Arguing with the Fathers

Not a few people found my arguments against intinction unpersuasive. Even though the express command of Christ is “Take eat… Drink of it all of you…”, I was told, “I feel that…”, “I think it could be…”, “I prefer”… Stop me when you notice a theme to those comments.

It did not seem to matter that I quoted a resolution of the synod, which correctly stated that intinction was against the express institution of Christ. After all, popes and councils can err. (Which I will concede, since I made the same point about the CTCR in my post.)

And it’s certainly possible that Chemnitz, in his Examination of the Council of Trent, made a mistake. It certainly is not a part of our confession, even though it defined Lutheran-Roman Catholic relations for four centuries, and even though it really does establish what it means to be Lutheran as opposed to Romanist teaching. You can dismiss it as merely one more error of a church father. But be careful dismissing too many of the Lutheran Fathers. If you throw out too many, you may one day find that there’s not a lot of Lutheran theology left in your so-called ‘Lutheran doctrine’. The relevant text is:

Some afterward wanted to bring the custom of a dipped sacrament from these extraordinary cases into the lawful and ordinary Communion of the church, contrary to the institution of Christ and the custom of the ancient church, and that under the pretext of the danger of spilling, and of reverence toward the Eucharist.  (Chemnitz, Examination of the Council of Trent, vol. 4 p. 421)

 

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