Tuesday, May 24, 2011

What of the Altar?

“Not one of the writer’s of the New Testament ever speaks of the sacrament as a sacrifice, or calls the Lord’s Table an altar, or even hints that a Christian minister is a sacrificing priest” (J.C. Ryle, Practical Religion), 143.

Another tremendous time of interaction with chapters 11-12 of White's book. Chapter 11 is worth the price of the book! Stirring and disturbing. Chapters 13-14 for our last meeting before breaking for the summer.

The books I recommended at our last meeting were the following: Berkhof's Systematic Theology, Berkhof's The History of Christian Doctrines, Grudem's Systematic Theology, and the ESV Study Bible. Each serve their purpose as I explained when we met. I also referenced the podcasts of the White Horse Inn, S. Lewis Johnson, and Sinclair Ferguson.

And one more thing, here are some helpful words from Dabney concerning John 6 that are worth tucking away:

“Rome depends chiefly in Scripture on the language of John 6:50ff and on the assertion of the absolutely literal interpretation of the words of institution in the parallel passages cited by us at the beginning. We easily set aside the argument from John 6:50ff, by the remark, that it applies not to the Lord’s Supper, but to the spiritual actings of faith on Christ figuratively described. For the Lord’s Supper was not yet instituted; and it is absurd to suppose that our Savior would use language necessarily unintelligible to all His followers, the subject never having been divulged to them. On the contrary, in verse 35, we find that coming and eating is defined as the actings of faith. If the chapter be forced into an application to the Supper, then verses 53 and 54 explicitly teach that everyone who eats the Supper goes to heaven, and that no one who fails to eat it does; neither of which Rome admits: And in verse 63, our Savior fixes a figurative and spiritual interpretation of His words, beyond all question” (Robert L. Dabney, Systematic Theology), 805.

“Christ’s glorified body dwells on high, no more to return actually to earth till the final consummation is asserted too plainly and frequently to be disputed (Matthew 26:11; John 16:28, 17:11, 16:7; Luke 24:51; Acts 3:21, 1:11)” (Dabney), 812.