Theology/Seminary Notes/Seminary Chapbook

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Big Questions

Possibly the most basic is Romans 4:9-11, “For we say that faith was reckoned to Abraham for righteousness. How was it then reckoned? when he was in circumcision, or in uncircumcision? Not in circumcision, but in uncircumcision. And he received the sign of circumcision, a seal of the righteousness of the faith which he had yet being uncircumcised: that he might be the father of all them that believe, though they be not circumcised; that righteousness might be imputed unto them also.” Here Paul speaks directly to our problem, for he is dealing with the institution of the sacrament of circumcision, the Old Testament sign and seal of the covenant of grace

I. Introduction - Eucharist

II. Universal View of the Sacraments

A. One Major Sacrament 1.one major sacrament 2.queen of sacraments 3.salvation army 4.rc and protestant 5.one major sacrament to divide or unite

a. individual sacrament to divide (use para)

b. Individual sacrament to unite (use para)

B. Unifying Force


1. Unifying unifying a divisonality makes it able to be unique b builds community c unifying

2. Identifying Identifying

identifies the people

builds community


3. Creates a form of community

C. Communal Meal

1. OT View

2. Like Thanksgiving Feast


III. Medieval Schism

A. Trans-Substantiation

B. Lutheran View - In-with-under

C. Symbol

1. Wycliffe and Wray's View

2. Zwingli

3. Support by Old Testament View

IV. The Old Testament View of the Sacrament

V. Wray's View

VI. Conclusion


Despite the divisions that arise and develop between churches and theologians, there remain certain unifying aspects of the sacraments.

The Christian Faith is unanimous in the opinion that there is one major sacrament.

This is the sacrament of the eucharist or the Lord's Supper.

The power of the eucharist to define and to unify a faith or sect is also agreed.

The form of the eucharist as a communal meal is also maintained and used to reinforce capacity to build a community.

These themes of the sacraments are universal and do not differ in the Christian Faith.

How these themes are presented, emphasized and interpreted within the many sects and individual understandings is what leads to religious division.

However, it can be Seen that one sacrament stands above the others. The Eucharist has retained prominence in the christian faith over the centuries. The practice of remembrance or re-enactment of the Lord's Supper is the most highly regarded of the sacraments. For the Roman Catholic "the Eucharist is queen amongst the the seven sister of grace, the Catholic sacraments." (BX2215 .v94, p65) Even the seemingly rigid sacramental belief of the Salvation Army is maleable to permit attendance to the eucharist or mass of other denominations and "The Salvation Army encourages the development of resources for fellowship meals, which will vary according to culture, without ritualizing particular words or actions." (http://www1.sal vationarmy.org/ind/www_ind.nsf/vwsublinks/80256E520050A2E280256C140045D031?openDocument) The dominance of the eucharist as the most important sacrament gives it the power to either divide or unite. Sadly, the unique ability of the Eucharist to cause division is one aspect that points to it's dominance in the life of a church. That the Eucharist was the main point of division during the sixteenth century. Particularly during the time of reform and change during the sixteenth century, the eucharist has achieved the role of wedge between brothers in Christ. In the reformed church, it is the degree and substance of the bread and the wine that divided and segregated the divergent sects because of the importance placed on this sacrament. Even the timing and the frequency of the eucharist becomes a point of disunity with in the Presbyterian Church. The dominant views will be discussed in detail later in the paper. that developed will be considered at a later time but Can be used to unite. Therefore, prominence of the eucharist can seen when compared to other sacraments but what makes the eucharist most important is the capacity as a unifying force. As a unifying force the sacrament of the Eucharist has no equal. The Eucharist is unique in it's power to divide and to unify. The other six sacraments do not have this power. There is something that gives the Eucharist this force. Can be used to unite.

Why the other sacraments don't do it.

One first needs to look at the evidence that the other sacraments are laking.

The other five don't do it.

There were five sacraments that were universally discarded by the Protestants and yet there was no solidarity.

If the other sacraments that existed before the reformation had a unifying force then history would have been different.

What the groups did with the eucharist made them distinct.

Even those that differed on the other major sacrament, baptism, had limited power to unite as a group.

The action of discarding five of the other sacraments really did not coalesce the defecting Protestants.

The other five don't do it.

Baptism didn't do it. Although, the anabaptists sacrificed their bodies for their belief in re-baptism, the core of the belief was how a person was sanctified or justified in faith.

The time of baptism was key for them not because of something peculiar to baptism.

The time of baptism required that the participant needed to be active in his or her faith.

With that distinction the manner of taking communion would not be unified.

The "substance" question is not answered by faith.

Sadly, the anabaptists would have been left to argue amongst themselves and not be able to unite.

As such it remains the single vital medium that unifies a group of people even so far as to define them.

ministries in the Community of Christ for both individual and community spiritual development.

They are viewed as essential to the mission, identity and message of the denomination, providing a common foundation for religious practice across the world.


Baptism didn't do it.

divisonality makes it able to unite

identifies the people

builds community

2. Identifying a. Lutheran View b. RC view c. Zwingli

3. Creates a form of community a. for RC it provided a stage for priests b. For Calvin it was part of the semi-secular government c. as a public recurring event it reinforced community bond

C. Communal Meal

1. OT View a the meal would bind strangers into a family b the meal would bind family c passover and other feasts identified the faith 2. Like Thanksgiving Feast a american feast is shared once a year b. there is a common food that is acceptable to all c the meal does not impinge on other faiths and is inclusive II. Medieval Schism

"Ye shall understand therefore that there is great dissension, and three opinions, about the words of Christ, where he saith, in pronouncing the testament over the bread, “This is my body;” and in pronouncing it over the wine, 'This is my blood.'"

A. Trans-Substantiation

One part say that these words, “This is my body,” “This is my blood,” compel us to believe, under pain of damnation, that the bread and wine are changed into the very body and blood of Christ really: as the water at Cana Galilee was turned into very wine.

"Father Selvaggi even went so far as to translate the concept of substance into contemporary chemical terms. Roughly it boils down to this, that the protons, neutrons, atoms, molecules, ions, the molecular junction and micro-crystals are changed, but the extension, mass, electrical charges, the potential as well as actual magnetic, electrical, kinetic energies, and all optic phenomena remain unchanged." (BX2215.2 L71E, p135)

B. Lutheran View - In-with-under

The second part saith, ‘We be not bound to believe that bread and wine are changed; but only that his body and blood are there presently.’

With Nostra Aetate, Vatican II openly recognizes and to a certain extent embarrasses the doctrine and legitimacy of other religions. By boldly burying the hatchet the Catholic Church has made a step toward love and faith. Thus The Catholic Church has proclaimed "In her task of promoting unity and love among men, indeed among nations, she considers above all in this declaration what men have in common and what draws them to fellowship." http://www.vatican.va/archive/hist_councils/ii_vatican_council/documents/vat-ii_decl_19651028_nostra-aetate_en.html

"The Army holds that the sacraments of Baptism and the Lord's Supper are not necessary since it is the spiritual meaning behind them and not the ceremony itself which is important." http://philtar.ucsm.ac.uk/encyclopedia/christ/esp/sallyarmy.html


C. Symbol

The third say, ‘We be bound by these words only to believe that Christ’s body was broken, and his blood shed for the remission of our sins; and that there is no other satisfaction for sin than the death and passion of Christ.’ --tynedale


1. Wycliffe and Wray's View

2. Zwingli

3. Support by Old Testament View

IV. The Old Testament View of the Sacrament

V. Wray's View

We can now see that the eucharist is the single most important sacrament and that it has the power to divide or unite. We also must realize that it has over time worked more efficiently to divide that to draw saints together.

Open para The covenant or sacrament of the old testament was a symbol. It was a symbol of the coming true and better sacrament. The function of the lamb in the old times to be a symbol of the sacrifice that was to come to the persons of the old temple in the form of Christ. That the persons knew the lamb was a symbol is not known that the person laid up their sins on that symbol and believed is truly known and their faith is what saved them. Yet the lamb did not die for them alone. The lamb died for us as well that we might recognize that the lamb was a symbol of our Lord Jesus Christ. Close para

Open para The sacraments have always been action of symbolisms. In this light the action has always been one of symbol. Thus, a symbolic action was created by Jesus in the past as a sign for us in the future. This symbol was given to the apostles that they could comment on and given to us grow an unite in our to believe and faith.

The argument of substance is born from pagan thought and not scripture. Our faith is built on Hebrew texts, traditions and beliefs and yet we do not consider what the ancient Jew Rhetorically, would an ancient jew wonder where the substance of sin resides in the slaughtered creature? If the substance of Christ exists in the Eucharist then why would we not insist on the substance of sin, a spot or blemish that represents sin, in that sacrificed animal?

The creature is aught but forgotten.

Yet, in some way forgiveness resides in the dead animal.

However, we try to insert our most honored master in a morsel of cooked wheat.

Was not God displeased with the offering from earth and garden?

Why would Christ himself choose to abide in a sacrifice that was abominable to his father?

No, we must now that from the scripture and the manner that God presents to his people over the course of history that He is the author and finisher of our faith that he is the maker of covenant and marks to be remembered and adored.

We must know that the sacrament is a Holy Communion of a son or daughter of God with the Father that loves them.

There is one sacrament that is recognized in Islam, Judaism and Christianity.

There are two sacraments recognized by Judaism and Christianity.

There are seven unique to RCC.

Yet it may possibly be that there is only one that is recognized by the Father.

That one thing is exemplified by Abraham when he believed even when the evidence showed that his wife was far beyond years of bearing a son.

That one is Faith.

Faith is not a symbol.

Works are symbols of Faith as The Eucharist is a symbol of the death of Jesus Christ.


VI. Conclusion


A FRUITFUL AND GODLY TREATISE, Expressing the Right Institution and Usage of the Sacrament of Baptism, And the Sacrament of the Body and Blood of Our Savior Jesus Christ. To understand the pith of the sacraments, how they came up, and the very meaning of them, we must consider diligently the manners and fashions of the Hebrews, which were a people of great gravity and sadness, and earnest in all their doings, if any notable thing chanced among them; so that they not only wrote, but also set up pillars, and marks, and divers signs to testify the same unto their posterity, and named the places where the things were done with such names as could not but keep the deeds in memory. As Jacob called the place where he saw God face to face Pheniel, that is, God’s face.And the place where the Egyptians mourned for Jacob seven days, the people of the country called Abel Miram, that is, the lamentation of the Egyptians; to the intent that such names should keep the gests and stories in mind. And likewise in all their covenants they not only promised one to another and swore thereon, but also set up signs and tokens thereof, and gave the places names to keep the thing in mind. And they used thereto such circumstances, protestations, solemn fashions, and ceremonies, to confirm the covenants, and to testify that they were made with great. earnest advice and deliberation, to the intent that it should be too much shame and too much abomination, both before God and man, to break them ever after. As Abraham, when he made a covenant of peace with Abimelech king of the Philistines, after they had eaten and drunk together, and sworn, he put seven lambs by themselves, and Abimelech received them of his hand, to testify that he there had dug a certain well, and that the right thereof pertained to him. And he called the well Beersheba, the well of swearing, or the well of seven, because of the oath, and of the seven lambs; and by that title did Abraham his children challenge it many hundred years after. And when Jacob and Laban made a covenant together, Genesis 31: they cast up an heap of stones in witness, and called it Galeed, the heap of witness; and they bound each other, for them and their posterity, that neither part should pass the heap to the other’s countryward, to hurt or conquer their land: and Laban bound Jacob also, that he should take no other wives besides his daughters, to vex them. And of all that covenant they made that heap a witness, calling it the witness-heap; that their children should inquire the cause of the name, and their father should declare unto them the history. And such fashions as they used among themselves, did God also use to themward, in all his notable deeds, whether of mercy in delivering them, or of wrath in punishing their disobedience and transgression, in all his promises to them, and covenants made between them and him. As when after the general flood God made a covenant with Noah and all mankind, and also with all living creatures, that he would no more drown the world, he gave them the rainbow to be a sign of the promise, for to make it the better believed, and to keep it in mind for ever; and he said: “When I bring clouds upon the earth, I will put my bow in the clouds, and will look on it, and remember the everlasting covenant made between God and all living creatures.” And Abram (which signifieth an excellent father) he named Abraham, the father of a great multitude of people; because he had promised to make him even so, and that his seed should be as the stars and as the sand of the sea innumerable. And that name gave he him as a seal of the promise to confirm it, and to strengthen the faith of Abraham and his posterity, and to keep the promise in mind, that they might have wherewith to bind God and to conjure him, as Moses and the holy prophets ever do, holding him fast to his own promise, and binding him with his own words, and bringing forth the obligation and seal thereof, in all times of necessity and temptation. After that he made a covenant with Abraham, to be his God, and the God of his posterity, and their shield and defender; and Abraham promised for him and his seed to be his people, and to believe and trust in him, and to keep his commandments; which covenant God caused to be written in the flesh of Abraham, and in the males of all his posterity, commanding the males to be circumcised the eighth day, or to be slain: which circumcision was the seal and obligation of, the said covenant, to keep it in mind, and to testify that it was an earnest thing, whereby God challenged them to be his people, and required the keeping of his laws of them, and faith to trust in him only, and in no other thing, for help and succor, and all that can be needful and necessary for man; and whereby he condemned the disobedient and rebellious, and punished them; and whereby also the godly challenged him to be their God and Father, and to help and succor them at need, and to minister all things unto them according to all his promises. And though the seal of this covenant were not written in the flesh of the females, yet it served the womankind, and bound them to God, to trust in him, and to keep his laws, as well as it did the men children; and the womankind, not circumcised in the flesh, yet through the help of the sign written in the males loving God’s law, and trusting wholly in him, were truly circumcised in the heart and soul before God. And as the maid-children, believing and loving God, whereunto the outward circumcision bound them, were truly circumcised before God; even so the males, having the flesh circumcised, yet not believing nor loving God, whereunto the outward circumcision bound them, were uncircumcised before God, and God not bound to them, but had good right thereby to punish them: so that neither circumcision, or to be uncircumcised, is aught worth (as St Paul saith, Romans 2.) save for the keeping of the law; for if circumcision help not to keep the law, so serveth it for nought, but for to condemn. And as the woman kind uncircumcised were in as good case as the males that were circumcised; even so the infants of the maids, which died uncircumcised, were in as good case as the infants of males which died circumcised. And in as good case by the same rule were the men-children that died before the eighth day: or else let them tell why. The covenant, made between God and Abraham, saved the man-child as soon as it was born, yea, as soon as it had life in the mother’s womb: for the covenant, that God would be God of Abraham’s seed, went over the fruit as soon as it had life; and then there is no reason but that the covenant must needs pertain to the males as soon as to the females. Wherefore the covenant must needs save the males unto the eighth day; and then the covenant was, that the rulers should slay the males only, if their friends did not circumcise them; not that the circumcision saved them, but to testify the covenant only. And then it followeth, that the infants that die unbaptized, of us Christians, that would baptize them at due time and teach them to believe in Christ, are in as good case as these that die baptized: for as the covenant made to the faith of Abraham went over his seed as soon as it had life, and before the sign was put on them; even so must needs the covenant, made to all that believe in Christ’s blood, go over that seed as soon as it hath life in the mother’s womb, before the sign be put on it. For it is the covenant only, and not the sign, that saveth us; though the sign be commanded to be put on at due time, to stir up faith of the covenant that sayeth us. And instead of circumcision came our baptism; whereby we be received into the religion of Christ, and made partakers of his passion, and members of his church; and whereby we are bound to believe in Christ, and in the Father through him, for the remission of sins; and to keep the law of Christ, and to love each other, as he loved us; and whereby (if we thus believe and love) we calling God to be our Father, and to do his will, shall receive remission of our sins through the merits of Jesus Christ his Son, as he hath promised. So now by baptism we be bound to God, and God to us, and the bond and seal of the covenant is written in our flesh; by which seal or writing God challengeth faith and love, under pain of just damnation: and we (if we believe and love) challenge (as it is above rehearsed) all mercy, and whatsoever we need; or else God must be an untrue God. And God hath bound us christian men to receive this sign for our infirmities’ sake, to be a witness between him and us, and also to put this sign upon our children; not binding us to any appointed time, but as it shall seem to us most convenient, to bring them to the knowledge of God the Father, and of Christ, and of their duty to God and his law. And as the circumcised in the flesh, and not in the heart, have no part in God’s good promises; even so they that be baptized in the flesh, and not in heart, have no part in Christ’s blood. And as the circumcised in the heart, and not in the flesh, had part in God’s good promises; even so a Turk unbaptized (because he either knoweth not, that he ought to have it, or cannot for tyranny,) if he believe in Christ, and love as Christ did and taught, then hath he his part in Christ’s blood. And though the outward circumcision, by the which God challengeth them to do him service, yea, whether they would or not, and by the which they were taught to believe in God, and in the seed of Abraham that should come and bless all the world, and to love the law; and certified them also, on the other side, of the good-will of God, if they so did; though (I say) it was the chief and most principal sign, (for so are such ceremonies called in the Hebrew, because they yet signify other things than appeareth to the outward sense,) yet God gave them divers other signs, both to stir up faith in the promise made them, and also to keep the benefit of the mercy of God in mind. As in Exodus 13, all the first-born, both of man and beast, are sanctified and dedicated unto the Lord, for a remembrance that the Lord slew all the first-born of Egypt; this did God command to be observed, that their children should ask why: and he commanded their fathers to teach their children, when they should ask what was meant thereby. Also Exodus 20, the Sabbath is commanded to be observed, to be a sign, and to testify that God had sanctified and dedicated or chosen them, that they should be his people, to keep his laws, and that he would be their God, to keep them; and to testify also, that God hath created all things of nought in six days, and rested the seventh. Also Numbers 10, where Almighty God commanded the children of Israel to blow a trumpet, when they entered into battle against their enemies; and promised that they should be thought upon before the Lord their God, and saved from their enemies. And likewise in their solemn feasts God commanded them to blow trumpets over the sacrifice; to be a sign unto them, that God would think on them, according to the covenant made in the blood of the sacrifice. Lo, the trumpets were commanded to be blown; not that God delighted in the noise of the trumpets, but in the faith of his people.


sgdfsgfhgdsfgfdasfs DIFFERENT WAYS OF DOING IT: The New World Encyclopedia continues: ROMAN CATHOLIC CHURCH: The Roman Catholic Church, the Eucharist is one of the seven sacraments, but is also considered the "the source and summit of the Christian life" (Lumen Gentium 11). "The other sacraments...are bound up with the Eucharist and are orientated toward it" (Catechism of the Catholic Church 1324). According to the Roman Catholic Church, when the bread and wine are consecrated in the Eucharist, they cease to be bread and wine, and become instead the body and blood of Christ. This view has come to be known as transubstantiation.

EASTERN CHRISTIANITY: Like Roman Catholics, the Eastern Orthodox, Oriental Orthodox, Eastern Catholic Churches, and the Assyrian Church of the East believe that Christ is really, fully, uniquely present in the Eucharistic elements, and that, in the Divine Liturgy, the one sacrifice of Christ is made present. The exact means by which the bread and wine become the body and blood of Christ is a mystery. The Eastern tradition does not define any precise moment the change occurs. As in the Roman Catholic Church, any of the consecrated elements, or "holy gifts," that remain at the end of the Divine Liturgy are normally c onsumed by a priest or deacon.

ANGLICAN OR EPISCOPALIANS: is found in Thirty-Nine Articles of 1571 which state "the Bread which we break is a partaking of: the Anglican Communion is found in the the Body of Christ"; and likewise that "the Cup of Blessing is a partaking of the Blood of Christ." The Articles also state that adoration of the consecrated elements was not commanded by Christ and that those who receive unworthily do not actually receive Christ but rather their own condemnation. Anglicans generally and officially believe in the "Real Presence" of Christ in the Eucharist, but the specifics of that belief range from transubstantiation to something akin to a belief in a "pneumatic" presence.

LUTHERANS: Lutherans believe that the Body and Blood of Christ are "truly and substantially present" in the consecrated bread and wine, so that communicants eat and drink both the elements themselves and the true Body and Blood of Christ (Augsburg Confession, Article 10). The Lutheran doctrine of the Real Presence is often referred to as "consubstantiation" by some, but this term is rejected by Lutheran Churches and theologians as it creates confusion with an earlier doctrine of the same name.

METHODIST: The Methodist Church believes in the Real Presence of Jesus Christ in Holy Communion, but generally rejects the notion that the bread and wine are literally transformed into Jesus' body and blood. Most Methodist Churches use grape juice for "the Cup," and either leavened yeast bread or unleavened bread. The juice may be distributed in small cups, but the use of a common cup and the practice of communion by dipping the bread into the common cup is becoming more common. Methodists typically kneel at the altar to receive communion, but based on individual need or preference, may stand or be served in the pew. In 2004, the United Methodist Church reaffirmed its view of the sacrament and its belief in the Real Presence in an official document entitled This Holy Mystery. Methodists believe that Holy Communion may be offered by laypersons as well as the clergy. According to Article XIX of the Articles of Religion in the Book of Discipline of the Methodist Church, "The cup of the Lord is not to be denied to the lay people; for... the Lord's Supper, by Christ's ordinance and commandment, ought to be administered to all Christians alike.”

CALVINIST REFORMED: Many Reformed Christians hold that Christ's body and blood are not locally or literally present in the Eucharist, but to the faithful believer Christ is indeed present. "The flesh and blood of Christ are no less truly given to the unworthy than to God's elect believers," Calvin said; but those who partake by faith receive benefit from Christ, and the unbelieving are condemned by partaking. The faithful partaker beholds God incarnate in the Eucharist, and in the same sense touches him with hands, so that by eating and drinking of bread and wine Christ's actual presence penetrates to the heart of the believer more nearly than food swallowed with the mouth can enter in.

BAPTISTS AND ZWINGLIAN REFORMED: Some Protestant groups see the bread and wine as a symbolic meal, a memorial of the Last Supper and the Passion in which nothing miraculous occurs. This view is known as the Zwinglian view, after Huldrych Zwingli, a Church leader in Zurich, Switzerland during the Reformation. It is commonly associated with Baptists and the Disciples of Christ. As with the Reformed view, elements left over from the service may be discarded without any formal ceremony, or if feasible may be retained for use in future services. Some of the Reformed hold that Calvin actually held this view, and not the Spiritual feeding idea more commonly attributed to him; or that the two views are really the same.

LATTER DAY SAINTS (MORMONS): Like some other Restorationist sects of Christianity, the Latter Day Saints do not believe in any kind of literal presence, but view the bread and wine as symbolic of the body and blood of Christ. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints uses water instead of wine, following the Doctrine and Covenants where a believed revelation from the Lord says "it mattereth not what ye shall eat or what ye shall drink when ye partake of the sacrament..." To Latter Day Saints (or Mormons), the Eucharist (in LDS theology it is "The Sacrament") is viewed as a renewal of the covenant made at baptism. As such, it is considered efficacious only for baptized members in good standing. However, the unbaptized are not forbidden from communion, and it is traditional for children not yet baptized (baptism occurs only after the age of eight) to participate in communion in anticipation of baptism. According to the Sacrament prayers, a person eats and drinks in remembrance of the body and blood of Jesus, and promises always to remember him and keep his commandments. In return the prayer promises that the participant will always have the Spirit to be with them.

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