Tuesday, May 22, 2007
The Real Presence of Christ in the Supper
Although Lutherans have often been viewed as part of the larger "Protestant" community, our commitment to the doctrine of the "real presence" in the Lord's Supper sets us apart sacramentally as more catholic. It would seem that embracing real presence would be the most natural move for a literal Bible-believing evangelical. Yet somehow, when it comes to this one area, many Protestants balk. Despite the clear language and clear intent of our Lord, reason slams the door on the truth and says: "It doesn't make any logical sense." Then, with the argument of reason presented, Biblical proof is sought to under gird the argument.
Aside from the scriptures, however, there is also additional assurance of the real presence to be found in the witness of the Early Church. The Rev. Paul T. McCain on Cyberbrethren: A Lutheran Blog has amassed a nice collection of testimony from the Early Church in defense of the real presence. The list is entitled "Early Church Fathers on the Real Presence in the Lord's Supper." It is hard to argue with such consistent teaching through the ages. I think that those Protestants who continue to insist on what is sometimes called the "real absence," with Jesus' body conveniently 'stuck' in heaven, need to ask themselves: Could the church fathers be so consistently wrong for so long?