Between Magic And Mere Memory

When Christians receive the Lord’s Supper or when people are baptized, what happens? Is it the case that, as Rome claims, at consecration, the elements of bread and wine are transformed (transubstantiated) so that they are no longer, in substance, bread and . . . Continue reading →

Turretin Answers Objections Against Infant Baptism (2)

VI. To no purpose is the reply: (1) “Hence it would follow that the Lord’s Supper should also be administered to infants because the thing signified belongs to them.” Although the same thing is signified in both, still there is a difference . . . Continue reading →

The Evangelical Fall From The Means Of Grace

The prayers had been offered, the promises read, and the psalm sung. Two princes stepped forward to receive Communion, but the deacon refused to give them the cup. The superintendent of the city’s pastors ordered a second minister present to take the . . . Continue reading →

May A Christian College Administer Communion?

Andy Smith writes to ask about the administration of communion outside of the visible, institutional church. Specifically he writes to ask whether a Christian college or university may administer communion in chapel or in some other setting but the question is whether . . . Continue reading →

Coming Soon: Theodore Beza On The Lord’s Supper

Theodore Beza lived from 1519 until 1605. This means that he was a boy when the Reformation occurred and was nearing his death as the controversy between Arminius (whom Beza taught in Geneva) and the Reformed churches was developing. In between, he . . . Continue reading →

Heidelberg 82: The Jeopardy Of The Supper

82. Are they then also to be admitted to this Supper who show themselves by their confession and life to be unbelieving and ungodly? No, for thereby the covenant of God is profaned and His wrath provoked against the whole congregation; wherefore . . . Continue reading →

Heidelberg 80: We Don’t Need Any Footnotes

In one of the Humphrey Bogart’s (1899–1957) most famous scenes, from Treasure of the Sierra Madre (1948) he asks some bandits, who were claimed to be Mexican Federal Police, to show their badges, Their famous reply, which has been oft misquoted, was: . . . Continue reading →

Heidelberg 78: Against Transubstantiation

The key term here is substance. In the older Christian appropriation (and modification) of Aristotle the term substance refers to that which makes a thing what it is, that without with it is not (sine qua non). It’s easier to understand substance if we contrast it with accidents. You are probably reading this post on a computer or a mobile device. Your device may be silver, black, or white or some other color. Its color is accidental to its essence. Accident here does not refer to an unintentional collision but to a feature of something that is not essential to it. So, in an electronic device, the color does not make it what it is. Its circuits, chips, and screens make it what it is. They are essential to it. They are of the substance of the device. According to the Romanist doctrine of the supper, the substance of the bread is transformed into the substance of the body of Christ, even though the accidents remain unchanged. Continue reading →