Yesterday's blog post over at The Institute for Nouthetic Studies dealt with, ironically enough, the aberrant doctrine of transubstantiation. Recently, I posted a two-part series examining how the early Church saw the ordinance of the Lord's Supper - as a memorial to the crucified and risen Lord.
Dr. Jay Adams, in typical concise fashion, sums it up nicely in yesterday's post (I even fixed his spelling typos):
"What about transubstantiation? Were the bread and wine actually changed into the body and blood of Christ? Millions of people claim to believe they were. If it were true, it would be a continuous miracle—totally unlike any other in the Bible.
But consider the facts.
First, notice that Jesus said to eat and drink in remembrance of Him. What goes on at the supper has mnemonic value.
Secondly, He said that eating was a means of declaring (literally, “preaching”) His death until returns. There is not a whisper about the cannibalistic act of actually eating Him.
“Ah. But He said ‘this is My body’ and ‘this is My blood.’ How do you get around that fact?”
We don’t have to get around it, as you put it. We simply do regular exegesis. When Jesus said I am the Bread of life, the Water of life or the Door to the sheepfold, for instance, we don’t say He is a fluid, or a board hanging on hinges, or a loaf of bread. Thank God that there is a meaningful and important purpose of proclaiming the Lord’s death for sinners that comports with rather than contradicts, the way of salvation. The once-for-all death of Christ (Hebrews 9:28; 10:1,2; 11-14) must be maintained rather than the opposing doctrine of Jesus dying in un-bloody sacrifices again and again on Roman Catholic altars, as is presupposed in transubstantiation.
How foolish to think that the apostles understood something more than what Jesus said—that the supper was an act of remembrance and proclamation. After all, there He was sitting before them in His living flesh and blood. If I hold up a picture of myself and say, “See, this is me,” what do you suppose–that the picture is somehow morphed into me? Of course not! Friend, if you are caught up in this sophistry of the scholastics, think again."
(There's an SAT word of the day for you - 'sophistry'. I'm going to figure out a way to use that in a sentence this weekend.)