Anglican Eucharist Theology

Discussion in 'Faith, Devotion & Formation' started by bwallac2335, Feb 4, 2021.

  1. Rexlion

    Rexlion Well-Known Member

    Posts:
    4,214
    Likes Received:
    2,154
    Country:
    USA
    Religion:
    Christian attending ACNA
    Well, you may be correct, but I'm not sure. The way I have understood it was: God the Son has always been co-eternal with the Father and the Holy Spirit, and had no beginning, thus God the Son could not be begotten. However, the human body of Jesus was begotten on a specific day. This lines up with the prophecy about Messiah which is found in Psalm 2:7 -- I will declare the decree: the LORD hath said unto me, Thou art my Son; this day have I begotten thee. Hebrews 1:5 quotes this psalm and relates it directly to Jesus: For unto which of the angels said he at any time, Thou art my Son, this day have I begotten thee? And again, I will be to him a Father, and he shall be to me a Son? And again, when he bringeth in the firstbegotten into the world, he saith, And let all the angels of God worship him. This is why I've understood the phrase "only begotten son" to refer to the Incarnation; God the Son is the only son for whom the Father begat a human form (as contrasted to all of us who became sons of God by adoption, not by begetting). God the Son is from eternity past, but His human body was not. I could be wrong in this line of thinking, but my question is this: if the Son of God is not begotten in time, why was it prophesied that He would be begotten on a particular day ("this day")?
     
  2. Botolph

    Botolph Well-Known Member

    Posts:
    2,358
    Likes Received:
    2,587
    Country:
    Australia
    Religion:
    Anglican
    And in one Lord Jesus Christ, the only-begotten Son of God, Begotten of his 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 Ghost 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 sitteth on the right hand of the Father. And he shall come again with glory to judge both the quick and the dead: Whose kingdom shall have no end. (BCP 1662)

    We believe in one Lord, Jesus Christ, the only-begotten Son of God, eternally begotten of the Father, God from God, Light from Light, true God from true God, begotten, not made, of one Being with the Father; through him all things were made. For us and for our salvation he came down from heaven, was incarnate from the Holy Spirit and the Virgin Mary, and was made man. For our sake he was crucified under Pontius Pilate; he suffered death and was buried. On the third day he rose again in accordance with the Scriptures; he ascended into heaven and is seated at the right hand of the Father. He will come again in glory to judge the living and the dead, and his kingdom will have no end. (BCP 2019)​

    @Rexlion I especially like the rendering in BCP 2019, however this is not doctrinal novelty. If you remove the eternal begottenness of the Son, you ultimately are denying Sonship, and that is heresy. This of course is not Eucharistic Theology, but essential Christology. The Holy Fathers of Nicaea and Constantinople understood and handed on for all the Church this one simple truth about Jesus, that his being begotten predates anything that has come to be including time itself.

    The first 18 verses of St John's Gospel, which was clearly much relied on in the Councils and by the Cappadocian Fathers, and it starts In the beginning was the Word (logos). Begotteness certainly does find expression in the Incarnation, however this begotteness does not begin in Bethlehem, but predates creation.

    I am not always sure what to do with Psalm 2:7, save that it is a celebration of Fatherhood and relationship, however I will not undo the Prologue to St John's Gospel, nor the Creed of the Councils of the Church in order to find a Christological import in the Psalm. That being said, the sense in which Christ represents the foundation of a new and everlasting covenant, there is for me a sense in which the Incarnation is the mark of a new creation, if you like the 8th day of creation. I hope this helps.
     
    Rexlion likes this.
  3. Tiffy

    Tiffy Well-Known Member

    Posts:
    3,418
    Likes Received:
    1,714
    Country:
    UK
    Religion:
    CofE
    Like I said though. You'll need to change the Nicene Creed if you want to make your newfangled 'doctrine', [and I assure you it basically is new fangled], pass the test of the Nicene Creed's proof of orthodoxy.

    "And [I believe] in one Lord Jesus Christ, the only begotten Son of God, Begotten of his 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:"

    Notice it even makes clear that it is by Christ that [all things were made], which is in a list concerning Christ, his nature and his most important deeds. There is a full stop after 'Father' and a capital 'B' in 'By' not a comma after Father and a lower case 'b' which would have designated all things having been made by The Father, and the list goes on, still on the subject of Christ and his attributes concerning our salvation.

    So unless the virgin Mary was present when 'all things were made by Christ', Christ could not have been begotten by The Father in her womb, 'before all worlds', I think your notion throws up more theological problems than it solves.

    However I would concede to your notion that the incarnation was begotten, but for the fact that all human beings are 'Fearfully and Wonderfully made', and Jesus of Nazareth was truly a human being just like the rest of us.

    For thou hast possessed my reins:
    thou hast covered me in my mother's womb.
    I will praise thee; for I am fearfully and wonderfully made:
    marvellous are thy works;
    and that my soul knoweth right well.
    My substance was not hid from thee,
    when I was made in secret,
    and curiously wrought in the lowest parts of the earth.
    Thine eyes did see my substance, yet being unperfect;
    and in thy book all my members were written,
    which in continuance were fashioned, when as yet there was none of them.
    Ps.139:13-16.

    This might seem to answer the question:
    The incarnation required astonishing humility of God, [for love of us], insufficiently appreciated by all of us.
    .
     
    Last edited: Mar 4, 2021
    Rexlion likes this.
  4. Rexlion

    Rexlion Well-Known Member

    Posts:
    4,214
    Likes Received:
    2,154
    Country:
    USA
    Religion:
    Christian attending ACNA
    I was in error on the point. Thank you.
     
    Tiffy likes this.
  5. Lowly Layman

    Lowly Layman Well-Known Member

    Posts:
    2,722
    Likes Received:
    2,489
    Hi bwallac, might I make a reading suggestion? Francis Hall's awesome work, The Sacraments, does a great job walking through the different views in Anglicanism regarding the Real Presence in the Lord's Supper (it's free on Google Play books). As you rightly point out, there is a lot of room for personal interpretation within Anglican orthodoxy, only the Roman Catholic notion of Transubstantiation (where the elements undergo a metaphysical change and are no longer bread and wine but are actually the flesh and blood of our Lord though they still look, feel and taste like bread and wine) on one side and Zwinglianism (where the sacrament is merely symbolic and there is no presence at all) on the other are out of the bounds of traditional Anglican Eucharistic theology. Here is an excerpt from Hall's attempt to summarize the Anglican view of the Real Presence:

    So if you, like the Lutherans affirm the doctrine of sacramental union, in which the body and blood of Christ are truly and substantially present, offered, and received in, with, and under the forms of the consecrated bread and wine, you're still well within the Anglican Eucharistic playground (So long as you don't fall into the error of impanation, that is).
     
    Thomas Didymus likes this.
  6. Rexlion

    Rexlion Well-Known Member

    Posts:
    4,214
    Likes Received:
    2,154
    Country:
    USA
    Religion:
    Christian attending ACNA
    I like what Augustine wrote:
    “Believe in Christ, and thou hast eaten Christ.
    For believing in Christ, is the eating of the
    Bread of life .”
     
    Lowly Layman likes this.
  7. Lowly Layman

    Lowly Layman Well-Known Member

    Posts:
    2,722
    Likes Received:
    2,489
    @Rexlion how do you that quote applies to Eucharistic Theology? How would you classify St Augustine? Both protestants and Catholics quote him when defending their respective views on the Real Presence. I've never really been able nailed him down on the subject.
     
  8. Botolph

    Botolph Well-Known Member

    Posts:
    2,358
    Likes Received:
    2,587
    Country:
    Australia
    Religion:
    Anglican
    That is why the Reformation is sometimes described as Augustine vs Augustine's Church.
     
  9. Rexlion

    Rexlion Well-Known Member

    Posts:
    4,214
    Likes Received:
    2,154
    Country:
    USA
    Religion:
    Christian attending ACNA
    I think Augustine is saying that the Eucharist is important to the believers, but t

    John Jewel quotes that bit from Augustine, btw. I think Jewel's treatise is one of the best works one could wish for, because he has so many great quotes from the early church, plus he had a knack for stating things with amazing clarity.

    I haven't read Augustine thoroughly enough to attempt to "classify" him with certainty. So I could be wrong, but it does seem to me that although there are things Augustine (and many of the other early fathers) wrote that can be taken to support the Roman view of Eucharist, the Romans tend to leave out some context (the other things those same people wrote) which undercuts the RC position.

    I think Augustine is saying, don't center your attention on the physical when you're partaking of the Eucharist, but center your attention on Jesus Christ: who He is, what He did for us all at the cross, what He does for us daily. Augustine's words seem to go against the notion that the physical aspect of receiving Eucharist is given to us by the Lord to impart saving grace.

    My feeling is this: the Eucharist is like a diamond with many facets. We can see different things from different angles or points of view. It's an important touchstone for reminding us that we have believed and that we are in communion (intimate relationship) with God. It's a memorial of Jesus' death and resurrection. It's the culmination point of a Liturgy which walks us down the "Romans Road" and pictures the way in which sinners come to Christ. It's a testimony that we are in Christ and He is in us. And so much more. However, on the other hand, the Eucharist is not an end in itself (as the RCs make it out to be); it is not the indispensable means by which we actually receive saving grace unto eternal life. Nor is it a way to ingest God physically (as if we would ever want to!).
     
    Last edited: Mar 16, 2021
    Thomas Didymus and Tiffy like this.
  10. anglican74

    anglican74 Well-Known Member Anglican

    Posts:
    1,833
    Likes Received:
    1,343
    Country:
    USA
    Religion:
    Anglican (ACNA)
    It is true that other Reformational bodies rejected Augustine’s Church (in lieu of his Doctrine)

    but in Anglicanism we have Augustine’s Church -and- his Doctrine

    seems to me we are in the best case scenario


    From what I remember in my studies, he taught exactly the notion of spiritual real presence that is advocated here
     
  11. Botolph

    Botolph Well-Known Member

    Posts:
    2,358
    Likes Received:
    2,587
    Country:
    Australia
    Religion:
    Anglican
    It is probably best used as a description of Lutheranism, however I take the point that Anglicanism has managed a synthesis, mostly.
     
    anglican74 and Lowly Layman like this.
  12. Thomas Didymus

    Thomas Didymus Member

    Posts:
    74
    Likes Received:
    43
    Country:
    United States
    Religion:
    Christian
    Here's an interpretation Roman Catholics use for the sacrament of the Eucharist:

    "Melchizedek, a king and priest, uses bread and wine in a ritual to bless Abram. Bread and wine served as an ancient symbol of nourishment and celebration. The sacrament of the Eucharist has its roots in rituals such as this one."

    Genesis 14:17-20

    For a New Testament interpretation of Melchizedek's importance, there's Hebrews 7:1-7.

    "After Abraham successfully conquers the enemies of Lot, Melchizedek, offers a sacrifice of bread and wine to God of Abraham's behalf. In this way, he becomes Abraham's priest. Early Christians saw parallels to Jesus in the story of Melchizedek, and even in his name, which means 'king of righteousness.' Thus, his life came to be viewed as an early but incomplete example of Jesus' high priesthood."

    The Catholic Youth Bible (NAB): revised; 3rd ed.; St. Mary's Press; 2005; Winona, Minnesota, USA; P.22, 1639; paperback
    upload_2021-3-16_23-41-12.png

    One of the best ways to understand ourselves is to understand others.
     
    bwallac2335 and Tiffy like this.
  13. anglican74

    anglican74 Well-Known Member Anglican

    Posts:
    1,833
    Likes Received:
    1,343
    Country:
    USA
    Religion:
    Anglican (ACNA)
    yup!

    Perhaps there is more in what they said that you didn’t post, but in the text that you cited there is nothing yet distinctively Romanist; we all believe those things

    they would have to start proving that the Body is physically present (which is impossible), how the substance can be split from the accidents (which is illogical), how we eat his physical body, with his blood streaming down our mouths like vampires (which is utterly evil, as well as cannibalism being specifically prohibited by God’s law)
     
    Rexlion likes this.
  14. Thomas Didymus

    Thomas Didymus Member

    Posts:
    74
    Likes Received:
    43
    Country:
    United States
    Religion:
    Christian
    The notes shared come not from the regular NAB footnotes but one of the additional features called "Catholic connections" , aiming to show the biblical basis for Catholic beliefs and practices through very brief articles. The only info I left out comes from Sacramentary, p. 546 [Hebrews 7:1-10 section]:

    "Look with favor on these offerings and accept them as you once accepted the gifts of your servant Abel, the sacrifice of Abraham, our father in faith, and the bread and wine offered by your priest Melchisedech."

    If anything, your observation that we all believe these things gives credence to the "catholicity" of Chalcedonian Christianity, including with great respect as presented within Anglicanism.

    It's been awhile, but I recall parts of Exodus being used for much of their teaching when it comes to the role of the Eucharist, or their concept of it, at least. I'm aware not all catholics are necessarily Roman.
     
    Last edited: Mar 17, 2021
    anglican74 likes this.
  15. Thomas Didymus

    Thomas Didymus Member

    Posts:
    74
    Likes Received:
    43
    Country:
    United States
    Religion:
    Christian
    Here's some insight into the Roman Catholic view of the Eucharist, pertaining to info from the book of Exodus (note: it may not be exclusively their teaching or understanding):

    The Eucharist is seen as an offering that is made holy, being set apart by getting blessed, then consumed or burned. It is a sacrifice offered up to God. In the ancient days of Israel, the appropriate animals were brought to God as tribute, their blood shed on the altar so that the meat prepared and cooked could be eaten as a form of worship, bringing communion with God and people. The blood in question represents God's gift of life. In this way, the union between the people and God would not only be recognized but approved, observing the Covenant.

    For the New Testament, the Last Supper is used to embody this same idea. Jesus shares bread and wine as his body. Blood speaks about the giving of his body and bloodshed, setting into motion the New Covenant, which is rooted in Jesus' love. Roman Catholics celebrate the Eucharist in Jesus' memory, encountering the real presence in the sacred food and wine. This is what they say. I'm sure there's more. Just want to share.

    Bible Reference:
    Exodus 24:1-8
     
  16. Tiffy

    Tiffy Well-Known Member

    Posts:
    3,418
    Likes Received:
    1,714
    Country:
    UK
    Religion:
    CofE
    I wonder what they make of Hebrews 10:10 then?
    .
     
  17. Rexlion

    Rexlion Well-Known Member

    Posts:
    4,214
    Likes Received:
    2,154
    Country:
    USA
    Religion:
    Christian attending ACNA
    The RC answer would be that every one of their Eucharists is a continuation of the one sacrifice. No kidding.

    They don't realize that, by so saying, they're dragging Jesus' crucifixion out, prolonging it, and making His ignominy last for millenia.
     
  18. Botolph

    Botolph Well-Known Member

    Posts:
    2,358
    Likes Received:
    2,587
    Country:
    Australia
    Religion:
    Anglican
    I don't think that is quite as I see it expressed. The word which we regularly translate along the line 'in memory of me' is anamnesis. The usage of the word historically had been to describe the events of the Jewish Passover. At the end of the meal, the youngest would ask the oldest why they we eating this meal, this way, standing around the table with the hats on. The oldest would then recount the journey out of Egypt, across the Red Sea and through the wilderness into the promised land. He would conclude his account with the words 'tonight we have come out of Egypt'. This calling of salvation history into our present context is not a prolonging of the cross, but rather and acknowledgement of its timeless veracity.

    If you look at the Eucharist passages towards the end of Laudate Si, (available of the Vatican Website) I think that Francis 1 makes a number of statements which many Anglicans would find acceptable, ye maybe even encouraging.

    In the 16th Century Anglicans may have understood their identity as rejecting Rome and all its detestable enormities. In the 21st Century I hope we have grown beyond this, to understand that ours is a unique and utterly valid expression of the Christian Faith, and to acknowledge that we have much in common with those from Geneva Rome and Constantinople.

    There is more that unites us than tears us apart. The Eucharist calls us to find our unity, not our division.
     
  19. Thomas Didymus

    Thomas Didymus Member

    Posts:
    74
    Likes Received:
    43
    Country:
    United States
    Religion:
    Christian
    My post here presents two sides, with the benefit of being able to come to our own conclusion, trying to personally be impartial for the sake of discussion and learning. Thanks for being welcoming, Tiffy. The first perspective is above the Bible references list in this post, the second, beneath it.

    Along with what Rexlion aptly stated, Roman Catholics consider Jesus Christ's sacrifice to be the only one that's perfect to take away sins *(Heb 10:12-14), acknowledging that not even flawless animals could do that, having been offered over and over again in the Temple *(Heb 10:1-4).

    In addressing your second point, Rexlion, about Jesus' crucifixion being dragged out, the point of Mass is to create good habit out of practicing routine. For Roman Catholics (acknowledging your Catholic upbringing) Mass is like a strong bond between two people; a truly loving couple would still say to each other "I love you" even though they're outward expression would suggest it's not necessary to say so. This is how Mass is oftened characterized.

    Bible references:
    Ps 110:1; Jer 31:31-34; Mt 26:28

    Biggest criticisms of the Catholic Mass contend Heb 10:10 destroys the entire practice of it, that a glaring problem is how everyone who participates has to keep going back to get their sins taken care of *(Heb 10:2, 8). Another point made is that the Pope cannot have the same assurance about salvation like Paul *(2 Tim 1:12) Peter *(1 Pet 1:3-4), or John *(1 Jn 5:13).

    What Botolph has said wonderfully expresses the peace Christian fellowship strives to be. Patience and nurturing leads to greater understanding. We should hope disputes are rarely necessary, only when really needed. I don't mean to imply anything by what I just said, only that great discussions happen when there's no barriers clouding what we may see in each other going in to them.

    Thanks for putting up with me! :discuss:
     
    Botolph likes this.
  20. Rexlion

    Rexlion Well-Known Member

    Posts:
    4,214
    Likes Received:
    2,154
    Country:
    USA
    Religion:
    Christian attending ACNA
    Please keep in mind that I was raised RC, and my parents took me to Catechism classes religiously; I hardly ever missed a class. Also, since coming out of the RCC I have had many conversations with RCs and have done a fair bit of reading.

    In talking about RC Eucharist, this is the focal point of the "sacrifice of the Mass" (their term). In it, Christ is sacrificed in an "unbloody manner" under the appearances (accidens) of bread and wine. Mu Catholic Faith by Bp. L.L. Morrow S.T.D. says, "The Mass is the sacrifice of the New Law in which Christ, through the ministry of the priest, offers Himself to God in an unbloody manner... This is the sacrifice of Christ, offered once in a bloody manner upon the Cross, and now renewed daily on our altars. The Church has always taught that the Mass is a true sacrifice... a real sacrifice, for in it a Victim is offered up for the purpose of reconciling man with God... the Mass... actually renews, in the separate consecration of the bread and win, the death of the Lord, the separation of His Body and Blood... the Mass is the realization, in an unbloody manner, of the very sacrifice offered up on Calvary in a bloody manner. Christ continues to offer Himself as a sacrifice in the Mass... Because of the Mass, here and now we may offer up repeatedly God as our Victim to God..."

    RCs who understand their doctrine will tell you that their Masses are not an uncountable series of sacrifices, but are instead a continuation of the one sacrifice. Nevertheless, every Mass is a true and real sacrifice of Jesus Christ, in which Jesus comes out of heaven to act through the body of the priest (in personam Christi) to offer Himself continually in sacrifice on the church's altar.

    I'm not trying to be contentious; I'm just setting out the facts. No need for speculation when the facts are available from a RCC-approved Catechetical publication with their Imprimatur and Nihil Obstat.