A Note to My Readers -
I've decided to remove my Sunday posts from the weekly cycle. Although I hope they've been of benefit to some of you, they are necessarily secondary to my regular work of sermon preparation each week. I've found that having that extra post to write simply added to the burden of my work. For those readers who would still like access to my weekly work in Scriptural exposition, I would ask them to access the podcasts of my sermons (available through a link in the sidebar), since that remains the primary form of my Bible teaching each week.

Saturday, December 05, 2015

95 Theses, #57 - The Eucharist and Sacramentalism

To see the introduction and disclaimers for my 95 Theses, first go to: 95-Theses-Introduction

Prerequisite: Theses 52-56

 (Painting: "Allegory of the Eucharist," Alexander Coosemans, 17th cent., oil on canvas)

57.) The Eucharist and Sacramentalism - Since God—and Christ—is immanent in all creation and gives his grace at all times and in all ways, whenever we are open to receive it, it is not necessary to posit that the Eucharist is a place where Christ is “more present” than anywhere else, nor that partaking of it somehow magically endows one with more of the grace of God. Grace is not a substance that can be accumulated in greater or lesser quantities; it is simply the active outplaying of God’s love, always and everywhere available because of Christ. Encountering grace, the ever-flowing favor of God’s wellspring of love, is rather like being submerged in a continually-flowing river—one cannot say that, based on the spot one chooses, that one has been immersed in “more” of the river, nor can we say that the grace of God is “more” present in the Eucharist, simply because grace is not a substance to be accumulated—it is a continual aspect of our reality. Because the Eucharist is so symbolically rich with the truths of God and redemption, however, it is a rite which we need to enter as our spiritual home, the lens through which we see the world, so that we learn from the Eucharist to experience union with Christ through everything around us, material as well as “spiritual” means. Though this interpretation of the Eucharist fits with the Baptist theology I represent, a future thesis (on the Ascension) will argue that far from being anti-sacramental in our understanding of material things, we ought to consider the entire created order as a "universal sacrament," united with Christ, and that this representation is shown most fully in the Eucharist.

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