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zeland

Where was the lamb at the Last Supper - a follow up

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Dear William and others

 

Thank you for your comments. From the comments posted, I think we need to go back to my first question: “Does Christ have the power to change bread and wine into his own body and blood”? I assumed that everyone accepted that fact, but now I am not sure. So I would be interested in knowing your, and everyone else’s answer to it. A simple yes, or no will suffice. So let me ask state question again.

 

“Does Christ have the power to change bread and wine into His Body and Blood, while still retaining the outward appearance of bread and wine – YES or NO?

 

Now please note, we are not discussing whether he willed to do that. We are only concerned, at this point, about Him having the power to do so.

 

An alternate way of asking the question would be: Does Christ have the power to bi-locate – be in two places at once - YES or NO?

 

Zeland

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G'day zeland,

 

No. Jesus cannot sin and tempt us to idolatry.

 

Your question actually reminds me of the apologetic, "Can God create a stone too heavy for Him to lift"? The question assumes that if there is anything God cannot do He is not omnipotent. Your question asks whether Jesus Christ can do something illogical or uncharacteristic of Himself. When you cannot do something contradictory (such as make a square circle), it is not as though there is a force called logic restraining you. “Logic,” in this context, may be formulated in terms of two laws: the law of identity (A is A) and non contradiction (A is not non A). These are not “laws,” however, like the laws of nature (e.g., the laws of motion). God the Son is identified in the NT as the Logos. The question would assume since Jesus said that He is a door, can He make Himself into a door? Jesus makes many declarations, each having their own purpose. In this case, they are in remembrance of Himself and His Sacrifice.

 

Back to the stone too heavy to lift question, the question suggests God can do evil for His own sake, commit suicide, or lie, and if God cannot then He is not all powerful. Why think of divine omnipotence exclusively in terms of the bare scope of power? An important classical Christian tradition (Augustine, Anselm, Aquinas) holds that God’s power is also supremely good. Is the ‘power’ to do evil, commit suicide, or even lie for God's own sake a worthy, good power?

 

And to answer your question directly, Jesus is the Logos, however, in the hypo-static union, God existed in a finite sense (incarnate) and an infinite sense (divine). While Jesus grew in knowledge and wisdom, He is wisdom and sustained creation. The universe did not cease to exists when Jesus was birthed through immaculate conception, nor did it cease to exists upon His death. So though the Logos took upon flesh, the Logos continued higher workings sustaining creation and operation. Though your question and practice may try to mimic these characteristics Jesus was never bread and wine, though He associated Himself to these acts in remembrance of His Sacrifice.

 

Your question as to whether Jesus can bi-locate also suggest there could possibly be more than one Second person of the Trinity. These philosophical questions ignore what Scripture teaches, Jesus is in Heaven, seated at the Right hand of the Father until the Kingdom inaugurated becomes consummated. To suggest anything upon this earth is in likeness or exactness to God or to heavenly creatures above is nothing short of idolatry.

 

God bless,

William

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Except for the Holy Spirit who indwells the believer.

 

Which is actually through whom the Spiritual presence of the Lord occurs, that is, through the Holy Spirit.

 

God bless,

William

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Saying "can God make a rock so big that He Himself can't lift it?" The question is non sequitur; it is self-conflicted. Jesus is God. God is omnipresent. He is omniscient. In one person of God or another, God is everywhere at and through all times, by definition. It is Mary and the other saints who are not omnipresent.

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Saying "can God make a rock so big that He Himself can't lift it?" The question is non sequitur; it is self-conflicted. Jesus is God. God is omnipresent. He is omniscient. In one person of God or another, God is everywhere at and through all times, by definition. It is Mary and the other saints who are not omnipresent.

 

The question then would remain, If God can create a stone too heavy for Him to lift, would it not suggest that God's will is in conflict within the Trinity?

 

God bless,

William

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"Can God create a stone too heavy for Him to lift"?

 

I'll be glad to answer just as soon as you explain to me what is a stone too heavy for God to lift.

 

While Jesus grew in knowledge and wisdom, He is wisdom and sustained creation. The universe did not cease to exists when Jesus was birthed through immaculate conception

 

Yes, Jesus was birthed through immaculate conception. But, to Roman Catholics, the phrase "immaculate conception" refers to Mary's conception, not Jesus's conception. Yep, that's something no Protestant would ever have suspected.

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I'll be glad to answer just as soon as you explain to me what is a stone too heavy for God to lift.

 

It's an atheistic paradox used to question God's existence, but the implications go much further. Similar to asking whether God can make a square circle? The point is that God cannot do something that is a violation of His own existence and nature. Strat is right, the "paradox" is self-refuting and invalid.

 

God bless,

William

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Dear William and others

 

Thank you for your comments. From the comments posted, I think we need to go back to my first question: “Does Christ have the power to change bread and wine into his own body and blood”? I assumed that everyone accepted that fact, but now I am not sure. So I would be interested in knowing your, and everyone else’s answer to it. A simple yes, or no will suffice. So let me ask state question again.

 

“Does Christ have the power to change bread and wine into His Body and Blood, while still retaining the outward appearance of bread and wine – YES or NO?

 

Now please note, we are not discussing whether he willed to do that. We are only concerned, at this point, about Him having the power to do so.

 

An alternate way of asking the question would be: Does Christ have the power to bi-locate – be in two places at once - YES or NO?

 

Zeland

 

 

Jesus is God, and has all the power , and can do anything he wants to do.

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Jesus is God, and has all the power , and can do anything he wants to do.

 

Yes, and Jesus chose not to be an actual lamb. And, he chose to not actually be made out of bread.

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Well I guess I believe differently - I believe that yes he does change bread and wine into His body and blood, not in a material, literal sense, but in a spiritualized sense, so that by ingesting it, you are being filled with Him spiritually.

 

And of course he would have the power to do that, as he is God.

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Well I guess I believe differently - I believe that yes he does change bread and wine into His body and blood, not in a material, literal sense, but in a spiritualized sense, so that by ingesting it, you are being filled with Him spiritually.

 

And of course he would have the power to do that, as he is God.

Question please. Isn't the doctrine of transubstantiation the belief that the bread and wine become in reality the actual body and blood of Christ?

 

 

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I've never actually participated in communion. My family is Catholic. My dad grew up in the Philippines and went to a Jesuit school through high school. I went to my nieces first communion at my parents church a few weeks ago, and it seemed to me the ritual when the priest blesses the sacraments that he in fact states that the blood and bread will be turned into the blood and body of Christ. I've always though for it was just a symbolic ritual in remembrance of the Lord's sacrifice, but it seemed to sound like they take it in a literal change.

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Question please. Isn't the doctrine of transubstantiation the belief that the bread and wine become in reality the actual body and blood of Christ?

 

 

Yes it is. But the semantics of that make it sound very literal, material and tangible, which makes it sound unbelievable. However if you consider it becomes spiritualized with the body and blood of Christ, then it has also become his actual body and blood, in spirit and through spirit. Which is not something symbolic, it is real, as we know the Holy Spirit is real. Everything starts first in the spiritual, which although we can not see or understand it, it is still there and real, just as our own spirit is.

 

So when Jesus turns bread and wine into his body and blood, I believe he does so by imparting his spirit into the bread and wine, in the invisible spiritual world which we can not see, and although the bread and wine in the material world still look like bread and wine in the material, in the spiritual they have now been converted/infused into His body and blood.

 

These are only my personal beliefs and understandings.

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Yes it is. But the semantics of that make it sound very literal, material and tangible, which makes it sound unbelievable.
Does it matter how it sounds or is the more important point is whether it true?

 

Edited by Origen

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Does it matter how it sounds or is the more important point is whether it true?

 

It doesn't matter how it sounds to believers, because they know it is true.

 

But it does matter how it sounds to unbelievers, because the semantics can make it sound unbelievable, and give them further reason to doubt or dismiss Christianity. I have known many scientific minded atheists and agnostics, who love to argue against Christianity. Some people (myself included) have trouble taking things at face value, or just "because you said so", and really need to understand things deeply to have things click.

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But it does matter how it sounds to unbelievers, because the semantics can make it sound unbelievable, and give them further reason to doubt or dismiss Christianity.
So the truth of the matter (i.e. a doctrine) ought to be changed to make more palatable for unbelievers?

 

I have known many scientific minded atheists and agnostics, who love to argue against Christianity. Some people (myself included) have trouble taking things at face value, or just "because you said so", and really need to understand things deeply to have things click.
It seem to me the reason atheist are atheist has nothing to do with transubstantiation. Since they don't believe in God, no matter which view one holds in regard to the Eucharist they would still be atheist. Thus changing a doctrine in any way for the sake of a non-believer defeats the point of the doctrine itself.

 

 

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So the truth of the matter (i.e. a doctrine) ought to be changed to make more palatable for unbelievers?

 

It seem to me the reason atheist are atheist has nothing to do with transubstantiation. Since they don't believe in God, no matter which view one holds in regard to the Eucharist they would still be atheist. Thus changing a doctrine in any way for the sake of a non-believer defeats the point of the doctrine itself.

 

 

I never said the "truth" should be changed, however I alluded the semantics might be changed. Words can not describe God, and words can sometimes not describe Truth. Words are translated through different languages and lose or change meaning, taking us away from clearly understanding the truth.

 

I never said we should change doctrine for unbelievers. But I think many people need help understanding things. People get hung up on words. Have you ever not understood something? Then along came someone who explained it to you in different words and you suddenly got it? This is what I am talking about it. The truth of the matter never changed, just the words used to describe it.

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I never said the "truth" should be changed, however I alluded the semantics might be changed.
But if it is in reality the actual body and blood of Christ, then watering it down (simply to make it easier or more palatable) diminishes the point of the doctrine.

 

Words can not describe God, and words can sometimes not describe Truth.
Oh I complete disagree with that. I know of lots of words which describe the nature and attribute of God: holy, loving, merciful, omniscience, omnibenevolent, omnipresent, eternal, uncaused, personal etc. While it may not be possible to know God fully, that does not mean we cannot know some things about God, things He Himself has revealed.

 

Words are translated through different languages and lose or change meaning, taking us away from clearly understanding the truth.
Sometime. But is need not be that way.

 

I never said we should change doctrine for unbelievers.
I don't think I said you did. Nevertheless, following your example the doctrine would be changed for the sake of unbelievers by leavening out a crucial element for the sake of their unbelief. Edited by Origen
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Question please. Isn't the doctrine of transubstantiation the belief that the bread and wine become in reality the actual body and blood of Christ?

 

 

From the Catechism of The Catholic Church:

 

1376 The Council of Trent summarizes the Catholic faith by declaring: "Because Christ our Redeemer said that it was truly his body that he was offering under the species of bread, it has always been the conviction of the Church of God, and this holy Council now declares again, that by the consecration of the bread and wine there takes place a change of the whole substance of the bread into the substance of the body of Christ our Lord and of the whole substance of the wine into the substance of his blood. This change the holy Catholic Church has fittingly and properly called transubstantiation."

 

 

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Substance and Accidents

 

Substance (and accidents) are philosophical terms.

 

Substance

“A being whose essence requires that it exist in itself. It is an ens per se (a being by itself) or ens in se (a being in itself). It is commonly distinguished from an accident, whose essence is to exist in another, that is, in a substance. (Etym. Latin substantia, that which stands under, principle, foundation.)”.

 

Accident

“That which is not of the essence of something. In a logic a predicable accident is a predicate incidentally attributed to a subject. In metaphysical philosophy, a predicamental accident is a category of being whose nature is not to exist in itself but in another as in a subject. It is not a thing but the mode of a thing. Of the nine categories of accident, relation, quality, and quantity are the most important. (Etym. Latin accidens, a happening; something that is added; chance; nonessential quality; from accidere, to come to pass, happen, befall.)”

(both definitions from Fr. John Hardon's Modern Catholic Dictionary on catholicculture.org)

 

Colour, weight, shape etc. exist not in themselves but in something. They exist as belonging to something. We do not see whiteness, but a white cow or a white stone. Substance in not observable. All we can observe are the accidents (properties) that adhere to a substance.

 

Transubstantiation says that the substance of bread changes into the substance of Christ’s body. The accidents of the bread remain and adhere to nothing. This could not happen naturally as accidents require a substance to adhere to. But we believe that this can (and does) happen supernaturally. God directly sustains the accidents of bread.

 

We cannot detect this change, but we “live by faith” (Heb 10:38).

 

(Note: what I have said above (and later) applies to the change of the substance of bread into the substance of Christ’s body. The same applies to the changing of the substance of wine into the substance of Christ’ blood.)

 

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Dear William and others

 

 

An alternate way of asking the question would be: Does Christ have the power to bi-locate – be in two places at once - YES or NO?

 

Zeland

 

 

Why would Jesus need to bi-locate?

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G'day zeland,

 

To suggest anything upon this earth is in likeness or exactness to God or to heavenly creatures above is nothing short of idolatry.

 

God bless,

William

 

"Then God said, "Let us make man in our image, after our likeness" (Gen 1:26)

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