Friday, January 14, 2011

Feingold lecture.

I listened to this lecture basically on the sacrifice of the mass by Larry Feingold someone linked to at Called to Communion.  In it Luther is misquoted and maligned several times, having teachings associated with him that he did not hold or confess.  I've tried to comment, but the comments are not coming out of moderation.

These are my comments so far.

I have listened to the entire lecture by Larry Feingold. I don’t know anything else about him, but he seems to be a qualified man to speak on the subject. Much of the talk I enjoyed. Much of it I and most Christians can agree with. The background on sacrifices, natural law, OT, the efficacy of the means of grace according to God’s promises, is all very fine.

However, he does not from this many body of the talk repudiate Luther’s view, nor show that the eucharist is not now only a sacrifice of thanksgiving, not blood. He does not bring in scripture passages that deal with how the word “priest” is used in the NT, or what Christ and Paul say about the Lord’s supper. Our Lord is abundantly clear that the supper is a Promise, a Testament, not a sacrifice. Look at the words scripture itself uses, and teaching it teaches.

But Luther gets dragged in here, as a red herring to obfuscate that the RC teaching here is not scripturally underpinned or takes away from Christ’s all sufficient sacrifice, robbing him of his glory, thereby.

Luther did not abolish the Eucharist or the mass, only the abuse of it (have a look at the confessions). Also it is wrong to say that Luther taught that Christ suffered in hell. Again, have a look at the confessions. Feingold calls him in one breath an innovator and heretic, but then alleges teachings he did not hold, and does not explore the false teachings which he deplored. There is no fairness in this. Feingold sounds like a man who should know better. And Cross would also know better, I would expect. The never-ending demands on man’s conscience by requiring repeated masses, ceremonies, sufficient contrition (who can know when he has sufficient contrition?), payments–all never-ending or enough and all for merit and the power of the pope–this is what is being deplored. The right use of the Eucharist is not.

I can bring in all the necessary quotes of scripture and the confessions, if anyone cares to hear them.

And regarding Christ's descent into hell:

Just to follow up with what Luther and Lutherans do confess regarding Christ's descent into hell, without having to change the words or the Apostle's Creed to "limbo of the just" (not scriptural, just in case someone does not know that.)

Luther's response to the conundrum is the proper one, to stick with the creed, to not teach things not contained in the scriptures (apostolic witness), to be faithful to what has been revealed and not speculate on what has not been revealed and then make the teaching binding on consciences. This is what the confession is:

'Even in the Ancient Christian teachers of the Church, as well as among some of our teachers, different explanations of the article about Christ's descent to hell are found. Therefore, we abide in the simplicity of our christian faith. Dr. Luther has pointed us to this in a sermon about Christ's descent to hell, which he delivered in the castle at Torgau in the year 1533. In the Creed we confess, "I believe... in Jesus Christ. His only Son, our Lord, who... was crucified died and was buried. He descended into hell." In this Confession Christ's burial and descent to hell are distinguished as different articles. We simply believe that the entire person (God and man) descended into hell after the burial, conquered the devil, destroyed hell's power, and took from the devil all his might. We should not, however, trouble ourselves with high and difficult thoughts about how this happened. With our reason and our five senses this article can be understood as little as the preceding one about how Christ is placed at the right hand of God's almighty power and majesty. We are simply to believe it and cling to the Word. So we hold to the substance and consolation that neither hell nor the devil can take captive or injure us and all who believe in Christ.'

Formula of Concord, Solid Declaration. Article IX."

I want to say some things about the mass, but I'm still reviewing it from the Apology to the Augsburg confession.  This apology is most helpful, actually.

It seems to me from reading Calvin's position as quoted by the Catholics on the blog, that Christ's supposed suffering in hell is important to Calvin's theology.  Of course, we agree with the Roman Catholics that there is much very wrong with Calvin's views.

I am starting to appreciate the Book of Concord more and more.  If everyone read it, I'd think we could agree on many things, and that would be wonderful.

To cross-post, this is also on James' blog, from which I have not been expelled, yet, or moderated into silence on, to his credit, I would say.

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