Saturday, April 23, 2022

The Ridiculousness Of The Roman Catholic Eucharist

"But seeing, for the frequency of pretending the change of nature in their consecrations, it cannot be esteemed a work extraordinary, it is no other than a conjuration or incantation, whereby they would have men to believe an alteration of nature that is not, contrary to the testimony of man’s sight and of all the rest of his senses. As for example, when the priest, instead of consecrating bread and wine to God’s peculiar service in the sacrament of the Lord’s Supper (which is but a separation of it from the common use to signify, that is, to put men in mind of, their redemption by the Passion of Christ, whose body was broken and blood shed upon the cross for our transgressions), pretends that by saying of the words of our Saviour, “This is my body,” and “This is my blood,” the nature of bread is no more there, but his very body; notwithstanding there appeareth not to the sight or other sense of the receiver anything that appeared not before the consecration. The Egyptian conjurers, that are said to have turned their rods to serpents, and the water into blood, are thought but to have deluded the senses of the spectators by a false show of things, yet are esteemed enchanters. But what should we have thought of them if there had appeared in their rods nothing like a serpent, and in the water enchanted nothing like blood, nor like anything else but water, but that they had faced down the king, that they were serpents that looked like rods, and that it was blood that seemed water? That had been both enchantment and lying. And yet in this daily act of the priest, they do the very same, by turning the holy words into the manner of a charm, which produceth nothing new to the sense; but they face us down, that it hath turned the bread into a man; nay, more, into a God; and require men to worship it as if it were our Saviour himself present, God and Man, and thereby to commit most gross idolatry. For if it be enough to excuse it of idolatry to say it is no more bread, but God; why should not the same excuse serve the Egyptians, in case they had the faces to say the leeks and onions they worshipped were not very leeks and onions, but a divinity under their species or likeness? The words, “This is my body,” are equivalent to these, “This signifies, or represents, my body”; and it is an ordinary figure of speech: but to take it literally is an abuse; nor, though so taken, can it extend any further than to the bread which Christ himself with his own hands consecrated. For he never said that of what bread soever any priest whatsoever should say, “This is my body,” or “This is Christ’s body,” the same should presently be transubstantiated."

Thomas Hobbes, Leviathan, Of the Kingdom of Darkness (Chap. XLVI)

Monday, April 18, 2022

Men Of Faith Who Were Also Men Of Science

 "We, the undersigned students of the Natural Sciences, desire to express our sincere regret that researchers into scientific truth are prevented by some in our own times into occasions for casting doubt into occasions for casting doubt upon the truth and authenticity of the Holy Scriptures.

We conceive that it is impossible for the Word of God, as written in the book of nature, and God’s Word written in Holy Scripture, to contradict one another, however much they may appear to differ.

We are not forgetful that physical science is not complete, but is only in a condition of progress, and that at present our finite reason enables us only to see as through a glass darkly, and we confidently believe, that a time will come when the two records will be seen to agree in every particular.

We cannot but deplore that Natural Science should be looked upon with suspicion by many who do not make a study of it, merely on account of the unadvised manner in which some are placing it in opposition to Holy Writ.

We believe that it is the duty of every scientific student to investigate nature simply for the purpose of elucidating truth, and that if he finds that some of his results appear to be in contradiction to the Written Word, or rather to his own interpretations of it, which may be erroneous, he should not presumptuously affirm that his own conclusions must be right, and the statements of Scripture wrong.

Rather, leave the two side by side till it shall please God to allow us to see the manner in which they may be reconciled; and, instead of insisting upon the seeming differences between Science and the Scriptures, it would be as well to rest in faith upon the points in which they agree."

A manifesto signed by 617 men of science at the British Association of Scientists in 1865; cited by Alfred M. Rehwinkel in The Flood, p. XVIII-XIX

Friday, April 15, 2022

Exegetical Analysis Of Ephesians 2:4-7

"But God, being rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us." (Ephesians 2:4)

Man has broken the laws of God and has come under His righteous judgement. Our sentence of eternal condemnation in the divine court is duly deserved. However, there is another dimension to be considered in which there is a remedy for our situation. Man has no merit on his own account, but God does. The Apostle Paul defines the means by which our salvation has been brought about: "In whom we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of his grace" (Ephesians 1:7). What is the extent to which God loves us? It is very great, meaning a depth beyond our comprehension. His love is infinitely wide in scope. He reached out to us with His graceful offer of eternal life even though we were not seeking after Him.

"even when we were dead in our wrongdoings, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved)." (Ephesians 2:5)

Our disobedience toward God made us spiritually dead and destined for His wrath. It meant certain doom for us apart from the intervention of God Himself. Paul elsewhere specifies a number of ways that a person can violate God's Law: "...the sexually immoral, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor homosexuals, nor thieves, nor the greedy, nor those habitually drunk, nor verbal abusers, nor swindlers..." (1 Corinthians 6:9-10). The point to be made is that no one on earth can live up to God's perfect moral standard. So, how can we be made alive with Jesus Christ? We are made alive together in Christ through the transforming power of the Holy Spirit. We were once dead to heathen ways. Now we live a new life of holiness. Our old ways have passed away. Paul expounds further on the phrase about grace in parenthesis in Ephesians 2:8. The New Living Translation renders it as, "It is only by God's grace that you have been saved." We have been purchased by the blood of Christ to be vessels of honor to God. He initiates this transformative process of sanctification and brings it to completion.

"and raised us up with Him, and seated us with Him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus." (Ephesians 2:6)

We have been raised together to newness of life in union with Christ. That is the greatest benefit of having been reconciled to a holy God. We have a new identity in Christ as children of God. We have a new purpose in this life which is to bring glory to God. We become partakers of His kingdom, which is a kingdom of righteousness: "for the kingdom of God is not eating and drinking, but righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit" (Romans 14:17). There is a radical change of heart which happens in the lives of those who place their faith in Christ. The Apostle Paul's former lifestyle was that of a murderer, since he persecuted the church of God. He went from zealously chasing after Christians to becoming a member of that very group that he had once despised. His transformed life was one of service to God in preaching the gospel. Paul now enjoys the fullness of fellowship with Christ in heaven. He has seen Him face to face in glory, and so can we.

"so that in the ages to come He might show the boundless riches of His grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus." (Ephesians 2:7)

Christ's sacrifice for our redemption is the greatest expression of love made by God to us. It serves as a testimony to His generosity for eternity. The greatest demonstration of love took place when Jesus Christ made atonement for our sins on the cross. He laid down His life for us. God ought to be praised forever for this wondrous deed. This act was not done because we were righteous and deserved His favor. It was solely because of God's benevolence.

There Will Always Be Inequality

"Human beings are obviously unequal in numberless ways, including: health, opportunities, abilities, energy, moral character, and contribution to society. It is essential, therefore, in asserting the equality of all men to delineate the nature and the source of that equality. In Christian ethics the nature of equality is that all men are equally to be loved — not equally admired, or emulated, or praised; but equally loved."

Calvin D. Linton, Wycliffe Dictionary of Christian Ethics, Carl F.H. Henry editor, p. 213-214

Tuesday, April 5, 2022

Early Church Evidence Against Transubstantiation

"It is not we who eat human flesh — they among you who assert such a thing have been suborned as false witnesses; it is among you that Pelops is made a supper for the gods, although beloved by Poseidon, and Kronos devours his children, and Zeus swallows Metis."

Tatian's Address to the Greeks, Chapter XXV