Thursday, October 24, 2013

The Sacramental Principle

Chapter 6 “The Sacramental Principle” pp. 115-133

Braaten observes that the Protestant world has captured the sacraments and created a Zwinglian view of them. That status is in decline as people move more toward Calvin and Luther. Yet in many Lutheran congregations the sacraments are devalued. This devaluation parallels a loss within the broader culture, where the spiritual and the physical have been forcibly separated. Luther insisted upon Jesus’ presence in bodily form in communion, against Zwingli and Calvin who would not accept a bodily presence. Because Luther insisted on holding to the biblical teaching over against a logical attempt at explanation, the Lutheran view quickly lost ground as human reason became dominant in the debates. This has led to a school of thought which, in effect, denies the supernatural simply because it is supernatural. Recovering a biblical view of the Sacraments can lead Christians to a greater appreciation of and care for their world, recognizing that all of our surroundings come from God the creator, are redeemed by Jesus, and exist to reflect God’s wonders and to serve as the place we care for.

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