Podcast: The Christian Understanding of Immigration

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The First Letter of John (No Podcast This Week)

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I apologize due to the upcoming American holiday of Veteran’s Day; there will be no podcast for I was mandated for overtime work this morning. However, I will like to post the introduction of the First Letter of John. In prayer, this morning, I was reading it in a form of Lectio Divina, something called to me to do so, and I couldn’t help but reflect on how beautiful this letter is to the faithful.

The First Letter of John

¶* That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked upon and touched with our hands, concerning the word of life—the life was made manifest, and we saw it, and testify to it, and proclaim to you the eternal life which was with the Father and was made manifest to us—that which we have seen and heard we proclaim also to you, so that you may have fellowship† with us; and our fellowship is with the Father and with his Son Jesus Christ. ¶ And we are writing this that our joy may be complete.

God Is Light

¶ This is the message we have heard from him and proclaim to you, that God is light and in him is no darkness‡ at all. ¶ If we say we have fellowship with him while we walk in darkness, we lie and do not live according to the truth; ¶ but if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus his Son cleanses us from all sin. If we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just, and will forgive our sins and cleanse us from all unrighteousness. 10 ¶ If we say we have not sinned, we make him a liar, and his word is not in us.

Christ Is Our Advocate

¶ My little children, I am writing this to you so that you may not sin; but if any one does sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous; ¶ and he is the expiation for our sins, and not for ours only but also for the sins of the whole world. ¶ And by this we may be sure that we know him, if we keep his commandments.§ ¶ He who says “I know him” but disobeys his commandments is a liar, and the truth is not in him; ¶ but whoever keeps his word, in him truly love for God is perfected. By this we may be sure that we are in him: ¶ he who says he abides in him ought to walk in the same way in which he walked.

A New Commandment

7 ¶ Beloved, I am writing you no new commandment, but an old commandment which you had from the beginning; the old commandment is the word which you have heard. ¶ Yet I am writing you a new commandment, which is true in him and in you, because the darkness is passing away and the true light is already shining. He who says he is in the light and hates his brother is in the darkness still. 10 ¶ He who loves his brother abides in the light, and in it there is no cause for stumbling. 11 But he who hates his brother is in the darkness and walks in the darkness, and does not know where he is going, because the darkness has blinded his eyes.

12 I am writing to you, little children, because your sins are forgiven for his sake. 13 ¶ I am writing to you, fathers, because you know him who is from the beginning. I am writing to you, young men, because you have overcome the Evil One. I write to you, children, because you know the Father. 14 I write to you, fathers, because you know him who is from the beginning. I write to you, young men, because you are strong, and the word of God abides in you, and you have overcome the Evil One.

15 Do not love the world or the things in the world. If any one loves the world, love for the Father is not in him. 16 For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh and the lust of the eyes and the pride of life, is not of the Father but is of the world. 17 And the world passes away, and the lust of it; but he who does the will of God abides for ever.

1.The Holy Bible, Revised Standard Version; Second Catholic Edition (San Francisco: Ignatius Press, 2006), 1 Jn 1:1–2:17.

 

Perhaps, I, too, must resign myself to the hills.

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Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

Our friend Neo has bid farewell. I have thought about leaving in the past and I have said as much as well. However, this blog was something of a community, one that kept drawing me back. I do hope the call of the communio calls to Neo once more, but it appears as we’re all resigned to our sinful natures that one by one each pilgrim with the evening advanced looks to rid the sweat ridden clothes of our collective ecumenical dialogue.

The greatest lesson of scripture I believe is the call for repentance. I have a co-worker who is deaf and is debating whether to get a cochlear implant. She jokingly asked me today, knowing I am a man of faith if I could heal her or pray for her to receive her hearing. I told her first off that I am far from holy and that I am still working on my faith every day, but I expressed that in many of the healings of Christ in scripture, such as the paralytic, Christ preferenced the desire of forgiving sins over physical miracles. “Which is easier, to say, ‘Your sins are forgiven,’ or to say, ‘Rise and walk?’

Love, repenting, and forgiveness

Many will claim are not miraculous,…but… with an examination of the nature of humanity, one could easily argue are perhaps the greatest miracles we can perform with our fellow man. The Spirit gives us many gifts: Understanding, Counsel, wisdom, knowledge, fortitude, piety, and fear of the Lord. Gifts that aid us in communio and can give us the ability to show the world the true miracle of Christian love.

Our community is one that can only express ideas, therefore, we do not have the privilege to see each others’ love. The Word of God took flesh, one single word of utterance of God to show us His love. The Incarnation of our Lord is God’s word–it’s the  Word from the beginning. Christ has left us so that the Paraclete could guide us. As Teresa of Avila writes, Christ has no body, but as being baptized into the Body of Christ, I am the eyes, the ears, the arms, the feet so that others can hear the one utterance of God–the Word of God.–Love….Love.

My job takes me to some of the poorest parts of my community and it tears my soul. The Word of God with the guidance of the spirit has called me to show Christ’s love by starting a ministry in my parish, one that can put forth the love of the Word in our community. Ideas are grand and fun to discuss, but they do get bogged down and stale, ideas do not move mountains, but faith, as small as a mustard seed can move mountains.

I do not know what my plans are for continuing with this blog. Many of the great Protestant voices and others have left. Chalcedon has left, Geoff gone, Jess and now Neo. We may have differences, but through the Word of God, I do love you.

God Bless.

A farewell to arms

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sign post (2)That Neo should be going is a cause of great sadness, but not surprise. I have been out of action here, other things have had a greater call on my time, and I have appreciated the way Neo, and others have kept the flame burning. But we live in dark times. There is a passage in Lord of the Rings where Frodo regrets living in parlous times, but Gandalf simply responds by saying that so do all who live through such times.

Commenting upon Catholic matters is a parlous affair. Given that my own position is not adequately safeguarded by my pseudonymity, I have preferred silence to comments which would be bound to get those without the courage to comment openly, writing to my employer with whining complaints. We are where we are, and my one comment is that those who want an Anglican future for the Catholic Church should take that route for themselves and let the rest of us get on with the Faith once received by the Apostles.

But this is a post about Neo, who is the polar opposite of such people. He first came across my line of vision when I worked with the founder of this blog. I noted then what all his posts show. Firm principle, warm heart, and a loyalty beyond compare. That he and I were not of the same Church mattered not one whit. We were of the same timber. And through many years here, I never once saw him flinch, never once saw him waver, and never once saw him fail in the duty of a Christian gentleman. Kipling knew the value of a man by whether he was the sort of fellow you would go tiger-shooting with. Well, now that would get one ostracised in no time at all. But Neo is the sort of man with whom one would go on a tiger shoot, or any other activity which required a strong and loyal backer.

His words have stirred my out of my, well I won’t call it a reverie, but I will call it a reluctance to venture out. Neo, like Jess, is right, there is much in the blogging world which is touching pitch, but it is there whatever one does, and a small light in the darkness means that the darkness has not won.

Neo has kept the light burning. If, as has happened before, it passes now again to me, I shall do my best to keep it lit. Neo is in my prayers, as he has always been. Pray for him, and for all who in these dark times, do what they can to keep the flame alight. He fought the good fight, he ran the race. He encouraged others, and set an example of how those from different backgrounds and traditions can find an agreement. If he does go, we shall not see his like again.

I would thank him, from the bottom of my heart.

At Journey’s End

In reading the comments the last few days, I was moved to think back to the first post I read here when I followed a comment by Jessica on another blog that moved me. It was the day after the Obamacare decision in the Supreme Court, and it moved me then, as it does now. Rather than link it, I shall merely reprint it since it is short.

A prayerful thought for American Catholics

A word of sympathy and a prayer for all my American Catholic friends. This too shall pass.

As St. Peter reminds us:

1 Peter 1:6-9 In this you rejoice, though now for a little while, if necessary, you have been grieved by various trials, so that the tested genuineness of your faith—more precious than gold that perishes though it is tested by fire—may be found to result in praise and glory and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ. Though you have not seen him, you love him. Though you do not now see him, you believe in him and rejoice with joy that is inexpressible and filled with glory, obtaining the outcome of your faith, the salvation of your souls.

How like Jessica it was to prove, with her care for all Christians, yet because the Catholic Church has the clearest defined views on abortion, she addressed it to them, knowing full well, that many of us Protestants agree with them on most issues.

That was always Jess, as it was the site she founded, ecumenical without being syncretic. It was always a place where we could gather to discuss, forcefully, yet without heat, the things we agree on and perhaps, more importantly, the things we don’t.

That very day, almost 5 and a half years ago, I was made welcome in her camp on Mt. Nebo, as Jessica, herself soon became the dearest friend I ever had, or will have.

But over the years we have seen with some regularity sectarian Catholics who can’t seem to admit that anybody but them could possibly Christians. Personally, I have come to believe they are not actually Christians, because they believe in Rome instead of Jesus. Maybe that is wrong, but it is how they present to me, who agrees with more than 90% of what they say.

Fifteen hundred years ago the intransigence of Rome split Christianity in two. A thousand years ago the intransigence of Rome split western Christianity again. And five hundred years ago this weekend the intransigence of Rome split Christendom still again. It is obvious to all fair observers that it is happening still again in front of our eyes. Rome is becoming a remnant church, not because of its beliefs, which are in the main correct, but because of repeated and continuing attacks of hubris. Nothing more an nothing less.

 

When I look at our sidebar, I realize that of the 15 of us listed there, only Phillip and I are still contributing here, and when I do, I’m not pleased with the tone of the comments.

And so I am reminded of another of Jess’ posts, one she wrote the night of her return from her pilgrimage to Walsingham, which is here. In it, she explained why she would no longer comment on the Telegraph blogs, and I find that I have come to the same conclusion now in regard to All Along the Watchtower.

It came to me, very strongly whilst I was in the Holy House at Walsingham that, as Sirach 13:1 says, ‘He that toucheth pitch, shall be defiled with it’, and with that the thought that the Thompson blog on the Telegraph has become as pitch. Yes, I have shown that I will not be bullied and that I can give as good as I get – and usually better – but it does not contribute a cubit to spiritual growth; indeed, quite the opposite.

The mere thought of discussing today in that baleful place brought Matthew 7:6to mind:

Do not give what is holy to the dogs; nor cast your pearls before swine, lest they trample them under their feet, and turn and tear you in pieces.

I have made my point there, and it is enough; honour is served; to do more would be to serve pride. As Proverbs 26:4, where my Bible opened in the Holy House, reminded me:

Answer not a fool according to his folly, lest thou also be like unto him

And so like her journey from Walsingham, where we became dearest friends, my journey along the Watchtower, which is one of the causes of me losing her friendship, now ends.

And so I close with great sadness of spirit, a tab which has been open in my browser since 28 June 2012. But I must if I am to keep my faith. Hier ich stehe, ich kann nicht anders.

God bless you all.

 

Reformation Day: Prelude

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We’re coming up on the 500th anniversary of the start of the Reformation, and like the author of this article, I have many Catholic friends (here and elsewhere). What do I want them to know? In this article from The Federalist, Anna Mussmann does a pretty good job of explaining.

[…]In their eyes, our admiration for Martin Luther is as misguided as holding a big party in honor of one’s divorce. They argue the Reformation ushered in a world where each individual’s personal taste in interpretation became supreme, leading to the moral chaos and postmodernism that riddles the cultural landscape today. At best, they see Protestants as limping along without the spiritual blessings God bestows through their church yet, like anorexics, rejoicing in this near-starvation.

I readily concede that the Reformation brought costs as well as benefits. Yet as a Lutheran, I am profoundly grateful for the sixteenth-century return to Scripture that reminded us of Sola Scriptura, Sola Fide, Sola Gratia, and Solus Christus. I deeply appreciate the Lutheran determination, demonstrated in the “Book of Concord, “to find and cling to biblical truth. That is why I want my Catholic friends to know three things about the event I will be celebrating on October 31.

1. It’s Not about Individualism

Secular historians, like secular journalists writing about Pope Francis, often misunderstand religion. Mainstream history textbooks portray Luther as someone who struck a blow for the individual by rejecting the authority of people who wanted to tell others what to believe. As long as these historians don’t peruse his actual writing, they see Luther as a pretty progressive guy by the standards of 1517. My Catholic friends read this stuff and, quite naturally, pick up the idea that Luther’s teachings led to hyper-individualism.

Yet Luther’s actual theological legacy is not conducive to extreme individualism. He intended to participate in a conversation about reforming errors that were harming the Catholic Church. That is because he wanted to point out where individuals were going wrong by failing to submit themselves to the authority of scripture. […]

It’s true, we are just about as hidebound to what Christians have always believed everywhere as the most traditional Catholic. We don’t do novelty (well some of us do). The Rev Dr Luther was essentially what we would call today a whistleblower. I too have taken Catholic friends to church with me, and especially in the LCMS, they are surprised, if anything we are more liturgical than many Catholic parishes. What Old Luther tried to do was to go back to our roots, in the early church. To be sure there are places we disagree.

The Lutheran Reformation was not about making up new traditions from scratch, but about identifying the parts of the historic liturgy that convey the gospel well. One reason it’s so much fun to talk about philosophy and literature with my Catholic friends is that we share a rich sense of history and see ourselves as taking part in a conversation that has been going on for centuries.

However, we Lutherans disagree with Catholics in a highly significant area. They say church tradition is as reliable a guide as scripture, and that one can safely construct theological dogmas on promises and statements that aren’t found in scripture. Thus they accept concepts like the bodily assumption of Mary as doctrine even though the Bible says nothing on that subject.

Now, Lutherans respect church tradition. The Lutheran reformers frequently referenced the writings of the early church fathers. We, too, are grateful for the history that ties us to the church universal throughout time, and we, too, commemorate the faithful saints who have gone before us (although we don’t ask anyone dead to pray for us—the Bible offers no promise that we will be heard that way).

There is considerably more. Do follow the link above.

I do note that Luther believed in the bodily assumption, but it was something that he took on faith, because, well it isn’t mentioned in scripture. We do, some of us anyway, following Luther’s practice, venerate Our Lady, though.

One of the main points that I always make though is that (so does Anna) without Luther, there is no Trent. He was causal in the reform that the Catholic Church needed badly.

In truth, many Lutherans do as she said, refer to our Reformation as a conservative one, in keeping with the traditional definition, keeping the good and reforming the bad. Some of those that followed had different goals, such as being as not-Catholic as they could be. We (and perhaps the Anglo-Catholics) sit firmly in the middle, Catholic but not Roman, Evangelical but traditional.

Occasionally it’s an uncomfortable spot, as we have neither the Pope nor do we get to make it up as we go. For me, it’s the right spot, as it is for many of us.

Whose Bourgeois Morality?

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A Tweet last evening guided me to an important story – here it is.

Some of you are quite familiar with Professor Charmley, as I am, I consider him a close friend, but in any case, he is exactly correct. This is required reading for any of us who wonders what in the world the Catholic Church is thinking these days. Here is the link again, and here is a snippet.

[I]n the latest round of debate over Amoris Laetitia, Pope Francis’s apostolic exhortation on marriage and the family, a fervent defender of the document sniffed at some of its critics that “the Magisterium doesn’t bow to middle-class lobbies” and cited Humanae Vitae as an example of papal tough-mindedness in the face of bourgeois cultural pressures. It was a clever move, rhetorically, and we may hope that it’s right about the magisterial kowtow. But I fear it also misses the point—or, better, several points.

At the Synods of 2014 and 2015, to which Amoris Laetitia is a response, the most intense lobbying for a change in the Church’s traditional practice in the matter of holy communion for the divorced and civilly remarried—a proposal the great majority of Synod fathers thought an unwarranted break with truths taught by divine revelation—came from the German-speaking bishops: prelates who represent perhaps the most thoroughly bourgeois countries on the planet. Thus, one does not strain against veracity or charity by describing the German-speaking bishops as something of a lobby for middle-class preoccupations. Passionate defenders of Amoris Laetitia might thus be a bit more careful when dismissing as a middle-class lobby those who raise legitimate concerns about the ambiguities in the document; what goes around, comes around.

There was, of course, far more going on in the 2014-2015 German campaign to permit holy communion for the divorced and civilly remarried than lobbying on behalf of the bourgeois morality of secular, middle-class societies. There was, for example, the ongoing, two-front German war against Humanae Vitae (Blessed Paul VI’s 1968 encyclical on the morally appropriate means of family planning) and Veritatis Splendor (St. John Paul II’s 1993 encyclical on the reform of Catholic moral theology). We are told, now, that a commission is examining the full range of documentation involved in the preparation of Humanae Vitae. One hopes that that study will bring to the fore what Paul VI realized when he rejected the counsel of many and reaffirmed the Church’s commitment to natural family planning as the humanly and morally appropriate means of regulating fertility.

Do read it all, and think about the implications. I’m no Catholic as you all know, but Rome has provided the best leadership on this since the Second World War, and we will all lose if they lose their voice, and even more, will the children who will never be born lose much more than their voice.

Prayers for an aspiring Traditional Latin priest

20799775_1595883757152707_3458761859725340534_n.jpgI have a young friend that I have known from my parish church since he was little more than a baby. As a child he was diagnosed with Asperger’s which is a high functioning subtype of Autism. This young man showed from a very early age a love for the faith and was profoundly interested in learning all he could about the faith. He subsequently developed a love for the Traditional Latin Liturgy and is fully dedicated to keeping to the 2000 year deposit of the faith. He stood out as an exemplary example of what a good server at Mass looks like: engaged, solemn, reverent and ever cognizant of doing his duties according the book.

He has largely overcome or been able to control the difficulties that accompany Asperger’s Syndrome and went to France on his own to attend college, major in French and minor in Latin. He is very good at both. So good, in fact, that he taught in France after finishing his studies. When he returned to the US he was hired this past summer for a project that required his skills in French to translate some academic texts.

After he finished this assignment, it became clear that he never lost sight of the feeling that he was being called to the priesthood. He surprised his mother when he told her that he was going to visit the Institute of Christ the King to see if that might be the place for him to study and then attend their seminary.

As is the case with many who are called to the priesthood, satan usually attacks their decision to become a priest or else erects roadblocks (stumbling blocks) to their Godly vocations. A few notables come to mind such as the Venerable Solanus Casey and Saint John Vianney, the Cure of Ars, to name but a few. This is what just occurred to my young friend who had been accepted to their pre-seminary training and then dismissed. The reason for this is unknown at this time although I believe that it is because he revealed that he had been diagnosed with Asperger’s Syndrome as a child, although he seemed to be getting well adjusted to the routine and was sailing through the courses presented without any problems at all. The person responsible for the dismissal was the one that was informed of his condition. My suspicion, as is his mother’s to his release from the program, had to do with this fact and not to how he performed or his abilities to become a good and faithful priest which our Church is so desperate for during this present Crisis of faith that we see throughout the world in Catholicism, Christian ethics and morality.

I am thinking that this may be a test and that satan has dealt him a blow which, due to his condition, will be harder than it would be to most young men. I plan on meeting him tonight for dinner, God willing, if that becomes possible. I want to inform him of the FSSP to let him know that there are other Traditional Latin Mass Societies available.

But the thing I think he needs at this point more than anything else, is our prayer, our novenas, our rosaries and our support for this young man of exceptional holiness and faith. I pray that God will put him to work in His Vineyard. God knows we need all the willing laborers we can find at the moment. So please pour your hearts out to God for this young man, Daniel and keep him in your prayers. I thank you in advance for those willing to do this.

Intermission: Luther v Zwingli on the Eucharist

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Phillip mentioned yesterday that Lutherans have a very clear doctrine of the Eucharist, which is certainly true, and that the controversy between Luther and Zwingli highlighted the differences. That too is true. I didn’t want to go into it on his post, it is a bit far off topic. It is interesting, though, and last night I found a concise summary of the differences by Trevin Wax. It also highlights how it differed from Luther’s contemporary Catholic experience.

Luther’s view

In the medieval period before the Reformation, the mass formed the centerpiece of Christian worship and devotion. Three centuries before Luther began teaching in Wittenberg, the fourth Lateran council of 1215 established the doctrine of transubstantiation, which holds that upon the priest’s consecration of the bread and wine, the accidents (according to the senses) remain the same, but the substance (the internal “essence”) is miraculously transformed into the physical body and blood of Christ.

The implications of this doctrine were widespread. Laypeople began to adore the bread and wine from afar or superstitiously carry pieces of bread back home to plant in the garden for good crops or to give to an ailing animal for good health. To avoid an accidental spilling of the wine, the priests began giving only the bread to parishioners, keeping the cup for themselves. By the 1500’s, even the bread was withheld in most churches.

The mass had turned into a show instead of a sacrament. Some parishioners feverishly hurried from church to church to obtain the blessing of seeing more than one host in a given day.

Luther objected to the extreme practices brought by medieval superstition, but he continued to regard the “images, bells, Eucharistic vestments, church ornaments, altar lights and the like” as “indifferent.”

Two things in particular bothered Luther about the Roman Catholic view of the Lord’s Supper. First, he disagreed sharply with the practice of withholding the cup from the laity. So strongly did Luther believe in the laity’s participation in the mass that he condemned the Roman Catholic practice as one way that “Babylon” holds the church “captive.” (It should be noted however that Luther did not believe that withholding the cup necessarily invalidated the sacrament or that the Christians who were denied the cup during the previous centuries had not received sacramental benefits.)

Secondly, Luther believed that the Roman Catholic understanding of the sacrament as a “good work and a sacrifice” was the “most wicked abuse of all.” Luther argued forcefully that the mass must be seen as a testament – something to receive, not a good work to perform. The only sacrifice at the Lord’s Table is the sacrifice of ourselves. The idea that a priest could sacrifice the body and blood of the Lord was especially appalling to Luther and he considered this belief the most abominable of Roman errors.  […]

Another area in which Luther remained close to Roman doctrine is in the doctrine of the “real presence.” Up until 1519, it appears Luther agreed with the official doctrine of transubstantiation. In 1520, he criticized the idea quite forcefully, painting it as needless speculation based on Aristotelian thought.

A popular misconception among Reformation students is that Luther affirmed and promoted “consubstantiation,” but neither Luther nor the Lutheran church ever accepted that term. Luther simply refused to speculate on how Christ is present and instead settled for affirming that he is there. The presence of Christ in the Supper is miraculous and thus defies explanation.

Roman Catholic theologians strongly emphasized the moment of consecration, when the priest would lift the bread and say “Hoc est corpus meum.” At that moment, bells would be rung and all eyes would be on the elevated host, which had magically been transformed into Christ’s body.

Luther similarly emphasized the words of institution, but only because Christ’s command leads to the change, not because the priest has made a special utterance. In this and other practices, Luther was content to alter the understanding behind Roman Catholic practice without feeling the need to actually change the tradition itself.

Luther believed that the fruit of the Lord’s Supper is the forgiveness of sins. Roman doctrine held that Communion was for the righteous, those who have confessed their sins to the priest. Luther believed Communion was for sinners, those who needed Christ’s incarnation the most.

 

Zwingli’s view

 

Zwingli did not see the need for a “sacramental union” in the Lord’s Supper because of his modified understanding of sacraments.

According to Zwingli, the sacraments serve as a public testimony of a previous grace. Therefore, the sacrament is “a sign of a sacred thing, i.e. of a grace that has been given.” For Zwingli, the idea that the sacraments carry any salvific efficacy in themselves is a return to Judaism’s ceremonial washings that lead to the purchase of salvation.

Whereas Luther sought to prune the bad branches off the tree of Roman Catholic sacramentalism, Zwingli believed the problem to be rooted at least partly in sacramentalism itself. […]

What Zwingli could not accept was a “real presence” that claimed Christ was present in his physical body with no visible bodily boundaries.

“I have no use for that notion of a real and true body that does not exist physically, definitely and distinctly in some place, and that sort of nonsense got up by word triflers.”

Zwingli’s theology of the Lord’s Supper should not be viewed as an innovation without precedent in church history. Zwingli claimed that his doubts about transubstantiation were shared by many of his day, leading him to claim that priests did not ever believe such a thing, even though “most all have taught this or at least pretended to believe it.”

Had Zwingli’s modified doctrine of the “real presence” been an innovation, it would probably not have been so eagerly accepted by his parishioners. The symbolic view spread rapidly because Zwingli had given voice and legitimacy to an opinion that was already widespread.

In Zurich, the mass was abolished in 1525. The Lord’s Supper was celebrated with a new liturgy that replaced the altar with a table and tablecloth.

The striking feature of the Zwinglian observance of the sacrament was its simplicity. Because the bread and wine were not physically transformed into Christ’s body and blood, there was no need for spurious ceremonies and pompous rituals. The occasion was marked by simplicity and reverence, with an emphasis on its nature as a memorial.

Zwingli’s denial of the “real presence” did not result in the neglecting of the sacrament that would characterize many of his followers in centuries to come. He saw seven virtues in the Lord’s Supper that proved its importance for the Christian life.

Do read the articles linked above. While what he says on Lutheran doctrine is in accordance with what I know and believe, and what I know of how it was derived, and I am sort of assuming that as an Evangelical he knows a fair amount about Zwingli, I don’t know enough to comment intelligently about it. My original church had a fair amount of Reformed in it, but it was long ago, and I’ve long since come to believe in The Real Presence myself, actually before I became a Lutheran. It is just more consonant with the Lord’s words and the disciples’ reaction to them.

Ps, the short form