Sanctification: By Grace Alone

April 16th, 2013 Post by

by Rev. Dr. David P. Scaer

safe_image (1)Luther placed justification, the doctrine of God’s free grace in Jesus Christ, at the heart of his theology. Man is saved not by anything he does or could hope to do, but by what God has done once and for all in Jesus Christ. Since the Reformation, God’s accepting the death of Christ in place of the sinner’s death has been the hallmark of Protestantism and more specifically of Lutheran churches. Salvationis sola gratia and sola fide. God justifies the sinner purely out of His grace through faith without works. Just as no one raises himself from the dead, so no one makes himself a Christian. God, who brought Jesus back from the dead, alone brings believers to Christ and declares them righteous. Lutherans hold that justification is monergistic, a Greek derivative, which means that a thing has only one cause. God alone converts Christians. He alone justifies believers. This principle also applies to sanctification. He alone makes us holy. God is the cause and content of our sanctification.

Traditional Roman Catholicism shares with Lutheranism a monergistic view of the general plan of salvation. God alone sent His Son into the flesh (incarnation) and sacrificed Him for the world’s sin (atonement); however, the certainty of individual salvation is made dependent on the level of believers’ personal holiness. Sanctification requires cooperating with divine grace in doing good works. At the center of this system is a doctrine of sanctification which holds that man cooperates with God for the certainty of salvation. There is no place for the total justification of sinful humanity as God’s completed activity in Christ. Man cooperates with God in becoming holy and so sanctification is defined in ethical terms, which can be measured.

A majority of other Protestant denominations agree with Luther’s monergistic doctrine of justification, but like Roman Catholics they see sanctification, the working of the Holy Spirit in Christian lives, in synergistic terms, another Greek derivative, which means that a thing has two or more causes. Believers are required to play a part in developing their personal holiness by living lives disciplined by the Law and by special ethical regulations set down by the church. Christians can and must cooperate with God’s grace to increase the level of personal sanctification. Cooperation, a Latin derivative, is a synonym of synergism, and also means two or more things or persons working together. As a rule most Protestants agree with Luther that God alone justifies sinners and initiates the work of sanctification, but many differ in holding that believers are responsible for completing it. They oppose the Roman Catholic view that pilgrimages, novenas, penance and masses as good works; however, they agree with Catholicism that man cooperates with God in his sanctification to attain personal holiness.

God alone justifies, but sanctification is a combined divine-human activity, which even though God begins, each believer is obligated to complete. In this system, the Gospel, which alone creates faith, is replaced by the Law which instructs in moral requirements and warns against immorality. Justification by grace is seen as a past event and the present focus is on man cooperating with God to reach a complete sanctification.

Lutherans recognize that Christians as sinners are never immune to the Law’s moral demands and its threats against sin, but in the strictest sense these warnings do not belong to Christian sanctification, the life believers live in Christ and in which Christ lives in them. In Roman Catholic and some Protestant systems, the Gospel brings the good news of salvation in Jesus Christ, but is replaced by the Law which sets down directives for Christian life and warns and threatens the Christian as Christian. Law, and not the Gospel, becomes God’s last and real word for the believer. So Christianity deteriorates into an implicit and eventually coarse legalism and abject moralism. Jesus faced this understanding of an ethically determined concept of sanctification among the Pharisees. Holiness was defined in terms of fulfilling ritual requirements. Sixteen centuries later for similar reasons, Luther raised his protest against medieval Catholicism. At times, the New Testament uses the words sanctify and sanctification of God’s entire activity of God in bringing about man’s salvation. More specifically it refers to the work of the Holy Spirit to bring people to salvation, to keep them in the true faith and finally to raise them from the dead and give them eternal life (Small Catechism). All these works are also performed by the Father and the Son. Since God is not morally neutral and does not choose to be holy, but He is holy, all His works necessarily share in His holiness. The connection between the Holy Spirit and sanctification is seen in the Latin for the Third Person of the Trinity, Spiritus Sanctus. The Spirit who is holy in Himself makes believers holy, sanctifies them, by working faith in Christ in them and He becomes the sources of all their good works.

Sanctification means that the Spirit permeates everything the Christian thinks, says and does. The Christian’s personal holiness is as much a monergistic activity of the Holy Spirit as is his justification and conversion. The Spirit who alone creates faith is no less active after conversion than He was before.

sanctifying-power-of-marriageOur Augsburg Confession recognizes those things which keep society and government together as good works, but strictly speaking, they do not belong to a Christian’s personal holiness and have no necessary relationship to justification. Unbelievers can do these works as can Christians. The works of sanctification are, strictly speaking, only those which Christians can do. They find their source, content and form in Christ’s offering of Himself for others and are given to Christians by the Spirit who proceeds from the Father and the Son and who is sent into the world by the Son. Sanctification is a Trinitarian act. God dwells in the believer in order to accomplish what He wants. The petition of the Lord’s Prayer that “God’s will be done” is a prayer for our own sanctification.

The Spirit who assisted Christ during the days of humiliation to do good to others and to offer Himself as a sacrifice to His Father is the same Spirit whom Christ by His death, resurrection and ascension gave to His Christians. Jesus, in requiring that we love God with our whole being and our neighbors more than ourselves, was not giving us an impossible goal to awaken in us a morbid sense of sinfulness. Nor was He speaking in exaggerated terms to make a point, but He was describing His own life and the life of His Christians who live their lives and die in Him. Like Christ, Christians trust only in God and sacrifice themselves for others. Sanctification not only defines the Christian life, but in the first and real sense it defines Christ’s life. Jesus Himself loved God with everything which He was and had and made us His neighbors by loving us more than He loved His own life. Sanctification is first christological, that is, it is Christ’s own life in God and then our life in Him. His life did not follow a system of codes, a pattern of regulations or list of moral demands and constraints and restraints.

Just as Christ’s life had to do with self-giving, our sanctification has to do with presenting our bodies as living sacrifices. Our sanctification finds its closest point of contact in the earthly life of Jesus who gave Himself for us. Christ’s giving of Himself is in turn an extension of Father’s giving of His Son, “God so loved the world that He gave His only Son.” The sending of the Son as a sacrifice reflects the Father’s eternal giving of Himself in begetting the Son, “begotten of His Father before all worlds.” So the Christian doctrine of sanctification draws its substance from atonement, incarnation and even the mystery of the Holy Trinity itself. This self-giving of God and of Christ take form in the lives of believers and saints, especially those who are persecuted for the sake of the Gospel and martyred. On that account St. Paul sets himself and his companions in their sufferings as patterns of sanctification for those to whom they preached the Gospel.

As magnificently monergistic as our sanctification is, that is, God works in us to create and confirm faith and to do good to others, we Christians are plagued by sin. In actual practice our sanctification is only a weak reflection of Christ’s life. Good motives often turn into evil desires. Good works come to be valued as our own ethical accomplishments. Moral self-admiration and ethical self-absorption soon replace total reliance on God. The sanctified life constantly needs to be fully and only informed by Christ’s life and death or our personal holiness will soon deteriorate into a degenerate legalism and barren moralism. God allows us Christians to be plagued by sin and a sense of moral inadequacy to force us to see the impossibility of a self-generated holiness. Our only hope is to look to Christ in whom alone we have a perfect and complete sanctification. “He is the source of your life in Christ Jesus, whom God made our wisdom, our righteousness and sanctification and redemption” (1 Cor. 1:30).

 

Orignal post: http://www.mtio.com/articles/aissar6.htm


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  1. Lloyd I. Cadle
    April 25th, 2013 at 23:36 | #1

    @Marc from Cincy #48 You are taking Gal. 1:8-9 out of context.

    Paul is talking about the Judaizers trying to pressure the Gentile Christians to embrace circumcision and the laws of the Old Covenant as requirements for salvation.

    Striving to live a holy life as a part of santification is not the same thing as trying to earn heaven by circumcision and trying to keep the rituals of the Mosaic Law apart from faith in Christ.

  2. April 26th, 2013 at 06:47 | #2

    Ugh!

    I just spent 22 minutes thumb typing on this I-phone an eloquent defense of the Pauline Epistles and it didn’t “take” on the server!

    Someone in a better frame of mind want to take this one for me instead?

    Bottom line: agree to disagree.

  3. April 26th, 2013 at 09:01 | #3

    First, my apologies to Rev. Dr. David P. Scaer, because many of the comments left under his blog post, while related, are not on topic to what he’s posted, and some of those comments I have left. He certainly has every right to shut this down.

    Second, in regard to my previous questions to Mr. Cadle, I appreciate his taking the time to share some of his personal journey with me. That being said, it is certainly curious that he did choose not not answer such simple questions. The choices he leaves are between some sort of Orthodoxy or some form of Romanism. Since it appears to be up to me to follow the clues given, one particular clue stands out above the others: “If you ever get a minute or two, look at some of the reasons that Frances [sic] Beckwith became a Catholic.” I happen to be very familiar with Dr. Beckwith’s “Return to Rome” book which documents his apostasy and return to the Roman church. Based on that clue, I’m leading towards the conclusion that Mr. Cadle has likewise made a fallible and personal choice to become a member of the Roman church. If this is incorrect, it would be up to Mr. Cadle to set straight.

    Third, the categories of discussion presented by Mr. Cadle run a wide spectrum, reminiscent of someone setting a new fires once the first few are put out, and then starting the same fires again. For instance, the topic of Luther, which eventually led me to this discussion has been abandoned. The discussion surrounding “tradition” with 2 Thes. 2:14-15 has faded into the past. The “40,000″ denominations discussion has faded away. A large majority, if not the great majority of comments I’ve posted have been ignored. Now I notice Paul and the Judaizers is the recent fire. I mention this merely to show the inherent futility of intricate discussions without focus in a comment box.

    Fourth, if I am correct that Mr. Cadle has joined some sort of sect in communion with Rome, there are a number of areas in which historical double standards are in play. Mr Cadle appears to be fond of locating specific Roman doctrines in the early church at the expense of others. For instance, today’s Romanists love citing Matthew 16 to establish the infallibility of the Bishop of Rome, yet the early church speaks quite strongly against such an exegesis. The Roman church says Mary was immaculately conceived and later assumed into heaven, yet the early church certainly isn’t in unity on this “dogma” of Romanism. Purgatory and indulgences in the early church? Nope. Another later addition. Mr Cadle wants to argue “the post reformation teachings are not in agreement with the consensus of the teachings of the Early Church Fathers on most things pertaining to doctrine and practice,” while appearing to be completely certain the Rome of today looks like the early church. Well, it doesn’t, which is why Newman’s development hypothesis is so important to the survival of Romanism. Lloyd can’t have it both ways.

    Fifth, Mr. Cadle points to some sort of consensus of the early church on a 73 book canon, but this is simply historically inaccurate. There were at least two major traditions in the church on the extent of the canon, and this right up until Trent. In fact, a very respectable group of Romanists at Trent argued against the larger canon Mr. Cadle says had consensus in the early church. He also argues against sola scriptura as the consensus of the early church, yet this topic, if taken on in a detailed manner, has quite a number of voices in the early church previous to the Reformation testifying to the Scriptures as the sole infallible authority for the church. Anyone interested in a comprehensive study should secure the 3 volume set, Holy Scripture, The Ground and Pillar of Our Faith by Webster / King. These 3 volumes have gone virtually unanswered by Rome’s defenders.

    Sixth, my recommendation of the Webster / King set will probably be met with the same dismissal that my previous book suggestion was met with from Mr. Cadle- that such books are from a “Protestant source.” That response is nothing else than fear, for if Rome’s claims are true, it should be relatively easy to go through the sources I mentioned and show their error. Earlier Mr. Cadle mentioned looking at Beckwith’s work. Well, why? He’s a “Roman source.” I don’t have the same fear of books though Mr. Cadle appears to have. I actually purchased Beckwith’s “Return to Rome” and I, along with some of my other friends have gone through it and showed it’s blatant distortions and errors. I’ll gladly list them, along with the page reference in Beckwith’s book.

    My apologies for such a lengthy post. The bottom line, at least to me, is that Mr. Cadle appears to be somewhat of a recent convert to Romanism and is filled with zeal and the desire to argue for her. The simple truth is, none of need trust Mr. Cadle’s interpretation of Rome, because each Romanist is a fallible interpreter of Rome and her history. Why is Lloyd’s version of Rome and church history accurate, and that of say, Gerry Matatics is not? Or Robert Sungensis? Or some liberal on the Catholic Answers forum?” All of these Romanists claim to speak as interpreters of doctrine and history for Rome, but say different things.

    Regards,

    JS

  4. Lloyd I. Cadle
    April 26th, 2013 at 13:53 | #4

    @jamesswan #3 There is not a consensus among the Early Church Fathers for “Sola Scriptura”, and I think that you know it. The Early Church Fathers clearly taught Apostolic Succession and Tradition along with the Word of God.

    The Early Church Fathers (by consensus) went with the “deuteroncanonical” books listed in Septuagint, which included the seven books taken out at the time of the Reformation. These books were approved at the Councils of Hippo in AD 393 and The council of Carthage in AD 397. Up until that point all they had was Traditon and Apostolic succcession.

    The Early Church Fathers also had a majority consensus on such doctrines as the Councils (I don’t have the time to list them here), Baptism, the Real Presence, Mary as the Mother of God (as the Orthodox have in their liturgy as “Theotokos”) and Mary as ever virgin and Confession.

    The above is a consensus of the Early Church Fathers. The Protestants may be able to point to a minority quote here and there for some of their doctrines, but not a majority consensus of the above doctrines by the Early Church Fathers.

    I like to point out that some Protestants like to quote St. Augustine because that is all that they have for a few quotes here and there for some of their positions. Unfortunaely, they can only use about 10% of his quotes, because that is all that they have to cling to. Even at that, St. Augustine was in agreement with about 90% of the teachings of the Early Church Fathers.

    The big picture here is that if one wants to go by the teachings (majority consensus) of the Early Church Fathers, he or she would have to become either Orthodox or Roman Catholic.

    Clearly, post Reformation church bodies are not in agreement with the Early Church Fathers in any of the major doctrines listed above.

  5. April 26th, 2013 at 15:09 | #5

    Mr. Cadle,

    In regard to your previous comment, you’re now repeating yourself. I know you believe these things, but you do so (if in fact you are member of the Roman church) with blatant double standards in regard to theological history as I stated above (I’m repeating my self as well).

    Perhaps others have the tolerance for such double standards, but I certainly do not. “Consensus” in the early church is wishful thinking. In order to demonstrate this once more, consider the following question:

    “When the Council of Nicea convened, around 318 (by one count) bishops attended. Could a Roman Catholic representative point me to a single bishop at Nicea who believed what you believe de fide? That is, was there a single bishop in attendance who believed, for example, in transubstantiation? Purgatory, as defined by Rome today? Indulgences? The thesaurus meritorum? Immaculate Conception? Bodily Assumption? Papal Infallibility? If these things have been defined de fide, are we to believe that the gospel has ‘changed’ since that time, if, in fact, these things were not defined as part of the gospel at that time?”

    In other words, Mr. Cadle, you need to first apply your own standards to your own Romanism before trying to take apart any particular Christian theology you disagree with. If your own argumentation works against your own position, your argumentation is faulty.

    Each subject you raise from the early church is debatable as to its alleged “unanimous consent.” As Dr. White has stated,

    “The grand myth of Roman Catholic dogmatics (enshrined in her own statements), is the idea of the “unanimous consent of the Fathers.” Outside of monotheism, I do not believe you could create a ‘unanimous consent’ based upon the currently existing historical record for any doctrine, any belief, without engaging in ‘tradition editing,’ that is, without picking and choosing which sources you will allow into your “unanimity.” Obviously, a serious, open-eyed examination of the patristic corpus reveals wide divergences of viewpoint, just as any examination of the current theological literature reveals the same phenomenon. Only conservative Roman Catholics seem to labor under the idea that since they know their church has been around for two thousand years, and the Pope has always been the Pope, etc., then there must be some kind of unified body of doctrinal belief that looks just like…them! The selective reading of patristic sources is the inevitable result.”

    But, don’t take Dr. White’s word for it. Consider the following from a Roman Catholic scholar on consensus in regard to interpretation:

    “When one hears today the call for a return to a patristic interpretation of Scripture, there is often latent in it a recollection of Church documents that spoke at times of the “unanimous consent of the Fathers” as the guide for biblical interpretation.(fn. 23) But just what this would entail is far from clear. For, as already mentioned, there were Church Fathers who did use a form of the historical-critical method, suited to their own day, and advocated a literal interpretation of Scripture, not the allegorical. But not all did so. Yet there was no uniform or monolithic patristic interpretation, either in the Greek Church of the East, Alexandrian or Antiochene, or in the Latin Church of the West. No one can ever tell us where such a “unanimous consent of the fathers” is to be found, and Pius XII finally thought it pertinent to call attention to the fact that there are but few texts whose sense has been defined by the authority of the Church, “nor are those more numerous about which the teaching of the Holy Fathers is unanimous.” (fn. 24) Joseph A. Fitzmyer, Scripture, The Soul of Theology (New York Paulist Press, 1994), p. 70.

    Now, before you simply restate the same thing again, please answer the question about Nicea above in regard to the current Roman church. I say the question proves your double standards in regard to history. Prove me wrong.

    JS

  6. Lloyd I. Cadle
    April 26th, 2013 at 19:41 | #6

    @jamesswan #5 Regarding the Real Presence, The Early church Fathers interpreted these passages literally. 1 Cor 10:16-17; 11:23-29 and especially Jn 6:32-71.

    Your own guy, Protestant historian of the early Church J.N.D. Kelly writes: “Eucharistic teaching, it should be understood at the outset, was in general unquestioningly realist, i.e., the consecrated bread and wine were taken to be, and were treated and designated as, the Savior’s body and blood” (Early Christian Doctrines, 440.)

    Here are some of the Early Church Fathers that believe in the Real Presence: St Ignatius of Antioch, St. Justin Martyr, St Irenaeus of Lyons, St. Clement of Alexandria, Tertullian of Carthage, St. Hippolytus of Rome, Origen of Alexandria, St. Cyprian of Carthage, The Council of Nicaea I (It has come to the knowledge of the holy and great synod that, in some districts and cities, the deacons administer the Eucharist to the presbyters (i.e., priests) though neither canon nor custom permits that they who have no right to offer (the Eucharistic sacrifice) should give the body of Christ to them that do offer (it) (Canon 18 (A.D. 325). St Aphrahat the Persian sage, St Cyril of Jersualem, St Ambrose of Milan, Theodore of Mopsuestia, St. Augustine of Hippo and the Council of Ephesus.

    The Sacrifice of the Mass: The Church Fathers shared this faith in the sacrificial character of the Eucharist. Again, your guy Kelly says this, “The Eucharist was regarded as the distinctively Christian sacrifice. It was natural for early Christians to think of the Eucharist as a sacrifice.” Here are some of the Early Church Fathers to uphold this view, Didache, A.D.50, St Ignatius of Antioch, St. Justin Martyr, St Irenaeus of Lyons, St. Cyprian of Carthage, St. Serapion of Thmuis, St. Cyril of Jerusalem, St. Gregory of Nazianz, St. Ambrose of Milan, Sth. John Chrysostom, St. Augustine of Hippo and St. Sechnall of Ireland.

    To be Continued…….. Sometimes this gets deleted before I get it posted.

  7. Nicholas
    April 26th, 2013 at 20:39 | #7

    Lloyd I. Cadle :@jamesswan #5 The Sacrifice of the Mass: The Church Fathers shared this faith in the sacrificial character of the Eucharist. Again, your guy Kelly says this, “The Eucharist was regarded as the distinctively Christian sacrifice. It was natural for early Christians to think of the Eucharist as a sacrifice.” Here are some of the Early Church Fathers to uphold this view, Didache, A.D.50, St Ignatius of Antioch, St. Justin Martyr, St Irenaeus of Lyons, St. Cyprian of Carthage, St. Serapion of Thmuis, St. Cyril of Jerusalem, St. Gregory of Nazianz, St. Ambrose of Milan, Sth. John Chrysostom, St. Augustine of Hippo and St. Sechnall of Ireland.

    The above list is taken from this Catholic Answers page: http://www.catholic.com/tracts/the-sacrifice-of-the-mass

    This is the same guy who said to me: “You seem very limited and narrow minded in theology. You just seem to know whatever you are fed.”

  8. Lloyd I. Cadle
    April 26th, 2013 at 21:05 | #8

    @jamesswan #5 Continued…..This is way too much work. I am not cutting and pasting off of a computer website here, but I am typing out of books on my desk.

    The Early Church Fathers believed in praying for the dead. Jews, Catholics and the Eastern Orthodox all believe in praying for the dead even if it is articulated in different ways in different communities. Here are some Early Church Fathers that prayed for the dead; Early Christian Inscription (Christian Inscription 34, A.D. 150), Acts of Paul and Thecla, AD 160, St. Abercius of Hierapolis, AD 190, Martyrdom of Peretua and Felicity, AD 203, Tertullian of Carthage, AD 218, St. Cyprian of Carthage, AD 252, Lactantius, (Divine Institutes 7:21) AD 307, St Cyril of Jerusalem, AD, 350, St Gregory of Nyssa, Ad 382, St John Chrysostom AD 402, and St. Augustine of Hippo, AD 402.

    Here is a quote from non other than C.S. Lewis. In his Letters to Malcom: Chiefly on Prayer, he writes: “Our souls demand Purgatory, don’t they? Would it not bread the heart if God said to us, “It is true, my son, that your breath smells and your rags drip with mud and slime, but we are charitable here and no one will upbraid you with these things, nor draw away from you. Enter tinto the joy”? Should we not reply, “With submission, sir and if there is no objection. I’d rather be cleaned first.” “It may hurt, you know” — “Even so, sir.”

    I don’t have the time to continue, at least for the time being. I have more than made a case for the teachings of the Early Church Fathers not being in agreement with post Reformation denominations. Aren’t you Reformed? Aren’t you a Protestant? Yet you are on this website hand in hand with those that you are not even in agreement with in doctrine and practice (if you are Reformed).

    Among Christians in the World, some 75% are either Orthodox or Catholic. And they agree on about 94% of doctrine. The other 25% are Protestant, and they are divided all over the place on doctrine and practice.

    There is a reason as to why when you tell folks that you are studying the Early Church Fathers, they usually respond with, “Well, you will either become Orthodox or Catholic.” Because they teach the majority consensus of the Early Church Fathers, as handed down to them from the Apostles.

    I am out of here on this issue.

  9. Nicholas
    April 26th, 2013 at 21:33 | #9

    Lloyd I. Cadle :@jamesswan #5 I am out of here on this issue.

    That’s what you said here: http://steadfastlutherans.org/?p=29083&cpage=1#comment-823781

    Yes, James Swan is Reformed, but he and I are both brothers in Christ, having been saved by grace alone, and justified by faith alone in Christ.

    You, on the other hand, are not our brother in Christ, as you have embraced a false gospel and are under the full anathema of Galatians 1 (and you know that Rome teaches not only sanctification, but justification, by works).

    Finally, you have again shown that you are lifting all of your information from Catholic Answers:

    http://www.catholic.com/tracts/the-roots-of-purgatory

    Is this what you call “arduous and methodical study”? You lied to us, Lloyd. Yes, you really do need to repent.

    Your failure to actually interact with any of our points (and your failure to answer our question as to whether or not you have actually joined the RCC) show that you are not at all sincere. You came here to waste our time and to justify your own apostasy from the Faith.

  10. April 26th, 2013 at 21:54 | #10

    Hello Mr. Cadle,

    You seem intent on a monologue, and you also appear not to be intent on truly evaluating the claims of Rome fairly by applying the same standards to Rome that you’re hoisting on others. This refusal to actually engage the points I’ve placed before you strongly suggests you can’t. If you can, you certainly haven’t demonstrated it. The simple fact of the matter is that you can’t consistently argue that “the big picture here is that if one wants to go by the teachings (majority consensus) of the Early Church Fathers” someone would have to become a Roman Catholic, when in fact what Rome believes today on many important issues can’t be found in the early church. Your argument refutes your own position. I’m leaving Orthodoxy out of this, because it appears to me you’re a Roman Catholic. If Nicholas is correct, that you’re simply cut-and-pasting from Catholic Answers, I’m going to just add that as one more piece of evidence that you’re a fairly recent Roman convert.

    That being said, let’s look at something you’ve posted that demonstrates the sort of thing I think you overlook as Roman Catholic in regard to squaring it with Roman Catholicism:

    “Your own guy, Protestant historian of the early Church J.N.D. Kelly writes: “Eucharistic teaching, it should be understood at the outset, was in general unquestioningly realist, i.e., the consecrated bread and wine were taken to be, and were treated and designated as, the Savior’s body and blood” (Early Christian Doctrines, 440.)”

    A good friend of mine (and co-blogger) has presented a compelling argument (summarized below) which demonstrates the historical revisionism that goes into viewing history as a Roman Catholic in regard to this statement from Kelly.

    The Council of Trent teaches the following:

    CANON I.-If any one denieth, that, in the sacrament of the most holy Eucharist, are contained truly, really, and substantially, the body and blood together with the soul and divinity of our Lord Jesus Christ, and consequently the whole Christ; but saith that He is only therein as in a sign, or in figure, or virtue; let him be anathema.

    CANON II.-If any one saith, that, in the sacred and holy sacrament of the Eucharist, the substance of the bread and wine remains conjointly with the body and blood of our Lord Jesus Christ, and denieth that wonderful and singular conversion of the whole substance of the bread into the Body, and of the whole substance of the wine into the Blood-the species Only of the bread and wine remaining-which conversion indeed the Catholic Church most aptly calls Transubstantiation; let him be anathema.

    CANON III.-If any one denieth, that, in the venerable sacrament of the Eucharist, the whole Christ is contained under each species, and under every part of each species, when separated; let him be anathema.

    These canons teach that both the bread and wine become not just the body of Christ, but the body, blood, soul, and divinity of Christ, and no longer remain bread and wine. In other words, each element (bread and wine) becomes the body, blood, soul, and divinity of Christ.

    Whatever Kelly means by Eucharistic realism, there is no explicit consensus evidence during the first 800 years of the church that the bread becomes not just the body of Christ, but the body, blood, soul, and divinity of Christ, and no longer remains bread. There is no consensus evidence during the first 800 years of the church that the wine becomes not just the body of Christ, but the body, blood, soul, and divinity of Christ, and no longer remains wine.

    Certainly some of the fathers appeal to the metaphor of the bread being the body and cup being the blood. You’ll find some fathers who insist that this relationship is more than just a symbol, but consists of a symbol with power. You’ll find those that refer to a spiritual presence. What you won’t find though is the explicit points laid out by Trent. Show me someone from the early church that says that after consecrated by a priest, the bread is the body, blood, soul, and divinity of Christ and the wine is the body, blood, soul, and divinity of Christ. If you can find one, the next task is to show the “consensus” that teaches exactly what Trent states.

    Note the following metaphors from Ignatius:

    You, therefore, must arm yourselves with gentleness and regain your strength in faith (which is the flesh of the Lord) and in love (which is the blood of Jesus Christ).

    Greek text: Ὑμεῖς οὖν τὴν πραϋπάθειαν ἀναλαβόντες ἀνακτίσασθε ἑαυτοὺς ἐν πίστει, ὅ ἐστιν σὰρξ τοῦ κυρίου, καὶ ἐν ἀγάπῃ, ὅ ἐστιν αἷμα Ἰησοῦ Χριστοῦ.

    See J. B. Lightfoot and J. R. Harmer, eds. and trans., The Apostolic Fathers: Greek Texts and English Translations of Their Writings, 2nd. ed., The Letters of Ignatius, To the Trallians, Chapter 8 (Grand Rapids: Baker Book House, 1992), p. 163.

    Ignatius (@ 110 AD): I take no pleasure in corruptible food or the pleasures of this life. I want the bread of God, which is the flesh of Christ who is of the seed of David; and for drink I want his blood, which is incorruptible love.

    Greek text: Oὐχ ἥδομαι τροφῇ φθορᾶς οὐδὲ ἡδοναῖς τοῦ βίου τούτου. Ἄρτον θεοῦ θέλω, ὅ ἐστιν σὰρξ Ἰησοῦ Χριστοῦ, «τοῦ ἐκ σπέρματος Δαυίδ», καὶ πόμα θέλω τὸ αἷμα αὐτοῦ, ὅ ἐστιν ἀγάπη ἄφθαρτος.

    See J. B. Lightfoot and J. R. Harmer, eds. and trans., The Apostolic Fathers: Greek Texts and English Translations of Their Writings, 2nd. ed., The Letters of Ignatius, To the Romans, Chapter 7 (Grand Rapids: Baker Book House, 1992), p. 175.

    Now square this comment from Tertullian with what Trent teaches:

    Then, having taken the bread and given it to His disciples, He made it His own body, by saying, ‘This is my body,’ that is, the figure of my body. (ANF, Vol. 3, Against Marcion, 4.40).

    This comparison between Kelly and Trent is a great example of how you should have evaluated the claims of Rome in the light of the evidence of the early church.

    JS

  11. helen
    April 26th, 2013 at 21:57 | #11

    I’ve skimmed all the above (I don’t know why!) ;)

    No Lutheran would say that Luther threw the apocrypha out of the Bible, for the simple reason that the apocrypha are in Luther’s German Bible to this day. American Bible Society will sell you a German Bible, with the apocrypha (although their English Bibles leave them out). Luther may not have liked three books of the NT as well as others, but he didn’t take them out. They are still in our Bibles, German or English.

    But you can’t tell a Roman Catholic this and they won’t look for themselves either! [Tried it once, for a month of e-mails.] The “party line” is the only truth. :(

    Now, I promise I’m through with this issue and “Mr. Cadle”. ;)

  12. April 26th, 2013 at 22:36 | #12

    Mr Cadle states: “This is way too much work. I am not cutting and pasting off of a computer website here, but I am typing out of books on my desk.”

    Yes it is Lloyd, but it’s the situation you created by not focusing on one issue at a time.

    In regard to “prayers for the dead,” your latest subject, this isn’t the same thing as purgatory. That combined with the fact the fathers are all over the ballpark on this issue. Tertullian for instance speaks of prayers for refrigerium for those who have died. Compare that with Gregory the Great’s view or Augustine’s view, all of them held different views on it. To say all three of these men, because they speak of prayers for the dead support the doctrine of purgatory is reading the later doctrine of purgatory back into the fathers. In some cases when the early church is cited as holding “prayers for the dead” what’s in view is a prayer of joy for the departed, not a prayer for their release from purgatory. Once again your way of reading the early church on this subject is just another example of a faulty way of reading the early church documents. You’re reading later Roman doctrines back into history.

    You state: “I don’t have the time to continue, at least for the time being. I have more than made a case for the teachings of the Early Church Fathers not being in agreement with post Reformation denominations.”

    If you were being consistent, you would apply the same standard you use to the modern Roman Catholic Church. But it appears you can’t see past your own zeal to think carefully through this. Had you done that, you’d realize the paradigm you’re using to evaluate truth from error is faulty. Certainly church history can be insightful, but it is not the infallible interpreter of the Bible. If you use history as your sole infallible interpreter, it will bite you.

    You state: “Aren’t you Reformed? Aren’t you a Protestant? Yet you are on this website hand in hand with those that you are not even in agreement with in doctrine and practice (if you are Reformed).”

    Yes, I’m Reformed. Big deal. Simply because I am does not mean I can’t read the documents of the early church and point out your double standards.

    You state: “Among Christians in the World, some 75% are either Orthodox or Catholic. And they agree on about 94% of doctrine. The other 25% are Protestant, and they are divided all over the place on doctrine and practice.”

    I suggest sir, you open your Bible and notice that Jesus and the disciples were outnumbered by the majority, which was, at the time, Judaism. Also take note of the remnant theme that runs throughout the pages of Scripture. In case you’re not convinced by the testimony of Scripture that a majority doesn’t necessarily= true, an in-depth study of Athanasius would be something you certainly would benefit from. Search particularly for the phrase, “Athanasius Contra Mundum” and pay particular attention to who comprised the majority in the church and what they thought of Athanasius.

    You state: “I am out of here on this issue.”

    That’s fine Lloyd. I certainly hope you continue to study the early church. Here is a word of advise to you from the good Doctor:

    “the sum of my argument is that whereas the words of men, and the use of the centuries, can be tolerated and endorsed, provided they do not conflict with the sacred Scriptures, nevertheless they do not make articles of faith, nor any necessary observances.” – (Martinus Lutherus contra Henricum Regem Angliæ)

    JS

  13. April 26th, 2013 at 22:42 | #13

    Helen said, “No Lutheran would say that Luther threw the apocrypha out of the Bible, for the simple reason that the apocrypha are in Luther’s German Bible to this day.”

    Keep in mind as well, if you go through Luther’s writings, he does positively at times cite the apocrypha. The editors of Luther’s Works explain, “In keeping with early Christian tradition, Luther also included the Apocrypha of the Old Testament. Sorting them out of the canonical books, he appended them at the end of the Old Testament with the caption, ‘These books are not held equal to the Scriptures, but are useful and good to read.’”

    JS

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