Westminster, Communion, Meaning

“They that worthily communicate in the sacrament of the Lord’s Supper, do therein feed upon the body and blood of Christ—truly and really.” (Westminster Catechism). All this the modern Puritan view utterly repudiates, as semipopish mysticism. It will allow no real participation of Christ’s person in the Lord’s Supper, under any form: but least of all under the form of his humanity. Such communion as it is willing to admit, it limits to the presence of Christ in his divine nature, or to the energy he puts forth by his Spirit. As for all that is said about his body and blood, it is taken to be mere figure, intended to express the value of his sufferings and death. With his body in the strict sense, his life as incarnate, formerly on earth and now in heaven, we can have no communion at all, except in the way of remembering what was endured in it for our salvation. The flesh in any other view profiteth nothing; it is only the Spirit that quickeneth. The language of the Calvinistic confessions on this subject, is resolved into bold, violent metaphor, that comes in the end to mean almost nothing.

J.W. Nevin, 1846, The Mystical Presence, 146-147

I am a pastor, a husband, a father, and a lover of Jesus. I am also an unpredictable blogger, who can go for several years without blogging a thing, and then inexplicably write a book. Perhaps this is one of those times.

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Posted in Theology, Worship Matters

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