And Then They Just Look Confused

For those of you who don’t like reading rambling half-baked ideas that stretch to thousands of words, here is my recent Pope entry re-done to make sense. No one should be surprised that the Pope is Roman Catholic. The heart of Roman Catholic theology is Eucharist. Its dominance in the way that Rome thinks about faith can’t even be compared to any concept in evangelicalism/reformed/Protestant/choose your own term for that which isn’t Popish or Russian!

The Eucharistic belief of Roman Catholicism is in my opinion, an elaboration that goes beyond the bounds of Scripture. The New Testament as I read it, does seem to indicate that Communion is more than a mid-morning snack that all us Christians partake in. However, I feel the Roman Catholic concept of transubstantiation owes more to the rediscovery of Aristotle in the 1000s than it does to the Bible. I believe that Thomas Aquinas developed an ingenius and intruiging model for how the bread and wine becomes the body and blood of Jesus using Aristotelian terms but that doesn’t mean he was right. It just means he was very creative and clever. He was right about lots of things but not this.

This is where I enter into speculation. I don’t think the Thomistic formulation of transubstantiation became vitally important until after the Reformation. In the attempt to create distance between the Mother in Rome and the upstarts in Wittenburg and Geneva and Praha, the Eucharist became increasingly dominant. Fast forward 400 years of much the same conflict between Rome and the Protesters and we end up with Pope Benedict XVI basically reiterating Roman Catholic dogma- if the true presence of Jesus is contained in the Eucharistic meal then the Prods are repudiating Jesus. They are not participating fully in the Christian life. They are failing in their calling. They are not church.

Thus, the Pope reiterates the kind of thing you’d expect the Pope to believe if he was really the Pope and the world goes into a little seizure over the fact that Roman Catholics still haven’t gotten the memo from modern progressive types that reads:

Please stop being Catholic. This whole Jesus thing is so 124AD.
Plus, nuns are creepy.

Maybe with the shortened version you’ll woo the person sitting beside you at the next dinner party. Remember to call your first child Zoomtard when it turns out he is a doctor and you marry him.

Your Correspondent, Sick of you teaching him your time-tested values

6 Responses to “And Then They Just Look Confused”

  1. the Pope’s a Catholic??
    Flip me

  2. zoomtard says:

    Sums it up really.

    By the way, I think you should get a t-shirt with “Flip me!” on it because it is definitely a trademark WeeIrishBreakfast phrase at this point.

  3. Timothy says:

    >”The Eucharistic belief of Roman Catholicism is in my opinion, an elaboration that goes beyond the bounds of Scripture.”

    Interesting that you would say that and then discuss the Eucharist based on teachings of man – Aristotle, Thomas Aquinas, et al.

    Catholic belief in the Eucharist is actually much simpler and very much in the bounds of scripture. Isaiah 55:11 tells us “So shall my word be that goeth forth out of my mouth: it shall not return unto me void, but it shall accomplish that which I please, and it shall prosper in the thing whereto I sent it.” In Genesis 1:3, God speaks and light is created. God speaks a lot in Genesis and some impossible things occur. Fast forward to the Gospels. We find Jesus speaks and people are cured of blindness and the dead rise. So in Matthew 26:26, when Jesus, the Lord God Himself, holds bread in front of Him, speaks the words “This is My body”, and the voice of God goes forth and bounces off the bread and returns to Him, what according to Isaiah 55:11 happened? Is this a one time exception to Isaiah 55:11? Does scripture contradict scripture?

    Remember, according to Exodus 12 one has to eat the Lamb, all of it, no substitutes allowed.

    God bless…

  4. zoomtard says:

    Thanks for your comment Timothy. This post was an attempt at a brief(er) restatement of a previous post that I had rambled out over the course of the afternoon.

    Whatever else I think of this attempt of mine, I do feel that I have clearly shown the respect I have for the Roman Catholic position on Eucharist. Even without recourse to the definitive New Testament recountings of the Last Supper, there is a strong argument, one that feels compelling to me, that Communion is a Sacrament, with a Capital S, in a way that is often neglected in the Reformed/Protestant/Evangelical/whatever-you-call-us tradition.

    What I have proposed here is that the dogma of transubstantiation goes beyond the territory of speculation and seeks to push a model of the Sacrament as the only understanding allowed. This owes more to Aristotle than the Gospel writers. This has become so centrally important because of Reformation rhetoric, not a context any of us would want to do theology in. Its hard and stony ground, not good for bearing fruit.

    I finished that longer post with an observation. I don’t think we can achieve unity without participating in the Love Feast. I am typically Reformed in that sentiment. Rome thinks we should pursue unity so that one day we can achieve the goal of sharing Communion together. This is the kind of conundrum that reminds me of how we must rely on the Spirit.

    Thanks again for your comment.

  5. jimlad says:

    I remember my dad telling me that the Roman Catholic view of the transubstantiation meant that Jesus was being sacrificed again and again, not once for all on the cross as Paul says. Is this belief about repetitious sacrifice a Roman Catholic one, or a conclusion drawn up by a Baptist?

    I agree with it not being simply symbolism, based on my experience of taking it. On the other hand, when God uses symbols they are often just as real to us as life itself. I think that when Abraham was asked to sacrifice Isaac this was a symbol of what was to come, but it is described as something that actually happened. When Jesus spoke words, when Lazarus rose from the dead according to a belief in words of scripture, this also symbolized the resurrection to come, but it also actually happened (if it didn’t it would have been quite an embarrassment to the early Christians and Christianity would never have gotten off the ground). I’m not sure what I’m saying, specifically, but in general it isn’t strange for a symbolic act to be a real powerful event also. In the case of transubstantiation I experience it as something essentially spiritual (the gospel) reiterating itself in some reality. I don’t know if it is in my body or my spirit but I know it is there, and it is both linked to my bodily function (ingestion of bread) and to God’s bodily sacrifice.

  6. zoomtard says:

    That belief is definitely a common misconception created by anti-Catholic rhetoricians Jimlad. If it were true, the entire Roman Catholic Church would be directly contravening the explicit teaching of Scripture- which is lunacy.