Christian Apologetics Society

Jesus replied, "You are in error because you do not know the Scriptures or the power of God."
- Matthew 22:29

Isaiah 55:11
So shall My word be that goes forth from My mouth; It shall not return to Me void, But it shall accomplish what I please, And it shall prosper in the thing for which I sent it
Gen 1:3
Then God said, “Let there be light”; and there was light
Matthew 26:26
And as they were eating, Jesus took bread, blessed and broke it, and gave it to the disciples and said, “Take, eat; this is My body."
Malachi 1:11
My name will be great among the nations, from the rising to the setting of the sun. In every place incense and pure offerings will be brought to my name, because my name will be great among the nations," says the LORD Almighty.
John 20:23
If you forgive the sins of any, they are forgiven them; if you retain the sins of any, they are retained.
James 5:16
Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous man is powerful and effective.
James 2:14
What doth it profit, my brethren, though a man say he hath faith, and have not works? can faith save him?
Luke 20:38
For He is not the God of the dead but of the living, for all live to Him.
Rev 21:27
Nothing impure will ever enter it, nor will anyone who does what is shameful or deceitful, but only those whose names are written in the Lamb's book of life.
1 Cor 3:15
If any man's work shall be burned, he shall suffer loss: but he himself shall be saved; yet so as by fire.
Psalm 51:5
Behold, I was brought forth in iniquity, and in sin my mother conceived me.
John 3:5
Jesus answered, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God.
Titus 3:5
Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost;
1 Timothy 3:15
but if I am delayed, I write so that you may know how you ought to conduct yourself in the house of God, which is the church of the living God, the pillar and ground of the truth.
Acts 22:16
And now why tarriest thou? arise, and be baptized, and wash away thy sins, calling on the name of the Lord.

Apologetics - Holy Eucharist

A Christian group blog that I monitor once a month has started a podcast series on the Seven Sacraments. Segment 2, entitled Holy Eucharist, recently went up, so I decided to listen to the whole episode.

This group of devout Christians had accessed a catechism on the Eucharist from an Episcopal website. The group would read a question from the catechism, read the written answer, and then discuss both.

It was clear in the first few moments that what promised to be a honest, open look at the Eucharist was doomed from the start. One of the first errors, which set the tone for the evening, was the attempt at defining the Eucharist by one of the non-Episcopal Christians, who used the terms "symbol" and "rememberance". These two words served as flags that selective filtering was already in place. In apologetics, this is often referred to as looking through the "glasses" or "lens" of your faith tradition. A Baptist wears Baptist lenses and sees things in a Baptist light. Similarly, a Muslim sees things through an Islamic lens.

It was also clear from listening that the group was attempting to understand the Episcopal catechism. The group knew that early Church writers had long written that the Eucharist was considered to be the actual body and blood of Christ, but the group didn't know why the early Church fathers had consistently taught that doctrine.

Passages on the Last Supper in Mark and Luke were read. Unfortunately, the discussion focused on the word "rememberance" and the conversation returned to the earlier theme of the Eucharist being a symbol. The group failed to recognize the significance of the words "Jesus said"

If you've spent any time watching the scripture memorization feature at the top of the CAS blog, you've read:

    "So shall My word be that goes forth from My mouth; It shall not return to Me void, But it shall accomplish what I please, And it shall prosper in the thing for which I sent it." (Isaiah 55:11)


If you flip through Genesis you'll find numerous examples of the truth of Isaiah 55:11. Among many others, you'll find:

    "Then God said, “Let there be light”; and there was light." (Gen 1:3)


    "So the LORD God said to the serpent, "Because you have done this, "Cursed are you above all the livestock and all the wild animals! You will crawl on your belly and you will eat dust all the days of your life." Gen 3:14


Note that "God said" and it happened. God spoke and things considered "impossible" happened. Planets were created. Life was created. Man was created. All because God said. Christians, including our podcast group, believe that all these impossibilities occured because "God said." Our God is an awesome God.

We also find examples of Isaiah 55:11 throughout the four Gospels. Among them are these well known verses:

    "For Jesus had said to him, "Come out of this man, you evil spirit!" Mark 5:8


    "Jesus said to the woman, "Your faith has saved you; go in peace." Luke 7:50


Note that "Jesus said" and it happened. Jesus spoke and things considered "impossible" happened. The lame cured. People raised from the dead. Sins forgiven. All because Jesus said. Christians, including our podcast group, believe that all these impossibilities occured because "Jesus said." Our God is an awesome God.

But for some reason, when our group of podcasting Christians read...

    "And as they did eat, Jesus took bread, and blessed, and brake it, and gave to them, and said, Take, eat: this is my body" Mark 14:22


    "And he took bread, and gave thanks, and brake it, and gave unto them, saying, This is my body which is given for you: this do in remembrance of me." Luke 22:19


...they failed to note that the Lord God, in the second person of Jesus, was holding bread in His hands and SAID the words "This is my body".

Knowing that God's Word does not return void, what awesome thing, according to Isaiah 55:11 and dozens of Old and New Testament precedents, happened?

This is the reason why this particular group of Christians, and many other Christians, fail to understand the Eucharist and its centrality in Christ's Church.

A classic case of being "... in error because you do not know the Scriptures or the power of God." (Matthew 22:29)

UPDATE (4/25/07): Its looks like Bible Truth Online is interested in anything but Bible truth. Checking the status of my comment, largely the above text, I found the following:

Comment deleted
This post has been removed by the blog administrator.
6:52 PM

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2 Comments:

Blogger vanmorgan501 said...

It saddens me that your comment was deleted. Even if someone doesn't agree with that, and honestly, I dont see why they shouldn't, then at least have the decency to leave up the post so that others can see another persons point of view. It reminded me of a a Letter to the Editor that was sent in to Scientific America and published in the Feb.'07 issue. It's a bit long and I apologize for that, but I didnt want to just take the pertinent part out, but rather show you the whole thing. Again, this is not MY opinion, but one sent in by someone else - the topic was actually about evolution, but the Eucharist is used as an example, if you will read on....


"in my experience the main reason so many Christians hold on so strongly to creationism. That is the belief that if we throw out the literal creation account, then we are opening the door to throwing out the very basis of Christianity, the physical and historical resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead. As long as the two are linked, conservative Christians can never accept evolution.
Only by decoupling the two issues can Christians accept evolution. Fortunately, this seperation has already happened once in Christian history, when the Protestants of the Reformation dropped the belief in the literal transformation of the Eucharist in the Mass. Once they realized that they could rationally take the Eucharist passages figuratively and still take the Resurrection literally, they followed the physical evidience and never looked back. Conservative Christians will not accept evolution until they make the same intellectual leap." End quote.


By that logic, is there not many things we can take "figuratively" and not "literally". I think maybe that is the mindset you are up against here. What would you say about picking and choosing what you want to take figuratively and literally?

10:17 PM  
Blogger Timothy said...

"...is there not many things we can take "figuratively" and not "literally". I think maybe that is the mindset you are up against here. What would you say about picking and choosing what you want to take figuratively and literally? "

The blog in question is well known to me and is a group blog. One of the group is open minded and he and I would have had an ongoing exchange. I was looking forward to that likelihood. The others are rather set in their beliefs and anyone else is wrong, regardless of facts, scripture, history, logic, truth, or anything else contradictory.

Yes, many things may be taken "figuratively". I would argue that the underlying fallacy, particularly regarding evolution, is usually a false dichotomy. The concept that one or the other is true, but that both can't be true.

For many Christians, the Eucharist is either bread and wine (a symbol) or its truely the body and blood of Christ. One or the other. Either/or. Many Christians see and taste only bread and wine, therefore, based on their either/or mindset, they erroneously conclude the Eucharist is a symbol.

The early Christians took the approach that it was possible for both to be true. Both/and. Looking at all the evidence, I too must side with the early Church.

Again, it is a shame that a discourse was declined out of hand.

Regarding the "picking and choosing", that concept leads to Cafeteria Catholics, Cafeteria Christians, Cafeteria Muslims, Cafeteria Jews, and even secular Cafeteria Citizens. Witness the recent events in PA and NJ where both governors have made statements on their mutual disdain and disregard for speed limits.

God bless...

- Timothy

5:51 PM  

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