Wednesday, September 28, 2005

In Response to Transubstantiation

Transubstantiation. That's a big word that probably doesn't mean a whole lot to the general populace, or to the casual reader occasionally passing by ol' Diesel.Blog here. However, I've recently taken issue with this topic, so the next few posts will deal with it. I hope you find this series of posts both encouraging and useful (or at least interesting).

A few weeks ago, I had the great privilege of leading the congregation of my church into a time of communion. We are a non-denominational, Protestant Bible church and we take communion as a congregation once a month. I was asked to give a devotional/teaching beforehand to lead folks in preparation for taking the Lord's Supper. As one of the sidenotes to a point I'd made, I stated that transubstantiation - the belief that the communion elements literally become the physical, literal, manifest body and blood of Christ - is and always has been an erroneous doctrine.

Transubstantiation is, for the most part, a teaching of the Roman Catholic church. There are quite a few former Catholics that attend my church and apparently a few practicing Catholics as well. As emails and responses trickled in following that message (generally folks wondering why in the world I would state that someone else's well-intentioned beliefs are erroneous or Catholics defending their position), I have had the opportunity to solidify my own theology regarding communion and share that with others. Thus, I would like to use the next several posts to share my response to the doctrine of transubstantiation.

Let me preface with this thought - my intent here is not to "bash" Catholicism. Please do not regard my statements as an attack on Catholic people. The point is not Catholicism or Protestantism or anything inbetween or beyond. The point is truth. My intent is simply to point out truth - truth not merely as I perceive it, but Scriptural, Biblical truth spoken by God, taught by His Spirit, and perfectly grounded in Christ Jesus. And truth, friends, is no relative thing.

Continued next post...


Oldhops said...

Looking forward to it. I have never really put any thought into that.

Russ said...


Thanks for the post. I will be looking forward to this series. That's a beautiful baby you are holding there!

Matthew Wireman said...

You know what I found interesting is the comment that people were upset that you would call someone's beliefs erroneous. It has so much to do with my post on Fluffy Faith. There is lack of clarity for people in their doctrine and practice so they find it appauling that someone would label a belief appauling (irony?).

van.diesel said...

Ironic indeed. I think Romans 1:18 refers to it as "suppression of truth in unrighteousness."

For anybody who wants to check out Matt's "Fluffy Faith" post referenced above, check it out here. It's a good read.

Donna said...

Hey, thanks for visiting my blog :)

Also, you said that your brother and sister graduated from Berea... were they by chance Jeremiah and Sarah VanDuerston? (I apologize for the spelling)

Natala said...

speaking of that really cute baby .... how is it to be a dad? I'd love to see some more pictures! and updates! how's mom? cute!

Mike said...

How do you pronounce that? Cool site!

Anonymous said...

First visit. Interesting thoughts on transbustantiation.
I read the "Fluffy Faith" post. You made the comment in response: "It's a grave mistake to view Christ through the rose-colored lense of relative culture." (or something close to that)
While I believe this is absolutely true, I think it's impossible to be unaffected by our culture. I thought I was broadminded and open - not someone who would allow American culture to dictate my values. When I spent a month in Africa and discovered I think just like an American!! Imagine my surprise! Since everyone I knew did too, it seemed 'normal' not 'American'. Not saying it not a grave mistake. Just saying it's one we all make all the time without realizing it.
Better go - gonna stretch for Jesus.