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Responding to CARM's claims of Church Fathers who denied the Local Presence

rakovsky

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NicholasMyra said:
rakovsky said:
You don't have to accept two persons like Nestorius did to think that Christ died in the flesh and not in his "divine nature".
Christ died in the flesh =/= merely Christ's human nature died.
There are millions of Reformed Christians who don't feel tied to Church philosophers' theology. Under their own version "Sola Scriptura" they can each be their own "Tradition", propounding their own doctrines. It doesn't have to make sense logically or be consistent.

PCUSA, which is more liberal and ecumenical than many other Reformed, says in its catechism:
“When we celebrate the Lord's Supper, the Lord Jesus Christ is truly present, pouring out his Spirit upon us. By his Spirit, the bread that we break and the cup that we bless share in his body and blood.
I am not aware of anyplace that Calvin says that the bread itself "shares" in the body of Christ, and his system seems to say something different. This catechism seems to have a Lutheran-style revision of Calvinism.

In Calvin's view, Jesus' body is stuck up in heaven, and the physical bread is stuck on earth, so I don't see how the bread "shares" in Jesus' body per Calvinism.

So it doesn't look like you can demand full consistency among Reformed about these kinds of things. The site you linked to may not speak for the Reformed view of Calvin and could be going on its own as not uncommon.
 

rakovsky

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ialmisry said:
NicholasMyra said:
In my experience, modern committed Calvinists tend to be Nestorian.
If not Docetist.
One Church father said that if Christ was only pretending to give his body in the Eucharist, then it means his body was just a phantasm. This would be docetism. And Calvinists basically teach that the bread is a symbol-body only.
 

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Thanks for this thread, really helpful in working through my own beliefs about this, which had hitherto been pretty much aligned with RC Sproul's. Still don't understand, but feel further jumbled up and I think that is a good thing as I try to come to some conclusion.
 

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Eruvande said:
Thanks for this thread, really helpful in working through my own beliefs about this, which had hitherto been pretty much aligned with RC Sproul's. Still don't understand, but feel further jumbled up and I think that is a good thing as I try to come to some conclusion.
I know the feeling.
 

Iconodule

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NicholasMyra said:
Iconodule said:
Hm, what would be a "concrete thing" with regards to God? We can talk about attributes like omnipotence (which was demonstrated in his walking on water) and I assume you are not equating concrete with material.
3 persons and a bunch of activities, for two.
Wouldn't Christ's miracles count as divine activities? And in action they are inseparable from his humanity, e.g. he heals the blind with clay and spit.
 

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NicholasMyra said:
rakovsky said:
You don't have to accept two persons like Nestorius did to think that Christ died in the flesh and not in his "divine nature".
Christ died in the flesh =/= merely Christ's human nature died.
He could just be using bad quality wording and intend to mean the first of the two. It's hard to tell because their MO in the Reformed can be that everyone makes their own take on theology.
 

NicholasMyra

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Eruvande said:
Thanks for this thread, really helpful in working through my own beliefs about this, which had hitherto been pretty much aligned with RC Sproul's. Still don't understand, but feel further jumbled up and I think that is a good thing as I try to come to some conclusion.
Setting the nature talk aside, God became a real human being and died. Orthodox hold to the Theopaschite formula which says that God suffered and died as a real human being. Anything that hints at frustrating this is unacceptable. For us, saying that God didn't die but only the human died either implies that Christ didn't really become human, or it is simply stupid (like saying "When that rock crushed my hand, I didn't get hurt, only my hand got hurt.")


As for nature talk:

Nature talk gets confusing not only because of the shady background that makes sense of of it, but because different things were meant by it in patristic times.

Sometimes, nature meant "what makes a thing the kind of thing it is." Sometimes nature meant "what makes that thing the particular thing it is." Sometimes, "what makes that thing the particular thing it is" was seen as identical to that thing itself.

So in one use, you have a human nature in common with other humans. In another use, you have a human nature not shared by anyone else. And in a third use, you are identical to a human nature not shared by anyone else.

And sometimes nature was thought of as a thing that existed concretely, the way that your hat exists concretely. Other times, nature was thought of as an abstract list or abstraction of what makes a thing what it is. So sometimes when people said "you have a nature," they meant that you fit a description or were an instance of an abstraction. Other times when they said "you have a nature" they meant that a nature was a concrete thing that was a part of you, or mixed into you, or that you participated in.
 

NicholasMyra

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Iconodule said:
Wouldn't Christ's miracles count as divine activities? And in action they are inseparable from his humanity, e.g. he heals the blind with clay and spit.
Christ's wonders are theanthropic activities. They involve divine activity, yes, but they are his theanthropic actions. What Christ did out of his communion with God as His eternal Son, we can do through adoption:

"Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on me, the works that I do shall he do also; and greater works than these shall he do; because I go unto my Father."

Ironically enough someone implied I was a Nestorian for saying this once, here on the board.
 

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NicholasMyra said:
Orthodox hold to the Theopaschite formula which says that God suffered and died as a real human being. Anything that hints at frustrating this is unacceptable. For us, saying that God didn't die but only the human died either implies that Christ didn't really become human, or it is simply stupid (like saying "When that rock crushed my hand, I didn't get hurt, only my hand got hurt.")
Perhaps you are overstating the case. There was a controversy over Theopaschitism. Some version of it was not fully accepted either, or at least considered controversial. We don't typically say "God died", but rather "God died in the flesh".

You really can say: "I didn't get hurt, only my hand got hurt". It's like saying "Nothing hurts him because he is so strong inside". The person is composed of spirit and body, which Cyril analogized to two natures. Your spirit could stay strong and unhurt even if your body is hurt.

Since God died in the flesh but not the Godhead, I think it can be confusing to make statements like "God died" or "...didn't die."
 

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Calvin basically attempted to interpret church fathers' quotes and natural science to deride both traditional church views on the Eucharist and discoveries in science simultaneously:

"...those dreamers who have a spirit of bitterness and contradiction, who reprove everything and prevent the order of nature. We will see some who are so deranged, not only in religion but who in all things reveal their monstrous nature, that they will say that the sun does not move, and that it is the earth which shifts and turns. When we see such minds we must indeed confess that the devil posses them, and that God sets them before us as mirrors, in order to keep us in his fear. So it is with all who argue out of pure malice, and who happily make a show of their imprudence.
John Calvin, "Sermon on 1 Corinthians 10:19-24", Calvini Opera Selecta, Corpus Refomatorum, Vol 49, 677
 

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rakovsky said:
We don't typically say "God died", but rather "God died in the flesh".
God died.

rakovsky said:
You really can say: "I didn't get hurt, only my hand got hurt". It's like saying "Nothing hurts him because he is so strong inside".
Jesus wept.

rakovsky said:
The person is composed of spirit and body, which Cyril analogized to two natures. Your spirit could stay strong and unhurt even if your body is hurt.
IIRC Cyril said soul and body, not spirit and body. In any case, were you to distinguish between the state of your spirit and the state of your flesh, as Christ does, this is not the same as treating a part or aspect of you as undergoing something which
cannot be ultimately predicated of you as a subject.

rakovsky said:
Since God died in the flesh but not the Godhead, I think it can be confusing to make statements like "God died"
Yes and it is a good confusion that strikes the open-eared and makes them want to hear more of this strange and shocking thing. Saying that God didn't die does nothing good but maintains the veil. As for "godhead" that is a truly vague word used in many ways.
 

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NicholasMyra said:
rakovsky said:
We don't typically say "God died", but rather "God died in the flesh".
God died.

rakovsky said:
You really can say: "I didn't get hurt, only my hand got hurt". It's like saying "Nothing hurts him because he is so strong inside".
Jesus wept.

rakovsky said:
The person is composed of spirit and body, which Cyril analogized to two natures. Your spirit could stay strong and unhurt even if your body is hurt.
IIRC Cyril said soul and body, not spirit and body. In any case, were you to distinguish between the state of your spirit and the state of your flesh, as Christ does, this is not the same as treating a part or aspect of you as undergoing something which
cannot be ultimately predicated of you as a subject.

rakovsky said:
Since God died in the flesh but not the Godhead, I think it can be confusing to make statements like "God died"
Yes and it is a good confusion that strikes the open-eared and makes them want to hear more of this strange and shocking thing. Saying that God didn't die does nothing good but maintains the veil. As for "godhead" that is a truly vague word used in many ways.
I find no profit in debating you on this topic, and you are smart, Orthodox, and orthodox too.
I expect other Orthodox themselves could make various clarifications about these things.
 

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rakovsky said:
NicholasMyra said:
rakovsky said:
We don't typically say "God died", but rather "God died in the flesh".
God died.

rakovsky said:
You really can say: "I didn't get hurt, only my hand got hurt". It's like saying "Nothing hurts him because he is so strong inside".
Jesus wept.

rakovsky said:
The person is composed of spirit and body, which Cyril analogized to two natures. Your spirit could stay strong and unhurt even if your body is hurt.
IIRC Cyril said soul and body, not spirit and body. In any case, were you to distinguish between the state of your spirit and the state of your flesh, as Christ does, this is not the same as treating a part or aspect of you as undergoing something which
cannot be ultimately predicated of you as a subject.

rakovsky said:
Since God died in the flesh but not the Godhead, I think it can be confusing to make statements like "God died"
Yes and it is a good confusion that strikes the open-eared and makes them want to hear more of this strange and shocking thing. Saying that God didn't die does nothing good but maintains the veil. As for "godhead" that is a truly vague word used in many ways.
I find no profit in debating you on this topic, and you are smart, Orthodox, and orthodox too.
I expect other Orthodox themselves could make various clarifications about these things.
LOL!!
 

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NicholasMyra said:
Eruvande said:
Thanks for this thread, really helpful in working through my own beliefs about this, which had hitherto been pretty much aligned with RC Sproul's. Still don't understand, but feel further jumbled up and I think that is a good thing as I try to come to some conclusion.
Setting the nature talk aside, God became a real human being and died. Orthodox hold to the Theopaschite formula which says that God suffered and died as a real human being. Anything that hints at frustrating this is unacceptable. For us, saying that God didn't die but only the human died either implies that Christ didn't really become human, or it is simply stupid (like saying "When that rock crushed my hand, I didn't get hurt, only my hand got hurt.")


As for nature talk:

Nature talk gets confusing not only because of the shady background that makes sense of of it, but because different things were meant by it in patristic times.

Sometimes, nature meant "what makes a thing the kind of thing it is." Sometimes nature meant "what makes that thing the particular thing it is." Sometimes, "what makes that thing the particular thing it is" was seen as identical to that thing itself.

So in one use, you have a human nature in common with other humans. In another use, you have a human nature not shared by anyone else. And in a third use, you are identical to a human nature not shared by anyone else.

And sometimes nature was thought of as a thing that existed concretely, the way that your hat exists concretely. Other times, nature was thought of as an abstract list or abstraction of what makes a thing what it is. So sometimes when people said "you have a nature," they meant that you fit a description or were an instance of an abstraction. Other times when they said "you have a nature" they meant that a nature was a concrete thing that was a part of you, or mixed into you, or that you participated in.
It's the "nature as a concrete thing" part that makes no sense to me. But maybe that just makes me a nominalist.
 

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rakovsky said:
Calvin basically attempted to interpret church fathers' quotes and natural science to deride both traditional church views on the Eucharist and discoveries in science simultaneously:

"...those dreamers who have a spirit of bitterness and contradiction, who reprove everything and prevent the order of nature. We will see some who are so deranged, not only in religion but who in all things reveal their monstrous nature, that they will say that the sun does not move, and that it is the earth which shifts and turns. When we see such minds we must indeed confess that the devil posses them, and that God sets them before us as mirrors, in order to keep us in his fear. So it is with all who argue out of pure malice, and who happily make a show of their imprudence.
John Calvin, "Sermon on 1 Corinthians 10:19-24", Calvini Opera Selecta, Corpus Refomatorum, Vol 49, 677
Multiple Church Fathers would agree with him on that point, so I'm not sure it proves what you want it to.
 

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Volnutt said:
It's the "nature as a concrete thing" part that makes no sense to me. But maybe that just makes me a nominalist.
Actually there's a way to read it that is more nominalist-friendly than other forms of nature talk. 

The reason you can said to be human is because there is a specific bit of human in, maybe, the bundle of properties that make you up. Here, natures don't transcend their instances. Some people say this is cheating, and it isn't nominalism, it's something else.
 

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Volnutt said:
rakovsky said:
wgw said:
The idea that Calvinists are Monophysite is amusing, given the crypto-Nestorianism that permeates every facet of their faith.  
Yes, it's amusing.
They would be Monophysite in the opposite sense of Eutyches. Rather than dismissing the human nature like Eutyches, they make the human nature so paramount that the divine nature cannot act in conflict with the human nature.

In the Calvinist scheme, Christ cannot be invisible, immense, or in the Eucharist because all those things would contradict the human nature. The Calvinists however are capable of accepting that the divine nature could be contradicted though, eg. that Christ could die, etc.
It kind of makes me wonder if the sci-fi trope of the "non-corporeal lifeform" has any philosophical coherence to it- not to get too spooky.

Or, we could ask in what ways the angels are embodied or not. I mean, the Liturgy calls them Bodiless Powers, but I would assume that this is only relative to us and not to God.
Depends also on what you mean by "body". Most of the properties that we take for granted as indicating "embodiment" have to do with the fact that we are full of fermions (electrons), which are subject to the Pauli Exclusion Principle.

A life form made entirely out of bosons, if such were possible, would be very different. It'd be "bodiless" relative to us, but not necessarily to the universe, or God.

Since gravitons/gravitational waves interact with each other (gravitons passing through a gravitational field will curve, etc.), it's even possible that there could be a life form made entirely out of gravitons. In other words, its "body" is just the geometry and topology of empty spacetime, and that's all.

Such a being might not be bound by the 2nd law of thermodynamics, or even the law of conservation of mass-energy, given that the latter only absolutely holds in flat spacetime, whereas this being is curvature, so who knows what physical laws would apply to it.
 

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I'll have to take your word for that as I know little about particle physics, but it definitely intrigues me.
 

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Volnutt said:
rakovsky said:
Calvin basically attempted to interpret church fathers' quotes and natural science to deride both traditional church views on the Eucharist and discoveries in science simultaneously:

"...those dreamers who have a spirit of bitterness and contradiction, who reprove everything and prevent the order of nature. We will see some who are so deranged, not only in religion but who in all things reveal their monstrous nature, that they will say that the sun does not move, and that it is the earth which shifts and turns. When we see such minds we must indeed confess that the devil posses them, and that God sets them before us as mirrors, in order to keep us in his fear. So it is with all who argue out of pure malice, and who happily make a show of their imprudence.
John Calvin, "Sermon on 1 Corinthians 10:19-24", Calvini Opera Selecta, Corpus Refomatorum, Vol 49, 677
Multiple Church Fathers would agree with him on that point, so I'm not sure it proves what you want it to.
Yes, but the Church fathers wouldn't agree with him on what they- the Church fathers themselves - said about the Eucharist.

 

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rakovsky said:
Volnutt said:
rakovsky said:
Calvin basically attempted to interpret church fathers' quotes and natural science to deride both traditional church views on the Eucharist and discoveries in science simultaneously:

"...those dreamers who have a spirit of bitterness and contradiction, who reprove everything and prevent the order of nature. We will see some who are so deranged, not only in religion but who in all things reveal their monstrous nature, that they will say that the sun does not move, and that it is the earth which shifts and turns. When we see such minds we must indeed confess that the devil posses them, and that God sets them before us as mirrors, in order to keep us in his fear. So it is with all who argue out of pure malice, and who happily make a show of their imprudence.
John Calvin, "Sermon on 1 Corinthians 10:19-24", Calvini Opera Selecta, Corpus Refomatorum, Vol 49, 677
Multiple Church Fathers would agree with him on that point, so I'm not sure it proves what you want it to.
Yes, but the Church fathers wouldn't agree with him on what they- the Church fathers themselves - said about the Eucharist.
Yes, but your point was about deriding discoveries in science on the basis of Church tradition.
 

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Volnutt said:
rakovsky said:
Volnutt said:
rakovsky said:
Calvin basically attempted to interpret church fathers' quotes and natural science to deride both traditional church views on the Eucharist and discoveries in science simultaneously:

"...those dreamers who have a spirit of bitterness and contradiction, who reprove everything and prevent the order of nature. We will see some who are so deranged, not only in religion but who in all things reveal their monstrous nature, that they will say that the sun does not move, and that it is the earth which shifts and turns. When we see such minds we must indeed confess that the devil posses them, and that God sets them before us as mirrors, in order to keep us in his fear. So it is with all who argue out of pure malice, and who happily make a show of their imprudence.
John Calvin, "Sermon on 1 Corinthians 10:19-24", Calvini Opera Selecta, Corpus Refomatorum, Vol 49, 677
Multiple Church Fathers would agree with him on that point, so I'm not sure it proves what you want it to.
Yes, but the Church fathers wouldn't agree with him on what they- the Church fathers themselves - said about the Eucharist.
Yes, but your point was about deriding discoveries in science on the basis of Church tradition.
The point I thought I was making was that with one stroke Calvin denounced Galileo as "deranged", while with another stroke he reinvented the Church fathers as if the Church fathers taught against the Eucharist's real presence, when the Fathers themselves would not agree with Calvin. His objection was that Jesus' body being in the Eucharist violated the "ordinary laws of nature". Yet although he made that objection, he himself misunderstood the laws of nature, which Galileo observed.
 

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rakovsky said:
Volnutt said:
rakovsky said:
Volnutt said:
rakovsky said:
Calvin basically attempted to interpret church fathers' quotes and natural science to deride both traditional church views on the Eucharist and discoveries in science simultaneously:

"...those dreamers who have a spirit of bitterness and contradiction, who reprove everything and prevent the order of nature. We will see some who are so deranged, not only in religion but who in all things reveal their monstrous nature, that they will say that the sun does not move, and that it is the earth which shifts and turns. When we see such minds we must indeed confess that the devil posses them, and that God sets them before us as mirrors, in order to keep us in his fear. So it is with all who argue out of pure malice, and who happily make a show of their imprudence.
John Calvin, "Sermon on 1 Corinthians 10:19-24", Calvini Opera Selecta, Corpus Refomatorum, Vol 49, 677
Multiple Church Fathers would agree with him on that point, so I'm not sure it proves what you want it to.
Yes, but the Church fathers wouldn't agree with him on what they- the Church fathers themselves - said about the Eucharist.
Yes, but your point was about deriding discoveries in science on the basis of Church tradition.
The point I thought I was making was that with one stroke Calvin denounced Galileo as "deranged", while with another stroke he reinvented the Church fathers as if the Church fathers taught against the Eucharist's real presence, when the Fathers themselves would not agree with Calvin. His objection was that Jesus' body being in the Eucharist violated the "ordinary laws of nature". Yet although he made that objection, he himself misunderstood the laws of nature, which Galileo observed.
Oh, ok. I see what you mean.
 

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From the wiki article on the Carolingian theologian (and judging by his name, Scooby-Doo character) Ratramnus. After describing (St?) Paschasisus Radbertus' De Copore et Sanguine Domini (The Body and Blood of the Lord), which upheld Real Presence, the article goes on to say (emphasis mine):

When Charles the Bald visited Corbie in 843, he apparently met Ratramnus and requested an explanation of the Eucharist. It was to the emperor, then, that Ratramnus addressed his work, also entitled De corpore et sanguine Domini. In this book, Ratramnus advocated a spiritual view in which the bread and the wine of the Eucharist represent Christ’s body and blood figuratively and serve as a remembrance of him, but are not truly (perceptible by the senses) Christ’s body and blood in truth. Ratramnus used the same two terms (figura and veritas) to describe the Eucharist as Paschasius, but used them differently. For him, veritas meant “perceptible to the senses,” so the Eucharist could not truly be Christ’s body and blood, as it – according to the senses – did not change in appearance, but remained bread and wine, nor was it literally Christ’s historical incarnate body.
It says that least one scholar, Willemien Otten, has challenged this interpretation of Ratramnus (since Ratramnus was never condemned as a heretic, though his arguments were used by Berengar of Tours in 1050, and he got busted by a synod for it and seems to have been forced to recant), but does anybody know more about this "Carolingian Eucharist Controversy" that the article refers to, whether Otten's reading has any ground among scholars? Had the ancient understanding of "symbol" alluded to by posters above just waned by 843 rather than Ratramnus' view indicating an older tradition?
 

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^If you have a copy so that this could be easily checked (I don't), I recall Jaroslav Pelikan going into this a bit in the 3rd volume of his history of the Christian Tradition.
 

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Volnutt said:
From the wiki article on the Carolingian theologian (and judging by his name, Scooby-Doo character) Ratramnus. After describing (St?) Paschasisus Radbertus' De Copore et Sanguine Domini (The Body and Blood of the Lord), which upheld Real Presence, the article goes on to say (emphasis mine):

When Charles the Bald visited Corbie in 843, he apparently met Ratramnus and requested an explanation of the Eucharist. It was to the emperor, then, that Ratramnus addressed his work, also entitled De corpore et sanguine Domini. In this book, Ratramnus advocated a spiritual view in which the bread and the wine of the Eucharist represent Christ’s body and blood figuratively and serve as a remembrance of him, but are not truly (perceptible by the senses) Christ’s body and blood in truth. Ratramnus used the same two terms (figura and veritas) to describe the Eucharist as Paschasius, but used them differently. For him, veritas meant “perceptible to the senses,” so the Eucharist could not truly be Christ’s body and blood, as it – according to the senses – did not change in appearance, but remained bread and wine, nor was it literally Christ’s historical incarnate body.
It says that least one scholar, Willemien Otten, has challenged this interpretation of Ratramnus (since Ratramnus was never condemned as a heretic, though his arguments were used by Berengar of Tours in 1050, and he got busted by a synod for it and seems to have been forced to recant), but does anybody know more about this "Carolingian Eucharist Controversy" that the article refers to, whether Otten's reading has any ground among scholars? Had the ancient understanding of "symbol" alluded to by posters above just waned by 843 rather than Ratramnus' view indicating an older tradition?
There were church fathers who thought it was a symbol and the real thing, and said that other items like ikons could not really be symbols because they were not actually Christ. (eg. Eusebius)
So someone could claim that the Eucharist was a symbol and not physically the real body, without defining whether he accepted the real presence (eg. with the Lutheran view).
 

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What is special about Christ’s presence in the Lord’s Supper? This is illustrated by William Barclay’s answer when posing the question to himself in the context of supposedly rejecting the Zwinglian notion of "a mere memorial:"

    The Risen Lord is universally present. He is not present in the sacrament any more than he is present anywhere else. . . . He is not specially present, but we are made specially aware of his presence. . . . The sacrament of the Lord’s Supper is not so much the place where we realize the real presence of our Lord, as the place where we realize the reality of the real presence of our Lord. The presence is not specially located in the bread and wine, nor in the Church. It is a presence which is present always, everywhere. But the sacrament is the place where memory, realization [and] appropriation end in encounter, because we are compelled to become aware of him there [3].
http://www.hornes.org/theologia/david-bromlow/what-is-meant-by-the-spiritual-presence-of-christ-in-the-lords-supper

Calvin was clear that Jesus' body was up in heaven and that this was Calvin's basis for rejecting Luther's idea of Jesus' bodily omnipresence. Further, here Barclay explicitly says that Jesus is not present in the sacrament more than anywhere else. That kind of contradicts the claim that Jesus has a "real presence" in the Sacrament, doesn't it?

But my main question is this: Does Barclay's claim that Jesus is "universally" omnipresent mean that Calvinism teaches Jesus is disembodied outside of heaven, since Calvin emphasized that Jesus' body had to be only up in heaven?
 

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Asteriktos said:
^If you have a copy so that this could be easily checked (I don't), I recall Jaroslav Pelikan going into this a bit in the 3rd volume of his history of the Christian Tradition.
I do have a copy of volume 3, yeah. It's a good chunk of one chapter that I'll need to chew through slowly. Thanks, I didn't think to check (I'm still on volume 1).
 

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In the Calvinist view and terminology, it's "absurd" for Jesus' body to "scatter in pieces of bread", and his body is up in heaven so he didn't go to earth into bread. This view was Calvin's main objection and it seems to be using an early modern period view of physics, not the ancient mystical mindset. But in John 6, Jesus was able to make 5 loaves of bread go into many pieces and in Revelation 1, Jesus was able to come and touch John on Patmos with his hand after John saw his body.

Luther said Jesus was in the bread in the same way that Jesus went into the tomb stone and house door in John 20. Calvin tries to get out of this by saying in the Institutes that Jesus "passed through" the house door and did not "penetrate" it, and proposes that Jesus secretly moved the tomb stone away and then moved it back in place.

Obviously, Calvin is playing games to avoid what was quite normal in the ancient mindset for Jesus' spirit body to be in bread. If a spirit (like Jesus' spirit, the Holy Ghost, or demons) could be in people or animals, why couldn't flesh do so if it is reborn as a "spirit body"?

And then there is the problem that a Calvinist metaphorical-only, fully consistent reading of the term "my flesh" in John 6 where Jesus says to eat(phagon) and "chew"(trogon) his flesh is so unlikely (eg. where he says his bread is flesh and that he "gives his flesh for the world") that Reformed frequently recommend just reading the passage "holistically" instead of using the normal tools of literary interpretation.
 

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If a spirit (like Jesus' spirit, the Holy Ghost, or demons) could be in people or animals, why couldn't flesh do so if it is reborn as a "spirit body"
So you're a consubstantiationist now? Remember this thread?
 

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Volnutt said:
If a spirit (like Jesus' spirit, the Holy Ghost, or demons) could be in people or animals, why couldn't flesh do so if it is reborn as a "spirit body"
So you're a consubstantiationist now? Remember this thread?
Blessed Theodoret taught that the bread's "substance" "remained", and I take him to have a view like the Lutheran one.
The local Synod of Jerusalem in the 17th century banned the Lutheran view.

Otherwise it is not definitely clear to me whether the Lutheran or Catholic views are seen as necessarily the one correct view.

1. I am more sympathetic to the Lutheran view conceptually, since I see how repeatedly spirit beings in the Bible enter into physical objects, including Jesus and the Holy Spirit.

2. However, it's not clear about the divine spirits' - or God's - exact relationship to the burning bush, the pillar of fire, the moving cloud, the water-filled stone with the Israelites in the desert. Paul refers to some of those objects before talking about the Eucharist in 1 Cor 10. Were they real objects with God impaned in them? Were they mere symbols? Were they actually God or another divine being who only had the outward appearance of such mundane physical objects? Perhaps a mix of the three options? And if they were actually God with only an outward appearance, was this phenomon achieved by transubstantiating some mundane object into God's body?

Orthodoxy I believe does not legalistically require believers to adhere to either side of the Con/Trans substantiation debate, and I don't have a conclusive opinion myself.

I find Consubstantiation to be an easier way to refute the Calvinist/Zwinglian views, because they attack the traditional view from a materialistic worldview and demand clear scripture and reasoning to be refuted most effectively. I find that the Lutheran view has much clearer precedent for its views due to (1) above. I would need (2) to be better defined and solved above before I could use it about as easily as (1) Consubstantiation.
 

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Don't you think that Blessed Theodoret's ambiguous relationship with Nestorianism might have an effect on his views here, though? I'm not saying that automatically makes him wrong about the Eucharist, but it does give me pause.

Also, do you see any other Saints teaching something that sounds like Cons.?
 

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Volnutt said:
Don't you think that Blessed Theodoret's ambiguous relationship with Nestorianism might have an effect on his views here, though? I'm not saying that automatically makes him wrong about the Eucharist, but it does give me pause.
OK. The Church did not find Theodoret to be a Nestorian, as his debate against Nestorius was over whether "Christ died in the flesh" meant that "God died" and thus was impermissible. And there are many Orthodox today who don't like the second phrase.

Further, Nestorius, Cyril, Theodoret, and the Copts all agree in the two substances of Christ, so on the question of substances, Theodoret need not be considered wrong. Further, it must be remembered that just because someone insists that the substance of bread remains does not mean that the entire element's substance is unchanged or lacks new substances (ie. Christ's).

As a result, generally, I don't find the fathers writing clearly enough on the topic to rule out one view or the other. I note that occasionally they refer to the elements after the change still as "bread" and "wine", which implies to me that they felt that bread and wine were still actually present, even while not teaching the Zwinglian non-miraculous view. For example, I wrote earlier in the thread:
Clement must be saying that we drink either Christ's corporeal blood or his spiritual blood, as Clement says those are its two meanings: "The Blood of the Lord, indeed, is twofold. There is His corporeal Blood, by which we are redeemed from corruption; and His spiritual Blood, that with which we are anointed. That is to say, to drink the Blood of Jesus [defined above as "twofold" ~Rakovsky] is to share in His immortality. The strength of the Word is the Spirit just as the blood is the strength of the body. Similarly, as wine is blended with water, so is the Spirit with man. The one, the Watered Wine, nourishes in faith, while the other, the Spirit, leads us on to immortality. The union of both, however, - of the drink["watered wine"] and of the Word, - is called the Eucharist, a praiseworthy and excellent gift. Those who partake of it in faith are sanctified in body and in soul."
Just because we drink Christ's blood is not a denial that there is still watered wine, under the consubstantial view. If you accept Transubstantiation, you would have to argue I think that "watered wine" was only a "manner of speech". But strictly speaking, I don't believe that.

In the 5th century, Pope Gelasius [in] De Duabus Naturis against Eutyches and Nestorius... wrote: “The sacrament of the body and blood of Christ, which we receive, is a divine thing, because by it we are  made partakers of the divine nature. Yet the substance or nature of the bread and wine does not cease. And  assuredly  the  image  and  the  similitude  of  the  body  and  blood  of  Christ  are  celebrated  in  the  performance of the mysteries.”

Strictly speaking, it's hard to tell from these words whether P. Gelasius is teaching the Zwinglian or Lutheran view. I am quite skeptical that to say that Christ's image remains means a "symbol"-only like it sounds to Evangelicals today, because, Volnutt, if you go back to the 4th-5th centuries, we find Eusebius and others using the term "image" as a direct form of something's reality, particularly in the way that Christ's body, as opposed to painted ikons, was a true, correct "image" of him. If the bread is a true image of Christ's body or a true "remembrance" that brings him forth in the 1st century AD concept of remembrance, then it again means the real presence in the bread.

Still, it's important to note that Nestorius had a debate with St. Cyril on this topic:
Nestorius asks: "Is the bread the Body of Christ by a change of ousia?" He insists that the bread and wine remain in their own nature or ousia; whilst St. Cyril affirms that the substance of the bread and wine is changed by consecration, and becomes the substance of the Word of God, which always includes in St, Cyril's mind the substance of His Body and Blood, i.e. of His Humanity; not merged together, of course, but as two substances in One Person, as we might speak of our whole compound soul and body, or St. John speaks of "the WORD made FLESH."
http://anglicanhistory.org/england/cps/black.html

Again St Cyril of Alexandria writes:

"We have been instructed in these matters and filled with an unshakable faith, that that which seems to be bread, is not bread, though it tastes like it, but the Body of Christ, and that which seems to be wine, is not wine, though it too tastes as such, but the Blood of Christ..."

The way he distinguishes between taste and reality reminds me of the Catholic view. Cyril and Theodoret would agree that the one person Christ is God and man, but it looks like Cyril would deny that this is bread and say it's only body.

Again, this seems to go against other references by fathers to still calling it bread.

St. Cyril if Jerusalem talking about the bread says:
The bread and the wine of the eucharist before the holy invocation of the worshipful Trinity was simple bread and wine, but when the invocation is done, the bread becomes the body of Christ and wine the blood of Christ. (Lectures on the Mysteries i.7 [= Catechetical Lectures XIX:7] )

For in the type of the bread there is given to you the body, and in the type of the wine there is given to you the blood, in order that you may become by partaking of the body and blood of Christ the same body and blood with him. For even so we become bearers of Christ since his body and blood are distributed in our members. (Ibid. iv. 3 [=XXII:3] )
By saying "simple" bread, St. Cyril Jerusalemite seems to contrast what was before with what was after (simple vs. not simple). The latter seems to be a composite item.
Likewise, by saying that Christ is in the "type" of bread, it sounds open to impanation. David was a "type", "prefigurement" or "sign", but he was distinct from Christ. The bread, being a type, is distinct from Christ, but Christ is still in that bread, which is a type.

The only thing I think that can be said definitively is that outwardly the bread and wine have the attributes of simple bread and wine, and that in the Biblical, Orthodox idea, when Christ hands the apostles a piece of food, in his hand is actually, specifically and directly his body.


The full process of the Catholic concept of Transubstantiation I find difficult to fully conceive of rationally, but in saying that, I am not downplaying it as the answer. It is hard for me to find an exact, clear example in the Bible for this. Lot's wife became a pillar of salt, but I presume that it just meant that her atoms were rearranged so that she became exactly as salt. And in the end, if you found her pillar, it would not actually be salt, but Lot's wife. Or if it is salt, then it lacks her "essence".
With the Eucharist bread, we would have something different under the RC view. It seems unexpected that the atoms in the bread are instantly fully removed and disharmoniously/schismatically fully replaced by atoms of Jesus' body that look like bread. But maybe that is what the RCs mean, and it's the only thing I can think of consistent with their concept. Because if the atoms merely merge with Jesus' body, then we would still have in some sense the essence of bread.

Another example in the Bible is when God made man out of clay. Humans came from dust/clay, but they have man's spirit in them, so now we are humans, not just clay/dust. This seems to support the Lutheran consubstantial view.

Even if you do argue for a certain view in the future, it will be more persuasive I think if you do so admitting up front the divisions among Church fathers on this question.
On some controversies like infant baptism or the real presence in the food, Orthodoxy speaks with one voice, but on some finer questions it sometimes doesn't.
 

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"The command, after all, was Take, eat: not Take, understand."

C. S. Lewis
 

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PeterTheAleut said:
"The command, after all, was Take, eat: not Take, understand."

C. S. Lewis
The full quote is:
I find ‘substance’ (in Aristotle’s sense), when stripped of its own accidents and endowed with the accidents of some other substance, an object I cannot think…On the other hand, I get no better with those who tell me that the elements are mere bread and mere wine, used symbolically to remind me of the death of Christ.  They are, on the natural level, such a very odd symbol of that…and I cannot see why this particular reminder – a hundred other things may, psychologically, remind me of Christ’s death, equally, or perhaps more – should be so uniquely important as all Christendom (and my own heart) unhesitatingly declare…Yet I find no difficulty in believing that the veil between the worlds, nowhere else (for me) so opaque to the intellect, is nowhere else so thin and permeable to divine operation.  Here a hand from the hidden country touches not only my soul but my body.  Here the prig, the don, the modern , in me have no privilege over the savage or the child.  Here is big medicine and strong magic…the command, after all, was Take, eat: not Take, understand.
He first appears to inveigh against Transubstantiation and then against the Zwinglian/Calvinist view as things that he doesn't get. This leaves the door open for the Lutheran view, and then he concludes that we aren't instructed to understand it.

In Orthodoxy, it's true that it's a holy mystery. I like that the Orthodox position allows room for the Lutheran or RC views.
But as I understand the Orthodox position, we understand the bread to be the body, not just a reminder of it. I had a PCUSA person try to tell me that since Orthodox consider it a mystery, therefore we don't definitively or necessarily consider the food to actually directly be or have Jesus' body.

In 1 Cor 10, Paul says "Discern (krinate) what I say: ...This bread is the communion of Christ's body."
And then in 1 Cor 11, Paul repeats the words of institution and then says:
27 Therefore whoever eats this bread or drinks this cup of the Lord in an unworthy manner will be guilty of the body and blood[d] of the Lord. 28 But let a man examine himself, and so let him eat of the bread and drink of the cup. 29 For he who eats and drinks in an unworthy manner eats and drinks judgment to himself, not discerning the Lord’s body. 30 For this reason many are weak and sick among you, and many sleep.
It looks important to discern that the bread is the communion of Christ's body.
Infidels should be quite capable of discerning that the bread is used as a symbol of Christ in Christian rituals, just as I can discern that a Hindu idol is a symbol of one of their deities. So I think Paul is talking about considering the bread to be more than just an everyday symbol.
It seems that there is at least a certain level of basic understanding that the Church has on this topic that goes beyond symbolism.
 

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rakovsky said:
PeterTheAleut said:
"The command, after all, was Take, eat: not Take, understand."

C. S. Lewis
The full quote is:
I find ‘substance’ (in Aristotle’s sense), when stripped of its own accidents and endowed with the accidents of some other substance, an object I cannot think…On the other hand, I get no better with those who tell me that the elements are mere bread and mere wine, used symbolically to remind me of the death of Christ.  They are, on the natural level, such a very odd symbol of that…and I cannot see why this particular reminder – a hundred other things may, psychologically, remind me of Christ’s death, equally, or perhaps more – should be so uniquely important as all Christendom (and my own heart) unhesitatingly declare…Yet I find no difficulty in believing that the veil between the worlds, nowhere else (for me) so opaque to the intellect, is nowhere else so thin and permeable to divine operation.  Here a hand from the hidden country touches not only my soul but my body.  Here the prig, the don, the modern , in me have no privilege over the savage or the child.  Here is big medicine and strong magic…the command, after all, was Take, eat: not Take, understand.
I find it easier for you to get my point if you don't flesh out the full quote. Alas, you don't get it.
 

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PeterTheAleut said:
rakovsky said:
PeterTheAleut said:
"The command, after all, was Take, eat: not Take, understand."

C. S. Lewis
The full quote is:
I find ‘substance’ (in Aristotle’s sense), when stripped of its own accidents and endowed with the accidents of some other substance, an object I cannot think…On the other hand, I get no better with those who tell me that the elements are mere bread and mere wine, used symbolically to remind me of the death of Christ.  They are, on the natural level, such a very odd symbol of that…and I cannot see why this particular reminder – a hundred other things may, psychologically, remind me of Christ’s death, equally, or perhaps more – should be so uniquely important as all Christendom (and my own heart) unhesitatingly declare…Yet I find no difficulty in believing that the veil between the worlds, nowhere else (for me) so opaque to the intellect, is nowhere else so thin and permeable to divine operation.  Here a hand from the hidden country touches not only my soul but my body.  Here the prig, the don, the modern , in me have no privilege over the savage or the child.  Here is big medicine and strong magic…the command, after all, was Take, eat: not Take, understand.
I find it easier for you to get my point if you don't flesh out the full quote. Alas, you don't get it.
I'm pretty sure rakovsky understands what you posted better than either you or C. S. Lewis.
 

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Mor Ephrem said:
PeterTheAleut said:
rakovsky said:
PeterTheAleut said:
"The command, after all, was Take, eat: not Take, understand."

C. S. Lewis
The full quote is:
I find ‘substance’ (in Aristotle’s sense), when stripped of its own accidents and endowed with the accidents of some other substance, an object I cannot think…On the other hand, I get no better with those who tell me that the elements are mere bread and mere wine, used symbolically to remind me of the death of Christ.  They are, on the natural level, such a very odd symbol of that…and I cannot see why this particular reminder – a hundred other things may, psychologically, remind me of Christ’s death, equally, or perhaps more – should be so uniquely important as all Christendom (and my own heart) unhesitatingly declare…Yet I find no difficulty in believing that the veil between the worlds, nowhere else (for me) so opaque to the intellect, is nowhere else so thin and permeable to divine operation.  Here a hand from the hidden country touches not only my soul but my body.  Here the prig, the don, the modern , in me have no privilege over the savage or the child.  Here is big medicine and strong magic…the command, after all, was Take, eat: not Take, understand.
I find it easier for you to get my point if you don't flesh out the full quote. Alas, you don't get it.
I'm pretty sure rakovsky understands what you posted better than either you or C. S. Lewis.
Yeah, he probably does. ;)
 

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In the 5th century, Pope Gelasius [in] De Duabus Naturis against Eutyches and Nestorius... wrote: “The sacrament of the body and blood of Christ, which we receive, is a divine thing, because by it we are made partakers of the divine nature. Yet the substance or nature of the bread and wine does not cease. And assuredly the image and the similitude of the body and blood of Christ are celebrated in the performance of the mysteries.”

Strictly speaking, it's hard to tell from these words whether P. Gelasius is teaching the Zwinglian or Lutheran view. I am quite skeptical that to say that Christ's image remains means a "symbol"-only like it sounds to Evangelicals today, because, Volnutt, if you go back to the 4th-5th centuries, we find Eusebius and others using the term "image" as a direct form of something's reality, particularly in the way that Christ's body, as opposed to painted ikons, was a true, correct "image" of him. If the bread is a true image of Christ's body or a true "remembrance" that brings him forth in the 1st century AD concept of remembrance, then it again means the real presence in the bread.
I found a longer quote by Pope Gelasius showing his agreement with the Lutheran view over the Calvinist or Zwinglian one:
The sacrament which we receive of the body and blood of Christ is a divine thing. Wherefore also by means of it we are made partakers of the divine nature. Yet the substance or nature of the bread and wine does not cease to be. And certainly the image and likeness of the body and blood of Christ is set out in the celebration of the mysteries… Thus, as the elements pass into this, that is, the divine substance by the Holy Ghost, and none the less remain in their own proper nature, so they show that the principal mystery itself, the efficacy and virtue of which they truly make present (repraesentant) to us, consists in this, that the two natures remain each in its own proper being so that there is one Christ because He is whole and real (Pope Gelasius, On the Two Natures in Christ. Taken from Darwell Stone, A History of the Doctrine of the Holy Eucharist (London: Longman’s, Green, 1909), Volume I, p. 102).
 

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Not all who affirm the label "Calvinist" affirm a Nestorian Christology, e.g. T. F. Torrance wrote:

"...the atoning sacrifice is not to be understood as fulfilled by Christ merely as man -which would imply a Nestorian Christology- but of Christ as the one Mediator between God and man who is himself God and man in one Person..." -T. F. Torrance, Scottish Theology: From John Knox to John McLeod Campbell, pp. 18-19. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thomas_F._Torrance

Contrast R. C. Sproul proposes precisely the notion Torrance rightly deems heretical:
"We should shrink in horror from the idea that God actually died on the cross. The atonement was made by the human nature of Christ." -R. C. Sproul, "Did God Die on a Cross" https://www.ligonier.org/blog/it-accurate-say-god-died-cross/

Among other problems with Sproul and Nestorius, as St. Athanasius famously opined of Arius is" "a creature is his redeemer":

"R. C. Sproul, a man I once heard speak the most bizarre sentiments about the properties of deity that not even the most austere of Calvinists would ever scruple to pronounce... here scruples to openly embrace not merely Nestorius’s heresy, but indeed even aspects of Arius’s. God did not die, he says, and then trundles out the usual Nestorian inanities about the impassability of the divine nature.

But he then goes on to announce that it was the human nature of Christ that wrought our salvation. Get the auto de fe ready, boys, for this is exactly what Athanasius pointed out about Arius: a creature is his redeemer... Christ rises, says St. Irenaeus, not as a mere man through the power of God, but in that God himself, the Logos of the Father, died, he conquers death. This is what we await on this coming Sunday, when Christ our God tramples down death by death." -luxchristi.wordpress.com

How can God die? Who was controlling the world? Fr. John explains on his article at his On Behalf of All blog "Great and Holy Friday: The Death of God"

"He has always been everywhere and in all places in Heaven and on Earth and under the Earth. There is nowhere in all of creation that you can go, or ever could have gone, to escape the presence of the Word of God. His humility came not in subtraction, but in an incomprehensible addition to the second person of the Trinity. For at the Incarnation, He did not strip off His “God suit,” as if such a thing were possible. At the Incarnation, He added a human body, and a human mind, and a human will, and a human soul, to His being... The Son of God is the One who created the very tree that would be cut down and fashioned into the Cross which would be used to crucify him. The Son of God is the One who by the power of His creation and by the power of His very life and deity, nurtured and fed and grew the wheat and the grapes, which would go through their own personal Golgotha and Gethsemane as they were crushed and ground to make the very first loaf of bread and chalice of wine that would become the Last Supper. It was His life that pulsed through the hands of the men who slapped him. It was His thorn bush, that He created, that was woven into a crown of thorns that was to go on His head. When the Roman soldier stood at the foot of the cross and sent a lance piercing through His side, it was this Son of God – this Lord of Life – who was keeping that soldier’s heart beating, even as that soldier was verifying that God’s heart had stopped.

"It was not only in life that the Son of God was in Heaven at the same time as He was on earth, but also in death. For you see, in death, His human soul and His human body were unnaturally separated. His corpse went into the tomb. His soul went into Hades. And as a human soul in Hades, preaching to the spirits in prison – at the same time, as God, He is still part of the Trinity, still holding everything in the universe together by the word of His power, even as His body is in the grave and His soul is in Hades. Like Schrodinger’s proverbial cat, He is dead and alive at the same time" (On Behalf of All, "Great and Holy Friday: The Death of God")

Cf. Met. Hierotheos Vlachos similarly observes "Did Christ die? "Death is a separation of the body and soul. Christ gave up His soul, His spirit to His Father. "And bowing His head, He gave up His spirit" (John 19:30). However, this does not mean that there is also a separation of the hypostatic union of the Divine and human nature. His Divinity remained undivided in body and soul -in spite of the soul's separation from the body. Therefore His soul descended into hades with His Divinity in order to release the righteous men of the Old Testament from the power of death, while his Body remained in the tomb with the Divinity, without suffering, decay and disintegration, precisely because there was the unified Divinity He lay in the tomb incorruptible until the third day because His body cannot be touched by corruption because it is full of the Divine Presence.
The righteous men of the Old Testament attained deification but death had not yet been conquered and they went to Hades. Through Christ's sacrifice on the Cross, He descended into Hades and freed them from the Kingdom of Death.
Prior to the Resurrection Christ's body was pure and chaste, but mortal and destructible. After His Resurrection He had an indestructible Body which never hungers nor thirsts because it is united with His Divinity.
Christ reconciled man to God through Himself. We are now able to participate in the purifying, illuminating and deifying energy of God."
-Adapted from "The Feasts of Our Lord" by Metropolitan Hierotheos Vlachos of Nafpaktos
 
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