Started by Rob Morris, March 20, 2020, 02:00:54 PM
Quote from: The Rev. Steven P. Tibbetts, STS on March 26, 2020, 01:06:11 PMBut an option I was thinking is that, unlike Mark, Luke, or Paul, Matthew was actually there. Or, to put it more in tune with your perspective, "Matthew" is the only one purported to have been there.
QuotePastor Falk offers a couple more logical possibilities. I can't help but note that you yourself are one who has often been quick to note (both in discussion and in your word studies) that when there are multiple witnesses to an event, rarely do they all say exactly the same thing.
QuoteI would also note that, no matter how early or late one thinks Matthew, Mark, Luke, or Paul put their Gospels/epistles to parchment (papyrus, paper, or whatever), Christians were gathering together to "do this." You yourself know that it was typical of written accounts of that time to put down only the beginning (or "title") of some well known longer piece that was likely said in more extended, or even complete, form. For instance, when Jesus said, "My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?" as he hung on the Cross, many (I don't recall off the top of my head, but perhaps you yourself, and if not, I'm almost certain you have at least mentioned the possibility) hold that those in his presence at Calvary would have heard him say the entire psalm. In the LBW's recension of Hippolytus, the Verba don't include "for the forgiveness of sins." I daresay, though, that many worshipers "hear" it nonetheless. As would many reading/hearing Mark, Luke, and Paul.
Quotethere is your propensity on this forum to introduce one detail, engage in an argument around that one detail, and then deny that you were actually making a significant theological/pastoral point in the first place. Which may explain how, though not why, you'll have 40,000 posts on this forum by the end of this week.
Quote from: Brian Stoffregen on March 26, 2020, 01:50:57 PMExegesis is about little and big details looked at with as few biases as possible, which means putting aside theological and pastoral issues. For example, when exegeting the biblical versions of the Words of Institution, one should not be thinking about Luther's explanation in the Small Catechism. When preaching or teaching on Communion in Lutheran congregations, one certainly uses the Small Catechism; but that isn't exegesis.
Quote from: The Rev. Steven P. Tibbetts, STS on March 26, 2020, 03:13:41 PMQuote from: Brian Stoffregen on March 26, 2020, 01:50:57 PMExegesis is about little and big details looked at with as few biases as possible, which means putting aside theological and pastoral issues. For example, when exegeting the biblical versions of the Words of Institution, one should not be thinking about Luther's explanation in the Small Catechism. When preaching or teaching on Communion in Lutheran congregations, one certainly uses the Small Catechism; but that isn't exegesis.I was taught biblical exegesis by Victor Gold; Robert Smith; Ev Kalin; Michael Guinan, ofm; and others at PLTS and the Graduate Theological Union. In my library are books (read, consulted, and/or to be read) on exegesis (by their title and contents) by Hayes & Holladay, Stuart, and de Lubac and, of course, books about and of "exegesis" without that word in their title. Thus I always describe your work as "word studies" and never as "exegesis." Fraternally, Steven+
Quote from: Dave Benke on March 21, 2020, 10:00:10 AMSome unsatisfactory solutions to the unavailability of the Sacrament have been suggested at the present time. One is that a pastor speak the words of institution from the church during a streaming service while everyone communes at home. Another is to have the pastor consecrate elements in the presence of elders or deacons who would in turn administer them to members. While the hunger and thirst for the Lord’s Supper that leads to such measures is both understandable and commendable, the solutions are nevertheless faulty. A video streaming “consecration” with words spoken by the pastor remotely and communion elements in member homes is almost identical to an approach that the CTCR addressed in 20061in which the Commission said: 1.The Lord’s Supper was instituted by Jesus with words and actions spoken and carried out by him in the direct presence of his disciples (Matt. 26:26-28). Throughout history, the church has sought to be faithful to Christ’s practice in this regard. Pastors speak the words of institution in the presence of the assembled congregation, thereby giving assurance that we are “doing this” as our Lord has instructed us to do (Luke 22:19). Whenever the actual words and actions of the celebrant in consecrating the elements are intentionally separated (by time, distance, or technological means) from the distribution and reception, no assurance can be given that our Lord’s instructions are being heeded and that the body and blood of Christ are actually being given and received for the forgiveness of sins and the strengthening of faith (cf. fn. 15 of the CTCR’s 1983 report Theology and Practice of the Lord’s Supper [TPLS]). Moreover, this approach turns the words spoken by the pastor from a proclamation into an incantation of sorts. This, too, was addressed by the CTCR: 2.This practice lends itself to the unscriptural notion that the body and blood of Christ in the Lord’s Supper are present by virtue of the “incantation” of the pastor in some way, The CTCR responded to a question about DVD consecration. While there certainly are some dissimilarities 1between the question at that time and the present question about a video streaming consecration, the similarities are so strong that we are referencing the 2006 opinion extensively here. See CTCR, “Opinion on DVD Consecration (2006) at https://files.lcms.org/wl/?id=7ZiqCqGn3FiMMtQcbrcFQuPjjfn9AoMQ. shape or form, rather than by the gracious power of Christ and his Word. “Concerning the consecration,” says the Formula of Concord, “we believe, teach, and confess that no man’s work nor the recitation of the minister effect this presence of the body and blood of Christ in the Holy Supper, but it is to be ascribed solely and alone to the almighty power of our Lord Jesus Christ” (FC Ep VII, 8; quoted in TPLS, 15). While it is true that “the regularly called and ordained pastors of the church are to officiate at the administration of Holy Communion” (TPLS, 17-18), it is only “through Christ’s word and its power”—not through the mere “sound” or “recording” of the voice of the pastor—“that Christ’s body and blood are present in the bread and wine” (TPLS, 14). Novelties such as these in the practice of the Lord’s Supper will inevitably lead away from the Sacrament itself as instituted by Christ to humanly-instituted techniques by which the Sacrament is purportedly being given. Note the third point raised by the CTCR in 2006: 3.As emphasized above, the focus in our celebration of the Lord’s Supper must always be on the gracious word of Christ—the word that gives assurance to hearts weighed down by guilt, doubt and fear that the great gifts promised here are truly given and received. The Commission says: “To...insert some personal idiosyncrasy into the consecration is to detract the people’s attention from the Sacrament. The congregation’s focus is to be on Christ’s word and invitation. The celebrant is a servant to sharpen that focus” (TPLS, 15). The Lord’s Supper is intended to strengthen faith in God’s forgiving grace, a faith which counts on the Word of Christ’s promise that the bread and wine are His body and blood. To introduce doubts or uncertainty about the Sacrament negates this purpose. We can be thankful that God in His mercy has not given the Lord’s Supper as the only “means of grace.” Instead, he showers us with His grace. The Gospel is not silenced, forgiveness is proclaimed, Baptism will be administered even in emergencies, and Baptism is lived out daily by means of repentance and the new life that God’s Spirit enables us to live in any and all circumstances.
Quote from: peter_speckhard on March 27, 2020, 09:21:00 AMBut again, the issue language and meaning, and what the pastor refers to when he says, "This is my body, etc. " In all times and places, it has at least been clear in his own mind what he is referring to when he says, "this." That's why new elements brought out when there is a shortage need to be consecrated; even though they were in close proximity, they weren't what he was talking about when said "this" in the original consecration of the elements. That's how those assisting know what bread and wine to treat/store/dispose of as consecrated elements and which to just put back in the cupboard. Everything we do that distinguishes consecrated elements from unconsecrated elements, including the spiritual hunger that needs the former but not the latter, depend upon knowing what the word "this" is in the consecration refers to specifically, not in general.That is not possible with live-streamed communion unless it is a two-way video in which the pastor can see who is there and what elements they're using. Replacing the pronoun with the referent (which you have to be able to do if you're making sense) would have to go something like, "Whatever bread and wine anyone watching this has in front of them at this time is my body..." But is that true? Only true for believers? On what authority do we declare that? And if we only speculate that it cold be true, it is no Sacrament and no faith trusting it. We have to be able to say definitively.That people need comfort is certainly true. That some of those people would be comforted by thinking the bread and wine they set in front of their computer screen when they tune into any Lutheran service online thereby becomes consecrated is also true. But whether it is therefore responsible pastoral practice to assure them of such because it would comfort them is, at best, an extremely dubious proposition.
Quote from: Dave Benke on March 27, 2020, 08:44:46 AMThanks for your thoughtful response, Matt. I agree with the critique of the CTCR paper in several major ways. Your semi-final thought about the consecrated Meal being taken by deacons, elders, pastor to the faithful is rebutted in no substantial way by the CTCR - it's just, in their theological view, not our custom. Except that in the history of the Church catholic, it has been and is our custom. So I'm with you on that preference. Secondly, the argument against "incantation" seems to me flawed, and yet became a central point to the CTCR. You point out those flaws.I am trying to wrap my head around the time-frame of our mandatory separation from others and what it does to the Body of Christ down the line several years. This is a boundary/border/Grenz situation, to be sure. And my current thought process is that if reception of the Eucharist through elements consecrated at home becomes regularized, what is imperiled is the Scriptural imperative "not to forsake the assembling of ourselves together." That, it seems to me Scripturally, means face to face assembling. In person. That boundary would be broken, for many permanently, and like Humpty Dumpty we wouldn't be put back together again. Think of the Church under trial and persecution through the centuries. The gatherings of Christians in person, which imperiled their safety, became critical to the perseverance of the faith in those countries/areas.In a hierarchical system, of course, it could be put back together again by fiat. Maybe. In most non-hierarchical (Protestant) systems, the faithful, whether old and infirm or younger and on the move, could well say "it's a lot less hassle for me just to look in for a half hour and take my communion at home. Thanks for breaking the boundary of in person worship." Once we can come back together, many will exhale and go back to their favored habit of fellowship in Christian community. I'm in such a place. Man, we miss one another. But many others will be cautious, real cautious, and still take a viewing seat at home on their own time as the services are archived online. The new habit, if enabled further by distance Eucharist, could well become imbedded. And the way the Church is Church would be changed not for a time but permanently. I'm not thinking that's a good idea, based on looking at a couple thousand years of Church experience.Dave Benke
Quote from: Mbecker on March 27, 2020, 12:12:09 PMAnother option might be for the pastor to tape the Eucharistic service at the altar, with a few assistants present, keeping their social distance from one another. Having disinfected their hands and wearing gloves and masks, the pastor and assistants/elders would worship according to the liturgy of the divine service. Afterwards, still gloved and masked, they would package the consecrated elements into individual packages that members would receive in their cars as they drove through the parking lot of the church building. After receiving the consecrated elements, the members would return to their homes and participate in the taped divine service. That way, the pastor could explain in the taped service that the very elements he/she had consecrated were the ones that had been distributed. These consecrated elements would be received orally at the appropriate time in the service that the members would be viewing. Spouses could commune one another. Individuals could simply self-commune. It would be important, it seems to me, that the pastor add some explanatory words at the appropriate point in the service so that the members viewing the tape and participating in the service that way would know when to commune. (Addendum: It would be best if the pastors and assistants could be tested for the virus a day or two ahead of each communion service. That way, if the tests come back negative, then the pastor and assistants wouldn't have to wear masks during the taping of the service.)So this is a kind of "drive through" holy communion, but it maintains continuity with the pastor's consecration of the elements at a single altar, with the ancient custom of distributing the consecrated elements to the sick and imprisoned, and it places the reception of the consecrated elements in the context of the members' adoration/participation through the taped divine service that they watch at home.Might this be a better option?M. Becker
Quote from: peter_speckhard on March 27, 2020, 12:24:00 PMHad a zoom meeting last night with some old pastor friends, and one of them is doing something I think I might imitate. He opens the church during set hours and allows one person/household at a time (have to wait your turn in the car or narthex) to come into the sanctuary, where he does a brief communion service, including Confession/Absolution, Creed, Lord's Prayer, Institution, Distribution, Prayers, Benediction. Only takes a few minutes really. Basically, all it amounts to is doing an abbreviated shut-in visit, except instead of the pastor going around the homebound, the people come to him, but stay away from each other.Not ideal, to be sure, but certainly no real spiritual/theological issues.