Blog 230: 4.17.46 - 4.18.1

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Scottish Highland Presbyterians need to hold their breath for a second while Calvin refers to an annual Lord's Supper ritual as "a veritable invention of the devil" [4.17.46]. Calvin then adds, something which he has been cited for ever since, that the Supper should be "spread at least once a week" - a desire he never experienced; nor could he have. The Supper required a strict discipline in Geneva requiring the involvement of the Consistory - a task impossible to accomplish on a weekly basis. Those who entertain weekly communion today [in the name of Calvin] almost certainly abandon the discipline associated with the Supper to ensure against unworthy eating and drinking. Today's church has views examination as an entirely personal obligation.

Not content to view annual communion as demonic, Calvin views "communion in one kind" as "from the same shop" [4.17.47], adding a five-fold argument for "communion in both kinds."  Again, it is Calvin's use of both Scripture and early church tradition that comes to the surface: undermining Roman Catholic veneration of apostolic succession by arguing its unhistorical precedence.  Brilliant!

Posted December 1, 2009 @ 9:49 AM by Derek Thomas
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