The Eucharist and its relationship to Transubstantiation

Alistair continues his series on Transubstantiation. Here is a quote from his excellent article:

One of the great insights in John Calvin’s Eucharistic theology (although the eschatological dimension of the Supper is generally muted in Calvin) is that it is our reality that is out of joint and needs to be reorientated to Christ, rather than vice versa. In the Eucharist it is not Christ who is brought down to us, but we who are raised up by the Holy Spirit to enjoy the presence of Christ in the heavenlies. Christ is at a distance from us because of the disjointedness of our reality. Both the time and the place in which Christ exists are removed from our own. However, the Holy Spirit is able to bring together things that are separated. Rather than Christ being brought down again into the structures of our broken world, in the Eucharist, by the work of the Holy Spirit we are given a foretaste of the world reorientated to His reality.

Read the series.

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About Uri Brito

I am the Pastor of Providence Church (CREC) in Pensacola, Fl.
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3 Responses to The Eucharist and its relationship to Transubstantiation

  1. Andy says:

    I really enjoyed this entry, and I’ll have to read some of your other Eucharistic posts, as this is a topic I’ve been hotly reading on since the advent of my Calvinistic days. One thing I’m not so sure I understand exactly is this:

    Christ is at a distance from us because of the disjointedness of our reality. Both the time and the place in which Christ exists are removed from our own.I’m sure that with some context it would become more clear, but it sounds at one moment that “reality” means location and presence – where and when things are. But then in this remark it sounds more like he’s speaking of a sort of “spiritual” misperspective that needs realignment. Maybe I’m misled, though, for I can see how the words he uses could also be speaking of the objective fact of the “not yet”-ness of our union and redemption in Christ, vis-a-vis the “already”-ness of that which we experience, again, in an objective, local, present reality when we are united to his flesh and blood by the Spirit in the Eucharist.

    Help me out here if I’m off my rocker.

  2. U.T. Brito says:

    Hey Andy, Great question. I will try to give it a quick shot. The disjointedness of our reality does have a temporal significance. Similar to Paul’s comments, “we now see grimly… as through a dark glass.” So, our reality is indeed disjointed, that is incomplete due to a variety ontological “realities.” Sin, finiteness, incompleteness, and so on.
    Further, it follows that Christ’s existence is separated from our own due to the ontological distinctions. So, it is the exalted state of Christ that causes this severe separation. In essence, I believe all your comments reflect the partaking of the elements. I am not quite sure if Alistait meant it that way, but I would agree that there are also elements of temporality and already/notyetness to the partaking of the meal. It is as Alistair put it: a mini-advent. Or rather as I say, a mini-trailer to the big picture. In all, the Spirit of Christ stands as the one who ushers us into these realities. Herein, lies the error of Rome on this matter where they bring Christ down again and again not only to revisualize, but to resacrifice our Lord. Alistair’s statement that these it is we that go up, not Christ that comes down summarizes clearly our primary and fundamental difference. Hope this helps.

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