Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Thoughts on Weekly Communion...Controversy

Dear readers,

I am surprised and disturbed.

I am surprised because of the quick responses to this posting. It caught me off guard. Shortly after posting I wanted to tweak the post but assumed (you know what that does!) I would not have many readers. Well, lesson learned! I went ahead after the comments occurred. Just as in my book, I differentiated the radical quotes from others not associated with them. I also qualified the universal statement about the Reformed practice--Strassburg practiced weekly Communion for a little while. Perhaps if someone can document otherwise, then I could modify that statement. As it is, I studied and searched through dozens and dozens of books on this relatively obscure issue. Thus, I can say through my own study that this practice was very rare in the Reformed faith. The famous Calvin quote is analyzed in my book along with other quotes of his that point away from weekly Communion (apparently missing in the works I critique). I would strongly suggest that those quick to debate these summary posts (obviously used to goad the readers to my book :-) should read my book first.

I also clarified my "conservative" position. It does not mean tradition is right; it means the burden of proof is on those against it. One cannot study every practice & doctrine in-depth; thus, many have accepted a few good arguments from well-trained men and left it at that...for now. Frankly, I am surprised anyone who knows me would think otherwise.

I am also disturbed. To think that I misquoted someone has kept my mind running all morning! I purposefully asked ministers with years of experience and godliness to read the manuscript. I even sought out those with differing views (with little to no response).

Perhaps the unintended connection between the author and the other radical quotes caused concern; perhaps the starkness of the quote was shocking; perhaps it was assumed that I had other questionable reasons for the quote. Upon further reflection, it could be that someone would take the third quote as a rationalization for weak sermons. That is not the case.

The context of the quote is the explanation of some benefits of weekly Communion (again, reflected in my paper: "The following quotes, although cautious, also challenge the church to take seriously the benefits and rationales for weekly Communion.") So, some benefits are used to argue for weekly Communion. This is clarified as well in the original post.

Since it was the author himself who pointed this out, I would humbly petition him to check the clarification and lend his opinion. At the end of the day, it is his original intent that I seek.



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