Tuesday, February 09, 2010

Transubstantiation Question



bossmanham Says:
Hi CathApol,

I know this post isn't on transubstantiation, but I saw your response to Rhoblogy's post on transubstantiation. While I'm not Catholic and don't hold to the doctrine, I'm also not really fundamentally against it. I don't see it in scripture, but I don't know that there's anything terrible about holding to it, since I think the Eucharist, whatever the true nature of it is, is a very intimate and spiritual moment with Christ.

That said, I am interested in the formulation. William Lane Craig, in one of his Defenders podcasts, talked about the issue and mentioned something interesting a Catholic told him about Transubstantiation and how it made sense in the Catholic's mind. Craig asked him how Christ's body had not been exhausted throughout the years. I can't remember the answer. Could you extrapolate on it for me? The answer, as I remember, had something to do with the nature of the substance consumed.

In Christ.
Well, let me begin with moving this post/question to it's own blog entry so as to not be confused with the original post where you asked the question.  Feel free to add more to the combox on this entry.

Secondly, I can respect that you do not hold to the doctrine - but don't outright reject it.  I grew up a Lutheran, so it wasn't a real huge leap for me to move to the Catholic understanding.  I had always understood a "Real Presence" of sorts in the Lutheran Communion, now I have a fuller understanding that it IS His body and IS His blood - not that His body and blood are "with" the bread and wine.  The fundamental principle and scriptural support for this lies in the fact that Jesus Himself declared not that the bread would have a Real Presence WITH it, but that the bread now IS His body.  St. Augustine said it well:  


"Christ was carried in his own hands when, referring to his own body, he said, 'This is my body' [Matt. 26:26]. For he carried that body in his hands" (Explanations of the Psalms 33:1:10 [A.D. 405]).

"I promised you [new Christians], who have now been baptized, a sermon in which I would explain the sacrament of the Lord's Table. . . . That bread which you see on the altar, having been sanctified by the word of God, is the body of Christ. That chalice, or rather, what is in that chalice, having been sanctified by the word of God, is the blood of Christ" (Sermons 227 [A.D. 411]). 
And to bolster those statements from St. Augustine, let us also look to what St. Ignatius of Antioch said (and keep in mind, St. Ignatius was a disciple to St. John the Apostle, so Ignatius received this information first-hand from the Apostle who wrote John 6!).

"I have no taste for corruptible food nor for the pleasures of this life. I desire the bread of God, which is the flesh of Jesus Christ, who was of the seed of David; and for drink I desire his blood, which is love incorruptible" (Letter to the Romans 7:3 [A.D. 110]).


"Take note of those who hold heterodox opinions on the grace of Jesus Christ which has come to us, and see how contrary their opinions are to the mind of God. . . . They abstain from the Eucharist and from prayer because they do not confess that the Eucharist is the flesh of our Savior Jesus Christ, flesh which suffered for our sins and which that Father, in his goodness, raised up again. They who deny the gift of God are perishing in their disputes" (Letter to the Smyrnaeans 6:2-7:1 [A.D. 110]).

So, you can see this is not some new innovation of Catholics after the time of the Protestant Reformation.  Catholics have maintained this belief in the Real Presence since the very words of Christ declared this to be so.

Now, how is the body of Christ not all "used up" by now?  I would point you back to John 6, as I did Alan (Rhology) in my original comment.  In the first part of John 6 we have the pre-figuring of just how Jesus can be in many places at one time!  Jesus took a few fishes and loaves of bread and miraculously fed over 5000 people!  How could so few fishes and loaves be passed around to over 5000 people?  It is a mystery of faith!  We believe not because we can fully understand and explain the miracles of God, no!  We believe because we have FAITH.  Jesus demonstrated that He is capable of such a miracle - so when He took bread and declared it to BE His body - then it IS His body!  How?  We can't say - but we accept Jesus at His Word here.  

Why do we believe Jesus is speaking literally here and not figuratively?  Because, going back to John 6, Jesus COMMANDS us - MULTIPLE TIMES that we MUST eat His body and drink His blood or we have NO LIFE in us!  This caused the Jews to grumble - and even many of his disciples, those who had been following Him and learning from Him, to "turn and walk with Him no more."  If this were just a figurative parable here, why would Jesus allow His DISCIPLES to walk away with a false understanding of what He meant?  But He did let them walk away, why?  Because they DID understand Him correctly but did not have the FAITH necessary to BELIEVE HIM.

I hope this helps you to understand this teaching better, and pray that God gives you the faith necessary to believe Him - without question - on this matter.  Just as Jesus turned to The Twelve and asked, "Will you also leave?"  St. Peter answered Him, "To whom shall we go?  You have the words of everlasting life!"

In JMJ,
Scott<<<
   
PS- This is also answered by Matthew Bellisario here.

37 comments:

  1. I didn't see an answer to the question, but I appreciate the attempt.
    On what exegetical basis do you claim that the loaves and fishes are a prefiguring of Christ's institution of monophysitism into the worship of Him in the church?

    ReplyDelete
  2. Alan,
    Have you stopped beating your wife?

    Same question, different context. More later, I don't have time at the moment to give your question (which is not a valid question to begin with) an answer.

    In JMJ,
    Scott<<<

    ReplyDelete
  3. Alan wrote: I didn't see an answer to the question, but I appreciate the attempt.

    sw: Is transubstantiation a monophysite doctrine? No.

    Alan wrote: On what exegetical basis do you claim that the loaves and fishes are a prefiguring of Christ's institution of monophysitism into the worship of Him in the church?

    sw: I don't.

    sw: Monophysitism is the belief that Jesus Christ only has one nature. The Catholic Church teaches (and has always taught) that Jesus Christ has two natures, one divine and one human. These two natures exist in hypostatic union. Catholics are dyophysites.

    sw: The teaching on the transubstantiation, the changing of the substances of bread and wine to the body and blood of Christ, has absolutely nothing to do with the monophysite heresy which was condemned by the Catholic Church at the Council of Chalcdeon. This is why Alan's question is invalid - he is mixing theological terms in a sophomoric attempt in an anti-Catholic agenda. Perhaps he didn't think Catholics would have enough fortitude and/or knowledge to know the difference - or perhaps Alan just doesn't know the difference? In any event, I hope this response has educated him a bit.

    In JMJ,
    Scott<<<

    ReplyDelete
  4. Obviously, my contention is that the doctrine of transubstantiation leads to the logical conclusion of monophysitism. Thus RCC claims dyo but is in fact mono in practice and by implication.

    I also didn't see any exegesis of the multiplication of loaves and fishes.

    Peace,
    Rhology

    ReplyDelete
  5. Alan,
    I answered your questions the way they were asked. You may THINK you've made a logical conclusion, but logic totally escapes your question! Transubstantiation is not related to whether or not Catholicism is mono- or dyophysite. No matter how hard you try to force that square peg into the round hole, it's still a square peg.

    I would posit that it is IMPOSSIBLE for transubstantiation to be a monophysite theology. In mononphysitism you have more of a modalist existence of Jesus, as while He is God, He is not human and vice versa. The ONLY way then transubstantiation could work is if He has BOTH the divine and human nature AT THE SAME TIME. Otherwise He could not give us the miracle of His body in an omnipresent way (throughout all the tabernacles of the world and at every Mass and Divine Liturgy).

    In short, you didn't think this one through very well and your insistence upon your thesis just demonstrates willful ignorance.

    Scott<<<

    ReplyDelete
  6. The ONLY way then transubstantiation could work is if He has BOTH the divine and human nature AT THE SAME TIME.

    Or it wouldn't work at all. What, are you eating the divine essence in the wafer? Or are you eating Christ's body?
    Much more correctly stated, the ONLY way the Incarnation could work is if He has BOTH the divine and human nature AT THE SAME TIME. And yet during Christ's Incarnation, He was never in more than one place at once.

    ReplyDelete
  7. >> sw: The ONLY way then
    >> transubstantiation could work is
    >> if He has BOTH the divine and
    >> human nature AT THE SAME TIME.
    >
    > AR: Or it wouldn't work at all.

    sw: Right, without dyophysitism transubstantation would not work at all. You seem to be coming around to realizing the error of your question.

    > AR: What, are you eating the
    > divine essence in the wafer?

    sw: We do not eat a "wafer" at all. What we partake in IS the body, blood, soul and divinity of Christ. It has the FORM of bread (or a wafer) but in SUBSTANCE it IS the body, blood, soul and divinity of Christ. "This has always been the belief of the Church of God, that immediately after the consecration the true body and the true blood of our Lord, together with His soul and divinity exist under the form of bread and wine, the body under the form of bread and the blood under the form of wine " (Trent Session XIII Chapter III)

    > AR: Or are you eating Christ's
    > body?

    sw: There is no "or" here. They are inseparable in hypostatic union.

    > AR: Much more correctly stated,
    > the ONLY way the Incarnation
    > could work is if He has BOTH the
    > divine and human nature AT THE
    > SAME TIME.

    sw: Well... the Modalist model works too as far as THAT goes, so one could still be beholding to an heresy yet believe in the Incarnation. Your question was not regarding the Incarnation though, but even there you misunderstand it. The Incarnation is NOT just one moment in time!

    > AR: And yet during Christ's
    > Incarnation, He was never in more
    > than one place at once.

    sw: He is STILL Incarnate! And He IS in more than one place at one time! You're only demonstrating now that you not only do not understand transubstantiation, but you also do not understand the Incarnation.

    sw: Much learning you have to do padawan.

    sw: If you DO know these things then I can only see your topic jumping as a deliberately dishonest attempt for you to distract from the debate you've already lost.

    In JMJ,
    Scott<<<

    ReplyDelete
  8. I have no idea what you're talking about when you say 'topic jumping'.

    And He IS in more than one place at one time!

    Prove it, in any other example other than the transubstantiated elements or using any biblical evidence.

    ReplyDelete
  9. > AR: I have no idea what you're talking about when you say 'topic jumping'.

    sw: Then perhaps you just don't know the difference and you're arguing about theological concepts from a position of ignorance.

    >> sw: And He IS in more than
    >> one place at one time!


    > AR: Prove it, in any other
    > example other than the
    > transubstantiated elements or
    > using any biblical evidence.


    Jesus resides in the hearts of all who are truly Christian - to deny this denies the omnipresence of God - which I don't think you wish to do, that's a whole 'nother heresy.

    In JMJ,
    Scott<<<

    PS- Shall I take your silence on the other matters as concession?

    ReplyDelete
  10. I'm only concerned with one thing here - transub as monophysitism. I guess you're saying that there are other issues on the table in this thread, but I don't know what they are. I'll ask you again to outline them.


    Now,
    Jesus resides in the hearts of all who are truly Christian - to deny this denies the omnipresence of God

    The entire point of my post on transub is whether Christ's BODY can be multilocational. If this is your counterexample, you have failed.
    Please try again. Or don't - that's fine too, and simply will show that you have no substantive answer to my post.


    Peace,
    Rhology

    ReplyDelete
  11. So, you can see this is not some new innovation of Catholics after the time of the Protestant Reformation.

    I never had any illusions that this was the case.

    In the first part of John 6 we have the pre-figuring of just how Jesus can be in many places at one time!

    My issue with using John 6 to support the real bodily presence is that Jesus seems to reveal the figurative nature of the speech in saying that those who come are the ones that are filled and those who believe are the ones who are drinking (v 35). I mean He says he's the door and the light as well.

    Jesus COMMANDS us - MULTIPLE TIMES that we MUST eat His body and drink His blood or we have NO LIFE in us!

    Yes, but following the allegory set out in v 35, that could just mean that coming and believing are required, or we have no life in us. Also, if we're going to take Jesus completely literally here, then Catholics shouldn't be going around being hungry and thirsty, unless Christ is hitting at a spiritual truth and not a literal physical truth. We must partake of Christ spiritually through faith, and we will no hunger spiritually. That is how I think the passage progresses.

    Furthermore, the modern Catholic church says we are "separated brethren," yet we are not allowed to take the consecrated elements. As I assume you don't think our bread and wine (or grape juice) become the body and blood of Christ, are we Christians by means of our faith or not? I tend to think Catholics, despite some theological issues I have with them, can be truly saved. Are we saved, in spite of not being allowed to partake?

    ReplyDelete
  12. And just in case one thinks that the reformers were the first to be symbolists, we could bring up the debates of Radbertus and Ratramnus from the 9th century.

    ReplyDelete
  13. > AR wrote: I'm only concerned
    > with one thing here - transub as
    > monophysitism.


    sw: Then why the topic jumping to the omnipresence of Jesus?

    > AR: I guess you're saying that
    > there are other issues on the
    > table in this thread, but I don't
    > know what they are. I'll ask you
    > again to outline them.


    sw: I've been trying to outline them as charitably as possible for you.

    sw: The very concept of Transubstantiation would D-E-M-A-N-D dypophysitism! If it were monophysite, then I would have to agree with you that it would be impossible to have a physical presence in more than one place at a time. However, since Jesus is True God AND True Man - these natures are inseparable and thus Jesus is certainly capable of performing this miracle - a Mystery of Faith. Your premise is exactly backwards. IF we were monophysites then transubstantiation would be impossible - but we're dyophysites.


    >> sw: Jesus resides in the hearts of
    >> all who are truly Christian - to
    >> deny this denies the
    >> omnipresence of God

    >
    > AR: The entire point of my post
    > on transub is whether Christ's
    > BODY can be multilocational. If
    > this is your counterexample, you
    > have failed.


    sw: It is AN example, and a valid one. I have not "failed." Second, you're denying Jesus' power and authority AS GOD to be "multi-locational." This is where YOU fail! You're the one positing a monophysite argument! You're denying that the Man/God can be multi-locational at the same time.

    In JMJ,
    Scott<<<

    ReplyDelete
  14. Then why the topic jumping to the omnipresence of Jesus?

    Perhaps you should go back and read my post at Beggars All.


    However, since Jesus is True God AND True Man - these natures are inseparable and thus Jesus is certainly capable of performing this miracle - a Mystery of Faith.

    That's just a naked assertion. Yet in His Incarnation AND His glorification, we see Him as physically present in ONE place at any one time. Apparently that's part of the hypostatic union - the human nature, which He holds to this day, is unilocational. Read my post.


    Second, you're denying Jesus' power and authority AS GOD to be "multi-locational."

    Denying His power and authority to attribute divine attributes to human nature...so did Chalcedon.

    Peace,
    Rhology

    ReplyDelete
  15. Alan/Rhology writes:

    And yet during Christ's Incarnation, He was never in more than one place at once.

    First, Rhology's comment demonstrates his confusion. He frames the Incarnation in the past tense, as if it stopped happening. This is a common error on the part of all Christians, but one that non-sacramental Christians make more often. Obviously, Christ is still "in" the Incarnation.

    Second, the Bible attests to Christ being in more than one place at one time, i.e., at the Last Supper when he said, "this is my body." Obviously, Alan will deny that means Christ was in two places at once, but that would be question begging on his part.

    Third, the problem comes down to a weird lack of confidence in God's power on the part of Calvinist. In fact, the modern Calvinist argument is identical to the one made by Muslims in the Middle Ages. Aquinas responded to this argument as follows:

    Anyone even slightly instructed in the Christian religion can see how unreasonably unbelievers ridicule this sacrament. For we do not say that the body of Christ is cut into parts and distributed for consumption by the faithful in the Sacrament, so that it would have to run out, even if his body were as big as a mountain, as they say.
    But we say that by the conversion of bread into the body of Christ the very body of Christ exists in this Sacrament of the Church and is eaten by the faithful. Because the body of Christ is not divided, but something is changed into it, there is no way that by eating it its quantity could be reduced.

    But if an unbeliever wants to say that this conversion is impossible, let him think of the omnipotence of God. He will agree that by the power of nature one thing can be converted into another by taking on another form. Thus air is converted into fire when the matter which previously was under the form of air later becomes subject to the form of fire. Much more, therefore, the power of almighty God, which brings the whole substance of a thing into existence, can not only change something by form, as nature does, but also convert the whole thing, so that bread is converted into the body of Christ and wine into his blood.

    If anyone objects to this conversion on the grounds of what appears to the senses, where there is no difference, let him observe that divine things are offered to us under the veil of visible things. That we may have the spiritual and divine refreshment of the body and blood of Christ, and not take it as ordinary food and drink, it is taken under the form of bread and wine; that avoids the horror of eating human flesh and drinking blood. Nevertheless, we do not say that the forms that appear in the Sacrament are just in the imagination of the viewer, as happens in magical tricks, because any deceit is unworthy of this Sacrament. But God, who is the creator of substance and accidents, can preserve sensible accidents in existence even when the substance is changed into something else. For he can produce and preserve in existence the effects of secondary causes by his omnipotence without secondary causes.

    But if someone does not admit the omnipotence of God, we do not attempt to argue with him in this work. We are here arguing against Muslims and others who admit the omnipotence of God.


    As Mark Shea said, under laboratory conditions, God can do whatever he wants, and there are certainly stories of saints who were able to be in two places at once, so why not the Son of God?

    As for the Monophysite issue, that has nothing to do with the question of the Son's ability to be present in the Eucharist.

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  16. This is a common error on the part of all Christians, but one that non-sacramental Christians make more often. Obviously, Christ is still "in" the Incarnation.

    Obviously I was referring to the biblical acct of His time on Earth.
    If you'd read my original post, wherein I said: " At the time of His Resurrection, His body became glorified and immortal; He doesn't necessarily have blood anymore, but He retains flesh and physical tangibility, among other properties", you might know that. But it's apparently a lot to ask that one read my post.


    Second, the Bible attests to Christ being in more than one place at one time, i.e., at the Last Supper when he said, "this is my body

    Begging the very question at hand. It's not question-begging on MY part! YOU are making the positive assertion, that Christ's human nature has divine attributes. Back it up with biblical evidence.


    Because the body of Christ is not divided, but something is changed into it, there is no way that by eating it its quantity could be reduced.

    Sounds like it's not the actual, real body of Christ at all. It's something else.
    Or it's something...divine. Hmm, where have I heard that before? Oh yes, my post, in which I identify such things as monophysite.


    this conversion is impossible, let him think of the omnipotence of God.

    It's not impossible, it's simply heretical monophysitism.


    there are certainly stories of saints who were able to be in two places at once, so why not the Son of God?

    Oh wow, well, if Mark Shea said it....
    I obviously don't grant such stories of saints who were in two places at once, for real. Appearing in diff places at once is sthg totally diff - God can do what He wills. But Christ's Body is not merely appearing in the Eucharist.

    Thanks, I appreciate your thoughts.

    Peace,
    Rhology

    ReplyDelete
  17. Rhology,

    In our various engagements, I've come to realize that you really lack the interest in understanding anything that doesn't comport with your particular view. So, citing authorities and accepted Christian doctrines has never stopped from playing a puerile debating game. I remembe one time that you confessed that God had different and contradictory wills, but heaven save you, you never understood why that was a problem.

    So, the risen Christ does not have blood? The only group that I've ever heard make that claim are Mormons, but if the Calvinists are taking up LDS doctrine, who am I to object?

    In effect, you are denying Christ's ongoing humanity in your description. That may be hunky-dory for the Mormons, but among orthodox Christians, Christ was and remains essentially human. Insofar as his risen body exhibits traits like impassibility and subtlety and the beatific vision, those traits come from the addition of grace to the human nature that is forever Christ's.

    But you are free to make up your own doctrines - along with the Mormons - rather than, you know, studying.

    Concerning the fact that Jesus was in the bread, I predicted that you would engage in finger-pointing and question-begging, and you did not disappoint.

    I will back it up. Jesus said it. Jesus doesn't lie.

    And there is the pesky fact that the earliest members of the church who actually knew the apotles all agreed that Jesus actually meant it was His body.

    Will you at least recognize that the text is susceptible to this interpretation, inasmuch as this was the universal interpretation of the Church in the first three centuries (apart from some heretical sects who had other, weirder doctrines.)

    Or it's something...divine.

    Read the Tome of Gregory some time to see how the two natures of Christ are defined, i.e, inter alia, without division and without separation. Also look up the term "communicatio idiomatum." In fact, the communicatio idomatum is what Jesus was referring to when he said that those who did not eat his flesh would not have eternal life, because his flesh had something of the divine communicated to it by the hypostatic union.

    Don't sit there gaping like a blowfish. Do some studying.

    ReplyDelete
  18. Continued...

    It's not impossible, it's simply heretical monophysitism.

    Great. So it is possible for God, so knock off the stuff about the impossibility of being in two places at once.

    Second, it is not Monophysitism. You clearly have no idea what that term means.

    It's not Monophysitism because the Eucharist includes the whole Jesus in sacramental form, i.e., His body, blood, soul and divinity. The whole shooting match.

    If someone said that the Eucharist was simply his Divinity, then that would be gesturing at Monophysitism - but not really because Monophysitism had to do with the two wills of Christ. If someone said that it was purely Christ's body and blood, then that would gesture at Nestorianism - but not really because that doctrine argues that prior to his birth, the human nature of Jesus was not taken up into the Son's divine nature.

    You can look it up, but that is probably less fun that shooting from the hip.

    Appearing in diff places at once is sthg totally diff - God can do what He wills. But Christ's Body is not merely appearing in the Eucharist.

    First, why don't you show the courtesy of actually writing in English. I think that if you slow down and think about what you are writing, you will be forced to reflect on what you right, and this cannot help but improve your reasoning. It would also help if you spent a little time studying up on what you write about.

    Second, are playing some kind of language game on the word "appearing"?

    If so, please "get a life." That is disrespectful to me or to anyone with a grasp of the English language. "Appearing" means several things, one of which is to be actually present in a given location, i.e., to appear in that location. When we say "the supernova appeared in the sky" we mean that it was really and truly present in the sky, not that it was an "appearance" without reality.

    You seem to think that to "appear" means something like "image" or "hallucination."

    Hence, the saints were present in two different location at one time. They "appeared" in two places at once. Christ appeared in two places at once in the Last Supper.

    You concede that God can do this. Terrific. We are in agreement.

    I've already explained why the doctrine of Transubstantiation as fleshed out in the Aquinas citation I've provided is not Monophysite. But, honestly, your first clue should have been that if St. Thomas Aquinas accepted the doctrine, then it wasn't going to be Monophysite, because Aquinas is, like, way smarter than you, and no one - no one! - has ever accused him of being a crypto-Monophysite.

    I am, though, singularly amazed at your imperviousness to the intellectual curiosity that would have been kindled in the average person that St. Thomas had written on this subject 800 years before you were born.

    Good job on your obstinacy.

    ReplyDelete
  19. Well, I was out most of the evening working on computers. I return to see that Alan/Rhology is still trying to put a square peg in a round hole. Peter, you did a good job pointing to St. Thomas Aquinas (one of my favorites!) and the fact that Alan is confusing theological concepts of transubstantiation with the Monophysite heresy and the omnipresence of God.

    Were there things the physical body of Jesus did that should be physically impossible? Oh, you mean like walking on water? Did Jesus prefigure the ability of a physical presence multiplying to be in more than one place at once? Oh, you mean like the feeding of the 5000 from a few loaves and a few fishes?

    Does the concept of Jesus being in multiple places at once require a certain amount of faith? Yes! The biggest problem with Alan's argumentation is it exhibits NO FAITH. He wants PROOF of a Mystery of Faith! Such "proof" does not exist. Christianity is based in FAITH. I would ask Alan to pray for the faith necessary to accept this Mystery of Faith in the Eucharist.

    In JMJ,
    Scott<<<

    ReplyDelete
  20. Peter Sean Bradley has conceded the point:

    So it is possible for God, so knock off the stuff about the impossibility of being in two places at once.

    Yes, possible FOR GOD. Why? B/c God IS DIVINE. The human nature of Christ IS NOT DIVINE.
    I'm unsure if there's anythg left to say.

    I'll go ahead and press on though:


    I've come to realize that you really lack the interest in understanding anything that doesn't comport with your particular view. So, citing authorities and accepted Christian doctrines has never stopped from playing a puerile debating game

    Ah, while slapping generalised labels on me isn't a puerile debating tactic. As you like...


    the risen Christ does not have blood?

    Yes, He does. What did I say that could've given you the impression that I thought He didn't? Or is this a puerile debating tactic of strawmaning my position?


    you are denying Christ's ongoing humanity in your description

    No, YOU are. Your position ascribes divine attributes to Christ's human nature. That is a denial of Christ's ongoing humanity. I don't know how to be any clearer.



    Concerning the fact that Jesus was in the bread

    Wait, He said He was *IN* the bread? Or did He say "This is My body"?



    the earliest members of the church who actually knew the apotles all agreed that Jesus actually meant it was His body.

    The earliest record of the earliest church is, of course, the NT.
    And of course I'm arguing your view is non-Chalcedonian, so you have to deal with that.



    Will you at least recognize that the text is susceptible to this interpretation,

    Given that ALL texts EVERYWHERE are "susceptible to interpretation", I don't know what this is supposed to prove.



    the communicatio idomatum is what Jesus was referring to when he said that those who did not eat his flesh would not have eternal life, because his flesh had something of the divine communicated to it by the hypostatic union.

    OR, He meant that, as He said in John 6:35, believing = eating and coming to Him = drinking His blood.


    Second, are playing some kind of language game on the word "appearing"?

    I think it's pretty obvious that the way I'm using the term "appearing" is different from physically actually being in two different places at one time. Vision, apparition, that sort of thing. When you referred to "image" or "hallucination" a few lines down, you had it right.



    If so, please "get a life."

    And I'm the puerile one. OK.



    Hence, the saints were present in two different location at one time. They "appeared" in two places at once.

    All kinds of things appear in "tradition". I'm interested in the NT, please.



    Christ appeared in two places at once in the Last Supper.

    Begging the question again.




    CathApol,
    Were there things the physical body of Jesus did that should be physically impossible? Oh, you mean like walking on water?

    What about walking on water ascribes a divine attribute to humanity?



    Oh, you mean like the feeding of the 5000 from a few loaves and a few fishes?

    I've asked you to prove this is a prefiguring, and you've so far declined, but preferred instead simply to repeat yourself.

    Peace,
    Rhology

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  21. Alan writes:
    > Peter Sean Bradley has conceded
    > the point:

    sw: No, he didn't.

    Quoting Peter:
    >> So it is possible for God, so
    >> knock off the stuff about the
    >> impossibility of being in two
    >> places at once.

    Alan writes:
    > Yes, possible FOR GOD. Why? B/c
    > God IS DIVINE. The human nature
    > of Christ IS NOT DIVINE.
    > I'm unsure if there's anythg left
    > to say.

    The only thing left to say is that you do not understand the Hypostatic Union. Jesus HAS (present tense) two INSEPARABLE natures! THAT is the Catholic teaching on the dyophysite nature of Christ. You cannot separate them!

    (skipping down to where Alan is responding to me...)

    > CathApol,
    >> sw: Were there things the
    >> physical body of Jesus did that
    >> should be physically impossible?
    >> Oh, you mean like walking on
    >> water?

    Alan replies:
    > What about walking on water
    > ascribes a divine attribute to
    > humanity?

    sw: Last I checked, unless it is frozen solid (which the Sea of Galilee never is) water does not have the surface tension to support the "human" body - yet Jesus walked upon the water! Would you not call that a supernatural trait in Jesus humanity? You might point to Peter getting out of the boat and walking on the water for a moment too - but he did so in faith, and when his faith faltered a bit, he sank. The real point here is that God can do whatsoever He pleases with the physicalities around Him. God doesn't lack the faith that He IS God! If God chooses to declare what once was bread to be His body - it is so! If He commands His followers to do the same thing He did, they must! Surely you're not implying that He told them to do something impossible to do?!

    >> sw: Oh, you mean like the
    >> feeding of the 5000 from a few
    >> loaves and a few fishes?

    >
    > AR: I've asked you to prove this
    > is a prefiguring, and you've so
    > far declined, but preferred
    > instead simply to repeat
    > yourself.

    sw: How does one "prove" a prefiguring? The FACT is, right before He has a discourse on the Eucharist He takes physical bread and physical fish and multiplies them - making the original fishes and loaves exist in more than just their original places, in thousands of more places!

    sw: Now I realize you deny that John 6 is a Eucharistic treatise, but your denial does not change the facts. Regardless, you keep avoiding the point that so few fishes and loaves fed over 5000 people! You're not one who denies the miracles of Christ, are you?

    In JMJ,
    Scott<<<

    ReplyDelete
  22. Jesus HAS (present tense) two INSEPARABLE natures!

    Cool, then you'd agree that Christ after the Incarnation and unto eternity thereafter has a human body. Multilocality is not a human property; it is a divine one. And back we go to my original point.



    Would you not call that a supernatural trait in Jesus humanity?

    Yes, of course, but let's not confuse the issue by switching "supernatural" with "divine".
    Plus, it's just as easy to perform a miracle on the WATER. You're assuming what needs to be proved, again.


    The real point here is that God can do whatsoever He pleases with the physicalities around Him.

    And again you shift the goalposts! Who said anything about "the physicalities around Him"?


    If God chooses to declare what once was bread to be His body - it is so!

    Yes, it is. Spiritually. Surely you wouldn't deny that that which is spiritual is real?


    Surely you're not implying that He told them to do something impossible to do?!

    1) Yes, He does command that which is impossible from time to time. Ought does not imply can. But that's beside the point.
    2) What you are implying is that He taught monophysitism. Be proud of it at least, if that's what you're going to insist on.


    How does one "prove" a prefiguring?

    1) Exegetically.
    2) If you can't prove it, then why bring it up? And then later in your comment you said: "Now I realize you deny that John 6 is a Eucharistic treatise, but your denial does not change the facts. Regardless, you keep avoiding the point that so few fishes and loaves fed over 5000 people!"

    You appear to be in the habit of calling "facts" what you admit you can't prove.



    He has a discourse on the Eucharist

    John 6 is not really a Eucharistic discourse. More like a predestinatory one.


    You're not one who denies the miracles of Christ, are you?

    Of course not; I affirm the London Baptist Confession of 1689.


    Peace,
    Rhology

    ReplyDelete
  23. >> sw: Jesus HAS (present tense)
    >> two INSEPARABLE natures!

    >
    > AR: Cool, then you'd agree that
    > Christ after the Incarnation and
    > unto eternity thereafter has a
    > human body. Multilocality is not a
    > human property; it is a divine one.
    > And back we go to my original
    > point.

    sw: Actually, until you can grasp the concept of the Dyophysite Nature of Jesus Christ - there's not much sense in continuing. So long as you INSIST that God cannot do WHATSOEVER HE CHOOSES with something physical - EVEN HIS OWN BODY - there's not much more that can be said. You're stuck in something like the Modalist Heresy - where God can only be in one mode at a time. Perhaps that is it? When Jesus became Human, He was not God? Perhaps you're a Modalist at heart and just can't figure out how God can multiply fishes and loaves of bread, but cannot multiply the body which He happens to occupy. They're both physical existences which by all the laws of nature cannot be multiplied - yet bread and fishes can do it. OR perhaps you're in denial of the miracle of the feeding of the 5000? Maybe that wasn't a miracle at all? Maybe everyone there brought enough fish and bread for themselves to eat, but just didn't want to let on they had it until everyone else was eating so they wouldn't have to share what they brought? Of course if THAT is true, then you've made a liar out of Scripture.

    So deal with the FACTS here, Alan, if physical bodies of fish and loaves of bread can be miraculously multiplied, then why cannot Jesus multiply His own physical body? Why do you put such limits on God? If you cannot see the prefiguring in the feeding of the 5000 yet, then I continue to pray that God gives you the faith necessary to accept Him and His Word.

    I may respond to more later, but it seems rather pointless if you're operating from a wholly different premise regarding the Dyophysite Nature of Christ.

    In JMJ,
    Scott<<<

    ReplyDelete
  24. So long as you INSIST that God cannot do WHATSOEVER HE CHOOSES with something physical - EVEN HIS OWN BODY

    Did He ever appear in more than one location simultaneously in the NT? No.
    And yes, God can do whatsoever He chooses with sthg physical, even His own body. However, language can express stupidity and absurdity - God cannot cause Himself to have ever existed. Nor can He make a square circle. He cannot become a Quadernity, or erase the existence of the Son. Plenty of things that we can say He cannot do, b/c He can do whatever is possible. And it just so happens that multilocality is a divine attribute, not a human attribute. It's monophysite. Say what you want about "But COULD GOD DO IT?" That's not the question.


    You're stuck in something like the Modalist Heresy - where God can only be in one mode at a time.

    Um...no I'm not.


    When Jesus became Human, He was not God?

    Yes, Jesus has always been God.
    What part of "I affirm the London Baptist Confession of 1689" don't you understand?


    They're both physical existences which by all the laws of nature cannot be multiplied - yet bread and fishes can do it.

    You're comparing the MULTIPLICATION of items from a few into a lot with the Eucharist; I don't know if that's a good idea. If that's a prefiguring, perhaps you'd be consistent and posit that Christ has multiple bodies?
    The rest of your bloviation requires no response.

    Peace,
    Rhology

    ReplyDelete
  25. > AR: Did He ever appear in more
    > than one location simultaneously
    > in the NT? No.

    sw: Yes, He did! At "The Last Supper" He took bread, held it up and declared, "This IS My body." I realize your Protestant mindset cannot accept the Word of the Lord here and you must explain it away in such a manner which has been condemned as heresy, even one of the earliest heresies the Church had to deal with (noting the St. Ignatius quote).

    sw: Jesus also healed the Centurion's servant who was not in the same location as He was with the Centurion, yet Jesus knew exactly who it was who needed healing and healed that person "at that same hour."


    > AR: And yes, God can do
    > whatsoever He chooses with sthg
    > physical, even His own body.

    sw: So you concede this IS possible! Thanks!

    > AR: However, language can express
    > stupidity and absurdity - God
    > cannot cause Himself to have ever
    > existed.

    sw: God HAS "ever existed!" Perhaps you meant "never?"

    > AR: Nor can He make a square
    > circle. He cannot become a
    > Quadernity, or erase the
    > existence of the Son. Plenty of
    > things that we can say He cannot
    > do, b/c He can do whatever is
    > possible.

    sw: I do not posit that He has done anything different in offering His Own body in multiple places than He did when He offered so few loaves and fishes to so many. It seems the ONLY reason you're having difficulty with this is that to accept it, you have to retract your entire thesis on this matter - and pride is in the way for that to happen. First you admit God CAN do it, but then attempt to sidetrack the matter by producing ridiculous things which God, though He perhaps COULD do, would NOT do.
    (breaking here...)

    ReplyDelete
  26. > AR: And it just so happens that
    > multilocality is a divine
    > attribute, not a human attribute.

    sw: But yet you admit that the Divine COULD multiply anything physical He wants to - even His Own body. Methinks you're one confused little boy.

    > AR: It's monophysite.

    sw: No, it is not, and just because you insist upon this does not make it so. All you're doing is continuing to expose your ignorance on the subject of the Monophysite Heresy. You can continue if you wish, I'll continue to point out you're wrong - and the objective reader who takes the time to actually look into what Monophysitism is will see how wrong you are too.

    > AR: Say what you want about "But
    > COULD GOD DO IT?" That's not the
    > question.

    sw: It is MY question to YOU! You're insisting (foolishly) that Catholicism is Monophysite because of your LACK OF UNDERSTANDING of Eucharistic theology AND the same can be said of your understanding of Monophysitism.

    sw: Again I will assert, if anything YOUR argument is Monophysite! YOU are the one limiting the God Nature of Jesus so long as He's occupying the Human Nature.

    >> sw: You're stuck in something like
    >> the Modalist Heresy - where God
    >> can only be in one mode at a
    >> time.

    >
    > AR: Um...no I'm not.

    sw: So you claim, but your denials aside - you're still espousing a Modalist viewpoint.

    >> sw: When Jesus became Human,
    >> He was not God?

    >
    > AR: Yes, Jesus has always been
    > God.
    > What part of "I affirm the London
    > Baptist Confession of 1689" don't
    > you understand?

    sw: Did you say that before? I understand the statement quite well, so why the Modalist tendencies here in this debate? Why do you insist upon Monophysitism when it was the Catholic Church which specifically condemned Monophysitism? Why do you search for a problem where none exists?

    >> sw: They're both physical
    >> existences which by all the laws
    >> of nature cannot be multiplied -
    >> yet bread and fishes can do it.

    >
    > AR: You're comparing the
    > MULTIPLICATION of items from a
    > few into a lot with the
    > Eucharist; I don't know if that's
    > a good idea.

    sw: Since when is quantity a consideration here? Either it was done or it wasn't.

    > AR: If that's a prefiguring,
    > perhaps you'd be consistent and
    > posit that Christ has multiple
    > bodies?

    sw: If you knew ANYTHING about our theology of the Eucharist you would not even ask such a silly question. But to answer, no Christ does not have multiple bodies.

    > AR: The rest of your bloviation
    > requires no response.

    sw: I'm sorry you take my concern for your eternal well-being as "bloviation."

    May God have mercy on your soul.

    In JMJ,
    Scott<<<

    ReplyDelete
  27. Responding only to that which is substantive:

    More circularity. I ask you for evidence that your view of the Eucharist is true, and you give me...your view of the Eucharist! Brilliant! I can't believe I never saw it before.


    Jesus also healed the Centurion's servant who was not in the same location as He was with the Centurion, yet Jesus knew exactly who it was who needed healing and healed that person "at that same hour."

    The "answers" you give are better than I could have hoped for. Thank you.


    (And yes, sorry, I did mean "God cannot cause Himself to have Never existed." My error, thank you for catching it.)


    But yet you admit that the Divine COULD multiply anything physical He wants to - even His Own body.

    The RC doctrine of the Eucharist is that Christ's body is multiplied into lots of different bodies like the loaves and fishes?
    You answer me later:
    no Christ does not have multiple bodies.

    So...what is your point?



    Why do you insist upon Monophysitism when it was the Catholic Church which specifically condemned Monophysitism?

    Obviously, b/c the Roman Eucharist is monophysite. I'm not "searching for problems" - I call it like it is. Just like I give RCC credit for believing in monotheism; if it didn't, I'd say so, but it does.


    Peace,
    Rhology

    ReplyDelete
  28. Alan,
    I guess what we need to hear from you is YOUR definition of Monophysite. What you're saying does not seem to gel with the Monophysite Heresy. So before we proceed, please provide us with the definition of "Monophysite" that you're using AND show us how that applies to Transubstantiation.

    In JMJ,
    Scott<<<

    ReplyDelete
  29. I think the problem that comes up with using the multiplication of the loaves and fishes to illustrate this doctrine is that each individual loaf and fish Christ created were not of the same substance. You had entirely new and distinct loaves and fishes, assumedly of their own substance. If this comparison is to stand, you would have to say all of these loaves and fishes were of the same substance, but the only way I could see that working is if Jesus was just breaking off pieces of a really big piece of bread and fish, defeating the miracle. It seems that individual fishes and loaves of bread have a distinct substance from one another.

    ReplyDelete
  30. Hi boss,
    I understand what you're saying, however something which is a prefiguring is not necessarily exactly as that which it prefigures. If it were exactly the same, it wouldn't be a prefiguring - it would be the same thing happening earlier!

    ReplyDelete
  31. Howdy,

    I think it's easily deducible from the post.
    But here you go:

    They all declared with one voice that Christ is mia physis, but ek duo physeon, that His Divine Nature is combined with a complete Human Nature in one hypostasis, and hence the two have become together the One Nature of that one hypostasis, howbeit without mixture or confusion or diminution. Ælurus insists that after union the properties of each nature remain unchanged; but they spoke of "the divine and human things", divina et humana, not natures; each nature remains in its natural state with its own characteristics (en idioteti te kata physin) yet not as a unity but as a part, a quality (poiotes physike), nor as a physis. All the qualities of the two natures are combined into one hypostasis synthetos and form the one nature of that one hypostasis.
    (Source)

    ReplyDelete
  32. So Alan, how about continuing to the very next sentence in that source?

    So far there is no heresy in intention, but only a wrong definition: that one hypostasis can have only one nature.

    So the definition you are allegedly abiding by is a FALSE definition according to Catholic teaching! Just because YOU want to see heresy in Catholicism does not mean in reality it exists.

    That being said, you've answered the first part of what I asked - you presented the definition of Monophysite you're using - but you have not shown how THAT definition applies to Transubstantiation.

    In JMJ,
    Scott<<<

    ReplyDelete
  33. How about reading the rest of the article, for that matter, Mr Windsor?

    As I said, the definition I'm using is made clear in the post - that Christ has one nature, a divine nature, that His humanity was swallowed up in His divinity. Don't think that's too unclear. And as for "you have not shown (it)", that's just empty handwaving. The post is out there for anyone to read. Interact substantively or we're done here.

    ReplyDelete
  34. Alan,
    Which article are you referring to now? I've read through all that you've posted (some more than once) and I still do not see a connection between Transubstantiation and Monophysitism.

    The teaching of Transubstantiation contradicts Monophysitism on so many grounds, I really don't see a valid connection here. I mean the Human Nature of Jesus would not have the authority to transubstantiate bread or wine, much less into His own body and blood. The authority comes from His Divine Nature. So the Divine Nature affects the Human Nature, the two natures working together - that's Dyophysite!

    To answer your question again, "Is transubstantiation a monophysite doctrine?" - NO! Whether or not you AGREE with transubstantiation is not the issue - which I don't know that you're making your agreement with it part of your presupposed conclusion. The issue is does the changing of the substance of bread and wine into the Real Presence/substance of the body, blood, soul and divinity of Jesus Christ equate to one hypostasis having only one nature, which is the completion of the thought you quoted as your definition of Monophysitism. As I stated in my first real response to you in this thread (not the one asking if you've stopped beating your wife), Catholicism is Dyophysite and insists upon the two natures existing in Hypostatic Union. You are imputing something we DO NOT BELIEVE into one of OUR OWN TEACHINGS based on a FALSE DEFINITION according to the very source you quoted as the definition!

    In JMJ,
    Scott<<<

    ReplyDelete
  35. Mr Windsor,

    Which article are you referring to now?

    The blogpost. THe only one I've written on this topic.


    I mean the Human Nature of Jesus would not have the authority to transubstantiate bread or wine

    Now you're arguing the backwards position. I'm arguing that you invalidate the human for the sake of the divine, not the other way around.
    Besides, what does authority have to do with anything?


    which I don't know that you're making your agreement with it part of your presupposed conclusion.

    For someone who just one sentence ago showed no grasp of what argument I'm actually making, I don't think you're in a position to lecture anyone on blindly holding to presupposed conclusions.


    based on a FALSE DEFINITION

    Assertion noted. Now all you need is an argument.

    Peace,
    Rhology

    ReplyDelete
  36. Alan,
    Since you continually refer back to your article, which I have read, and continually imply and/or outright accuse me of not reading, I have responded to your article fully here: http://cathapol.blogspot.com/2010/02/transubstantiation-question-ii.html

    Responding in detail to a full article does not suit the combox feature very well.

    In JMJ,
    Scott<<<

    ReplyDelete
  37. I know I'm three years late, but, in John 6 there is another miracle: Jesus walks on water.

    ReplyDelete

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