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Sacraments/ ordinances. Introduction. Development of Sacramentology. Terminology Augustine Peter Lombard. Sacramental Efficacy. Classical Understanding: “sacraments effect what they signify”

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development of sacramentology
Development of Sacramentology
  • Terminology
  • Augustine
  • Peter Lombard
sacramental efficacy
Sacramental Efficacy
  • Classical Understanding: “sacraments effect what they signify”
  • Major dispute concerned whether efficacy of sacrament was dependent on the quality of administrating priest or by virtue of the work done
    • Donatist controversy
    • ex opereoperato: “from the work done”
      • Catholic view: sacraments are effective in themselves
      • Condition for recipients is that they do not place an obstacle (e.g. sinful act or disposition) against the sacrament’s administration
      • Sacraments as unique conductors of divine grace
    • ex opereoperantis
      • Efficacy of the sacrament is dependent on the personal qualities of the minister
protestant sacramentology
Protestant Sacramentology
    • While rejecting the term ex opereoperato, in practice the view is similar to Augustine- that the sacrament’s efficacy is not dependent on the minster
    • Luther: primacy of Word and faith in connection with the sacraments
  • Emphasis is on the ability of the sacraments to strengthen faith
    • Tangible signs of God’s grace
    • Sacraments as promises with signs attached to them
protestant sacramentology cont
Protestant Sacramentology (cont.)
  • Luther reduced number of sacraments to two
  • Zwingli reduces the idea of sacraments even further to the idea of “oath”, an allegiance to the church
  • Calvin
    • Contributed to sacramentology with his attention to pneumatology
  • Ordinance: Radical Reformers, English Baptists and other Free Churches
    • Complete rejection of the sacramental theology of mainline Protestants and Catholics
    • Focus is obedience
recent developments in sacramentology
Recent Developments in Sacramentology
  • Roman Catholic Theology, esp. Vatican II and since
    • Relationship of sacraments to faith and commitment (e.g. see SC #20)
    • Eucharist not only as Mass (Christ’s sacrifice) but as communion
    • Eucharist as complement to preaching of the Word (Liturgy as Word and Eucharist)
    • Stress not on elements but on but on the idea that Christ is sacramentally present to the Church
    • Church as sacrament (e.g. LG #1), the sacrament from which other sacraments are derived
    • Catholic theologian Edward Schillebeeckx
      • Sacrament as personal encounter with God

*Note that these are not necessarily “new” to the RC church but are rather a renewed stress.

recent developments cont
Recent developments (cont.)
  • Protestant Theology
    • Pannenberg
      • Not limiting scope of sacramental (e.g. preaching of the Word, mercy.
        • Note also the larger category of sacramental in the early church, including almsgiving/charity, prayer, etc.
  • BEM (Baptism, Eucharist and Ministry), the World Council of Churches, 1982
    • Anamnesis (remembrance)
      • We do not merely recall the past event, but that past event is made present
    • Epiclesis (the invocation of the Spirit) as integral
recent developments cont1
Recent developments (cont.)
  • Increasing general interest and appreciation of sacramental character of life
    • Increasing appreciation of goodness of the physical/material
      • Not just in movements like the Emerging church,
    • Goodness of creation, not least as the place for God’s self-revelation
    • Doctrine of the incarnation (including idea of becoming incarnational in the world)
    • Link between Eucharist/Lord’s Supper and Christian mission
      • Embrace of Christ’s reign
      • Call for the church to be active in the world, including areas like social justice
      • As Logos has become flesh (connected with the Eucharist in God’s Word and Deed), the Church works in the world by Word and Deed
      • Contextual voices that are reminding us that the Eucharist/Lord’s supper is a place and act of inclusion, not exclusion
        • An act of hopitality
concluding reflections from evangelical perspective
Concluding Reflections from Evangelical Perspective
  • Dangers to be avoided
  • Grenz’s mediating position
    • Sacraments as divine-human acts in which humans respond to God’s initiative of salvation
    • Sacraments are based on Word and faith
    • Sacraments both convey God’s grace and are a human response to God’s offer of grace
    • Also, sacraments are an “oath” of allegiance from the human side
some final thoughts
Some Final Thoughts
  • The importance of the “Sacramental principle”
  • Sacraments, while personally received, always happen in the community of faith
  • The Church is formed and reformed through participation in the Eucharist*; it is fellowship with Christ that enables fellowship (through the Holy Spirit) with one another.
  • *see esp. the Eastern Orthodox theologians Vladimir Lossky and John Zizioulas
one evangelical perspective on baptism donald bloesch reformed
One evangelical perspective on baptism: Donald Bloesch(reformed)
  • Baptism as initial sacrament for incorporation into the Body of Christ
  • Baptism itself does not ensure that someone is a member of the Church, but it ratifies and certifies what faith achieves through the power of the Spirit.
  • While it is a symbol of dying and rising with Christ, it is also more than a symbol; it is a sacramental sign
  • Baptism is an “instrumental” cause while the Holy Spirit with Christ is an “efficient” or “effectual” cause
concluding reflections see karkkainen
Concluding reflections (see karkkainen)
  • Mutual Acknowledgment
  • Believers’ Baptism as theological norm (see, e.g. BEM)
  • Baptism and Christian Initiation
  • Connection between Baptism and the Church community
points of agreement on eucharist and disagreement for majority of christians
Points of agreement on Eucharist and disagreement (for majority of Christians)
  • Agreement:
    • Instituted by Christ and followed by his command, “Do this in remembrance of me.”
    • Be attentive in the taking of the Eucharist
    • An act that includes past, present and future anticipation
    • The Eucharist as communion
      • Entering into fellowship with Christ and each other
      • Importance of Word and Sacrament together (see Luke 24)
  • Main disagreement
    • What is meant by “This is my Body?”
interpretations of christ s presence
Interpretations of christ’s presence
  • Orthodox Church
    • real presence
  • Roman Catholic
    • real presence
    • Transubstantiation
      • Note that E.O. do not try to define as does R.C. Church
    • Contemporary View
      • Moving from a more mechanistic perspective to more personalistic and dynamic categories
      • Closer link between Word and Sacraments
      • Focus on relationally speaking of presence of Christ
      • Contemporary theologians rethinking terms such as transubstantiation
        • E.g. “transignification” - the significance changes, much the way paper becomes a letter
presence cont
Presence (cont.)
  • Lutheran view
    • “consubstantialist”
  • Reformed Views
    • Zwingli
      • Memorial meal
      • Emphasis on subjective (human) side, what we are doing
    • Calvin
      • Mediating position between Luther and Zwingli
      • Spiritual presence
        • Christ is present, but spiritually, not physically
      • Pneumatologically sensitive
presence cont1
Presence (cont.)
  • BEM
    • “The eucharist is essentially the sacrament of the gift which God makes to us in Christ through the power of the Holy Spirit. Every Christian receives this gift of salvation through communion in the body and blood of Christ. In the eucharistic meal, in the eating and drinking of the bread and wine, Christ grants communion with himself. God himself acts, giving life to the body of Christ and renewing each member. In accordance with Christ’s promise, each baptized member of the body of Christ receives in the eucharist the assurance of the forgiveness of sins (Matt. 26:28) and the pledge of eternal life (John 6:51-58).
evangelical theology of the lord s supper eucharist see karkkainen
Evangelical theology of the Lord’s supper/eucharist(see Karkkainen)
  • Terminology
  • Past, Present, Future orientation
  • Presence of Christ
  • Meaning of Eucharist
  • Discernment of Christ’s Body