Saturday, February 13, 2010

Jesus as a "Spiritual reality"

From the Comments on "Calvin's framing of the question about the Incarnation--i.e. Jesus' body, is flawed" post:
Yes, it's a metaphor and I think that is pretty obvious. Yet it is also a descriptor of a SPIRITUAL reality. Jesus dwells in us SPIRITUALLY. Surely you wouldn't argue that the spiritual is not real, would you? 
But that's not what y'all say about the Eucharist - you in fact get all upset when we say it's spiritual b/c you insist it's more real than that, and say that the spiritual is not the "real presence". It's disingenuous on YOUR part, not ours.I think pretty much everyone would agree that a "spiritual" presence is a real one. Bit it seems that at every turn Jesus' body is banned from any presence among us at all. This does seem to be a genuine legacy of Calvin's theology.
Now to be honest, I thought the charges against Calvinism that it is Nestorian were over blown, and I still think that most Calvinists are basically Chalcidonian Christians. But it also seems that the Reformed as well as the have a very strong tendency to deny even the possibility of Jesus' humanity being present at all. Everything is "spiritual", nothing is material. Besides what I believe is a view of the Incarnation which allows the Son to be present in his divinity without his humanity, I think an over emphasis on a "spiritual" presence leaves our own physical persons with little if anything to grasp. This is, in fact, an advantage of sacraments--that they are spiritual AND material.

4 comments:

Steve Martin said...

Nice one, Ed!

God knows that we ARE material beings. So He gave us tangible Sacraments that we could actually touch, taste, smell and taste...where He would actually be present.

But, this is realized by faith since "we walk by faith and not by sight."

Anonymous said...

Christ said "this is My body", not "this is My spirit". (So much for Sola Scriptura) -- I've already told them that, actually, but they won't listen.


-- Lucian

Edward Reiss said...

Yeah, notice how "body" always seems to become "spirit" when it is convenient?

L P said...

It may be too hard to swallow but the proper word for exchanging body with spirit is - gnosticism.


There must be something wrong, I have a point of agreement with Lucian, which is certainly a very very rare situation :-}


LPC

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