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A protestant "real presence"?

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  • A protestant "real presence"?

    Often times in discussions I read that protestants reject the Real Presence of Christ in the Eucharist. I know from conversations that it's not that they doubt God's ability to turn bread and wine into His body, blood, soul and divinity; rather it's a question of whether He did or not.

    My question is, in what way do protestants ask God "into their hearts" in a sinner's prayer? I can't imagine it's symbolic but I never presume to know other faiths. Is it a type of real presence? Is it the presence of the Holy Spirit only?

    (I just looked up Billy Graham's example of a sinner's prayer since there is no standard.)

    I love to learn, so thank you in advance for your thoughts!

    BGM

  • #2
    Originally posted by bluegrassmandolin View Post
    Often times in discussions I read that protestants reject the Real Presence of Christ in the Eucharist. I know from conversations that it's not that they doubt God's ability to turn bread and wine into His body, blood, soul and divinity; rather it's a question of whether He did or not.

    My question is, in what way do protestants ask God "into their hearts" in a sinner's prayer? I can't imagine it's symbolic but I never presume to know other faiths. Is it a type of real presence? Is it the presence of the Holy Spirit only?

    (I just looked up Billy Graham's example of a sinner's prayer since there is no standard.)

    I love to learn, so thank you in advance for your thoughts!

    BGM
    Perhaps the best answer is that they ask the Holy Spirit into their hearts, which is simply the gift of the Holy Spirit Christianity has always gifted through chrismation.

    Comment


    • #3
      Originally posted by HTacianas View Post

      Perhaps the best answer is that they ask the Holy Spirit into their hearts, which is simply the gift of the Holy Spirit Christianity has always gifted through chrismation.
      Thank you for the response. Would that be Grace? Is that what is meant by an "indwelling" of the Holy Spirit?

      BGM

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by bluegrassmandolin View Post

        Thank you for the response. Would that be Grace? Is that what is meant by an "indwelling" of the Holy Spirit?

        BGM
        When I was in Baptist Sunday school I was taught that God's grace was what drew us to Him, but that the Holy Spirit indwelled a person after their conversion. Here a detail, there a detail, that's what I was taught.

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by HTacianas View Post

          When I was in Baptist Sunday school I was taught that God's grace was what drew us to Him, but that the Holy Spirit indwelled a person after their conversion. Here a detail, there a detail, that's what I was taught.
          So is the indwelling symbolic?

          BGM

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by bluegrassmandolin View Post

            So is the indwelling symbolic?

            BGM
            No, the indwelling is not considered symbolic, but real. But that is a belief near universal among all Christians.

            I think I understand your point though. If I do, the real presence is not considered literal by some Protestant groups, but the indwelling of the Holy Spirit is. And you are correct in that conclusion, as far as the beliefs among those groups go.

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by HTacianas View Post

              No, the indwelling is not considered symbolic, but real. But that is a belief near universal among all Christians.

              I think I understand your point though. If I do, the real presence is not considered literal by some Protestant groups, but the indwelling of the Holy Spirit is. And you are correct in that conclusion, as far as the beliefs among those groups go.
              So I'm still left with God has the ability to be truly present in another form, be it an indwelling or in the Eucharist, the question remains... Whether He is or isn't.

              Thank you for the insight!

              BGM

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by bluegrassmandolin View Post

                So I'm still left with God has the ability to be truly present in another form, be it an indwelling or in the Eucharist, the question remains... Whether He is or isn't.

                Thank you for the insight!

                BGM
                Yes, the question remains. Christianity's answer to it has always been that the indwelling of the Holy Spirit in the believer is quite real and literal while the presence of Christ in the Eucharist is quite real and literal. Some Protestants hold to that belief while some don't.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by bluegrassmandolin View Post
                  Often times in discussions I read that protestants reject the Real Presence of Christ in the Eucharist. I know from conversations that it's not that they doubt God's ability to turn bread and wine into His body, blood, soul and divinity; rather it's a question of whether He did or not.

                  My question is, in what way do protestants ask God "into their hearts" in a sinner's prayer? I can't imagine it's symbolic but I never presume to know other faiths. Is it a type of real presence? Is it the presence of the Holy Spirit only?

                  (I just looked up Billy Graham's example of a sinner's prayer since there is no standard.)

                  I love to learn, so thank you in advance for your thoughts!

                  BGM
                  I'm guessing, but maybe the disconnect is due to the perceived difference between spirit and matter. A spiritual presence is not tangible, nor visible, nor measurable - spiritual presence does not violate or challenge our normal perceptions. God Incarnate is different: body and blood are tangible, visible, measurable. A real presence, which is not tangible, nor visible, nor measurable, contradicts common sense and imagination. It is reasonable to speak of a "real presence" in a spiritual way, but not in a material way. A symbolic reality is acceptable to the modern mind - bread symbolic of a material body, which could conceivably communicate a spiritual presence - no problem.

                  My experience has been that to interject the actual Catholic teaching on the real presence does not break through into the realm of the possible with them - The teaching that it is not the mortal pre-resurrection body, but the resurrected and glorified presence of Christ, Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity of Jesus which is communicated in the Eucharist, and that reality is not the same as, is not subject to the same laws of physics as, is not comparable to, other ordinary material matter. In the Resurrection, the distinction between spirit and matter is yet to be clarified; the physics of matter yet to be written.
                  ... For salvation is nearer to us now than when we first believed;...
                  But put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh, to gratify its desires. (Rom 13)

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Thomas View Post

                    I'm guessing, but maybe the disconnect is due to the perceived difference between spirit and matter. A spiritual presence is not tangible, nor visible, nor measurable - spiritual presence does not violate or challenge our normal perceptions. God Incarnate is different: body and blood are tangible, visible, measurable. A real presence, which is not tangible, nor visible, nor measurable, contradicts common sense and imagination. It is reasonable to speak of a "real presence" in a spiritual way, but not in a material way. A symbolic reality is acceptable to the modern mind - bread symbolic of a material body, which could conceivably communicate a spiritual presence - no problem.

                    My experience has been that to interject the actual Catholic teaching on the real presence does not break through into the realm of the possible with them - The teaching that it is not the mortal pre-resurrection body, but the resurrected and glorified presence of Christ, Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity of Jesus which is communicated in the Eucharist, and that reality is not the same as, is not subject to the same laws of physics as, is not comparable to, other ordinary material matter. In the Resurrection, the distinction between spirit and matter is yet to be clarified; the physics of matter yet to be written.
                    Thank you Thomas for your very well articulated answer. If I'm understanding correctly, a sinner's prayer, such as Billy Graham's version, asks God "into their hearts", is there a change in the substance? Since it doesn't seem to be merely symbolic, could it be explained by the "physics of matter yet to be written" in much the same way as the Holy Eucharist? I'm not suspecting that protestants believe asking God "into their hearts" would be a body, blood, soul and divinity presence, but I do wonder what the similarities are.

                    BGM

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by bluegrassmandolin View Post

                      Thank you Thomas for your very well articulated answer. If I'm understanding correctly, a sinner's prayer, such as Billy Graham's version, asks God "into their hearts", is there a change in the substance? Since it doesn't seem to be merely symbolic, could it be explained by the "physics of matter yet to be written" in much the same way as the Holy Eucharist? I'm not suspecting that protestants believe asking God "into their hearts" would be a body, blood, soul and divinity presence, but I do wonder what the similarities are.

                      BGM
                      I suspect that they mean an entirely spiritual presence of God into their completely human "hearts" - which I suppose means the "very center" of their being, their mind and will, i.e their soul. So (again guessing) they would mean a commingling with no merging of substance, divine with human, at all. I don't think they would allow anything like the "deification" or theosis of Catholic theology (rarely spoken of publicly in the west, but part of our tradition nevertheless) to be approached, at all. I think they would be repulsed at the thought of deification.
                      ... For salvation is nearer to us now than when we first believed;...
                      But put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh, to gratify its desires. (Rom 13)

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Thomas View Post

                        I suspect that they mean an entirely spiritual presence of God into their completely human "hearts" - which I suppose means the "very center" of their being, their mind and will, i.e their soul. So (again guessing) they would mean a commingling with no merging of substance, divine with human, at all. I don't think they would allow anything like the "deification" or theosis of Catholic theology (rarely spoken of publicly in the west, but part of our tradition nevertheless) to be approached, at all. I think they would be repulsed at the thought of deification.
                        So the existence of the spiritual presence of God acquired/requested (and presumably granted) through the sinner's prayer cleans the soul making it sinless for one "saved"?

                        BGM

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by bluegrassmandolin View Post

                          So the existence of the spiritual presence of God acquired/requested (and presumably granted) through the sinner's prayer cleans the soul making it sinless for one "saved"?

                          BGM
                          The details of protestant salvation continue to confuse me.... you'll have to ask one of them, to get one opinion anyway.
                          ... For salvation is nearer to us now than when we first believed;...
                          But put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh, to gratify its desires. (Rom 13)

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Thomas View Post

                            The details of protestant salvation continue to confuse me.... you'll have to ask one of them, to get one opinion anyway.
                            Hopefully, I'll get a response. Thank you Thomas!

                            BGM

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by bluegrassmandolin View Post

                              Hopefully, I'll get a response. Thank you Thomas!

                              BGM
                              Blessings to you.
                              ... For salvation is nearer to us now than when we first believed;...
                              But put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh, to gratify its desires. (Rom 13)

                              Comment

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