Is the Priesthood Essential?

Discussion in 'Faith, Devotion & Formation' started by Tiffy, May 17, 2020.

  1. Rexlion

    Rexlion Well-Known Member

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    :facepalm::facepalm: Spiritual meat isn't literal meat! :no:

    If it were literal bread and wine, people could eat it once and never experience literal, physical hunger or thirst. The very fact that He said people would never hunger or thirst again if they "ate" Him proves that He was not being literal.

    Sorry, but when the Jews gazed upon Jesus they didn't see literal manna, the white stuff all over the ground. That would be literal. Yes, Jesus was literally speaking words, but the meaning of those words clearly wasn't literal. Besides, the original manna, the stuff harvested and eaten by the Israelites, wasn't literally Jesus; that manna was only a type of the promised Messiah.
    You would have the Israelites taking Eucharist in the desert! :thumbsdown: If Jesus were the literal manna in the desert, then why didn't they all receive eternal life (in accordance with v. 49) instead of being condemned to wander in the desert until they died, too disobedient to enter into the reward of the Promised Land?

    But look, if you believe that Jesus was speaking literally all through the John 6 discourse, then He also must have been speaking entirely literally when He said that we must literally eat His literal flesh and drink His literal blood (literal flesh and blood are physical flesh and blood) like the Romans say, and moreover He must have said that if we fail to do this we will not receive eternal life: Verily, verily, I say unto you, Except ye eat the flesh of the Son of man, and drink his blood, ye have no life in you. Whoso eateth my flesh, and drinketh my blood, hath eternal life; and I will raise him up at the last day. That is the literal statement of Jesus, taken completely literally. And it's why Romans believe that salvation is thus conditioned upon and received by the work or physical act of taking Eucharist rather than faith in Christ only. We can't have it both ways. Talk of chewing on flesh can't be partly literally figurative and partly literally literal. Either it's entirely literal or it's entirely figurative.
     
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  2. Botolph

    Botolph Well-Known Member

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    We are living in an intellectual milieu somewhat cruder than our ancestors, and the idea of limiting existential reality to a physical reality is neither productive nor helpful. The genius of the Anglican position on the Holy Sacrament is lost of many, however it is important that we insist that reality is not simply binomial.

    I understand that it is possible to take Bultmann's approach and decide that there are no sacraments in John. I am not sure that there is any good reason to do that. John does not write in the same way as the synoptic evangelists do, and his ordering of events has more to do with the case that he is building that we should understand Jesus is not simply the Son of God, but that he is also God the Son. John draws constantly on Old Testament narrative traditions and especially from the Exodus on a number of occasions. You might recall that the last words of the Jewish Seda which recounts the Exodus are tonight we have come out of Egypt. John understands in Jesus the whole idea of the Exodus has been broadened and deepened. Jesus is, the glory shining in the tabernacle, Jesus is the bread for the journey, Jesus is the water from the Rock, and we all, Jew, Samaritan, and Gentile on one this journey because we have seen his glory, glory as of the Father's only Son, and grace upon grace.
     
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  3. Tiffy

    Tiffy Well-Known Member

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    I was thinking along the same lines as yourself here in that it is heavenly food we 'eat', not 'actual food'. The prohibition on drinking blood was not just that it is a gross thing to do literally, but the reason might be akin to the reason idolatry was forbidden, i.e. it is a distraction from the truth of the metaphor it points to, a seriously confusing sidetrack of the direction of progressive revelation of God's ultimate purpose for mankind in setting up these physical metaphors pointing to a spiritual reality, crucial to our understanding and therefore crucial to our salvation that we understand.

    It might be interesting to be able to know how Jews, including Jesus, viewed the process of sustenance for the human body we take for granted as 'eating' and 'drinking', and how they connected these activities with the fact of 'staying alive'. Obviously they knew full well that starving and thirsting cause death. They would have wondered perhaps why that should be so and how the physical acts of eating and drinking might be reflected in the heavenly sphere as archetypes of the state of affaires on earth vis 'food' and 'drink' and 'staying alive'.

    Could adopting another's whole philosophical and moral lifestyle be regarded as 'food and drink' for someone bereft of vision and moral fibre? Are we not 'feeding' on another's ideas and 'drinking in' the essence of their personal morality. John 6:68. This was the reason his own disciples gave for not leaving him after him saying 'difficult words'. It is a decision to follow but made in desperation of every other supposed option being of no avail. They had no choice but to stay if they wanted to 'live' beyond mere temporary, physical survival. (It seems to me that Jesus said 'difficult things' when he got fed up with people thinking they understood what he had said, but clearly hadn't, and so couldn't be bothered to ask him to explain what they had misunderstood.)

    I feel that maybe Jesus was suggesting that unless his disciples placed as much faith in HIS teaching and as much obedience to HIS commands, as they placed in the law of Moses, then they had no 'life' in them and were as starving and thirsty as near corpses, and at the point of spiritual death.

    He was saying in effect that HE was the reality that all the metaphors just hinted at, and that what HE was about to do on the cross would be to fulfil the ultimate reconciliation between God and man in ways that religious ritual could never ever achieve even when faithfully deployed by man under God's direction, them being mere metaphors pointing to the real thing.

    A life giving, once for all, self sacrificial act of God.
     
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  4. Rexlion

    Rexlion Well-Known Member

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    :thumbsup::thumbsup: Exactly. Jesus told them as plainly as possible that He was the Messiah:
    Joh 6:33 For the bread of God is he which cometh down from heaven, and giveth life unto the world.
    Joh 6:34 Then said they unto him, Lord, evermore give us this bread.
    Joh 6:35 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.
    Joh 6:36 But I said unto you, That ye also have seen me, and believe not.
    Joh 6:37 All that the Father giveth me shall come to me; and him that cometh to me I will in no wise cast out.
    Joh 6:38 For I came down from heaven, not to do mine own will, but the will of him that sent me.
    Joh 6:39 And this is the Father's will which hath sent me I, that of all which he hath given me I should lose nothing, but should raise it up again at the last day.
    Joh 6:40 And this is the will of him that sent me, that every one which seeth the Son, and believeth on him, may have everlasting life: and I will raise him up at the last day.
    Joh 6:41 The Jews then murmured at him...


    But they would not believe that Jesus was the Messiah come down from heaven. Plain talk was not received. These were doubters who would remain doubters no matter what He said. Jesus took one more stab at explaining to them who He was (verses 44-51) but they still made the mistake of taking His words too literally:
    Joh 6:52 The Jews therefore strove among themselves, saying, How can this man give us his flesh to eat?
    Can you see it? The idea that Jesus would give them His literal physical flesh and blood to consume was their error! If they'd understood that Jesus was talking about a spiritual partaking by believing in Him, the foretold Messiah, they would have had the correct understanding; instead they had the wrong understanding that He wanted them to chew on Him. Consequently He got esoteric and purposely grossed them out, perhaps out of frustration or a gauche sense of humor or perhaps because the physical aspect was the only thing they seemed capable of understanding. He picked up on their own theme of physical eating, and He threw it it their faces.
    Joh 6:53 Then Jesus said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Except ye eat the flesh of the Son of man, and drink his blood, ye have no life in you.
    Joh 6:54 Whoso eateth my flesh, and drinketh my blood, hath eternal life; and I will raise him up at the last day.
    Joh 6:55 For my flesh is meat indeed, and my blood is drink indeed.
    Joh 6:56 He that eateth my flesh, and drinketh my blood, dwelleth in me, and I in him.
    Joh 6:57 As the living Father hath sent me, and I live by the Father: so he that eateth me, even he shall live by me.


    Botolph, yes I am using the word literal to mean "in a physical sense." Maybe the word "literal" isn't a perfect word to use, the English language being what it is, but trying to expand the word's meaning beyond the sense in which I'm trying to use it only muddies the waters. That's sort of like saying that I shouldn't use 'red' to mean 'plain red' when it also could encompass maroon and chartreuse. ;) So even though there are realities beyond the physical (for sure!), the discussion of John 6 is dealing with the question of whether Jesus was advocating the physical chewing of Him or the spiritual chewing of Him. Both are "realities" but only the former is literal speech to indicate a physical reality, the latter is figurative speech to indicate a spiritual reality. In the same way, Jesus is figuratively and spiritually 'water from the rock' but He isn't literally the stuff that makes one wet.
     
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  5. Tiffy

    Tiffy Well-Known Member

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    And say, Thus saith the king, Put this fellow in the prison, and feed him with bread of affliction and with water of affliction, until I come in peace. And Micaiah said, If thou return at all in peace, the Lord hath not spoken by me. And he said, Hearken, O people, every one of you. 1 Kings 22:27-28.

    And moreover in time past, even when Saul was king, thou wast he that leddest out and broughtest in Israel: and the Lord thy God said unto thee, Thou shalt feed my people Israel, and thou shalt be ruler over my people Israel. Therefore came all the elders of Israel to the king to Hebron; and David made a covenant with them in Hebron before the Lord; 1 Chr.11:2-3.

    The lips of the righteous feed many:
    but fools die for want of wisdom.
    Prov.10:21.

    Whither is thy beloved gone, O thou fairest among women?
    whither is thy beloved turned aside? that we may seek him with thee.
    My beloved is gone down into his garden, to the beds of spices,
    to feed in the gardens, and to gather lilies.
    I am my beloved's, and my beloved is mine:
    he feedeth among the lilies.
    Song. 6:1-3.

    'Feeding' here is likened to peaceful contemplation in a garden.

    Turn, O backsliding children, saith the Lord; for I am married unto you: and I will take you one of a city, and two of a family, and I will bring you to Zion: And I will give you pastors according to mine heart, which shall feed you with knowledge and understanding. Jer.3:14-15

    Son of man, prophesy against the shepherds of Israel, prophesy, and say unto them, Thus saith the Lord God unto the shepherds; Woe be to the shepherds of Israel that do feed themselves! should not the shepherds feed the flocks? Ye eat the fat, and ye clothe you with the wool, ye kill them that are fed: but ye feed not the flock. Ezek.34:2-3.

    But thou, Bethlehem Ephratah,
    though thou be little among the thousands of Judah,
    yet out of thee shall he come forth unto me that is to be ruler in Israel;
    whose goings forth have been from of old, from everlasting.
    Therefore will he give them up,
    until the time that she which travaileth hath brought forth:
    then the remnant of his brethren shall return unto the children of Israel.
    And he shall stand and feed in the strength of the Lord,
    in the majesty of the name of the Lord his God;
    and they shall abide:
    for now shall he be great unto the ends of the earth.

    Mic.5:2-4.

    So when they had dined, Jesus saith to Simon Peter, Simon, son of Jonas, lovest thou me more than these? He saith unto him, Yea, Lord; thou knowest that I love thee. He saith unto him, Feed my lambs. He saith to him again the second time, Simon, son of Jonas, lovest thou me? He saith unto him, Yea, Lord; thou knowest that I love thee. He saith unto him, Feed my sheep. He saith unto him the third time, Simon, son of Jonas, lovest thou me? Peter was grieved because he said unto him the third time, Lovest thou me? And he said unto him, Lord, thou knowest all things; thou knowest that I love thee. Jesus saith unto him, Feed my sheep. John 21:15-17.

    It should be perfectly clear from all these passages that the Jews had a thorough understanding of the metaphorical meaning of 'feeding on God' for knowledge and wisdom. Christ was, as he so often did, hinting at His divinity as The Son of Man when he said:

    "Verily, verily, I say unto you, Except ye eat the flesh of the Son of man, and drink his blood, ye have no life in you. Whoso eateth my flesh, and drinketh my blood, hath eternal life; and I will raise him up at the last day. For my flesh is meat indeed, and my blood is drink indeed. He that eateth my flesh, and drinketh my blood, dwelleth in me, and I in him. As the living Father hath sent me, and I live by the Father: so he that eateth me, even he shall live by me. This is that bread which came down from heaven: not as your fathers did eat manna, and are dead: he that eateth of this bread shall live for ever".

    And he was speaking to those who could be fully expected to understand exactly what he meant by this and respond appropriately. Not to some future post resurrection Christian congregations performing a mysterious Eucharistic rite, in which his 'body' and 'blood' would be mystically transformed and consumed, while all present assuming the words Jesus spoke at the time he spoke them must have been utterly incomprehensible and universally scandalous to his original Jewish hearers.

    Why would Jesus have said such things unless he had some expectation that his hearers were capable of understanding him, without them either assuming he was inciting them to disobey The Law or that he was quite insane?
    .
     
    Last edited: May 22, 2020
  6. Stalwart

    Stalwart Well-Known Member Anglican

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    I don't understand what you mean here. Are you saying that spiritual things aren't really real? So only the physical things are real, and everything else is just symbolic?

    This is really where I see our disagreement on this issue.

    I argue that the Body we consume in a true flesh, but not the fleshly flesh. That seems to me exactly what Bishop Jewel talks about in his Treatise on the Sacraments. But you on the other hand seem to be saying that only fleshy flesh is real. That there nothing else out there in the world apart from what we can see and touch.
     
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  7. Rexlion

    Rexlion Well-Known Member

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    You seem to want to replace the word "literal" with your own word, "real." I'm not saying that spiritual things aren't real, I'm saying (for example) that literal flesh is physical flesh; i.e., "literal" in the defined meaning of:
    in accordance with, involving, or being the primary or strict meaning of the word or words; not figurative or metaphorical: 'the literal meaning of a word.' Conforming or limited to the simplest, nonfigurative, or most obvious meaning of a word or words.

    When Jesus said, "I am the bread," we know that the primary meaning of "bread" is a type of baked flour/water mix, therefore the simplest, obvious, literal meaning of "bread" would dictate that Jesus is a loaf of baked barley. And we know that the literal meaning can't be the correct meaning, so we know Jesus spoke figuratively or symbolically or something of that sort.

    Jesus said, For my flesh is meat indeed, and my blood is drink indeed. He that eateth my flesh, and drinketh my blood, dwelleth in me, and I in him. We know that the primary meaning of "flesh" is physical material (muscle, tissue, skin, etc.). So the literal meaning of Jesus' words would be that He is instructing people to chew on and consume some of His human body. We know this can't be right. We know that if we eat "Jesus steaks" we aren't going to live forever and we won't be in Him (although He would be in us :loopy: for maybe a day or two:unsure: ). Therefore, we know that Jesus spoke not literally but figuratively or symbolically.

    It can't be a very comfortable position to be in, to have to maintain on the one hand that Jesus' words are literal (we are to literally eat His flesh and literally drink His blood) and simultaneously say on the other hand that His words are not completely literal, for we take consecrated bread and wine, not literal steak and literal human blood, when we feed on Christ (really, but spiritually, in our hearts by faith) at the communion rail.

    Nor can it be comfortable for the non-Romanist to have to claim that Jesus' words in John 6 are to be taken literally, except for these: Except ye eat the flesh of the Son of man, and drink his blood, ye have no life in you. For the Romanist will say that it is all to be taken literally as concerning the Eucharist, and therefore (using sound logic) any who do not partake of the actual, literal, physical flesh of Jesus (under the mere accidents of bread) are headed for damnation. That is, after all, the literal interpretation of verse 53.

    I hope I have explained my position better; sorry for any earlier confusion. :tiphat: I should have started by defining words, I guess.

    BTW, does anyone have a recipe for that bread of affliction? Stalwart might want to bake me a loaf or two of it about now... :laugh:
     
    Last edited: May 22, 2020
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  8. Tiffy

    Tiffy Well-Known Member

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    There is physical reality, which we test and observe through the scientific method.

    When bread or blood is examined according to this method, certain facts concerning their existence and nature can be ascertained.

    There is metaphysical conjecture, which we test and experience through faith, hope, trust and sometimes by a transcendental, supernatural experience.

    The two methods of discovering truth are incompatible with each other and one cannot be used as a substitute for the other.

    The metaphysical aspects of the Eucharist are firmly based in the Triune Godhead and especially in the Person and Character of the risen and ascended Christ, not discernable using the scientific method, but entirely requiring only faith in God.

    The host and the wine, both before and after consecration, cannot be thought to be anything other than bread, (wafer) and wine, except by faith. Subjected to examination according to the scientific method they will always be found to be unchanged in their natural essentials.

    But consecrated bread and wine is no longer merely 'natural' it becomes our spiritual food, by faith to be received with thanksgiving.

    I'm pretty certain that using the word real in connection with the presence of Christ in the Eucharist is pious but confusing. Which of the various aspects of the meaning of the word real do we want to include and which might be better excluded? We are talking about a sacrament here: "The outward and visible, (tangible) sign, of an inward, invisible grace". The sacrament is, I believe, the actual, spiritual, intangible, invisible, 'reality', not the outward physical nature of the bread and wine, which are merely symbolising the authentic 'reality' of a spiritual communion with Christ. But I may be wrong about all this.

    metaphysics: n singular the branch of philosophy which investigates the first principles of nature and thought; ontology or the science of being; loosely and vaguely applied to anything abstruse, abstract, philosophical, subtle, transcendental, occult, supernatural or magical. (Orig. applied to those writings of Aristotle which in the accepted order came after (Gr meta) those dealing with natural science (ta physika), from physis nature.

    real: adj actually existing; not counterfeit or assumed; true; genuine; sincere; authentic; that which is real.
    .

    Surely it should not be surprising that such Holy Mysteries are easily misunderstood.

    I Paul . . . am made a minister, according to the dispensation of God which is given to me for you, to fulfil the word of God; Even the mystery which hath been hid from ages and from generations, but now is made manifest to his saints: To whom God would make known what is the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles; which is Christ in you, the hope of glory: Col.1:24-27.
    .
     
  9. Stalwart

    Stalwart Well-Known Member Anglican

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    You're basically saying that I'm awkwardly caught between the literal and the metaphorical. And I say that the whole of the Christian faith is exactly made in this model. Scripture is filled to the lees with this kind of imagery:
    1. In Genesis 1, did the spirit of God literally fly above the waters in a way that a bird did? Or is it there speaking metaphorically? No, neither.
    2. Did Jesus have a physical body after his resurrection, and what kind was it that he could walk through walls? Was it really a body, or just a metaphor? No, neither.
    3. Do we literally have free will where God is unaware of what we'll do? Or is it literally all predestined? Or maybe either the free will or predestination are metaphorical? No, neither.
    4. In heaven with the beatific vision, are we going to literally sit and look at God forever? Or is that metaphorical? No, neither.
    5. And, the greatest of them all, is God one, or three? Is he literally one, and literally three? Metaphorically one or the other? No, neither.

    I could fill this with pages and pages of examples. What you've put the finger on is the essence of the faith.

    What is the essence of the faith? The fact that anything pertaining to God, anything at all that has to do with the supernatural, is in its actual essence incomprehensible to us. It is unknowable to us. Therefore how can we talk about what heaven is like? Using human language, it is a vision. A vision unlike anything we have in life around us.

    What is God? A three, but a three unlike anything we have in life around us; and a one, but unlike anything we have in life around us. Are we predestined? Yes but not in a way that billiard balls are caused one by another. Are we free? Yes but not in a way that could prevent God from knowing our next move.

    Did the Spirit of God fly above the waters in Genesis 1? Yes, but not in a way that a bird might, with his feathers touching the surface. But it wasn't made up or metaphorical or unreal either, he really did it, but the specific reality is incomprehensible to us.

    Did Jesus have a physical body after the resurrection? Yes but not the kind of body we could ever understand. Was it literally physical in how we think of physics? No. Was it just metaphorical? Absolutely not.

    And that, I propose, is how we should approach the Sacraments as well. Are we born again in baptism of water and spirit? Yes there is a real rebirth we experience in Baptism, but it's not literally a rebirth (in the way you've defined it). Do we receive the body and blood of the Lord in the Sacrament? Yes it is a real body and blood of our Lord, although not literally, in the way you've defined it.

    Finally I would just want to defend and recover the word 'literal' so that it doesn't function only under your definition. Under my definition of literal, I do believe we are, not just really, but also literally born again in Baptism (in a way that's incomprehensible). And I do believe that we receive, not just really, but also literally the heavenly body and blood of the Lord (in a way that's incomprehensible).
     
    Last edited: May 23, 2020
  10. Rexlion

    Rexlion Well-Known Member

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    Interesting diversion. I'm not buying it.

    And it wasn't my definition of the word 'literal,' I copied and pasted that definition right from the dictionary. If you don't like the meaning of 'literal,' you might have to write a protest letter to Merriam-Webster.

    By the way, did you just call into question whether Jesus rose from the dead with a physical body? :doh:

     
    Last edited: May 23, 2020
  11. Stalwart

    Stalwart Well-Known Member Anglican

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    The body Jesus rose from the dead in, could glow and walk through walls. That is unlike any physical body that's ever been known.
    Therefore, if we go by your Merriam-Webster definition of "the simplest, nonfigurative, or most obvious meaning of a word", was it literally a physical body?

    I say yes, because I'm using another sense for the word 'literal'.

    But in following the M-W definition, you would have to assert that Jesus' resurrected body was not literally a body; the Trinity isn't literally a three-in-one; the Spirit didn't literally fly over the waters of the created world; that regeneration isn't literally a rebirth; and the Eucharist isn't literally a kind of flesh and blood.

    However, even if you wish to cling on to the M-W definition, despite its (obvious to me) dangers to the faith, we have already both agreed that the body and blood in the Sacrament is real. Whether or not you will allow it to be literal, or metaphorical, or analogical (this one I could join with you on), we both agree that it's real, which is all that had to be established.
     
  12. Tiffy

    Tiffy Well-Known Member

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    In a way that a bird 'does'. Birds 'did' not then yet exist except in the mind of God.

    רָחַף
    STRONG’S NUMBER: h7363
    Dictionary Definition h7363. רָחַף râḥap̱; a primitive root; to brood; by implication, to be relaxed: — flutter, move, shake.

    AV (3) - shake 1, move 1, flutter 1;
    (Qal) to grow soft, relax(Piel) to hover.

    Because birds 'hover' and 'brood' using wings, and the Holy Spirit has no physical 'wings' only metaphorical ones, Ex.19:4. this reference must therefore be metaphorical.
    It was a spiritual body, not the physical body of a human being. That was the kind of body that Christ had before he became 'changed'. 1 Cor.15:51, 2 Cor.3:17-18. 1 Cor.15:45. 'Body', now that Christ is translated and glorified must be a metaphor, because bodies as we know them in a phsical sense all die, and Christ's no longer does. 2 Cor.5:16.
    I don't think 'free will' can be defined in terms of God's omniscience in that way. God is eternal and can foresee all things, but that does not mean that God predetermines everything we are going to do. That would leave no room for personal responsibility and it would make God responsible for our sinful deeds, not us. There is nothing metaphorical about either 'free will' or 'predestination' they both, I think, fall outside any category in which metaphor or physicality are applicable.
    I think this must also be metaphor, not physical, since the physical (as we know it) will no longer exist. A new situation entirely will by then replace physicality as we now know it. Revelation 4:2-5, Revelation 21:5.
    Everything we think we know about the nature and physicality of the Godhead is metaphorical, surely. God can only be explained in metaphorical terms. There are not three Gods there is only one God. So your apparent dichotomy immediately dissolves the moment we affirm there is only one God, and none other. God is beyond being considered in our human 'literal' terms, according to human understanding. God is above all that. Read the Athanasias creed, it gives a few pointers to the reality of God but when it says Christ "sitteth on the right hand of God" it is speaking metaphorically not literally. God has no hands for anyone to sit on and Christ will not spend all of eternity sitting down, or doing anything else literally on God's right one.
    .
     
  13. Rexlion

    Rexlion Well-Known Member

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    :thumbsup::thumbsup: to the "yes," but :thumbsdown: to the need for "another sense of the word literal." The body Jesus had when He appeared to the disciples after the resurrection was a physical body, period. Jesus proved this to the disciples by chewing and swallowing food! He was not merely there in a spirit form. Yet He had (and has) the power to disappear from the room (no need to walk through a wall). He is God and can dematerialize the material, physical body at will, just as He could de-materialize and re-materialize Philip in a new location to speak to the eunuch (we would not say that Philip had a body that was "a different kind of literal," would we?).

    I would not so assert. And I don't understand why anyone would think I am asserting most of those things (I'm not too certain about the "flying over the waters" bit, is all).

    When we use words, we use them in the way they are understood among virtually all speakers of that language. Coming up with novel new definitions simply hampers proper communication. I'm glad you see that we both believe the Body and Blood of Christ in the Sacrament are real.... and I hope you can respect my reasoning as to why I think Jesus' conversation in John 6 was about believing in Him, the foretold Messiah, rather than being about the Eucharist. :tiphat:
     
  14. Rexlion

    Rexlion Well-Known Member

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    Yikes! Now that's where I get off your trolley. :p Because Jesus surely has a physical body of flesh and bone, and He took it with Him when He ascended from the earth. It is an incorruptible physical body, such as we will have at the resurrection. He ate food with it. Someone grabbed His feet (Matt. 28:9). He invited Thomas to stick his finger in the nail holes. That's a physical body! :yes:
     
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  15. Tiffy

    Tiffy Well-Known Member

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    So also is the resurrection of the dead. It is sown in corruption; it is raised in incorruption: It is sown in dishonour; it is raised in glory: it is sown in weakness; it is raised in power: It is sown a natural body; it is raised a spiritual body. There is a natural body, and there is a spiritual body. And so it is written, The first man Adam was made a living soul; the last Adam was made a quickening spirit.
    Howbeit that was not first which is spiritual, but that which is natural; and afterward that which is spiritual. The first man is of the earth, earthy: (made of dust and returning to dust), the second man is the Lord from heaven. As is the earthy, such are they also that are earthy: and as is the heavenly, such are they also that are heavenly. And as we have borne the image of the earthy, we shall also bear the image of the heavenly.
    Now this I say, brethren, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God; neither doth corruption inherit incorruption. Behold, I shew you a mystery; We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed, 1 Cor.15:42-51.

    By not physical, I mean not earthy i.e. made of earth, in other words dust, not subject to the laws of physics, but subject to the laws of a new creation. Still tangible, when the body wants to or allows itself to be touched, but also intangible and omnipresent when desirous of being so, at any time and in any place. An entirely new reality to the one we currently are able to experience.
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    Last edited: May 23, 2020
  16. Rexlion

    Rexlion Well-Known Member

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    I think I would prefer to say that Jesus' resurrection body is "physical and spiritual, physical yet more than physical." Because when we say it's "not physical," we might inadvertently encourage a gnostic heretical belief (such as exists today among the JWs). Best to stay far away :order: from the edge of a sinkhole such as the belief that Jesus has no physical body.
     
  17. Stalwart

    Stalwart Well-Known Member Anglican

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    So you also step aside from the literal meaning of physical. And thus we go full circle. Literal and yet more than literal -- that is how I too would advocate we understand everything about heavenly things: the three in one, regeneration, real presence.
     
  18. Rexlion

    Rexlion Well-Known Member

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    And here I thought I was drawing Tiffy back to the literal meaning of the word 'physical.' :) Physical plus more doesn't change 'physical' from its literal meaning. However, obviously, Jesus' body is not the sum total of Him! :D

    Perhaps we can agree that the Sacrament of Holy Eucharist is "the visible form of an invisible grace" (as Augustine put it) which Christ personally instituted, and is something of a mystery. Sacramentum is the word used to translate the Greek musterion, or "mystery." As we partake orally of bread and wine, we also partake of Jesus in a spiritual sense. How does this happen? It is a mystery; it is not subject to physical measurement or earthly quantification.

    Although we as Christians are already indwelt by the Holy Spirit, we can be infilled to a greater measure by God. In Acts 8 we learn of some disciples (believers in Christ) who had not yet received the baptism in the Holy Spirit, but when Peter and John laid hands on them and prayed, and they were infilled. We see this as an early Confirmation (another mystery, just not one personally instituted by Jesus), yet it shows us that people can be indwelt and not yet be infilled. Perhaps we should approach Communion with the attitude of desiring more of God: more intimacy, more enablement, more direction, more yielding of our selves... in other words, more of God and less of us.

    Who among us could not benefit from better hearing of the Spirit's gentle leading? More strength to resist sin? Greater boldness in witnessing? More love for those around us? Jesus taught:
    Mat 7:7-11 Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you: For every one that asketh receiveth; and he that seeketh findeth; and to him that knocketh it shall be opened. Or what man is there of you, whom if his son ask bread, will he give him a stone? Or if he ask a fish, will he give him a serpent? If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children, how much more shall your Father which is in heaven give good things to them that ask him?
    Jesus is able, willing, and more than ready to give us a heart of love, a heart of boldness, a strengthened resolve, and the guidance we so desperately need to fulfill His plans. To whom does He give these gifts? He gives them to those who ask in faith, who do not doubt that He will supply them. How does He give them? Through a mystery.

    In the Anglican Standard Liturgy, when we have confessed our sins during the service, the priest pronounces, "Almighty God, our heavenly Father... have mercy upon you, pardon and deliver you from all your sins, confirm and strengthen you in all goodness..." We should expect to receive what our priest has asked God on our behalf for us to receive. It should be our own prayer request as well. So when we participate in the mystery of Communion, as we ask to receive more of Christ, let us also ask Him for more of His good gifts. And let us not be surprised when He supplies them!
     
    Last edited: May 23, 2020
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  19. Tiffy

    Tiffy Well-Known Member

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    physical: relating to the world of matter and energy, or it's study, natural philosophy; material; materialistic; (obs) bodily; requiring bodily effort; involving bodily contact; medical (rare), medicinal (obs), wholesome (Shakesp).

    physical sciences: those sciences (physics , geology, chemistry etc) concerned with non living matter.

    Jesus though, we believe is very much alive and with us to the end of time. Matt.28:20.

    And he didn't mean only on a patten and in a chalice, after certain words had been spoken by a specially ordained person, even though I believe that also to be sacramentally true.
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    Last edited: May 23, 2020
  20. Botolph

    Botolph Well-Known Member

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    He was the Word that spake it;
    He took the bread and brake it;
    And what that Word did make it;
    I do believe and take it

    Often attributed to Elizabeth 1, however probably more likely from the pen of John Donne, sometime Dean of St Paul's Cathedral.

    I know what they meant, I think, yet I can say the words without disdain and accept my view may be a fraction diverse.

    I think that I would find it more helpful to talk about the tangible and the intangible, and I accept the premise that in the sacrament we encounter the intangible through the tangible.

    Sydney Carter wrote some time back likening the experience of the sacrament as akin the the experience of listening to music, which though simply physical vibrations beating on the ear, carries a brdon with is not physical at all and brings us joy or sorrow, tears or dancing.

    Jesus did not say 'this isn't really my body', or 'this is symbolic of my body' but he did say 'do this as my anamnesis'.

    Some time back I penned the words 'some say its this, and others that, it matters not for you are here'. I still hold this words.

    I feel no need or desire to express a belief in transubstantiation, mainly because I simply believe that it represents a flawed view of reality, and a limited view of God. My understanding of this temporal reality is that eternity breaks through, and in these moments of eschatological realisation we are given grace to embrace that which is beyond this mortal coil.
     
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