a member of Him?— even as the blessed Paul declares in his Epistle to the Ephesians, that “we are members of His body, of His flesh, and of His bones.” Ephesians 5:30

      4. And as we are His members, we are also man, for a spirit has not bones nor flesh; Luke 24:39 but [he refers to] that dispensation [by which the Lord became] an actual man, consisting of flesh, and nerves, and bones—that [flesh] which is nourished by the cup which is His blood, and receives increase from the bread which is His body. And just as a cutting from the vine planted in the ground fructifies in its season, or as a grain of wheat falling into the earth and becoming decomposed, rises with manifold increase by the Spirit of God, who contains all things, and then, through the wisdom of God, serves for the use of men, and having received the Word of God, becomes the Eucharist, which is the body and blood of Christ; so also our bodies, being nourished by it, and deposited in the earth, and suffering decomposition there, shall rise at their appointed time, the Word of God granting them resurrection to the glory of God, even the Father, who freely gives to this mortal immortality, and to this corruptible incorruption,

      5. But how can they be consistent with themselves, [when they say] that the bread over which thanks have been given is the body of their Lord, and the cup His blood, if they do not call Himself the Son of the Creator of the world, that is, His Word, through whom the wood fructifies, and the fountains gush forth, and the earth gives “first the blade, then the ear, then the full corn in the ear.”

      6)Then, again, how can they say that the flesh, which is nourished with the body of the Lord and with His blood, goes to corruption, and does not partake of life? Let them, therefore, either alter their opinion, or cease from offering the things just mentioned. But our opinion is in accordance with the Eucharist, and the Eucharist in turn establishes our opinion. For we offer to Him His own, announcing consistently the fellowship and union of the flesh and Spirit. For as the bread, which is produced from the earth, when it receives the invocation of God, is no longer common bread, but the Eucharist, consisting of two realities, earthly and heavenly; so also our bodies, when they receive the Eucharist, are no longer corruptible, having the hope of the resurrection to eternity.

      1. ” Iranaeus never wrote a paper on the real presence ” Thank you. So why import transubstantiation an 11th century sophistry to a 2nd century Bishop? That is not reasonable. Why not take Pope Gelasius words that the bread and wine remain, or Augustine words ” understand spiritually what I tell you ” Why go beyond that? And we know the answer to that. The reason you want to import ” real presence “, them you can worship the Jesus wafer. But scripture is crystal clear we are called to a spiritual relationship with Christ, we don’t worship creation, but the God in Spirit and truth. Paul said ” Christ in you the hope of glory, not Christ in bread the hope of glory. K

        1. Kevin wrote
          “So why import transubstantiation an 11th century sophistry to a 2nd century Bishop? That is not reasonable.”

          Kevin, it was you, not I that tried to transport the explanation of the real presence to a 2nd century Bishop. Did you read those quotes from Irenaeus and try to understand what he was saying? Did you share them with anyone to get a second opinion?

          I also assume you understand that for Catholics that these are spiritual matters so we have no problem with Augustine stating these issues need to be understood spiritually. I believe that there is a passage from Trent which speaks of the Eucharist as a symbol. So for Catholics it’s not either/or. We believe that these issues need to be understood spiritually, that the Eucharist is a symbol of Christ and we believe in the real presence. But what about these comments from Augustine and again could you go over them one by one and explain his comments given your denial of the real presence

          Augustine wrote
          Christ was carried in His Own hands when, referring to His Own body, He said, “This is My body.”
          For He carried that body in His hands (Explanations of the Psalms 33, 1, 10).
          [Jesus] received earth from earth; because flesh is from the earth, and He took flesh from the flesh
          of Mary. He walked here in the same flesh, and gave us the same flesh to be eaten unto salvation.
          But no one eats that flesh unless he first adores it… and not only do we not sin by adoring [His
          flesh], we do sin by not adoring (Explanations of the Psalms 98, 9).
          I promised you [new Christians], who have now been baptized, a sermon in which I would explain
          the sacrament of the Lord’s Table, which you now look upon and of which last night were made
          participants. You ought to know what you have received, what you are going to receive, and what
          you ought to receive daily. That bread which you see on the altar, having been sanctified by the
          Word of God, is the body of Christ. That chalice, or rather, what is in that chalice, having been
          sanctified by the Word of God, is the blood of Christ…. What you see is the bread and the chalice;
          that is what your eyes report to you. But what your faith obliges you to accept is that the bread is
          the body of Christ and the chalice is the blood of Christ (Sermons 227).
          The faithful know what I am saying. They know Christ in the breaking of the bread. For not all bread,
          but only that which receives the blessing of Christ, becomes Christ’s body (Sermons 234, 2).4

          1. Kevin
            Just a few more passages from Augustine that I wish you could comment on

            AUGUSTINE

            “You ought to know what you have received, what you are going to receive, and what you ought to receive daily. That Bread which you see on the altar, having been sanctified by the word of God, is the Body of Christ. The chalice, or rather, what is in that chalice, having been sanctified by the word of God, is the Blood of Christ.”

            -“Sermons”, [227, 21]

            “He who made you men, for your sakes was Himself made man; to ensure your adoption as many sons into an everlasting inheritance, the blood of the Only-Begotten has been shed for you. If in your own reckoning you have held yourselves cheap because of your earthly frailty, now assess yourselves by the price paid for you; meditate, as you should, upon what you eat, what you drink, to what you answer ‘Amen'”.

            -“Second Discourse on Psalm 32”. Ch. 4. circa

            “For the whole Church observes this practice which was handed down by the Fathers: that it prayers for those who have died in the communion of the Body and Blood of Christ, when they are commemorated in their own place in the sacrifice itself; and the sacrifice is offered also in memory of them on their behalf.

            Source: St. Augustine, Sermons 172,2, circa 400 A.D.

            “The fact that our fathers of old offered sacrifices with beasts for victims, which the present-day people of God read about but do not do, is to be understood in no way but this: that those things signified the things that we do in order to draw near to God and to recommend to our neighbor the same purpose. A visible sacrifice, therefore, is the sacrament, that is to say, the sacred sign, of an invisible sacrifice… . Christ is both the Priest, offering Himself, and Himself the Victim. He willed that the sacramental sign of this should be the daily sacrifice of the Church, who, since the Church is His body and He the Head, learns to offer herself through Him.

            Source: St. Augustine, The City of God, 10, 5; 10,20, c. 426:

      2. Timothy P, when last we interacted on Irenæus, I asked you to define “real presence,” and after your initial unwillingness to define the term, and after repeated requests from me, you finally responded with this:

        “the term is used in Christian theology regarding the doctrine of Jesus Christ being present in the Eucharist in reality or substance, not merely symbolically or metaphorically.”

        The problem is, you used “real” (i.e., “reality”) and “presence” (i.e., “present”) in your definition, which is improper when defining a term. It actually violates the rules of effective communication to define a term using the term. So without using “real”, “reality”, “really,” “presence” or “present,” in your definition, what does “real presence” actually mean to you? As I noted in our previous conversation,

        “In some circles, “real presence” means Jesus’ flesh is present literally and substantially under the accident of bread by transubstantiation and therefore the bread is to be worshiped, and in other circles “real presence” means Jesus is actually spiritually present to the recipient of the figures of bread and wine by faith, and therefore He is truly present even though the bread and wine remain substantially bread and wine. You can understand, I’m sure, that unless “real presence” is defined, it will be difficult to continue this conversation.”

        So what does “real presence” mean to you?

        Thanks,

        Tim

      3. Timothy P, let’s go over each of these quotes 1. This is against those who argue that Christ did not redeem us with his blood. He did. Paul says that the outer man is decaying daily and the inner man ( spiritually ) is being renewed each day. Our bodies grow old and die, but we will receive a glorified body. The Eucharist ( meaning thanksgiving) is indeed a thanksgiving of Christ shedding real blood and his real body breaking for our redemption. The bread we break ( notice he calls it bread) is indeed a communion with the real Jesus who lived, died, and rose bodily. But that communion is spiritual. Paul says we knew Christ in the flesh, but we no longer know Him this way 2 Corinthians 5:16. I will take one quote at a time. But Iranaeus as I have shown in the first quote is not talking about Christ being a piece of bread. You come to the text with transubstantiated eyes, not good.

        1. Kevin writes
          “The bread we break ( notice he calls it bread) is indeed a communion with the real Jesus who lived, died, and rose bodily. But that communion is spiritual. ”

          But Irenaeus writes

          “But if this indeed do not attain salvation, then neither did the Lord redeem us with His blood, nor is the cup of the Eucharist the communion of His blood, nor the bread which we break the communion of His body. 1 Corinthians 10:16

          Now Kevin where do you find in Irenaeus’s statement “But that communion is spiritual”. Kevin, you just can’t add words to Irenaeus’s comments and expect to go unchallenged. I simply gave the quotes. No need to add a commentary. And was the communion with the symbol of Christ’s body and blood? No, Irenaeus says “nor is the cup of the Eucharist the communion of His blood, nor the bread which we break the communion of His body. 1 Corinthians.
          And surely you are aware that Catholics even today will refer to the consecrated bread and wine as bread and wine. Where you not aware of that? Does that mean we deny the real presence?

  7. “So when my pastor teaches me the word of God I listen, but the moment He claims more than this, for instance infallibility, or the claim that his church is Christ’s historical and natural body, or He is Christ on earth, I am commanded to reject him. ”

    Well, I’d ask him first by what authority he can teach the word of God. Why is HE infallible to tell you what it says. I wouldn’t listen to him on that. But you are correct that you should also ignore these other claims. He has no claim to them because he isn’t part of the Apostolic Church.

  8. Mark, ” Why is he infallible to tell you what it says” Mark, you just provided my quote that says that I listen to my pastor unless he claims infallibility. I guarantee you he isn’t. ” I wouldn’t listen to him on that” really, the Ethiopian eunuch listened to Phillip and he wasn’t infallible. Your error Mark in your presuppositions is that people are infallible in teaching , they aren’t, God’s word is. 1 John 2:27 says we have no need of a teacher, but the anointing teaches us all things and it’s true. It doesn’t mean that we don’t listen to our teachers but ultimately it’s the Spirit teaching us in the scriptures. And as Hans says, it’s clear. God made it for his children to understand it. All scripture is profitable, even for establishing doctrine. ” but you are correct you should ignore these other claims” hallelujah, so why haven’t you? Your church claims infallibility in teaching, claims to be Christ, and your leader claims to the power of both swords civil and religious and claims to be Holy Father, head, and Vicar of the Son of God. You just told me I should reject these claims, when will you ? K

  9. Timothy P, quote 2. The second quote is very simple. Christ nourishes our body with creation such as bread, the sun, etc. And in the same way nourishes us spiritually, strengthening our inner man. Remember Christ said the words I speak are Spirit, the flesh profits nothing. His word nourishes us spiritually like bread nourishes our body. But again you have a skewed view of how we are incorporated into His body. It is through the Spirit, Christ is in us, not bread.

    1. Kevin
      Once again where do you see in Irenaeus’s quote the word spiritual or symbolic? The quote reads

      “2) And as we are His members. we are also nourished by means of the creation (and He Himself grants the creation to us, for He causes His sun to rise, and sends rain when He wills Matthew 5:45). He has acknowledged the cup (which is a part of the creation) as His own blood, from which He bedews our blood; and the bread (also a part of the creation) He has established as His own body, from which He gives increase to our bodies.”

      Now what does He acknowledge the cup to be? “HIS OWN BLOOD”. And the bread? HIS OWN BODY. Notice again Kevin I don’t need to make a commentary or try and change Irenaeus’s comments. Why do you feel the need to do so?

  10. Timothy P #3 is easy. When the bread and wine receive the word the thanksgiving of the body and blood are made. That’s true. And our souls and body are benefited because we have received eternal life. That’s true also. This is a spiritual union and eventually we receive a new heavenly body. But again you may forget that Eucharist means thanksgiving. In no way is he teaching Christ becomes bread.

    1. After the cup and manufactured bread the Eucharist of what is made? The symbol of the body and blood of Christ or the blood and the body of Christ? And notice Kevin that this does not happen until it receives THE WORD OF GOD. In your Church do you emphasize that this change does not take place until the cup and bread receive THE WORD OF GOD?
      And what is our Flesh nourished from says Irenaeus? “THE BODY AND THE BLOOD OF THE LORD.”
      And what are the three things that happen to our flesh according to Irenaeus when we are nourished by the Body and the Blood of Christ.
      1) Our flesh is “increased and supported”
      2) It receives “the gift of God, which is eternal life”
      3)”We are members of His Body, of His Flesh, of His Bones”

      If I am not mistaken Kevin I do not believe that you think we receive “the gift of God, which is eternal life” when we receive the Eucharist but correct me if I am wrong. You again tried to change Irenaeus’s quote by saying “we have received eternal life”, but the past tense received is not found in Irenaeus’s quote. Check it out
      Irenaeus
      3. When, therefore, the mingled cup and the manufactured bread receives the Word of God, and the Eucharist of the blood and the body of Christ is made, from which things the substance of our flesh is increased and supported, how can they affirm that the flesh is incapable of receiving the gift of God, which is life eternal, which [flesh] is nourished from the body and blood of the Lord, and is a member of Him?— even as the blessed Paul declares in his Epistle to the Ephesians, that “we are members of His body, of His flesh, and of His bones.” Ephesians 5:30

      1. ” if I am mistaken Kevin, I do not believe that you think we receive the gift of God, which is eternal life when we receive the Eucharist.” What are you talking about. Jesus said ” repent and believe in the gospel” The moment I believed I received the gift of God which is eternal life. Eucharist means thanksgiving . Has anyone told you. Of course my flesh is benefited, I have the Spirit of God, who Iranaeus says is all things . And yes we proclaim the word of God at the Lord’s supper. Without the word, faith, and the Spirit, it means nothing. But you deny that Jesus says the I speak are Spirit. It’s not about the bread changing it’s about the Spiritual nourishment we receive when we commemorate and remember his sacrifice. And yes it benefits my flesh, because I have received eternal life. Ephesians 1 : 7 says I HAVE redemption, not will have. You are confusing Eucharist which means thanksgiving with bread which means bread.

  11. Timothy P #4. ” the Spirit who contains all things ” this is actually a beautiful quote. Watch. Just as the Spirit takes decomposition to a seed and makes it grow, so will he raise our decomposed bodies into a glorious resurrected body. So he nourishes through his Spirit and his word on earth and someday our decaying bodies will receive a new body from the Spirit of God. Beautiful man. But again there is no Jesus in the bread moment. The only real presence is what he calls ” the Spirit who contains ALL things, get it. Every victory spoil is through the Spirit, since we no longer have Christ’s body till he returns Augustine said.

    1. . Kevin, unfortunately your exegesis of these quotes seems to match your exegesis of the Bible. Just ignore the quotes that don’t fit with your theology. There is a reason I am providing each quote with your exegesis and pointing out the parts of the quotes you just simply chose to ignore. So Irenaeaus says

      !And as we are His members, we are also man, for a spirit has not bones nor flesh; Luke 24:39 but [he refers to] that dispensation [by which the Lord became] an actual man, consisting of flesh, and nerves, and bones—that [flesh] which is nourished by the cup which is His blood, and receives increase from the bread which is His body. And just as a cutting from the vine planted in the ground fructifies in its season, or as a grain of wheat falling into the earth and becoming decomposed, rises with manifold increase by the Spirit of God, who contains all things, and then, through the wisdom of God, serves for the use of men, and having received the Word of God, becomes the Eucharist, which is the body
      and blood of Christ; so also our bodies, being nourished by it, and deposited in the earth, and suffering decomposition there, shall rise at their appointed time, the Word of God granting them resurrection to the glory of God, even the Father, who freely gives to this mortal immortality, and to this corruptible incorruption

      1)that [flesh] which is nourished by the cup which is His blood, and receives increase from the bread which is His body.
      2) and having received the Word of God, becomes the Eucharist, which is the body and blood of Christ
      3) so also our bodies, being nourished by it, and deposited in the earth, and suffering decomposition there, shall rise at their appointed time, the Word of God granting them resurrection to the glory of God, even the Father, who freely gives to this mortal immortality, and to this corruptible incorruption,

      OK, the cup is HIS BLOOD, and the bread is HIS BLOOD. And what is the Eucharist? It is the “BODY AND BLOOD OF CHRIST. And what happens when our bodies are NOURISHED BY IT? We are all going to die, be deposited in the earth, and suffering decomposition there, but those nourished bodies “shall rise at their appointed time”.

      Now if you are going to argue, but it’s all done by the Spirit and the Word of God, we will find a point of agreement. But if you knew anything about Catholic theology you would know that before the consecration the Spirit is invoked to change the bread and wine into the Body and Blood of Christ. And how many times does Irenaeus have to tell you that this occurs after the bread and wine have received the WORD OF GOD.

      Kevin says “There is no Jesus in the bread moment”. Irenaeus says “having received the Word of God, becomes the Eucharist, which is the body and blood of Christ”. So Kevin, the body and blood of Christ are not Jesus?

      1. ” Catholic theology you would know that before the consecration the Spirit is invoked” And that’s why Roman Catholicism is Antichrist. Not even the Apostles could invoke the Spirit. Jesus blew on them, and they had to wait until Pentacost until the Spirit came. Jesus said to Nicodemus ” the Spirit blows where and when HE wills. Sorry Timothy P, no man can invoke the Spirit of God. No man can act as the Spirit’s regent. And no man can say the words Hocus Pocus and make bread into God. God bless,n thanks for the discussion. K

  12. Timothy quote #5 is clear, you can’t say the bread represents His body or the cup his blood, if you don’t believe the Word is the Son of the creator who gives eternal life and nourishes us like corn or fructose. But again what is troubling is your need to import transubstantiation. I know you are taught this is how you obtain salvation by a physical kidney transfusion. But scripture says we overcome the world by faith 1John 4. We are save by faith in the Word, not by eating Jesus physical body. It’s a spiritual happening, not physical. His merits are applied to us through faith alone, not his flesh.

    1. Kevin writes

      “5.Timothy quote #5 is clear, you can’t say the bread represents His body or the cup his blood, if you don’t believe the Word is the Son of the creator who gives eternal life and nourishes us like corn or fructose”

      Now Kevin, did Irenaeus say “the bread represents His body of the cup his blood? Let’s provide the quote and see how Kevin again cannot deal with the text. Irenaeus wrote

      “But how can they be consistent with themselves, [when they say] that the bread over which thanks have been given is the body of their Lord, and the cup His blood, if they do not call Himself the Son of the Creator of the world, that is, His Word, through whom the wood fructifies, and the fountains gush forth, and the earth gives “first the blade, then the ear, then the full corn in the ear.”
      Kevin, Irenaeus says the bread over which thanks is given IS THE BODY OF THEIR LORD, AND THE CUP HIS BLOOD. The word Irenaeus uses Kevin is IS, NOT REPRESENTS. Jesus said “THIS IS MY BODY”, not “This represents my body”. Kevin do you realize that we wouldn’t even be having this conversation if Christ had said “THIS REPESENTS MY BODY”. Kevin, can you explain why Christ said “This is my Body instead of This represents my Body.”

      1. Timothy P, unfortunately for you that proper hermenutic doesn’t allow for a literal interpretation. Jesus said I AM the good shepherd. I’m sure you don’t expect him to show up at your door and sheer little Suzy, do you? The book of John is filled with this from Jesus. He said it was meat to do his will. Do you believe that his will is a piece of steak? No you don’t. Then of course he speaks literally to bread worshippers in John 6:63 by stating it’s not flesh that gives you life, but Spirit. In fact He says the flesh profit nothing. He isn’t talking about his body on the cross, but missing the spiritual message of coming and believing. We are incorporated into His body thru the Spirit, not the flesh. Consequently, Iranaeus isn’t talking about real presence. Worshiping that Jesus wafer won’t benefit you one bit, and needing a kidney transfusion to survive ( i.e. eating Christ’s physical flesh) won’t save you. Faith saves, only faith alone in Christ alone. Your religion is a great decontextualization of Jesus words, and Iranaeus words. ” The righteous shall LIVE by faith. Get that Timothy P. Life comes from faith in Christ, believing the gospel, not believing in transubstantiation. K

  13. Timothy P quote #6 ” announcing consistently the fellowship and union of the flesh and the Spirit.” Of course, Jesus had flesh just like us. He wasn’t just Spirit. Those denying he came in the flesh are to be reminded that the Eucharist ( thanksgiving) we give in the bread and wine is the reality of him coming in the flesh to redeem all of us, body, soul, spirit. Again though, this redemption has already happened Ephesians 1: 7 says we have redemption, not will have, so the elements can only represent a reality that has already taken place. Christians have ALREADY been redeemed. That’s why the elements and thanksgiving is a commemoration and memorial of a salvation that has already been won at the cross. This nullifies any real presence, or continued sacrifice, because Christ is in us and that is our hope of glory. The elements only symbolize that reality. But, now I have clearly shown you that there is no transubstantiation being taught here. Now, you must know that Mark 1: 15 says repent and believe in the gospel. The gospel is told and believe Timothy P. You must repent of your goodness and believe in the gospel. You must turn from the mass and be saved. God bless

  14. Kevin, again let’s compare what you say Irenaeus says and what he actually says. First Irenaeus stated

    6) Then, again, how can they say that the flesh, which is nourished with the body of the Lord and with His blood, goes to corruption, and does not partake of life? Let them, therefore, either alter their opinion, or cease from offering the things just mentioned. But our opinion is in accordance with the Eucharist, and the Eucharist in turn establishes our opinion. For we offer to Him His own, announcing consistently the fellowship and union of the flesh and Spirit. For as the bread, which is produced from the earth, when it receives the invocation of God, is no longer common bread, but the Eucharist, consisting of two realities, earthly and heavenly; so also our bodies, when they receive the Eucharist, are no longer corruptible, having the hope of the resurrection to eternity.

    Now Kevin says
    “the Eucharist ( thanksgiving) we give in the bread and wine is the reality of him coming in the flesh to redeem all of us, body, soul, spirit
    But Irenaeus says
    Then, again, how can they say that the flesh, which is nourished with the body of the Lord and with His blood, goes to corruption, and does not partake of life?

    Now Kevin, what is the flesh nourished with? “THE BODY OF THE LORD AND WITH HIS BLOOD. ” Kevin where does Irenaeus say that “the Eucharist ( thanksgiving) we give in the bread and wine is the reality of him coming in the flesh to redeem all of us, body, soul, spirit.” The bread and wine is the reality?
    Kevin, you went on to write
    “Again though, this redemption has already happened Ephesians 1: 7 says we have redemption, not will have, so the elements can only represent a reality that has already taken place. Christians have ALREADY been redeemed.”

    But that’s not what Irenaus writes. He says
    ” so also our bodies, when they receive the Eucharist, are no longer corruptible, having the hope of the resurrection to eternity”
    Now Kevin, You say we are redeemed before we receive the Eucharist. Irenaeus says are bodies are no longer corruptible “WHEN THEY RECIEVE THE EUCHARIST”. And Irenaeus doesn’t say we have eternal salvation, but “the hope of the resurrection to eternity”, So Kevin do you have eternal salvation or the hope for eternal salvation?
    Kevin writes:
    “The elements only symbolize that reality. But, now I have clearly shown you that there is no transubstantiation being taught here.”

    Kevin, show me where in any of those 6 quotes I gave you that Irenaeus stated “The elements only symbolize that reality” I asked you to share the 6 quotes with your Protestant friends, Did you? And let me ask you, if the pastor in your church started teaching the real presence in the Eucharist, what would happen? You know what would happen, the church would split and all hell would break out. But in the early church History we never see the slightest debate on the issue. They are debating the date for Easter and the nature of Christ but no argument over the real presence. And we know historically when the HUMAN TRADITION of a symbolic presence only came into existence. So Kevin explain to me again why Christ said “THIS IS MY BODY’ and not “This represents my body”.
    I need to get back to Timothy K on the question of what does Teaching Authority mean.

    1. Timothy P, you wrote,

      “I need to get back to Timothy K on the question of what does Teaching Authority mean.”

      While you’re at it, you need to define “Real Presence.” To some people, His “real” presence is spiritual, but not physical. To others, His “real” presence is physical and entire (body, blood, soul, divinity). You cannot merely show that Irenæus uses terms that are not inconsistent with your personal interpretation, but also show that he actually believed in the physical presence of Jesus—body, blood, soul and divinity—at the consecration.

      The problem with your approach is that you pick and choose just how literal or figurative Irenæus is. Yes it is true that he said,

      “so also our bodies, when they receive the Eucharist, are no longer corruptible, having the hope of the resurrection to eternity” (Against Heresies, Book IV, Chapter 18

      Taking his words at face value, he is saying that people who take the Eucharist are no longer corruptible. But it is also true that he said,

      “so also our bodies, being nourished by it, and deposited in the earth, and suffering decomposition there, shall rise at their appointed time” (Irenæus, Against Heresies, Book V, chapter 2)

      Taking his words at face value, he is saying that people who take the Eucharist will suffer decomposition, but will be resurrected to incorruption.

      Now, you and I both know that “corruption” in this context refers to decomposition. In one place Irenæus says our bodies are “no longer corruptible” when they are nourished by the Eucharist, and in another, he says that our bodies, after receiving the Eucharist, will be “suffering decomposition.”

      Do you think he was being literal in the first case, and figurative in the next? Or just figurative in the first case and literal in the next.

      Don’t toy with the text now. Just let the Fathers speak in their own words. As you have boasted repeatedly,

      “Again my position in these debates are so much easier then yours. All I have to do is provide the exact words of the Church Father and let them speak for themselves.

      Without adding any of your own words or personal interpretations, explain how Irenæus could say our bodies literally will not see corruption, and then say that our bodies literally will.

      Have at it. But remember how much easier your job is than mine: all you have to do is provide their exact words. No editorial comments or spiritualizing the text. Just give me the straight skinny.

      I seem to recall that your recommended approach did not work so well for you on Cyprian when he said,

      “For because Christ bore us all, in that He also bore our sins, we see that in the water is understood the people, but in the wine is showed the blood of Christ. But when the water is mingled in the cup with wine, the people is made one with Christ, and the assembly of believers is associated and conjoined with Him on whom it believes; (Cyprian, Letter 62, paragraph 13)”

      Fascinating. Cyprian believed that when the untransubstantiated water is mixed with the untransubstantiated wine, “the people” are literally made one with Christ. Your response was priceless:

      “At that moment the wine and water are entirely symbolic…”

      And yet, nowhere did Cyprian mention anything about symbolism. Curious, isn’t it, how plastic your hermeneutic is? Or should I say, Jesuitical? You freely appropriate the language of symbolism as it suits you, and then bring down the hammer on anyone who would attempt to understand Irenæus’ thinking in his systematic whole.

      Best,

      Tim

      1. Hi Tim,

        You said, “While you’re at it, you need to define “Real Presence.””

        What I’ve found with you Tim is that you never actually explain what you believe about a particular topic. You just like to point out what you feel are inconsistencies that you think you’ve found. Why is that? Do you just want to argue? How about this. Tell us what the Truth(TM) is concerning communion according to your beliefs so that we can then pick it apart and show you where you are wrong.

        But that’s not the point of this blog, is it? It doesn’t matter what you think, or what Kevin thinks, what Walt or Hans thinks. All that matters is that you stand together against the Catholic Church.

        I am happy to say that I believe and agree with the authority of the Catholic Church. Quite honestly, I think your beef shouldn’t be with Catholics but with other Protestants who disagree with your views. Can you write a post about the utter confusion within Protestants? At least the Pope is reaching out this month to the Lutherans in an ecumenical way. Time to put away the hatred?

        1. Mark, you observed,

          “What I’ve found with you Tim is that you never actually explain what you believe about a particular topic.”

          Don’t outrun your coverage, Mark. I’ve been asking Timothy P to define “Real Presence” since April. He loves to ask, “what would happen in your Church if the minister started teaching the doctrine of the real presence,” but won’t define his terms. When pressed, he responded,

          “I had to laugh when you asked for my definition of “real presence”. Reminds me of the debate I had where the Protestant debater said “I believe in the real presence, I just don’t believe Christ is really present”. (May 9)

          But that is precisely why the term needs to be defined. When Timothy P finally came up with an actual definition of his terms, he said,

          “the term is used in Christian theology regarding the doctrine of Jesus Christ being present in the Eucharist in reality or substance, not merely symbolically or metaphorically.”(May 23)

          Stop the presses! The doctrine of the “real presence” means Jesus Christ is “present” in “reality”? Who knew?

          That’s the problem with Timothy P’s definition, and that of the Protestant debater to whom he referred. They used the terms (or variants thereof) “real” and “presence” in their definitions of Real Presence. That’s a huge barrier to communication, and Timothy P does not want to clear it up. And believe me, I have asked him many times.

          Well, in any case, I’ll have you know that my pastor does in fact believe in and preach the Real Presence: where two or more of us are gathered, there Jesus is present with us. Really. (Matthew 18:20). Surely you don’t deny that Christ is really present where two or more are gathered, do you? And yet, I suspect that Timothy P thinks the way Jesus is “really present” in the Eucharist is different from the way He is “really present” where two or more are gathered. If He is “really present” in both cases, but He is present in the Eucharist in a way that He is not present when two or more are gathered, that would be some pretty important information to our discussion, and in fact would make it quite productive. But Timothy P does not want a productive conversation. He only wants to know what would happen if my preacher suddenly started teaching the real presence, but he does not want to define what he means by “real presence.” Until he does, he can freely impute his personal definition of “real presence” onto any Church Father, and claim that the Patristics fully support him. But until he defines his term, there is no reason to answer his question.

          In any case, you observed,

          “What I’ve found with you Tim is that you never actually explain what you believe about a particular topic.”

          Well, why don’t you start with Legs of Iron. In that series I explain that I believe Revelation was written under the reign of Nero. You can follow with my article, A See of One, in which I explain that I believe the reason the 4th beast of Daniel 7 (and all of his derivatives in Revelation 12, 13 and 17) is always depicted with 10 horns even though three of the ten were ostensibly removed is because Daniel had actually seen 13 horns in chapter 7, and the description of the 4th beast is only given after three of the thirteen had been removed because it was a prophecy that Roman Catholicism would claim three of the thirteen dioceses of the fragmented Roman Empire—Italy, Egypt and Oriens. After that, you can read my article, The Fourteenth Diocese, in which I explain that Milan, not Rome, was originally the chief metropolis of Italy. But constrained as it was to fulfill Daniel’s prophecy, Roman Catholicism subdued Milan, Alexandria and Antioch unto herself and thus created what she herself calls “A See of One,” because she is the Little Horn of Daniel, the Beast of Revelation 13:2, the persecutor of the elect of God, with a mouth speaking arrogant things against the most high God.

          See, you’ll find that I actually say a great deal about what I “believe about a particular topic.” But you’ll also find that this is not my first rodeo, and I know the Jesuitical cunning and intellectual casuistry that lies in store for those who would enter into battle with a Roman apologist.

          Have I really pressed the limits of your intellect to request that you define your terms? You’ve got a very low threshold of pain.

          Best,

          Tim

          1. Para 1374 of the CCC says this, “The mode of Christ’s presence under the Eucharistic species is unique. It raises the Eucharist above all the sacraments as “the perfection of the spiritual life and the end to which all the sacraments tend.” In the most blessed sacrament of the Eucharist “the body and blood, together with the soul and divinity, of our Lord Jesus Christ and, therefore, the whole Christ is truly, really, and substantially contained.”“This presence is called ‘real’—by which is not intended to exclude the other types of presence as if they could not be ‘real’ too, but because it is presence in the fullest sense: that is to say, it is a substantial presence by which Christ, God and man, makes himself wholly and entirely present.””

            Additionally, from the USCCB:, “We speak of the presence of Christ under the appearances of bread and wine as “real” in order to emphasize the special nature of that presence. What appears to be bread and wine is in its very substance the Body and Blood of Christ. The entire Christ is present, God and man, body and blood, soul and divinity. While the other ways in which Christ is present in the celebration of the Eucharist are certainly not unreal, this way surpasses the others. “This presence is called ‘real’ not to exclude the idea that the others are ‘real’ too, but rather to indicate presence par excellence, because it is substantial and through it Christ becomes present whole and entire, God and man” ( Mysterium Fidei, no. 39).”

            Just like ALL doctrines of the Church, the Church deepened in understanding and eventually acquired the vocabulary to explain it. That’s why Irenaeus doesn’t use the words “real presence” or transubstantiation. But a rose by any other name is still a rose.

            I am not shocked that what took you out of the Catholic Church was a belief that the big, bad Catholic Church is somehow the “beast” spoken of in scripture. That tactic worked pretty well for Luther too, although it is totally a fabrication. I know all about Daniel’s prophecies. I guess if you could convince me that you had some special revelation from God that you can make these claims then that’s probably the only way you’d convince me. Your opinion about scripture is nice and all, but I don’t hold your opinion up any higher than any other Protestant claiming he can interpret scripture. Not trying to offend you by saying that. It’s just that too many people, historically, feel they have the key to unlock the prophecies in the Bible. They ALL have failed, every last one of them.

          2. Ah, yes, the “development of doctrine” doctrine, the escape hatch for every Roman Catholic “apostolic” novelty. Yes it is true that Irenæus did not use the terms “real presence” and “transubstantiation,” and yes it is true that Roman Catholicism “eventually acquired the vocabulary to explain it.” But there is a term that predated all of your novelties, and it is called “antitype,” or “symbol.” Remarkably, Irenæus actually had access to that term in the 2nd century:

            “And then, when we have perfected [(τελεσαντες, lit. “completed”] the oblation, we invoke the Holy Spirit, that He may exhibit this sacrifice, both the bread the body of Christ, and the cup the blood of Christ, in order that the receivers of these antitypes [symbols] may obtain remission of sins and life eternal.” (Irenæus, Fragments, 37)

            Before Roman Catholicism acquired the terminology to say the sacrifice of the new covenant was completed after the Holy Spirit was invoked, and the elements were literally Christ’s body and blood, Irenæus taught that the sacrifice of the new covenant was completed before the Holy Spirit was invoked, and that the consecrated elements were symbolically the body and blood of Christ.

            You have to admit, his choice of words was … unfortunate (if you’re Roman Catholic). Do you really believe Irenæus lacked the vocabulary to say the Holy Spirit was invoked before the oblation was complete instead of after it was complete? And if transubstantiation as you know it only occurs after the Holy Spirit is invoked, but Irenæus was completing an oblation before the Holy Spirit was invoked, what on earth was the content of his oblation? Thanksgiving and praise, perhaps? Certainly not the “literal” body and blood of Christ. The “sacrifice” Irenæus exhibited was symbolic, not real.

            It would be almost 200 years more before Gregory of Nyssa could invent the Roman mass sacrifice during the great apostasy known as Roman Catholicism.

            Best,

            Tim

            Thanks,

            Tim

  15. ” but that’s not what Iranaeus says” but that’s what Paul says in Ephesians 1 : 7 we have redemption, not will have. So the idea that Iranaeus is saying different than Paul has to be rejected. Your interpretation can’t survive Paul’s words, therefore Iranaeus couldn’t mean real presence. You are ripping Iranaeus out of his context. His context here is we have been redeemed, and even though our bodies will go to the grave, as our bodies are nourished with bread ( his creation ) here , so to ( union of body and Spirit) our bodies are no longer corruptible because we are incorporated into His body thru the Spirit and are incorruptible.. It is the Spirit that gives life, the flesh profits NOTHING . Explain to me again when Christ said his words are Spirit how that means you can take it to mean flesh. Then explain to me what Jesus means by the flesh profits nothing? Nothing? When Iranaeus says nourished with the body and blood of the Lord, he means spiritually through faith, not physically. The hope of resurrection is the nourishment he says we get spiritually. Watch Timothy P ” announcing consistently the union of flesh and Spirit.” Get it, the benefit to our body is because we have the Spirit which makes us incorruptible. And it is this way, as bread nourishes our body, we are nourished thru the Spirit. No physical eating here. The flesh profits nothing, but the Spirit is nourishment and life. Transubstantiation is the HUMAN TRADITION TIMOTHY P, as you well know it is an 11th century sophistry.

  16. Gentlemen–

    Anglican, Lutheran, Presbyterian, and Reformed churches all speak of the Real Presence. And, in a sense, at least, this means corporeal, substantial presence.

    For the Lutherans, it also means local presence. They theorize that the “communication of attributes” (communicatio idiomatum) from the Father to the glorified Son delivers omnipresence to Christ’s physical flesh such that he can be physically, locally present “in, on, and under” the elements of bread and wine without changing them. He is present in somewhat the same way heat and light are present in a white-hot fire iron (Luther’s own analogy)…without changing the material substance of the iron rod stuck into the midst of the flames.

    The Calvinistic Eucharist (at least for Calvin himself and for many Anglicans) is substantial without being local. Rather, the communicant is spiritually “lifted up,” in the sursum corda, to heaven, where the physical body of Christ resides until his Second Coming. There, the believer eats and drinks the body and blood of his Redeemer in his heart…by faith…with thanksgiving.

    It is most decidedly NOT mere symbol or metaphor (though many Presbyterians have devolved to such a position).

    As for the argument that Christ’s words “This is my body” preclude a metaphorical or spiritual interpretation, that’s just plain silly. Christ uses metaphors of himself fairly often in Scripture: I am the door. I am the vine. I am the Good Shepherd. I am the way, the truth, and the life. (Luther, by the way, insisted that the words could not be metaphorical in his arguments with Zwingli. See? Even Protestants can be silly.)

    1. Thank you Hans
      Timothy K made the following comment concerning after my discussion with Kevin

      “Don’t toy with the text now. Just let the Fathers speak in their own words. As you have boasted repeatedly,

      “Again my position in these debates are so much easier then yours. All I have to do is provide the exact words of the Church Father and let them speak for themselves.“”

      Timothy K, that is true. I have shown how Kevin has twisted the text by adding the word “Represents” when Irenaeus says “is”. It’s just like your explanation of Irenaeus when you tried to add the words antitypically and symbolically, remember. Here again are the quotes and Timohty K’s explanation as to why Irenaeus is not saying what he seems to be saying.

      1, But vain in every respect are they who despise the entire dispensation of God, and disallow the salvation of the flesh, and treat with contempt its regeneration, maintaining that it is not capable of incorruption. But if this indeed do not attain salvation, then neither did the Lord redeem us with His blood, nor is the cup of the Eucharist the communion of His blood, nor the bread which we break the communion of His body. 1 Corinthians 10:16 For blood can only come from veins and flesh, and whatsoever else makes up the substance of man, such as the Word of God was actually made.

      2) And as we are His members. we are also nourished by means of the creation (and He Himself grants the creation to us, for He causes His sun to rise, and sends rain when He wills Matthew 5:45). He has acknowledged the cup (which is a part of the creation) as His own blood, from which He bedews our blood; and the bread (also a part of the creation) He has established as His own body, from which He gives increase to our bodies.

      3. When, therefore, the mingled cup and the manufactured bread receives the Word of God, and the Eucharist of the blood and the body of Christ is made, from which things the substance of our flesh is increased and supported, how can they affirm that the flesh is incapable of receiving the gift of God, which is life eternal, which [flesh] is nourished from the body and blood of the Lord, and is a member of Him?— even as the blessed Paul declares in his Epistle to the Ephesians, that “we are members of His body, of His flesh, and of His bones.” Ephesians 5:30

      4. And as we are His members, we are also man, for a spirit has not bones nor flesh; Luke 24:39 but [he refers to] that dispensation [by which the Lord became] an actual man, consisting of flesh, and nerves, and bones—that [flesh] which is nourished by the cup which is His blood, and receives increase from the bread which is His body. And just as a cutting from the vine planted in the ground fructifies in its season, or as a grain of wheat falling into the earth and becoming decomposed, rises with manifold increase by the Spirit of God, who contains all things, and then, through the wisdom of God, serves for the use of men, and having received the Word of God, becomes the Eucharist, which is the body and blood of Christ; so also our bodies, being nourished by it, and deposited in the earth, and suffering decomposition there, shall rise at their appointed time, the Word of God granting them resurrection to the glory of God, even the Father, who freely gives to this mortal immortality, and to this corruptible incorruption,

      5. But how can they be consistent with themselves, [when they say] that the bread over which thanks have been given is the body of their Lord, and the cup His blood, if they do not call Himself the Son of the Creator of the world, that is, His Word, through whom the wood fructifies, and the fountains gush forth, and the earth gives “first the blade, then the ear, then the full corn in the ear.”

      6)Then, again, how can they say that the flesh, which is nourished with the body of the Lord and with His blood, goes to corruption, and does not partake of life? Let them, therefore, either alter their opinion, or cease from offering the things just mentioned. But our opinion is in accordance with the Eucharist, and the Eucharist in turn establishes our opinion. For we offer to Him His own, announcing consistently the fellowship and union of the flesh and Spirit. For as the bread, which is produced from the earth, when it receives the invocation of God, is no longer common bread, but the Eucharist, consisting of two realities, earthly and heavenly; so also our bodies, when they receive the Eucharist, are no longer corruptible, having the hope of the resurrection to eternity.

      And Timothy K’s attempt to explain why Irenaeus is not saying what he is obviously telling us
      Timothy K wrote

      1) of course, if He didn’t really take on flesh, “nor is the cup of the Eucharist the communion of His blood, nor the bread which we break the communion of His body”. That’s quite true. If he didn’t have a real body and real blood, how can the bread and wine symbolically represent a communion of either? I don’t know Protestant who would disagree with him here.
      2) of course, “He has acknowledged the cup … as His own blood … and the bread … as His own body”. He has done so by antitypes, or symbols. I don’t know Protestant who would disagree with him here.
      3) of course, when “the mingled cup and the manufactured bread receives the Word of God, and the Eucharist of the blood and the body of Christ is made.” They are made so antitypically, as Irenæus has said. I don’t know Protestant who would disagree with him here.
      4) of course, the bread and wine “having received the Word of God, becomes the Eucharist, which is the body and blood of Christ;” they become so antitypically, as Irenæus has said. I don’t know Protestant who would disagree with him here.
      5) of course, “the bread over which thanks have been given is the body of their Lord, and the cup His blood.” They are made so antitypically, as Irenæus has said. I don’t know Protestant who would disagree with him here.
      6) of course, “the bread, which is produced from the earth, when it receives the invocation of God, is no longer common bread, but the Eucharist, consisting of two realities, earthly and heavenly.” It is so antitypically, as Irenæus has said.

      Kevin and Timothy K love to throw in the word “represent” for the word “is” and the words symbolically and antitypically were they do not appear. I just like to post Irenaeus’s quotes over and over again and watch them squirm.
      Kevin, you must be having sleepless nights again. I note my comments are again under moderation, ie you have to give approval. Unfortunately that puts me under such an unfair advantage to correct your numerous errors without either having my comments deleted or getting booted off your site again. There is no way I know if this comment will be printed. I don’t really have time for such childish games

      1. Timothy P,

        As you well know, it is not I, but Irenæus himself, who informs us that the consecrated elements are symbolic (Irenæus, Fragment 37).

        Regarding your distaste for “throw[ing] in the word “represent” for the word “is” and the words symbolically and antitypically where they do not appear,” why have you never responded to my question to you about your interpretation of Cyprian in which you say, “At that moment the wine and water are entirely symbolic…” even though Cyprian never says anything of the kind.

        The reason men like you get put under moderation is because you will not answer simple questions. I asked you this in May, Timothy P. After berating those who would understand Irenæus to speak symbolically based on Irenæus own writings, you then freely appropriated the language of symbolism where Cyprian said the people are made one with Christ:

        “Now what does Cyprian mean when he states that the people “are made one with Christ” in the mixing of the wine and water. Obviously he is using symbolic language…

        And so I asked the obvious question:

        In what way is it obvious to you if he does not actually say he’s being symbolic?

        Your response?

        “I think is an excellent question. It’s a great starting point in a discussion as to how to tell if someone is speaking literally or metaphorically. I’ll try to make some postings today to at least give my opinion. Fair enough?”

        Well, Timothy P, since it is such an excellent question, why don’t you make that the topic of your next comment? In what way is it obvious to you that Cyprian was speaking symbolically if he does not actually say he’s being symbolic?

        I look forward to your answer.

        Tim

  17. Acts 13:48 ” When the Gentiles heard this , they began glorifying the word of the Lord, and as many as had been APPOINTED to eternal life believed.” Timothy P, can you explain to me how God could appoint someone to eternal life if He needed to wait and see if they ate enough of his literal flesh and drank enough of his physical blood at your religion’s altar? And while you are at it, can you explain how those who God appoints to eternal life believed, not started to eat and drink his physical body towards procuring salvation? Could it possibly be that to eat and drink his blood means to believe as we see in John 6? Is it possible it is for this reason that Jesus said to understand his words Spiritually? And why if the process of eating and drinking his literal blood at your mass was necessary does Jesus simply call us to repent and believe in the gospel in Mark 1:15? Is it possible the mass in the Catholic religion became necessary to live eternally because then the sale of them for yourself and dead relatives was a wise way to enrich the church. Romans 6:23 says ” the free gift of eternal life” , in what way is earning a merit at the mass a free gift? Thanks

  18. Can someone provide for me a definitive list of the teachings that the Church of the first 300 years believed, practiced, and taught prior to the apostasy of the 4th century?

    1. Mary was sinful.
      Mary was not a perpetual virgin.
      Mary was not the Mother of the Church.
      Mary was not the Ark of the New Covenant.
      We do not kneel to and incense the bones of the martys, we bury them.
      We do not kneel to the splinters of the “true cross.”
      We do not use images, statues and icons in worship.
      We do not kneel on Sundays, no not even during the liturgy of the Eucharist on Sundays.
      Jesus’ flesh is in Heaven where it remains until He returns.
      The sacrifice of Jesus is not offered to the Father during the liturgy, but is “displayed,” “set forth,” “exhibited” and “shown” to men by the invocation of the Holy Spirit.
      What is “offered” during the liturgy is bread to men; what is “displayed” is the “holy sacrifice” set forth by in the form of antitypes [symbols] of bread and wine.
      The bishop of Rome is just one more guy who occupies Peter’s chair just like the rest of the bishops in the world, and a bit of a troublemaker at that.
      The water of baptism does not regenerate, but regeneration occurs apart from the water, for the laver of regeneration is not the Roman Baptismal font, but the ministry of the Spirit, the Word and the foolishness of preaching.
      Alexandria is the lesser metropolis of the diocese of Oriens, just like Rome is the lesser metropolis of the diocese of Italy.
      The sacrifice of the new covenant is an invisible sacrifice of thanksgiving and praise, not an offering of the elements of the Lord’s supper
      No bishop is infallible.
      As each bishop is answerable to his Chief Shepherd, Jesus Christ, the flock is to assess the apostolicity of each bishop by the standard of the Scriptures, and flee from those who do not exhibit apostolicity in their teaching.
      Christianity does not have (or want) a chief metropolis on earth.
      Christianity is ruled by a Chief Shepherd in heaven, rather than a Chief Shepherd on Earth.
      The Holy Spirit is the Vicar of Christ on earth.
      Mixing of water with wine is done prior to the Lord’s supper as part of a world wide secular manufacturing process not during the Lord’s Supper as an apostolic rite.
      We do not use candles and incense in worship.
      Celibacy is not a requirement for those who preside at the Lord’s Supper.
      To call a bishop “pontifex maximus” is an insult.
      Communion is administered in the hand, not on the tongue.

      Or, to summarize from my article, The Object of Her Irrepressible Scorn, Roman Catholicism must claim to love the early church so that she can trace her novelties to the first centuries of Christianity and thereby think to lay claim to apostolicity. But she hates what she finds there because the antenicæan Church does not return her affections. But along came Roman Catholicism at the end of the 4th century to “cure” the church of her apostolic purity.

      Thus, the Early Church rejected papal primacy, Roman primacy, papal infallibility, priestly celibacy, the immaculate conception, the perpetual virginity, dormition and assumption of Mary, Mary as Mother of the Church, transubstantiation, eucharistic adoration, the sacrifice of the Mass, kneeling on the Lord’s Day, baptismal regeneration, candles, relics, images, the title Pontifex Maximus, communion on the tongue, etc… etc… etc…

      But aside from that, the Early Church was completely Roman Catholic. 😉

      Of course, we jest. Indeed, it was not until Roman Catholicism actually emerged at the end of the fourth century that the Apostolic Church was ostensibly “rescued” from the apostles themselves, and stopped being so chronically “sick at the core,” to use Benedict’s words.

      If you want the deep background on all this, the whole blog site is your playground.

      Dig in.

      Tim

      1. Well, Tim, this is a great list of anti-Catholic sentiments that quite honestly you can’t prove were believed from the first three centuries. For instance, you said, “Mary was not the Ark of the New Covenant.” Yet, Gregory the Wonder Worker (c. 213–c. 270) wrote: “Let us chant the melody that has been taught us by the inspired harp of David, and say, ‘Arise, O Lord, into thy rest; thou, and the ark of thy sanctuary.’ For the Holy Virgin is in truth an ark, wrought with gold both within and without, that has received the whole treasury of the sanctuary” (Homily on the Annunciation to the Holy Virgin Mary).

        Most of this list if filled with “not believe”. I asked what they believed. Look at what you believe today and put it in positive terms. For instance, “The early Church believed that contraception was a right and moral choice.” or “Communion is purely symbolic.” or, “God predestines some people to hell based on his sovereignty.”

        It’s important to know this so that we can find the true church today.

        1. Mark,

          Like I said, this whole blog site is your playground. Covered Gregory Thaumaturgus in Searching for the Lost Ark.

          The problem with this citation is that the Homilies attributed to Thaumaturgus are considered, even by Roman Catholics, to be spurious. Even Livius, who was attempting to find in the Homilies evidence of early devotion to Mary, conceded that the Homilies were “of doubtful genuineness” (Livius, p. 48n). Schaff, in his Ante-Nicene Fathers, Vol 6, lists them under doubtful or spurious works.

          Try again.

          Tim

          1. I think this is your playground, not mine. It speaks of what you do not believe, but not of what you do believe.

            We agree that the early Fathers’ writings aren’t inspired like sacred scripture, so the word “spurious” doesn’t mean the same thing as if we were talking about inspired scripture. It could mean that the author was someone else than Gregory, but that doesn’t make the statement any less historical.

            Needless to say, even if we threw this out, you still have to prove that the Church of the first three centuries believed and “Mary was not the Ark of the New Covenant.” Do you have a quote to back this up or is it your opinion?

            Also, you still haven’t provided a list of what was believed, just what you opine as to what they didn’t believe, apparently because you can’t find it combing through the early fathers.

            I’m not looking for what I SHOULDN’T believe, I want to know what I SHOULD believe. Is it in a particular denomination’s confessions?

          2. Mark,

            I’ve never heard of a definition of “spurious” that means “authentic but from a different guy.”

            Spurious:
            not being what it purports to be; false or fake : separating authentic and spurious claims.
            • (of a line of reasoning) apparently but not actually valid : this spurious reasoning results in nonsense.
            • archaic (of offspring) illegitimate.

            What is it with your religion that you must chronically rely upon error, fraud and anachronism. They believed Jesus was the ark of the New Covenant.

            You don’t have to read the article, Mark. But at least come up with some evidence that is not spurious. You attempted to overturn my position by providing spurious evidence. Do you have any evidence that is not spurious?

            Thanks,

            Tim

          3. M-W.com:

            Spurious: “of falsified or erroneously attributed origin”

            The claim that St. Paul wrote Hebrews is also spurious. Yet, we don’t throw out the book of Hebrews because we don’t definitively know who the author is.

            Where did the early church positively denied that Mary was the Ark of the Covenant? That is on your list of things that they believed so I am just looking for you to definitively prove this to me.

            Thanks,
            Mark

          4. Mark,

            The claim that Paul wrote Hebrews is spurious. But in Gregory’s case, it’s not the claim, but the homilies themselves that are spurious.

            As for your unsubstantiated belief that the early church believed that Mary was the Ark of the New Covenant, it is sufficient to show that the early church thought Jesus was the Ark of the New Covenant. If they thought Jesus was the Ark, it’s a pretty sure indication that they believed Peter wasn’t. And that Joseph wasn’t. And that Herod wasn’t. And that Mary wasn’t. If Jesus was the Ark, nobody else was.

            Anyway, your attempts to show that the early church believed that Mary was the ark of the covenant remind me of Scott Hahn’s hilarious attempt to prove the same thing.

            When he was making the claim, someone in the audience had the temerity to ask,

            “Where do we find specific examples of Mary as Ark of the Covenant in the early Church?” (Answering Common Objections, A Closer Look at Christ’s Church, Mary, Ark of the Covenant, see “added notes”)

            Hahn picked up a copy of Bernard Capelle’s Marian Typology in the Fathers and the Liturgy, and began to read it out loud:

            “Ark of imperishable wood containing the manna, is a phrase that is taken from an ancient liturgy for the feast of the Assumption. This application of the Ark of the Covenant to the Blessed Virgin is very ancient. We find that already at the beginning of the 3rd Century in the writings of Hippolytus of Rome.”

            But here’s Hippolytus:

            “And, moreover, the ark made of imperishable wood was the Saviour Himself. For by this was signified the imperishable and incorruptible tabernacle of (the Lord) Himself, which gendered no corruption of sin.”(Hippolytus, Fragments, On the Psalms, Oration on ‘The Lord is My Shepherd’)

            That kind of rules out Mary, not only as the Ark, but as sinless, too. But Hahn went on:

            “We find it in Antioch by the 5th Century in the writings of the Patriarch Severus who fits it into its entire context. He sees the Blessed Virgin signified by the Holy of Holies precisely because she contains the Ark of the Covenant made of incorruptible wood, etc.”

            I’d say its a good bet they thought Jesus was the Ark of the New Covenant. Any other conclusion and you’re left in Hahn’s unenviable position of claiming that the early church believed Mary was the Ark of the New Covenant because Patriarch Severus clearly believed she contained Jesus, the Ark of the New Covenant.

            Mark, you’re undone by the facts of history. You’re not changing your position, and I’m not either. If you have evidence they believed Mary was the Ark, I’m all ears. But all anyone can ever produce is anachronisms and other foolishness.

            And I thought you guys were the “pillar and ground of truth”!!

            🙂

            Tim

          5. Yet you don’t even finish the quote from Hippolytus which says, “But the Lord was without sin, being of imperishable wood in respect of His humanity, — that is to say, being of the Virgin and the Holy Spirit, covered, as it were, within and without with the purest gold of the Word of God.”

            But this is how you roll with your blog. You take the early fathers out of context and use them as a pretext for your beliefs. I think you owe your readers more than that.

          6. Mark,

            You’re using the “you didn’t even finish the quote” defense? Oh, goodness, why didn’t you include the middle part that said, “For the sinner, indeed, makes this confession: ‘My wounds stank, and were corrupt, because of my foolishness.'”? Why did you intentionally leave that out? Are you against context? Why are you always ripping quotes out from their native context? Or is that just how you roll?

            But seriously, what do you think the rest of the quote proved, Mark? That because the Lord was without sin, and that His body is the Ark, and like the ark is covered inside and out with purest gold, that because in His incarnation He was without sin “made of imperishable wood, as regards His humanity; that is, of the virgin and the Holy Ghost inwardly” that somehow that makes Mary the Ark? Or sinless?

            Please let me know what you think the rest of the quote proved.

            Thanks,

            Tim

          7. From the rest of the quote, we see that Mary is the incorruptible wood from which the ark is constructed. It is this wood that would carry the holy objects inside.

          8. Another nice try, Mark. Nowhere in the citation does Hippolytus say Mary is the incorruptible wood from which the Ark is constructed. It says Jesus’ body is the incorruptible wood, which is constructed through the incarnation by the Holy Spirit and Mary. But it never actually says Mary is the incorruptible wood. Here is the whole of the fragment for you:

            “And, moreover, the ark made of imperishable wood was the Saviour Himself. For by this was signified the imperishable and incorruptible tabernacle of (the Lord) Himself, which gendered no corruption of sin. For the sinner, indeed, makes this confession: “My wounds stank, and were corrupt, because of my foolishness.” But the Lord was without sin, made of imperishable wood, as regards His humanity; that is, of the virgin and the Holy Ghost inwardly, and outwardly of the word of God, like an ark overlaid with purest gold.” (Hippolytus, Fragment on Psalm 23)

            If you want further proof of this fact, just scroll down a little further in the link I provided and see the Second Fragment of the Visions, where he says the typology of the Ark was fulfilled in Christ when Christ was born:

            “In mentioning the “other,” moreover, he specifies the seventh, in which there is rest. But some one may be ready to say, How will you prove to me that the Saviour was born in the year 5500? Learn that easily, O man; for the things that took place of old in the wilderness, under Moses, in the case of the tabernacle, were constituted types and emblems of spiritual mysteries, in order that, when the truth came in Christ in these last days, you might be able to perceive that these things were fulfilled. For He says to him, “And you shall make the ark of imperishable wood, and shall overlay it with pure gold within and without; and you shall make the length of it two cubits and a half, and the breadth thereof one cubit and a half, and a cubit and a half the height; ” which measures, when summed up together, make five cubits and a half, so that the 5500 years might be signified thereby.” (Hippolytus, Fragment On the Visions, paragraph 5)

            See. The typology of the Ark was not fulfilled in Mary’s birth, but in Jesus’ birth. But he went on. Roman Catholics love the next paragraph because it gives them an opportunity to say Mary is the Ark, but only by cutting the passages short. Here is how Livius represented the next paragraph, in fact, the very next words in his work on Mary:

            “At that time, the Savior coming from the Virgin, the Ark, brought forth His own Body into the world from that Ark, which was gilded with pure gold within by the Word, and without by the Holy Ghost; so that the truth was shown forth, and the Ark was manifested.” (Livius, Thomas, The Blessed Virgin in the Fathers of the First Six Centuries, (London: Burns and Oates, 1893) 77)

            Although Livius’ words make no sense in the context of paragraph 5, in isolation it sure sounds like Mary is the Ark. But here is the whole paragraph:

            “At that time, then, the Saviour appeared and showed His own body to the world, (born) of the Virgin, who was the “ark overlaid with pure gold,” with the Word within and the Holy Spirit without; so that the truth is demonstrated, and the “ark” made manifest. From the birth of Christ, then, we must reckon the 500 years that remain to make up the 6000, and thus the end shall be. And that the Saviour appeared in the world, bearing the imperishable ark, His own body, at a time which was the fifth and half, John declares: “Now it was the sixth hour,” he says, intimating by that, one-half of the day. But a day with the Lord is 10000 years; and the half of that, therefore, is 500 years. For it was not meet that He should appear earlier, for the burden of the law still endured, nor yet when the sixth day was fulfilled (for the baptism is changed), but on the fifth and half, in order that in the remaining half time the gospel might be preached to the whole world, and that when the sixth day was completed He might end the present life.” (Hippolytus, Fragment On the Visions, paragraph 6)

            To Hippolytus, “His own body” is the Ark overlaid with pure gold. He says it over and over again in his several references to the ark both here and in his fragment on Psalm 23. In context, and in fact, in the next sentence, Hippolytus again says “the Saviour appeared in the world, bearing the imperishable ark, His own body.” Note that all this is in the context of the 5500 years fulfilled in Christ as denoted in the previous paragraph. But the context did not suit Livius, so he had to add more words to make it about Mary. See in the first sentence of paragraph 6, how “ark” only appears twice? (“της κιβωτού … η κιβωτος”). Well that wasn’t enough for Livius. He had to add a third reference, and then cut short the citation to make it about Mary.

            Sorry, Mark. The early Church did not believe “both/and” about the Ark. They believed Jesus was the ark. It is only through sophistry and casuistry like yours and Livius’ that Rome can even pretend that her novelties date back to the early church. They clearly do not.

            Thanks for your comment. Now I know you are constrained by your convictions to continue to allege that “Mary as the Ark” is an ancient apostolic belief. I know my writings here won’t persuade you, and in fact carry no weight with you at all. I’m ok with that. You’re ok with that. And you’re not interested in what Hippolytus actually said and believed.

            To that end, I’m honestly not sure what you desire to get out of any further conversation. I hope you find what you’re looking for, but I can’t see any value in continuing any conversations with you.

            Good day.

            Tim

          9. Hi Tim,

            Where did Jesus get his incorruptible flesh from? From Mary of course, unless you don’t believe that Jesus was fully man, but I am sure that you do.

            Thanks for the quote later by Hippolytus. I think it underscores that it is Both/And, especially with the typology in the Bible. Especially the end of Rev 11 and the beginning of Rev 12 showing that Mary is the Ark of the Covenant. Again, the Church recognizes that the woman can be the Church, can be Israel, and can be Mary. Another Yes/And.

            The Church knows what she is talking about with the Ark. My Church is not undone by the facts of history.

  19. Tim P.–

    I agree with you that the Sacraments are not merely symbolic. I do NOT agree with you that the language of “This is my body” or “This is my blood” cannot be taken metaphorically.

    Remember the old commercial of a man holding up an egg and saying, “This is your brain”? He cracks it and drops the innards into a frying pan before intoning, “This is your brain on drugs. Any questions?”

    I have news for you. The egg REPRESENTED the drug addict’s brain. It wasn’t literally his brain. What a concept, right?

    Metaphors are comparisons which do not involve “like” or “as.” They go right ahead and say this IS that, even though it isn’t.

    1. Hans
      Good point Hans but this is our Savior and Lord, and an extremely important point. Would you not agree that Our Lord and Savior could have said “This represent my Body” and we wouldn’t be even having this discussion. When Christ said I am the door, the light, the gate in Scripture the reactions of those around him never suggested that they did not understand He was speaking metaphorically. But in John 6 it is obvious that He was being taken literally. These are facts you cannot dispute.
      In the example you gave does anyone watching not understand that the egg is not actually the drug addict’s brain. Does anyone respond “Oh my God, the drug addicts brain is frying!!.” But what do the disciples in John 6 say when He tells then they must eat His flesh and drink His Blood. Point made!
      Hans, read the 6 quotes I provided from Irenaeus again and then try to tell me Irenaeus did not believe in the Real presence. Give me your opinion. I really would like your opinion.
      I will try to respond to Timothy Kauffman and Kevin maybe Sunday and next week. I am amazed how much time you guys have to blog

  20. Mark–

    Here’s a good start:

    “I believe in one God, the Father Almighty, Maker of heaven and earth, and of all things visible and invisible.

    And in one Lord Jesus Christ, the only-begotten Son of God, begotten of the Father before all worlds; God of God, Light of Light, very God of very God; begotten, not made, being of one substance with the Father, by whom all things were made.

    Who, for us men and for our salvation, came down from heaven, and was incarnate by the Holy Spirit of the virgin Mary, and was made man; and was crucified also for us under Pontius Pilate; He suffered and was buried; and the third day He rose again, according to the Scriptures; and ascended into heaven, and sits on the right hand of the Father; and He shall come again, with glory, to judge the quick and the dead; whose kingdom shall have no end.

    And I believe in the Holy Ghost, the Lord and Giver of Life; who proceeds from the Father and the Son; who with the Father and the Son together is worshipped and glorified; who spoke by the prophets.

    And I believe in one holy catholic and apostolic Church. I acknowledge one baptism for the remission of sins; and I look for the resurrection of the dead, and the life of the world to come. Amen.”

    (No penance, no purgatory, no hyperdulia, no assumption, no immaculacy, no papacy, no transubstantiation, no Eucharistic adoration, etc., etc.)

    1. Right, that is a start, but that was solidified in the 4th century and heretics, such as Arius and all of his followers never adopted this view even after Nicaea.

      BTW, the Nicaean Creed isn’t a full list of doctrines, but just deals directly with the nature of the Trinity.

      I am looking for the definitive list. I doubt that Kevin agrees that we need to be so prescriptive about the Trinity like from this council of Catholics with pointy hats.

      1. Mark,

        I know how hard it is for Roman Catholics to defend the antiquity of their novel religion without appealing to anachronisms, so your comment here is entirely understandable. It’s just the hand you’ve been dealt.

        But it is nonetheless instructional to those who are not so accustomed to the over-reliance on anachronism that is endemic in all of Roman Catholic apologetics. I speak, of course, of your reference to the “pointy hat” council of Nicæa in 325 A.D..

        The Roman Catholic encyclopedia reports (as it always must) on the typical attempt by Roman Catholics to back fill ancient history with all of her novelties perchance to convince the illiterate and credulous of her antiquity. But of those pointy hats, the encyclopedia has very much to say. In sum, those pointy hats, at best, were from the 900s in the West, and from the 1500s in the East where Nicæa occurred:

        “… the mitre was first used at Rome about the middle of the tenth century, and outside of Rome about the year 1000. … In the Orthodox Greek Rite (the other Greek Rites need not here be considered) a liturgical head-covering was not worn until the sixteenth century. Before this only the Patriarch of Alexandria, who wore one as early as the tenth century, made use of a head-covering, and his was only a simple cap.” (Catholic Encyclopedia, Mitre)

        No, Nicæa was not a “pointy hat” Catholic council.

        Tim

        1. Tim, I know full well that “pointy hats” and other religious garb didn’t come until later. It isn’t anachronistic as you suggest. It is the SAME PEOPLE, the bishops, who solidified the doctrines. You didn’t disappoint making an issue about this as I knew you would.

          1. Yes, I know, Mark. Just like you knew full well that the early church did not use incense, exhume relics, bury them under an altar under the church buildings that did not exist at the time, and that the early church thought Jesus was the Ark of the covenant, and that Origen, Basil, Tertullian and Chrysostom thought Mary had sinned, that Tertullian and Eusebius thought Mary suffered childbirth pains in a normal birth. Etc., etc., etc. I’m sure you were quite aware of all of these. 🙂

            If you want people to stop calling you on your habitual appeal to anachronisms, then you should just stop appealing to them. The fact that you called Nicæa a “pointy hat” council is symptomatic of the disease that infects all of Roman Catholic apologetics: the irresistible urge to backload all of your modern novelties onto the Early Church. She knew nothing of the errors of your new religion.

            Thanks,

            Tim

  21. Hans your analogy doesn’t work. You believe that the egg MERELY was symbolic of a brain. What do you mean that the Eucharist isn’t MERELY symbolic? That’s what Catholics believe too. We disagree as to what it is in addition to being symbolic.
    Kevin thinks it is PURELY symbolic so I guess you will wrestle with him on exactly what the Church of the first few centuries actually believed it to be.

  22. Mark, I agree with Tim, in the same way the Lord is present where 2 or more are gathered , He is with us at the Lord’s supper through his Spirit. In fact Paul says ” Christ in YOU the hope of glory.” Nothing about Christ’s substantial presence in the bread. He calls us to a spiritual relationship with Him, and as I said many times , we are incorporated into His body thru the Spirit. Augustine said the church has been deprived of the body of Christ until He comes again.

  23. ” Kevin thinks it’s purely symbolic” you know how I know, look at it. It looks like bread and tastes like bread. Aristotle said you can’t have a big white without the dog. Sorry, Christ didn’t call me to be a vampire and a cannibal, He called me to faith. Romans 10:9,10, John 3:16, John 5:24, Mark 1:15, Acts 13:48, John 6:40, 47, Romans 5:1, 4:5, Ephesians 2:8, 1 John 4 says by this we overcome the world, our faith. And Hebrews says without faith it is impossible to please Him, we must simply believe He is and He is the rewarded of those who seek Him. Christ’s real presence is in ME. That’s how I know I’m forgiven and incorruptible. His Spirit bears witness with my Spirit that I am a child of God. I don’t measure the amount of blood and flesh I eat. ” The righteous shall LIVE by faith. K

  24. Tim, the only “habitual appeal to anachronisms” is your placing 16th century Protestant theological innovations back on the early Church of the first few centuries.

  25. Mark, ” my church knows what she is talking about with the Ark” The Marian ego is an interesting to watch in the Roman religion. The elevation of Mary above Christ and even God the Father is reflected in undermining the sufficiency of Christ and his sacrifice. Substituting Mary for Jesus as the Ark or the mediator of salvation absolutely imho will keep people out of heaven. Isaiah 48 the Lord says He shares his glory with no one. John MacArthur does an amazing series on how God deflects undo glory from the mother of Jesus and how scripture minimizes her importance as Jesus ministry grows. I recommend his work on this. God is a jealous God and will have no gods before Him. It should be argued than there is no greater assault upon the Lordship of Christ, the power of his resurrection, and the sufficiency of his atonement than the elevation of the mother of Jesus in ego out of control. The woman who simply considered herself a bond slave to her Lord and Savior would be ashamed of those who would call her the Ark and put her on equal footing God. The Roman religion is an interesting study. It puts sacramental efficacy in the place of the atonement, a piece of bread in the place of our savior, and infallibility of men in the place of infallibility of scripture, the pope in the place of the Spirit, and the church in the place of Christ. A false Christ indeed. .

    1. Kevin, you said, “The elevation of Mary above Christ and even God the Father is reflected in undermining the sufficiency of Christ and his sacrifice. ”

      It is your callous disregard for the truth and the perpetuating of lies that makes anything else you say have any credibility. Not accurately representing Catholicism shows either that you have a willful disregard for the truth (you are bearing false witness) or that you are truly ignorant of what you are talking about. Either way, you should aren’t doing your side any favors.

      1. “‘At the command of Mary, all obey, even God.’ St. Bernardine fears not to utter this sentence.” (Liguori, the Glories of Mary)

        “All power is given to thee in heaven and on earth, and nothing is impossible to thee who canst raise those who are in despair to the hope of salvation.” (Liguori, the Glories of Mary)

        “And her kingdom is as vast as that of her Son and God, since nothing is excluded from her dominion.” (Pope Pius XII, Radio message to Fatima, Bendito seja, May 13, 1946, AAS 38, p. 266)

        “‘Yes, Mary is omnipotent,’ says Richard of St. Laurence, ‘for the queen by every law enjoys the same privileges as the king. And as,’ he adds, ‘the power of the son and that of the mother is the same, a mother is made omnipotent by an omnipotent son.’” (Liguori, the Glories of Mary)

        “And we honor her, glorified above all the Saints, crowned with stars by her Divine Son and seated at His side the sovereign Queen of the universe.” (Pope Leo XIII, Iucunda Semper Expectatione, Encyclical of September 8, 1894)

        “Let me remind you again of the dependence shown by the three divine Persons on our Blessed Lady. Theirs is the example which fully justifies our dependence on her.” (St. Louis de Montfort, Treatise on True Devotion to the Blessed Virgin)

        “Hail Mary, my dear Mother, my loving Mistress, my powerful sovereign! …it is thy privilege to triumph gloriously in Heaven at the right hand of thy Son and to hold absolute sway over angels, men and demons; it is thy privilege to dispose of all the gifts of God, just as thou willest.” (St. Louis de Montfort’s Prayer to Mary).

        1. Tim, none of these quotes place Mary above God or even equal to God. It may work for the uneducated to pull quotes out of context, but then again, as I have said, that’s how you roll on this blog. A text, without a context, is a pretext. You and James White do this fabulously!

  26. HI Tim,

    You asked “Which “Protestant theological innovations,” Mark?”

    When you tell us what the first three centuries of Christians believed and held on to during the apostasy of the 4th century, then most of them will just be 16th century innovations.

    To the Judaizers, Sunday worship, Christmas, and Easter celebrations were innovations of the 4th century.

    BTW, Happy All Saints and All Souls Day!

  27. Tim P.–

    In John 6, it is clear that many disciples MISUNDERSTAND Christ, taking him not only literally, but crassly so. They fall away from following Christ, having taken his remarks as embracing cannibalism.

    You always seem to forget that Protestants BELIEVE in the Real Presence, simply not the crass physicalism of transubstantiation. So I think Irenaeus is indeed speaking of the Real Presence…but that he is not advocating the Roman version.

    1. Hans: Look at the comments you made

      Gentlemen–

      Anglican, Lutheran, Presbyterian, and Reformed churches all speak of the Real Presence. And, in a sense, at least, this means corporeal, substantial presence.

      For the Lutherans, it also means local presence. They theorize that the “communication of attributes” (communicatio idiomatum) from the Father to the glorified Son delivers omnipresence to Christ’s physical flesh such that he can be physically, locally present “in, on, and under” the elements of bread and wine without changing them. He is present in somewhat the same way heat and light are present in a white-hot fire iron (Luther’s own analogy)…without changing the material substance of the iron rod stuck into the midst of the flames.
      midst of the flames.

      The Calvinistic Eucharist (at least for Calvin himself and for many Anglicans) is substantial without being local. Rather, the communicant is spiritually “lifted up,” in the sursum corda, to heaven, where the physical body of Christ resides until his Second Coming. There, the believer eats and drinks the body and blood of his Redeemer in his heart…by faith…with thanksgiving.

      It is most decidedly NOT mere symbol or metaphor (though many Presbyterians have devolved to such a position).

      But Hans then you write

      “You always seem to forget that Protestants BELIEVE in the Real Presence, simply not the crass physicalism of transubstantiation.”

      But actually you understand that only a few groups of Protestants actually believe in the Real Presence . Catholics can say the Eucharist is symbolic of the Body and Blood of Christ and the Eucharist IS THE BODY AND BLOOD OF CHRIST. Now almost all Protestants would be willing to say that the Eucharist is symbolic, but not that it IS the body and blood of Christ. Compare the way the early Church speaks of the Eucharist, the power of the word’s of consecration, the Holy Spirit causing a change in what was common bread, the extreme care the not a morsel of the consecrated elements be lost. Read Cyril of Jerusalem’s description of the Mass in his last two catechetical lectures where he say the consecrated elements are more valuable then “grains of gold”. How Irenaeus writes

      “becomes the Eucharist, which is the body and blood of Christ; so also our bodies, being nourished by it, and deposited in the earth, and suffering decomposition there, shall rise at their appointed time, the Word of God granting them resurrection to the glory of God, even the Father, who freely gives to this mortal immortality, and to this corruptible incorruption. ”

      When you says Protestants believe in the Real Presence you know as well as I do their are innumerable Protestant beliefs about the Eucharist. This is insanity. Is this what Christ wanted when He prayed for unity? Just to show how insane the situation is, Hans tell me how many sacraments there are? There is a very good chance that the Protestant apologist on this website will not be able to agree.

  28. Mark–

    Here’s the ENTIRE prayer. Now I can see how context clears everything right up! Wow, who knew?

    St. Louis De Montfort’s Prayer to Mary:

    “Hail Mary, beloved Daughter of the Eternal Father! Hail Mary, admirable Mother of the Son! Hail Mary, faithful spouse of the Holy Ghost! Hail Mary, my dear Mother, my loving Mistress, my powerful sovereign! Hail my joy, my glory, my heart and my soul! Thou art all mine by mercy, and I am all thine by justice. But I am not yet sufficiently thine. I now give myself wholly to thee without keeping anything back for myself or others. If thou still seest in me anything which does not belong to thee, I beseech thee to take it and to make thyself the absolute Mistress of all that is mine. Destroy in me all that may be displeasing to God, root it up and bring it to nought; place and cultivate in me everything that is pleasing to thee.

    “May the light of thy faith dispel the darkness of my mind; may thy profound humility take the place of my pride; may thy sublime contemplation check the distractions of my wandering imagination; may thy continuous sight of God fill my memory with His presence; may the burning love of thy heart inflame the lukewarmness of mine; may thy virtues take the place of my sins; may thy merits be my only adornment in the sight of God and make up for all that is wanting in me. Finally, dearly beloved Mother, grant, if it be possible, that I may have no other spirit but thine to know Jesus and His divine will; that I may have no other soul but thine to praise and glorify the Lord; that I may have no other heart but thine to love God with a love as pure and ardent as thine I do not ask thee for visions, revelations, sensible devotion or spiritual pleasures. It is thy privilege to see God clearly; it is thy privilege to enjoy heavenly bliss; it is thy privilege to triumph gloriously in Heaven at the right hand of thy Son and to hold absolute sway over angels, men and demons; it is thy privilege to dispose of all the gifts of God, just as thou willest.

    “Such is, O heavenly Mary, the “best part,” which the Lord has given thee and which shall never be taken away from thee–and this thought fills my heart with joy. As for my part here below, I wish for no other than that which was thine: to believe sincerely without spiritual pleasures; to suffer joyfully without human consolation; to die continually to myself without respite; and to work zealously and unselfishly for thee until death as the humblest of thy servants. The only grace I beg thee to obtain for me is that every day and every moment of my life I may say: Amen, So be it–to all that thou didst do while on earth; Amen, so be it–to all that thou art now doing in Heaven; Amen, so be it–to all that thou art doing in my soul, so that thou alone mayest fully glorify Jesus in me for time and eternity. Amen.”

  29. Mark–

    And here’s a fairly lengthy section from “The Glories of Mary.”

    (Boy, oh, boy, did Tim ever wrench his citation out of context! This is just UTTERLY different. Like night and day!)

    St. Alphonsus Liguori:

    “So great is the authority that mothers possess over their sons, that even if they are monarchs, and have absolute dominion over every person in their kingdom, yet never can mothers become the subjects of their sons. It is true that Jesus now in heaven sits at the right hand of the Father, that is as, St. Thomas explains it, even as man, on account of the hypostatical union with the Person of the divine Word. He has supreme dominion over all, and also over Mary; it will nevertheless be always true that for a time, when He was living in this world, He was pleased to humble Himself and to be subject to Mary, as we are told by St. Luke: ‘And He was subject to them.’ And still more, says St. Ambrose, Jesus Christ having deigned to make Mary His Mother, inasmuch as He was her Son, He was truly obliged to obey her. And for this reason, says Richard of St. Laurence, ‘of other saints we say that they are with God; but of Mary alone can it be said that she was so far favored as to be not only herself submissive to the will of God, but even that God was subject to her will.’ And whereas of all other virgins, remarks the same author, we must say that ‘they follow the Lamb whithersoever He goeth,’ of the Blessed Mary we can say that the Lamb followed her, having become subject to her.

    “And here we say, that although Mary, now in heaven, can no longer command her Son, nevertheless her prayers are always the prayers of a mother, and consequently most powerful to obtain whatever she asks. ‘Mary,’ says St. Bonaventure, ‘has this great privilege, that with her Son she above all the saints is most powerful to obtain whatever she wills.’ And why? Precisely for the reason on which we have already touched, and which we shall later on again examine at greater length, because they are the prayers of a mother.

    ” Therefore, says St. Peter Damian, the Blessed Virgin can do whatever she pleases both in heaven and on earth. She is able to raise even those who are in despair to confidence; and he addresses her in these words: ‘All power is given to thee in heaven and on earth, and nothing is impossible to thee who canst raise those who are in despair to the hope of salvation.’ And then he adds that ‘when the Mother goes to seek a favor for us from Jesus Christ’ (whom the saint calls the golden altar of mercy, at which sinners obtain pardon), ‘her son esteems her prayers so greatly, and is so desirous to satisfy her, that when she prays it seems as if she rather commanded than prayed, and was rather a queen than a handmaid.’ Jesus is pleased thus to honor His beloved Mother, who honored Him so much during her life, by immediately granting all that she asks or desires. This is beautifully confirmed by St. Germanus, who addressing our blessed Lady says: ‘Thou art the Mother of God, and all-powerful to save sinners, and with God thou needest no other recommendation; for thou art the Mother of true life.’

    “’At the command of Mary, all obey, even God.’ St Bernardine fears not to utter this sentence; meaning, indeed, to say that God grants the prayers of Mary as if they were commands. And hence St. Anselm addressing Mary says: ‘Our Lord, O most holy Virgin, has exalted thee to such a degree that by His favor all things that are possible to Him should be possible to thee.’ ‘For thy protection is omnipotent, O Mary,’ says Cosmas of Jerusalem. ‘Yes, Mary is omnipotent,’ repeats Richard of St. Laurence; ‘for the queen by every law enjoys the same privileges as the king.’ ‘And as’, he adds, ‘the power of the son and that of the mother is the same, a mother is made omnipotent by an omnipotent son.’ ‘And thus’, says St. Antoninus, ‘God has placed the whole Church, not only under the patronage, but even under the dominion of Mary.’

    “Since the Mother, then, should have the same power as the Son, rightly has Jesus, who is omnipotent, made Mary also omnipotent; though of course it is always true that where the Son is omnipotent by nature, the Mother is only by grace. But that she is so is evident from the fact that whatever the Mother asks for, the Son never denies her; and this was revealed to St. Bridget, who one day heard Jesus talking with Mary, and thus address her: ‘Ask of Me what thou wilt, for no petition of thine can be void.’ As if He had said, ‘My Mother, thou knowest how much I love thee; therefore ask all that thou wilt of Me; for it is not possible that I should refuse thee anything.’ And the reason that He gave for this was beautiful: ‘Because thou never didst deny Me anything on earth, I will deny thee nothing in heaven. My Mother, when thou wast in the world, thou never didst refuse to do anything for the love of Me; and now that I am in heaven, it is right that I should deny thee nothing that thou askest.’ Mary, then, is called omnipotent in the sense in which it can be understood of a creature who is incapable of a divine attribute. She is omnipotent, because by her prayers she obtains whatever she wills.

    “Let us conclude with St. Bonaventure, who, considering the great benefit conferred on us by Our Lord in giving us Mary for our advocate, thus addresses her: ‘O truly immense and admirable goodness of our God, which has been pleased to grant thee, O sovereign Mother, to us miserable sinners for our advocate, in order that thou by thy powerful intercession, mayest obtain all that thou pleasest for us.’ ‘O wonderful mercy of our God,’ continues the same saint, ‘who in order that we might not fly on account of the sentence that might be pronounced against us, has given us His own Mother and the patroness of graces to be our advocate.'”

  30. Mark–

    Yeah, beautiful. Beautiful idolatry.

    Learn to call a spade a spade. (Like annulment equals divorce. Like salvation contingent on cooperation equals works salvation. Those sorts of things.)

    Be brave. You can do this. Shed your hypocrisy.

    Good boy.

  31. Timothy K

    I did want to get back to your hesitancy to give a yes or no answer to the question, Did Christ establish a visible church with teaching authority. I was a little taken aback as to your explanations as to why I would have to define the terms in more detail so that we could have “effective communication”.

    Timothy Kauffman wrote:
    “No, actually, it can’t be answered until you define your term. That’s why I said, “I suppose that depends on what you mean by ‘teaching authority.’” I don’t know what you mean by that term, and so I can’t say Yes or No until you define it. If by “teaching authority” you mean “pepperoni pizza,” then my answer is No. But I don’t think you mean “pepperoni pizza,” so why don’t you tell me what that term means to you in the context of your question?”

    Seriously Timothy K, “I don’t think you mean “pepperoni pizza”.
    And then Timothy K wrote

    “You (Timothy P) wrote,

    “Some how I don’t seem to understand the difficulty in understanding what teaching authority means.”

    Timothy P, the first rule in effective communication is to define your terms. If you do not understand the significance of defining your terms, you do not know how to communicate effectively. You continued,

    “It’s a little bit like Bill Clinton wanting to argue over the meaning of the word “is” during the Monica Lewinski debacle.”

    Timothy P, were the borogoves all mimsy?

    Just answer the question. Or do you not understand what that means? Are you like Bill Clinton, wondering what “mimsy” and “borogoves” are? You can’t answer my question if you don’t know what I mean by it. And I cannot answer your question if I do not know what you mean by it.”

    So Timothy K, let’s see. Bill Clinton’s understanding of the word “IS”, is like Clinton wondering “what “mimsy” and “borgoves” are.? There is no comparison just like there is no comparison between the words “teaching authority” and Pepperoni pizza. It’s not a matter of effective communication, but of playing games in a debate. I could respond in like and say I just don’t understand what you mean by “effective communication”, you’ll have to define your terminology and around and around we go on the merry go round. So let’s make the question as simple as we can for you. Did Christ give the apostles AUTHORITY to TEACH? Yes or No? Or do I have to give a definition of the word Authority and Teach so we can have “effective communication”?

    1. Timothy P,

      Why are you so hesitant to define “Teaching Authority”? After all this, all you can do is switch the question? In your summary of our exchange, you left out a pretty important comment I made very early in the conversation. In response to your first question, I wrote,

      “By “teaching authority” do you mean a visible institution, centrally administered, endowed with dominion and authority? I don’t know if you mean that or not. Can you help me understand your question?”

      So again, I’m asking you: “By “teaching authority” do you mean a visible institution, centrally administered, endowed with dominion and authority?”

      When “teaching authority” is the very issue at hand (say, between Roman Catholics and people they call heretics on the matter of a visible authoritative church), then a precise definition of “teaching authority” is absolutely necessary up front. Your definition of “teaching authority” may be “a visible institution, centrally administered, endowed with dominion and authority” or it may be something else (e.g., “pepperoni pizza”). Until I know what you mean by it, I can’t answer your question.

      It’s not a matter of playing games in debate. It’s about understanding what you mean by “teaching authority.” I can’t answer your question if you do not define the term.

      Thank you,

      Tim

  32. ” I was taken aback as to why I would have to define the terms in more detail ” Why would you have a problem defining teaching authority? It’s the same reason you won’t say Roman Catholic , but you say Catholic. You know your talking to a bunch of Protestants who deny the magisterium of the RC is the infallible continuation of the Apostles, so what’s the big deal? Please feel free to be open and forthcoming, there is no ecumenical currency on the line, you already know we believe the Roman religion is Antichrist. So what’s the big deal. Let it out Mark. It will feel cathartic. K

    1. Kevin, what is it about the following question that you feel like I need to define. I asked Timothy K

      Did Christ give the apostles AUTHORITY to TEACH? Yes or No? Or do I have to give a definition of the word Authority and Teach so we can have “effective communication”?

      Now Kevin, are you having trouble with the word authority or teach. I assume you do have a dictionary.
      Now Timothy K commented
      “By “teaching authority” do you mean a visible institution, centrally administered, endowed with dominion and authority? I don’t know if you mean that or not. Can you help me understand your question?”

      But Kevin, Timothy K’s comment has nothing to do with understanding the meaning of “teaching authority”, it is a question dealing with how that teaching authority is implemented. We can discuss that issue after we have first established the FACT !!!!! that Christ gave the apostles authority to teach.

      Kevin, since you believe the Roman religion is the Antichrist do you also believe that infant baptism is a doctrine of demons? Yes, or no? And Kevin, how many sacraments are there?

      And by the way, I am a Roman Catholic, Roman Catholic, Roman Catholic. I don’t know where you got the idea I had trouble saying that.

      Now let’s see you try to answer the question, Did Christ give the apostles the authority to teach, ? yes or no. Is that such a difficult question.

      1. Timothy P, you affirmed,

        “And by the way, I am a Roman Catholic, Roman Catholic, Roman Catholic. I don’t know where you got the idea I had trouble saying that.”

        From his comment, it appears that Kevin thought he was responding to Mark, not to Timothy P. In any case, Mark is a member of a denomination within Roman Catholicism that thinks the term “Roman Catholic” is a derogatory slur, whereas you appear to be from a denomination of Roman Catholicism that does not believe “Roman Catholic” is a derogatory slur.

        I’ll let you two sort that out.

        Thanks,

        Tim

      2. Timothy P said ” now Kevin are you having problem with the word Authority or teach” Neither one. Timothy you are the one who won’t provide a definition after being asked a dozen times. So, ” are you having a problem with the word Authority or teach.” I also assume you have a dictionary. ” But Kevin, Tim K’ s comment has nothing to do with the meaning of teaching authority” but you aren’t being asked for a definition of teaching authority, you are being asked for YOUR definition? Why would you be afraid to provide your definition? ” Kevin, since you believe the Roman religion is Antichrist do you also believe infant baptism is doctrine of demons” My wife and I started attending a Reformed Presbyterian Church PCA and love it. I don’t believe baptismal regeneration is biblical, because God regenerates through His Spirit and His Word. ” did Christ give the Apostles authority to teach” Depends on what you mean by teaching authority?

        1. Kevin, I reworded the comment Did Christ give the apostle authority to teach so that even a child could realize what the answer is and yet Timothy K and you want to discuss the implementation of that teaching authority instead of the FACT that that authority was given. What is so laughable about this whole situation is that if you deny that that authority was given to the apostles you deny the new Testament. The authority to teach is about as simple as I can make it and your and Timothy K’s refusal to answer such a simple question and talk about pepperoni pizza, what mimzy and borogoves means , and “the perennial, authentic, and infallible teaching office now possessed and exercised by the college of bishops in union with the pope” is like watching you all squirm over Irenaeus’s comments. By the way, did you ever share those comments of Irenaeus with anyone else like I asked you? I didn’t think so.
          While you are trying to figure out how not to answer such a simple question why don’t you try this question. Which inspired writer of the New Testament left us the New Testament canon list?

          1. Timothy P, the visible apostasy of scripture with a false gospel of worthiness of merit and idolatry, has no connection to the Apostles or any kind of authority. It has a false priesthood. It has a false source of Revelation , tradition and the magisterium. It has an illigitimate power granted to it by that magisterium, papal curia. The true church has always known this, even through the dark ages it has set itself apart from that system. It engages in a twisted sacrifice of the mass. It engages in the exultation of Mary above Jesus and God the Father. Jesus said my kingdom is not of this world, nor comes with observation. God does not dwell in buildings or on altars anymore, but in the hearts of his people through the Spirit. The word for priest is heirus, it appears 400 times in the OT. It doesn’t appear in the NT. Timothy P, frankly Catholics won’t let Him off the cross. He is an eternal victim in Rome who can’t seem to save you. But the true church says He is risen, and we all sing the amen. Tetelestai. K

          2. Timothy P, I do not equate “Christ giving the apostles authority to teach” with “Christ establish[ing] a visible Church with a perennial, authentic, and infallible teaching office possessed and exercised by the college of bishops in union with the pope.” As you may note, I have had to assume what you mean by “teaching authority” since you have not told me what you think it is. If you think “teaching authority” may be defined as “a perennial, authentic, and infallible teaching office possessed and exercised by the college of bishops in union with the pope,” then no, Jesus did not establish a visible church with “teaching authority”. I can find nothing like that in the first three centuries of the church.

            Thanks,

            Tim

  33. Tim K, you asked me the same question about teaching authority and I gave you the definition from the Catechism of the Catholic Church. Run with that.

    1. Mark, it is true that I asked you the same question about “teaching authority,” but it is not true that you gave me the definition from the Catechism. You offered paragraph 88 as the “definition” of “teaching authority”:

      “The Church’s Magisterium exercises the authority it holds from Christ to the fullest extent when it defines dogmas, that is, when it proposes, in a form obliging the Christian people to an irrevocable adherence of faith, truths contained in divine Revelation or also when it proposes, in a definitive way, truths having a necessary connection with these.”

      That is not a definition. Paragraph 88 simply describes a way that the Church exercises its teaching authority. It did not define what “teaching authority” is.

      Can you provide an actual definition?

      Thanks,

      Tim

      1. I said the teaching authority is the Magisterium. The CCC explains how they exercise that authority. I suspect that you will just continue to argue about this instead of answering Tim’s question.

        1. Ok, Mark. If by Magisterium you mean the perennial, authentic, and infallible teaching office now possessed and exercised by the college of bishops in union with the pope, then my answer is No, Jesus Christ did not establish a visible church with a perennial, authentic, and infallible teaching office possessed and exercised by the college of bishops in union with the pope.

          If He did establish such a church, then it was invisible for the first three centuries, and therefore what you currently claim to be a visible church with “teaching authority” was invisible when Jesus founded it, and therefore not a visible church with teaching authority.

          Thanks,

          Tim

          1. Tim K,

            I see. So do you think that the Apostles’ decision in Acts to stop requiring circumcision for Gentiles was an infallible decision? This was, after all, the first “council” of the Christian Church.

          2. Thanks, Mark. From the way you worded your comment, you seem to think that your question follows my response. I fail to see how it does. Can you enlighten me? I don’t understand the relationship between your question here and our discussion about what “teaching authority” is.

            Thanks,

            Tim

          3. Kevin wrote the following

            ” If He did establish such a church, then it was invisible for the first three centuries, and therefore what you currently claim to be a visible church with “teaching authority” was invisible when Jesus founded it, and therefore not a visible church with teaching authority.”

            Kevin, Invisible for the first three centuries? Are you serious??

            Ignatius of Antioch died around 110 A. D, Apparently Ignatius believed that the Bishops had teaching authority. As usual and as I did with Irenaeus’s comments all I have to do is provide the quotes and then ask Timothy K and Kevin to try and explain away Ignatius’s comments. Kevin maybe you could discuss the comments one by one like you did with Irenaeus and explain to us what Ignatius really meant.

            Letter to the Ephesians (110 A.D.)

            Chapter 20
            “I will [send you further explanations] especially if the Lord should reveal to me that all of you to a man, through grace derived from the Name, join in union meeting in one faith, and in Jesus Christ, who was of the family of David according to the flesh, the Son of Man and the Son of God, so that you give ear to the bishop and to the presbytery with an undivided mind, breaking one Bread, which is the medicine of immortality, the antidote against death, enabling us to live forever in Jesus Christ.”

            Letter to the Magnesians (110 A.D.)

            Chapter 13
            ” Indeed, when you submit to the bishop as you would to Jesus Christ, it is clear to me that you are living not in the manner of men but as Jesus Christ, who died for us, that through faith in His death you might escape dying. It is necessary, therefore,–and such is your practice,–that you do nothing without the bishop, and that you be subject also to the presbytery, as to the Apostles of Jesus Christ our hope, in whom we shall be found, if we live in Him.”

            Letter to the Trallians (110 A.D.)

            Chapter 2
            “In like manner let everyone respect the deacons as they would respect Jesus Christ, and just as they respect the bishop as a type of the Father, and the presbyters [priests] as the council of God and college of Apostles. Without these, it cannot be called a Church.”

            Letter to the Romans

            Chapter 4
            “I am writing to all the Churches and I enjoin all, that I am dying willingly for God’s sake, if only you do not prevent it. I beg of you, do not do me an untimely kindness. Allow me to be eaten by the beasts, which are my way of reaching to God. I am God’s wheat, and I am to be ground by the teeth of wild beasts, so that I may become the pure bread of Christ.”

            Letter to the Philadelphians
            Chapter 3
            “Those indeed, who belong to God and to Jesus Christ–they are with the bishop. And those who repent and come to the unity of the Church–they too shall be of God. . . Do not err my brethren: if anyone follow a schismatic, he will not inherit the Kingdom of God. . . . Take care, then, to use one Eucharist, so that whatever you do, you do according to God: for there is one Flesh of our Lord Jesus Christ, and one cup in the union of His Blood; one altar as there is one bishop with the presbytery and my fellow servants, the deacons.”

            Letter to the Smyrnaeans (110 A.D.)
            Chapter 6
            “Take note of those who hold heterodox opinions on the grace of Jesus Christ, which has come to us, and see how contrary their opinions are to the mind of God. . . . [7, 2] They abstain from the Eucharist and from prayer, because they do not confess that the Eucharist is the Flesh of our Savior Jesus Christ, Flesh which suffered for our sins and which the Father, in His goodness, raised up again. They who deny the gift of God are perishing in their disputes.” [He is opposing the Docetist heresy]

            Chapter 8
            “Let only that Eucharist be regarded as legitimate, which is celebrated under [the presidency of] the bishop or him whom he has entrusted it.”

          4. Timothy P,

            You observed, “Invisible for the first three centuries? Are you serious??”

            You may be interested to know that the comment was not authored by Kevin, but by me, and it was not addressed to you, but to Mark. In any case, all of the evidence you cite lacks something that is indispensable to the conversation: a definition of teaching authority. Lacking a definition from you, I provided one: “a perennial, authentic, and infallible teaching office possessed and exercised by the college of bishops in union with the pope.” Since none of your evidences say anything about a pope or a college of Bishops in union with the Pope, I will repeat my statement. Based on the definition of teaching authority that I provided (because you would not), I do not see a visible church with “teaching authority,” since none of the citations you provide say anything about a college of bishops or the Pope. Lacking that, I suppose the early church lacked “teaching authority,” based on what I assume the Roman Catholic definition of “teaching authority” is. Not one of your citations refers to a plurality of “bishops,” much less a college of bishops, and absolutely nothing about a pope.

            Thus, I see nothing in these citations that even hint at “teaching authority” the way I presume you define it. If you’d like to provide a definition more suitable to your tastes, please do so. Until then, I’m assuming my definition of Roman Catholic “teaching authority” is satisfactory, and based on that definition there was no “visible Roman Catholic church with Roman Catholic teaching authority” for the first three hundred years.

            Thank you,

            Tim

          5. “I don’t understand the relationship between your question here and our discussion about what “teaching authority” is.”

            So, are you saying that the Apostles didn’t have teaching authority when they declared circumcision unnecessary for Gentiles? They didn’t appeal to any OT scriptures to do so but only through the authority that they received from Jesus Christ.

            Do you think that they made an infallible declaration to say that the Gentiles don’t need to be circumcised? It’s a pretty easy question.

          6. Mark, You asked,

            “are you saying that the Apostles didn’t have teaching authority when they declared circumcision unnecessary for Gentiles?”

            I don’t recall saying anything about the Apostles. What I asked is how this line of questioning on Acts 15 relates to our previous discussion on “teaching authority”. Can you enlighten me?

            Thanks,

            Tim

          7. Sure, Tim, I’ll explain it to you. You said, ” No, Jesus Christ did not establish a visible church with a perennial, authentic, and infallible teaching office possessed and exercised by the college of bishops in union with the pope.”

            I am trying to understand if you think the earliest Church had an infallible teaching authority that was exercised at the Council of Jerusalem regarding their definitive and binding teaching on circumcision. This wasn’t just left up to the individual churches or their bishops. The decision at the Council of Jerusalem was binding on all Christianity.

            In your opinion did they oblige Christians to an irrevocable adherence of faith of truths contained in divine Revelation or truths having a necessary connection with these?

            If not, why not, and do you think that the decision was a fallible one?

          8. Mark,

            Oh, I see. Well, since you and I agreed that “teaching authority” is “possessed and exercised by the college of bishops” and since the council of Jerusalem was not a convention of bishops, but rather of Apostles and presbyters (which you would call priests), then they did not have “teaching authority” in the way Roman Catholics define “teaching authority.”

            What I don’t see in Acts 15 is a pope and college of bishops. All I see is Apostles and Presbyters. It may be that you think the Roman Catholic definition of “teaching authority” that I’m using is defective, I would welcome a better definition of “teaching authority.”

            Thanks,

            Tim

          9. Oh Tim K, you are a hoot. Do you think the “Apostles and elders” had any teaching authority in Acts 15 to proclaim that circumcision was not binding on Christian converts?

          10. Mark, all that matters is the definition of teaching authority. If you define it the way Roman Catholicism does, there is no “teaching authority” in the early church. If you provide examples of teaching authority in the early church, they do not look anything like what Roman Catholicism says “teaching authority” is. The fundamental problem is a gross discontinuity. You keep trying to change the topic to “did the council of Jerusalem” have teaching authority, but you won’t define “teaching authority”—as if you could prove the authority of the pope from a gathering of apostles 300 years before the papacy. There was no pope and no college of bishops in union with him in the early church, and a pope and a college of bishops in union with him is the sine qua non for Roman Catholic “teaching authority.” Your whole approach is to insist on the presumption of apostolic continuity in order to claim that the apostles’ exercise of authority is an early manifestation of Roman Catholic “teaching authority,” and thus to prove apostolic continuity by first assuming apostolic continuity. That never works here.

            Thanks,

            Tim

          11. OK, so you don’t want to discuss whether the Apostles had teaching authority to disband the requirement of circumcision, although that decision has lasted 2,000 years. So, let’s move forward to the Councils of Nicaea and Constantinople. Is it your argument that the Catholic Church had no teaching authority to declare Arianism a heresy and define the relationship between the 3 Persons of the Trinity?

            Thanks.

          12. Mark, do you agree with how I have worded a Roman Catholic definition of “teaching authority”? If not, I can scarcely see a way forward. You can’t even define what you mean by it. If you do agree with my wording, then Nicæa and Constantinople have nothing to do with this conversation because neither have the slightest hint of a “pope and a college of bishops in union with him.”

            Thanks,

            Tim
            Sorry,

            Tim

  34. Timothy P.–

    You say that only a few groups of Protestants believe in the Real Presence. Well, Tim, only a few groups protested during the Reformation. Only a few went through official, political, and ecclesiastical (i.e., magisterial) channels. The rest, the so-called Radical Reformation worked outside the system in total rebellion. I’m not speaking for these Rebellious Ones, just the Protestants. The CONFESSIONAL Protestants: conservative Anglicans, Lutherans, Presbyterians, and Reformed.

    These particular few all hold to some form of the Real Presence. Now, they will call it a spiritual presence, but spiritual does NOT mean ethereal or abstract. It does NOT mean merely symbolic or metaphorical. (And Kevin can enjoy his eternal life as a symbol in a metaphorical heaven if he wants to [j/k, Kev :)]. But Christ, according to orthodoxy, will return visibly and physically. And we the redeemed will possess incorruptible but physical bodies in the age to come.) The Westminster Confession of Faith describes the presence of Christ in the Sacrament as “as real [to the partaker’s spirit by faith] as the elements are to his outward senses.”

    We all say that the elements of bread and wine ARE the body and blood of Christ…and we rarely if ever substitute “represent” for “are.” And by rarely I mean “about as often as Catholics would.”

    Not only that, but you simply MUST realize that the Catholic Eucharist is itself spiritually mediated! You do not rip off his flesh with the swing of your jaw. You do not gnaw the meat off his bones. Your teeth do not drip with his blood. (You even call it an “unbloody sacrifice.”) Your stomach does not digest the risen King. As soon as the forms of bread and wine are no longer discernible, the presence of Christ disappears. You “eat” his glorified flesh only after a fashion. Many Catholics are even instructed not to chew, but to let the wafer melt on their tongues. (And you both eat AND drink, no matter which species enters your mouth!) Christ is in no-wise injured or diminished. Moreover, he is only sacramentally present. His physical body remains in heaven, seated at the right hand of the Father. The wafer is not his size, not his shape. He is entirely there–body, blood, soul, and divinity–in the smallest morsel, in the slightest sip–and he is not there a hundred times for a hundred participants, but once for all.

    I’m sorry, but what I just described is a SPIRITUAL presence. And that is why you should not be adoring the host (and why no one did prior to around 1200). Worship God in the splendor of his very real presence, but don’t insult him by bowing to created elements. That is exactly what was NEVER done in the OT. That’s why the bronze serpent had to come down. That’s why Jeroboam’s attempt to recreate Yahwistic worship in the North was so vigorously condemned. God was NOT WITHIN the Ark of the Covenant. He was invisibly enthroned UPON it! Study up on the aniconic heritage of Ancient Israelite Religion. You’ll end up jettisoning Eucharistic Adoration!

    I have to go. Got a toddler screaming. I’ll answer concerning the number of Sacraments later.

    1. Hans said, “And that is why you should not be adoring the host (and why no one did prior to around 1200).”

      Except that’s not true. Augustine said “We do not sin when we adore Christ in the Eucharist; we do sin when we do not adore Christ in the Eucharist.”

      Ancient Israel’s biggest problem was idolatry. They continuously were turning away worshiping the created over the creator. Not so today. One understands that we do not worship the created but the Creator. While you say we worship bread and wine, we do not. If you truly believed in the real presence and Transubstantiation, you would know that the host is not longer bread or wine, but Jesus Christ. I would agree that Protestants who kneel or genuflect before the host (i.e. Anglicans) are committing idolatry because it is only bread and wine.

      1. Thank you Mark Rome for setting Hans straight. Hans, I hope you will admit that you were in error as clearly displayed with Augustine’s comment.

        Hans, I am not sure where you are from but your distinction between Rebellious Protestants and the Confessional ones I thought was very interesting.
        You wrote:

        “Well, Tim, only a few groups protested during the Reformation. Only a few went through official, political, and ecclesiastical (i.e., magisterial) channels. The rest, the so-called Radical Reformation worked outside the system in total rebellion. I’m not speaking for these Rebellious Ones, just the Protestants. The CONFESSIONAL Protestants: conservative Anglicans, Lutherans, Presbyterians, and Reformed

        I noticed you had to clarify the conservative Anglicans, Lutherans, Presybterians and Reformed because as you know the liberal leaders of those denominations are moving away from belief in the Real Presence, am I not correct?
        So Hans, when you made the comment
        “You always seem to forget that Protestants BELIEVE in the Real Presence” how was I to know that you were referring to a subset of Protestants and only the conservative ones of those groups

  35. Mark–

    Did Augustine actually say that? Provide a citation, and I might believe you. (A short quote, ripped out of context, with no reference supplied…is that how you roll? 😉 )

    Many scholars believe Jeroboam I meant to worship Yahweh, invisibly enthroned, on the golden calves he set up. Problem is, God never said he’d be there. It’s hard to imagine God saying he’d change bread into a member of the trinity. Sounds weird even saying it. Where’s the precedent? We have christophanies–appearances of the preexistent Christ in the OT. We have the Shekinah Glory prefiguring the Holy Spirit’s role in the NT. So Incarnation, Trinity, not so weird. Transubstantiation? No precedent.

    Type-antitype. Sign and seal. Something more than mere metaphor. Plenty of examples. Transmogrification? Not so much. That’s more “Calvin and Hobbes.”

  36. Timothy P.–

    How are you to know? Learn a thing or two about Protestantism, that’s how. Why should we be answering for nutcases who grab the title of Protestant and run with it even though they bear little or no resemblance to the founders of the Reformation?

    There are odd-ball liberal groups out there, calling themselves Catholic, ordaining women right and left and performing same-sex weddings and the like. Should I ask you to answer for them?

    That’d be kind of silly, wouldn’t it?

    I wouldn’t even think to bring them up. They’re totally irrelevant. Show similar respect.

    (By the by, mainstream Protestants moving away from belief in the Real Presence is not so much the problem. What they’re moving away from–fast–is belief in Jesus Christ. Some liberal Anglo-Catholic groups probably come pretty close to retaining Transubstantiation. And yet you most likely won’t be seeking ecumenical ties anytime soon. After all, they’re not Christian in any appreciable sense!)

    1. Hans,
      I really don’t think you should be referring to Kevin as a nutcase. When I was on Brian Culliton’s blog I was called every name in the book including “Pigcat”, whatever that is and I really do no believe it leads to meaningful dialogue. I admire Timothy Kauffman for refraining from such insults and I think we should all try to do the same.
      Your understanding of the word Protestant is not the usual understanding of the word when you say that someone like Kevin is not a Protestant. For once I agree with Timothy K, if you are going to define terms differently from the common understanding, you should give us some warning. So I am sure Kevin about had a heart attack when you said

      “You always seem to forget that Protestants BELIEVE in the Real Presence”

      As most people would understand the word Protestants and the concept of the Real Presence your statement was false.

      Now you mentioned Catholics that do not follow Catholic teaching. Hans, I know who bad Catholics are, and those people are bad Catholics. In the general understanding of Protestantism, I don’t know what a bad Protestant is. They disagree on almost everything except for their common belief that the Catholic Church is wrong. That is almost their only point of unity.
      I am also interested Hans why you are spending time attacking Catholics who you probably have more in common with then the Rebellious Protestants. What in your past set you on this mission?

  37. Mark–

    Ah, good, I finally found it. Your reference, that is.

    Lots of Catholic sites list it as Augustine’s commentary on Psalm 98:9 when it is actually his commentary on Psalm 99:8.

    Tim Kauffman has a whole post regarding this citation: IN VAIN DO THEY WORSHIP HIM.

    Give it a read!

    1. Hans, I saw no apology on your part for your exchange with Mark Rome. Let’s review

      “Hans said, “And that is why you should not be adoring the host (and why no one did prior to around 1200).””

      To which Mark Rome responded

      “Except that’s not true. Augustine said “We do not sin when we adore Christ in the Eucharist; we do sin when we do not adore Christ in the Eucharist.””

      Then Hans you resonded

      “Mark–

      Did Augustine actually say that? Provide a citation, and I might believe you. (A short quote, ripped out of context, with no reference supplied…is that how you roll? )”

      And then You responded

      “Ah, good, I finally found it. Your reference, that is.

      Lots of Catholic sites list it as Augustine’s commentary on Psalm 98:9 when it is actually his commentary on Psalm 99:8.”

      I think it would be good for you to apologize to Mark Rome. Saying
      Tim Kauffman has a whole post regarding this citation: IN VAIN DO THEY WORSHIP HIM,
      does not change the quote from Augustine and your obvious mistake.

    2. Hans- I have no doubt that Tim K. has produced something to make Augustine appear to say something else than he did. How do I know this? Because he does that same thing to make Jesus say something else than he did in John 6. If you don’t believe Jesus, you certainly won’t believe Augustine, or Justin Martyr, or Ignatius, or Irenaeus, or St. Paul, and on and on.

      1. Amen Brother. I remember a caller into a radio program once saying Bill Clinton could talk the horns off of a billy goat, and I think Timothy K has Clinton beat

        1. Timothy P,

          Let’s stipulate for a moment that I am worse than Bill Clinton. Ok. Agreed. I have imagined in my heart things that are 10 times worse than anything he has ever done.

          That said, why don’t you answer the question (which you yourself said was an excellent question) that I posed in April, namely how do you personally decide in the context of Patristic writings when the writer is being literal or symbolic? To refresh your memory, Cyprian believed that when the untransubstantiated water is mixed with the untransubstantiated wine, “the people” are literally made one with Christ (Cyprian, Epistle 62). Your response was:

          “At that moment the wine and water are entirely symbolic…”

          And yet, nowhere did Cyprian mention anything about symbolism. How did you know he was speaking symbolically here?

          Thanks,

          Tim

          1. Timothy K, I hadn’t forgotten about you and thought I would start off providing the verse under discussion. Then if you agree this is the verse we want to look at I can explain why I feel Cyprian was speaking symbolically.
            The verse reads

            13. For because Christ bore us all, in that He also bore our sins, we see that in the water is understood the people, but in the wine is showed the blood of Christ. But when the water is mingled in the cup with wine, the people is made one with Christ, and the assembly of believers is associated and conjoined with Him on whom it believes; which association and conjunction of water and wine is so mingled in the Lord’s cup, that that mixture cannot any more be separated. Whence, moreover, nothing can separate the Church— that is, the people established in the Church, faithfully and firmly persevering in that which they have believed— from Christ, in such a way as to prevent their undivided love from always abiding and adhering.

            So how do I know that we are not literally made one with Christ in the mixing of the wine and water? I said context before and will try to explain if you agree this is the verse under discussion.

          2. Timothy P,

            Yes, that is the relevant paragraph of Cyprian’s epistle 62, but you have rephrased the question.

            My question to you was not

            “So how do you know that we are not literally made one with Christ in the mixing of the wine and water?”

            My question was rather,

            “How did you know he was speaking symbolically here?” In what way is it obvious to you if he does not actually say he’s being symbolic?

            I did not realize that you had answered, but I went back and noticed that you had replied “Context.” I would simply ask that you expound on that. In what way does context make it obvious to you that Cyprian was speaking symbolically when he did not actually use the word symbolic?

            I won’t hesitate to note, however, that you have on multiple occasions insisted that your job is so much easier than mine because all you have to do is provide the words of the Fathers and let them speak for themselves. You said to me,

            “Again my position in these debates are so much easier then yours. All I have to do is provide the exact words of the Church Father and let them speak for themselves.“

            Once you begin to take on the prerogative of interpretation, you are no longer providing “the exact words of the Church Father” and letting “them speak for themselves.” In the course of your answer on how “context” proves that Cyprian was being symbolic, I will also be interested to hear your explanation of how you are using the exact words of Cyprian when he nowhere says that it is his context that reveals to you that he is using his words symbolically.

            Thank you for getting back to me on this and I look forward to your answer.

            Best,

            Tim

      2. ” because he does the same thing to make Jesus say something else in John 6″ John 6:63 ” It is the SPIRIT who gives life, the flesh profits nothing. ” Protestants seem to be on firm ground with Jesus. We don’t read the book of John like a metaphysical essay, but we read the words of Jesus. It is the SPIRIT that gives life. “The WORDS I speak to you are SPIRIT and life. These words alone should make you run from your twisted sacrament this day.

        1. Kevin, so you are saying that Jesus’ flesh on the cross profits nothing? Of course you wouldn’t. And Jesus isn’t talking about *His* flesh anyway. When referring to *the flesh* He is referring to thinking only using man’s natural reason rather than what God tells us. This is exactly what you do when you reject the real presence in the Eucharist. This should make YOU run from your natural reasoning which rejects what Jesus divinely revealed to us about the Bread of Life.

          1. Exactly Mark. No one refers to their own flesh as “The Flesh” without clarification. In John 6, Christ repeatedly refers to “MY FLESH”, not “THE FLESH” except where he clarifies “the flesh of the Son of Man’.
            Kevin, if you will look in the New Testament when “the flesh” is contrasted with “the spirit”, you will find the subject to be carnal thinking, rather then spiritual thinking.

  38. Mark–

    Why do YOU feel that the Acts 15 decision was fallible? The Roman church later abrogated its provisions whereas the East retained them.

  39. The Catholic Church doesn’t teach that circumcision is required for Gentiles, so I am not sure what you think is abrogated. Please provide a source for this, or is this just how you roll?

  40. Timothy P.–

    What exactly am I supposed to apologize for? For Mark wrenching the brief quote entirely out of context? For his not providing a reference? For his not even reading the context from the commentary? For his rudeness (and yours) in refusing to read Tim K’s take on the quote?

    As far as I can see, Tim K. Is correct, you two are wrong on Augustine, and it is you two who should be eating humble pie.

    So either make a solid counterargument to Tim’s reading of Augustine, or do us all a favor and stay quiet. That’s how civil dialogue works.

    1. Hans wrote

      “What exactly am I supposed to apologize for? For Mark wrenching the brief quote entirely out of context? For his not providing a reference? For his not even reading the context from the commentary? For his rudeness (and yours) in refusing to read Tim K’s take on the quote”

      Hans, I explained above what you should apologize for but apparently it did not register with you so maybe you should reread the post. Now we can deal with Timothy K’s article later but let’s look at the quote again and maybe you can explain how the context negates what Augustine says. Actually I am glad this quote came up because it is a perfect example of how Protestants will take a quote out of context to try and defend their position.
      The quote we are focusing on is

      “We do not sin when we adore Christ in the Eucharist; we do sin when we do not adore Christ in the Eucharist.”

      It is taken from the following passage

      “8. “O magnify the Lord our God” Psalm 98:5. Magnify Him truly, magnify Him well. Let us praise Him, let us magnify Him who has wrought the very righteousness which we have; who wrought it in us, Himself. For who but He who justified us, wrought righteousness in us? For of Christ it is said, “who justifies the ungodly.” Romans 4:5 …“And fall down before His footstool: for He is holy.” What are we to fall down before? His footstool. What is under the feet is called a footstool, in Greek ὑ ποπόδιον, in Latin Scabellum or Suppedaneum. But consider, brethren, what he commands us to fall down before. In another passage of the Scriptures it is said, “The heaven is My throne, and the earth is My footstool.” Isaiah 66:1 Does he then bid us worship the earth, since in another passage it is said, that it is God’s footstool? How then shall we worship the earth, when the Scripture says openly, “You shall worship the Lord your God”? Deuteronomy 6:13 Yet here it says, “fall down before His footstool:” and, explaining to us what His footstool is, it says, “The earth is My footstool.” I am in doubt; I fear to worship the earth, lest He who made the heaven and the earth condemn me; again, I fear not to worship the footstool of my Lord, because the Psalm bids me, “fall down before His footstool.” I ask, what is His footstool? And the Scripture tells me, “the earth is My footstool.” In hesitation I turn unto Christ, since I am herein seeking Himself: and I discover how the earth may be worshipped without impiety, how His footstool may be worshipped without impiety. For He took upon Him earth from earth; because flesh is from earth, and He received flesh from the flesh of Mary. And because He walked here in very flesh, and gave that very flesh to us to eat for our salvation; and no one eats that flesh, unless he has first worshipped: we have found out in what sense such a footstool of our Lord’s may be worshipped, and not only that we sin not in worshipping it, but that we sin in not worshipping. But does the flesh give life? Our Lord Himself, when He was speaking in praise of this same earth, said, “It is the Spirit that quickens, the flesh profits nothing.”…But when our Lord praised it, He was speaking of His own flesh, and He had said, “Except a man eat My flesh, he shall have no life in him.” John 6:54 Some disciples of His, about seventy, were offended, and said, “This is an hard saying, who can hear it?” And they went back, and walked no more with Him. It seemed unto them hard that He said, “Except you eat the flesh of the Son of Man, you have no life in you:” they received it foolishly, they thought of it carnally, and imagined that the Lord would cut off parts from His body, and give unto them; and they said, “This is a hard saying.” It was they who were hard, not the saying; for unless they had been hard, and not meek, they would have said unto themselves, He says not this without reason, but there must be some latent mystery herein. They would have remained with Him, softened, not hard: and would have learned that from Him which they who remained, when the others departed, learned. For when twelve disciples had remained with Him, on their departure, these remaining followers suggested to Him, as if in grief for the death of the former, that they were offended by His words, and turned back. But He instructed them, and says unto them, “It is the Spirit that quickens, but the flesh profits nothing; the words that I have spoken unto you, they are spirit, and they are life.” John 6:63 Understand spiritually what I have said; you are not to eat this body which you see; nor to drink that blood which they who will crucify Me shall pour forth. I have commended unto you a certain mystery; spiritually understood, it will quicken. Although it is needful that this be visibly celebrated, yet it must be spiritually understood. ”

      Seriously Hans, taken out of context??? Before the quote under discussion Augustine writes

      “And because He walked here in very flesh, and gave us that very flesh to us to eat for our salvation”.
      Hans, what is it about that statement that you do not understand?
      Now at the end of the quote Augustine is explaining that Christ in John 6 was not talking about cannibalism but that this mystery needs to be spiritually understood. Perfectly in line with Catholic theology.

      So Hans, Are you sinning by not worshiping the Eucharist as Augustine says? And what is it about “He walked here IN VERY FLESH, and gave us THAT VERY FLESH FOR OUR SALVATION” that you do you not understand.

  41. Mark–

    Am I to take it that in your Bible the Acts 15 ruling only covers circumcision? If you are in need of assistance, provide your telephone number, and I’ll read you the text. I feel for you. It’s tough being illiterate.

    (And yes, that IS how I roll. I always begin by assuming my interlocutors can read! 😉 )

  42. Hans, show me where the Church abrogated circumcision which was the purpose of calling the Council of Jerusalem. That’s what we are talking about. Stay focused.

  43. Hans, you really have a hard time focusing. Why is this so difficult for you? Why won’t you answer the question? Why do you AVOID answering it?

  44. Timothy P.–

    The term “nut case” as I used it was hyperbole to make a point. You’re expecting me to answer for each and every outlier whether or not their sanity is intact. And some of them, without the slightest glimmer of a doubt, are indeed certifiable. If you think I’m mistaken, I’ll have to introduce you to some friendly neighborhood backwoods snake handlers.

    There are self-styled Catholic antipopes, as well, who like to play “dress up” and hold court for a half-dozen or so followers. Would you like to answer for them?

    You speak gentle words concerning Tim K’s civility and constraint and then refuse to “lower yourself” to read what he has to say. You’ve already written him off. Not a particularly civil thing to do. What are YOU doing here?

    Where I live I’m literally surrounded by Catholics and have good relationships with them. I have no particular axe to grind. I interact with Catholicism because I find it the closest thing to Calvinism in terms of academic rigor.

    Kevin is a friend of mine. I kind of doubt his feelings are hurt. I’m not sure how opposed he might be to the Real Presence when couched in Presbyterian terms. Probably not very.

    For what it’s worth, I’d much rather be called a “pigcat” than be written off. You owe Tim K. more of an apology then I owe a few snake handlers.

    The term Protestant means all kinds of different things in all kinds of different contexts. I don’t know what if anything would be proven by how it is “commonly” used. Let’s throw it out entirely and dialogue on “Magisterialism” or “Confessionalism” or “Reformationalism” or whatever the heck you want to call those of us who still follow the Reformers.

    1. Hans, you comment
      Kevin, t is a friend of mine. I kind of doubt his feelings are hurt. I’m not sure how opposed he might be to the Real Presence when couched in Presbyterian terms. Probably not very.

      Hans, Kevin has been spending the last year on another blog denying that the Church Fathers believed in the Real Presence and you are now going to tell me if couched in Presbyterian terms he would be OK with it. You guys remind me of the Protestant I was debating who said he believed in the Real Presence, He just did not believe the Christ was really present. And I am amazed that you want to throw out the discussion of what Protestants believe “and dialogue on “Magisterialism” or “Confessionalism” or “Reformationalism” or whatever the heck you want to call those of us who still follow the Reformers”.
      I can understand your reluctance to defend Protestantism as a whole for the exact reason I mentioned before. Only God knows what an individual Protestant might believe but I can pick up my Catechism and understand what a Catholic should believe.
      Hans, did you join your current Church because you realized that it was the visible Church that Christ founded and gave authority to teach or because that Church fell in line with how you interpreted the Bible?

      1. Timothy, Hans said it succinctly. Don’t worship the elements of the supper. Augustine worked his way through it. And Tim K documents it well in his articles. God is calling all men to repent and believe in the gospel Mark 1:15 and be saved. The worship of creation is a serious thing. Jesus told the woman at the well that God is looking for worshipers who worship in Spirit and truth. And there again it is the Spirit that is the Vicar of God who brings all of Christ’s victory spoils. Christ isn’t in the bread, but in the one taking the bread. Without faith, the Spirit, and the Word, it’s just bread. You must consider God calls Christians to worship Him in an acceptable way. Sola fede, Sola Grazia , Sola Jesu, Sola Scriptura, Sola Dela Gloria.

        1. Kevin and Hans, I read Timothy K’s commentary and again it’s another perfect example of how I have been able to post a quote from a Church Father and then Timothy has to undergo these mental gymnastics to try and persuade his followers why the Father is not saying what he appears to be saying. Seriously, a discussion on footstools. I dealt with the part of the discussion where Augustine explained that Christ was not speaking of actual cannibalism but that the MYSTERY needed to be understood spiritually. Amen! Clement of Alexandria proclaimed the Eucharist “THE INCREDIBLE MYSTERY”.

          Oh by the way Hans, Timothy K apparently did not agree with your statement “And that is why you should not be adoring the host (and why no one did prior to around 1200).”
          In the commentary Tim was asked
          “You’ve dispelled the catacombs as evidence for early Eucharistic Adoration, so I was wondering if you have been able to establish when Eucharistic Adoration really started to become more widespread and accepted in the church?”

          To which Timothy Kauffman responded
          Timothy F. Kauffman

          April 18, 2014 at 12:12 pm

          That is a terrific question. It is toward the end of the 4th century that hard evidence begins to appear for many of these practices. The evidence for much of what is alleged by Rome to be apostolic is largely conjectural between the first century and the end of the fourth. This is something I’ve been thinking a lot about, and I’m planning to address it in a post soon.

          Hans, even your own Protestant apologist disagree with what you said.

          Kevin: did you ever share those quotes from Irenaeus with a unbiased third party and see if they think Irenaeus believed in the real presence? And you never did address these quotes from Augustine like you tried to do with Irenaeus’s quotes

          AUGUSTINE

          “You ought to know what you have received, what you are going to receive, and what you ought to receive daily. That Bread which you see on the altar, having been sanctified by the word of God, is the Body of Christ. The chalice, or rather, what is in that chalice, having been sanctified by the word of God, is the Blood of Christ.”

          -“Sermons”, [227, 21]

          “He who made you men, for your sakes was Himself made man; to ensure your adoption as many sons into an everlasting inheritance, the blood of the Only-Begotten has been shed for you. If in your own reckoning you have held yourselves cheap because of your earthly frailty, now assess yourselves by the price paid for you; meditate, as you should, upon what you eat, what you drink, to what you answer ‘Amen’”.

          -“Second Discourse on Psalm 32”. Ch. 4. circa

          “For the whole Church observes this practice which was handed down by the Fathers: that it prayers for those who have died in the communion of the Body and Blood of Christ, when they are commemorated in their own place in the sacrifice itself; and the sacrifice is offered also in memory of them on their behalf.

          Source: St. Augustine, Sermons 172,2, circa 400 A.D.

          “The fact that our fathers of old offered sacrifices with beasts for victims, which the present-day people of God read about but do not do, is to be understood in no way but this: that those things signified the things that we do in order to draw near to God and to recommend to our neighbor the same purpose. A visible sacrifice, therefore, is the sacrament, that is to say, the sacred sign, of an invisible sacrifice… . Christ is both the Priest, offering Himself, and Himself the Victim. He willed that the sacramental sign of this should be the daily sacrifice of the Church, who, since the Church is His body and He the Head, learns to offer herself through Him.

          Source: St. Augustine, The City of God, 10, 5; 10,20, c. 426:

          1. ” and Timothy has to go through mental gymnastics to try to persuade . ….,” in Protestantism we call that interpreting withing proper historical context, and with scripture a proper hermenutic. It is a thing of note that I have not seen your answer to Tim’s question on how you found symbolism in Cyprian mixing of the untransubstantiated water and wine and the people? First thing that came to my mind is why do you get to find symbolism in the fathers, but we don’t ? Would you care to opine? K

          2. Timothy P, You wrote,

            “I read Timothy K’s commentary and again it’s another perfect example of how I have been able to post a quote from a Church Father and then Timothy has to undergo these mental gymnastics to try and persuade his followers why the Father is not saying what he appears to be saying. Seriously, a discussion on footstools.”

            Now, I find this objection quite enlightening because you have just told me that you used “context” to prove that Cyprian was not saying what he clearly appears to say. In this conversation on Augustine and Eucharistic adoration, you have made light of my references to footstools as if I had taken the conversation on a wild rabbit trail in order to avoid what Augustine was plainly saying. And yet, here Augustine rationalizes the worship of the flesh of Christ by first determining in what way it may be considered proper to worship a footstool:

            “And because He walked here in very flesh, and gave that very flesh to us to eat for our salvation; and no one eats that flesh, unless he has first worshipped: we have found out in what sense such a footstool of our Lord’s may be worshipped, and not only that we sin not in worshipping it, but that we sin in not worshipping.” (Augustine, Exposition on Psalm 99 (98), paragraph 8).

            Oh, yes. Footstools. Because in his famous words he was wrestling with Psalms 99:5, “Exalt ye the LORD our God, and worship at his footstool; for he is holy.” Yes, the proof Roman Catholics use to show that Augustine adored the bread is actually a quote from Augustine on footstools. How could I address the issue without addressing the focus of Augustine’s argument? Surely you did not expect me to rip the quote out of its context, did you?

            That said, you provided a response to Hans as if to say that he and I disagree on when Eucharistic adoration began. You said to Hans,

            “Oh by the way Hans, Timothy K apparently did not agree with your statement “And that is why you should not be adoring the host (and why no one did prior to around 1200).”

            Actually I am very much in agreement with Hans (although I place the introduction of Eucharistic Adoration a little more than 100 years earlier that he does). It is true that in April of 2014 I wrote, (regarding a reader’s question on Eucharistic adoration):

            “It is toward the end of the 4th century that hard evidence begins to appear for many of these practices.”

            I was speaking generally of the various novelties that came up at that time, but the reader’s question was about Eucharistic Adoration, and I grouped Eucharistic adoration with the others, based on my research of Roman Catholic sources which claim that very thing:

            “Some writers trace the first beginnings of perpetual [Eucharistic] adoration to the late fourth century, when converts to the faith in some dioceses were to adore the Blessed Sacrament exposed for eight days after their baptism.” (Fr. John Hardon, The History of Eucharistic Adoration).

            “Probably the earliest and longest instance of perpetual adoration on record is the continuous adoration of the Blessed Sacrament in the Cathedral of Lugo, Spain, for more than 1,000 years in expiation of the [late] fourth-century Priscillian heresy.” (Joan Carrol Cruz, Eucharistic Miracles and Eucharistic Phenomena in the Lives of the Saints, p. 284).

            “Eucharist Adoration is an ancient, prayerful devotion believed to be in existence as early as the [late] 4th century with St. Basil.” (St. Monica Catholic Church web page).

            That sounds a lot like what I have read about so many of the other liturgical and dogmatic novelties. As I also said to the reader, “This is something I’ve been thinking a lot about, and I’m planning to address it in a post soon.” I did think a lot about it, and actually addressed it in a post in August of that year called When Mary Got Busy.

            In the mean time, I had delved further and deeper into those Roman Catholic claims only to find that there was really no hard evidence for the early rise of Eucharistic adoration at all. In fact they were all conjecture. I wrote,

            What we notice on further inspection, however, is that the evidence for early Eucharistic adoration is complete conjecture. John Hardon says “some writers trace the first beginnings of it to the late fourth century,” but he does not tell us who those writers are.

            St. Basil is offered as an example of the early practice of Eucharistic adoration, but the only evidence we have is that he acknowledged that some of the communion bread was set aside for later use, a practice referred to as “reservation”. He wrote, “All the solitaries [hermits] in the desert, where there is no priest, take the communion themselves, keeping communion at home” (Basil, To the Patrician Cæasaria, concerning Communion, Letter XCIII). That is hardly proof of adoration.

            As regards Cruz’s example of perpetual adoration at the Cathedral in Lugo, Spain, the earliest attestation of it is from an 1895 letter from Cardinal Vaughan to the Cardinal Primate of Spain (Joan Carrol Cruz, Eucharistic Miracles, p. 284). We suspect that the 1,500 year gap between the start of the alleged adoration in Lugo and the letter attesting to it was merely a highly imaginative exchange of mutual admiration between Cardinals, and not based on any actual historical data. Surely it ought to take less than 1,500 years to produce evidence of a practice so central to Rome’s liturgy.

            What I discovered was that Eucharistic adoration had its origins in the late 11th century, not the late 4th century as the Roman Catholics had claimed.

            So I am in agreement with Hans. Most of your novelties date to the late 4th century. This one in particular came later in time for a very specific reason. You can find out more about why this novelty came up so late in the article cited above.

            Thanks,

            Tim

  45. Mark–

    I’m not aware of having been asked a question. I went back into our correspondence and found none. Care to repeat your query?

  46. Oh. My. Goodness.

    Tweedle-dum and Tweedle-dee. Let me know when you all get serious. (You can start by actually reading Tim’s post.)

    As hard as it will be for you both–having been indoctrinated all of your tender, young lives–everyone but everyone believes that their own church is the church that Jesus founded.

    (I’m guessing you must also believe that the Society of Jesus was “founded” in 1814 by Pope Pius VII with the publication of his Sollicitudo Omniam Ecclesiarum.)

    1. Hans, you wrote”

      “As hard as it will be for you both–having been indoctrinated all of your tender, young lives–everyone but everyone believes that their own church is the church that Jesus founded. ”

      Hans, if you believe that your church is the church that Jesus founded you need a history lesson. I assume you are Presbyterian so why don’t you give us a history of the Presbyterian Church including when that Church was founded. Let’s see, “The roots of the Presbyterian Church trace back to John Calvin, a 16th century French reformer.”
      Now Hans, do you believe that John Calvin was Jesus Christ????

    2. Hans said, “everyone but everyone believes that their own church is the church that Jesus founded.”

      So, you are saying that YOUR church is the church that Jesus founded and that Tim K’s and Kevin’s churches are false churches?

  47. Timothy P.–

    The roots of the Presbyterian Church do trace back to J.C., but that J.C. is Jesus Christ, not the Frenchman, Jean Cauvin.

    You must have trouble with the notion of a restoration. If I brought the dormant religion of Mythraism back from the dead and started practicing it again, that wouldn’t negate the fact that it was founded in, I don’t know exactly, the second or third century B.C.E.

    All that Presbyterianism has to show is compatibility with Apostolic (i.e., Scriptural) teaching. It doesn’t have to show any particular, definitive historical continuation (Jesus doesn’t list that as a descriptor of the church he founded.)

  48. Mark–

    Both Tim K’s and Kevin’s churches are confessional, so I have no need to distance myself from them. We all belong to the church Jesus founded, the One Holy Catholic and Apostolic Church, the church you reject.

    1. Beautiful Hans,
      You wrote
      “I’m not speaking for these Rebellious Ones, just the Protestants. The CONFESSIONAL Protestants: conservative Anglicans, Lutherans, Presbyterians, and Reformed”.

      So Hans, which of these Churches is the “One Holy Catholic and Apostolic Church”? And is it the liberal or conservative branches

  49. Timothy P.–

    In case you missed it, I used the example of the Society of Jesus BECAUSE it was a restoration. The suppression of the Jesuits for 41 years doesn’t change the fact that they were founded by Ignatius of Loyola.

    1. Timothy K
      As above I quoted the entire quote as not to be accused of yanking the quote out of context and obviously we both understand that in Augustine’s attempts to reconcile what would appear to be conflicting commands Augustine decides that the footstool must represent Christ. You wrote

      “We note that Augustine was wrestling with what appeared to be conflicting commands, and he determined that the only possible way he could “worship the earth” without committing idolatry was to worship Christ in the flesh. When he says we do not sin by worshiping but we sin by not worshiping, the object of His worship is Christ, not the Eucharist. And it is Christ Incarnate Whom we worship, for the Lamb Who was slain and sits at the right hand of the Father (Hebrews 1:13) still bears the scars He received in the flesh (Revelation 5:6).”

      Now let’s look at what Augustine says
      “In hesitation I turn unto Christ, since I am herein seeking Himself: and I discover how the earth may be worshipped without impiety, how His footstool may be worshipped without impiety. For He took upon Him earth from earth; because flesh is from earth, and He received flesh from the flesh of Mary. And because He walked here in very flesh, and gave that very flesh to us to eat for our salvation; and no one eats that flesh, unless he has first worshipped: we have found out in what sense such a footstool of our Lord’s may be worshipped, and not only that we sin not in worshipping it, but that we sin in not worshipping”

      Now there are 2 questions, does Augustine believe in the real presence and does he believe that the Eucharist should be adored or worshipped. Well let’s answer the first question. Augustine writes :

      ” For He took upon Him earth from earth; because flesh is from earth, and He received flesh from the flesh of Mary. And because He walked here in very flesh, and gave that very flesh to us to eat for our salvation; and no one eats that flesh, unless he has first worshipped:”

      He walked here in VERY FLESH. And what did He give us to eat for our salvation? “THAT VERY FLESH”. Now I don’t know how Augustine could have been more clear on his belief in the real presence. And then he goes on to discuss John 6, starting off with the comment
      “But does the flesh give life?”

      Now what has Augustine just told us?
      “AND GAVE THAT VERY FLESH TO US TO EAT FOR OUR SALVATION”.

      Now should we adore that Flesh that is in the Eucharist? I can see your argument that the question is rather Augustine is actually promoting worshiping the Flesh of Christ in the Eucharist but in your comment above Timothy K you wrote

      “And yet, here Augustine rationalizes the worship of the flesh of Christ by first determining in what way it may be considered proper to worship a footstool”

      Was that a slip or do you believe Augustine rationalizes the worship of the flesh of Christ? Augustine says

      “And because He walked here in very flesh, and gave that very flesh to us to eat for our salvation,”

      Now Timothy K, do you believe that Augustine thought we should worship the VERY FLESH that He walked in, but not the VERY FLESH that he gave us to eat.

      1. I agree Tim P. Augustine is crystal clear that he is referring to the Eucharist. This mental tap dance that Tim K. does just reflects how he reads into history what isn’t there. There are two reasons why I became Catholic a few years ago, 1) the authority of the Church as the Church that Jesus founded, and 2) the Eucharist. It is absolutely clear that the Eucharist is the center of worship in the Church since the beginning and they believed that it truly was Jesus Christ that they consumed.
        Only those who bought into an anti-Catholic person’s agenda would see anything else in the early Church.

        1. Mark, I definitely agree with you. I after this week am not going to have much time for posting but you hit it on the head as far as where to focus the debate. There are Catholic answers for other points of debate but from a biblical, early church Teaching and just pure common sense those two topics, ie authority and the Real Presence in the Eucharist are so defensible from the Catholic point of view that unless you are a diehard there should be hope of bringing people into the visible teaching Church founded by Christ.

          1. Mark Rome
            I assume you have read Cyril of Jerusalem’s Catechetical lectures 22 and 23? At the birthplace of Christianity they are saying the Mass at around the same time Christ’s teaching church is deciding the New Testament canon. Unbelievable.

        2. Mark, so you became a Catholic because of the Eucharist, and that the Eucharist is the center of worship and that ” it” was Jesus Christ from the beginning? This is a great view into the mind of an idolator. Jesus Christ was the Eucharist from the beginning. In the beginning Jesus was the Eucharist and the Eucharist was with God, and the Eucharist was God John 1? The whole summit of salvation is to worship the Jesus wafer which was from the beginning ? Why does Jesus point to faith in Mark 1:15, ” repent and believe in the gospel” ? He mentions nothing about the Jesus wafer as the summit or way of salvation. Why if believing the Jesus wafer and consuming it is the way a man is saved, why did Jesus mislead us in Mark 1:15?

      2. Timothy P,

        You asked, “Was that a slip or do you believe Augustine rationalizes the worship of the flesh of Christ?”

        It was no slip. Augustine came up with a way to reconcile the apparent reading of the text (“worship His footstool”) with the commandment against worshiping creation. He did this by concluding that the only way to avoid idolatry by worshiping the earth is to worship only what Jesus took from earth: His flesh. I don’t know a Protestant who does not worship the flesh of Christ. Were you not aware that we worship it?

        Of course we worship His flesh, for He is the God-Man, enfleshed forever as a man like us and it is He who we worship.

        You continued,

        “Now Timothy K, do you believe that Augustine thought we should worship the VERY FLESH that He walked in, but not the VERY FLESH that he gave us to eat.”

        Well, I suppose we’ll have to let Augustine speak for himself. From the same commentary on the same Psalm, and in fact in the very same paragraph, he says,

        “Understand spiritually what I have said; you are not to eat this body which you see; nor to drink that blood which they who will crucify Me shall pour forth. I have commended unto you a certain mystery; spiritually understood, it will quicken. Although it is needful that this be visibly celebrated, yet it must be spiritually understood. “

        Yes Augustine says “And because He walked here in very flesh, and gave that very flesh to us to eat for our salvation,” and it’s almost enough to make you think that Augustine said He gave us to eat the very flesh of His body and the very blood that flowed from His side, as Paul VI inferred from Augustine in Mysterium Fidei

        after the consecration they are the true body of Christ—which was born of the Virgin and which hung on the Cross as an offering for the salvation of the world—and the true blood of Christ—which flowed from His side—and not just as a sign and by reason of the power of the sacrament, but in the very truth and reality of their substance and in what is proper to their nature. (Mysterium Fidei, 52)

        The problem is that Augustine said the exact opposite in his exposition on the very same Psalm we are discussing:

        “you are not to eat this body which you see; nor to drink that blood which they who will crucify Me shall pour forth.”

        It doesn’t get much clearer that that, Timothy P. Paul VI says we are to eat the flesh that hung on the cross, and drink the blood that flowed from His side, and Augustine says we are not. And yet you want me to join you in thinking that Paul VI’s thinking is derived from Augustine’s. Sorry, I’m not buying what you’re selling.

        Augustine, by his own words, shows that he means no one partakes of the flesh figured by the bread without first adoring His actual flesh in heaven. On this point, Augustine himself insists when he writes elsewhere:

        “If the sentence is one of command, either forbidding a crime or vice, or enjoining an act of prudence or benevolence, it is not figurative. If, however, it seems to enjoin a crime or vice, or to forbid an act of prudence or benevolence, it is figurative. “Unless you eat the flesh of the Son of man,” says Christ, “and drink His blood, you have no life in you.” [John 6:53] This seems to enjoin a crime or a vice; it is therefore a figure, enjoining that we should have a share in the sufferings of our Lord, and that we should retain a sweet and profitable memory of the fact that His flesh was wounded and crucified for us.” Augustine, On Christian Doctrine, Book III, Chapter 16)

        That meaning is pretty straightforward if you let Augustine speak for himself. The meaning Paul VI extracted (the one you are forcing on the text) is the one that requires mental gymnastics, for it is quite foreign to Augustine’s own explicit thinking.

        Best,

        Tim

        1. Tim K, you said, “Augustine, by his own words, shows that he means no one partakes of the flesh figured by the bread without first adoring His actual flesh in heaven.”

          First, you aren’t partaking of the flesh if it is only figurative. Where does Augustine say it is figurative? Where does Augustine say that he adores His actual flesh in heaven?

          Augustine then went on to explain that we aren’t carving off pieces of Jesus and consuming him as if we are cannibals. That’s why he said, “you are not to eat this body which you see; nor to drink that blood which they who will crucify Me shall pour forth.”

          Seriously Tim K., you are the poster boy of what Jesus meant by “the flesh profits nothing”. Your human reasoning (flesh) does not understand the mystery of the Eucharist and you use your own human reasoning to reject it.

  50. Timothy K, I had already addressed this passage but apparently you missed my comment. I’ll try to expand the discussion, but previously I wrote

    “Now at the end of the quote Augustine is explaining that Christ in John 6 was not talking about cannibalism but that this mystery needs to be spiritually understood. Perfectly in line with Catholic theology.”

    So was Augustine speaking of cannibalism or the sacramental partaking of the “Very flesh that he gave to us to eat for our salvation”
    Let’s see what Augustine says:

    “Except you eat the flesh of the Son of Man, you have no life in you:” they received it foolishly, they thought of it carnally, and imagined that the Lord would cut off parts from His body, and give unto them; and they said, “This is a hard saying.” It was they who were hard, not the saying; for unless they had been hard, and not meek, they would have said unto themselves, He says not this without reason, but there must be some latent mystery herein”

    Hmmmmm. Thought of it carnally! Cut off parts of His Body! It sounds like Augustine is talking about cannibalism doesn’t it. But what does Augustine go on to say.

    “HE SAYS THIS NOT WITHOUT REASON, BUT THERE MUST BE SOME LATENT MYSTERY THEREIN”

    THERE MUST BE SOME LATENT MYSTERY THEREIN!!!!!!!

    Now what is this latent mystery for most Protestants. Symbolic Bread!!!! What is this latent Mystery for Catholic, Orthodox Christians, the Copts.

    ” that very flesh to us to eat for our salvation”

    Now what about Paul VI comment. The “VERY FLESH THAT HE WALKED IN” hung on the cross didn’t it. Now Timothy K, do you believe that Paul VI meant his comments carnally or spiritually. Do you believe Paul VI believes we actually slice off a part of the crucified Christ and collect blood from the crucified Christ or do you realize that Paul was speaking spiritually, that we sacramentally partake of the “VERY FLESH THAT HE WALKED IN”, that hung on the cross. You know the correct answer.
    What I like about this quote from Augustine is how well it fits with John 6. Augustine writes

    “And because He walked here in very flesh, and gave that very flesh to us to eat for our salvation”

    John 6:53
    Whoso eateth my flesh and drinketh my blood, hath eternal life; and I will raise him up at the last day.
    6:54 For my flesh is meat indeed, and my blood is drink indeed.

    1. Timothy P, in both citations I provided, Augustine was expounding John 6:53. In one case he says, Jesus did not mean we eat the actual flesh he walked around in, or drink the blood the flowed from his side on the cross (Roman Catholics say he did). In another case, Augustine says John 6:53 must have been meant figuratively (Roman Catholics say he did not).

      Those are just Augustine’s words. You reject them. I completely understand why. What makes my position so easy, though, is that I can just provide you with the actual words of Augustine and let him speak for himself without performing all those mental gymnastics Roman Catholics have to go through to make Augustine fit their 11th century novelty.

      We both know, in the end, you are not really talking about Augustine. You are talking about the Roman Magisterium’s mandatory interpretation of Augustine. I reject the Roman Magisterium, and you do not. The Roman Catholic Church is the Little Horn of Daniel 7 and the Sea Beast of Revelation 13, and I will never kneel before the monstrosity you call call the true religion.

      There really isn’t much more to discuss. But Augustine did say it was a figure. No denying that.

      Have a good weekend.

      Tim

      1. Tim K, you said, ” In one case he says, Jesus did not mean we eat the actual flesh he walked around in, or drink the blood the flowed from his side on the cross (Roman Catholics say he did).”

        No, Tim, Catholics don’t say that. Do you know that Catholics don’t teach we eat the corpse of Jesus? That is cannibalism. That is also what the Romans thought the Christians were doing in the early centuries and why they were put to death. No, we consume the body, blood, soul, and divinity of our risen Lord.

        1. Mark in response to my statement that Roman Catholics teach that they eat the actual flesh Jesus walked around in, and drink the blood that flowed from His side, you responded in indignation, “No, Tim, Catholics don’t say that.”

          Actually, yes they do. I was quoting Pope Paul VI who said that the consecrated elements you eat at communion are “the true body of Christ—which was born of the Virgin and which hung on the Cross as an offering for the salvation of the world—and the true blood of Christ—which flowed from His side” (Mysterium Fidei, 52).

          I understand what you’re saying when you claim that you are not cannibals, but that’s not quite accurate since you do claim most emphatically to eat human flesh and drink human blood even if the accidents of bread and wine remain. Substantially it is (to you) human flesh and human blood, and therefore you are substantially cannibals even if not accidentally so.

          If Paul VI said what you eat in communion is the “the true body of Christ … which hung on the Cross … and the true blood of Christ—which flowed from His side” you are eating human flesh under the accidents of bread wine. At least according to your own magisterium. How am I wrong?

          Thanks,

          Tim

          1. Again, Tim K, you are pulling quotes out of context and putting them together to make your version of things. Augustine was emphasizing one thing, Pope Paul VI was emphasizing another. They don’t contradict each other. Augustine was saying that we aren’t cannibals. We don’t pull the actual flesh off of Jesus and consume him. Paul is saying that the Eucharist isn’t just symbolic but we are eating Jesus. Yes his flesh and blood, but the glorified body of flesh and blood. Augustine and Paul VI were talking to two different audiences and so context, context, context is most important.

            If you believe that Catholics are cannibals, then remember that you are a symbolic cannibal every time you partake of communion. Your position doesn’t sound that much better.

      2. Timothy K, you wrote

        ” Timothy P, in both citations I provided, Augustine was expounding John 6:53. In one case he says, Jesus did not mean we eat the actual flesh he walked around in, or drink the blood the flowed from his side on the cross (Roman Catholics say he did). In another case, Augustine says John 6:53 must have been meant figuratively (Roman Catholics say he did not).

        Those are just Augustine’s words. You reject them. I completely understand why”

        Timothy K, where did I say I reject what Augustine said. The first quote I explained. Don’t you remember my discussion of cannibalism? Don’t you remember the “LATENT MYSTERY”. Now Timothy K, is the LATENT MYSTERY eating a piece of bread that symbolizes the Body of Christ? Where is the mystery?? Please explain.
        The second quote again deals with the question of cannibalism. Let’s look at that quote

        “If the sentence is one of command, either forbidding a crime or vice, or enjoining an act of prudence or benevolence, it is not figurative. If, however, it seems to enjoin a crime or vice, or to forbid an act of prudence or benevolence, it is figurative. “Unless you eat the flesh of the Son of man,” says Christ, “and drink His blood, you have no life in you.” [John 6:53] This seems to enjoin a crime or a vice; it is therefore a figure, enjoining that we should have a share in the sufferings of our Lord, and that we should retain a sweet and profitable memory of the fact that His flesh was wounded and crucified for us.” Augustine, On Christian Doctrine, Book III, Chapter 16)”

        Now obviously it would be a crime or vice for those listening to Jesus to have killed him and eaten his Flesh. And you are correct that Augustine puts a symbolic spin on the verse “it is therefore a figure”. Bu if you know anything about Augustine he teaches that any text in Scripture can have multiple levels of understanding. While Augustine’s quote definitely does not reinforce the Catholic understanding of these verses, it does not specifically deny the Catholic position. Interestingly Augustine does not expound the common Protestant figurative understanding of those verses, ie eating his flesh means having faith in Christ. So Timothy K, do you accept Augustine’s interpretation of the verse or does eating his flesh mean faith in Christ. Is it both/and or either /or. For the Catholic it is both/and.

        Timothy K wrote

        ” I can just provide you with the actual words of Augustine and let him speak for himself without performing all those mental gymnastics Roman Catholics have to go through to make Augustine fit their 11th century novelty.”

        No doubt about it. I had to perform a little mental gymnastics to explain these verses, but if you can show that Augustine was not addressing the question of cannibalism in these verses you have won the argument. If not my points obviously have merit and it is obvious from both quotes that that is the issue at hand.

        Timothy K wrote
        “There really isn’t much more to discuss. But Augustine did say it was a figure. No denying that.”

        Augustine did say it was a figure but in context I believe he was discussing the statement was figurative. And of course Timothy K we have discussed before the subject of figure and types in the writings of the early Fathers were you disagree with the recognized experts in the field of early Church Father’s writings. Anyone with any interest could look at our discussions under Eating Ignatius.
        You wrote “There really isn’t much more to discuss”, but actually I have not heard you, Kevin or Hans try to explain the following quotes from Augustine.

        AUGUSTINE

        “You ought to know what you have received, what you are going to receive, and what you ought to receive daily. That Bread which you see on the altar, having been sanctified by the word of God, is the Body of Christ. The chalice, or rather, what is in that chalice, having been sanctified by the word of God, is the Blood of Christ.”

        -“Sermons”, [227, 21]

        “He who made you men, for your sakes was Himself made man; to ensure your adoption as many sons into an everlasting inheritance, the blood of the Only-Begotten has been shed for you. If in your own reckoning you have held yourselves cheap because of your earthly frailty, now assess yourselves by the price paid for you; meditate, as you should, upon what you eat, what you drink, to what you answer ‘Amen’”.

        -“Second Discourse on Psalm 32”. Ch. 4. circa

        “For the whole Church observes this practice which was handed down by the Fathers: that it prayers for those who have died in the communion of the Body and Blood of Christ, when they are commemorated in their own place in the sacrifice itself; and the sacrifice is offered also in memory of them on their behalf.

        Source: St. Augustine, Sermons 172,2, circa 400 A.D.

        “The fact that our fathers of old offered sacrifices with beasts for victims, which the present-day people of God read about but do not do, is to be understood in no way but this: that those things signified the things that we do in order to draw near to God and to recommend to our neighbor the same purpose. A visible sacrifice, therefore, is the sacrament, that is to say, the sacred sign, of an invisible sacrifice… . Christ is both the Priest, offering Himself, and Himself the Victim. He willed that the sacramental sign of this should be the daily sacrifice of the Church, who, since the Church is His body and He the Head, learns to offer herself through Him.

        Source: St. Augustine, The City of God, 10, 5; 10,20, c. 426:

        This is the third time I have posted these comments and asked for your analysis but so far there has been no response. Let me see if I can find any quotes from St. Ambrose who brought Augustine into the Faith. I would assume they taught and believed the same concerning the Eucharist

        1. ” Augustine did say it was a figure” well then you can bring this understanding to the rest of the quotes of his. If He explicitly says ” understand spiritually what I say” then we can apply that to his other quotes on the bread being the body and blood of Christ. Since we know that Augustine also said in Retractations that the church has been deprived of the body of Christ until He returns, then Augustine is right, that we must understand the bread symbolically. As God nourishes our body with bread, He nourishes our faith through His Spirit in our inner man. Paul says our outer man is decaying, but our inner man is being renewed each day through the Spirit ALL of this happens. Besides being out of orthodoxy and practice of the early church, the RC position is idolatry because it invokes the worship of creation. And the fact that it is the summit of a achieving your salvation , it rejects believing the gospel which is a free gift Romans 6:23. It also changes a sacrament which is free grace for the weak into merit for the strong. This was a deal breaker for the Reformers. Salvation is a gift which is given solely by the mercy, grace, goodness of God through repentance and faith . Rome historically calls the mass ” the work of the people” which has always been antichrist and anti gospel. I would winsomely ask you to repent of the mass and idolatry and believe in the gospel. K

  51. Gentlemen–

    Sounds to me as if even the Catholics are saying that the Eucharist is mysterious and spiritual rather than a carnal, physical transformation. They neither chew him with their teeth, nor swallow him with their gullet, nor digest him with their stomachs. The only way left for them to “eat” his flesh and “drink” his blood is in their hearts by faith with thanksgiving.

    Augustine is notorious for being inconsistent in his description of the Eucharist. At times being blatantly symbolic and at other times crassly, even illogically physical (how can Christ hold his own glorified flesh in his own hand before he’s even glorified?)

    Many times his rhetoric is consistent with EITHER Roman Catholic or Magisterial Protestant takes on the topic, depending on the angle of one’s glance.

    1. Hans
      Your post above has more errors in it in such a short post that I have ever seen. You obviously do not have a clue to Catholic understanding of the Eucharist and are totally oblivious to the concept of both/ and versus either /or. For Catholics and Saint Augustine the Eucharist is Both symbolic AND real. It is a Spiritual meal.
      Now where in the catechism do you read
      “They neither chew him with their teeth, nor swallow him with their gullet, nor digest him with their stomachs. The only way left for them to “eat” his flesh and “drink” his blood is in their hearts by faith with thanksgiving.”
      Hans wrote:
      “Augustine is notorious for being inconsistent in his description of the Eucharist. At times being blatantly symbolic and at other times crassly, even illogically physical (how can Christ hold his own glorified flesh in his own hand before he’s even glorified?)”
      No Hans, Augustine is not inconsistent!!!!! You need to wrap your mind around the concept of both/and then you will come to a correct understanding of Augustine and the Catholic view of the Eucharist.

    2. Thanks, Hans,

      I agree that “Augustine is notorious for being inconsistent.” My primary point in this particular citation of him is to show that his statement “no one eats that flesh, unless he has first worshipped” is not a reference to Eucharistic adoration, as much as Roman Catholics would like it to be.

      It is worthwhile to read the whole commentary on the Psalm, especially paragraph 3 in its entirety. Augustine’s commentary on the psalm revolves significantly around God’s throne, which is in heaven, and His footstool, which is earth. The throne is only mentioned in paragraphs 3 and 8. In paragraph 3 Augustine goes to great lengths to tell us how we can become a throne of God, a “heaven” in which He dwells. How are we to become a “heaven” for God’s throne?

      That throne we cannot see, as for it is in Heaven, and that is where the King is seated:

      “The Cherubim is the seat of God, as the Scripture shows us, a certain exalted heavenly throne, which we see not; but the Word of God knows it, knows it as His own seat” (Augustine, Psalm 99 (98), paragraph 3)

      Yes, Jesus is seated in the Heavens, between the cherubim, a throne which we see not. Roman Catholics will backfill these words with the modern perceptions of the Mass in which the consecrated host is elevated between the cherubims of the Altar, but Augustine is quite clear that he is not talking about the sacrifice of the Mass here. The question is, How can we become a “heaven” that God may reside there. Never was Augustine presented with a better opportunity to tell us that we become a throne of God than here, where he can tell us that we become God’s throne by the having the King reside in us by the mystery of Transubstantiation during the mass when we eat him so we can reside in us. But here in a psalm in which God’s Throne and His Footstool are at the forefront of his mind, he fails to tell us the “obvious,” which is that we (allegedly) become God’s throne by eating His footstool. Instead, he tell us that we are a throne of God, i.e., we become a heaven, when we exameine our hearts and find love and the law written there:

      “Be not disturbed; it is briefly told you what you have, if you dost wish to have the fullness of knowledge, and to become the throne of God: for the Apostle says, “Love is the fulfilling of the Law.” [Romans 13:10] What follows then? You have lost the whole of your excuse. Ask your heart; see whether it has love. If there be love there, there is the fulfilment of the Law there also; already God dwells in you, you have become the throne of God. “Be the people angry;” what can the angry people do against him who has become the throne of God? You give heed unto them who rage against you: Who is it that sits within you, you give not heed. You have become a heaven, and do you fear the earth? For the Scripture says in another passage, that the Lord our God does declare, “The heaven is My throne.” [Isaiah 66:1] If therefore even thou by having the fullness of knowledge, and by having love, hast been made the throne of God, you have become a heaven. For this heaven which we look up to with these eyes of ours, is not very precious before God. Holy souls are the heaven of God; the minds of the Angels, and all the minds of His servants, are the heaven of God.” (Augustine, Psalm 99 (98), paragraph 3)

      Notably, Augustine has Jesus seated in the heavens, and says we must become a heaven if He would sit in us by faith, and He already does if we have love in our hearts. But nary a word about having the Lord sit in us by eating the Eucharist.

      Then when he gets to speaking of the Eucharist, he already knows Jesus’ flesh is in heaven (paragraph 3), and that the bread figures His flesh for us here. And the whole time he talks about this, he fails to mention that we become God’s throne by eating the footstool. His reference to adoring the flesh is in fact a reference to adoring the flesh that resides in Heaven (paragraph 3) and the reference to eating the flesh is a reference to the figure of bread (paragraph 8, c.f., Augustine, On Christian Doctrine, Book III, Chapter 16). I don’t hesitate to say that this is exactly how I receive communion during the Lord’s Supper. I worship the incarnated Lord in Heaven while I partake of the figure of his flesh and blood on earth.

      My point, of course, is that Augustine’s commentary on Psalm 99 is not the slam dunk proof of Eucharistic adoration that Roman Catholics make it out to be.

      If you want proof that even the staunch Roman Catholic apologist knows very well that Eucharistic adoration is a late 11th century novelty, just read Fr. John Hardon’s history of eucharistic adoration, and it becomes very clear. “Already in the second century,” he writes, people exchanged consecrated bread as a sign of unity. And then some things happened related to the eucharist, and then some more things happen related to the eucharist, and then some more things happened related to the eucharist, and then, suddenly, “Toward the end of the eleventh century we enter on a new era in the history of Eucharistic adoration” and people actually started adoring the eucharist. Not exactly a picture of continuity from the apostles.

      Also, read Eucharistic Adoration in the Carolingian Era?, by Roger E. Reynolds, of the Pontifical Institute of Mediæval Studies, where he tries desperately to find the possibility of eucharistic adoration as early as the 9th century:

      “Whatever the solutions to these modern theological and liturgical issues, most scholars trace them back to medieval theology and liturgical practice. They all agree and repeatedly say that the practice of Eucharistic adoration goes back at least to the early thirteenth century … Some scholars then push the issue of Eucharistic adoration back to the eleventh century …” (pp. 77-78)

      He finally concludes that maybe there was and maybe there wasn’t Eucharistic adoration back that far, but there were at least steps being taken in that direction:

      “Eucharist adoration of the host in the thirteenth century and beyond was clearly not like that suggested by the illustrations of the host held in Christ’s hand in our manuscripts. The idea of transubstantiation had not yet been developed, and hosts of azymes and bread were still used in the ninth century and beyond. But add the theology “real presence” developed by Radbertus of Corbie and approved by Charles – something not present in the late eighth century during the Iconoclastic controversy – to the striking presence of the host in the Majestas pages and one can sense the first steps toward Eucharistic adoration developed in the high and later Middle Ages. (p. 153)”

      Not exactly a ringing endorsement of the antiquity of Eucharistic adoration. And Reynolds was writing for the Pontifical Institute. It’s not like he is unfamiliar with Augustine’s commentary on the 99th psalm. He just knew it wasn’t proof of eucharistic adoration.

      Thanks,

      Tim

  52. Hans, ” sound to me even the Catholics believe that the Eucharist is mysterious and spiritual , not carnal.” Except they are required believe that it is his body,blood etc. And the are also required to bow to it. For all the kumbaya they are trying to find with us, Catholics are required to believe all the church has called them to believe, and if they don’t they can’t be Catholics. So if they don’t believe that the Eucharist is substantially his body, and they don’t worship IT, they get no church grace, since grace is the means of exchange on the church merit system.

  53. Kevin–

    Let’s be honest. Catholics, for the most part, are not trying to find commonality with us. In fact, they fight it tooth and nail. In my mind I always change “Called to Communion,” to “Called to Assimilation” (resistance is futile). They have virtually no interest in genuine ecumenics (or even good faith dialogue). After all, they’re never wrong about anything. They believe that DOGMATICALLY. They think that that’s a GOOD thing!!

    Yes, they do (and they don’t) believe that the bread has been changed and is substantially his body. The change is spiritual NOT carnal. It’s not a crass one-for-one substitution. It’s also not his earthly body, but his heavenly one. (They have to explain WHY it’s not cannibalism.)

    And if they are required to believe all that their church has called them to believe, then there are so few Catholics that we needn’t bother with them.

  54. Timothy P.–

    No, I didn’t get those ideas from the Catechism but from your alternate magisterium: Catholic apologists.

    And it is patristic scholars, not I, who call Augustine inconsistent. Take it up with them.

    1. Hans said, “And it is patristic scholars, not I, who call Augustine inconsistent. Take it up with them.”

      Catholic scholars don’t find him inconsistent. Only those who have a binary Either/Or mindset find him inconsistent. He may be difficult to understand, but not inconsistent.

  55. Timothy P.–

    Would you have us believe that you have an advanced degree in Catholic theology? (If you did, you’d go straightaway into a counterargument rather than launch into polemics.)

    I tell you that the Eucharist to me is both spiritual AND real, and you tell me that that means it isn’t really real. So make up your mind. Does both/and negate corporality or doesn’t it?

    By the way, I don’t fault you for believing your Catholic truths are absolutely true. Everyone holds their own convictions to be gospel (or they wouldn’t hold them). The problem is that you believe your understanding to be irreformable, no matter how much evidence and reason is brought to bear. We, on the other hand, say, “Convince us. Using Scripture and tradition and reason, show us where we are wrong.” Ours is a position humbly ready for dialogue. Yours is not.

    1. Hans, where have you been. What do you think these post back and forth between the participants on this blog are other then dialogue. I agree, let us reason. Timothy K does not want to admit that Christ’s visible Church was given the authority to teach so how do you reason out the New Testament writings and then the Canon list. I asked before which New Testament writer left us the canon list and nothing but silence.
      I asked for a comment on the other quotes from Augustine and I get nothing but silence. I have responded to Augustine’s comment on the Psalm and Timothy K’s challenges and now it’s your turn to respond.
      When Augustine said
      ” And because He walked here in very flesh, and gave that very flesh to us to eat for our salvation” , do you Hans believe that Christ gave us THAT VERY FLESH TO EAT? Yes or no.

      Explain to me what the “latent mystery” is that Augustine mentioned.

      And finally do you believe there is a change in the nature of the bread and wine after the consecration in your Church, Yes or No

      I am not an unreasonable person. Try to go over those quotes from Augustine and the questions that I have just asked so we can continue to dialogue

      1. Timothy P, I am glad you are not an unreasonable person.

        You wrote, “Timothy K does not want to admit that Christ’s visible Church was given the authority” but that is hardly true. What I deny is that Jesus Christ established the Roman Catholic Church. If you had paid close attention to my responses to you, you would have noticed my concern that your inquiries and proofs lack an actual definition of teaching authority. Because you still have not provided one, I provided one for you, a definition that I find to be an accurate reflection of what Roman Catholics typically mean by “teaching authority.” You provided a set of citations from the early church about bishops having authority along with a college of presbyters, but nothing about a pope having authority with a college of bishops. That can’t be found anywhere in any of the citations you provided. So based on the Roman Catholic definition of teaching authority, I do not think Jesus established a visible church with teaching authority. I don’t subscribe to the Roman Catholic definition of teaching authority, so the comment ought not be construed as a rejection of a “visible church with teaching authority.” The substance of my comment is that I cannot find in the early church what Roman Catholics construe as a visible church with teaching authority, because based on their definition it simply cannot be found there. As I noted on November 7th, what you lack in your questions is a definition of teaching authority. You have since changed the question to ask if Jesus gave the apostles authority to teach, but I am not playing the game of a constantly changing set of questions. If you are unwilling to define “teaching authority,” then I am unwilling to give you an up or down answer. But to say “Timothy K does not want to admit that Christ’s visible Church was given the authority” solely on account of the fact that I will not answer unless you define “teaching authority” is decidedly unreasonable. If you did not see my response, I provide it for you again below. I don’t know what is taking you so long to provide a definition.

        “In any case, all of the evidence you cite lacks something that is indispensable to the conversation: a definition of teaching authority. Lacking a definition from you, I provided one: “a perennial, authentic, and infallible teaching office possessed and exercised by the college of bishops in union with the pope.” Since none of your evidences say anything about a pope or a college of Bishops in union with the Pope, I will repeat my statement. Based on the definition of teaching authority that I provided (because you would not), I do not see a visible church with “teaching authority,” since none of the citations you provide say anything about a college of bishops or the Pope. Lacking that, I suppose the early church lacked “teaching authority,” based on what I assume the Roman Catholic definition of “teaching authority” is. Not one of your citations refers to a plurality of “bishops,” much less a college of bishops, and absolutely nothing about a pope.

        Thus, I see nothing in these citations that even hint at “teaching authority” the way I presume you define it. If you’d like to provide a definition more suitable to your tastes, please do so. Until then, I’m assuming my definition of Roman Catholic “teaching authority” is satisfactory, and based on that definition there was no “visible Roman Catholic church with Roman Catholic teaching authority” for the first three hundred years.

        Thank you,

        Tim

        Thus, instead of “Timothy K does not want to admit that Christ’s visible Church was given the authority” you ought to say “Timothy K is unwilling to answer my question unless I define my terms.”

        I look forward to your definition.

        Thanks,

        Tim

        1. Tim K., you never answered my question about the Council of Jerusalem. Did the apostles have the teaching authority to make the declaration about circumcision that was binding on the whole church?

  56. Mark–

    We’re swapping assertions here. Come up with citations from your scholars, and I’ll find some from mine. (Most patristic scholars are Catholic, by the way.)

  57. Mark–

    You made a counter-assertion. And yes, that most certainly IS your job.

    J. N. D. Kelly, an Anglican patristics scholar whom Catholics love to quote, wrote the following:

    “[Augustine’s] thought about the Eucharist, unsystematic and many-sided as it is, is tantalizingly difficult to assess. Some, like F. Loofs, have classified him as the exponent of a purely symbolic doctrine; while A. Harnack seized upon the Christian’s incorporation into Christ’s mystical body, the Church, as the core of his sacramental teaching. Others have attributed receptionist views to him.” (Early Christian Doctrines, p.446.)

  58. Hans- Kelly affirmed what I said, Augustine may be difficult to understand, but not inconsistent. I don’t know Loofs and Harnack, but my guess is that they are also Protestant.

    BTW- Anglican = Protestant.

    Why don’t you find a Catholic source that says Augustine was inconsistent.

    I agree that if you look at Augustine through Protestant lenses you would think he was inconsistent. Catholics don’t see him as inconsistent, just, as Kelly asserted, “difficult to assess.”

  59. Mark–

    Philip Schaff:

    “It is remarkable that Augustine, in other respects so decidely catholic in the doctrine of the church and baptism, and in the cardinal points of the Latin orthodoxy, follows the older African theologians, Tertullian and Cyprian, in a symbolical theory of the Supper, which however includes a real spiritual participation of the Lord by faith, and in this respect stands nearest to the Calvinistic or orthodox Reformed doctrine, while in minor points he differs from it as much as from transubstantiation and consubstantiation.”

  60. Mark–

    Then find one. I originally said that patristics scholars backed me up. You are the one who made assertions specifically about Catholic scholars. I’m willing to bet all but RadTrad pseudo-scholars will back me up, as well. If I locate a quote, I’ll pass it on to you. But I have better things to do with my time than to assist you with your burden of proof.

  61. Timothy P.–

    I’ll answer soon. No time right now. Basically though, there’s no logical way to prove which version of the Real Presence the ECF’s endorsed. It’d be great if we could go back and pick their brains, but we cannot.

  62. “Basically though, there’s no logical way to prove which version of the Real Presence the ECF’s endorsed. It’d be great if we could go back and pick their brains, but we cannot.”

    Actually, we can know. Look to the Church who has passed on the teaching since the Apostles. That’s why we have the teaching authority of the Church.

  63. Mark, the whole point is that the Apostles didn’t pass on these teachings. Why ? because they aren’t found in the bible or the first 300 years of the church. The Roman Catholic Church can’t defend it’s doctrines from scripture or the church, yet wants the World to believe it is Christ’s church. It’s a hoax .

  64. Mark–

    The Roman church has not made known to anybody anywhere any extra commentary it is privy to from any of the Apostles or Early Church Fathers.

    Respectfully, put up or shut up.

  65. The angst on this board from Tim K and you guys trying to determine what the early Fathers said is unparalleled except for how you wrestle with scriptures too.
    It took a lot of humility to finally say that I don’t have the answers and to trust in the teaching authority of Christ’s Church. Your churches have a big black hole to fill for the first 1500+ years so instead of whining that an early Father didn’t explicate Mary’s assumption to your satisfaction, maybe you can start explaining where your novel doctrines are found in the first 1,500 years!

  66. ” It took allot of humility to finally say that I don’t have the answers and to trust in the teaching authority of Christ’s church” This is consistent with the Protestant view that Catholics check their brain at the door and give implicit faith to their church. But their is a problem with that. Each person has to make determinations about what is true and what isn’t. Faith comes through hearing the word of God. So one must be careful that one is hearing the word of God. Jesus gives a commandment to every believer to keep ourselves from idols and to reject false Christ’s. Rome claims to be Christ natural and historical body on earth! So hear is the question every person should ask, is it? We can only answer that question if we measure it against God’s breathed word. And when people study God’s word it is clear not only that Roman Catholicism isn’t Christ on earth, it is the visible apostasy. Every former Catholic I know who is now a Protestant, left the RC because they studied the word of God. The Spirit speaks to us in scriptures, He does not withhold His truth from individuals. As I once argued to the people at Called to confusion, if this were not true then believers could not recognize the true Christ from a false one. This involves determinations about the highest level and claims of a church, the leadership and it’s faithfulness to the word of God. That’s why John 2:27 says ” you have no need of a teacher” not because we don’t listen to our pastors, but ultimately we determine our truth.

  67. Actually, Kevin, those with itching ears were led astray away from the Church Christ established. “For the time will come when people will not put up with sound doctrine. Instead, to suit their own desires, they will gather around them a great number of teachers to say what their itching ears want to hear.” This is evident in the Protestant movement. Everyone gets to be their own pope, determining right from wrong, determining what parts of Christianity they want to follow.

    Sola Scriptura is the single biggest deceit in Protestantism. It is unbiblical, unhistorical, and unworkable in the end. You end up with, as Luther said, “almost as many sects and beliefs as there are heads.”

    Protestantism is a MESS of confusion and contradiction. There is no certainty, except for those who buried their heads and said “my truth is the real truth”. It is only in Protestantism that you must accept the beliefs of men, man-made traditions that date only back a few hundred years. There is no certainty. There is no real hope, except for a false hope.

    However, it affords people like Kevin the chance to be right in his own eyes. You may flagrantly disagree with the Catholic Church but you are too blind to see that you also disagree with most all of Protestantism who don’t agree with you. Life in your kingdom is grand when you are the king and the only inhabitant.

    1. I read most all the discussion on Augustine and the Eucharist, and any reasonable reader would see both Mark and Tim P disagree with those Roman Catholic scholars Tim K quoted above. It is very clear that Mark and Tim P put their faith solely in Augustine as the primary authority of real presence and the foundation for Eucharistic adoration.

      This view espoused by both Mark and Tim P does conflict with those catholic scholars who appear to have published on the subject specifically. Some agree and some disagree in catholic circles.

      Mark wrote:

      “Protestantism is a MESS of confusion and contradiction. There is no certainty, except for those who buried their heads and said “my truth is the real truth”. It is only in Protestantism that you must accept the beliefs of men, man-made traditions that date only back a few hundred years. There is no certainty. There is no real hope, except for a false hope.”

      Well, that is true about Protestantism. It is filled with sects, heresy and what we call the daughters of Rome. And inside the Rome catholic church there are so many divisions, splinters, sects and disagreement it is ridiculous. I grew up listening to the arguments of what you were taught and to believe and it was all mass confusion. Mark just joined the Roman catholic church out of implicit faith in real presence and apostolic authority of Peter as the first Pope. Sad.

      There is only one true faithful apostolic church in history that is founded on the sole authority of scripture and it is Presbyterian church government and manner of worship.

      End of debate!

  68. Mark, you give me a verse from scripture that says there will come time when people won’t put up with sound doctrine. But that’s exactly my point to you. Seeking the truth in the scriptures is not ” itching ears” but believing the the Spirit will teach you truth. Can you please tell me what John means when he tells his congregation ” you have no need of a teacher ” ? Can you tell me what he means when he says ” you have an anointing and it’s true and is not a lie” ? These are clear explicit statements to believers to not rely on men but the a Spirit who scripture says bears witness with my Spirit that I am a child of God. Nothing about the looking to the church. Yes a church passes on the message, carries out His mission, obeys Him. But John says we are to look to the Spirit in the scriptures to keep ourselves from idols and false teachers, not to the church ultimately. You must agree that the RC model can’t be squared with 1 John 2:27. John 20:31 says these things have been written that you might believe, and by believing you have eternal life in his name. Notice things that are written and believing bring life, not a mass or a church.

  69. Timothy P.–

    The “latent mystery” is that the elements become the body and blood of Christ in our hearts by faith. Augustine’s realism, by the way, is highly spiritualized and appears to be receptionistic.

    Yes, the elements change when consecrated: they become consecrated for sacramental use. Do they change physically? Yes, in our hearts by faith with thanksgiving.

    Do the Catholic elements change physically physically? Or spiritually physically? Do you eat the body and blood and soul and divinity of Christ physically physically? (Augustine, by the way, calls the eating of the Sacramental meal a spiritual process.) Do you gnaw his flesh (as John 6 describes)? Do you swallow him? Do you digest and excrete him? Is getting drunk on the consecrated wine an “accident”…or part of the chemical substance/essence of the alcoholic drink? Is a gluten reaction an “accident” or part of the substance/essence of wheat bread? What in the world does it even mean that you take the whole 5’8″ Jesus (or whatever he was/is) and gulp him down…physically?

    That’s not a “latent mystery,” that’s a whopper!

  70. So let me see if this is right Hans, your idea of the Real Presence in the Eucharist is that the elements physically “change in our hearts by faith with thanksgiving”. And I asked if you thought the nature of the bread and wine change with the words of consecration and I assume you believe that change in nature occurs in “our hearts by faith and thanksgiving”. Am I interpreting what you believe correctly? Do you believe this is what St. Augustine and the other church father’s taught? And why doesn’t anyone want to address the other quotes I gave from Augustine. Kevin, Timothy K?

    1. Timothy P, you asked,

      “And why doesn’t anyone want to address the other quotes I gave from Augustine.”

      You posted those quotes a little over two weeks ago, and you’re wondering why nobody has answered? I take it from this that you consider it the duty of every participant to answer the questions posed by another in a timely fashion. Well then, why don’t you model that behavior for us by answering a question I have been posing to you since April.

      I asked, about Cyprian’s epistle 62, “How did you know he was speaking symbolically here?” In what way is it obvious to you if he does not actually say he’s being symbolic?” After waiting for months for an answer, you finally responded with a single word: “Context.” Then in response you changed the question to one I was not asking. You changed the question from “How do you know Cyprian was being symbolic?” to “So how do you know that we are not literally made one with Christ in the mixing of the wine and water?” I responded as follows:

      I would simply ask that you expound on that. In what way does context make it obvious to you that Cyprian was speaking symbolically when he did not actually use the word symbolic?

      Now, please, I’ve been waiting half a year for this, and while you still will not answer a question I posed more than six months ago, you complain that I have not responded to something you posted less than three weeks ago? Your indignation is very selective, Timothy P. Just answer the question. Why is it so hard for you? Why do you have to keep changing the questions?

      Timothy P, in what way does context make it obvious to you that Cyprian was speaking symbolically in epistle 62 when he did not actually use the word symbolic?

      Thank you.

      Tim

  71. Timothy P.–

    I believe that all versions of the Real Presence are spiritually mediated, including Catholicism. I do think that both Lutheranism and Catholicism do violence to the integrity of the physical body of the risen Christ. Both have him physically in heaven AND elsewhere, contradicting the Nicene Creed.

    Most ECF’s beliefs appear to be similar to those of Anglicanism and Eastern Orthodoxy: real enough but in some vague, unspecified, and mysterious way.

  72. AUGUSTINE

    So Hans, your description of the Real Presence appears to be that it is “real enough, but in some vague, unspecified, and mysterious way.”
    And you previously said
    “Yes, the elements change when consecrated: they become consecrated for sacramental use. Do they change physically? Yes, in our hearts by faith with thanksgiving.”

    Physically change in our hearts by faith with thanksgiving? Fortunately for us Augustine was pretty clear about what happens after the consecration, one of the quotes I have repeatedly asked you guys to address
    Augustine wrote
    “You ought to know what you have received, what you are going to receive, and what you ought to receive daily. That Bread which you see on the altar, having been sanctified by the word of God, is the Body of Christ. The chalice, or rather, what is in that chalice, having been sanctified by the word of God, is the Blood of Christ.”

    There is that difficult word “IS” again that you guys just don’t seem to want to address. Oh, if the Lord Jesus had just said “This represents MY Body” all of this back and forth discussion could have be avoided. But of course I have to assume that you believe Jesus misspoke.
    Hans wrote:
    “Augustine is notorious for being inconsistent in his description of the Eucharist. At times being blatantly symbolic and at other times crassly, even illogically physical (how can Christ hold his own glorified flesh in his own hand before he’s even glorified?)”
    I responded
    “No Hans, Augustine is not inconsistent!!!!! You need to wrap your mind around the concept of both/and then you will come to a correct understanding of Augustine and the Catholic view of the Eucharist.”
    Hans responded
    And it is patristic scholars, not I, who call Augustine inconsistent. Take it up with them.”

    Mark Rome then responded

    “Catholic scholars don’t find him inconsistent. Only those who have a binary Either/Or mindset find him inconsistent. He may be difficult to understand, but not inconsistent.”

    Hans, you then posted a couple of Protestant commentaries of Augustine and his writings but I did not see any of the Patristic scholars describe Augustine as “inconsistent”. Maybe I missed it but could you find me which quote said he was inconsistent. Multifaceted yes. Complex, yes. But I just don’t see the word inconsistent. Unfortunately you guys have the habit of putting words into the writings of the Church Fathers and apparently Patristic scholars that they never said. Remember friend it is Both/And , not Either /Or. I guess you would say I am inconsistent if I told you we are saved Both by Faith And Love.

    1. Timothy, I don’t for one minute believe that I eat the body or drink the blood of Jesus. I truly believe the literal interpretation of this is absence of faith, just like the people who walked away from Jesus in John 6. Eating Him and Drinking his blood is a metaphor for coming and believing. Hebrews 11 says without faith it is impossible to please Him, not without transubstantiation. John says by faith we overcome the world. Frankly your fixation on the real presence in the Eucharist is an admission that eating Jesus physically is your ticket to heaven. But this is unbelief. John s said ” to as many as RECEIVE Him, he has given the right to be called children of God.” Christians receive Christ by faith, not by mouth. We believe in the gospel and in this way eat Him. Your mass and transubstantiation is unbelief, idolatry, and a gross misunderstanding of the gospel. And frankly those Protestants that pander to you here are making a serious mistake. Confess with mouth and believe in heart saves someone according to Romans 10 :9,10. That’s it. And frankly the amount of focus I have put in trying to convince people fixated on getting that RC Eucharist may be sin on my part. We will never convince you to stop fixating on your bread God. And do for any Protestant to say that the bread changes into Jesus body and blood through the words on consecration I’m not sure if they are any better off than you. Believe in the true gospel of scripture, the cross, that will solve all that ails you.

  73. Jesus Christ most likely mixed wine with water before the Eucharist. It’s done today for purely symbolic reasons and doesn’t affect the validity of the Sacrament. Thomas Aquinas says this and it is also compatible with Proverbs 9:5, “Come, eat of my bread and drink of the wine I have mixed.” Blood and water is also what was poured out when Christ’s side was pierced.

    Another thing that the priest does is wash his hands with a little water. This is a carryover from when the people would bring animals to the alter as offerings. The priest did wash his hands before he would touch the Body of our Lord.

  74. Timothy P.–

    For the umpteenth time, we believe in the Real Presence and “is” means “is” as much for us as for you. This is part of the reason we cannot know which way Augustine meant it when he said “is.” There is more than one way to interpret “This is my body.” (In fact, it would be a pretty odd, psychedelic world in which transubstantiation was the only option available.)

    Maybe “inconsistent” is not the very best word, but your difficulty with it is perplexing. Different scholars interpret him as a pure symbolist or a pure receptionist or a pure realist. He is obviously unsystematic and unclear.

    If he is truly both/and as you say he is (including receptionism), then transubstantiation is ruled out. Is that really what you want?

    As for being justified by both faith and love, yeah, that’s clearly inconsistent…unless you qualify it. For us to be justified by faith (a gift of pure grace) AND love (our cooperation with grace) conflicts with being saved by grace alone (a Catholic tenet every bit as much as a Protestant one)…unless our cooperative efforts are also performed purely by grace (which many Catholics affirm). In such a case, there is very little between us soteriologically.

  75. ” We believe in the real presence and is means is as much as you” I don’t believe like them. I believe Jesus body is in heaven where the scripture says it is. I believe like pope Gelasius that the bread and wine remain. When Jesus said you must eat his body and drink his blood, He means receive Him in our heart by faith. If I was trying to get you to accept what I said, I might say to you unless you swallow me whole you will never understand me. It doesn’t mean I want you to walk over and eat my body. When Jesus said this is my body, He was talking about how His body being broken on the cross, and His blood being shed on the cross was figured in the supper. I mean seriously, He says this in John 6 to his disciples. I speak to you spiritually, not fleshly. Roman Catholics would be wise to heed the words of the writer of Hebrews who told the Jews that a return to a physical sacrifice, altar, priesthood was unbelief, shrinking back in faith. Jesus sacrifice , altar, priesthood was in heaven. ” blessed are those who don’t see, yet believe. Roman Catholics don’t believe in Jesus, they believe in the monstrosity of ritual every Sunday that they believe is the work that gets them to heaven. And that ritual is a repudiation of the gospel which is simply told and believed Mark 1 : 15. Any bishop through history that took the focus off of Christ and his gospel and put it on worshiping the elements of the supper is a contributor to grave error. They missed what Christ was saying, which was simply repent and believe my words, believe in me. And that’s why it is without FAITH it is impossible to please Him, not faith in real presence , but faith in the gospel.

  76. Kevin–

    How in the world does a belief in Sacraments negate the gospel? And where does Scripture forbid all ritual?

    By the way, I believe the physical body of Christ remains in heaven, seated at the right hand of the Father, as the Nicene Creed proclaims. I also believe the elements remain bread and wine. And yet, I believe in the Real Presence.

    So, Christ does not meet you in the Eucharist? You merely remember that he lived and died a long time ago?

  77. Hans, if you read what I said which is I don’t believe in what they believe. I don’t believe in transubstantiation. That’s what they mean by real presence. And yes Hans the mass is a denial of the gospel for 2 reasons. It demands worship of an idol, and it is historically called by Rome the WORK of the people. The gospel is told and believed, not done. Mark 1:15. You know this. Christ in you the hope of glory, not Christ in bread the hope of glory. Jesus, Paul, and Cleophus called it bread even after it was consecrated.

  78. Kevin said, “it is historically called by Rome the WORK of the people. ”

    The bread and wine are the work of human hands. We have to make the bread and make the wine. This entails cooperation and work.
    Even the bread and wine you consume didn’t just fall from the sky, you had to make it. You had to work.

    Don’t you know that every time the Bible mentions judgment that we will be judged by our WORKS?

    1. ” This entails cooperation and work. Even the bread and wine you eat didn’t fall from heaven” Actually Jesus said He was the bread from heaven. Did the Jews have to work for the manna God GAVE them. Jesus is the free gift bread from heaven received by simple faith. Sorry Mark, you can’t work for the gospel. It’s a gift. God saved us for no other reason than his goodness and mercy. That bread you can never earn. Roman 6:23.

  79. Kevin–

    Yes, that’s what THEY mean by Real Presence, but it’s not what Real Presence means.

    As far as its being a work, that depends on whether they subscribe to Sola Gratia, which, as good Catholics, they should. Christ works in them to achieve whatever is achieved in them. God crowns his own gifts in gifting them. THEY are not responsible for their own merits…HE is!!!

    Study up on Catholic soteriology a bit more. The principal problems with it have to do with assurance and perseverance. (Of course, I’m talking about its official dogma, not what the rank and file believe. That can be pretty works-righteousness oriented.)

    1. Hans said ” they are not responsible for their own merits” not true. Study up on Soteriology a bit more. Trent says, to the one who works well to the end, salvation is to be offered, not only as a gift, but as a reward to THEIR merits and good works. It’s partly them partly God. They merit the merit of Christ. Rome ever mentioning merit is an abomination. Aquinas said that a man was predestined to glory according to his merit in some way , instead of just the goodness of God .

  80. Mark–

    Yes, we will be judged according to our works. But, since our works are HIS works (according to Catholic soteriology), what’s your point?

  81. Timothy K wrote

    That said, why don’t you answer the question (which you yourself said was an excellent question) that I posed in April, namely how do you personally decide in the context of Patristic writings when the writer is being literal or symbolic? To refresh your memory, Cyprian believed that when the untransubstantiated water is mixed with the untransubstantiated wine, “the people” are literally made one with Christ (Cyprian, Epistle 62). Your response was:

    “At that moment the wine and water are entirely symbolic…”

    And yet, nowhere did Cyprian mention anything about symbolism. How did you know he was speaking symbolically here?

    Thanks,

    Tim

    I replied

    November 9, 2016 at 5:00 pm

    “Timothy K, I hadn’t forgotten about you and thought I would start off providing the verse under discussion. Then if you agree this is the verse we want to look at I can explain why I feel Cyprian was speaking symbolically.
    The verse reads

    13. For because Christ bore us all, in that He also bore our sins, we see that in the water is understood the people, but in the wine is showed the blood of Christ. But when the water is mingled in the cup with wine, the people is made one with Christ, and the assembly of believers is associated and conjoined with Him on whom it believes; which association and conjunction of water and wine is so mingled in the Lord’s cup, that that mixture cannot any more be separated. Whence, moreover, nothing can separate the Church— that is, the people established in the Church, faithfully and firmly persevering in that which they have believed— from Christ, in such a way as to prevent their undivided love from always abiding and adhering.

    So how do I know that we are not literally made one with Christ in the mixing of the wine and water? I said context before and will try to explain if you agree this is the verse under discussion.”

    So let’s see if biblically and from the passage if we can grasp rather Cyprian is speaking literally or symbolically. As a general rule I would say that if this question is raised and the statement in question is obviously not literally true one would believe the statement is symbolic unless there was some contextual relationships which would indicate that the speaker means literally. Now in the above statement when Cyprian says “in the water is understood the people” he is not saying “the water is the people” so Cyprian is already suggesting a symbolic interpretation. When Cyprian says “in the wine is showed the Blood of Christ”, in context we already know that the Catholic understanding is that the wine is both a symbol and a reality of the blood of Christ. So on that basis when Cyprian writes when “the water is mingled in the cup with wine,the people is made one with Christ” , one would come away understanding that Cyprian is speaking symbolically.
    Fortunately and pertinent to this discussion are the Biblical verses when Christ says, I am a door, gate, the light etc. The reaction of his followers show that they obviously understood that Christ was speaking symbolically. They knew Christ was not literally a gate or a door. No one said, “How can He be a Gate?” But in sharp contrast is John 6 where there disciples question His statements , “How can this man give us His Flesh to eat”. Obviously Timothy K they understood him to be speaking carnally, ie cannibalism. But Timothy K, to the Jews at Jesus’s time if they were to attempt a metaphorical interpretation of His words I am sure you know they would have understood Christ to be promising them eternal life for harming him. Isn’t that correct? And Timothy K, can you provide the verses in the New Testament where the contrast between spirit and flesh is made so we can correctly interpret John 6:63. I would also be interested if you would agree with Han’s understanding of the real presence. Hans wrote

    Yes, the elements change when consecrated: they become consecrated for sacramental use. Do they change physically? Yes, in our hearts by faith with thanksgiving.

    1. Timothy P,

      Yes, it is true that you replied November 9 at 5:00 PM, to which I responded (at 5:32 PM, the same day), saying that “context” is not an answer, and I still very much look forward to an actual response.

      In any case, my question was,

      “How did you know he was speaking symbolically here?” In what way is it obvious to you if he does not actually say he’s being symbolic?”

      Your answer gave me a chuckle:

      “As a general rule I would say that if this question is raised and the statement in question is obviously not literally true one would believe the statement is symbolic unless there was some contextual relationships which would indicate that the speaker means literally.”

      Since you have cast literal and symbolic as opposites here, your answer reduces to a truism that does nothing to answer my question: “When is it obvious that Cyprian is being symbolic? When it’s obvious that he’s being symbolic!”

      You continued, by saying,

      “When Cyprian says “in the wine is showed the Blood of Christ”, in context we already know that the Catholic understanding is that the wine is both a symbol and a reality of the blood of Christ.”

      I can summarize your entire answer in a single phrase: “I would say … based on the Catholic understanding…”. Of course you would.

      The whole foundation of your response is that you are interpreting Cyprian according to the Roman Catholic understanding of the Eucharist—the very thing that is in dispute.

      Now, to your observation that

      “The reaction of his followers show that they obviously understood that Christ was speaking symbolically.”

      I think a review of the first seven chapters of John are in order, and it is worth noting that Jesus does not always clarify or correct people’s misinterpretations, and whether or not He corrects His followers, their response cannot be a reliable guide for interpretation:

      John 1: “receiving Jesus” is equivalent to “believing in Jesus.” (12) The emphasis is on believing in Jesus, for He is the Light and the Life. By the end of the chapter, the Apostle Nathaniel comes to Him and believes in Him (47-49).

      John 2:19-22 John explains that Jesus said “this temple” but nobody understood Him. He was referring to his Body, something even John did not understand until after Jesus was risen from the dead, when “they believed the scripture, and the word which Jesus had said” (22). Although everyone seemed to misunderstand Him, there is no evidence here that Jesus attempted in any way to help them understand the meaning of His metaphor, although the obvious point is that Jesus’ words are to be believed.

      John 3: Jesus says “a man must be born again” and Nicodumus misunderstands him, and after asking for clarification, still doesn’t get it. Jesus responds, “If I have told you earthly things, and ye believe not, how shall ye believe, if I tell you of heavenly things?” (12) The emphasis is clearly on believing in Jesus unto everlasting life (see vv 16, 18 & 36)

      John 4: Jesus offers a Samaritan woman a drink of “living water” and she misunderstands him, thinking he’s speaking of literal water that can give life. Jesus makes no attempt to clear up her misunderstanding. When she returns with the other people from town, they said, “Now we believe … for we have heard him ourselves” (42). Jesus never clarified what “living water” was, but from the context, it’s clear that the “living water” has to do with “believing in Jesus” unto life eternal (v. 14).

      John 5: Jesus’ whole interaction with the Pharisees is about the fact that they will not “receive” Him (44), by which He means, “believe in Him”, for he said, “had ye believed Moses, ye would have believed me: for he wrote of me. But if ye believe not his writings, how shall ye believe my words?” (46-47). The whole point is that they should believe in Him unto everlasting life (vv 24-26).

      So far in the book, the theme is about believing in Jesus, believing in His power to raise us up at the last day, believing in His message, believing in the Scriptures. John 3:33 said “He that hath received his testimony hath set to his seal that God is true.” The way to get the seal of God is to receive His testimony, which is to say, to believe Him.

      John 6: Jesus multiplies the loaves, and then rebukes those who followed on account of the bread, for they did not believe (vv 26,36). Here He rebukes them for their pursuit of literal bread: “Labour not for the meat (food) which perisheth, but for that meat (food) which endureth unto everlasting life, which the Son of man shall give unto you: for him hath God the Father sealed” (27). Just as in the previous chapter, the seal of God is by believing His testimony. And so the people ask the obvious question: By what labour shall we obtain this food unto everlasting life? (28) Jesus responds: “This is the work (labour) of God, that ye believe on him whom he hath sent” (29). In short, the labour to achieve everlasting life is simply to believe in Him. Then He goes on, “For the bread of God is he which cometh down from heaven, and giveth life unto the world” (33) and the people misunderstand him to be speaking of literal bread (34), just as the Samaritan woman thought he was speaking of literal water. And Jesus clarifies—just as lifegiving water of the Samaritan woman has to do with believing in Him, the lifegiving bread of which He speaks is receiving Him and believing in Him:

      “And Jesus said unto them, I am the bread of life: he that cometh to me shall never hunger; and he that believeth on me shall never thirst.” (35)

      To come to Jesus is to eat the lifegiving bread, the food that does not perish, and to believe in Jesus is to never thirst again. And to emphasize that He is indeed talking about coming to Him and believing in Him, he says so plainly:

      “But I said unto you, That ye also have seen me, and believe not. All that the Father giveth me shall come to me; and him that cometh to me I will in no wise cast out.” (36-37)

      So far the whole book has been about receiving Him, believing Him, coming to Him, drinking the lifegiving water which is a metaphor for believing in Him, eating the lifegiving bread which is a metaphor for believing in Him, believing in His Word, believing in His testimony, believing in His Scriptures, coming to Him, believing in Him unto everlasting life, believing in Him to be raised up at the last day.

      Jesus is the food by which we shall never hunger, and He is the drink by which we shall never thirst. To believe in Him is to “eat” the lifegiving bread and to “drink” the lifegiving water. By believing in Him we get the Seal of God (John 3:33, 6:27) unto everlasting life.

      Then the Jews murmur “because He said, I am the bread which came down from heaven.” (41).

      Once again Jesus clarifies that He is talking about coming to Him and believing in Him: he that comes to Me “I will raise him up at the last day,” and “He that believeth on me hath everlasting life. I am that bread of life.” (44-48).

      And then the Jews murmur, “How can this man give us his flesh to eat?” (52)

      And Jesus appeals to the metaphor. He had just said, eating the bread that came down from heaven is to come to Him, and to drink is to believe in Him, and whoever comes to Him and believes in Him has everlasting life and will be raised on the last day. And then Jesus continues with the metaphor:

      “Whoso eateth my flesh, and drinketh my blood, hath eternal life; and I will raise him up at the last day.” (54)

      And the disciples murmured, and He clarifies again that He is speaking of “coming to Him” and “believing in Him”:

      “But there are some of you that believe not. … Therefore said I unto you, that no man can come (erchomai) unto me, except it were given unto him of my Father. (64-65)

      And Jesus turns to the Twelve and asks them, Will you go away? (67) and Peter says there is no one else to whom they should “come” and so they “believe” His words, which is the focus of the whole book so far:

      “Lord, to whom shall we go (aperchomai)? thou hast the words of eternal life. And we believe and are sure that thou art that Christ, the Son of the living God.” (68-69)

      Peter completely understood the metaphor, for his words “to whom shall we go” literally mean “to whom shall we come [apart from you],” and appealed to that metaphor at the end of the chapter. To come (erchomai) to Christ and to believe in Him is to eat and drink unto eternal life. This has been the focus of the whole book so far, and in fact continues into the next chapter.

      John 7: Jesus says, “Ye shall seek me, and shall not find me: and where I am, thither ye cannot come.” (34). This confuses the people, and they murmur among themselves, and Jesus makes no attempt to clear it up. And then on the last day of the feast, Jesus returns to His metaphor again:

      “If any man thirst, let him come unto me, and drink. He that believeth on me, as the scripture hath said, out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water.” (37-38)

      This caused much disagreement among the people, and He makes no attempt to clarify. But clearly, it’s still all about coming to Him and believing in Him.

      My point in reviewing these chapters of John is to show that it is only by first assuming the authority of Roman Catholicism to interpret scripture that you can arrive at the end of John 6 and conclude that Jesus was talking about transubstantiation. The Roman Catholic interpretation imports a grotesque discontinuity into the narrative:

      John 1: come and believe to have everlasting life and be raised up at the last day.
      John 2: come and believe to have everlasting life and be raised up at the last day.
      John 3: come and believe to have everlasting life and be raised up at the last day.
      John 4: come and believe to have everlasting life and be raised up at the last day.
      John 5: come and believe to have everlasting life and be raised up at the last day.
      John 6:1-47: come and believe to have everlasting life and be raised up at the last day.
      John 6:48-71: IF YOU DON’T BELIEVE IN TRANSUBSTANTIATION AND WORSHIP THE EUCHARIST YOU’RE GOING TO PERISH IN HELL FOR ALL ETERNITY, AND MARK MY WORDS SOME DAY THE CHURCH I ESTABLISH ON PETER THE ROCK, WITH THE HELP OF HIS INFALLIBLE SUCCESSORS AND THE APPARITIONS OF MARY, IS GOING TO CHASE YOU DOWN AND TORTURE YOU AND BURN YOU ALIVE AT THE STAKE IN THE INQUISITIONS UNLESS YOU BOW DOWN AND WORSHIP THE TRANSUBSTANTIATED BREAD AND WINE AND EXPOSE THEM FOR PERPETUAL ADORATION, YOU PROTESTANT HERETICS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
      John 7: come and believe to have everlasting life and be raised up at the last day.

      Honestly, “transubstantiation” is just a horrible, terrible, grotesque non sequitur imported into the narrative, and there is not so much as a hint of it in chapter 6. And as the other chapters show, Jesus does not always pause to clarify his meanings and metaphors to the satisfaction of His hearers, and even His disciples didn’t understand some of them until after the resurrection. By the plain reading of the book, John 1-7 has to do with coming to Jesus and believing in Him in order to be raised up on the last day unto everlasting life. Many metaphors are used to drive that point home. Those are the comforting words of the Good Shepherd to His sheep. The Roman Catholic interpolation in John 6 is the message of a false shepherd, the thief who would lead the sheep astray, coming only to steal, kill and destroy. Fortunately, Christians cannot and do not hear the words of the false shepherd (John 10:8).

      Thanks,

      Tim

      1. To those who are unbiased I believe my response to why I think Cyprian was speaking metaphorically is quite clear and Timothy K if it provided you a chuckle I am quite pleased. You wouldn’t believe the laughs I have had when you and Kevin tried to explain the quotes from Irenaeus where he clearly teaches his belief in the real presence and the FACT that you guys won’t even touch Augustine’s comments where he professes his belief in the real presence.

        Timothy K, you wrote

        ” I think a review of the first seven chapters of John are in order, and it is worth noting that Jesus does not always clarify or correct people’s misinterpretations, and whether or not He corrects His followers, their response cannot be a reliable guide for interpretation:”

        Now Timothy K, I don’t remember saying that Jesus always clarified or corrected people’s misinterpretations, but in the examples I gave it is quite clear since none of the followers of Christ questioned His statements they clearly understood that He was speaking metaphorically. And what does Christ say when the disciples say “How can this Man give us His flesh to eat?”. “FOR MY FLESH IS FOOD INDEED, AND MY BLOOD IS DRINK INDEED”. Now Timothy K, what is it about that verse that you do not understand?

        Timothy K, I wrote

        “But Timothy K, to the Jews at Jesus’s time if they were to attempt a metaphorical interpretation of His words I am sure you know they would have understood Christ to be promising them eternal life for harming him. Isn’t that correct?”

        No response?

        I also wrote
        “And Timothy K, can you provide the verses in the New Testament where the contrast between spirit and flesh is made so we can correctly interpret John 6:63. I would also be interested if you would agree with Han’s understanding of the real presence. Hans wrote

        Yes, the elements change when consecrated: they become consecrated for sacramental use. Do they change physically? Yes, in our hearts by faith with thanksgiving.”

        No response? Pray tell me how the elements undergo a physical change in our hearts?

        Now Timothy K I was disappointed by your following comment suggesting that Catholics interpret John 6:48-71: in the following way

        “IF YOU DON’T BELIEVE IN TRANSUBSTANTIATION AND WORSHIP THE EUCHARIST YOU’RE GOING TO PERISH IN HELL FOR ALL ETERNITY, AND MARK MY WORDS SOME DAY THE CHURCH I ESTABLISH ON PETER THE ROCK, WITH THE HELP OF HIS INFALLIBLE SUCCESSORS AND THE APPARITIONS OF MARY, IS GOING TO CHASE YOU DOWN AND TORTURE YOU AND BURN YOU ALIVE AT THE STAKE IN THE INQUISITIONS UNLESS YOU BOW DOWN AND WORSHIP THE TRANSUBSTANTIATED BREAD AND WINE AND EXPOSE THEM FOR PERPETUAL ADORATION, YOU PROTESTANT HERETICS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

        Now I apologized when I mistakenly said you taught the Catholic church was the “Whore of Babylon” and I hope you will apologize for the above quote. Isn’t it a shame when we start getting hysterical in our accusations. You of course know that the Catholic Church recognizes the validity of the real presence in the Orthodox and Coptic Churches so the attempt to switch the discussion from the real presence to transubstantiation is obviously a smoke screen. Your other comments suggesting the Catholic Church condemns all Protestants to Hell is of course pure nonsense. Hopefully we can elevate the discussion to a pleasant dialogue and keep the histrionics to a minimum.

        I am also interested in how you explain the fact that Catholics can come up with so many quotes from the Church Fathers backing up their claim that they believed in the real presence and yet Protestants are left with a scarcity of quotes to try and back up their claim. How about if we go through the Church Fathers one by one, no comments from the peanut gallery and post their quotes for and against the real presence. Fair enough?

        1. Timothy P wrote,

          “To those who are unbiased I believe my response to why I think Cyprian was speaking metaphorically is quite clear and Timothy K if it provided you a chuckle I am quite pleased.”

          The Irony, Timothy P, is that I asked you to explain why Cyprian’s “symbolism” is so obvious to you (he did not use the word symbolism anywhere in the text) after you criticized me for saying Irenæus’ view of the consecrated elements was “symbolic”—even though Irenæus explicitly refers to the consecrated elements as “symbolic” in his writings. Your exact words were:

          “Now Timothy Kauffman, where do you find that word antitypically in those quotes provided by Irenaeus?”

          Apparently, to you, it is in appropriate for Irenæus’ explicit symbolic view of the consecrated elements to be used to understand Irenæus’ other statements on the elements. (I know of no scholar who would actually object to letting Irenæus interpret Irenæus.) But later when I posed a similar question to you about Cyrpian’s language that says Christians are joined to Christ by the mixing of water and wine, for in the wine is shown the blood of Christ, you responded that Cyprian was obviously being symbolic. I responded: how is it so obvious to you if he does not use the word “symbolic”?

          It was six months before you offered a single word explanation: “Context.” That’s a long time to wait for one word. Especially since I responded to your inquiries on Irenæus in the context of Irenæus’ thinking on the consecrated elements. So I pressed for an explanation on how “context” made Cyprian’s “symbolism” obvious to you, and you basically said: Cyprian is obviously being symbolic when it is obvious that he is not being literal. Well, stop the presses, everyone! That’s an incredible breakthrough!

          Well, Timothy P, Irenæus is being figurative when it is obvious to me that he is not being literal. He does, after all, refer to the consecrated elements as antitypes.

          Anyway, you also claimed as “FACT”, that I just won’t deal with Augustine.

          “the FACT that you guys won’t even touch Augustine’s comments where he professes his belief in the real presence.”

          Yeah, we’re pretty scared of him.

          You also wrote,

          “I am also interested in how you explain the fact that Catholics can come up with so many quotes from the Church Fathers backing up their claim that they believed in the real presence…”

          Oh, that’s easy, Timothy P. (You and your “facts”. 🙂 ) Because “in context” to you means “in the context of Roman Catholicism.” E.g., “in context we already know that the Catholic understanding is …”. By that rubric everything supports Roman Catholicism, even things that don’t.

          “…and yet Protestants are left with a scarcity of quotes to try and back up their claim.”

          I’m sure if you look around this web site and in the comments section, you’ll find a thing or two about what the fathers thought about the symbolism of the elements. Feel free to look around. You have offered nothing here that has not been argued by Romanists for centuries, and you’ll find that my responses do not differ from what Protestants have been saying for centuries. But here is a helpful hint for you: You have spent months pasting the same six particular citations from Irenæus that supposedly prove his affirmation of the “real presence”. You paste them over and over as if they proved your position, even though not one of them actually includes the words “real presence.” What is more, every one of those citations is in response to a specific heresy (Valentinians, Marcionites, Ebionites and various forms of Gnosticisim.) And you for all of your pasting, you have never spoken of the heresies against which Irenæus as actually writing. Which is to say, that for all of your posturing, you have never actually considered the context in which Irenæus wrote what he wrote—all the while claiming that his meaning is obvious to you based on “context”.

          Anyway, you also included this intriguing statement:

          “You of course know that the Catholic Church recognizes the validity of the real presence in the Orthodox and Coptic Churches so the attempt to switch the discussion from the real presence to transubstantiation is obviously a smoke screen”

          Attempting the switch the discussion from the real presence? Timothy P, we were talking about how you determine if a writer is being figurative or literal in his writing, and you invoked the language of Christ in John 6, insisting that the context makes your point. I was simply demonstrating what a grotesque non sequitur it is for Roman Catholics to impose transubstantiation on a passage, since it interrupts the continuous metaphorical flow in the book, and is thus grossly out of context. If you think John 6 is not about Transubstantiation to Roman Catholics, take the matter up with Taylor Marshall.

          You asked,

          FOR MY FLESH IS FOOD INDEED, AND MY BLOOD IS DRINK INDEED. Now Timothy K, what is it about that verse that you do not understand?

          There is nothing about that verse that I do not understand. Why do you ask?

          Tim

        2. Timothy P, regarding my assessment of the Roman Catholic interpretation of John 6:48-71, you opined,

          “Isn’t it a shame when we start getting hysterical in our accusations.”

          You asked that I apologize for my assessment.

          To which I respond, isn’t it a shame when we start getting revisionist in our history? That my assessment of the Roman Catholic interpretation of John 6:48-71 is dead accurate, I provide for your edification the trial of Latimer, picking up at the latter part of John 6. As you know, Latimer was burned at the stake because of Roman Catholicism’s interpretation of John 6:48-71, by which “protestant heretics” were sent “running out of Germany for fear of the faggot.” As you can see, there is hardly any difference between his conversation with the inquisitors, and my conversation with you on this topic. None of this will change until the end of the world, but with one small difference: you have no power to have me burned at the stake any more.

          Foxe’s Book of Martyrs, Vol. 1, Chapter XVI, “The Protestation of Dr. Hugh Latimer”

          “Now, that the truth may the better appear, here I ask of you, Whether Christ, speaking these words, did mean of his flesh to be eaten with the mouth, or of the spiritual eating of the same?”

          To this Latimer said, “I answer (as Augustine understandeth) that Christ meant of the spiritual eating of his flesh;” when Tresham asked, ” Of what flesh meant Christ, his true flesh, or no?” and Latimer answered, “Of his true flesh, spiritually to be eaten in the supper by faith, and not corporally.”

          Then Tresham asked, “Of what flesh meant the Capernaites?” and he answered, “Of his true flesh also, but to be eaten with the mouth.”

          Tresham then replied, “They, as ye confess, did mean his true flesh to be eaten with the mouth. And Christ also (as I shall prove) did speak of the receiving of his flesh with the mouth; therefore, they both did understand it of the eating of one thing, which is done by the mouth of the body.”

          But Latimer said, “I say, Christ understood it not of the bodily mouth, but of the mouth of the spirit, mind, and heart ;” when Tresham replied, “I prove the contrary, that Christ understandeth it of the eating with the bodily mouth. For whereas custom is a right good mistress and interpreter of things, and whereas the acts put in practice by Christ, do certainly declare those things which he first spake, Christ’s deeds in his supper, where he gave his body to be taken with the mouth, together with the custom which hath been ever since that time, of that eating which is done with the mouth, doth evidently infer, that Christ did understand his words, here cited of me out of the sixth of John, of the eating with the mouth.”

          But Latimer said, ” He gave not his body to be received with the mouth, but he gave the sacrament of his body to be received with the mouth: he gave the sacrament to the mouth, his body to the mind.”

          Tresham then replied, “But my reason doth conclude, That Christ spake concerning his flesh to be received with the corporal mouth : for otherwise (which God forbid) he had been a deceiver, and had been offensive to the Capernaites and his disciples, if he had not meant in this point as they thought he meant : for, if he had thought as you do feign, it had been an easy matter for him to have said, You shall not eat my flesh with your mouth, but the sacrament of my flesh; that is to say, Ye shall receive with your mouth not the thing itself, but the figure of the thing, and thus he might have satisfied them : but so he said not, but continued in the truth of his words, as he was wont. Therefore, Christ meant the self-same thing that the Capernaites did, — I mean concerning the thing itself to be received with the mouth, videlicet, that his true flesh is truly to be eaten with the mouth. Moreover, forasmuch as you do expound for [Corpus Christi] the body of Christ, [Sacramentum corporis Christi] the sacrament of the body of Christ, and hereby do suppose, that we obtain but a spiritual union, or union of the mind between us and Christ, plain it is, that you are deceived in this thing, and do err from the mind of the fathers: for they affirm by plain and express words, that we are corporally and carnally joined together. And these be the words of Hilary, “Therefore, if Christ did truly take the flesh of our body upon him, and the same man be Christ indeed, which was born of Mary ; then we also do receive under a mystery the flesh of his body indeed, and thereby shall become one, because the Father is in him, and he in us. How is the unity of will affirmed, when a natural propriety by the sacrament is a perfect sacrament of unity?” Thus far hath Hilary. Lo here you see how manifestly these words confound your assertion. To be short, I my self have heard you preaching at Greenwich before King Henry VIII, where you did openly affirm, That no christian man ought to doubt of the true and real presence of Christ’s body in the sacrament, forasmuch as he had the word of scripture on his side, [videlicet] Hoc est corpus meum, This is my body: whereby he might be confirmed. But now there is the same truth : the word of scripture hath the self-same thing which it then had. Therefore, why do you deny at this present that, whereof it was not lawful once to doubt before, when you taught it ?”

          Then said Latimer, “Will you give me leave to speak ?” when Tresham said, ” Speak Latin, I pray you, for ye can do it, if ye list, properly enough.” But Latimer said, ” I cannot speak Latin so long and so largely. Mr. Prolocutor hath given me leave to speak English.

          And as for the words of Hilary, I think they make not so much for you. But he that shall answer the doctors had not need to be in my case, but should have them in readiness, and know their purpose. Melancthon saith, “If the doctors had foreseen, that they should have been so taken in this controversy, they would have written more plainly.”

          Then Smith said, “I will reduce the words of Hilary into the form of a syllogism. — Such as is the unity of our flesh with Christ’s flesh, such (yea greater) is the unity of Christ with the Father : But the unity of Christ’s flesh with ours is true and substantial; therefore, the unity of Christ with the Father is true and substantial.”

          To this Latimer replied, ” I understand you not.”

          Then Seaton said, “I know your learning well enough, and how subtle ye be ; I will use a few words with you, and that out of Cyprian, De Coena Domini. “The Old Testament doth forbid the drinking of blood ; the New Testa ment doth command the drinking and tasting of blood; but where doth it command the drinking of blood?”

          To which Latimer answered, “In these words, Drink ye all of this.”

          Seaton replied, ” Then we drink true blood ;” which Latimer admitted, “but spiritually ; and this is enough.”

          But Seaton said, “Nay, the Old and New Testament in this do differ; for the one doth command, the other doth forbid, to drink blood;” which Latimer admitted to be “true, as touching the matter, but not as touching the manner of the thing.”

          Seaton rejoined, “Then there is no difference between the drinking of blood in the New Testament, and that of the Old; for they also drink spiritually ;” and Latimer replied, ” And we drink spiritually also, but a more precious blood.”

          Then said Weston, ” Augustine upon the 45th Psalm saith, ‘ Drink boldly the blood which ye have poured out ;’ therefore, it is blood.”

          Then said Latimer, “I never denied it, nor ever will I go from it, but that we drink the very blood of Christ indeed, but spiritually ; for the same Augustine saith, “Believe, and thou hast eaten.”

          But Weston said, “Nay, to believe, is not to drink or eat. You will not say, I pledge you, when I say, I believe in God.”

          Then Latimer replied, “Is not [manducare] to eat, in your learning, put for [credere] to believe ?”

          Then Weston remarked, ” I remember my lord-chancellor demanded of Mr. Hooper these questions, Whether [edere] to eat, were [credere] to believe, and [altare] an altar, were Christ in all the scripture, &c. And he answered, Yea. Then said my lord- chancellor, Why then [Habemus altare de quo non licet edere,] that is, We have an altar, of which it is not lawful to eat, is as much as to say, [Habemus Christum, in quo non licet credere,] We have a Christ, in whom we may not believe.”

          Then said Tresham, “Believe that thou hast eaten, is spoken of the spiritual eating;” which Latimer also affirmed; and Weston added, “We are commanded to drink blood in the new law ; therefore, it is very blood:” but said Latimer, “We drink blood, so as appertaineth to us to drink to our comfort, in sacramental wine. We drink blood sacramentally ; he gave us his blood to drink spiritually ; he went about to shew, that as certainly as we drink wine, so certainly we drink his blood spiritually.”

          To this Weston observed, “Do you not seem to be a papist, which do bring in new words, not found in scripture? Where find you that [sacramentaliter] sacramentally, in God’s book ?” when Latimer said, ” It is necessarily gathered upon scripture.”

          But said Weston, “The Old Testament doth forbid the tasting of blood, but the New doth command it;” which Latimer allowed, though not as touching the thing, but as touching the manner thereof.”

          On this Weston said, “Hear, ye people, this is the argument : That which was forbidden in the Old Testament, is commanded in the New : To drink blood was for bidden in the Old Testament, and commanded in the New.”

          This argument, because the major thereof is not universal, is not formal, and may well be retorted against Weston thus : “No natural or moral thing, forbidden materially in the Old Testament, is commanded in the New : To drink man’s natural blood, is forbidden materially in the Old Testament; therefore, to drink man’s natural blood materially, is not commanded in the New.” Latimer again said, “It is commanded spiritually to be drank ; I grant it is blood drank in the New Testament, but we receive it spiritually.” Then said Pye, ” It was not forbidden spiritually in the old law ;” and Latimer added ” The substance of blood is drank, but not in one manner ;” to which Pye said, “It doth not require the same manner of drinking.”

          But said Latimer, “It is the same thing, not the same manner. I have no more to say.”

          Upon this Weston cited the place of Chrysostom, of Judas’s treason : “O the madness of Judas ! He made bargain with the Jews for thirty pence to sell Christ, and Christ offered him his blood which he sold.”

          Lat: “I grant he offered to Judas his blood which he sold, but in a sacrament.

          West. Because ye can defend your doctors no better, ye shall see what worshipful men ye hang upon, and one that hath been of vour mind shall dispute with you. Mr. Cartwright, I pray you dispute.

          Cart: Reverend father, because it is given me in commandment to dispute with you, I will do it gladly. But first understand, ere we go any farther, “that I was in the same error that you are in : but I am sorry for it, and do confess myself have erred; I acknowledge mine offence, and I wish, and desire God, that you may also repent with me.

          Lat. Will you give me leave to tell what hath caused Mr. Doctor here to recant ? It is POENA LEGIS, the pain of the law, which hath brought you back, and converted you and many more : the which letteth many to confess God. And this is a great argument; there are few here can dissolve it.

          Cart. This is not my case; but I will make you this short argument, by which I was converted from mine errors : — If the true body of Christ be not really in the sacrament, all the whole church hath erred from the apostles’ time : But Christ would not suffer his church to err; therefore, it is the true body of Christ.

          Lat: The Popish church hath erred, and doth err. I think for the space of six or seven hundred years, there was no mention made of any eating but spiritually: for, before these five hundred years, the church did ever confess a spiritual manducation. But the Romish church begat the error of transubstantiation. My Lord of Canterbury’s book handleth that very well, and by him I could answer you, if I had him.

          Cart: Linus and all the rest do confess the body of Christ to be in the sacrament ; and St. Augustine also upon the 99th Psalm, upon this place, “Worship his footstool,” &c. granteth, that it is to be worshipped.

          Lat. We do worship Christ in the heavens, and we do worship him in the sacrament : but the massing worship is not to be used.

          Smith. Do you think that Cyril was of the ancient church ?

          Lat: I do think so.

          Smith: He saith, That Christ dwelleth in us corporally: These be Cyril’s words of the mystical benediction.

          Lat. That [corporally] hath another understanding than you do grossly take it. Cyril saith, That Christ dwelleth corporally in us, but he saith not, that Christ dwelleth corporallv in the bread. Which dwelling of Christ in us, is as our dwelling is also in Christ, not local or corporal, but spiritual and heavenly. Corporally, therefore, is to be taken in the same sense as St. Paul saith the fulness of divinity to dwell in Christ corporally, that is, not lightly nor accidentally, but perfectly and substantially, with all his virtue and power, &c. And so dwelleth Christ corporally in us also.

          Smith. Here Smith repeateth these words of Cyril : ” By the communicating of the body of Christ, Christ dwelleth in us corporally.”

          Lat. The solution of this is in my Lord of Canterbury’s book.

          Smith. Cyril was a papist ; and yet these be his words : ” Christ dwelleth in us corporally :’* But you say, he dwelleth in us spiritually.

          Lat. I say both, that he dwelleth in us both corporally and spiritually, according to his meaning: spiritually by faith, and corporally by taking our flesh upon him. For I remember I have read this in my Lord of Canterbury’s book.

          West. Because your learning is let out to farm, and shut up in my Lord of Canterbury’s book, I will recite unto you a place of St. Ambrose, De apparatione ad missam, where he saith, ” We see the chief priest coming unto us, and offering blood, &c.” Likewise both Augustine, in the 38th Psalm, and Chrysostom, concerning the incomprehensible nature of God, tom. 3. say, Non solum homines, &c.

          Lat. I am not ashamed to acknowledge mine ignorance, and these testimonies are more than I can bear away.

          West. Then you must leave some behind you for lack of carriage.

          Lat. But of Chrysostom, he hath many figurative speeches and mephitical locutions in many places ; as in that which you have now recited : But he saith not, For the quick and the dead ; he taketh the celebration for the sacrifice.

          West. You shall hear Chrysostom again, upon the ninth chapter of the Acts, Quid DICIS? HOSTIA IN MANIBUS SACERDOTIS, &c. He doth not call it a cup of wine.

          Lat. Ye have mine answer there with you in a paper; and yet he calleth it not a propitiatory sacrifice.

          West. You shall hear it to be so: and I bring another place of Chrysostom, out of the same treatise, Non temere ab apostolis est INSTITUTUM, &c.

          Lat. He is too precious a thing for us to offer; he offereth himself.

          West. Here in another place of Chrysostom to the people of Antioch, and also to the Philippians, he saith, “There should be a memory and sacrifice for the dead.”

          Lat. I do say, that the holy communion beareth the name of a sacrifice, because it is a sacrifice memorative.

          West. How say you to the sacrifice of the dead?

          Lat. I say that it needeth not, and it booteth not.

          West. Augustine, in his Enchiridion, saith, “We must not deny that the souls of the dead are relieved by the devotion of their friends which are living, when the sacrifice of the Mediator is offered for them.” Where he proveth the verity of Christ’s body, and prayeth for the dead. And it is said, that the same Augustine said mass for his mother.

          Lat. But that mass was not like yours, which thing doth manifestly appear in his writings, which are against it in every place. And Augustine is a reasonable man ; he requireth to be believed no farther than he bringeth scripture for his proof, and agreeth with God’s word.

          West. In the same place he proveth a propitiatory sacrifice, and that upon an altar, and no oyster-board.

          Lat. It is the Lord’s table, and no oyster- board. It may be called an altar ; and so the doctors call it in many places : but there is no propitiatory sacrifice, but only Christ. The doctors might be deceived in some points, though not in all things ; I believe them, when they say well.

          Cole. Is it not a shame for an old man to lie ? You say you are of the old fathers’ faith, where they say well, and yet ye are not.

          Lat. I am of their faith, when they say well. I refer myself to my Lord of Canturbury’s book wholly herein.

          Smith. Then are not you of Chrysostom’s faith, nor of St. Augustine’s faith.

          Lat. I have said, when they say well, and bring scripture for them, I am of their faith ; and farther Augustine requireth not to be believed.

          West. Origen, Hom. 13, upon Leviticus.

          Lat. I have but one word to say, The sacramental bread is called a propitiation, because it is a sacrament of the propitiation. What is your vocation?

          West. My vocation is, at this time, to dispute ; otherwise I am a priest, and my vocation is, to offer.

          Lat. Where have you your authority given you to offer ?

          West. Hoc facite, Do this: for facite in that place is taken for offerte, that is, offer you.

          Lat. Is facere nothing but sacrificare, to sacrifice ? Why, then no man must receive the sacrament but priests only : For there may none other offer but priests ; therefore, there may none receive but priests.

          West. Your argument is to be denied.

          Lat. Did Christ then offer himself at his supper ?

          Pye. Yea, he offered himself for the whole world.

          Lat. Then, if this word [facite,] do ye, signify [sacrificare] sacrifice ye, it followeth, as I said, that none but priests only ought to receive the sacrament, to whom it is only lawful to sacrifice : And where find you that, I pray you ?

          West. Forty years agon whither could you have gone to have found your doctrine ?

          Lat. The more cause we have to thank God, that hath now sent the light into the world.

          West. The light? Nay, light and lewd preachers; for you could not tell what you might have. Ye altered and changed so often your communions and altars, and all for this one end. to spoil and rob the church.

          Lat. These things pertain nothing to me; I must not answer other men’s deeds, but only for mine own.

          After this Weston addressed him as follows : ” Well, Mr. Latimer, this is our intent, to will you well, and to exhort you to come to yourself, and remember, that without Noah’s ark there is no health. Remember what they have been that were the beginners of your doctrine ; none but a few flying apostates, running out of Germany for fear of the faggot. Remember what they have been, which have set forth the same in this realm : A sort of flying brains and light heads, which were never constant in any one thing, as it was to be seen in the turning of the table, where, like a sort of apes, they could not tell which way to turn their tails, looking one day west, and another day east ; one that way, and another this way. They will be like (they say) to the apostles, they will have no churches ; a hovel is good enough for them. They come to the communion with no reverence. They get them a tankard, and one saith, I drink, and I am thankful; the more joy of thee, saith another. And in them was it true that Hilary saith, ” We make every year and every month a faith.”. A runnagate Scot did take away the adoration or worshipping of Christ in the sacrament, by whose procurement that heresy was put into the last communion-book; so much prevailed that one man’s authority at that time. You never agreed with the Tygurines or Germans, or with the church, or with yourself. Your stubbornness cometh of vain glory, which is to no purpose; for it will do you no good, when a faggot is in your beard. And we say all, by your own confession, how little cause you have to be stubborn ; for your learning is in feoffors hold. The Queen’s grace is merciful, if ye will turn.

          Lat. You shall have no hope in me to turn. I pray for the queen daily, even from the bottom of my heart, that she may turn from this religion.

          West. Here you all see the weakness of heresy against the truth : He denieth all truth, and all the old fathers.

          Here all good readers may see how this glorious prolocutor triumpheth ; but whether he hath victory or no, that I suppose they have yet neither heard nor seen. And grant that he had the victory, yet what great marvel was it, disputing as he did, Nonsine suo theseo, that is, not without his tippling cup standing at his elbow all the time of his disputation ; not without a privy noting and smiling of them that beheld the matter; but especially at that time, when Dr. Ridley, disputing with one of the opponents, the said prolocutor took the cup, and holding it in his hand, said to the opponent, Urge hoc, urge hoc, nam hoc facit pro nobis. In which words, as he moved the beholders thereof to laughter, so I thought it proper to mention here, to delight the reader withal, after his tedious weariness in reading the story thereof.

          Thus ended the disputation with Latimer; in which, as in various parts of the preceding ones, their railing and blasphemous language is manifest ; and, except in his insolent expression of the ” oyster-board,” in none so conspicuous as in the last address. But ” he could say what he pleased, having the law in his own hands, although he said never a true word, nor never made a true conclusion, almost in all that disputation.”

          1. Oh dear. Foxe’s Book of Martyrs has now ben quoted. Not exactly an objective, unbiased, view of history. This discussion has lost any semblance of integrity.

          2. Mark, you said,

            “This discussion has lost any semblance of integrity.”

            Then you may consider yourself excused from it. But the part of chapter XVI that I pasted reads simply like a stenographer’s records of a court hearing. There is nothing stated by the Roman Catholic inquisitor that is not consistent with what you believe today, and you might find a few good quotes from the early fathers to bolster your position.

            Besides, Timothy P objected to my summary of the Roman Catholic historical exegesis of John 6, as if my summary was hysterical. And yet, aside from whatever denigrations you may heap on Foxe, his summary of the events is quite accurate. After a trial on the meaning of John 6:48-71, Latimer did not answer to the satisfaction of the inquisitors, whose arguments are no different than Timothy P’s, and he was burned at the stake. If you have evidence to the contrary, by all means, provide it. There were many crimes by which a person might find himself before the long arm of the inquisition, but far and away the most significant crime was to deny the “real presence,” transubstantiation, the efficacy of the mass and the worship of the elements. John 6 was often central to the prosecution’s case.

            In other words, the inquisitions were about killing those who would not worship the image of the beast—the Eucharist—in fulfillment of Revelation 13.

            Perhaps that makes me a Jack Chick of this day, too, like Foxe was. Say on, say on, as you please. I have many times acknowledged here that mine is a self-discrediting web site, for by its contents and its position on eschatology, it has so marginalized itself as to be so far out of the main stream that it is well nigh inconsequential.

            That said, as biased as you may think Foxe is, he did a remarkable job of protraying the Roman Catholic argument on John 6 accurately. What he described, and what Timothy P does, are so similar to be almost indistinguishable. (You’ll find not a few of your own arguments described therein as well).

            Enjoy,

            Tim

          3. MARK Said: “Foxe’s Book of Martyrs has now ben quoted. Not exactly an objective, unbiased, view of history. ”

            ROCKY: You got that right Mark. Foxe may have been the Jack Chick of the 16th century.

          4. Tim K., the numerous intentional misrepresentations from Foxe should make you, a historian, cringe. I guess as long as it supports your anti-Catholic views it doesn’t matter.

            BTW, you do realize that Protestants are guilty of killing Catholics too, right?

            One more thing. No matter how many terrible things that you may find that individuals in the Catholic Church have done, that doesn’t take away from the fact that the Catholic Church is the Church Christ founded. She has been preserved from teaching error and 2,000 years later that is still the case. The Church has never formally taught error and the fullness of truth is found only in the Catholic Church.

  82. Hans- Catholics don’t attribute our evil works to God. The Scriptures are clear that those who have no good works or those who choose evil will not enter the kingdom. Good works done in cooperation with sanctifying grace, are meritorious. While you can’t earn heaven, Scripture is clear that you can certainly lose it.

    1. ” good works done in cooperation with God are meritorious ” only in false religions like Judaism and Roman Catholicism. Because in Christianity no one will be justified by observing the law Galatians 2:16.

      1. Mark said ” no matter how many terrible things you find individuals in the Catholic Church have done , that doesn’t change that the Catholic Church is the church Christ founded. ” Iow, you can prove to me until the cows come home that Roman Catholicism is the visible apostasy of scripture, you can show me how it’s leaders burned at the Stake the Latimers of this world for not admitting transubstantiation, you can prove to me early church history supports none of its doctrines, it will never change ” the Catholic Church is the church Christ founded” And yet Mark can’t say or write the name Roman Catholicism. Mark, you can’t sit on the fence. Jesus said, if you are not for me , you are against me.” Either Roman Catholicism is Christ’s historical body on earth which it claims , or its the 5th earthly kingdom and the Antichrist of scripture. There is no Catholic church in the sense you mean it, which is Roman Catholicism, in scripture. Paul used church as a metaphor for the body of believers, not an earthly institution with its own leader and doctrines mediating sanctifying grace to the world through the acts of this institution. The true church is the recipient of grace, not the provider. Think about that. K

  83. Mark–

    Protestants don’t attribute our evil works to God either. But he is sovereign over them. Do they take your God by surprise? Does he have to flip all his plans around to adjust?

    Catholic infants, regenerated through baptism, need no good works to make it to heaven. Those who choose evil but then repent renew their sanctifying grace. Only those who choose evil to close out their lives are condemned. And some of these, like St. Dismas, will have no good works to speak of.

    Yes, good works are meritorious, but they are not self-meritorious. They are the products of grace. Protestants believe something similar, but don’t bother talking about works’ relationship with justification (since that’s already a done deal).

    If one can opt out of salvation, then one must work to avoid doing so, thereby earning salvation. No two ways about it.

    As far as Scripture is concerned, are you crazy??? Do you just clip verses out of your Bible like Thomas Jefferson? What do you think words like foreordination and predestination even mean? What does NO ONE shall grasp them out of my hand mean? Is that a “latent mystery”? What does NOTHING can separate us from the love of God mean? Does it mean ALMOST nothing? Just a few things?

    Besides, when a Catholic says YOU can lose your salvation, of whom are they speaking? Not the elect. Not those with the gift of final perseverance. THEY can’t lose their salvation. They’re not speaking of the non-elect. THEY cannot gain their salvation when all is said and done. So of WHOM are they speaking (since no one is left)?

  84. Hans- Romans 8:38-39, “For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor rulers, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.”

    I absolutely agree with this! But you know the one thing that isn’t mentioned? YOU! Nothing outside of ourselves can separate us from the love of God, but WE still can, if we become disqualified. As Paul wrote in 1 Cor. 9:27, “No, I strike a blow to my body and make it my slave so that after I have preached to others, I myself will not be disqualified for the prize.”

  85. Mark said ” Nothing outside ourselves can separate us from the love of God, but we still can, if we become disqualified .” Colossians 1 : 12 ” giving thanks to the Father who has QUALIFIED US to share in the inheritance of the saints in Light.” No need of a teacher is scripture means you need the Roman Magisterium I Roman Catholicism ; God qualified us according to Colossians means you can become disqualified in Roman Catholicism. Justified by faith apart from our works or anything coming from ourselves means justified by faith plus works in Roman Catholicism. Satan makes good look evil and vice versa. The Roman church is a front for the kingdom of Satan. So read Roman Catholic doctrine and believe the opposite and arrive at biblical truth. K

  86. Mark–

    This is precisely the point where you are most clearly mistaken. For “me, myself, and I” am most assuredly in every item on this list. It is MY death and MY life that won’t separate me. It is the angels over ME and rulers over ME. It is everything in MY present and everything in MY future. It is the powers of darkness in MY life that render ME vulnerable to sin and faithlessness.

    I’m curious. What exactly do you imagine we’re being protected from? Winged monkeys that swoop down and carry us physically away? Or that rip apart our straw bodies and throw part of us over here and part of us over there?

    The human heart is desperately wicked. Mightn’t it be that we are being rescued from the Tempter’s snare? God has promised that he won’t allow us to be tempted beyond what we can endure. Sounds to me like one of the main things we will be protected from is our own selves. (We have met the enemy, and he is us. We are our own worst enemy. We have lots of idioms for this truism. How can you possibly theorize that God himself would be in the dark?)

    1. Apparently I am under moderation again and hope my last post will be posted but I am still amazed as to how Protestants will twist the scripture to support their position. Probably no better example is this exchange between Mark Rome and Hans. Mark wrote:

      “Hans- Romans 8:38-39, “For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor rulers, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.”

      Hans then wrote
      “This is precisely the point where you are most clearly mistaken. For “me, myself, and I” am most assuredly in every item on this list. It is MY death and MY life that won’t separate me. It is the angels over ME and rulers over ME. It is everything in MY present and everything in MY future. It is the powers of darkness in MY life that render ME vulnerable to sin and faithlessness. ”

      Now does anyone have any problem understanding why there are thousands of Protestant denominations. And Hans believes in Sola Scripture but as we see from the above statement it is actually “Sola Individualitica”. Hans, I did not see all those My and Me’s in the original verse. Seriously, the angels over me, the rulers over me?

      Hans, you wrote

      “Yes, the elements change when consecrated: they become consecrated for sacramental use. Do they change physically? Yes, in our hearts by faith with thanksgiving.”

      Hans, could you give me the scriptural verses that allow you to make such a statement. Where in the Bible specifically does it say the elements become consecrated for sacramental use? Where does it say the bread and wine change physically in our heart by faith and thanksgiving. And I hope you realize that if that change is only in our hearts, the bread and wine are not changing physically.
      Hans, if you truly believe in Sola Scriptura then simply hand out bibles and keep silent. Once you start adding words to the Scriptures it’s now Sola Han’s interpretation of Scripture, not the Bible alone.

    1. Mark said:

      “Hans, I only echo what the Church has taught for 2,000 years. You don’t have to like it or accept it.”

      You mean correctly speaking since the last almost 1260 years of Roman catholic anti-christ reign of the church? Lets try to be accurate on this site and not be too general. It confuses the weak brethren.

  87. Kevin, you said, “Satan makes good look evil and vice versa. The Roman church is a front for the kingdom of Satan. ”

    I actually can just feel sympathy for you that you have been fed these lies and just use this unproductive rhetoric every chance you get. Bigotry is learned, just as it is when it comes to people of other races. Unfortunately in America, anti-Catholic bigotry is the last acceptable form of bigotry. I know you are sincere, but I can only feel sadness for you and for people who believe like you do.

    OSAS is what the devil tempted Eve with. “You will not surely die.” The devil WANTS you to feel a false sense of security. Even Satan and his demons once enjoyed the beatific vision and still chose (with their free will) to reject God. Satan HATES Jesus’ Church and will whatever he can to get you to reject the Church as well.

    The reason the Protestant heresy has lasted as long as it has is that it mirrors the Truth very closely.

  88. Mark–

    I apologize for Kevin’s incendiary rhetoric. I’ve tried to tell him countless times, but he feels a need to bash people over the head with the truth…in love, of course. In his defense, if either of our sides–or both–is in error, in the final analysis, that error does NOT come from God (but from the Father of Lies). But we hardly need say as much.

    I think it a bit silly to speak a whole lot about discrimination against Catholics in the U.S. Not only the Vice President but 5 out of 8 Supreme Court justices are Roman Catholic. (On the other hand, traditional Catholics ARE allies of evangelicalism in the culture wars. And we both come into a considerable amount of flack for that. My wife is quite fearful of letting her employers know she is evangelical. Feels she might well lose her job if she did.)

    Kevin, by the way, does NOT believe in OSAS but in the Perseverance of the Saints. Why is it so difficult for Catholics to understand the difference? Is it all the lies they are fed year after year? “Protestants are all this a way. Protestants are all that a way.” For some unknown reason, Catholics used to call all evangelicals “fundamentalists.” Bigotry is a two-way street.

    Or perhaps the reason Protestantism has lasted so long is that it mirrors the truth…exactly. That’s what Gamaliel might say, right? “Careful what you say. You might be gainsaying a legitimate work of God.” (It’s our 500th anniversary next year. Not exactly fly by night.)

  89. Timothy P.–

    You didn’t like my exegesis of Romans 8:38-39. Perhaps this commentary on the passage from the pen of Thomas Schreiner, a Calvinistic Baptist, will help you to see where I’m coming from:

    “Those who defend the view that believers may possibly forsake their salvation note that nothing is said here about the possibility of believers separating themselves from Christ’s love. Gundry-Volf, however, is correct in arguing that the objective of the text is to rule out that very eventuality. Affliction, persecution, famine, death, and so on are mentioned because these are the sorts of things that would cause a believer to renounce faith in Christ. Paul is not only saying that Christ still loves believers when persecution arrives, although that is doubtless true. He is also saying that the love of Christ is so powerful that believers will not forsake him despite the sword, persecution, famine, and so on. There is no need to mention the will of the believer in this text because Paul canvasses every possible thing that could provoke believers to apostatize. None of these threats will succeed, for the love of Christ is stronger still and he will see to it that what has been started will be finished.”

    (Gundry-Volf is a NT scholar at Yale Divinity School who used to be married to Miroslav Volf. I believe she has dropped the hyphenated part and goes by Judith Gundry now. Excellent scholar, Episcopalian.)

    I don’t rightly see how the logic of this interpretation can be overturned. To do so makes Paul look silly. What does God do? See that we get bullied and “graciously” remark that he can still love us in spite of our suffering?

    1. Continuing on my discussion with Timothy K, Timothy K wrote

      “Anyway, you also claimed as “FACT”, that I just won’t deal with Augustine.

      (Timothy P)
      “the FACT that you guys won’t even touch Augustine’s comments where he professes his belief in the real presence.”

      (Timothy K )

      “Yeah, we’re pretty scared of him.””

      Well Timothy K, if you are not scared of Augustine, why don’t you address the comments ONE AT A TIME and explain to us how Augustine isn’t saying what he appears to be saying. Oh I understand, I didn’t address the heresies at the time of Augustine so as to put the quotes in context!

      AUGUSTINE

      “You ought to know what you have received, what you are going to receive, and what you ought to receive daily. That Bread which you see on the altar, having been sanctified by the word of God, is the Body of Christ. The chalice, or rather, what is in that chalice, having been sanctified by the word of God, is the Blood of Christ.”

      -“Sermons”, [227, 21]

      “He who made you men, for your sakes was Himself made man; to ensure your adoption as many sons into an everlasting inheritance, the blood of the Only-Begotten has been shed for you. If in your own reckoning you have held yourselves cheap because of your earthly frailty, now assess yourselves by the price paid for you; meditate, as you should, upon what you eat, what you drink, to what you answer ‘Amen’”.

      -“Second Discourse on Psalm 32”. Ch. 4. circa

      “For the whole Church observes this practice which was handed down by the Fathers: that it prayers for those who have died in the communion of the Body and Blood of Christ, when they are commemorated in their own place in the sacrifice itself; and the sacrifice is offered also in memory of them on their behalf.

      Source: St. Augustine, Sermons 172,2, circa 400 A.D.

      “The fact that our fathers of old offered sacrifices with beasts for victims, which the present-day people of God read about but do not do, is to be understood in no way but this: that those things signified the things that we do in order to draw near to God and to recommend to our neighbor the same purpose. A visible sacrifice, therefore, is the sacrament, that is to say, the sacred sign, of an invisible sacrifice… . Christ is both the Priest, offering Himself, and Himself the Victim. He willed that the sacramental sign of this should be the daily sacrifice of the Church, who, since the Church is His body and He the Head, learns to offer herself through Him.

      Source: St. Augustine, The City of God, 10, 5; 10,20, c. 426:

      1. Timothy P, you claimed as fact that I was afraid to even “touch” Augustine, so I disproved your “fact.” Do you at least acknowledge that your fact was erroneous?

        Anyway you continued,

        “Well Timothy K, if you are not scared of Augustine, why don’t you address the comments ONE AT A TIME and explain to us how Augustine isn’t saying what he appears to be saying. Oh I understand, I didn’t address the heresies at the time of Augustine so as to put the quotes in context!”

        Oh, Timothy P, you wonder why you are always under moderation. You know very well that I did not insist that you address the heresies at the time of Augustine in order to put his quotes in context. I stated Irenæaus was responding to specific heresies where you cite him, and you ought at least try to understand Irenæus’ objections, but you are unwilling. Your unwillingness even to evaluate the cause of Irenæus’ indignation in the passages you cite is evidence of sophistry, not scholarship.

        Your proclivity for twisting meanings and making up “facts” that are demonstrably untrue (and then moving on with another mischaracterization to cover it up) is precisely why you really do not belong here.

        Good day.

        Tim

    2. Han remarked
      “Those who defend the view that believers may possibly forsake their salvation note that nothing is said here about the possibility of believers separating themselves from Christ’s love. Gundry-Volf, however, is correct in arguing that the objective of the text is to rule out that very eventuality.

      Hans, I understand your point. We both agree “nothing is said here about the possibility of believers separating themselves from Christ’s love. ” And that apparently was Mark Rome’s point. Now we enter into an interpretation “Gundry-Volf, however, is correct in arguing that the objective of the text is to rule out that very eventuality”. Now unless Gundry-Volf can interview Paul his speculation of what the objective of the text is is unproven. Paul does not say what his objective of the text is.
      Personally I try to avoid such discussions because to be quite honest both sides can make very good arguments to defend their position by selecting scriptures that support their position and simply ignoring those that do not. Do you not agree or do you seriously believe that the Scriptures are crystal clear on these issues.

  90. Hi Tim , On this Lord’s day I wanted to remind all my reformed brethren of the absolute comfort that scripture brings believers. ” In Him, you also, having listened to the message of truth, the gospel of our salvation, having also believed, you were SEALED with the Holy Spirit of promise. ” One thing that separates Christianity from false religion is that God brings assurance through the gospel. This verse is clear, one listens to a message of truth, believes it, and is sealed for salvation by the inner witness of the Spirit of promise. So, we can say that those who believe in the truth of the gospel can take full assurance in the promise of God. In Hebrews it says by a promise and an oath of God. In light of this truth, we must consider the utter destruction of the mass of a false religion. How could this promise be made in the words of Paul of being sealed by believing a truthful message if one would have to continue to earn the increases of salvation at an altar of an unfinished work. The promises in Ephesians of already having redemption and being sealed by believing a message, the gospel, are in direct contrast to the mass of Catholicism. A Roman Catholic is asked his whole life not to live in presumption, while Christians are asked to live in the assurance of the promise of their inheritance. Let’s be frank, the whole idea behind the ” real presence” , transubstantiation , is the oral eating of Christ’s flesh. But we know that those who eat with the mouth continue to get hungry and need to continually eat to survive. They work for their food. But those who eat by faith the words of Jesus and the promise of eternal life will never hunger and thirst. Stark difference between Christianity and false religion.

    1. “Let’s be frank, the whole idea behind the ” real presence” , transubstantiation , is the oral eating of Christ’s flesh. But we know that those who eat with the mouth continue to get hungry and need to continually eat to survive. They work for their food. But those who eat by faith the words of Jesus and the promise of eternal life will never hunger and thirst. Stark difference between Christianity and false religion.”

      Incredible truth.

  91. Timothy K wrote

    “You have spent months pasting the same six particular citations from Irenæus that supposedly prove his affirmation of the “real presence”. You paste them over and over as if they proved your position, even though not one of them actually includes the words “real presence.” What is more, every one of those citations is in response to a specific heresy (Valentinians, Marcionites, Ebionites and various forms of Gnosticisim.) And you for all of your pasting, you have never spoken of the heresies against which Irenæus as actually writing. Which is to say, that for all of your posturing, you have never actually considered the context in which Irenæus wrote what he wrote—all the while claiming that his meaning is obvious to you based on “context”. ”

    Timothy K, I am very open to your explaining how putting the quotes into context by discussing the different heresies changes the meanings of the quotes. Try to keep it simple if you can because I get lost with some of your mental gymnastics. Personally I think you are borrowing a page from Brain Culliton’s playbook. All these quotes from the Church Fathers that sound so Catholic when it comes to the Real Presence in the Eucharist are simply taken out of context. Really? Of course when I asked Brian to supply a list of quotes from the Church Fathers denying belief in the Real Presence taken IN CONTEXT I got banned from his website. Again, I want to be fair, let’s take each Church Father, supply the quotes of both sides and then we can discuss if they are taken out of context, Wouldn’t that be fair?

    1. Timothy P, you wrote,

      “Timothy K, I am very open to your explaining how putting the quotes into context by discussing the different heresies changes the meanings of the quotes.”

      You have insisted that you understand the meaning of the fathers based on context. The context of every one of your quotes on Irenæaus was that it was in response to a very specific heresy. And, as I said, you have not taken the time to understand what heresy he was refuting. And yet you are still absolutely certain that you have read him in context. That’s a blindness I cannot help you with. You continued,

      “Try to keep it simple if you can because I get lost with some of your mental gymnastics.”

      And I am very open to you doing your own homework, Timothy P. Go back and read what Irenæus was responding to when he wrote what he did.

      Enjoy.

      Tim

    2. Timothy P said ” All these quotes from the church Fathers that sound so Catholic when it comes to the real presence in the Eucharist are simply taken out of context” Scripture says out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks. MacArthur once said if you want to know what a man struggles with, listen to what he talks about all the time. I think this quote by you explains your heart Timothy P. Your quote says the quotes from the church Fathers sound so Catholic and real presence to you that they are taken out of context. Bingo. They look and sound so Catholic and real presence to you that you miss the context and thus the meaning. The irony here is you’re in a discussion with a man whose writings have reflected the most careful detail to context I have ever seen. I’m with Walt on this. The care and detail Tim puts into his work is sobering. I’m hoping you will take advantage of that Timothy P. Try to to take the ” sound so Catholic ” out of it, look at the true context, and you may come to different conclusions. K

  92. Timothy K, you wrote

    “You asked,

    FOR MY FLESH IS FOOD INDEED, AND MY BLOOD IS DRINK INDEED. Now Timothy K, what is it about that verse that you do not understand?

    There is nothing about that verse that I do not understand. Why do you ask?”

    Well, I don’t know why I would ask such a question. Christ say “This is my Body” and you say it is not His Body! Christ says “My Flesh is food indeed” and Timothy K says His Flesh is not food indeed”. Christ says “My blood is drink indeed”, and Timothy K says His blood in not drink indeed”. And by the way you never addressed what the metaphorical meaning for “to eat one’s flesh” was at the time of Christ. Do you deny that it meant to cause harm to that person?

    1. Timothy P, you asked me what it is that I don’t understand about John 6:55, and I said I understand it quite well. You said you were asking it because of Mt 26:46, Mr 14:22, Lu 22:19 and 1Co 11:24, “This is my body.” In order to make this conversation productive, perhaps it will be best if you point out where I have said “His Flesh is not food indeed” and “His blood in not drink indeed.” Since that’s the accusation, you have made against me, please provide the evidence that I have ever said any such thing.

      Once you have provided evidence, I will answer to the charges. (See, Timothy P—just like the inquisitions. You fabricate an offence and expect to put me on trial on a trumped up charge).

      Have at it. But please provide the evidence first.

      As regarding the metaphorical meaning of “eat one’s flesh,” I know of no Jewish understanding that it meant to cause harm to that person. Perhaps you can enlighten me? I know there was a saying in those days about “eating the Messiah” by which was meant to partake of his blessings. I know that the Scriptures say “the life of the flesh is in the blood,” (Leviticus 17:11), and elsewhere “O taste and see that the LORD is good” (Psalms 34:8), a metaphor for “trust in him.” To which Jewish traditional metaphor to you refer when you say “at the time of Christ” it meant to cause harm to that person?

      Thank you,

      Tim

  93. Tim,

    You wrote:

    “There is nothing stated by the Roman Catholic inquisitor that is not consistent with what you believe today, and you might find a few good quotes from the early fathers to bolster your position.”

    That is exactly correct. It is incredible to watch Timothy P, Mark Rome, and Rocky (and Hans to a certain level of winning friends and influencing people) defend Rome. There is more and more people that are losing any sense of moral clarity when it comes to historical or biblical exegetical integrity.

    Tim, your detailed analysis continues to amaze me. There are few scholars and apologists that document to the extent you do so don’t be discouraged by these Romish defenders of false testimony and heretical teaching. My commentary on our Pastoral sermon today was reflecting on how the establish Jewish visible church missed Jesus the Christ during his first coming as a humble servant to suffer and die, and our modern Protestant/Romish visible church who cannot see Rome the Anti-Christ. The man of Sin in the Papacy is alive, operating Roman Catholicism and spreading Satan’s gospel message to insure more and more are taken to his establishment in hell.

    Very few are even willing to share this message you are doing telling people to get out of her my people.

    Hang in there.

    By the way, Timothy P is a major time waster. His heart is so hardened to Romish doctrine that he cannot see anything you are writing. I’m surprised at home much you write back to him knowing that he cannot see black from white. He has no ability to discern right from wrong, good from bad, righteousness from wickedness. I guess it is ok to write back to him for clarity as it does help some of us understand these early church arguments. The Fox’s book quote was excellent.

  94. Timothy P wrote:

    “Timothy K, I am very open to your explaining how putting the quotes into context by discussing the different heresies changes the meanings of the quotes. Try to keep it simple if you can because I get lost with some of your mental gymnastics. Personally I think you are borrowing a page from Brain Culliton’s playbook. All these quotes from the Church Fathers that sound so Catholic when it comes to the Real Presence in the Eucharist are simply taken out of context. Really? ”

    Timothy P, please just go away. I mean this with all sincerity out of love for your soul. You have no value here to anyone. Your heart is extraordinarily hardened to the basic and simple explanation Tim provides you over and over and over again. You have no ability to discern fact from fiction. I think it would be best for you to get off this blog, and draw yourself to a Roman Catholic blog where you will be able to fit in nicely.

    Hans is going to come up with some sort of rebuke against me for telling you to go away, as he is a delight in your back and forth seeking to tell you what the reformed Protestant faith teaches. I read his commentary here, and I have no earthly idea where he gets half his views on what the reformers taught. Yet, any slight of challenge to anything he says (or what Kevin might say in truth about your foolishness) is immediately corrected in apology for not being loving. It is like telling a father who spanks his child he is an abuser rather than loving for discipline. They want to tolerate your false doctrine and worship out of “love”, but really you should just go away.

    You are not a humble learner on the ways of Scripture and truth. You are rather hardened to the truth, and a absolute defender of antichrist. You might not see the difference, but there is a vast difference and is a matter of everlasting life and everlasting death.

  95. Timothy K wrote about Timothy P:

    “And, as I said, you have not taken the time to understand what heresy he was refuting. And yet you are still absolutely certain that you have read him in context. That’s a blindness I cannot help you with.”

    Exactly. That is exactly my point above. Please, Timothy P, go away from this site. Take Mark, Rocky and Hans with you so that we can teach and instruct those reformed that antichrist is the Roman Catholic religion, and the man of sin in the Papacy.

  96. WALT SAID, “Exactly. That is exactly my point above. Please, Timothy P, go away from this site. Take Mark, Rocky and Hans with you so that we can teach and instruct those reformed that antichrist is the Roman Catholic religion, and the man of sin in the Papacy.”

    ROCKY: It would be easy to ban all Catholics from this site but then it would just be a pack of like-minded toadies railing against the antichrist. And that is just an irony and a bit of a bore to boot.

    AN EXAMPLE OF WHAT IS ANTICHRIST

    THE ARIANS.
    Arius said that the Son possessed neither the eternity nor the true divinity of the Father, but was rather made God only by the will and power of the Father.

    But is was the Church (Catholic Church) who took on the Arians who threatened the very existence of the faith once received.

    The fact is an antichrist BY DEFINITION is someone who denies that Jesus is the Christ and the full son of God [1 John 2:22].

    1 John 2:22
    Who is the liar, if it is not the one who denies that Jesus is the Christ? This is the antichrist, who denies the Father and the Son.

    WHO IS NOT ANTICHRIST
    It was and remains the Catholic Church that held to and defended the full sonship of Jesus with the Father. Now THAT is the definition of a body who is NOT antichrist but FOR Christ.

    WHAT or WHO MAY BE A TYPE OF ANTICHRIST
    You declare against that body, that Church, that magisterium that gave you the fullness of what the Trinity truly is so that you might understand just who it is you actually worship.

    So who is antichrist then?

  97. Rocky said:

    “ROCKY: It would be easy to ban all Catholics from this site but then it would just be a pack of like-minded toadies railing against the antichrist. And that is just an irony and a bit of a bore to boot.”

    I would never think of banning all Catholics. I and most of my current Presbyterian brethren are former Catholics. I would only ban those who are severely hardened like yourself and Timothy P. You would want to protect them from being too hardened publicly as their constant, open, public denial of the truth and doctrines of Jesus Christ, and their defense of Satanic worship and doctrines will only lead them to harsher penalty on the day of judgement.

    It would be best to limit their sin of damaging other souls, and restrict them of damning themselves further by restricting them out of love for the general reader who could fall victim to their testimony. We should love the truth, and avoid those who teach Satan’s doctrine.

  98. Walt–

    There are Fundamentalists who become more and more outrageously offensive, and then pat each other on the back whenever there is a backlash…saying, “Count it all joy when we are persecuted for righteousness’sake.”

    There are fathers who spank their children in loving discipline–I’m one of them–and then there are fathers who spank their children in malicious and abusive ways.

    I am horrified by the Catholic Church. I am not trying to make common cause with them. (You might have noticed that their attitude toward me is not exactly cuddly and warm.) What I am trying to do is to have the integrity to speak the TRUTH in love. All of it.

    I don’t believe you to be too harsh so much as just plain wrong in some of your pronouncements. We must confront them with their errors, yes. But we have no need to make up errors which don’t exist. Likewise, we have no need to exaggerate existent errors. They’re beliefs are plenty far askew without adding to them.

    If you have problems with my sources, then have at it. Question them. I’ll be more than happy to produce citations. But I tire of your warrantless innuendo. Be a man and discuss things back and forth. We both might learn a thing or two. God didn’t die and leave you the arbiter of all things Reformed.

  99. HANS said, “I am horrified by the Catholic Church.”

    ROCKY: I think it was that clown mask the Pope was wearing on Halloween. Poor costume choice by Frances I guess. Costume choices are not infallible statements btw.

    HANS said, I am not trying to make common cause with them. (You might have noticed that their attitude toward me is not exactly cuddly and warm.)

    ROCKY: I thought I was being warm and cuddly. Maybe that’s why my wife locks herself in the bathroom.

    HANS said: “What I am trying to do is to have the integrity to speak the TRUTH in love. All of it.”

    ROCKY: Though some of the things you said right off the bat were prickly and unnecessary I will concede that what you said to these gentlemen was more Christ-like than anything else offered by any protestant I have seen here, given you had a lot to lose.

    I have too often seen these types defend the right to treat people like $#!% in the name of Christ. And now you are being attacked for being what you should be – a follower of Christ. I fail to understand their approach given what Jesus said.

    27 “But to you who are listening I say: Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, 28 bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you. . . . 32 “If you love those who love you, what credit is that to you? Even sinners love those who love them. . . . . 35 But love your enemies, and do good . . .” [Luke 6:27-36]

  100. WHAT WALT said: I would only ban those who are severely hardened like yourself and Timothy P.

    WHAT WALT WAS ACTUALLY THINKING: “I would ban those Catholic who know their faith and defend it because it bugs me to know end that there are now Catholic who have educated themselves against our confused apologetics and flock stealing. Oh for the good ole days when Catholics had limited knowledge of scripture and theology and were happy to just love God and their fellow man (however poorly that was done). And NOW I MUST take responsibility for the facts I spread and the lack of goodwill I ooze, because those no-good, varmint Jesuit Catholics like Rocky and Mark and Tim hold me to account. Well I’ll get there popish hides yet!”
    “moo ah. . ah. . . ah . . .” ( a kind of evil cackling is heard in the background ).

    Sorry that last line on evil cackling was just uncalled for.

  101. WALT said: I and most of my current Presbyterian brethren are former Catholics.

    ROCKY: So are any of you part that Presbyterian brotherhood that allows or advocates for abortion: the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.)

    Or that Presbyterian brotherhood that that gave final approval to same-sex marriage on March 18, 2015.

    http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation/2015/03/17/presbyterians-approve-gay-marriage/24935183/

    Now I think these are in fact the same Presbyterian brotherhood. Correct me if I am wrong.

    Regardless of whether there are more Presbyterian subgroups that hold to these grave sins (well grave sins by Catholic decree only that is) I am not trying to embarrass Presbyterians per se but I am trying to get at an underlying root issue.

    That underlying issue being that the Presbyterians U.S.A. interpretation of scripture (by the Holy Spirit) allows them to come to the acceptance or advocacy of abortion and gay marriage AND is therefore JUST AS VALID as your churches interpretation, being under the same auspices of the Holy Spirit, sola scriptura and its corollary, the perspicuity of scripture. Please comment or clarify?

    Now of course you may in fact be part of the that Presbyterian Church (USA) in question or part of another Presbyterian congregation altogether that also holds fast to abortion and gay marriage but my question on Sola Scriptura stands regardless.

    And it is a question so hopefully you (Walt or anyone) will answer it, and I mean in a way that actually makes sense.

  102. Rocky–

    Do you really know that little about progressive hermeneutics? It’s kind of difficult to believe in Sola Scriptura when you’ve gutted the definition of Scripture to such a degree that is barely continues to exist. They have what is called a “canon within a canon.” In other words, they accept only those biblical sections they feel like accepting. Everything boils down to “God is love” with love being defined as universal acceptance and tolerance and downright indulgence.

    They freely acknowledge that Paul was dead set against homosexuality, but that he was a man of his age, not understanding what we know now concerning sexual identity and same-sex orientation.

    These are not Presbyterians in any authentic sense. They are not Protestants. They are not even Christian.

    There is an organization, calling itself the Liberal Catholic Church International. They believe in Apostolic Succession, deriving theirs through the Old Catholics in the Netherlands. They have seven Sacraments. They believe in Transubstantiation. They venerate Mary.

    Of course, they also accept homosexuality, women’s ordination, and universal salvation. They practice open communion. And to top it all off, they embrace Theosophy.

    I guess that gives me the right to say that “Catholics” do all of these things, using your logic, right?

  103. I understand what you are saying and might say the same thing myself. I was exaggerating this for the obvious point that Protestantism has some very extreme outgrowths and a lot of them, unto 40,000 to use an annoying value, with significantly different interpretations. (That value originates with a protestant source btw.)

    So my real thrust was to point out the main Protestantism failure which is the inexplicable and illogical and even irrational thing that is sola scriptura/with personal interpretive authority.

    And you still haven’t given workable explanation of it and though you can point to some Catholic offshoots like the Liberal Catholic Church International it only really highlights the reality that the main root is the root that has the God-given infallible voice. The other offshoots like this Liberal Catholic Church this wither and die or morph into a deformed and unstable ape of the original. They have not the Holy Spirits promise.

    I was trying to engage Walt in particular but he seems to have gone AWOL. Maybe once he gets back on the love train he might feel more like having a dialogue instead of a hostile diatribe. It is probably you he is avoiding though because there he recognizes his own intolerance. Its okay to be mean to Catholics.

    1. Rocky said:
      “I was trying to engage Walt in particular but he seems to have gone AWOL. Maybe once he gets back on the love train he might feel more like having a dialogue instead of a hostile diatribe. It is probably you he is avoiding though because there he recognizes his own intolerance. Its okay to be mean to Catholics.”

      No, I just am limited in my time during the week and refuting the errors of you and Hans is time consuming and exhausting. It is best to point you two fellas to second reformation documents and literature to read. That helped me to leave the Roman catholic religion and her protestant daughter church’s that teach her doctrines today.

  104. Rocky–

    What I have never understood is why you don’t say that Roman Catholicism has “some very extreme outgrowths.” You blame magisterial Protestantism for the Methodists and Baptists having split off from us, and yet never blame Rome for Lutherans and Anglicans and the Reformed having split off from Catholicism in the first place. Maybe there’s something in the dogmatism of the magisterium that foments schism. After all, the East never disintegrated into “40,000 denominations.” That’s a Western phenomenon.

    In other words, the buck stops here: Rome.

    What you also don’t seem to remember is that freedom of conscience is of modern provenance. Part of the reason that Rome held together for 1500 years is the threat of excommunication in a culture where everyone was Catholic. With excommunication, all of a sudden, you not only lose your prospect of salvation, but your livelihood, as well. (This in an era when almost everyone died young: life was “solitary, poor, nasty, brutish, and short.”) With the coming of the Renaissance, nationalism, humanism, and the first glimmer of individual freedoms reared their heads. No longer could the papacy keep everyone “in check.” It’s not Sola Scriptura that broke everything down. Sola Scriptura doesn’t allow for “personal interpretation.” It basically substitutes Protestant confessions as a norm (instead of the Catholic catechisms). Personal interpretation, which you bemoan, is a product of the Radical Reformation (which the Reformers condemned in no uncertain terms).

  105. Hans- John Calvin was considered the “pope of the protestants”. He didn’t have any qualms about executing those who disagreed with his views.

    I guess “radical reformation” was alive and well in Luther’s day too because he said, “There are almost as many sects and beliefs as there are heads; this one will not admit baptism; that one rejects the Sacrament of the altar; another places another world between the present one and the day of judgment; some teach that Jesus Christ is not God. There is not an individual, however clownish he may be, who does not claim to be inspired by the Holy Ghost, and who does not put forth as prophecies his ravings and dreams.”

    1. Mark said:

      “Hans- John Calvin was considered the “pope of the protestants”. He didn’t have any qualms about executing those who disagreed with his views.”

      Hate speech and lies about Calvin are sin.

  106. Mark–

    Martin Luther would have been much surprised to hear that Calvin could be seen as the “pope of the Protestants.” Calvin was basically a second-generation Reformer, being 26 years younger than Luther.

    At any rate, the whole Servetus thing is such a non-starter. (The Catholics would have lit the match under the notorious non-trinitarian with utter glee!)

    We don’t see our Reformers as either impeccable or infallible. One can be a total jerk and still be a recipient of the Holy Spirit’s teaching (check the lives of St. Jerome or St. Thomas More). One can be a total jerk and still be a clear thinker.

    Yes, Mark, the Radical Reformation refers to the time of Luther. The Mennonites are their primary descendants, but most of non-magisterial Protestantism is influenced by them (e.g., the Baptists [through Anabaptism] and the Charismatics [through Moravianism], etc., etc.)

  107. Just remember Hans, any truth you have in your church came from the Catholic Church. Everything else that isn’t Catholic was made up from a faulty understanding of scripture. The Catholic Church rejects the man-made traditions established during the reformation.

    1. Mark said:

      “Just remember Hans, any truth you have in your church came from the Catholic Church. Everything else that isn’t Catholic was made up from a faulty understanding of scripture. The Catholic Church rejects the man-made traditions established during the reformation.”

      Mark, you are correct that much of doctrines that Hans promotes did originate with your Roman catholic church. The more you educate him on correcting his views, I firmly believe in time he will return to your flock. Just be patient.

      Now to certain, if you read the national covenant of scotland, you will see the true protestant religion and what it teaches about Roman Catholicism. It was signed by almost the entire nation of Scotland. What do you think about the true protestant and Presbyterian church in publishing this document. If you feel hatred and murder in your heart after reading it, don’t worry as most of your catholic brethren did too and imposed the killing times to remove all who subscribed this document.

      Read it here and feel the hatred boil. Truth hurts and makes men take vengenence:

      https://en.m.wikisource.org/wiki/National_Covenant_of_the_Church_of_Scotland

  108. HANS said: You blame magisterial Protestantism for the Methodists and Baptists having split off from us, and yet never blame Rome for Lutherans and Anglicans and the Reformed having split off from Catholicism in the first place.

    ROCKY: Is it okay to burn down someone’s house because it is not up to code in certain areas or do you ask them at least to get it up to code in some area that require it. In fact if it is your family’s house you are complaining about should you not do everything you can do to fix it before destroy it completely. There were code problems but in then end Luther had problems with a lot of other things besides just the error of the sale of indulgences. The Catholic Church has a long history of renewal. Look up how Saint Francis was asked to rebuild God’s Church in the 12/13th century. See http://whispersintheloggia.blogspot.ca/2010/10/rebuild-my-church.html

    But once the door or heresy was opened by Luther and he created a false doctrine (SS) to give it wings, all hell broke loose. Luther created the pattern and the permissions for others to follow. The political elite in Germany found Luther a great vehicle for their own power too.

    HANS SAID: After all, the East never disintegrated into “40,000 denominations.” That’s a Western phenomenon.

    ROCKY: And the East never went on burgeon and thrive and take the Gospel around the world either. They became more insular bodies linked to their own nations. National (nationalist) churches if you will. And perhaps this also gave them more control over their people with regards to what was permitted or acceptable. Perhaps you know more of that than I do.

    HANS said: Part of the reason that Rome held together for 1500 years is the threat of excommunication in a culture where everyone was Catholic. With excommunication, all of a sudden, you not only lose your prospect of salvation, but your livelihood, as well

    ROCKY: Well blame Jesus then he is the one who gave us the doctrine of excommunication.

    Mat18:17-18
    Jesus said, “If he refuses to listen to them, tell it to the church; & if he refuses to listen even to the church, let him be to you as a Gentile & a tax collector.”

    He goes on to authorize the Church through the apostles:

    “18Truly, I say to you, whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven, & whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.”

    HANS said: It’s not Sola Scriptura that broke everything down. Sola Scriptura doesn’t allow for “personal interpretation.” It basically substitutes Protestant confessions as a norm (instead of the Catholic catechisms). Personal interpretation, which you bemoan, is a product of the Radical Reformation (which the Reformers condemned in no uncertain terms).

    ROCKY: Again you think that I will accept a Protestant Confession any more than Sola Scriptura. Neither Sola Scriptura nor ANY Protestant Confession has any scriptural or Sacred Tradition basis and therefore are non-starters. Both are just as illogical and unworkable.

    HANS said: With the coming of the Renaissance, nationalism, humanism, and the first glimmer of individual freedoms reared their heads.

    ROCKY: And the age of enlightenment and too. And many have blamed this on the protestant revolt for opening these gates of hell to the modern culture that is anything but Christian. And there is every reason to believe this revold went against God’s will.

    31Simon, Simon, Satan has asked to sift each of you like wheat. 32But I have prayed for you, Simon, that your faith will not fail. And when you have turned back, strengthen your brothers.”

  109. Mark–

    Hate to break it to you, but the only truth either of us has is from Jesus Christ. (You might want to bring that ecclesiolatry of yours in check. I can recommend a good exorcist or two.)

    I likewise eschew anything that isn’t Catholic. I just define the word differently. My definition has to do with universal truth. Yours has to do with sectarian “truth.” I also believe in the One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church, which was founded by Christ. I simply don’t believe it is headquartered in Rome. The head of my church is not the Vicar of Christ, but Christ himself, seated at the right hand of the Father. (That’s where our church is headquartered. It’s even more luxurious than the Vatican, believe it or not!)

    I actually think you’re correct in a sense. I’m more of the belief that Rome didn’t split from the church catholic overnight sometime in the fourth century. I think they “boiled the frog,” so to speak, and didn’t become fully schismatic until Trent anathematized the Gospel, and set in stone a myriad of innovations.

    So, anyway, you’re correct in the sense that actual pieces of the true truth continued to be disseminated by Rome (and in terms of christology and trinitarianism and social ethics and the like, still continues). I am thankful for that, but it doesn’t change my overall opinion of Rome. (Heck, even the Mormons teach the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth on certain topics!)

    1. Hate to break it to you Hans, but you aren’t part of the One, Holy, Catholic, and Apostolic Church. You reject many of its teachings and you don’t have valid apostolic succession. Anglicans also mistakenly think they are part of the catholic church, but they aren’t.

      BTW, the head of the Catholic Church is Christ. The visible earthly head is the Pope. Christ set it up that way, not me. I believe Christ, not you. Your church traces its roots back to John Knox. The Catholic Church traces her roots back to St. Peter.

  110. Mark–

    Yeah, right!

    (Stifled laughter, giggles, snorts and guffaws.)

    Whatever you say!

    (You made my day. By the way, the moon walks were all staged. Someplace in Idaho if memory serves….)

  111. Mark–

    Sorry. I should have been more respectful. But I get sick-to-death tired of Catholic “talking points.” Yes, I know you feel the way you do. No, I have never been the slightest bit impressed by such arguments. Can you kindly drop that whole line of reasoning? It’s counterproductive and frankly, bigoted towards Protestants in the same sorts of ways you don’t want us treating you.

  112. But Hans, you never really address the fact that YOU ARE NOT part of the One, Holy, Catholic, and Apostolic Church (in some sense) because you do reject many of its teachings and you don’t have valid apostolic succession via the laying on of hands.

    When you address/resolve these uncomfortable issues in any meaningful way then then they can be dropped.

    Its not bigoted to point out you do not follow scripture when it comes to apostolic succession.

    Its not bigoted to point out that you do not believe in the Real Presence of Jesus as our Eucharist as our early Church believed.

    So it may be counterproductive for your feelings but it may be good for your soul to be exposed to the truth. And this truth is not that difficult to see, unless you have been herded in another direction (and understandably so) by loving parents or your community.

    Avoidance is not intellectual honesty and frankly that seems to be what you are doing here.

  113. Rocky–

    1. Luther DID work within the system to change it! The Catholic hierarchy decided not to have an exchange. It decided, for political reasons, I assume, to try to silence Luther. No one wanted schism. It was thrust upon them.

    2. You’ve got to HAVE the Gospel in order to spread it….

    3. Confessional Protestants believe in church discipline, including excommunication. I was more discussing Erastianism, which even you don’t believe Christ had anything to do with.

    4. Go back and actually read the Westminster Confession of Faith. It’s so saturated with Scripture it oozes out!

    5. Funny, there are all kinds of (traditional) Catholics who very proudly take credit for the Renaissance, the Enlightenment, and the Rise of Science.

  114. Rocky–

    You believe the one true church to be a visible, hollowed-out shell. We believe it to be vibrant and invisible. These are two completely different versions of the One Holy Catholic and Apostolic Church. And our differences cannot be resolved by the drumbeat of your dogmatic assertions.

    As for the Real Presence, I believe in it as much as you do. Both versions are just as corporeal as the other, and both are as highly spiritualized. You simply have a different explanation, a problematic one in a number of ways. Nothing in the ECF’s demands (or even suggests) Transubstantiation. Get off your high horse and discuss the matter back and forth. Does the evidence not favor you? Is that why you don’t wish to reason together?

  115. HANS said: Nothing in the ECF’s demands (or even suggests) Transubstantiation.

    ROCKY: I think your out of touch with reality here.

    HANS Said: “Get off your high horse and discuss the matter back and forth. Does the evidence not favor you? Is that why you don’t wish to reason together?”

    ROCKY: I’m sorry did I miss something. Was there a question or invitation between us yet on this important issue – the early Church belief in Real Presence Eucharistic faith (Transubstantiation by any other name.) Surely I never backed away from any discussion on this issue or any other.

    To be sure the physical reality of Jesus was accepted and believed in though not under the term “Transubstantiation” or in absolutely defined way. Progressive hermeneutics?

    Why don’t we start with scripture then we can go to ECF and see what the Euro cycle fed has to say. ;(

    The game is on then.

  116. Rocky–

    Say what? The “Euro cycle fed”? (Methinks your autocorrect is in hyperdrive!)

    Let’s start with these two Scriptures:

    1 Corinthians 10:16-17.

    “Is not the cup of thanksgiving for which we give thanks a participation in the blood of Christ? And is not the bread that we break a participation in the body of Christ? Because there is one loaf, we, who are many, are one body, for we all share the one loaf.”

    And 1 Corinthians 11:27-28.

    “So then, whoever eats the bread or drinks the cup of the Lord in an unworthy manner will be guilty of sinning against the body and blood of the Lord. Everyone ought to examine themselves before they eat of the bread and drink from the cup.”

    You’ve got to admit, that when it comes to the Eucharist, Paul has no problem calling the bread “bread.” He doesn’t say “apparent bread.” (You made a big deal out of Jesus’ saying “This is my body” not “This represents my body.”)

    Moving on to burden of proof.

    The Roman Catholic doctrine of the Eucharist is defined in the second canon of the thirteenth session of the Council of Trent:

    “If anyone says that in the sacred and holy sacrament of the Eucharist the substance of the bread and wine remains conjointly with the body and blood of our Lord Jesus Christ, and denies that wonderful and singular change of the whole substance of the bread into the body and the whole substance of the wine into the blood, the appearances only of bread and wine remaining, which change the Catholic Church most aptly calls transubstantiation, let him be anathema.”

    We both agree that the elements of bread and wine are transformed into the body and blood of our Lord. What we disagree on is whether or not the substance of the bread and wine disappear in that transformation . Your job will be to prove that disappearance from the writings of the Early Church Fathers.

    Good luck. (You’ll need it!)

  117. Hans, you need to explain how you are part of the One, Holy, Catholic, and Apostolic Church. As I look at you from the 2,000 year old Catholic perspective I just don’t see it. Care to explain?

  118. Mark–

    Simple. The One Holy Catholic and Apostolic Church is that church which faithfully adheres to the teachings of Scripture.

    You all prioritize ecclesial unity and physical continuity. We prioritize doctrinal purity and theological continuity. You all emphasize the concrete: the laying on of hands. We emphasize the abstract: the commissioning of faithful men. Your way of designating the true church is thus called “visible,” not because it’s any more physical but because that’s what it focuses on (the true church is both concrete AND abstract, visible AND
    invisible). Our church is termed “invisible” in a similar manner because we concentrate on the church’s supernatural aspects.

    From your perspective, we are not directly a part of the church because we are not united with Rome. From our perspective, you are not directly a part of the church because you are not one with biblical theology. You have added to the Word.

    (I should add that we don’t think we’re out of balance in terms of being both visible and invisible. We “emphasize” the abstract as a practical matter because we believe you all to be out of balance.)

    1. Hans, you said, “Simple. The One Holy Catholic and Apostolic Church is that church which faithfully adheres to the teachings of Scripture.”

      I know MANY Bible only Christians who don’t agree with your interpretation. I don’t see your beliefs in the Bible or the ECFs. You need to prove that your religion that was established over 1,500 years after Christ is the one who “faithfully adheres to the teachings of Scripture”. Unless you are infallible, you can’t know you are right.

      I, on the other hand, see that Jesus established a visible Church which has endured 2,000 years with successions of Popes. I see Catholic worship in the ECFs, not your version. If the Bible alone is supposed to be out guide, you would think that the Bible would make that clear. Instead we see that Christ established a Church to pass on the faith. He never looked back over His shoulder as he ascended into heaven proclaiming, “don’t forget to read my book!” No, Islam is the religion of the book. Christianity is the religion of the incarnate Word Jesus Christ.
      You have to explain why we should believe John Knox who invented Presbyterianism in the 1500s. Why would I believe man-made traditions of John Knox?

  119. HANS offers: 1 Corinthians 11:27-28.
    “So then, whoever eats the bread or drinks the cup of the Lord in an unworthy manner will be guilty of sinning against the body and blood of the Lord. Everyone ought to examine themselves before they eat of the bread and drink from the cup.”

    HANS said: ‘You’ve got to admit, that when it comes to the Eucharist, Paul has no problem calling the bread “bread.” He doesn’t say “apparent bread.” (You made a big deal out of Jesus’ saying “This is my body” not “This represents my body.”)’

    ROCKY: We have a song we sing often at Mass at communion. . “One Bread, One Body, One Lord of all.” And just because we sing of the bread it does not mean we do not also discern HIS Body, which is what the Church always has done. You would say that our singing of this bread would mean we do not recognize his reality and that it remains bread but we very much do acknowledge the change of the Bread into Him and so did Paul.

    And you failed to finish the 1 Corinthian quote.

    27 Whoever, therefore, eats the bread or drinks the cup of the Lord in an unworthy manner will be answerable for the body and blood of the Lord. 28 Examine yourselves, and only then eat of the bread and drink of the cup. 29 For all who eat and drink WITHOUT DISCERNING THE BODY, eat and drink judgment against themselves. 30 That is why many of you are weak and ill, and some have died.

    If you fail to discern the Body and approach the Body of the Lord (the Eucharist) in sin and partake (consume) in sin, you may become weak and die. Now that is not symbolic or an indication of a passing presence. It is something Real (his Body) that you take into your own body which provides a spiritual nutrition. The person who partakes may become sick because he has dared take the Lord in when he has not discerned his sin and repented. That condition has compounded the grave matter of his unrepented sin.

    HANS said: ‘Paul has no problem calling the bread “bread.” He doesn’t say “apparent bread.”(You made a big deal out of Jesus’ saying “This is my body” not “This represents my body.”)’

    ROCKY: This is my body which in greek is Touto estin to soma mou. Usually the verb estin means “is really”. Therefore:”this is really my body” is more appropriate meaning.

    HANS said: What we disagree on is whether or not the substance of the bread and wine disappear in that transformation .Your job will be to prove that disappearance from the writings of the Early Church Fathers.

    ROCKY: I am not ready to jump to the ECF’s, nor am I willing to accept a condition such as yours as a burden of proof if I understand you correctly and I may not.

    The transition of bread to Body is a Miracle that is accepted by faith. To have scientific procedure that could prove the bread was now his body and blood would completely eliminate the need for faith or freewill, forcing all to believe in Jesus by empirical evidence. But it will be easy enough to prove that the early Church believed that bread was changed to Jesus. If that is all you mean then we can find that evidence. If you take Jesus at his word and the fact that the early Church believed “the Eucharist to be the flesh of our Saviour Jesus Christ” the case is already closed.

    So you are right, Jesus did NOT say “this is a metaphor for my body.” Nor did he say “My body fits in between the molecules of bread”, or “My body is a mere spiritual condition that passes through the bread”. What you seem to be saying Hans (because I really don’t know for sure) is that YOU believe that when Jesus says this IS my Body (or actually “really is my Body”) IT is a false statement (smoke and mirrors) and Jesus really means that HIS Body is just hiding beside the bread crumbs. Why could he have not just told the simple truth? “I am present here WITH the bread or just passing through or only symbolically (as most protestants believe).”

    If that is what you actually believe then you really just have Jesus making a deliberate lie, which is impossible and that is why Catholic believe what we believe. We believe Jesus said what he said because he meant it AND THAT is why the unfaithful disciples left him in John 6:66 and that is why Jesus did not call them back. Because these unfaithful disciples got it right. Jesus meant what his said. “This IS my Body”

    More tomorrow.

  120. HANS said: You all emphasize the concrete: the laying on of hands. We emphasize the abstract: the commissioning of faithful men.

    ROCKY: In other words, “You Catholics are the ones acting on scripture and sacred tradition and we do not. We make it up as we go and say it boldly and proudly. We offer no proof and do not need to because we can’t be seen or grasped. We are in fact the invisible Church. We all have cloaks of invisibility so we can hide from scripture and sacred truth.”

    And you have secret decoder rings too I bet.

  121. Rocky–

    So, according to you, Jesus REALLY is a door, and he REALLY is a vine, and he REALLY is a sheep herder. (You learn something new every day!)

    I have no problem discerning the body because I believe in the Real Presence. Evidently, you have difficulty listening.

    I do NOT, however, believe in Transubstantiation. Nor did anybody until the Middle Ages.

    Jesus also did not say, “This is my body, blood, soul, and divinity, hidden behind the accidents of bread and wine, sacramentally present in each and every morsel and sip, while I remain physically seated at the right hand of the Father.” (That’s quite a mouthful!)

    How is it that you cannot see that your version of the Real Presence is just as mystery-laden, just as spiritually-mediated as ours? If our take on things makes Christ out to be a liar, then so does yours.

    By the way, it’s not really cricket to refuse to engage a dialogue partner at the point of your disagreement with him. You need to learn to proceed in good faith. WWJD?

  122. Rocky–

    Actually, we see the strategy of relying on merely physical continuity as a sure recipe for losing the original intent of NT teaching. The “development of doctrine” is just another way of saying, “We make it up as we go.”

  123. HANS SAID, How is it that you cannot see that your version of the Real Presence is just as mystery-laden, just as spiritually-mediated as ours?”

    ROCKY: What? I totally see ours as more mystery laden than yours. It IS spiritually mediated if by that you do not mean symbolic, which some in your camp actually do mean. Please tell me how you see the presence of Jesus there. Does his presence occur beside the bread rather than as the bread? Does it take flight before it enters the mouth or does it truly become part of the person who eats the bread? I really do not understand how you see it and you have not told me.

    HANs Said, By the way, it’s not really cricket to refuse to engage a dialogue partner at the point of your disagreement with him. You need to learn to proceed in good faith. WWJD?

    ROCKY: I think you need to clarify what it is you actually believe because when I read the Westminster confession on Communion I am not only disgusted by anti-Catholic enshrinement but am very confused by a meandering symbolic sensibility.

    It would seem Dell Markey would agree with me, at least on the idea that Presbyterians believe that the bread and wine are JUST symbols of spiritual ideas. In other words, Presbyterian community do not believe in any kind of Real Presence in their communion as you might be suggesting.

    “What Is the Difference in Taking Communion in a Presbyterian Church and Catholic Church?”
    by Dell Markey

    http://classroom.synonym.com/difference-taking-communion-presbyterian-church-catholic-church-7269.html

    “Catholics, Holy Communion — also called the “Eucharist” — is the most important sacrament. The Eucharist is central to their beliefs and to their church services. They believe that when a person properly receives communion, the bread and wine become the actual body and blood of Jesus Christ. This teaching is known as “transubstantiation.” For Catholics, forgiveness of sin and grace are received during communion. Presbyterians, on the other hand, believe that sacraments serve as illustrations. Presbyterians believe that the presence of Jesus Christ is very real in Holy Communion, but that the bread and wine are just symbols of the spiritual ideas that communion represents.”

    WESTMINSTER CONFESSION ON COMMUNION
    Our Lord Jesus, in the night wherein he was betrayed, instituted the sacrament of his body and blood, called the Lord’s Supper, to be observed in his Church unto the end of the world; for the perpetual remembrance of the sacrifice of himself in his death, the sealing all benefits thereof unto true believers, their spiritual nourishment and growth in him, their further engagement in and to all duties which they owe unto him; and to be a bond and pledge of their communion with him, and with each other, as members of his mystical body.
    II. In this sacrament Christ is not offered up to his Father, nor any real sacrifice made at all for remission of sins of the quick or dead, but a commemoration of that one offering up of himself, by himself, upon the cross, once for all, and a spiritual oblation of all possible praise unto God for the same; so that the Popish sacrifice of the mass, as they call it, is most abominably injurious to Christ’s one only sacrifice, the alone propitiation for all the sins of the elect.

    III. The Lord Jesus hath, in this ordinance, appointed his ministers to declare his word of institution to the people, to pray, and bless the elements of bread and wine, and thereby to set them apart from a common to an holy use; and to take and break the bread, to take the cup, and (they communicating also themselves) to give both to the communicants; but to none who are not then present in the congregation.

    IV. Private masses, or receiving this sacrament by a priest, or any other, alone; as likewise the denial of the cup to the people; worshipping the elements, the lifting them up, or carrying them about for adoration, and the reserving them for any pretended religious use, are all contrary to the nature of this sacrament, and to the institution of Christ.

    V. The outward elements in this sacrament, duly set apart to the uses ordained by Christ, have such relation to him crucified, as that truly, yet sacramentally only, they are sometimes called by the name of the thigns they represent, to wit, the body and blood of Christ; albeit, in substance and nature, they still remain truly, and only, bread and wine, as they were before.

    VI. That doctrine which maintains a change of the substance of bread and wine, into the substance of Christ’s body and blood (commonly called transubstantiation) by consecration of a priest, or by any other way, is repugnant, not to Scripture alone, but even to common-sense and reason; overthroweth the nature of the sacrament; and hath been, and is, the cause of manifold superstitions, yea, of gross idolatries.

    VII. Worthy receivers, outwardly partaking of the visible elements in this sacrament, do then also inwardly by faith, really and indeed, yet not carnally and corporally, but spiritually, receive and feed upon Christ crucified, and all benefits of his death: the body and blood of Christ being then not corporally or carnally in, with, or under the bread and wine; yet as really, but spiritually, present to the faith of believers in that ordinance, as the elements themselves are to their outward senses.

    VIII. Although ignorant and wicked men receive the outward elements in this sacrament, yet they receive not the thing signified thereby; but by their unworthy coming thereunto are guilty of the body and blood of the Lord, to their own damnation. Wherefore all ignorant and ungodly persons, as they are unfit to enjoy communion with him, so are they unworthy of the Lord’s table, and can not, without great sin against Christ, while they remain such, partake of these holy mysteries, or be admitted thereunto.

    ROCKY: This unwholesome anti-Catholic screed above is almost hilariously based on bitterness, resentment and scorn, not something a real faith confession should be based on at all.

    It is no wonder there are so many hostile people in the protestant communities, several who we have encountered on this site and the Onefold site. Their entire ruling principle (The Westminster Confession) is based on fanatical antithetical statements against Catholicism.

    You will never find this kind of screed in the Catholic domain. Never.

    Can a guiding profession/confession of faith really be based on protest and rejection (and hate).

    You realize it was only a very small handful of men who set this insanity in motion.

  124. I do feel bad for anyone who reads and believes the Westminster Confession. Basically an entire document based on being AGAINST the Catholic Church. No wonder there are so many rabid anti-Catholics around here. It’s like an infection, a disease. Better yet, it is like living in the Matrix. Once you realize that the Matrix isn’t real, your whole worldview changes. Too many people can’t handle this truth.

    1. Mark says:

      “I do feel bad for anyone who reads and believes the Westminster Confession. Basically an entire document based on being AGAINST the Catholic Church. No wonder there are so many rabid anti-Catholics around here. It’s like an infection, a disease.”

      Don’t feel bad Mark, feel joy. During the 1260 year period of reign of the Roman catholic antichrist your people will be able to torture, murder, rape, and nearly silence the elect of God in scripture, but after this period has ended and Roman Catholicism is silenced, you will see true Christian unity start thereafter in the millennium. For now, up till today and ending around 2060 you guys will reign #1 in the Christian church.

      Enjoy it and the you practice hate against us protestants the more persecution you will raise up against us until 2060. Enjoy while you still can as after here your hatred will stop and true Christians will have a voice.

      1. Walt, don’t bet on it. It is my contention that just as with other heresies that eventually died out, so will the Protestant heresy. It is already starting to happen. Protestantism is collapsing under the weight of moral relativism and is hardly recognizable as Christian any more. I give Protestantism until the end of this century.

        The only true Apostolic faith is Catholic. The only reason that Protestantism has lasted as long as it has is that it did a good job of copying the Catholic Faith. The fractals of Protestantism is a result of a lack of authority and an unworkable belief called Sola Scriptura. This is not what Jesus intended.

  125. Mark said ” I do feel bad for anyone who reads the WCF. A whole document based on being against the Catholic church” The WCF speaks against the papal Roman Catholicism. My guess Mark is you have never read it. It is the most accurate document on scripture ever written. And those who value the word of God above even life, find great comfort and knowledge in it. Personally Mark, the greatest compliment I could ever be given is saying that I hold God’s word as the only infallible rule of faith. How can anyone ever go wrong armed with the sword of the Spirit and God’s scripture. ” For this reason we also constantly thank God that when you received the WORD of God which you heard from us , you accepted it not as the word of men, but for what it really is, the word of God, which also performs it’s work IN you who believe” Notice Mark it is the word of God that performs it’s ( His) work in us, not the word of men.

  126. Mark–

    I guess I’ve been around the block a time or two more than you. I’ve seen anti-Protestant Catholic rhetoric filled with such caustic vitriol that it would make the hair on the back of the neck of a seasoned sailor stand on end. Ignorant, bigoted flaming comes from all quarters. Cage-stage Calvinists aren’t really any worse than anyone else. They just get pointed out more.

    Tridentine anathemas aimed at Protestants weren’t exactly nicey-nice. Sure, Westminster is transparent in its animosity towards Catholics. Many of the Reformers, likewise. But these were times of the Wars of Religion, and the vehemence is far more understandable…on both sides.

  127. Hans, I am so sorry you didn’t get “nicey-nice” from the Church you poor Protestants rejected. I hope you understand that Christ’s Church can’t reject the faith once delivered to the saints.

    However, we will welcome you with open arms when you decide to return to the Church. You and Tim K.

  128. Mark–

    Ah, mockery. I see. Well, that’ll make your point that Catholics are all sweetness and light.

    We abandoned the church? Really? It was a church?? I was just reading a Protestant history of the Reformation, and it called you all a “Kabal of Evil.” Was that not accurate? 😉

  129. HANS SAID: Sure, Westminster is transparent in its animosity towards Catholics. Many of the Reformers, likewise. But these were times of the Wars of Religion, and the vehemence is far more understandable…on both sides.

    ROCKY: But you stated you are a confessional Christian. When you could not explain the illogical and contradiction that is Sola Scriptura you stated you are essentially guided by your confession, not Sola Scriptura. And this Westminster Confession is your guide in faith? Really Hans? This document of open hostility should have found its way quietly into the dustbin of history and yet is enshrined (idolized?) Surely some more grace-filled document should have been the outgrowth of a noble faith.

    And so I cannot see what actually guides a Presbyterian. Sola Scriptura is unworkable and the hostile and bitter Westminster Confession is an actually a drag on the soul. But I guess you all can’t digest that.

  130. HANS SAID: We abandoned the church? Really? It was a church?? I was just reading a Protestant history of the Reformation, and it called you all a “Kabal of Evil.” Was that not accurate?

    ROCKY: So at the end of the day you are just part of that Walt and Kevin and Mike good ole boys club that holds the Westminster confession as its guiding light, its lampstand, its beacon of authority.

    Do any of you have any sense of shame and humility that should prick the conscience of a Christian.

  131. Rocky–

    There are in me deep-seated difficulties with Protestant reaction to Catholic atrocities during and after the Reformation. They did not always turn the other cheek but let their bitterness seep into their writings.

    Likewise, Catholics let bitterness gain control, and you can read it clearly expressed in the sessions of the Council of Trent. The Thirty Years’ War was a bloodletting caused by this un-Christ-like internecine conflict.

    But both Westminster and Trent have some glorious spiritual moments. God doesn’t work through perfect people, and he never promised the church infallibility. Only Scripture is God-breathed. (And I don’t know what the heck you mean when you say Sola Scriptura is unworkable. Because it can be misused? Yeah, let’s throw out EVERYTHING that can be misused! I’m for that.)

    Oh, and by the way, unless Sola Scriptura is tied to a confession, it shouldn’t be called Sola Scriptura. It’s another animal entirely then.

  132. Hans, you mean to say that Sola Scriptura is workable when those who interpret the Bible believe what you believe. Your church is the only church that really knows how to interpret scripture correctly. You would say that those who don’t agree with you aren’t truly practicing Sola Scriptura.
    Hence, this is why Sola Scriptura is unworkable. Kevin believes in Sola Scriptura, and I bet you think he doesn’t practice it. He also believes in your anti-Catholic hate trope called the Westminster Confession and he takes it to heart more than you apparently do. He REALLY hates the Catholic Church. You are somewhat lukewarm.

  133. Rocky–

    You wrote:

    “I totally see ours as more mystery laden than yours. It IS spiritually mediated if by that you do not mean symbolic, which some in your camp actually do mean. Please tell me how you see the presence of Jesus there. Does his presence occur beside the bread rather than as the bread? Does it take flight before it enters the mouth or does it truly become part of the person who eats the bread? I really do not understand how you see it and you have not told me.”

    Anglicans and Lutherans and the Eastern Orthodox do very little to explain the Eucharist: they more or less leave it completely to mystery. Catholics feel they must spell everything out and then ostracize everyone who doesn’t agree with them.

    There are many poorly catechised Presbyterians who do hold to Memorialist (purely symbolic) beliefs concerning Communion. But Westminster doesn’t do this. True, Christ is not physically present (in a local sense) but is just as real to the believer “as the elements themselves” to his outward senses. In other words, just as real as anything else in this world. We don’t hold it to be locally physical because Christ is a physical resident of heaven. (Actually, this is true in Catholic dogma, as well. Christ is physically in heaven and only sacramentally present in the Eucharist.)

    For you, however, he is really present in more than one place at once. For us, we are either spiritually transported to heaven and into the very presence of Christ to feast (Calvin’s view), or the meal is mysteriously mediated by the Holy Spirit without further explanation.

    Catholics “eat” the glorified flesh of Christ in a bloodless sacrifice which does absolutely nothing to the integrity of his body. In no real sense do you rip, tear, or chew his flesh. In no real sense do you swallow or digest. As soon as bread is no longer discernible, he is no longer present (kind of like when that which is in reserve deteriorates, decays, or molds, it is no longer his body). So you cannot be physically nourished by his flesh and blood because by the time it reaches your cells, its chemistry is that of bread and wine. The benefit of the Eucharist for you is totally mystical, sacramental, spiritual. Fundamentally, there’s not that much difference between yours and ours. We both “participate in the divine” if only sacramentally.

  134. Mark–

    There are differences of opinion when it comes to philosophy, logic, theoretical mathematics, biology (the origin of life, evolution), history, political science, sociology, chemistry, psychology, anthropology, and climatology.

    Are you going to sit there and to tell me that all of the hard sciences and all of the social sciences are UNWORKABLE???

    If that’s how you feel, quit going to the dentist when your tooth aches and the doctor when your belly aches and a financial advisor when your money situation aches. We live ALL of the rest of our lives without infallibility. You need not only Scripture but also its interpretation to be spelled out for you to the n’th degree before you believe? It looks to me like Doubting Thomas and you are more or less in the same boat. The obsessive need for epistemic certainty. What did Jesus say about that?

    1. Hans, it is you that has to doubt because you don’t have infallible certainty. I do. It is interesting that you compare divinely revealed truth to science. I can understand that you not having infallibility makes you upset when someone claims that they have it. We have it because Jesus said it. “Whatever you bind on earth is bound in heaven and whatever you loose on earth is loosed in heaven.” Since God cannot bind a lie, what the Church teaches must be absolutely true with no error. This is the promise Jesus made. This is how I can reject what you teach about the Eucharist and know that the Church is true about what she teaches. It is backed up by the ECFs even though you (and Tim K) misinterprets them as well.

      While you MAY have more truth (or just different truths) than Kevin or Walt, you don’t have the full infallible truth, just like they don’t have infallible truth. When it comes to what is dogmatically true and what is opinion, you guys just might as well talk around each other because all you produce are your opinions. When the Catholic Church teaches dogmatically from the chair of Peter, I know it is Christ himself who is teaching. I don’t have to worry whether it is true according to my own interpretation or limited understanding (and I am very well educated).

  135. Mark,

    I have not read all of Hans comments about Sola Scriptura and what he is teaching you, but I have no idea where you are getting this opinion about Sola Scriptura and the church.

    “Hans, it is you that has to doubt because you don’t have infallible certainty. I do. It is interesting that you compare divinely revealed truth to science. I can understand that you not having infallibility makes you upset when someone claims that they have it. We have it because Jesus said it. “Whatever you bind on earth is bound in heaven and whatever you loose on earth is loosed in heaven.” Since God cannot bind a lie, what the Church teaches must be absolutely true with no error. This is the promise Jesus made. This is how I can reject what you teach about the Eucharist and know that the Church is true about what she teaches. It is backed up by the ECFs even though you (and Tim K) misinterprets them as well.”

    Presbyterians believe not only in church government, and that the Scripture, interpreted by the Church as long as it is in agreement to Scripture and based upon Scripture, is the authority to bind and loose. Further, our third Term of Communion is very clear:

    “That Presbyterial Church Government and manner of worship are alone of divine right and unalterable; and that the most perfect model of these as yet attained, is exhibited in the Form of Government and Directory for Worship, adopted by the Church of Scotland in the Second Reformation.”

    Therefore, Presbyterial Church Government and manner of worship are ALONE OF DIVINE RIGHT AND UNALTERABLE!

    This means based upon Scripture alone, the church has ruled that Presbyterianism is the ONLY AUTHORIZED form of church government and manner of worship.

    This is an inerrant comment from the church! Only Scripture is infallible, but the church (and you and I) can be inerrant when we say what is a biblical truth.

  136. Mark–

    Purported access to an esoteric, infallible knowledge of the “truth” is the bastion of gnostic cults everywhere. The fact that the Jehovah’s Witnesses claim such a charism and ban their followers from interacting with those who are merely Christian doesn’t make me jealous of the claim. It makes me pity them and long for their freedom from ill-conceived dogmatic captivity.

    You allude back to the OT household stewards and/or governmental viziers as a model of binding and loosing. But these men had absolutely no theological authority. Furthermore, neither Ancient Israelite Religion nor First nor Second Temple Judaism had anything analogous to the Catholic magisterium. You’re making things up out of whole cloth (which, by the way, is not considered sound exegesis by ANYBODY).

  137. “This means based upon Scripture alone, the church has ruled that Presbyterianism is the ONLY AUTHORIZED form of church government and manner of worship.”

    Except your church was founded 1,500+ years after Jesus founded the Catholic Church. Your church’s founder is John Knox. Your church is also not infallible. Christ didn’t set up two churches with two governments.

    Also, Sola Scriptura isn’t scriptural nor historical, so I reject it outright. Your interpretation of scripture is no better than the Lutherans, Anglicans, or Methodists.

    1. Mark wrote:

      “Except your church was founded 1,500+ years after Jesus founded the Catholic Church. Your church’s founder is John Knox. Your church is also not infallible. Christ didn’t set up two churches with two governments.

      Also, Sola Scriptura isn’t scriptural nor historical, so I reject it outright. Your interpretation of scripture is no better than the Lutherans, Anglicans, or Methodists.”

      Mark, I don’t think you understand the distinctions between the visible church in being and the invisible and faithful church in well-being.

      Your claim that the Roman Catholic Church as the founder of the visible Christian church is ok, if and only if, it were not considered to be THE Antichrist church.

      Tim has clearly and in excellent detail the history of your Roman Catholic religion. It is something visible, and very very recent in history of the true Church of Christ from Adam, Abraham, Moses, etc. You don’t seem to understand that Jesus Christ came to earth to fulfill Scripture as our Prophet, Priest and King and to fulfill the Covenant of Grace (between Him and His Father) and the Covenant of Redemption (between Him and His Elect). Your claim that the Roman Catholic Church is the true and faithful church of the elect is not supported in Scripture nor in historical testimony.

      Your claim to be the only true Christian church is only supported by your opinion, but you have no evidence. Your have no authority in Scripture, nor in history for such a claim. It would be the same if you claimed ownership to the Brooklyn Bridge we would require you to supply proof of ownership and title to the bridge. It is an impossible claim.

      The same with your claim to be the only true Church. There is no evidence of your title to the claim visibly. The only claim that has any evidence is that you are antichrist. It is detailed out in history and in Scripture visibly. Here we can clearly show title to this antichrist as Tim and many other Historicists have detailed from Scripture and history.

      You have claim to antichrist…this I do not dispute. You have no visible claim to the true Christian church. Your claim is filled with historical errors and false doctrines.

      Of course, you don’t see these differences. I’ve yet really to find in history any Roman Catholic that has any serious intellect on this subject except for those who have left the religion and dug deep for themselves into your claims. Those who blindly follow your religion really are lost and it is very unfortunate. I know first hand as I saw it growing up where all my Roman Catholic friends (just like me) were blind to both Scripture and history. I was a fruit of this deception for many years, and my parents were as well.

      It is really sad, but now I have Christ alone who has saved me from this deception, and removed the blinders on my eyes, and allowed me to see your Roman Catholic church for what it is.

      The Early Church fathers saw it developing in Rome, and started to speak out against it, then Antichrist raised her heavy hand to murder millions who spoke against her, and then the reformers (all former Roman Catholic Priests), saw it more clearly when Scriptures were printed and shared with the people.

      Follow the history of the Scriptures Mark, and there you will follow the true Church and the elect who preserved it from Satan and the Roman Catholic Antichrist.

  138. Hans, JWs were founded in 1870 by Charles Taze Russell. It’s funny that you talk about the JWs because they were founded quite recently just as was the Presbyterian church.

  139. Mark–

    You claim to be highly educated, and yet you repetitively “table pound” straight dogma. In my experience, “highly educated” people don’t behave in such a manner.

    1. Hans, do you believe everything your denomination teaches? Walt has already shown that the Presbyterian church claims exclusivity for church governance. From your previous posts it seems you embrace this “table pounding” dogma from your church.

      I think it is precisely because I am highly educated that I can affirm that I don’t “check my brain at the door”. I see how the Church is faithful not only to Scripture, but also hasn’t changed on moral issues since the first century. Only the Catholic Church is pro-life, unlike the Presbyterian church which is only pro-birth, and that not across all congregational lines.

      Post Vatican II Catholicism? The same as Vatican I Catholicism. The same as Tridentine Catholicism. The same as Nicaean Catholicism. No dogmas have been rejected since VII Hans, NONE!

  140. Hans said:

    “You claim to be highly educated, and yet you repetitively “table pound” straight dogma. In my experience, “highly educated” people don’t behave in such a manner.”

    It is clear that Mark makes a lot of claims. I don’t think I have ever witnessed an individual make more unfounded, unproven claims as Mark Rome. He is really the perfect example of what I witness coming out of Roman Catholics generally. They make so many broad and bold claims, but not 1 in 1 billion are able to support these claims with truth and evidence.

    They win the court of public opinion, but when it comes to this site here which is filled with facts, evidence and source documents they are left only to scream “hate” and “anti-Protestant” propaganda to win over their followers.

    It is interesting how the only 2 Catholic blogs I attempted to join a couple years ago I was blocked immediately when trying to express a counter view as a former Roman Catholic. Tim however let’s these guys continue to spew hatred and false claims day after day protecting their right to at least be heard.

    Roman Catholics are generally anti-toleration for anyone who disagrees with the Pope, and will silence you for such views. At least here we can challenge the lonely Roman Catholic who dares to come on this site looking to apologize for Rome.

  141. Mark–

    The RCC’s claim to be the one true church is predicated on her infallibility. And yet this infallibility cannot be demonstrated. Too many fallacies, mistakes, conflicts, hypocrisies, and errors. When it comes to theology, you have a decent record of consistency, but your lack of perfection makes it all for naught. Don’t place the bar so high when you know you can’t clear it!

  142. Walt-

    Anyone who disagrees with WHICH pope? (They’re all so different. The anti-modernism of St. Pius X vs. the modernism of St. John XXIII. The metaphysical and creative soul of St. John Paul the Great vs. the academic stodginess of Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI. And then there’s Francis….)

  143. Walt–

    Both sides are way too prickly if you ask me. I’ve been on Catholic sites that treated me with a lot of respect and gave me a good deal of leeway.

    And then there are sites like C2C where all non-Catholics (including the Orthodox) get regularly slapped around. It’s one of the nastiest sites on the interwebs, as far as I’m concerned, despite its academic rigor and close oversight. It tortures Protestant guests in a “civilized” fashion, ceaselessly congratulating itself for its tolerance as it smarmily tap-tap-taps itself on the back.

    The problem, of course, is that so much more could be accomplished with a little good faith and humility. Everyone is constantly having to smooth over ruffled feathers. Or trying to elicit a simple, straightforward answer instead of a dodge.

    Too many are busy “scoring points” or preening themselves before all the supposed lurkers. Too few care a lick about the actual truth.

    1. Hans said:

      “Both sides are way too prickly if you ask me. I’ve been on Catholic sites that treated me with a lot of respect and gave me a good deal of leeway.”

      I would not disagree with this as I think anyone who is so compromising on the truth is going to be tolerated by many in the Roman Catholic Church. Toleration is something that Cromwell and the Independents adopted for all sects except for those who held to their positions at pain of death. The Covenanters did not promote toleration, but they promoted accommodation for those who struggled with weaknesses. There is a big difference between the toleration of error, and the accommodation of weakness.

      Further, the idea that we all have liberty of conscience or freedom of conscience to teach, promote and practice every form of idolatry and wickedness is nowhere found in Scripture. The bible itself and God’s truth is the foundation for all men’s conscience. Rutherford, Gillespie and others attacked this theory of freedom of conscience as promoted by the Independents and Erastians calling it their “pretended liberty of conscience”.

      It our terms of communion, and Covenants, we believe in true unity of doctrine, discipline, form of worship and government; not a false unity to agree with our enemies to “get along with each other for the sake of Christian love” and the standard “let’s just agree to disagree out of Christian love for each other”. In other words, you go ahead and preach false doctrines and false worship, and as long as you leave me alone to preach my false doctrines and false worship we will be loving brothers and sisters in the Lord. There is no truth, only conjecture and we all have freedom to believe what we want to believe as long as we don’t physically harm each other.

      Soul murder and destroying a persons mind does not count as long as we don’t touch that person physically….we are all good Christians and let’s all agree that 40,000 denominations are just fine for Jesus loves me this I know.

      Mark is right on one point. The so called protestant denominations (how many their are nobody knows) are all adopting many errors of Rome and all have this same spirit of toleration and freedom on conscience to let’s just agree in love to disagree.

      Until someone steps forward to challenge the theory, and promote true liberty of conscience and then they want them off the blog, and them to be silenced.

      Again, I’ve read you enough to know that you would be just fine on all sorts of Roman Catholic blogs. In comparison, John Knox, Luther, Calvin and other reformers would not last an hour.

  144. Sorry, Mark, but no, I don’t.

    I have been the recipient of many a Catholic diatribe on the subject. (Besides, I’m highly educated!)

    By the way, the fact that you’re Catholic in no way qualifies you to pontificate on Catholicism. It doesn’t make you an expert, and my Protestantism doesn’t make me an ignoramus.

  145. Hans, when you say things like, “Too many fallacies, mistakes, conflicts, hypocrisies, and errors. ” it just screams you don’t understand infallibility.
    You really need to follow the Catholic Church’s definition of infallibility instead of what you THINK it means.

    1. Mark says:

      “You really need to follow the Catholic Church’s definition of infallibility instead of what you THINK it means.”

      Who cares what the Roman Catholic Churches definition of infallibility really is? What matters is what is the Bible’s definition of infallibility and where in Scripture do we find this doctrine being granted to any mere mortal or “pope”. Nowhere.

      Therefore, the subject is closed and any mere man’s claim they have the authority to sit in the church of God and claim authority to alter, change, amend and refine the Scriptures and Word of God (as God) is clearly defined as Antichrist.

      Welcome to the world of Papal Antichrist for those who claim infallibility to speak anything contrary to God.

  146. Mark–

    Why are you baiting me? Is that what substitutes for integrity in your fanciful little world?

    The Catholic definition:

    “Exemption or immunity from liability to error or failure; in particular in theological usage, the supernatural prerogative by which the Church of Christ is, by a special Divine assistance, preserved from liability to error in her definitive dogmatic teaching regarding matters of faith and morals.”

    Of course, no Catholic worth his or her salt will ever allow themselves to be pinned down. Nothing is ever “definitive” enough. And though it says faith AND morals, morals are routinely negated so as to justify Rome’s longtime ups and downs and random meanderings on slavery and Erastianism and torture and religious freedom and capital punishment and wars of religion and so on and so on.

    By the way, what’s YOUR position on EENS?

  147. Walt–

    I guess some speaks the truth in love, and some just speaks….

    Who led you to believe that uncompromising faith required one to be so harsh? It doesn’t allow you to be even one iota more convincing. Heaven help us if Luther or Calvin or Knox is our designated model of decorum rather than simply our model of theological discernment!

    I’ve drawn my share of abuse on Catholic blogs. Does that somehow ameliorate my standing in your eyes? We should all be judged on the soundness of our arguments…and on our faithfulness to our Lord and to the Word written. The confessions are supposed to be forever subject to emendation. Sola reformanda. But you appear to prioritize them over Scripture. Sola confessio.

    Show me, if you dare, how presbyterian church government is drawn by good and NECESSARY consequence from Scripture.

    You are as pedantically dogmatic as they are!

    (Without going into irrelevant micro organizations, there are only a few hundred Protestant denominations. Not that it matters. There are still way too many. But we should start speaking truthfully for a change. Besides, it can easily be maintained that such diversity is, in a certain way, a good thing. Having a range from very good to very bad groups allows the “creme de la creme” to stand out. There’s even Scripture that intimates such a concept. Too tired at the moment. Get it later.)

  148. Rocky–

    As I said earlier, we both agree that the elements of bread and wine are transformed into the body and blood of our Lord. What we disagree on is whether or not the substance of the bread and wine disappear in that transformation . Your job will be to prove that disappearance from the writings of the Early Church Fathers.

    Are you ready yet?

  149. Mark–

    My analogy using the scientific method to describe theological inquiry was meant to encompass things like the building of consensus among the faithful…somewhat like scientific peer review builds consensus in any particular field of empirical endeavor. (In almost every other sense, the two are incredibly different, especially since one sticks almost exclusively to the material world while the other explores the supernatural.)

    An ecumenical document between the Anglican Communion and the Roman Catholics says this on the concept of Church Authority:

    “In every Christian who is seeking to be faithful to Christ and is fully incorporated into the life of the church, there is a sensus fidei. This sensus fidei may be described as an active capacity for spiritual discernment, an intuition that is formed by worshipping and living in communion as a faithful member of the church. . . The exercise of the sensus fidei by each member of the church contributes to the formation of the sensus fidelium through which the church as a whole remains faithful to Christ.”

    (This is not from an “authoritative declaration” by Rome…although it was co-written by Catholics.)

    For me, the Holy Spirit does not communicate confusion. Moreover, “the faithful” are not found only (or mainly or perhaps even at all) within the confines of the jurisdiction of Rome. I believe there is a great deal of consensus among Christians of good will. Humble Christians. Generous Christians. Converted Christians (those who have made their faith their own rather than merely inherited it).

    We build consensus employing thorough, accurate exegesis of Scripture interpreted within sound hermeneutical principles. We build it through the study of history and archeology. Through familiarizing ourselves with the Early Church Fathers and Apostolic Tradition. Through the insights of theologians and clergy and laity…across time, in every land, from every people.

    Then and only then…if with all your heart you truly seek him, you will ever surely find him. Christians need each other. We cannot close each other off without good cause.

    Was it you or Rocky who dismissed the Westminster Confession as graceless? From the depths of my heart, I pity you if that is your conclusion. Nothing in all my experience is more grace-filled than Reformed soteriology. Nothing comes close. I’m a Christian because of it. It is the foundation of my relationship with Christ, my union with him. He who disparages Sola Fide, disparages my faith. He disparages my Christ. I don’t see how we can have any meaningful fellowship together. You have sullied that which is most precious to me. You are outside of any potential consensus I can conjure up in my head. I would like to include you, but I don’t see how. Our beliefs are too different.

    Nevertheless, I refuse to close you off. For my part, I will ever beckon you towards the truth. Even hardened individuals can be softened through the unifying efforts of our compassionate Holy Spirit.

  150. HANS,

    SOME FUNDAMENTAL ISSUES

    ROCKY: I have a very positive gut reaction to those Protestants who declare there is a REAL and TRUE Jesus Christ present in our Eucharistic Communion that truly brings to us sanctifying grace. And THIS MUST preclude any airy fairy symbolic aspect that is somehow ONLY efficacious to the partaker via his faith connection to Jesus and HIS salvific action on the cross. In other words no Real Presence.

    For those Protestants, I presume like yourself who believe in some kind of literal Real Presence, that is a profound start but there IS a problem here. I would be remiss if I did not point out that we have evidence that the authority of consecration of the bread and wine that calls to the Holy Spirit that brings about His Presence, is only possible by those who have been ordained to that ministry by the Laying of Hands.

    This is why I tried to form a dialogue based on the fundamentals, like the God-given (scripture-filled) instruction on a REAL church organization and authority. AND WITH THAT ALSO comes the power to convey the sacramental life. Real sanctifying grace!

    The bible shows the apostles formed a church with bishops and priests by the laying on of hands. Scripture on the Laying ON OF Hands is abundant and clear.

    The Catholic Church (and Orthodox) defended Real Presence Eucharistic faith from the very beginning of the Church. The intent or outcome of the protestant revolt was manifold but one main thrust was to deny Jesus in or as the consecrated bread and wine of our Eucharistic communion gathering. HANS can you imagine that something as grave as this would come from a God-blessed rebellion. Nope! Not if the outcome was to remove Jesus and the life of grace from our faith gatherings in this way. Who benefits from that? Only the enemies of God and man benefit.

    I had intended on building up to the Early Church Fathers on Real Presence by starting with some basic discussion on OT passages and then on to John 6 etc but something else came along to divert that as usual. So I will offer the following:

    IGNATIUS OF ANTIOCH @35 to @108 AD The holy martyr.
    Apostolic Father (ECF), student of the Apostle John, and the third bishop of Antioch. Theodoret of Cyrrhus reported that Simon-Peter himself left directions that Ignatius be appointed to the episcopal see of Antioch.

    See http://www.newadvent.org/fathers/0123.htm for the amazing details of his Martyrdom.

    He wrote several amazing letters to various churches while being taken to Rome where he was immediately taken the Circus Maximus amphitheatre and devoured by wild beasts for the amusement of the masses.

    LETTER IGNATIUS to the SMYRNAEANS
    http://www.newadvent.org/fathers/0109.htm

    TESTIMONY ON HERESIES Chapter 4 to 8

    CHAPTER 7 (excerpt on the Eucharist)
    ‘They abstain from the Eucharist and from prayer, because they confess not the Eucharist to be the flesh of our Saviour Jesus Christ, which suffered for our sins, and which the Father, of His goodness, raised up again. Those, therefore, who speak against this gift of God, incur death in the midst of their disputes. But it were better for them to treat it with respect, that they also might rise again.’

    CHAPTER 8 (excerpt on BISHOPS and PRIESTS, EUCHARIST and “CAHTOLIC” CHURCH
    ‘See that you all follow the bishop, even as Jesus Christ does the Father, and the presbytery as you would the apostles; and reverence the deacons, as being the institution of God. Let no man do anything connected with the Church without the bishop. Let that be deemed a proper Eucharist, which is [administered] either by the bishop, or by one to whom he has entrusted it. Wherever the bishop shall appear, there let the multitude [of the people] also be; even as, wherever Jesus Christ is, there is the Catholic Church. It is not lawful without the bishop either to baptize or to celebrate a love-feast; but whatsoever he shall approve of, that is also pleasing to God, so that everything that is done may be secure and valid.’

    CHAPTER 9 (excerpt on Obedience to Gods Ordained servants– APOSTOLIC SUCCIESSION)
    ‘Moreover, it is in accordance with reason that we should return to soberness [of conduct], and, while yet we have opportunity, exercise repentance towards God. It is well to reverence both God and the bishop. He who honours the bishop has been honoured by God; he who does anything without the knowledge of the bishop, does [in reality] serve the devil.’

    ROCKY: Ignatius is clear on the Eucharist and on authority and on succession and the need for a validly ordained man of God to bring to his people a “proper” (consecrated) Eucharistic communion. Ignatius and all the ECFs and the unwritten words and example of the apostle form much of our sacred tradition. To shake that off is to shake Christ’s intent off.

    1. Rocky
      As with the Eucharist, the Catholic understanding of authority and succession is so clear in the writings of the ECF. Hopefully Walt won’t consider this hate speech but note the comments from Cyprian which simply reinforce Ignatius’s comments.

      Cyprian of Carthage Epistle 75 par 3 [200-270 AD]
      3. Wherefore, since the Church alone has the living water, and the power of baptizing and cleansing man, he who says that any one can be baptized and sanctified by Novatian must first show and teach that Novatian is in the Church or presides over the Church. For the Church is one, and as she is one, cannot be both within and without. For if she is with Novatian, she was not with Cornelius. But if she was with Cornelius, who succeeded the bishop Fabian by lawful ordination, and whom, beside the honour of the priesthood, the Lord glorified also with martyrdom, Novatian is not in the Church; nor can he be reckoned as a bishop, who, succeeding to no one, and despising the evangelical and apostolic tradition, sprang from himself. For he who has not been ordained in the Church can neither have nor hold to the Church in any way.
      Cyprian of Carthage epistle 74 par 16 (200-270 ad)
      But what is the greatness of his error, and what the depth of his blindness, who says that remission of sins can be granted in the synagogues of heretics, and does not abide on the foundation of the one Church which was once based by Christ upon the rock, may be perceived from this, that Christ said to Peter alone, “Whatsoever thou shall bind on earth shall be bound in heaven, and whatsoever thou shall loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.” And again, in the Gospel, when Christ breathed on the apostles alone, saying, remitted unto them, and whose soever sins ye retain they are retained.” Therefore the power of remitting sins was given to the apostles, and to the churches which they, sent by Christ, established, and to the bishops who succeeded to them by vicarious ordination. But the enemies of the one Catholic Church in which we are, and the adversaries of us who have succeeded the apostles, asserting for themselves, in opposition to us, unlawful priesthoods, and setting up profane altars, what else are they than Korah, Dathan, and Abiram, profane with a like wickedness, and about to suffer the same punishments which they did, as well as those who agree with them, just as their partners and abettors perished with a like death to theirs?
      Cyprian of Carthage epistle 68 par 4 (200-270 ad)
      Christ, who says to the apostles, and thereby to all chief rulers, who by vicarious ordination succeed to the apostles: “He that heareth you, heareth me; and he that heareth me, heareth Him that sent me; and he that despiseth you, despiseth me, and Him that sent me.” (lk 10:16)
      Cyprian of Carthage epistle 67 par 5 (200-270 ad)
      For which reason you must diligently observe and keep the practice delivered from divine tradition and apostolic observance, which is also maintained among us, and almost throughout all the provinces; that for the proper celebration of ordinations all the neighbouring bishops of the same province should assemble with that people for which a prelate is ordained.
      Cyprian of Carthage epistle 14 par 2 (200-270 ad)
      I wrote letters in which I recalled by my advice, as much as possible, the martyrs and confessors to the Lord’s commands. To the presbyters and deacons also was not wanting the vigour of the priesthood; so that some, too little mindful of discipline, and hasty, with a rash precipitation, who had already begun to communicate with the lapsed, were restrained by my interposition.
      Cyprian of Carthage epistle 2 par 1 (200-270 ad)
      We have been informed by Crementius the sub-deacon, who came to us from you, that the blessed father Cyprian has for a certain reason withdrawn; “in doing which he acted quite rightly, because he is a person of eminence, and because a conflict is impending,” which God has allowed in the world, for the sake of cooperating with His servants in their struggle against the adversary
      Cyprian of Carthage epistle 30 par 5 (200-270 ad)
      However, what you also have yourself declared in so important a matter, is satisfactory to us, that the peace of the Church must first be maintained; then, that an assembly for counsel being gathered together, with bishops, presbyters, deacons, and confessors, as well as with the laity who stand fast, we should deal with the case of the lapsed
      Cyprian of Carthage epistle 67 par 2 (200-270 ad)
      On which account it is fitting, that with full diligence and sincere investigation those should be chosen for God’s priesthood whom it is manifest God will hear.
      Cyprian of Carthage epistle 54 par 14 (200-270 ad)
      After such things as these, moreover, they still dare–a false bishop having been appointed for them by, heretics–to set sail and to bear letters from schismatic and profane persons to the throne of Peter, and to the chief church whence priestly unity takes its source; and not to consider that these were the Romans whose faith was praised in the preaching of the apostle, to whom faithlessness could have no access.

      1. Timothy P,

        You, like Rocky, have simply cut & paste without consideration of context.

        You cite Epistles 74 and 75 as supporting Ignatius’ view of understanding of authority and succession, and yet Epistles 74 and 75 were written against “pope” Stephen’s practices, and in 74, Firmilian states emphatically that “they who are at Rome [“pope” Stephen!] do not observe those things in all cases which are handed down from the beginning, and vainly pretend the authority of the apostles.” How does that support Ignatius’ view that we must always be in unity with the bishop? How does that support authority and apostolic succession?

        You cite Epistle 67 as if it supported Ignatius’ statements that we must do all things in union with the bishop, and yet in that epistle, the people of Spain had written to Cyprian to inform him that they had kicked out their bishops. Tellingly, Cyprian said they didn’t even need his approval for such a drastic action, since the Scriptures instructed them sufficiently on the importance of removing of unworthy bishops: “not so much our counsels as the divine precepts reply” and “these things are announced and are made plain to us, it is necessary that our obedience should wait upon the divine precepts.” How, indeed, does that “simply reinforce Ignatius’s comments”?

        You cite Epistle 30 as if it reinforced your views of the Roman hierarchy, and fail to notice that it was a letter from the Roman Clergy to Cyprian after they had sought Cyprian’s advice on the latest controversies. In the absence of a bishop of Rome, and even with other people advising that one be elected at the earliest convenience, the clergy at Rome had deferred to Cyprian’s judgment and simply decided to leave the see vacant until some later time. They do not appear disturbed in the least that they are denying to the world its “Chief Shepherd,” for “Pope Cyprian” had spoken and “what you also have yourself declared in so important a matter, is satisfactory to us.” That doesn’t sound like the clergy at Rome were that convinced that their unity and purity depended on being in union with the Bishop of Rome, and nothing at all like Ignatius’ sentiments, “Let no man do anything connected with the Church without the bishop.” They didn’t even seem to think they needed a bishop even in the midst of a crisis in which important matters needed to be discussed. All they needed was to get together with the rest of the bishops of the world to make a reasonable decision on what to do about the lapsed.

        You cite Epistle 54 as if it supported you, and yet in that Epistle Cyprian warns (warns!) the Roman Church not to take up the appeal of the African bishops, for their case had already been judged in Africa, and an appeal to Rome was invalid. The judgment of an African court was sufficient. He also insists that his letters be read to the congregation at Rome so that “if any contagion of envenomed speech and of pestilent propagation has crept in there, it may be all purged out of the ears and of the hearts of the brethren.” That does not support you at all.

        You can’t just cut and paste, Timothy P. There is context that has to be considered, and context matters.

        Best,

        Tim

        1. Let’s take one epistle at a time and see if the context changes the meanings of the quotes. Timothy K, you wrote

          “Now considering epistle 30 You cite Epistle 30 as if it reinforced your views of the Roman hierarchy, and fail to notice that it was a letter from the Roman Clergy to Cyprian after they had sought Cyprian’s advice on the latest controversies”.
          Now let’s see, was the Roman hierarchy writing Cyprian for his advise or where they responding to a letter from Cyprian seeking their advise. I am going to post Epistle 29 and I find it interesting the tone the Roman hierarchy uses in addressing Cyprian. Then we can discuss both epistles, fair enough?
          And by the way Timothy K, I think you have about a half dozen of my post held under moderation. Would you mind releasing the rest of them?

          1. Timothy P, you wrote,

            Let’s take one epistle at a time and see if the context changes the meanings of the quotes.

            No, Timothy P, let’s not. Instead, let’s do something to which you are not accustomed: simply respond to my argument plainly. In an attempt to change the subject, you cited only a fragment of my observation, and left off the specific point I made. Namely, that people had pressured the congregation at Rome to hurry up and select a bishop, and they said, No—there are too many other pressing issues at hand, and we can’t get to it right now. That is in direct opposition to Ignatius’ precept, “Let no man do anything connected with the Church without the bishop.” And yet you cited Epistle 30 as if it “simply reinforce[d] Ignatius’s comments.” How on earth can “We have no plans to appoint a bishop until we deal with other pressing matters first” reinforce “Let no man do anything connected with the Church without the bishop.” It does not.

            A very simple, straightforward answer to my comment is “Yes, as it turns out, the congregation at Rome intended to take some very serious matters into hand without a presiding bishop, and on its face, it appears to be a violation of Ignatius’ precept that you must do nothing without the bishop, and therefore Epistle 30 does not really “reinforce” Ignatius’ statement.”

            In their respective contexts, I don’t believe Ignatius’ precept is universal and literal, and therefore it does not support your view of a Roman hierarchy. Also, what the congregation at Rome did was not necessarily wrong, for it was common in the first three centuries for the dispersed congregations to rely upon one another for support, guidance and instruction. In short, the picture of the confraternity of bishops in the early church lacked the one thing you need for your religion to be valid: Roman episcopal primacy.

            The reason this is presented to you in this manner is because in response to Rocky’s cut and paste decontextualization of Ignatius, you simply went to the “practical apologetics blogspot” and cut and paste a decontextualization of Cyprian and his correspondence with Rome—without even thinking about the context in which the words were written.

            To your observation,

            “Now let’s see, was the Roman hierarchy writing Cyprian for his advise or where they responding to a letter from Cyprian seeking their advise.”

            Yes, indeed, let’s. You wanted to paste Epistle 29, which is also from the Roman clergy, and even yet without a presiding bishop! What were they responding to? Epistle 28 from Cyprian. Here in its entirety is Epistle 28. What you will note is that there is not so much as a hint of a request from Cyprian for advice from Rome:

            Epistle 28
            To the Presbyters and Deacons Abiding at Rome.

            Argument.— The Roman Clergy are Informed of the Temerity of the Lapsed Who Were Demanding Peace.

            Cyprian to the presbyters and deacons abiding at Rome, his brethren, greeting. Both our common love and the reason of the thing demand, beloved brethren, that I should keep back from your knowledge nothing of those matters which are transacted among us, that so we may have a common plan for the advantage of the administration of the Church. For after I wrote to you the letter which I sent by Saturus the reader, and Optatus the sub-deacon, the combined temerity of certain of the lapsed, who refuse to repent and to make satisfaction to God, wrote to me, not asking that peace might be given to them, but claiming it as already given; because they say that Paulus has given peace to all, as you will read in their letter of which I have sent you a copy, as well as what I briefly replied to them in the meantime. But that you may also know what sort of a letter I afterwards wrote to the clergy, I have, moreover, sent you a copy of this. But if, after all, their temerity should not be repressed either by my letters or by yours, and should not yield to wholesome counsels, I shall take such proceedings as the Lord, according to His Gospel, has enjoined to be taken. I bid you, beloved brethren, ever heartily farewell.

            No request for advice. Simply a statement that he plans to act on his own if the lapsed do not yield to wholesome counsels.

            You asked,

            “And by the way Timothy K, I think you have about a half dozen of my post held under moderation. Would you mind releasing the rest of them?”

            I have no plans to release them from moderation. You have shown repeatedly that you cannot sustain an intellectual discussion, and are unable to respond to plain statements and questions, but repeatedly try to switch to another topic and avoid the crux of the matter. I have neither the time nor the patience for your nonsense.

            Best regards,

            Tim

    2. Rocky,

      As is typical, you cite Ignatius without regard to context. Do you even know what heresy he was refuting in his letter? How might the specifics of that specific heresy weigh on Ignatius’ meaning? Does it even matter to you? Roman Catholics lay down citations from Ignatius without considering context and assume that they have proven early belief in the physical presence of Christ in the eucharist. Far from it.

      Ignatius was refuting those who believe that Jesus did not really take on flesh. And if He did not take on flesh, then he was a phantom, nothing more, and thus it made no sense for Jesus to use actual physical objects as figures for a body the heretics claimed He did not have. The heretics were therefore inconsistent, for even the heretics acknowledged that Jesus said “This is my body.” Tertullian reasoned similarly against the same heresy. Notice that while Tertullian insists that Jesus made the bread “His own body” by the words, “This is My body,” he knew very well that it had been “made His body” in figure only, “that is, the figure of my body.” Roman Catholics cite Jesus’ words at the Last Supper and say, “where did Jesus say ‘This is a figure of my body’?, as if that settled the matter. But in context, that is precisely how the early church understood His words, and there is nothing in the Scriptural account to persuade me otherwise. Tertullian was emphatic not about the alleged “real presence of Christ” in the Eucharist but rather that the figure was, appropriately, solid matter—which alone refuted the heretics, for a solid figure was wildly inappropriate as a figure for the phantom the heretics believed Him to be:

      “Then, having taken the bread and given it to His disciples, He made it His own body, by saying, “This is my body,” that is, the figure of my body. A figure, however, there could not have been, unless there were first a veritable body. An empty thing, or phantom, is incapable of a figure. If, however, (as Marcion might say,) He pretended the bread was His body, because He lacked the truth of bodily substance, it follows that He must have given bread for us. It would contribute very well to the support of Marcion’s theory of a phantom body, that bread should have been crucified! But why call His body bread, and not rather (some other edible thing, say) a melon, which Marcion must have had in lieu of a heart! He did not understand how ancient was this figure of the body of Christ, who said Himself by Jeremiah: “I was like a lamb or an ox that is brought to the slaughter, and I knew not that they devised a device against me, saying, Let us cast the tree upon His bread,” which means, of course, the cross upon His body.” (Tertullian, Against Marcion, Book IV, Chapter 40)

      Roman Catholics miss that subtlety in the reasoning of the early church and impose “real presence” and “transubstantiation” on their language, completely apart from context.

      Ignatius was refuting the same heretics, as anyone can see if they simply read the whole epistle in the context in which he wrote it. To deny “the Eucharist to be the flesh of our Saviour Jesus Christ,” was simply to deny Jesus’ own affirmation that He had a physical body, for if He did not have a physical body, then he would not have used a physical object as a figure for it, and would not have have said of the figure, “This is my body.” So, no, your citation from chapter 7 of the letter to the Smyrnæans does not prove anything about Ignatius’ alleged belief in the “real presence”.

      As to your other citations, they would be helpful to you if they insisted that nothing be done apart from the bishop of Rome, but they say nothing of the sort. In fact, in his letter to the Romans, he insists that in his absence, Jesus alone will be the shepherd over his church in Antioch (Ignatius of Antioch, to the Romans, chapter 9). In other words, Ignatius did not believe the next person above him in the hierarchy of the church was the Bishop of Rome. It was Jesus Christ. What you need is a citation that nothing be done apart from the Bishop of Rome, and for that, you’ll have to wait until the latter part of the 4th century.

      In any case, your statement that “Ignatius is clear on the Eucharist and on … the need for a validly ordained man of God to bring to his people a “proper” (consecrated) Eucharistic communion,” is flatly untrue. Ignatius said in the very letter, “Let that be deemed a proper Eucharist, which is [administered] either by the bishop, or by one to whom he has entrusted it” (Chapter 8). As you know, back in those days, anyone was allowed to take the communion bread to other people who were absent. As it says in Memoriale Domini, the Instruction on the Manner of Administering Holy Communion, “in the earliest period” even the unordained were allowed to bring the bread to others:

      “It is true that, according to ancient usage, it was once permitted for the faithful … in the earliest period, to carry the holy Sacrament with them from the place of celebration… The office of bringing the Eucharist to those who were absent was soon entrusted to sacred ministers alone…”

      Now if “in the earliest period,” it was acceptable for the unordained “to bring to his people” the Eucharist, and even in Basil’s day, that was still being practiced…

      “All the solitaries [hermits] in the desert, where there is no priest, take the communion themselves, keeping communion at home” (Basil, To the Patrician Cæasaria, concerning Communion, Letter XCIII).

      .. and Ignatius says the communion must be administered either by the Bishop “or by one to whom he has entrusted it,” it is simply your own interpolation that makes Ignatius to say that “Ignatius is clear on … the need for a validly ordained man of God to bring to his people a “proper” (consecrated) Eucharistic communion.”

      Well, Ignatius is clear, I’ll grant you, just not the way you think he is. Are we to celebrate the Lord’s Supper the way it was instituted? Yes. Are we to practice it as the apostles did? Yes. Are we to honor church leaders? Yes. Are we to study the Scriptures in order to be on guard against those who would deceive us? Yes. All of this is what the Scriptures teach us. There is nothing in Ignatius’ letter that suggests otherwise. In fact, my studied rejection of your novelties is exactly what Ignatius instructed, for he said,

      “For some are in the habit of carrying about the name [of Jesus Christ] in wicked guile, while yet they practise things unworthy of God, whom you must flee as you would wild beasts. For they are ravening dogs, who bite secretly, against whom you must be on your guard, inasmuch as they are men who can scarcely be cured.” (to the Ephesians, Chapter 7)

      and,

      “For those [that are given to this] mix up Jesus Christ with their own poison, speaking things which are unworthy of credit, like those who administer a deadly drug in sweet wine, which he who is ignorant of does greedily take, with a fatal pleasure leading to his own death. Be on your guard, therefore, against such persons…” (to the Trallians, chapters 6 & 7)

      “Study, therefore, to be established in the doctrines of the Lord and the apostles” (to the Magnesians, Chapter 13)

      But what Ignatius does not suggest is what you call the “real presence” in the Eucharist, or the primacy of the bishop of Rome and the novel religion to which you subscribe.

      All you really have is your claim that Roman Catholicism is the one holy catholic apostolic church—a claim that is allegedly to be received and attested on its own authority—and I deny that it has any such authority. I can find no evidence for it in Scripture or in the early church. Say what you like, but the alleged apostolicity and continuity of your religion is simply a figment of your imagination, and as much as you’d like it to be so, Ignatius simply does not help you at all.

      Thanks,

      Tim

      1. Tim K., I agree that context is important and I think it is you that has taken Ignatius and co-mingled him with Tertullian to eisegete your ideas.

        Ignatius was rejecting the Gnostics as you said. You got that part right. However, you then went on to say that Ignatius said that the Eucharist was a figure of Christ’s body and he never said that. Ignatius said, “They abstain from the Eucharist and from prayer, because they confess not the Eucharist to be the flesh of our Saviour Jesus Christ, which suffered for our sins, and which the Father, of His goodness, raised up again. ”

        Did you catch that?- “the Eucharist to be the flesh.” He never said figure. Clearly he is rejecting the Gnostics but also explaining that you have to believe Christ really had flesh. The Gnostics refused to eat the Eucharist because the Catholic Church taught it was the Lord’s body which they didn’t believe He had.

        Now to Tertullian. Again CONTEXT, as you would say. Yes, he was also fighting heresy. Tertullian very much believed in the Real Presence as we see in other places in his writing. (On the Resurrection of the Flesh (ca. AD 200), chapter 8, On Prayer, Of Stations (Fasting), chapter 19, On Modesty, chapter 9). He wasn’t denying the Real Presence in this letter. When he uses the term “figure” it is the same as “appearances” “or sign” “or symbol”. The Catechism also calls the Eucharist a sign or symbol, but it isn’t only a sign or symbol. Marcion didn’t believe Christ had a real body so it makes sense that he believed that Christ pretended the bread was His body.

        Both Tertullian and Ignatius fully support the Real Presence of Christ in the Eucharist. This is why you need to read the Bible and the ECFs in the CONTEXT of the Catholic Church since the Bible comes from the Catholic Church and the ECFs were Catholic.

        1. Mark, you wrote,

          “Did you catch that?- “the Eucharist to be the flesh.” He never said figure.”

          He also said “faith” is the flesh of the Lord and “love” is the blood of the Lord. (To the Trallians, Chapter 8) Did you catch that? The early church fathers literally believed that faith is flesh and love is blood!!

          He also said heretics don’t exist—they only seem to exist (to the Trallians, chapter 10). Did you catch that? The early church literally believed there were no such things as heretics!

          He also said “I am the wheat of God” (to the Romans, Chapter 4). Did you catch that? The early church literally believed that people were wheat. Wheat! Literally!!!

          He said a lot of things, Mark. I read them in the context in which he wrote them.

          You also wrote,

          “This is why you need to read the Bible and the ECFs in the CONTEXT of the Catholic Church”

          Mark, I need to read the ECFs in the context of the ECFs. That’s exactly what I do. I don’t need Roman Catholicism to sort this out for me.

          Thanks,

          Tim

          1. Tim K., faith and love are mental constructs so it is easy to see how he isn’t speaking literally here. You really aren’t being true to Ignatius if this is all you have.
            Do you also believe that Jesus was the literal bread that came down from heaven? I know one Prot who LOVES to constantly say this.
            Do you believe that his body was only symbolically on the cross? Jesus said His flesh is the bread that He will give for the life of the world, then you reject the bread He spoke of as just symbolic. Are you the final arbiter of what is symbolic and literal? The disciples who left Jesus knew He wasn’t speaking symbolically.

            And this discussion is a great example of exactly WHY we need the Church to interpret things. The ECFs were unanimous about the Real Presence in the Eucharist. Finding apparent contradictions is like what the atheist does to the Bible to try to show that it isn’t inspired.

          2. Hey, Rocky, just stick with Ignatius’ words, ok? He literally did not believe heretics even exist! He said they only seem to exist. Did you catch that? They only seem to exist.

            Oh, Rocky, when you write, “You really aren’t being true to Ignatius if this is all you have,” it reminds me why there is no value in communicating with you. I have written many, many things about Ignatius here. I would never have written Eating Ignatius if “this is all I have.” But your claim that everything must be interpreted in the context of Roman Catholicism really is all you have. I reject the claim. It has no value here, but since it is all you have, I have no doubt that you will continue pressing it. And I will continue rejecting it.

            You write,

            “I know one Prot who LOVES to constantly say this.”

            Great. Go find where he blogs, and tell him so. Why are you telling me?

            You write,

            “And this discussion is a great example of exactly WHY we need the Church to interpret things.”

            I think it’s a great example of why the Roman Catholic church cannot be trusted to interpret these things.

            Thanks,

            Tim

          3. Tim K, I think you meant Mark, not Rocky.
            Ignatius never said that heretics only “seemed to exist”. “But if, as some that are without God, that is, the unbelieving, say, that He only seemed to suffer (they themselves only seeming to exist), then why am I in bonds? Why do I long to be exposed to the wild beasts? Do I therefore die in vain? Am I not then guilty of falsehood against [the cross of] the Lord?” (to the Trallians, 10)

            He was explaining that some believed Christ only “seemed to suffer” and that those who believed this must also believe that they themselves only “seem to exist”. If these heretics were right, he posited, then why is he willing to suffer a painful death with the beasts if Christ only “seemed to suffer”.

            Quite the opposite of what you said, Ignatius is affirming that the heretics existed and that Christ actually did suffer during the passion and that suffering has merit.

          4. Yes, thank you, I meant Mark, not Rocky.

            Thank you also, for making my point for me. I was demonstrating absurdity by being absurd, and you corrected my feigned absurdity by assessing the actual heresy that Ignatius was refuting. His epistles cannot be understood properly without first understanding those heresies. And just as you, by evaluating Ignatius’ epistle to the Trallians in its context, have concluded that Ignatius was saying “the opposite” of what I was facetiously claiming, I have evaluated his epistle to the Smyrnæans and concluded that he was saying the opposite of what you claim.

            In fact, if you read that epistle closely, Ignatius claimed that the heretics were intransigent, “not confessing that He was possessed of a body”. So when he says later, “because they confess not the Eucharist to be the flesh of our Saviour Jesus Christ,” in the context of the specific heresy being refuted, Ignatius’ words bear the exact same meaning as Tertullian’s:

            “Then, having taken the bread and given it to His disciples, He made it His own body, by saying, “This is my body,” that is, the figure of my body. A figure, however, there could not have been, unless there were first a veritable body. An empty thing, or phantom, is incapable of a figure. … And thus, casting light, as He always did, upon the ancient prophecies, He declared plainly enough what He meant by the bread, when He called the bread His own body. He likewise, when mentioning the cup and making the new testament to be sealed “in His blood,” [Luke 22:20] affirms the reality of His body. … “

            See, Mark. When He said “this is My body,” He was simply affirming that He really had a body. To the early church, the figures of bread and wine affirmed the reality of Jesus’ body, and thus refuted the heretics who denied he had one. To the Early Church, the figures did not affirm the reality of transubstantiation. That is why Rome’s typical citations from the early church to prove transubstantiation are almost always in the context of refuting the heretical denial that Jesus had an actual body. Tertullian’s use of the figure shows exactly that. Irenæus’ did, too.

            Oh, I know, Mark. You think the ECFs should be evaluated in the context of Roman Catholicism. Well I have a better idea. Let’s evaluate Roman Catholicism’s claims in the context of the Scriptures and the Early Church Fathers. When I do that, I just can’t find anything even remotely like Roman Catholicism until the late 300s.

            Sorry, Mark. Your religion came way too late to be apostolic. And by its insistence that it is apostolic (when it so clearly is not), it also conveniently proves that it is neither holy, nor catholic, either.

            But it is one thing: Roman. And we all know what was to come from Rome.

            Best,

            Tim

          5. Tim K, except that Ignatius NEVER used the term “figure” as you are incorrectly attributing to him by convoluting his letter with Tertullian. This seems to be how you get around Ignatius’ own words and I think is ultimately the achilles heel in your position. I’ve already pointed out where other places where Tertullian affirms the real presence, and I’ve dealt with Tertullian’s comments in context, so I guess it is your word vs. the 2,000 year old Catholic Church.

            I agree that it comes down to you rejecting Church authority. When you read the ECFs looking for Protesatant themes you will take them out of context to affirm your beliefs. Actually, you really don’t use them to affirm your beliefs, just to cast doubt on the Catholic Church. We still don’t even know what you believe or where you find your beliefs in the ECFs. The proof of your religion from the ECFs on this blog is seriously lacking. I don’t think that is your point on here though.

          6. Mark wrote,

            “except that Ignatius NEVER used the term “figure” “

            And then said,

            “I’ve already pointed out where other places where Tertullian affirms the real presence”

            Except that Tertullian NEVER used the term ‘real presence.’

            Right?

            Thanks,

            Tim

          7. Tim K., way to avoid the issue, again. I am sure you won’t moderate yourself like you do Tim P. for avoiding the issue.

  151. Rocky–

    I take it that you simply cannot find any evidence for the disappearance of the substance of the bread and wine. Maybe, just maybe, that’s because the ECF’s didn’t believe in Transubstantiation. What do you think?

  152. Hans said, “I take it that you simply cannot find any evidence for the disappearance of the substance of the bread and wine. Maybe, just maybe, that’s because the ECF’s didn’t believe in Transubstantiation. What do you think?”

    They didn’t call it Transubstantiation because they didn’t have the vocabulary to explain it yet. Much like the Trinity.
    Guess what? The ECFs didn’t need to write everything down just as the Bible doesn’t record everything that Jesus did. That’s why Jesus gave us the Church which you and Tim K. reject!

  153. Mark–

    No, we did not reject THE church. We rejected A church, and not a very good one at that. For unexplained and unexplainable reasons, you seem to like it. But I am not responsible for your unsubstantiated personal opinions. Your church does not show up in Scripture and is not found in the early years immediately following the documentation of Scripture.

  154. Hans, you seem to forget that the Catholic Church is the only Church that can trace its roots back to St. Peter. I see the Catholic Church in scripture and in the ECFs. I would say that it is your unsubstantiated personal opinion which doesn’t see it.

    I was a Protestant for most of my life. I preached, taught Bible studies, led small groups, and served in different ministries. When I became convinced that the Catholic Church is Christ’s Church, I came into full communion with the Church. I now serve in ministry in my parish.

  155. Mark–

    As for transubstantiation, I am not looking for technical jargon. I am looking for any verbiage whatsoever from the ECF’s that would distinguish their brand of the Real Presence from Protestant versions and that would align it with Rome’s version. What that would take is some kind of allusion to the disappearance of real bread and real wine. I’m pretty sure they could have come up with such words had they wanted to. Tim K. has been documenting, however, that they did quite the opposite. They acknowledged that the elements were still there.

  156. Mark–

    Many extremely bright people are convinced by unconvincing arguments all the time because we humans are subject to so many confusing emotions and motivations. If I am supposed to be swayed by your conclusions simply because they are yours, then you should accept mine for the same reason. Skip the personal testimony and make arguments.

    And frankly, I don’t care if you happen to think so-called Catholicism “traces its roots” back to St. Peter. That’s the $64,000 question on this site: Can Rome trace its roots all the way back to the Apostles? Or only to the fourth century? So, skip the assertions. We already know your position. Start making arguments.

  157. Mark–

    I have interacted with Dr. Anders a fair amount. He’s a great guy–brilliant and articulate–but with some pretty major blindspots. He went to a PCA church as a kid, but I’m not sure that makes one particularly Presbyterian. He didn’t bother to go to a Presbyterian seminary, and he lost even this Evangelicalism before he became Catholic.

    For the most part, his call-in show does not allow for anything close to substantial interchange. But I listen quite frequently.

  158. “Many extremely bright people are convinced by unconvincing arguments all the time because we humans are subject to so many confusing emotions and motivations. ”

    Many very bright people are unconvinced by convincing arguments all the time. Many times it is psychological or emotional impediments, family constraints, etc. I understand that some are not receptive to the Catholic Church for various reasons. I have many friends who are of other faith traditions and it doesn’t bother me.

    I am not going to convince you. Not trying to either. I am not your judge, God is. My plate is full helping those who want to come into the Catholic Church to do so.

  159. Mark–

    Sure, it goes both ways. Our sin-frought humanity gums up the works. Muck-free communication is a rare commodity.

    But why exactly won’t you try? Constant assertions, constant talking points. So seldom off script.

    Engage. Make yourself vulnerable. Admit error or misperception. Be real.

    “We are all in the same boat on a stormy sea, and we owe each other a terrible loyalty.” (G.K. Chesterton)

    I cannot for the life of me see how dodging questions, ignoring arguments, or repeating generalities furthers your stated goals. Do disrespect and disingenuousness actually garner you new recruits?

    (And I’m not stuck where I am by anything other than my perceptions of the truth: Scripture, tradition, history, experience, reason. Give me credible evidence for your convictions. You claim to have some. Why not share?)

  160. “Engage. Make yourself vulnerable. Admit error or misperception. Be real.”
    “Constant assertions, constant talking points. So seldom off script.”

    Hmm. Because I won’t compromise on Truth. I don’t have to join the sewer of confusion in Protestantism. You all created that mess. I came out of it. I give you grace for not understanding the full truth of the Eucharist. I also haven’t pestered anyone to become Catholic. Every person must examine the evidence and then follow their conscience. That’s a journey you must take. That’s what the Church teaches. It’s not about me, or even the ECFs. It’s about authority. If David Anders can’t convince you, neither can I. There’s so much out there written by Catholics and Catholic converts that you could read for years.

    Quite honestly, I don’t have to prove my position is right. Your religion came along over 1500 years later and decided that they didn’t like what the Church taught and so made up their own beliefs based on their personal interpretation of scripture. It is you that needs to be vulnerable and admit error. Protestantism was built on human efforts to build a religious community based on the rejection of Church authority.

  161. Mark–

    It sounds as if you don’t even wish to persuade others of the truth of your convictions. Do you feel that despite its verity, it’s something that many, if not most, would be better off without?

    To me, true truth is something exquisitely beautiful, something supremely beneficial to one and all. I WANT you to be persuaded by confessionalism because it would abundantly improve your life in every way imaginable. There is no such thing as someone so far gone that they cannot be transformed by the incomparable Spirit of God. Through various and sundry means, including my pathetic attempts, he CAN get through to you and others like you.

    I pray that he will.

  162. Hans, I appreciate that you want me to be persuaded by confessionalism. I am sure that most flavors of Protestantism would like me to be persuaded by their flavor of truth. Some emphasize this truth, others emphasize another. To me, I am not looking for a brand of truth, I am persuaded by Christ. What did He want. What did God desire.

    You have two hurdles to overcome. One is the man-made doctrine of Sola Scriptura. Not only is it not found anywhere in the Bible, it is directly contradicted in the Bible. It is also unhistorical and untenable as a foundational tenant of your religion. I out right reject it. Show me FROM THE BIBLE where Sola Scriptura is taught (after all, your beliefs must come from the Bible) and I will be a Protestant post haste.

    Additionally, Sola Fide is nowhere taught in the Bible. The apostle Paul who penned more on the topic of faith than any other NT write NEVER said that we are saved by “faith alone”. Not once. Think about the hundreds of references to faith that he made but NEVER said we are saved by faith alone. The only place “faith alone” is mentioned is in what Martin Luther called “the Epistles of Straw”- James. Why? Because James said, “You see that a person is justified by works and not by faith alone.”

    After you’ve attempted to untangle these two unbiblical doctrines of your church, remember that you are but one of 40,000+ denominations all claiming to have the truth. You are NOT the One, Holy, Catholic, and Apostolic Church that Jesus founded. You are a 16th century invention of John Knox. I can trace EVERY protestant group to some part of the Protestant rebellion.

    There was NO apostasy of the 4th century. Tim K. tries to prove this by convoluting the ECFs with each other who primarily were dealing with heresies and not to write out everything the Church believes about every topic. That’s not the point of the Church or the ECFs, contrary to what you guys want to read.

    I think you are much better off with the fullness of truth. If you are honest with yourself you really aren’t searching for truth right now. Maybe you will see it in the future, as I did reading the ECFs and also listening to many Catholics who could defend the faith.

    The BIG dup isn’t Catholicism, but Protestantism. I encourage you to broaden out your horizons to try and convince other Sola Scriptura Protestants of why your reformed Presbyterian views are true. Let me know how that goes.

  163. Mark–

    Surely these are not the points which convinced you of the truth of Catholicism. But you keep doubling down on them as if they were. I’ve answered these so many times I could do it in my sleep. How you find these shoddy arguments effective is beyond me. You act as if they are self-evident, as if nobody with half a brain would DARE oppose them.

    So, for the first three centuries, early-church theologians were dealing primarily with specific heresies, and thus didn’t spell out all kinds of ordinary details of belief untouched by controversy. Then, in the fourth century, they were no longer plagued with dissenters and settled down to chronicle all the extra-biblical traditions which heretofore they had been silent on.

    Does that actually sound plausible to you?

    Though I have been faithfully reading ECF’s and Catholic scholars of every stripe, from every age, along with a multitude of modern online sources for years now, putting in thousands and thousands and thousands of hours, I’m still conniving and insincere (merely because I haven’t reached the same conclusions as you). After all, that in and of itself shows that I am not truly searching for the truth. In your mind, all roads–of necessity–lead to Rome.

    I don’t recall saying I was Presbyterian. I identify as confessionally Protestant. I have close friends who are Lutheran, Anglican, and Presbyterian, but I have no great need of convincing them of anything. Our theologies are incredibly similar. (I guess that’s because this “Sola Scriptura” stuff really works!)

    Again, you rattle off talking point after talking point with little or no embellishment. You haven’t taken the time to research them yourself to make them your own. None of your own thought is visible. You seem passionately defensive, but not in any way positively enthused. Are you unhappy being Catholic?

    1. Hans said, “Does that actually sound plausible to you?”

      No, not at all. The early Church of the first few hundred years was small but growing, and they had significantly fewer people to write anything. It’s sporadic writing. What is it with Protestants obsession that EVERYTHING must be written down somewhere and spelled out explicitly? Jesus never instructed that. He told his apostles to “Go and TEACH all nations.” Jesus himself never wrote anything down, except in the dirt once. John wrote that not everything that Jesus did was written down. Jesus said that whoever HEARS the apostles HEARS Jesus. He didn’t say READS the Apostles’ words. 2 Thes 2:15 says, “So then, brothers and sisters, stand firm and hold fast to the teachings we passed on to you, whether by word of mouth or by letter.”

      Once Christianity was legalized it came above ground and grew tremendously because it had the resources to do so. That’s why you have more “theologians” after the 4th century than before and more topics were covered. However, the Church wasn’t trying to write down every topic! Remember, your insistence that everything be written down and explicitly (in the Bible or the ECFs) is a PROTESTANT innovation. Much of the writings dealt with various heresies that sprang up. It’s only when heretics who opposed the Catholic teachings started making waves, such as Arianism, Donatism, and Protestantism, when the Catholic Church responds and gives official definitions to things it has always believed. For instance, lots of Protestants say that the Catholic Church ADDED books to the Bible at Trent. That is patently false. The Church ALWAYS said those 7 books were inspired. Go read the Councils of Rome, Hippo, and Carthage. Protestants REMOVED the books and up until that point the Church didn’t need to be definitive because it was accepted. Look at the Guttenberg Bible which was published 100 years before Trent. It contained those books.

      I don’t care if you call what I say “talking points”. You can be dismissive all you want, but it doesn’t affect the veracity of my points one bit. I can understand and empathize with you , however, because I know how difficult it is to have ANY definitive statements on faith when most of it is personal opinion.

      At one point as a Protestant I attended a megachurch. You know the kind. Flashy, rock music. money focused. They wanted me to teach my Bible study about mandatory tithing and I refused. I knew that the New Testament Christian wasn’t under the OT law of tithing. It’s not even a recommendation. It is an albatross around the necks of Christians who essentially become tithe slaves to support the outlandish lifestyle of the pastor. While I could Biblically back up MY opinion, they did as well with theirs. If the Bible and your opinion is the final arbiter, you may get it right only 20% of the time. Not great odds.

      But Jesus didn’t leave us alone. He gave us a Church to preserve the faith delivered to the saints. The Church which is guided by the Holy Spirit. Yes, she has flaws, because people are sinners. Jesus knew this would be the case. He never said His Church would be perfect. Look at our first Pope- he denied Christ three times. Look at one of the apostles, who betrayed Christ for personal gain (Judas, coincidentally also the first person to deny Transubstantiation- Jn 6:70)

      1. Mark,

        Your perception of “The early Church of the first few hundred years” as “small but growing” with “significantly fewer people to write anything” is one of the most pervasive and unsubstantiated myths of Rome. They were everywhere. And you’d be surprised how much they wrote down.

        Clement of Rome (c. 100): ” After preaching both in the east and west, he [Paul] gained the illustrious reputation due to his faith, having taught righteousness to the whole world, and come to the extreme limit of the west, and suffered martyrdom under the prefects.” (Epistle to the Corinthians, chapter 5)

        Ignatius of Antioch (c. 107 AD): “as also bishops, settled everywhere to the utmost bounds [of the earth], are so by the will of Jesus Christ.” (to the Ephesians, chapter 3)

        Justin Martyr (c. 150 AD): “Now it is evident that no one can terrify or subdue us who have believed in Jesus over all the world. For it is plain that, though beheaded, and crucified, and thrown to wild beasts, and chains, and fire, and all other kinds of torture, we do not give up our confession; but the more such things happen, the more do others and in larger numbers become faithful, and worshippers of God through the name of Jesus.” (Dialogue with Trypho, Chapter 110)

        Clement of Alexandria (c. 193) “But the word of our Teacher remained not in Judea alone, as philosophy did in Greece; but was diffused over the whole world, over every nation, and village, and town, bringing already over to the truth whole houses, and each individual of those who heard it by him himself, and not a few of the philosophers themselves.” (Stromata, Book VI, chapter 18)

        Where ever did you get the idea that they were small for the “first few hundred years” and couldn’t really take off until the 4th century?

        Tim

        1. Tim K., why don’t you do a content analysis comparing the volume of content written by the ECFs from year 80 – 380 and compare that to the volume of content from year 381- 681. You can use the number of words written as the standard of comparison.
          Let us know which period wrote more and how much more.
          Thanks,
          Mark

          1. Mark, my point is simply that your statement is false:

            “Once Christianity was legalized it came above ground and grew tremendously because it had the resources to do so.”

            Christianity “grew tremendously” long before it was legalized. Clearly it “had the resources to do so” long before you think it did.

            Tim

          2. I agree, Tim, that the Church was substantial before Edict of Milan. No doubt. It was already as big as other religions in Rome. However, that doesn’t mean that it didn’t continue to grow and tremendously so after that point especially when it became the official religion of the empire in the late 4th century.

            The whole point of this is because Hans said he can’t find any ECF discussing Transubstantiation in the first few hundred years. I agree. You can find ECFs who believed the bread and wine were literally changed to the body and blood of Christ. However, they didn’t use the term transubstantiation.

            I do not believe that the Apostolic and Ante-Nicean CFs had as their goal to write down everything that the Bible doesn’t explicitly state.

            The ECFs didn’t always get things exactly right. They were theological trailblazers. Origen and Tertullian come to mind. Their writings AREN’T inspired scripture but we can learn from them. That’s why we need the infallible Church.

          3. Well, ok Mark. But your new position does not square with your old one:

            “You have to understand that the Edict of Milan changed the Church from an underground Church to an above ground Church. Veneration of relics has been around from the beginning. Only when the Church stopped being persecuted did the brethren feel OK to start practicing their faith openly.” (Mark Rome, 2016/10/26)

            Yes, the church was “substantial” prior to the Edict of Milan, but I read those quotes from Clement of Rome, Ignatius of Antioch, Justin Martyr and Clement of Alexandria (all before 200 A.D.), and it doesn’t sound to me at all that the church spent the first 300 years entirely underground, waiting to be legalized so they could start hammering out their theological positions—even when in hiding and on the run, they still found time to write about important topics. Heck, Cyprian’s famous Epistle 62, “on the Sacrament of the Cup of the Lord” was written during a time of persecution to encourage the saints to keep practicing their faith openly and not try to conceal it. Otherwise they were denying themselves the martyr’s crown. Several of his treatises were written during a time of persecution, i.e.,

            “You have desired, beloved Fortunatus that, since the burden of persecutions and afflictions is lying heavy upon us…” (Treatise 11, Exhortation to Martyrdom)

            It doesn’t all sound to me like the church had to lay down their pens until “Only when the Church stopped being persecuted” as you have repeatedly intimated.

            Well, just my thoughts.

            Tim

          4. Tim K.,

            I haven’t changed my position. You quote my explanation of relics and try to tie it to what I have said before about the Church being substantial at the time it became legal. Those two ideas aren’t the same. I am sure that you understand that.

            You are right, martyrdom was very real for the Church prior to the Edict. In fact many Christians willingly sought martyrdom as Ignatius did. After Milan, Christians couldn’t look to martyrdom as the ultimate in devotion to The Way. They started going to the deserts and lived religious lives dedicated to study, prayer, and writing in communities which eventually became monasteries and religious orders. This is the time when the Church grew theologically on many topics.

            This banter has nothing to do with the quantity of writings. Question to you- Which period had more writings from the Church, before the 4th century or after?

            Thanks,
            Mark

  164. TIM K

    ROCKY: Sorry for the delay. I needed a bit time to do it justice and it still needs an edit. Mea Culpa.

    TIM K said, As is typical, you cite Ignatius without regard to context.

    ROCKY: I read the context and did not cite without regard for that, despite what you say which seems a bit of a ploy to discredit your opponents viewpoint off the bat.

    TIM K said, “Ignatius was refuting those who believe that Jesus did not really take on flesh.”

    ROCKY: ROCKY: Yes I read the whole letter and indeed his first salvo is against those who deny his earthly flesh, the Docetists . But then what does he do. He goes on to affirm the flesh of the Eucharist and the authority of the Bishops and Presbyters, essentially warning the faithful Catholics away from the heretics. Like any letter, there may and are a number or related elements addressed and some that have bearing on the topic like ensuring you are with the bishop so that THERE is a consecrated valid Eucharist. A symbolic figure of Christ as the bread and wine don’t have to be valid do they? A symbol is always a symbol and needs no validation but bread and wine are NOT always His Body and Blood unless a consecration takes place by a Bishop or a presbyter. I don’t think Ignatius could be more forthright Tim. He gets right to the point.

    TIM K said: “Roman Catholics miss that subtlety in the reasoning of the early church and impose “real presence” and “transubstantiation” on their language, completely apart from context.”

    ROCKY: Again a disturbing tendency to belittling Catholics instead of just making your point.

    TIM K said: As to your other citations, they would be helpful to you if they insisted that nothing be done apart from the bishop of Rome, but they say nothing of the sort. In fact, in his letter to the Romans, he insists that in his absence, Jesus alone will be the shepherd over his church in Antioch (Ignatius of Antioch, to the Romans, chapter 9). In other words, Ignatius did not believe the next person above him in the hierarchy of the church was the Bishop of Rome. It was Jesus Christ.

    ROCKY: Your drawing a conclusion that I am puzzled by. Is Ignatius really saying anything more than that his See of Antioch was without a bishop and an immediate shepherd. Surely we ALL are in the hands of Jesus but when someone says that does it mean there no earthly presider has authority.

    TIM K said: What you need is a citation that nothing be done apart from the Bishop of Rome, and for that, you’ll have to wait until the latter part of the 4th century.

    ROCKY: “Ignatius . . . to the church also which holds the PRESIDENCY, in the location of the country of the Romans, worthy of God, worthy of honor, worthy of blessing, worthy of praise, worthy of success, worthy of sanctification, and, because you hold the presidency in love, named after Christ and named after the Father” (Letter to the Romans 1:1 [A.D. 110]).

    “You [the See of Rome] have envied no one, but others have you taught. I desire only that what you have enjoined in your instructions may remain in force” (Letter to the Romans 3:1 [A.D. 110]).

    “Not as Peter and Paul did, do I command you. They were apostles and I am a convict. They were free, and I even to the present time am a slave.” —Letter to the Romans, Ch 4

    TIM K said: In any case, your statement that “Ignatius is clear on the Eucharist and on … the need for a validly ordained man of God to bring to his people a “proper” (consecrated) Eucharistic communion,” is flatly untrue. Ignatius said in the very letter, “Let that be deemed a proper Eucharist, which is [administered] either by the bishop, or by one to whom he has entrusted it” (Chapter 8). As you know, back in those days, anyone was allowed to take the communion bread to other people who were absent. As it says in Memoriale Domini, the Instruction on the Manner of Administering Holy Communion, “in the earliest period” even the unordained were allowed to bring the bread to others:

    ROCKY: Yes we have even now those who those who take the communion to the bed-ridden today. However, as you are always one to evoke context should we not pay heed to it here too. If Ignatius is talking about a proper (valid) Eucharist just the administration of it, it seems unlikely he would just be talking about the delivery of it to the bed-ridden rather than those who could also validly consecrate it such presbyters and to whom he just made reference to. See the different translations below.

    TIM K said:.. and Ignatius says the communion must be administered either by the Bishop “or by one to whom he has entrusted it,” it is simply your own interpolation that makes Ignatius to say that “Ignatius is clear on … the need for a validly ordained man of God to bring to his people a “proper” (consecrated) Eucharistic communion.”

    DIFFERENT TRANSLATIONS
    Let that be held a valid eucharist which is under the bishop or one to whom he shall have committed it. (Lightfoot)

    Let that eucharist alone be considered valid which is celebrated in the presence of the bishop, or of him to whom he shall have entrusted it. (Hoole)

    Here is another translation: “Let that eucharist be considered valid [6] which is under the bishop or him to whom he commits it.”

    Footnote 6: [6] The word translated ‘valid’ (βεξαιος) is found in Rom. iv. 16, Heb. ii. 2, ix. 17, and also in Ign. Rom. 3. It expresses the idea of security, and is used of the ratification of a promise or the validity of a covenant.

    TIM K said:.. Well, Ignatius is clear, I’ll grant you, just not the way you think he is. Are we to celebrate the Lord’s Supper the way it was instituted?

    ROCKY: But you mean only symbolically right?

    Letter to the Philadelphians Chapter 4
    “Take heed, then, to have but one Eucharist. For there is one flesh of our Lord Jesus Christ, and one cup to [show forth ] the unity of His blood; one altar; as there is one bishop, along with the presbytery and deacons, my fellow-servants: that so, whatsoever you do, you may do it according to [the will of] God”.

    LETTER TO THE EPHESIANS
    “Come together in common, one and all without exception in charity, in one faith and in one Jesus Christ, who is of the race of David according to the flesh, the son of man, and the Son of God, so that with undivided mind you may obey the bishop and the priests, and break one Bread which is the medicine of immortality and the antidote against death, enabling us to live forever in Jesus Christ.”

    TIM K said:.. Yes. Are we to practice it as the apostles did? Yes. Are we to honor church leaders? Yes

    ROCKY: But you don’t mean in the profound way that Ignatius means and repeats over and over again right?

    TIM K said:.. In fact, my studied rejection of your novelties is exactly what Ignatius instructed, for he said,

    ROCKY: Novelties. The whole early church believed these novelties and that was passed down in our lived out faith as well. Where the heck else did it come from. And you are at odds with Kelly’s studies.

    KELLY SAYS,
    If you go back to Kelly’s earliest discussion on the Eucharist you will see why, from the earliest Church to Nicaia and to Chalecedon and to this very day, _”eucharistic teaching. . . was in general unquestioningly realist, i.e., the consecrated bread and wine were taken to be, and were treated and designated as, the Savior’s body and blood.” [EARLY CHRISTIAN DOCTRINES, 400]

    TIM K said:.. But what Ignatius does not suggest is what you call the “real presence” in the Eucharist, or the primacy of the bishop of Rome and the novel religion to which you subscribe.

    ROCKY: But you have not the model set out by apostles as the bishops, presbyter and deacons by the laying of hands. And this is certainly an indictment against the novelties of the 16th century. Surely the Church that gave you the canon of the bible in late 4th century via these bishops and papacy will not be so easily dismissed as this.

    ROCKY: After reading all the letters of Ignatius surely you would acknowledge just how ingrained (in fact how striking) was the apostolic succession and authority of bishops, presbyters and deacons that Ignatius mentions over and over in his letters. Here are just a few. Its amazing actually.

    PHILADEPLHIANS The Greeting and Ch 3
    “ which I salute in the blood of Jesus Christ, who is our eternal and enduring joy, especially if [men] are in unity with the bishop, the presbyters, and the deacons, who have been appointed according to the mind of Jesus Christ, whom He has established in security, after His own will, and by His Holy Spirit.

    “ If any man follows him that makes a schism in the Church, he shall not inherit the kingdom of God. If any one walks according to a strange opinion, he agrees not with the passion [of Christ.].”

    Ignatius Letter to the Trallians Ch 3 and 4
    In like manner, let all reverence the deacons as an appointment of Jesus Christ, and the bishop as Jesus Christ, who is the Son of the Father, and the presbyters as the sanhedrim of God, and assembly of the apostles. Apart from these, there is no Church.

    “. . . he who does anything apart from the bishop, and presbytery, and deacons, such a man is not pure in his conscience.’

    MAGNESIANS Ch 6 and 7
    “I exhort you to study to do all things with a divine harmony, while your bishop presides in the place of God, and your presbyters in the place of the assembly of the apostles, . . . . Let nothing exist among you that may divide you; but be united with your bishop, and those that preside over you, as a type and evidence of your immortality.”

    “As therefore the Lord did nothing without the Father, being united to Him, neither by Himself nor by the apostles, so neither do anything without the bishop and presbyters.”

    1. Rocky,

      You wrote,

      “Sorry for the delay. I needed a bit time to do it justice and it still needs an edit. Mea Culpa.”

      No worries. Typos and time delays are all tolerated here. You continued,

      “I read the context and did not cite without regard for that, despite what you say which seems a bit of a ploy to discredit your opponents viewpoint off the bat.”

      You don’t realize it yet, but your whole assessment of Ignatius is without regard for context. For example, you wrote,

      “Yes I read the whole letter and indeed his first salvo is against those who deny his earthly flesh, the Docetists. But then what does he do. He goes on to affirm the flesh of the Eucharist and the authority of the Bishops and Presbyters, essentially warning the faithful Catholics away from the heretics.”

      The problem with your statement is that you believe that his rejection of the Docetists is the “first salvo,” but his affirmation of the authority of the bishops and deacons is a different topic. But his discussions regarding the bishops and deacons is still on the topic of Docetism. A core belief of the gnostics was not just that Jesus only seemed to have a body, but also that those awful perpetrators of the incarnation—the bishops and deacons themselves—were imposters, falsely claiming to have received their authority from God, and to be rejected:

      “And there shall be others of those who are outside our number who name themselves bishop and also deacons, as if they have received their authority from God. They bend themselves under the judgment of the leaders. Those people are dry canals.” (Gnostic Apocalypse of Peter)

      Ignatius’ repeated and emphatic affirmation of the authority of the bishops and deacons was not a different topic—he was still refuting the docetists: “See that you all follow the bishop, even as Jesus Christ does the Father, and the presbytery as you would the apostles; and reverence the deacons, as being the institution of God” (to the Smyrnæans, Chapter 8). “Do nothing apart from the bishop” is an anti-gnostic, anti-docetist statement. He had not moved on to a new topic at all.

      You can see this as Ignatius proceeds through his epistle, never wavering from his insistence Jesus came “both in the flesh and in the spirit” (chapter 1), and “both corporeal and spiritual” (chapter 12). The whole epistle is on a single topic, which is to say, the refutation of docetism. His affirmation of the authority of the hierarchy as an institution of God is not the open and shut case you think it is about apostolic succession, and tangentially, Roman episcopal primacy. For example, you wrote,

      “After reading all the letters of Ignatius surely you would acknowledge just how ingrained (in fact how striking) was the apostolic succession and authority of bishops, presbyters and deacons that Ignatius mentions over and over in his letters.”

      That Ignatius believed in apostolic succession, I do not deny. What I deny is that his repeated references to the authority of bishops “over and over in his letters” is about affirming the centrality of apostolic succession in the preservation of a pure and unified monolithic Roman church, rather than a very simple rejection of a very simple and widely known docetist precept: that Bishops and Deacons were false rulers, and eventually the sheep would cast them off and “rule over those who are their rulers” (Gnostic Apocalypse of Peter).

      As I said before, and still maintain, Roman Catholics miss that subtlety entirely. You say that is “a disturbing tendency to belittling Catholics instead of just making your point,” and yet it is demonstrably true, as your own assessment of Ignatius shows. I have never read a Roman Catholic apologist (I would be happy to find one!) who understood that Ignatius’ affirmation of the hierarchy as instituted by God was done in the context of docetism’s explicit claim that the Bishops and Deacons were not instituted by God and that those claiming to be bishops and deacons should be avoided. They clearly were instituted by God, and therefore not to be avoided, and that is Ignatius’ only point—against docetism.

      What you will notice if you reread all of your citations about the bishops and deacons is that Ignatius never actually makes an explicit point about apostolic succession. That has to be read into it. I’m not saying Ignatius rejected apostolic succession. I’m saying that your reading of his letters is plainly without regard to context. I said that I agree with Ignatius that we should honor church leaders, to which you responded, “But you don’t mean in the profound way that Ignatius means and repeats over and over again right?” What Ignatius “means”, and what you interpolate, are two different things.

      Just read your own citations from Ignatius which ostenibly make your point:

      “the bishop, the presbyters, and the deacons, who have been appointed according to the mind of Jesus Christ,”

      “let all reverence the deacons as an appointment of Jesus Christ,”

      “As therefore the Lord did nothing without the Father, being united to Him, neither by Himself nor by the apostles, so neither do anything without the bishop and presbyters”

      Each one is a simple rejection of docetism’s claim that they “who name themselves bishop and also deacons” aren’t really established by divine institution and the sheep need to cast them off. When read in context, I agree—his repeated emphasis is truly amazing. It just doesn’t mean what you think it does.

      Moving on, I cited Ignatius’ statement that in his absence, Jesus alone was the Shepherd of the church of Antioch. You responded,

      “Your drawing a conclusion that I am puzzled by. Is Ignatius really saying anything more than that his See of Antioch was without a bishop and an immediate shepherd.”

      I wrote on this here. My point is that in the early church, every bishop in every location was believed to answer directly to Christ, not to Rome or to Christ through Rome. I provided a few examples there, but here is another critical and revealing citation from Ignatius:

      “Ignatius, who is also called Theophorus, to Polycarp, Bishop of the Church of the Smyrnæans, or rather, who has, as his own bishop, God the Father, and the Lord Jesus Christ: [wishes] abundance of happiness.” (Ignatius of Antioch, to Polycarp, greeting)

      The practice of the day was not to describe a college of bishops under the presidency of Rome, but a college of presbyters under individual bishops who, themselves, were directly under Christ in every place. In any case, I noticed that you generally defer to Schaff’s translation of Ignatius’ epistles, but when I wrote…

      “What you need is a citation that nothing be done apart from the Bishop of Rome

      …you switched to the wholly ridiculous Catholic Apologetics rendering of Ignatius’ greeting to the Roman Church:

      “to the church also which holds the PRESIDENCY, in the location of the country of the Romans”

      But let’s look at the Schaff’s translation, which empties the translation of that Roman Catholic presumption:

      “to the Church … which also presides in the place of the region of the Romans” (To the Romans, greeting)

      Each church presides in its place. No surprise. The church of Rome was in Rome. That’s where it presides. Imagine taking that same Roman Catholic approach to Ignatius’ letter to the Magnesians. It would positively prove Magnesian episcopal primacy!

      “your bishop holds the PRESIDENCY in the place of God, and your presbyters [hold the PRESIDENCY] in the place of the assembly of the apostles, along with your deacons [who also hold the PRESIDENCY]”

      Wow, that’s some bishop! Some presbytery! Some diaconate! But here’s the translation from Schaff:

      “while your bishop presides in the place of God, and your presbyters in the place of the assembly of the apostles, along with your deacons” (to the Magnesians, chapter 6)”

      A presiding bishopric does not validly imply a universal presidency over the whole church. As I have observed, Ignatius’ language here is a rejection of docetism, not an affirmation of Magnesian episcopal primacy. Why did you switch to the Catholic Apologetics translation in order to show Roman PRESIDENCY, and then back to Schaff to prove Ignatius was writing about apostolic succession? I grant that various translations elucidate various subtleties, but to switch to a biased translation in order to get “holds the PRESIDENCY” out of “presides” is just presumption.

      In any case, I have already in many places opined on Ignatius’ reference to the Eucharist and his liberal employment of metaphors. It is sufficient to me to know the broader context of how the early church refuted gnosticism by highlighting how appropriate was Jesus’ use of figures to show that He was truly in possession of a body. To the Early Church, “This is My Body” was understood to mean that Jesus really had a physical body (otherwise the figure made no sense), and thus plainly refuted the gnostics. To late 4th century Roman Catholicism, “This is My Body” was understood to mean that the bread was really His body, and thus plainly affirmed the mass sacrifice—a paradigm change that was novel and unwarranted. Yes, as you state, I am “at odds with Kelly’s studies.” Of course I am. Kelly completely missed some of the subtlety, too. I have highlighted more than once why I think Kelly was dead wrong on the sacrifice of the mass. He’s wrong on this, too. As I noted in Their Praise was their Sacrifice, “Kelly … surrendered to Rome at precisely the point that the battle must be fought and won,” and,

      “We agree with Kelly that the Didache does not identify the bread as the sacrifice, but we do not agree that the Didache is unclear on it.”

      Many early church historians defer to Rome’s backloading of late 4th century novelties onto the ante-Nicæan Church. Kelly, despite all his credentials, is one of them. In some places, so did Schaff.

      Best,

      Tim

      1. TIM K said: But his discussions regarding the bishops and deacons is still on the topic of Docetism.

        ROCKY: Perhaps as you say heresy is always on the mind Ignatius (that is no surprise) but his affirmation is still centered on the Bishops, Presbyters and Deacons, not only the letter to the Smyrneans but also in his several other letters that saturated with his unrelenting backing of those rightful authorities of the Church. In fact you make this point yourself.

        And will you still deny then that regardless of his anti-gnostic stand that his statement on the Euchairst should be taken at face value – that it is “the flesh of our Saviour Jesus Christ”. I do not see how the obvious meaning fails to convince you. And of course immediately after this is his very strong admonishment to avoid all divisions, essentially by following the bishop, even as Jesus Christ does the Father, and the presbytery as you would the apostles; and reverence the deacons, as being the institution of God. I see you address this a little more later on but what is this VALID Eucharist he then refers to? A valid figure or a valid symbol?

        TIM K said, As I said before, and still maintain, Roman Catholics miss that subtlety entirely. You say that is “a disturbing tendency to belittling Catholics instead of just making your point,” and yet it is demonstrably true, as your own assessment of Ignatius shows.

        ROCKY: I will bluntly say then that it is yourself that has set out to read anything and everything that is anti-Catholic into any the ECFs, even despite the fact that these earliest fathers were in union with the entire Church (many as bishops) and the organic development was clearly toward Catholic Church with the presiding head being bishop at Rome (mat 16). And clearly Heresy was an important focus and reason for their (the Catholic Bishops) existence. You cannot have an orthodox Christianity (as you have it now) without the authority inherent in the bishops and their allegiance to the Bishop of Rome. Ain’t gonna happen no matter how much you spin it.

        And your own Church has not the authority that the bible shows in the bishoprics for a valid Eucharist (which most of you deny anyway) or for any other purpose because you have lost union with the apostles through the laying of hands – via Holy Spirit affirmation and authorization (sacrament).

        TIM K said: “What you will notice if you reread all of your citations about the bishops and deacons is that Ignatius never actually makes an explicit point about apostolic succession.

        ROCKY: Scripture and Paul are clear on succession via the Laying on of Hands. Ignatious was a student of John and linked to Peter via the Antioch bishopric, he would have assumed such sacred traditions were common knowledge? Even the Letter to the Hebrews assumes it:

        Therefore let us go on towards perfection, leaving behind the basic teaching about Christ, and not laying again the foundation: repentance from dead works and faith towards God, instruction about baptisms, LAYING ON OF HANDS, resurrection of the dead, and eternal judgement. 3 And we will do this, if God permits.[ Hebrews 6: 1-3]

        TIM K said: Just read your own citations from Ignatius which ostenibly make your point:

        I have never read a Roman Catholic apologist (I would be happy to find one!) who understood that Ignatius’ affirmation of the hierarchy as instituted by God was done in the context of docetism’s explicit claim that the Bishops and Deacons were not instituted by God

        “Each one is a simple rejection of docetism’s claim that they “who name themselves bishop and also deacons”

        “What I deny is that his repeated references to the authority of bishops “over and over in his letters” is about affirming the centrality of apostolic succession in the preservation of a pure and unified monolithic Roman church’

        ROCKY: I cannot speak to point of what Catholic apologists think was a reason (or the entire reason) for his letter to the Smyrneans or his others letters. That is beyond the scope of my ability here due to time constraints. BUT, it should not matter so much why Ignatius is defending the orthodox Catholic view but rather that he is defending it and stating it..

        Is not Ignatius’ appeal to the valid Catholic bishops and presbyters in the face of heresies and heretics in fact an appeal (a corroboration) to a legitimate God-given authority vested in the church and an actual striking example of what it should be and which most protestant churches are not?.

        And further the situation is not unlike other statements by the Catholic Church such as those made by the Council of Trent that are emphatic clarifications or formal restatement of the Catholic faith, solely in the context(result) of the protestant revolt and “heresies”.

        TIM K said: you switched to the wholly ridiculous Catholic Apologetics rendering of Ignatius’ greeting to the Roman Church:
        “to the church also which holds the PRESIDENCY, in the location of the country of the Romans”

        ROCKY: Point taken to some degree. The ‘presidency’ interpretation is a stretch not the translation I used so much. Actually I usually defer to New Advents cite which uses the Roberts-Donaldson I think the quote I gave was W. Jurgens. I could not find an online site that allowed an easy access to Schaff’s translations.

        In the second quote I offered Jurgens and Roberts-Donaldson are pretty much the same.:

        “You (the See of Rome) have never envied any one; you have taught others. Now I desire that those things may be confirmed [by your conduct], which in your instructions you enjoin [on others].” [Roberts-Donaldson]

        “You [the See of Rome] have envied no one, but others have you taught. I desire only that what you have enjoined in your instructions may remain in force” (Letter to the Romans 3:1 [A.D. 110]).

        TIM K said: In any case, I have already in many places opined on Ignatius’ reference to the Eucharist and his liberal employment of metaphors. It is sufficient to me to know the broader context of how the early church refuted gnosticism by highlighting how appropriate was Jesus’ use of figures to show that He was truly in possession of a body. To the Early Church, “This is My Body” was understood to mean that Jesus really had a physical body (otherwise the figure made no sense), and thus plainly refuted the gnostics. To late 4th century Roman Catholicism, “This is My Body” was understood to mean that the bread was really His body, and thus plainly affirmed the mass sacrifice—a paradigm change that was novel and unwarranted. Yes, as you state, I am “at odds with Kelly’s studies.” Of course

        ROCKY: “A 4th century “paradigm change”? Are you really saying that when Jesus said at the last supper over the bread, “This is my Body” that he was just saying that this was a figure of his body rather what it literally sounds to be, ie., his actual body.

        Not that I haven’t heard this from others but. . . anyways I think the onus/struggle is definitely on your part to bring that forth from the ECFs.

        Okay so perhaps you could give me the links you have to prove this. So far we have just been dealing with Ignatius.

        And if you would, please address the issue of Catholic ecclesial authority via the Laying on of Hands which is not in modern Protestantism outside of Episcopalianism/Anglicanism/Church of England and Lutheranism. But is definitely in the bible. I have given the passages in full on the Other Woman before.

        Thanks for the discussion.

        Regards.

        1. Rocky, I’ll spend some time on the rest of your questions a little later. For now, you wrote,

          “Are you really saying that when Jesus said at the last supper over the bread, “This is my Body” that he was just saying that this was a figure of his body rather what it literally sounds to be, ie., his actual body. Not that I haven’t heard this from others but. . . anyways I think the onus/struggle is definitely on your part to bring that forth from the ECFs.”

          Here is Tertullian, making that very point:

          “Then, having taken the bread and given it to His disciples, He made it His own body, by saying, “This is my body,” that is, the figure of my body.” (Tertullian, Against Marcion, Book IV, chapter 40)

          Thanks,

          Tim