Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Is Calvin right about the Lord's Supper?

After discussing how we can feed on Christ without getting tied up in his location while also avoiding transubstantiation, Calvin resorts to saying "therefore, nothing remains but to break forth in wonder at this mystery, which plainly neither the mind is able to conceive nor the tongue to express." (4.17.7)  I've blogged before about the place of mystery in our theology, allowed but to be used judiciously.  Is it legitimate for Calvin to appeal to mystery here, is there biblical, let alone systematic warrant?

I'm reluctant to part company with Calvin, but somewhat comfortingly I'm not entirely sure what I'm parting company with (given the complexity of Calvin on this point and the historical distance between us).   At the moment Bray is making the best sense, but like Wilson in Mother Kirk, he is only providing a theological survey. I also don't want to cherry pick the parts of Calvin, I like and understand, to support my current view because I want to build my current view from the ground up, knowing and understanding all the pieces I'm using to build it with.