Full Text for The Reformed Doctrine of the Lord's Supper (Text)

(truurnr~ta: UJ4tulugtrul jluu:tQly Continuing LEHRE UNO \VEHRE MAGAZIN FUER EV.-LuTH. H OMILETlK THEOLOGICAL Q UARTERLY-THEOLOGICAL MONTHLY Vol. X September, 1939 No.9 CONTENTS Page The Reformed Doctrine of the Lord's Supper. Th. Engelder ______ M1 The False Arguments for the l\lodern Theory of Open Questions Walther-Guebert ____ ______ .. __ 656 Die Gottesidee in heidnischen Religionen. P. E. Kretzmann ________ 666 Was Gamaliel's Counsel to the Sanhedrill Based on Sound Reasoning? w. c. Bw:hop _ __ ____ ___ _________________________________________ 676 Predigtpniwuerie Cuer die Evangelien der Thomasius- Perikopenreihe . __________________________________________ . _____________ 684 l\lisce1Ianea _ ______ . ____ " _ . .. __ _____________________ .. ___ .. __ .... __ .... ___ ._ .. _ 692 Theological Observer. - Kirchlich-Zeitgeschichtliches ____________ 698 Book Review.-Literatur .. _ .. _ .... .. ____________________________________ . 711 an Predller muu nlcht alle1n ",ei- lin, IIlIo daII et' dle Schafe unter- .... elae. WIe lie re-o..hte ChrL-ten sollen IeJD, IOJldem 8ucb daDeben den Woel- fell ",."!'eft, due lie die Schafe nlcht Ullfel1'm un4 mIt fal8eher Lehre ver- tuebl'en und IrrtUJD elntuehren. !Nther. EI 1st ke1n DIq. du die loMdI mehr bel der Kln:be bebMlt dmD die eute Predlg1. - ApoIogIe, At1. J4, If the trumpet atv. an uneertafn sound who Iball prepare bImMJf to the battle? - 1 eM.14," Puhllshed for the Ev. Loth. Synod of Missouri, Ohio, and other States CONCORDIA PUBLISHING BOUSE, St. J .(nm, Mo. Concordia Theological Monthly Vol. X SEPTEMBER. 1939 No.9 The Reformed Doctrine of the Lord's Supper K. Barth said in 1923: "Uncertainty prevails in the Lutheran communion also. and they have Crypto-Calvinists and even Crypto-Zwinglians among them in fairly large numbers - at least in respect of the question of the Lord's Supper." (The Word of God and the Word of Man, p. 260.) I s that true? The AUg. Ev.- Luth. Kirchenzeitung wrote April 10, 1931: "The false teaching of the Lord's Supper, which has split the Church since the days of Marburg, has invaded our Lutheran Church and is today pene- trating its innermost circles. How many of our pastors are teaching what Luther taught? To be sure, there are pastors and congregations still holding the true faith. But the situation in general is this, that every conceivable error regarding the Lord's Supper has its adherents." Last year Professor Sasse wrote: "It is an appalling fact that those pastors and theological pro- fessors who today adhere to the old Lutheran doctrine of the Lord's Supper constitute a very small minority." (Kirche u . Herrenmahl, p.67.) In Lutheran Germany the Reformed teach- ing prevails. And while the situation is not nearly so bad in Lutheran America, even here Lutheran leaders are spreading Reformed views. Does this matter much? Why should the Reformed churches not retain the old Zwinglian-Calvinian teaching? What do the Lutherans lose who follow Calvin rather than Luther? They lose very much. The Reformed churches have cast away the priceless treasures which our Lord has placed in the Sacra- ment of the Altar and are depriving their people of great and wonderful blessings. Those who spread the Reformed teaching are committing a crime against the Lord and the Church. "I surely love with all my heart, the dear, blessed Supper of my Lord Jesus Christ, in which He gives me His body and 41 642 The Reformed Doctrine of the Lord's Supper blood, to eat and drink it also bodily, with my bodily mouth, with these most sweet and gracious words: 'Given for you, shed for you.''' (Luther, 19, 1292.) The Reformed are unable to utter such a prayer of praise and thanksgiving. They abhor the idea that the real body and blood of Christ are given with the bread and wine to be eaten and drunk sacramentally. They will not have Jesus give them His real, natural, substantial body. They repudiate the doctrine of the Real Presence as a satanic delusion. Satan himself, Beza declared, would abhor such an idea. He stigmatized the oral eating and the manducatio indignorum as "duos pilos caudae equinae et commentum, cuius vel ipsum Satanam pudeat." "They speak so horribly of it [the Real Presence] that a godly Christian man should be ashamed to translate it." (Form. of Cone. Trigl., p.997.) For four hundred years the Reformed churches have been insisting that, when Jesus says: "Take, eat; this is My body," He is not giving His disciples His real body. Reformed theology has set out to rob Christendom of the priceless treasure of the Real Presence. The Reformed theologians do not hesitate to do violence to Scripture in order to accomplish their purpose. Christ's words are plain: "This is My body"; but they would forbid us to accept these words in their plain, literal, native sense. One party among them declares that the Lord meant to say: This bread signifies My body. But it is impossible that the Lord meant that, "Is" cannot mean "signifies."l) And 1 Cor. 10:16 ends all argu- 1) Scripture never uses "is" in that sense. No human language does. (Luther, 20, 905.) For "language itself would commit suicide if it could tolerate the idea that the substantive verb shall express not substance, but symbol." (Krauth, The Conserv. Ref., p.619.) The Reformed get desperate in their attempts to make "is" mean "signifies." The Evan- gelical Quarterly (Edinburgh), for instance, says in its issue of July 15, 1938: "Hoc est corpus meum Luther chalked on the table, and from that he would neither argue nor budge. But is that decisive? What does 'is' mean in the very next word 'This cup is the new testament in My blood'? If 'is' does not mean signify, represent, then the cup is the new testament and not what is in it. That is what is said, and there is no justification for taking 'is' literally in reference to the bread and as equal to signifies in reference to the cup." The argument is rather involved, but whatever it is, it does not prove the point. (1) Even if "is" stood for "signifies" in this statement, that does not prove that it has the Sanle meaning in the statement "This is My body." It might mean it. But we ask: Must it mean it? Can it mean it? Besides, these two statements are not parallel. "This is My blood" is parallel to "This is My body," but the statement under discussion: "This cup is the new testament," etc., treats of an altogether different matter. (2) In the sentence "This cup is," etc., the word "is" retains its proper, its only, meaning. Just as the statement of Christ "I anl the Resurrection and the Life" means that in Christ we have life, in Christ there is life, so our statement means that in and through the cup we have, because of the blood of Christ it contains, the new testament, that is, the forgive- ness of sins. The forgiveness is there, in reality, not figuratively. (See The Refonned Doctrine of the Lord's Supper 643 mentation on this point. The bread does not signify, but it "is the communion of the body of Christ." The bread is there, and the body is there. Others are willing to let "is" retain its native sense but insist that the word "body" must be taken figuratively. "Body" does not mean the real body, but "symbol, emblem, of the body." But that would be a reverse, upside-down metaphor, never used in legitimate speech. (Luther: "ein ruecklinger, ver- kehrter Tropus," St. L., 20, 987.) Calvin, on this part, wanted to make "body" mean "the virtue and effect of Christ's death." We are wondering why Christ did not say that in plain language if He meant that. And we are wondering how Calvin could adopt the symbolical interpretation in the face of the words which Christ added: "given for you." Beza turns against his teacher and declares: "The words which follow, to wit, 'which is given for you' and 'which is shed for you,' compel us to understand the words of the very substance itself of the body and blood of Christ. . . . Can there be anything more absurd than to say: "This is the effect of My death, which is given for you?" (The effect of My death is given into death for you!!) "We do not doubt that by the term 'body' is meant that very body which was assumed for our .sakes and crucified." And here again 1 Cor. 10: 162 ) puts a stop to all argumentation. The bread is not the symbol of Christ's body, but the communion of the body.3) But the Reformed will Pieper, Chr. Dog., III, p.411.) And (3) the fact that the word "cup" is used figuratively for what it contains-we think that is what the writer is driving at - does not help him. Scripture itself indicates that the word "cup" is used figuratively. But that is not indicated in the statement "This is My body." Nay, Scripture tells us plainly that the word "body" is meant literally. - E. Kaesemann asks us to believe this: "Waehrend in der Moderne, streng genommen, 'ist' und 'bedeutet' nie vertauscht werden sollten, hat die Antike auf Grund ihres eigenartigen Symbolbegriffes die Moeglichkeit, beides zu identifizieren." (Abend- mahlsgemeinschaft? p. 7. - A similar conceit is discussed in Pieper, Chr. Dog., 3, p.369.) No, "is" means "is" and cannot mean anything else. Hodge agrees: "The Lutherans maintain that 'is' never has, or can have, the meaning assigned to it by the Refonned, and in this they are right." (Syst. Theal., 3, p.662.) 2) "Der Spruch ist auch die lebendige Arznei gewesen meines Herzens in meiner Anfechtung ueber diesem Sakrament." (Luther, 20, pp. 235, 1082.) 3) The words of Scripture are very clear. They present no difficulty to simple faith. A. E. Garvie traces Luther's teaching on the Real Pres- ence of Christ's body to "artificial metaphysics" (The Fatherly Rule of God, p. 126); but what compelled Luther's faith was the clear word of Jesus. He did not subject the words of Jesus to metaphysical treat- ment but declared: "My dear Lord Jesus Christ, a quarrel has arisen about Thy words in the Lord's Supper; some insist that they mean something different from what the words indicate. But since these men do not give me anything certain but only confuse me and keep me in doubt and cannot in any way establish their text, I have stuck to Thy text and taken the words as they stand." (20, 1037.) It is the Re- 644 The Reformed Doctrine of the Lord's Supper not have it so. They will not have the real body of Christ present in the Lord's Supper. Up to this very day their aim is to rob Christendom of the priceless treasure of the Real Presence. The Reformed resent this charge and insist that Calvin, rejecting Zwingli's teaching that the Lord's Supper is a mere memorial, taught a real presence as well as Luther; there is no real difference on this point between Luther and Calvin. Is that formed theology which operates with "metaphysics." Compelled by philosophical, rationalistic considerations, these men refuse to abide by the plain statements of Jesus and busy themselves with finding new interpretations of the simple words. Anything goes; but the Real Presence must go! Luther listed seven different "interpretations," all aimed at getting rid of the presence of the real body. Carlstadt denied that it is present in, with, and under the bread; for when Christ said, "This is My body," He was simply pointing to His body and informing His disciples that while they were eating bread, His body sat at the table. Schwenkfeld read the text backwards and made Christ say: "My body is this - spiritual bread." (Luther, 20, 1771.) At the beginning of the seventeenth century the Reformed were offering twenty-eight different interpretations. (Krauth, Conserv. Ref., p.607.) Since then the number has increased. Here are two samples of these modern interpretations: "Some of recent years have interpreted 'This is My body' to mean that this loaf which is broken and distributed is or represents the Church, which is Christ's body." (C. Gore, The Body of Christ, p.243.) The latest interpretation is that the Aramaic phrase, which Christ probably used (den hu guji) cannot be translated: "This is My body" but means: "This is My person." (See Sasse, Kirche und Herren- mahl, pp.19, 49.) Anything to get rid of the Real Presence! Wilhelm Niesel (Reformed) declares that "from Zurich to Erlangen all are agreed that the words of Christ are to be understood symbolically, that modern exegetics and Bible-study has shown the correctness of the Reformed teaching." (Abendmahlsgemeinschaft? Pp.37, 49.) H. Gollwitzer (Lu- theran) declares: "At all events we of the present day find it impossible to operate on the basis of a literal interpretation, as the old-Lutheran theologians did." (Coena Domini, p.309.) We are wondering what find- ings of modern Bible research Niesel and Gollwitzer have i..ll. mind. The samples given above do not look any better than the extravagances of Carlstadt and Schwenkfeld: "This is the Church"! What could the Lord have meant when He said: This is the Church which is given into death for you"? As for the gufi-interpretation: did the Holy Ghost, then, make a mistake when He translated the word with <1&!J.CI.? And even if Jesus had said: "This is My person," how would that help the case of the Reformed? What moves them to explain away the "body" would cause them to get rid of the "person." Finally, what forgotten rule of language have these theologians of Germany lately discovered that would give sense to Calvin's interpretation: Receive the benefits of My death, which benefits are given into death for you? - On the exegesis of the words of institution see Pieper, Chr. Dog., III, p. 394 ff.; Lehre u. Wehre, Vol. 50, p.144ff.; THEoL. MTHLY., Vo1.6,p.65ff. Krauth,op.cit., p. 666 ff.; Gollwitzer, op. cit., p. 8 ff. (a fine presentation of the old- Lutheran exegesis), and Luther, Dass diese Wone Christi "Das ist mein Leib," etc., noch fest stehen wider die Schwarmgeister, 20, 762 ff. The study of the text, however, will not help the Reformed theologian one bit, though he be equipped with the finest mind and have mastered all languages, inclusive of the Aramaic, and the exegetics of all times, so long as he looks at the text with his rationalistic prejudice: the words cannot mean what they express. This inability of the rationalizing exegetes to take in the clear text will be discussed later. The Reformed Doctrine of the Lord's Supper 645 true? When a Presbyterian some years ago declared in the Living Church that the Presbyterian Church does teach the Real Presence and said: "The doctrine of Calvin is a Real Presence. So is Luther's," Dr. Scratchley wrote in to say: "There is no question that Presbyterianism rejects an objective real presence of our Lord in the Sacrament; He is present really in that He is there by the faith of the worthy believer. . . . The early Presby- terians contended rigorously for the abolition of all acts that indicated a presence other than the subjective presence." (The Living Church, Feb. 1, 1930.) Dr. Scratchley is right in his main contention. Calvin did not teach the real presence of Christ's body and blood. He did indeed say that Christ's body is present. He could not avoid saying that in view of the text: "This is My body." Der Text ist zu gewaltig da! Bishop Gore speaks of "the remodeled doctrine of Calvin, when he had separated him- self from Zwingli and asserted in the strongest language the actual and substantial communication to us in the Sacrament of Christ's body and blood, His life and self, to be our spiritual food." (Op. cit., p.53.) But if you ask Calvin, Do you believe that the real body is present? he answer s, Absolutely not! "Necesse est, corpus ChTisti a nobis tanto locoTum 'inteTvallo distare, quanto coelum abest a ten·a . . ,. Totus [Christus] secundum corpus in coelo manens, ad nos sua virtute descendit." (Consensus TiguTinus. ) When Calvin speaks of a presence of Christ's body, he substitutes, as does Gore, for "Christ's body and blood" the concept "His life and self." "Christ assures you that you truly partake of Him ... . Christ withdrew His flesh from us. In His flesh He will remain in heaven. . .. That the pious soul may apprehend Christ , it must rise to heaven." (Institutes, IV, chap. 17, §§ 10, 18, 30, 36.) In "remodeling" Zwingli's doctrine, Calvin retained the essentials of Zwingli's teaching. Calvin asserted as strongly as Zwingli that the real body Is absent.4 ) The "dynamic presence" taught by 4) Hans Asmussen (Lutheran) does not want us to identify Zwingli's and Calvin's teaching. "Ein solcher Fehler der Altvorderen liegt zwei- felsfrei in der naiven Gleichsetzung von Zwinglianern und Calvinisten." (Abendmahlsgemeinschaft? P.14.) But the Reformed themselves admit that our fathers were right. Hodge tells us "that Calvin avowed his agreement with Zwingli and Oecolampadius in all questions relating to the Sacraments." (Op. cit., III, p.647.) R. M. Adamson sets out "to rebut Wilberforce's charge that in Calvin's view 'there is little that goes b€yond the system of Zwingli.''' But what he quotes from Calvin: "The spiritual means whereby the bread and wine become to us the body and blood are faith on the part of the communicant" proves that Calvin agrees with Zwingli in rejecting the Real Presence. Calvin, it is true, teaches a subjective presence of Christ, a presence effected by faith. But in that he does not advance beyond Zwingli. For Zwingli also, as quoted by Adamson (p. 61), teaches: "We believe that Christ is truly present in the Lord's Supper; yea, that there is no communion 646 The Reformed Doctrine of the Lord's Supper Calvin means that the body and blood are present in efficacy but absent in reality. The Reformed have not progressed beyond Calvin and Zwingli. For four hundred years they have been speaking of a real presence and repudiating the Real Presence. In his day John Owen preached in his Sacramental Discourses "that there is a peculiar commWlion with Christ in this ordinance"; but he added at once: "It is not a corporeal presence; there are innumerable arguments against that. Everything that is in sense, reason, and faith of a man overthrows that corporeal presence. The spiritual com- munication gives as real an incorporation, as if you did eat My flesh." (Adamson, p. 98 fT.) In our day Hodge declares: "It is not His body and blood as such. . .. To receive the body and blood as offered in the Sacrament or in the Word is to receive and appropriate the sacrificial virtue or effects of the death of Christ on the cross. . .. The apostle teaches that by partaking of the bread and wine, the symbols of Christ's body and bloo<\ given for us," etc, (Op. cit.~ p. 646 f.) In Notes .on the Heidelberg Catechis'ln A. C. VIlhitmer writes: "The Lutheran, or consubstan- ~iation,iheory is that the elements are not changed but that 'in, with, and under' these are the real flesh and blood of Christ locally present and that both the natural and the spiritual are received by every communicant, hut with benefit only where there is faith. The Reformed or Calvinistic theory is that the elements remain unchanged, and yet that the body and blood .of Christ are really present, not locally or carnally but spiritually, by the Holy Ghost, and therefore are received only by the worthy com- municant." (P.164.)5) without such presence. . .. We believe that the true body of Christ is eaten in the Communion, in a spiritual and sacramental manner, by the religious, believing, and pious heart." - Among those who are guilty of "naively putting Calvin in the same class with Zwingli" are Pieper (op.cit., 3, p.354), Bente (TrigL, Hist. Intr., p.174), Sasse (Here We Stand, p.l48), and Gollwitzer (Coena Domini, p.124: "Calvin setzt in seiner Auslegung der Einsetzungsworte hinter das von ihm gebrauchte Adverb 'realiter' bei der Betonung der Austeilung des Leibes Christi in Klammern ein entschuldigendes 'ut vulgo loquuntur' ") . 5) When the Reformed use the term "local presence" as descriptive of the Lutheran teaching, they do not always mean to insinuate that the Lutherans teach the monstrosity of a local presence of Christ's body, the larger body of Christ occupying its commensurate amount of space in the smaller wafer. Hodge: "The Lutherans deny that they teach any such presence (local presence). They say that the body and blood of Christ are with, in, and under the bread and wine. They are held in the hand and taken into the mouth. This is all the Reformed mean when they speak of a local presence, a presence in a definite portion of space." (Op. cit., p.679.) That is exactly what we teach: Christ's body is present in this definite space, sacramentally but withal really. And that is exactly what the Reformed reject. - As to the Lutherans teaching con- substantiation, Gore knows more about the matter than Whitmer and The Reformed Doctrine of the Lord's Supper 641 The Reformed cannot bring themselves to say that the body of Christ is really, objectively, present. They will only say that it is present, subjectively. Bishop Gore tries very hard to speak of an objective presence. He defines it correctly: "This is what is called the doctrine of an objectively real presence in the Eucharist. It expresses the belief that independently of the faith of the individual the body and blood of Christ are present 'under the forms' of bread and wine or in some real, though undefined, way identified with them." He speaks of "the objective presence in, under, or with, the consecrated elements." But what it finally comes to is this: "Jesus declared that this bread and this cup were to be identified by the faith of His disciples with His body and blood. Where their bodily eyes saw these outwa7 _ 3ymbols, with spiritual eyes, they were to all the body and the blood; while with the mouth of the body they were to eat and drink ... 1.. - earthly food, with the mouth of faith they were to eat and -ink the spiritual realities." (Op. cit., pp. 14, 232 fl., 246, 263.) W. Niesel tries very hard to establish a reality, Wirklichkeit. "Das Wort bewirkt es, class das, was die Zeichen veranschaulichen, 'irklich- keit wircl. Durch Wirkung des Heiligen Geistes vy ..... d dB':. ,-,pier von Golgatha, Christi Leib und Blut, im Abendmahl gegenwaertig und uns geschenkt." But if you ask him if the body and blood is present, he tells you: "Der Leib und das Blut Christi koennen dO"...h nicht in dem Brot und Wein sein. . .. Die Zeichen tragen die Sache seIber nicht in sich." (Op. cit., p. 54 f.) From Zwingli and Calvin down to Niesel the Reformed theologians repudiate and denounce the teaching that together with the bread and wine the very body and blood of Christ are given to the communicants to eat and. to drink. B) the great majority of the Reformed writers. He speaks of it in this way: ''The Lutherans with their (reputed) consubstantiation. . ., Luther's view - called consubstantiation by its opponents." (Op. cit., pp. 53, 235.) Bishop Waterland: "The Lutherans disown augmentation and impanation, yea, and consubstantiation; and if it be asked at length what they admit and abide by, it is a sacramental union." (See further Krauth, ap. cit., pp.130, 339.) 6) How they abhor such a teaching! The Reformed Church fathers denounced it as "impious, foolish, inhuman" (thus Zwinglij see Krauth, p. 756), as "a delusion of the devil," due "to the fearful fascination of Satan" (thus Calvin, Inst., IV, chap. 17, §§ 19, 23). Those who believe in the Real Presence are "a stupid race of men." They even described the Lutheran Lord's Supper as "Cyclopean eating, a Thyestian banquet," spoke of a "baked God," and used such terms as "carnivorae, 8areophagi, anthropophagites, cannibals, Fleischfresser, Blutsaeufer." The same spirit animates Reformed leaders of the present day. Adamson is in accord with the statement: "The Church, forsaking the rule of spiritual inter- pretation, ruined itself and set up a monster." It was the result of a judgment of God: "Poor obstinate Luther, to punish his obstinacy, was permitted to hold it with fierce contention against the Reformed 648 The Reformed Doctrine of the Lord's Supper The Reformed theologians, the Reformed ministers, will not have their people come to Communion with the idea of receiving the real body and blood of the Lord. The Reformed celebration of the Lord's Supper is not intended to be, and is not, a Sacrament in which the communicants partake of the body and blood of Christ, sacrificed on Calvary for the remission of our sins. A won- drous treasure Christ gives His Church - and Reformed theology casts it aside.7l churches." (Op. cit., pp.99, 126.) Hodge subscribes to the verdict of Calvin in the Consensus Tigurinus: "It is an irrational and impious superstition to include Him in the earthly elements." He subscribes to the twenty-fourth article, which calls the Lutheran doctrine "no less absurd" than the Catholic transubstantiation and in describing it uses the terms "crassa figmenta atque futiLes argutiae." (Op. cit., pp. 633,642.) The Watchman-Examiner of Sept. 27, 1928, calls it "an absurdity," and in discussing the old cry of "sacramental cannibalism" the Evangelical Quarterly says that "the phrase is needlessly offensive." However, "the very offensiveness of it compels attention to the grossness of the teach- ing" not only of Rome but also of the Lutheran Church. "The truth is, the more one thinks of the idea of the presence of the body and blood of Christ in the elements at the Supper, the more grotesque it becomes." 7) The majority of the Lutheran professors and pastors in Germany, Sasse and others declare, have allied themselves with the Reformed in combating the doctrine of the Real Presence. One of the leaders or these renegade Lutherans, P. Althaus, states his position thus: "Unser Nein zu Calvin besagt nicht einfach ein Ja zu Luthers und der altlutherischen Abendmahlslehre. . .. Was heisst es, dass Jesus den Juengern Brot und Wein als seinen Leib und Blut gibt? Die Handlung ist zunaechst Jesu letztes Gleichnis: er verkuendet im Sinnbild samt dem deutenden Wort sein nahes Sterben; er stellt, indem er Brot und Wein zu Sinnbildern seines Opfertodes macht, die Bedeutung seines Todes fuer das Leben der Menschen dar: 'lhr lebt davon, dass ich sterbe.' Aber das letzte Mahl Jesu ist nicht nur Predigt von dem Segen seines Todes in Form einer symbolischen Handlung, es ist in der Form der Gleichnishandlung seIber Akt, Tat. Indem Jesus das Brot und den Wein zu Sinnbildern seines Sterbens macht und so zu geniessen gibt, verleiht er damit im gleichnishaften Pfande Anteil an dem Ertrag seines Sterbens. Er gibt seinen Tod, sich selbst, als den fuer sie Sterbenden, den Juengern zu eigen - zu einer eben durch sein Sterben fuer sie begruendeten Ge- meinschaft, die nun Vergebung der Suenden, unio mystica, ewiges Leben ist. Die Abendmahlshandlung des Herm ist also ein Tatgleichnis, das heisst, reale Gabe in bildlicher Handlung. . .. Christus gibt uns nicht himmlisches Blut, sondern sein geschichtliches Sterben als gegen- waertig-wirksame Wirklichkeit zu eigen." (Die lutherische Abend- mahlslehre in der Gegenwart, pp.37, 43 f.) If Calvin had read this, he would have said: That is just about what I have been saying. Some Lutherans in America, too, have gone over to the Reformed. The Lutheran Church Quarterly, 1936, p.353, writes: "Jesus chooses this bread as the instrument which He will use to bring His presence and His saving power to us. It expresses and accomplishes the saving pur- pose of delivering from sin and restoring to God, just as did the flesh in which He once lived. Therefore He properly calls it His body. Likewise the blood is the symbol and power of life. So Jesus chooses ana uses this fruit of the vine to bring the power of His life into our lives; He conveys Himself and His living and healing and vitalizing power to all of us through it, just as the blood conveys the purifying and vitalizing oxygen to all parts of the body. Hence He properly The Reformed Doctrine of the Lord's Supper 649 Reformed theology aims to take away from us a second blessing. It denies that the Sacrament of the Altar is medium iustificationis. "For this reason we go to the Sacrament because there we receive such a treasure by and in which we obtain forgiveness of sins." (Large Catechism, V, § 22.) The Reformed tell their people such a treasure is not to be found there, We hear Christ say: "This (namely, that which you orally drink out of the cup) is My blood of the new testament, whereby I estab- lish, seal, and confirm with you men this My testament and New Covenant, namely, the forgiveness of sins." (Form. of Cone. Trigl., p.991.) The cup containing My blood is the bearer of the new testament gift, the forgiveness of sins gained by My shed blood. The Reformed do not hear Christ say that. Zwingli knows only this: "Coena dominica mortis commemoratio est, non peccatorum remissio." (Opp., 3, p.258.) In his Augsburg Confession he em- phatically states: "I believe and know that all Sacraments, far from conferring grace, do not even offer or present it!' (See Luther, 20, 1557.)8) And Calvin does not know a thing more than Zwingli. He protests in the Consensus Tigurinus: "Acsi visibile signum, dum in __ ledium profertur, eadem secum monento Dei gratiam adveheret!" A. H. Strong: "The Lord's Supper sym- bolizes our personal appropriation of the benefits of Christ's death." Seven times he uses the word "symbolize"; never a word saying that the Lord's Supper offers, gives, and seals the forgiveness of sins and the consequent blessings. calls the wine His blood, the medium of conveying spiritual life and sustenance to us. His real presence is truly in the Sacrament." Any Reformed theologian could have written this. The Lutheran of Febru- ary 11, 1937, reviewing a book by Emil Brunner, writes: " re even doubt that Lutherans will find fault with his chapter on the Lord's Supper," with the statement "Not simply bread and wine, but Christ Himself is present in the Sacrament." Calvin made many such state- ments in unfolding his denial or the Real Presence. As long as a man refuses to state that the real body is present, His statement that Christ Himself is present does not make his language Lutheran. - Let Lu- therans use exact language! When a writer in the Journal of the A. L. C. speaks of "our belief in the real presence of the living Christ in the blessed Sacrament of the Holy Eucharist" (pp. 14, 16), he is using hazy language. The Reformed would say that this exactly expresses their belief. The Edinburgh Conference on Faith and Order officially de- clared: "We all believe that Christ is truly present in the Eucharist, though as to how that presence is manifested and realized we may differ." (Ch1'istendoJn, II, No.4, p.670.) Do not say that you are confessing the Lutheran doctrine when you speak of the presence of Christ. "We all believe that!" It is Lutheran doctrine that the body and blood of Christ are present. It is Reformed doctrine that Christ is present, not His body and blood. 8) Zwingli offers this argument: "If the disciples received forgive- ness already in the LQrd's Supper, the death of Christ, occurring later, had no purpose." (L. c., p.1563.) 650 The Reformed Doctrine of the Lord's Supper The Reformed deny the objective nature, the vis dativa, of the Sacrament. Adamson calls it "a saving rite"; he commends Luther, who "most deeply felt the importance of the objective means of grace, felt that the objective view of the Sacrament as a genuine means of saving benefit must be vindicated against the Quietists," and then quotes Calvin (Inst., IV, chap. 17) : "The symbol shows that our souls are fed by Christ just as the corporal life is sustained by bread and wine," and also insists on the objec- tive character of the sacramental blessing. (Gp. cit., pp. 58 ff., 261.) But Calvin's statement clearly shows that he does not believe that the Lord's Supper itself offers the gift of forgiveness. It only symbolizes that the soul feeds on Christ by faith; faith must find the forgiveness of sins elsewhere - it must ascend to heaven and there feed on Christ. The Sacrament is only the symbol, not the bearer, of grace. According to Reformed theology the saving efficacy of the Sacrament lies in the faith of the communicant. According to Lutheran theology, faith is a vain dream and chimera where there is no offer and promise; if the Sacrament does not offer the forgiveness, faith cannot deal with the Sacrament as really saving rite." Hodge quotes the Large Catechism: "In which we obtain forgiveness of sins. Why so? Because the words stand here and give us this; for on this account He bids me eat and drink, that it may be my OVi'-11 and may benefit me, as a sure pledge and token, yea, the very same treasure that is appointed for me against my sins, death, and every calamity." Hodge says he agrees with this: "All that is here said is in perfect accord with the Reformed doctrine both as to the benefits to be derived from the Sacrament and as to the source from which those benefits are to be received." (IlL, p.674.) But how can he find himself in agree- ment with Luther, seeing that he denies that "the sure pledge and token," the Lord's body and blood, is really present, actually given? More thaJCJ. that, on page 650 he had explicitly stated that "the efficacy of this Sacrament as a means of grace is not in the sign nor in the word but in the attending influence of the Holy Ghost." And on page 684, in Vol. II, he insists: "Efficacious grace acts immediately." That is the Reformed slogan: Nulla res externa, sed solus Spiritus Sanctus confirm at fidem.9l The Reformed min- ister must tell his people: If you want forgiveness, if you want strengthening of your faith, you will not find it in the Sacrament. Look elsewhere. The vis dativa does not lie there nor the vis efJectiva. Calvin tells them: Do not believe that "the visible sign brings the grace of God to you." But do not the Reformed make much of the Lord's Supper? 9) References given in Gollwitzer, op. cit., p.298. The Reformed Doctrine of the Lord's Supper 651 The writer in the Evangelical Quarterly says: "The observance of the Lord's Supper brings the soul face to face once more with the Savior in the fulness of His dying love and saving power. Most blessed is the privilege to sit at His table and receive the sacred emblems at His hand." The Presbyterian Larger Catechism declares that the Sacrament signifies, seals, and exhibits the bene- fits of Christ's mediation and strengthens faith. (Quest. 161 et seq.) According to the order arranged by Calvin the Reformed pray: "Grant us of Thy goodness that we may receive this great blessing with true sincerity of heart and ardent desire and endued with sure faith, enjoying together His [Christ's] body and blood, or rather Himself entire," etc.10) Do the Reformed derive no benefit from their Communion service? There is no doubt that the Reformed Christian, hearing the Gospel pr each ed during the celebration of the Lord's Supper, hearing that Christ shed His blood for the remission of sins, is assured of the forgiveness of sins. But he does not receive this assurance from the Lord's Supper as such. He does not believe that the grace of God is offered and conveyed in the Sacrament, much less that this offer and gift is sealed through the body and blood given together w ith the bread and wine. "As though the visible sign brought the grace of God!" The Reform ed preach the Gospel at their Communion service, but the Lord's Supper as instituted by the Lord they withhold from their people. They deprive their people of the specific blessing inherent in the real Lord's Supper. They cannot say with Luther: "I have this treasure, the body and blood of my Lord, given to me for the forgiveness of sins." They have only, says Luther, "an empty shell," "only the husks." (20, 748 f., 752.) They have taken out of the Sacrament that which distinguishes this means of grace from the Gospel. They tell their people explicitly that the Lord's Supper gives the Christian no additional help. Adamson speaks of "an assertion of Real Presence which is equally applicable to faith apart from any Sacrament at all." (Op. cit., p.97.) Hodge: "Believers receive elsewhere by faith all they receive at the Lord's Table." (II, p . 647.) Well, do not the believers receive the full forgiveness of sins through the Gospel, apart from the Sacrament! Most assuredly, but the Reformed 10) A few more similar statements. "The Lord's Supper deserves the best place. . . . Our old Scotch forefathers made much of Com- munion Sabbaths. Fasting, preaching, 'fencing' the tables against the 'ignorant' and 'scandalous' were all done with meticulous care," etc. (The Presbytej·ian, Dec. 4, 1930.) "The Christian finds in the Holy Supper an invaluable means of religious and moral quickening." (Adam- son, op. cit., p.147.) "The Lord's table is a most deep-solemn and tender message of divine truth. The elements, though symbolical, are not empty symbols. They have a rich spiritual import." (H. C. Sheldon, System of Chr. Doctrine, p. 524 f.) 652 The Reformed Doctrine of the Lord's Supper mean something else. They mean that the Lord's Supper carries no specific benefit. At the "Lutheran Diet," 1877, a "distinguished divine, occupying an honorable position in a prominent seminary of the Presbyterian Church," was quoted as saying: "It follows that in the same sense in which it is done at the Lord's Supper believers do receive, and feed upon, the body and blood of Christ at other times without the use of the Sacrament and in the use of other means of grace, as prayer, meditation on the Word, etc."; and the speaker commented: "With such views, of course, the Lutheran Church can have no sympathy or fellowship." (The Lutheran Diet, p.72.) The Lutheran Church insists that a par- ticular blessing is attached to the Lord's Supper - the offer of the forgiveness of sins as sealed by the body and blood of the Lord. The Reformed insist that the Christian does not need this additional assurance. W. Niesel declares: "The truth is that that which the Lord's Supper gives we have every day by means of the sermon, reading of Scripture, and prayer. Indeed, what other communion with the Lord could be possible besides that which is brought about by the Word and the Spirit?" That, says Sasse, "describes exactly the position of the Reformed Church: Whatever spiritual blessings the Church has she would have without the Sacrament." (Kirche u. Herrenrnahl, p.73.) The Reformed do not want, they think they do not need, the additional guarantees, seals, pledges, which the Lora's Supper offers by means of the body and blood of the Lord. Is it any wonder that Luther used sharp language in dealing with this spirit? "Furthermore they say: What need is there of the presence of Christ's body in the Sacrament, seeing that faith can easily be strengthened without it, through the Gospel as otherwise preached? . .. Does God think that, even though He is God, He alone is wise and would teach us, the spirituals? That is the second abominable blasphemy of Oeco- lampadius. For he who denies that that which God says and does is needed puts himself above God and claims to be better and wiser than God." (20, 880 f.) Our gracious Lord knows that we need to be assured by Him in various ways that He has for- given us our sins, that we need the assurance connected with the Real Presence. The Reformed tell Him that they do not need it; the Word is enough. Strictly speaking, they do not rely even on the Word.lll But aside from that, who is Oecolampadius, who is Calvin, who is Niesel, to tell God that they get the ve:ry same blessing, the very same strengthening of faith, outside of the Sacrament as through it? 11) "Efficacious grace acts immediately." (Hodge.) The "external invitation" does not carry with it "the internal efficacy of grace." (Calvin, Inst., TIl, chap. 21, 7.) The Reformed Doctrine of the Lord's Supper 653 The Lord's Supper brings wonderful blessings to us. The Lord has been very good to us. He is telling us: "This cup is the new testament"; receive here the forgiveness of your sins.12) And shall we keep silence when these men tell the Christians that the Sacrament does not bring the grace of God to us? Is it nothing to you that they are despoiling Jerusalem of two great treasures, the Real Presence and the forgiveness of sins given in the Sacra- ment? Shall we exchange the Sacrament which the Lord insti- tuted for an ordinance of their own contrivance? And they are working additional havoc. They are over- throwing the authority of Scripture. They would substitute for the authority of Scripture the authority of reason. They refuse to take the words of Scripture as they read because that would conflict with the judgment of their reason. There is notlllng in the text that compels them to forsake the literal sense; nothing in Scripture.13) But their reason impels them to seek a different interpretation. Zwingli proclaimed at Marburg: Deus nobis non proponit incomprehensibilia. Oecolampadius followed the same rule: A tropical interpretation must be applied "wherever in- convenientia and contradictions are found." (See Gollwitzer, Op. cit., p. Calvin followed the same rule and declared: "It is repugnant to all reason, viz., that Christ was seated at table under their eye and yet was contained invisible under the bread." (Inst., IV, chap. 17, § 23.) Owen declares that "everything that is in sense, reason, ... of a man overthrows that- corporeal presence." Hodge repeats Calvin's statement: "It is an irrational and impious superstition to include Him in the earthly elements." (II, p. 642.) The Evangelical Quarterly uses the same argument as Calvin: "How could anyone present there think for one moment that His body should at once be standing before them with the blood coursing through His veins and be at the same time in the bread which He held in His hands and in the cup? It is simply inconceivable. . .. It was impossible." And the apostate Lu- therans are saying with Kahnis: "Der zu Toetende, welcher vor den Juengern stand, konnte nicht Gegenstand des Genusses sein." (Die luth. Dogm., I, p.619.) Two reasons, carnal reasons, dominate the 12) "There we receive such a treasure by and in which we obtain forgiveness of sins. Why so? Because the words stand here and give us this; for on this account He bids me eat and drink, that it may be my own and may benefit me as a sure pledge and token, yea, the very same treasure that is appointed for me against my sins, death, and every calamity." (The Large Catechism, V, § 22.) 13) Before Zwingli had given the spirit of rationalism entrance into his heart, he wrote: "These words are clear, known to all men: 'This is My body.' Is that not a clear, short, certain word of God? Could God have used more exact and unmistakable language?" (See CONe. THEOL. MTHLY., III, p.97. Lehre u. Wehre, 56, p.304.) 654 The Reformed Doctrine of the Lord's Supper Reformed teaching on this point: "First, reason does not know what to do with it. Secondly, there is no need for the presence of Christ's body and blood in the bread and wine; that is abs1Lrditas et nulla necessitas." (Luther, 20, p. 580.) In order "to escape the scandal on of the bodily presence" (Sasse, K. u. H., p. 59), Calvin and his followers adopt interpretations which are scandalous even to sober reason in that they do violence to the text. The judgments of carnal reason count for more with them than the assertions of Scripture. This Reformed principle, if consistently applied, would rob the Church of every single article of faith. "If we should judge the articles of our faith and Scripture according to reason and our senses, as Oecolampadius is here doing, every single piece of Scripture would contradict every other piece." (Luther, 20, 796.) Is it any wonder that Luther, with whom one little word of Scrip- ture counted for more than all the world, was filled with hatred against the Reformed principle? "Die leichtfertige Art, mit der Schrift umzuspringen und sich ueber ihren Widerstand hinweg- zusetzen - sie meinte Luther mit seinem Marburger Schlusswort vom 'andern Geist' del' Schweitzer." (H. Gollwitzer, Abendmahls- gemeinschaft? P.I07.)14l Is it nothing to you that they are undermining the walls of Jerusalem, the foundation on which faith rests, the sole and supreme authority of Scripture? They are finally laying waste the whole land. The ruin extends to the most important, the most fundamental doctrines.15l There is the doctrine of the Personal Union. The rationalistic prin- ciple Finitum non est capax infiniti, which compels the Reformed to deny that the bread can be the bearer of the body of Christ, compels them to deny, too, the all-important article of the com- municatio maiestatis.16 ) And there is the articulus fundamenta- lissimus, justification by faith. This precious article is nullified, 14) Bucer: "I beg you, will you not recognize me as brother? Do show us what in our teaching displeases you." Luther; "1 am not your master, I am not your judge nor your teacher. However, our spirit and your spirit do not go together. It is manifest that we do not have the same spirit; for that cannot be the same spirit when one party accepts the words of Christ in simple faith and the other party rejects, denounces, vilifies such faith as a lie and blasphemy." (Walther Koehler, Das Marburger Religionsgespraech, p.38.) 15) "The sacramental issue is not one of those minor and negligible questions which impatient outsiders regard it as being; for it raises great principles and shows wide horizons, affeding the whole nature of the Church and the Gospel of Christ." (H. W. Robinson, The Chr. Experience of the H. Ghost, p.198.) 16) "In order to keep Christ's body out of the Lord's Suppel', Calvin (Inst., IV, chap.17, § 30) stamps it as a "monstrous" doctrine "to say that wherever His divinity is there His flesh is also." (Pieper, Chr. Dog., ill, p.380. See also Proc. Syn. Conference, 1938, p.18.) The Reformed Doctrine of the Lord's Supper 655 in effect, by the Reformed teaching that the means of grace do not bring the grace of God to the sinner. The sinner will never obtain justification if he refuses to go to the only place where it is offered.17) Worse than that, the Reformed teaching that external things are of little help - the "Spirit" must do it- directs the sinner to rely for his salvation on his spiritual ex- periences, on something that goes on within himself. The Spiritual- ism which Reformed theology vaunts amounts to a justification by works.18) "The difference between the Lutheran and Reformed Church reaches the innermost parts of faith." (Walther, op. cit., p. 83.) 19) Is it nothing to you that they are carrying their depredations into the innermost sanctuary of Jerusalem? Shall we stand by unmoved and unconcerned? We are asked to do so. Lutherans are telling us that it does not matter.20) They are anxious to establish fellowship with the 17) Luther: ''They confess that Christ died on the cross and saved us, that is true; but they deny that by which we obtain Him, that is, the means, the way, the bridge, and approach to Him they tear down and destroy." (3, 1692.) See Walther, Die lutherische Lehre von der Rechtjertigung, p.35: "Most so-called Protestant churches confess the article of justification by faith alone, but through their teaching on the means by which man is justified they subvert this article. In the first place they teach falsely concerning the means of grace, the means by which God offers and gives forgiveness." 18) Luther: "Do you not see the devil here, the enemy of what God ordains? See how with these words spirit, spirit, spirit, he makes you gape to heaven but in the mean while is tearing down the bridge, the way, the approach, the ladder, and everything by which the Spirit would come to you, that is, the external ordinances of God in bodily baptism, sign, and external word, and would show you, not how the Spirit comes to you, but how you should come to the Spirit, would teach you to sail on the clouds and ride on the wind; but they do not tell us how and when and where and what; they say, Experience it, just as we do." (20, 203.) - Pieper: "All who deny with Rome, Zwingli, Calvin, and the moderns that the Lord's Supper is primo loco a medium through which God forgives sins turn the Lord's Supper into a human work." (Op. cit., p. 443.) And M. Schneckenburger, himself more or less Reformed, declares that the Reformed teaching here "approaches the Catholic teaching." (See Pieper, op. cit., p.199.) 19) The Reformed historian Hagenbach writes: "An del'll Woertchen 'ist' oder 'bedeutet' hing freilich der Streit sichtbar. Das ist aber nur die aeussere Handhabe, an welcher wir die beiden verschiedenen theo- logischen Denkweisen del' streitenden Parteien anfassen koennen, die aeusserste Spitze, worin sie auslaufen." (Lehre u. Wehre, 56, p.543.) On the "different spirit" see further Proceedings Syn. Conference, 1894, p. 7 ff. 20) They are saying with C. M. Pfaff of old that "the doctrinal dif- ferences between the Lutheran and the Reformed Church amount to a mere war of words" and with the Lutheran Companion of April 7, 1938, that "there are those who have begun so to quibble about the words used in this 'testament' and about 'spiritual presence,' 'actual presence,' 'in-with-and-under,' that its gracious provisions have been forgotten," etc. 656 False Arguments for Modern Theory of Open Questions Reformed and to practise intercommunion.21l We cannot do it. W ecannot countenance or extenuate what the Reformed are doing to the Church. Weare bound to preserve to the Church these priceless treasures. We owe this to our people and our children. And we owe it to the Reformed Church. We would have all Christians on earth rejoice with Luther: "1 surely love it with all my heart, the dear blessed Supper of my Lord Jesus Christ, in which He gives me His body and blood, to eat and drink it also bodily, with my bodily mouth, with these most sweet and gracious words: 'Given for you, shed for you.''' TH. ENGELDER The False Arguments for the Modern Theory of Open Questions A Translation of Dr. C. F. W. Walther's Article Entitled "Die falschen Stuetzen der modernen Theorie von den ofl'enen Fragen," Lehre und Wehre, XIV (1868) (Continued) After having shown that the theory of open questions cannot be supported by assuming a gradual growth of dogmas through successive decisions of the Church, we shall prove in the following paragraphs that a doctrine must not first gain a so-called symbolical recognition before it can become a dogma of the Church and must not therefore be placed in the category of open questions until such recognition has been achieved. In the first place, this so-called symbolical recognition cannot be established from the historical development of symbols. The doctrines embodied in the Symbols were not included in the various articles in order that they might become doctrines of the Church but were included because they already were doctrines of the 21) A strong movement in this direction is going on at present in Germany. And over here the Lutheran (Feb. 5, 1931) is protesting against the Galesburg rule, camparing it with "the interdict of the Middle Ages" and denouncing it as "an unpardonable misuse of eccle- siastical powers." - It should have said with Luther: "It shocks one to hear that in one and the same church, at one and the same altar, the two parties [Lutheran and Reformed] should take and receive one and the same Sacrament, with one party believing that it receives nothing but bread and wine and the other believing that it receives the true body and blood of Christ. And I often ask myself whether it is possible that a preacher and pastor could be so callous and wicked as to tolerate such a thing," etc. (17, 2016.) - "When, in 1817, Professor Scheibel refused to join the rest of the Breslau faculty in a union celebration of the Lord's Supper, he explained his refusal by saying that he could not participate until some one provided him with a Calvinistic exposition of the passage 1 Cor. to: 16." (H. Sasse, Here We Stand, p.150.)