Making Special Ordinary

If the Corinthian Christians got in trouble for turning the Lord’s Supper into a feast, what happens when you turn the sacrament into a cultural mandate? Peter Leithart may be working too hard to justify transformationalism:

Not only on the Lord’s day, but every day: We offer our works to God in worship, specifically with an act of thanksgiving. When we bring bread and wine – and, by implication, everything we make and do – before the Lord, we do it with thanksgiving. This is remarkable: After all, we made the bread and wine. And yet we thank God for them. We thank Him for the products of our hands, because even the things we make – even our works – are His gifts to us. Paul says that thanksgiving is an act of consecration: Every created is good, and nothing is to be rejected if it is received with thanksgiving; because it is consecrated by the Word of God and prayer. When we give thanks for what we have made, we are consecrating the works of our hands to God. And having given thanks at the table, we are trained to live lives of continuous Eucharist, continual thanksgiving, giving thanks, as Paul says, for all things at all times.

A lesson learned from John Frame: everyday is holy. All activities are worship.

We bring what we have made to God. But He doesn’t take it from us. We bring what we have to God, and He shares it with us. And so the things we make become means of communion with God.

Isn’t this a recipe for idolatry? Math, auto repair, fishing are “means of communion”? So we don’t have to gather with the saints on the Lord’s Day for worship?

The Eucharist is the way the world ought to be: Raw creation cultivated to grain and grapes. Cultivated creation brought to its fulfillment by cooking. Cooked creation enjoyed in the presence of God. Cooked created enjoyed together, by a community of worshipers. Cooked creation given in praise and received with thanksgiving. The final end of all things is the marriage supper of the lamb, and in the Lord’s Supper we anticipate that final feast, the feast that is the culmination of all creation. History is heading toward a wedding and eternal wedding reception, and our lives are to be spent readying the world for the wedding feast, a wedding feast that we are already enjoying now.

Wouldn’t it be better to say the wedding supper of the lamb is the culmination of redemption? After all, not everyone invited to the wedding accepts. All creatures won’t be at the wedding reception.

In the Eucharist, we bring creation to its fulfillment. We transform the creation into things useful and enjoyable for us, and we give thanks.

And so the Supper Supper reveals us to ourselves. This is what we are created to do: To be priests and kings, ruling the earth, transforming it from glory to glory, and joining it all in one great Eucharistic banquet.

At the Lord’s Supper, where we remember Christ’s death for our sins, we are impressed by how powerful and creative we are?

Yikes.

Dr. Leithart has his problems, but in this case he needs Christian editors who can tell the difference between cult and culture.

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10 thoughts on “Making Special Ordinary

  1. Does this mean you won’t be attending the Sixth Annual Summer Seminar: The Past and Promise of Christian Personalism? If you can’t acquire communion with God via the Quadratic Formula, then you best be on the wrong path.

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  2. If providence is “common grace” and God “wants to” redeem all sinners, then isn’t everything potentially “redemptive”? Unless you are a “hyper-Calvinist”, then you know that even God’s creation was about grace for everybody. Why ever even mention the extraordinary efficacy of the atonement for the elect, when instead you could put everybody and everything “in the covenant” and give us all the opportunity not to sin against God’s gracious covenant conditions?

    John 14: 2 In My Father’s house are many dwelling places

    If you were to say that God’s house is only for as many as believe the gospel, that would imply that there is ordinarily not enough room at the cross for everybody.

    http://www.opc.org/os.html?article_id=334

    Is This “a Holy Experience” or a Common One? Review Article, Andy Wilson

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  3. Voskamp concludes that the real problem is her inability to see the situation as a gift from God (125). She writes that “eucharisteo is how Jesus, at the Last Supper, showed us to transfigure all things—take the pain that is given, give thanks for it, and transform it into a joy that fulfills all emptiness. I have glimpsed it: This, the hard eucharisteo. The hard discipline to lean into the ugly and whisper thanks to transfigure it into beauty. ”

    mcmark—think John Frame—if you have three “perspectives”, you can see anything and everything you want to see.

    Is This “a Holy Experience” or a Common One? Review Article, Andy Wilson
    A quotation from Pierre Teilhard de Chardin stands at the head of one of her chapters: “Nothing here below is profane for those who know how to see” (122). But does this really square with the teaching of Scripture? The book of Revelation tells us that it will not be until Christ’s second coming that this declaration will be made: “The kingdom of the world has become the kingdom of our Lord” (Rev. 11:15).

    One Thousand Gifts, by Ann Voskamp. Grand Rapids: Zondervan,
    “Eucharisteo is elemental to living the saved life” (40).

    “Thanks makes now a sanctuary.”. (69)

    Wilson—I have concerns about how she makes gratitude into a means by which she can enrich her experience of salvation. She sees eucharisteo (does she use the Greek because it sounds more mysterious?) as a mystical ladder by which she can ascend to a more profound experience.

    Voskamp tends to blur the distinction between God’s direct and indirect government of what takes place in this world. She talks about the evils that befall us as good gifts from God that only feel bad to us (95). At some points, it even sounds as though she is denying the reality of evil. She writes:

    The God of the Mount of Transfiguration cannot cease His work of transfiguring moments—making all that is dark, evil, empty into that which is all light, grace, full…. Is there anything in this world that is truly ugly? That is curse? (99)

    Well, yes, there is curse. . Affirming God’s providential control over all that takes place in the world does not require that we say that nothing truly bad ever happens.

    Louis Berkhof—Second causes are real, and not to be regarded simply as the operative power of God. It is only on condition that second causes are real, that we can properly speak of a concurrence or co-operation of the First Cause with secondary causes. This should be stressed over against the pantheistic idea that God is the only agent working in the world. While God causes all things to work together for the ultimate good for those who belong to Christ, it is not accurate to say that “All is grace” (100)

    https://oldlife.org/2014/09/24/gratitude-basis-obedience/

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  4. Voskamp’s books sounds dreadfu as it’s based on her own predilections of what God’s word means; and it don’t mean what she thinks it does as she allegorizes basic Christian doctrine.

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  5. “for it is made holy by the word of God and prayer.”

    Is everything we receive with thanksgiving holy or not? That’s not “Frame” its Paul.

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  6. A now-disgraced presby pastor once got really mad at me on the tweeter for calling him out for showily praying for his favorite NBA team (from a hot, humid part of the country) and even posting pictures of himself appearing to do so. #whatwouldJohnFramedo?

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  7. He would also fly to Dallas to watch the Cowboys on Sunday afternoons and posted photos at the airport (on Sunday) with his “game face on”. Did John Frames corpus help this man?

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  8. “That’s deliberately and willfully obtuse. You should stop. Its not amusing, and its uncharitable.” Wrong! It’s the logical extension.

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