It’s Just an Observation, Don’t Get Mad

It’s fascinating to me the number of Christians who are satisfied living at what can only be described as the lowest threshold for Christian faith.  These folk are happy doing the bare minimum expected societally so that they can be deemed ‘Christian’ by the culture, and themselves.

It’s almost as though they have said to themselves ‘what is the VERY LEAST I can do and still feel good about myself and my ‘Christian faith’.  That’s what I’ll do, and nothing more.’

Because the ‘nothing more’ certainly has trumped the biblical ‘deny yourself, take up your cross, and follow me’.  Self denial certainly never extends to more than semi-infrequent worship attendance and such things as evangelism, scripture study, ministry, and the rest are virtually unheard of.

‘Deny myself’?  Nope.  Can’t do that.  If I want to sleep in on Sunday I’ll sleep in.  If I want to skip worship every service but one or two a month, I will.  And you can forget about working in the Church or for Christ.  Self denial is the thing which characterized the ancient Church and it is the thing most absent in the modern Church in America.

Which is, interestingly, precisely why our Country is what our Country is today.

Since It’s ‘Marburg Colloquy’ Day, And I’m Thinking About the Meaning of the Lord’s Supper…

Let’s hear what Calvin said on the matter in 1559- 30 years after the colloquy-

The presence of Christ in the Supper we must hold to be such as neither affixes him to the element of bread, nor encloses him in bread, nor circumscribes him in any way (this would obviously detract from his celestial glory); and it must, moreover, be such as neither divests him of his just dimensions, nor dissevers him by differences of place, nor assigns to him a body of boundless dimensions, diffused through heaven and earth.

Right!

Marburg, 1529, And the Colloquy There Held

Huldrych Zwingli and Johannes Oecolampadius met with Martin Luther and Philipp Melanchthon in Marburg beginning October 1, 1529 till October 3.  They agreed on 14 of 15 points but, as everyone knows, they couldn’t come to agreement on the meaning of the Lord’s Supper.  Luther was far too ensconced in Roman Catholic theology to see with the clarity with which Zwingli saw. Consequently, Luther left the conference angry and Zwingli left depressed.

Walter Koehler wrote a fine essay for Zwingliana in 1930 on the colloquy which took place in Marburg at the behest of Philip.

It commences

„Um den Glauben wird der Streit gehen und um das Geheimnis des göttlichen Wirkens in uns” —• de fide erit contentio et de mysterio divinae operationis in nobis —, so schrieb im Frühjahr 1527, als das schon längst zusammengeballte Gewitter des Abendmahlsstreites zwischen Luther und Zwingli unmittelbar vor der Entladung zu stehen schien, der Süddeutsche Theobald Billikan nach Basel an Johannes Oekolampad.

They put their names on that agreement on 3 October, went home, and wrote very uncharitable things about each other.

Philip Schaff does a nice job of summarizing both the discussions and the viewpoints of the major actors.