17 July 2007

Old Lutheran Quote of the Day

Calvinism is forced to admit that its view [of the Supper] does not solve the mystery after all, but leaves it in its fathomless depth. It requires Christ's person, the Holy Spirit, and the faith of the believer, --three factors, confusing each other. The first factor is sufficient, and if justice is done it, the other two are not needed for the objective substance of the Sacrament; they come in at their proper place, not to help Christ make what He has perfectly made already, but to enable the recipient to receive savingly what he is receiving sacramentally. The Calvinistic view puts too much upon man, who is nothing, because it concedes too little to Christ, who is everything. - Krauth, *Conservative Reformation* p. 500


Anastasia Theodoridis said...

WHAT? The Holy Spirit is not needed? Lutherans don't believe it is the Holy Spirit Who sanctifies the Bread and Wine and effects the change, making them into the Body and Blood?

William Weedon said...

Not needed in the sense in which the Calvinists mean: to transport the believer's heart from earth to heaven where the Body and Blood are to be found.

The close connection between the Holy Spirit and the Word of Consecration was once explicated by Dr. Luther in these beautiful words:

"For as soon as Christ says: 'This is my Body' his body is present through the Word *and the power of the Holy Spirit.*" AE 36:341

As my beloved Dr. Nagel always said, we agree with the East that the Spirit does the job, but we disagree with the East about where He does it. You say in response to the prayer that the Father send Him; we say through His intimate connection with the very Words of the Savior. "The words that I speak unto you, they ARE Spirit and they are life...."

William Weedon said...

Which is to say that for us the very Words of Christ ARE the epiclesis - they are alive with the power of the Holy Spirit. At St. Paul's, we frequently pray in the Prayer of the Church prior to the Preface:

Bless and sanctify by Your Holy Spirit’s power the bread and wine we bring before You that in truth they may become for us, through our Savior's words, His very Body and Blood, the nourishment of eternal life.