The Return of This and That

kitchen sinkHide it under a bushel? No! But under camouflage? Yes. At least that the implied message of the new “Camo” edition of the American Patriot’s Bible. (Thanks to our mid-West correspondent.)

This pocket version of the popular American Patriot’s Bible reminds Christians of the Bible’s living legacy in the history of America, a nation built on the biblical values of God and family.

If it is fair to describe The Law is Not of Faith book as embodying the Escondido Hermeneutic, would it also be fair to describe the Kerux Apologetic as evidientialist?

And if union was as important to Calvin as many allege, why does he bury his catechetical instruction on the topic in the section on the Lord’s Supper? (Do a word search of the 1545 Catechism – who wants to read all 340-plus questions? – and check it out.)

(BTW, if we’re going to follow Calvin on union, why aren’t we also following him on eating the body and drinking the blood of Christ? If you’re going to take Calvin literally on union, don’t you also have to take him literally on Christ’s real presence in the Supper?)

Master. – Do we therefore eat the body and blood of the Lord?

Scholar. – I understand so. For as our whole reliance for salvation depends on him, in order that the obedience which he yielded to the Father may be imputed to us just as if it were ours, it is necessary that he be possessed by us; for the only way in which he communicates his blessings to us is by making himself ours.

Master. – But did he not give himself when he exposed himself to death, that he might redeem us from the sentence of death, and reconcile us to God?

Scholar. – That is indeed true; but it is not enough for us unless we now receive him, that thus the efficacy and fruit of his death may reach us.

Master. – Does not the manner of receiving consist in faith?

Scholar. – I admit it does. But I at the same time add, that this is done when we not only believe that he died in order to free us from death, and was raised up that he might purchase life for us, but recognise that he dwells in us, and that we are united to him by a union the same in kind as that which unites the members to the head, that by virtue of this union we may become partakers of all his blessings.

Master. – Do we obtain this communion by the Supper alone?

Scholar. – No, indeed. For by the gospel also, as Paul declares, Christ is communicated to us. And Paul justly declares this, seeing we are there told that we are flesh of his flesh and bones of his bones-that he is the living bread which came down from heaven to nourish our souls-that we are one with him as he is one with the Father, &c. (1 Cor. i. 6; Eph. v. 30; John vi. 51; John xvii. 21.)

Master. – What more do we obtain from the sacrament, or what other benefit does it confer upon us?

Scholar. – The communion of which I spoke is thereby confirmed and increased; for although Christ is exhibited to us both in baptism and in the gospel, we do not however receive him entire, but in part only.

Master. – What then have we in the symbol of bread?

Scholar. – As the body of Christ was once sacrificed for us to reconcile us to God, so now also is it given to us, that we may certainly know that reconciliation belongs to us.

Master. – What in the symbol of wine?

Scholar. – That as Christ once shed his blood for the satisfaction of our sins, and as the price of our redemption, so he now also gives it to us to drink, that we may feel the benefit which should thence accrue to us.

Master. – According to these two answers, the holy Supper of the Lord refers us to his death, that we may communicate in its virtue?

Scholar. – Wholly so; for then the one perpetual sacrifice, sufficient for our salvation, was performed. Hence nothing more remains for us but to enjoy it.

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10 thoughts on “The Return of This and That

  1. And I thought the Geneva Catechism was written in French, so “literal” is out of the question for most anyway… Silly me! 😉
    I am all for taking Calvin literally on the Lord’s Supper, but what you quote “Do we therefore eat the body and blood of the Lord? – I understand so.” etc.) is, of course, not all he says. He also says this:
    “M. How, then, and when does the effect follow the use of the sacraments? – S. When we receive them in faith, seeking Christ alone and his grace in them.”

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  2. “And if union was as important to Calvin as many allege, why does he bury his catechetical instruction on the topic in the section on the Lord’s Supper? (Do a word search of the 1545 Catechism – who wants to read all 340-plus questions? – and check it out.)”

    How about his 1537 catechism?:

    12 – We apprehend Christ Through Faith

    Just as the merciful Father offers us the Son through the Word of the Gospel, so we embrace him through faith and acknowledge him as given to us. It is true that the word of hte Gospel calls all to participate in Christ, but a number, blinded and hardened by unbelief, despise such a unique grace. Hence, only believers enjoy Christ; they recieve him as sent to them; they do not reject him when he is given, but follow him when he calls them.

    16 – We are Justified in Christ Through Faith

    Since it is clear that Christ is the perpetual object of faith, we cannot know what we recieve through faith except by looking unto him. for truly he has been given to us by the Father in order that we may obtain in him life eternal…Yet, in order that this might be done, it is necessary that we, who are contaminated by stains of sin, be cleansed in him, because nothing defiled shall enter the kingdom of God. Christ, therefore, makes us thus participants in himself in order that we, who are in ourselves sinners, may be, through Christ’s righteousness, considered just before the throne of God…

    17 – We are Sanctified Through Faith in Order to Obey the Law

    …As a result, those who boast of having the faith of Christ and are completely destitute of sanctification by his spirit decieve themselves. For the Scripture teaches that Christ has been made for us not only righteousness, but sanctification. Hence, we cannot receive through faith his righteousness without embracing at the same time that sanctification, because the Lord in one same alliance (union?), which he has mnade with us in Christ, promises that he will be propitious towards our iniquities and will write his Law in our hearts.

    Or his Institutes 3.11.10

    “Therefore, to that union of the head and members, the residence of Christ in our hearts, in short, the mystical union, we assign the highest degree of importance, Christ when he becomes ours making us partners with him in the gifts with which he was endued.”

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  3. I find it interesting that

    (1) “God” is a value. (which value? 255? 65535?)
    (2) “God” and “family” are the two values.
    (3) That God and family are values evoked by camouflage.

    To be fair, the product description is “MultiCam® is not a digitally generated camouflage, ensuring a crisp, non-pixelated appearance that can easily be carried into harm’s way or used at home as a reminder of those who make our valued freedom possible.”

    So maybe (3) is excusable on the grounds of being necessary for military-grade applications.

    But this product isn’t a poster child for what’s wrong with non-2k views. It’s rather a poster child for what’s wrong with not being more thoroughly Biblical in one’s thoughts about life. 🙂

    Consider: is this product not a marketing of God (“as a value”) for the sake of gain? And where do we learn that God should not be marketed? Not, interestingly from the Natural Law — I’m still waiting for my copy of The Natural Law to be delivered from Amazon.com — but rather from Scripture. As in, the Third Commandment, and 2 Cor 2.17.

    So I would say, this product makes a good case for the Christian marketer to apply the Scriptures to his common calling of salesmanship.

    Nicht wahr?

    JRC

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  4. Jeff, you’re trying too hard. The objection here is not on NL grounds. It would be precisely on biblical grounds. And it might even extend to more legitimate marketing of the Bible, like the mainstream ones that rest in our pew racks. It’s not as if no one is making a profit on them. Why not have each church translate, publish and distribute its own Bible the way it used to be (say with the King James version)? Well, the answer has something to do with the market. It would be very expensive.

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  5. But this product isn’t a poster child for what’s wrong with non-2k views. It’s rather a poster child for what’s wrong with not being more thoroughly Biblical in one’s thoughts about life.

    What’s the difference?

    Seriously though, Jeff, I appreciate your point about marketing the divine. But it just seems much too wooden. Certainly one can find prohibitions against pulling down the divine for worldly purposes in other, false religions and philosophies. It would seem that, just as we didn’t need Moses to descend to tell us that murder is wrong, we didn’t need Jesus to overturn tables to know that marketing divinity is scorn-worthy.

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  6. DGH: The objection here is not on NL grounds. It would be precisely on biblical grounds.

    Zrim: Certainly one can find prohibitions against pulling down the divine for worldly purposes in other, false religions and philosophies. It would seem that, just as we didn’t need Moses to descend to tell us that murder is wrong, we didn’t need Jesus to overturn tables to know that marketing divinity is scorn-worthy.

    Ah, the natural law and Scripture converge at last. 🙂

    On a lighter note … I’m just plain sick of snow!

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