Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Warfield on the Eucharist as Sacrifice

Liam Beadle has some striking quotations from B B Warfield (a hot Prot!) on the Supper as a Sacrifice.

I've added some bleeding chunks on Warfield to the comments which I reproduce here.

On Warfield's doctrine of the Lord's Supper, see further:

Selected Shorter Writings, ed. Meeter, John E., vol 1, (Nutley, NJ, Presbyterian and Reformed Publishing Company, 1970) 37. 'The Fundamental Significance of the Lord’s Supper' (p332ff).

Warfield argues that: The Lord’s Supper is the Christian Passover, a perpetual sacrificial feast in which the sacrifice of our Lord is not repeated but applied, not merely commemorated. (p336)

“All who partake of this bread and (p336) wine, the appointed symbols of his body and blood, therefore, are symbolically partaking of the victim offered on the altar of the cross, and are by this act professing themselves offerers of the sacrifice and seeking to become beneficiaries of it. This is the fundamental significance of the Lord’s Supper. Whenever the Lord’s Supper is spread before us we are invited to take our place at the sacrificial feast, the substance of which is the flesh and blood of the victim which has been sacrificed once for all at Calvary; and as we eat of these in their symbols, we are – certainly not repeating his sacrifice, nor yet prolonging it – but continuing that solemn festival upon it instituted by Christ, by which we testify our “participation in the altar” and claim our part in the benefits bought by the offering immolated on it. The sacrificial feast is not the sacrifice, in the sense of the thing offered, that is eaten in it: and therefore it is presuppositive of the sacrifice in the sense of the act of offering and implies that this offering has already been performed. The Lord’s Supper as a sacrificial feast is accordingly not the sacrifice, that is, the act of offering up Christ’s body and blood: it is however, the sacrifice, that is the body and blood of Christ that were offered, which is eaten in it: and therefore it is presuppositive of the sacrifice as an act of offering and implies that this act has already been performed once for all.” (p337)

His only other comments on the Supper I know of are in 23. 'The Posture of Recipients at the Lord’s Supper: A Footnote to the History of Reformed Usages' (p351ff)

“The fundamental fact, determinative of all such questions for the Reformed, is that the Supper is a feast and is to be administered at a table.” (p351)
“From the very beginning of their existence, the Reformed churches had insisted that the Supper is s meal and is to be administered at a table.” (p352)
Our Lord recumbent recipients (p352)
In antiquity elements received standing, the typical posture for prayer and praise (p353)
Leeuwaarden church in Frisia receive elements walking to suggest readiness for service (p353)
Seated usual reformed position (p353)
Kneeling suggests humility (p353) – Romanists, many German Protestants, C of E, Bohemians
Normally receive in their places – going up to altar a Laudian innovation (p358)
Scots would “sit at the table as guests at the festival of the Lord” (p359)
Gillespie says that “the nature of a feast requireth that the guests be set at table, and that all the guests be set about it, for the use of a table is not for some, but for all the guests, else no table is necessary but a cupboard.” Sub-committee of Westminster Assembly on Directory of Public Worship, Miscellany Questions, XVIII (p360)
The debate on communicating at the table at the Assembly took three weeks (p363)

I'd love to be pointed to more.

Some new old heroes?

Some evangelicals can sometimes give the impression that nothing much good happened in the church between Augustine of Hippo and Luther.

Could anyone suggest some heroes from that period of church history?

Could you recommend places to start in their writings or good (especially readable) biographies of them?

I guess a few condidates (though I know very little about some of them), in no particular order, could be Augustine of Canterbury, Boniface, Aquinas, Francis of Assisi, Patrick, Bede, Thomas Becket, Edward the Confessor, Tyndale & Wycliffe (of course).

Monday, August 18, 2008


I think speaking to Christians who are sick, struggling or suffering in some way yet persevering can be one of the most encouraging things there is. A few times I've been to minister to such people and found that they've been a great blessing to me. I hope if I find myself in such a situation I will speak openly and joyfully about the Lord Jesus Christ as my rock and fortress and that I'll be able to witness to others of his love and grace.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Sovereign Treacle

Thomas Watson comments:

He is the only wise God; he knows how to make evil things work for good to his children. Rom viii 28. He can make a sovereign treacle of poison.

The Lord's Prayer (Banner of Truth, 1965) p4

Thursday, August 07, 2008

You Must Be Born Again, (Israel) (Again)

In thinking about a corporate understanding of John 3:1-15, I came across this:

Descent from Father Abraham and membership of one of the twelve tribes of Israel will no longer count for membership in the people of God…. Easily missed is the fact that Jesus is actually addressing the nation of Israel in the person of this noted individual. This point emerges where we translate the Greek literally:

verse 7 Marvel not that I say unto thee,
‘You (plural) must be born from above’.

verse 11 ‘… you (plural) do not receive our witness’.

In effect, Jesus is addressing Israel with an announcement that is at the same time bad news and good news. It is bad news because it declares that Israel is not the Kingdom of God, but it is good news because it points to the door into the Kingdom. That ‘door’ is through the one who now speaks to Nicodemus, Jesus himself.

In turn this bears on the meaning of the words, ‘born of water and the Spirit’ (verse 5). Most likely Jesus is referring to God’s promise to gather together his scattered people into their true homeland and to wash them with water and give them his Spirit (Ezekiel 36:26-28). In other words, God promises to forgive those sins that caused them to be scattered and to give them his inner strength to please him from now on.” (p42)

Paul Barnett, John: The Shepherd King Reading The Bible Today Series (Sydney, Aquila Press, 2005)

Tuesday, August 05, 2008

He Shall Have Dominion

A live blog from camp!

All is going well - through many dangers, toils and snares, and with His strength made perfect in weakness and so on. Thanks if you prayed and to the Lord and to all the team!

We've been having excellent times in Psalms 1 & 8 so far thanks to Mr Ken MacDonald.

I was especially struck by how dominion was seen partly in Adam, lost, exercised fully in Christ, progressively in us and perfectly in the future.

Think of Jesus domion over nature: He calms the storm and walks on water.

And over the beasts of the field: He rides an unbroken donkey no one else has ever ridden and the pigs rush to their death as He allows demons to enter them.

And over the fish of the sea: they climb into nets at His command, they pay His taxes and he serves them up.

And over the birds of the air: the Spirit comes on Him in the form of a dove and not a bird falls from the heavens except at His Father's command.

I just have to go and exercise a bit of dominion over Mr Dan Ritchie who is a very naughty leader. He just said there was some man outside the main building to see me. I took off my Christmas tree hair band, picked up my official looking folder and pen and marched out, where upon a group of boys water bombed me. Vengance may be the Lord's but a bit of corrective "punishment" might be in order...

Friday, August 01, 2008


We’re off on our CPAS Ventures camp first thing in the morning, for which we’d very much appreciate your prayers.

It’s a camp which is not really a camp, since we’re staying in a boarding school. Though it will be a little more like camping than usual since, in a radical move for us, some leaders will have to sleep on the floor, although I understand this is normal at some camps.

Its Romsey 1, which is not Romsey 1 since I believe it follows on from Romsey 2. Its no longer in Romsey at Hampshire Collegiate School this year but at Cumnor House School in Danehill in East Sussex. The site is new to us.

Though it's high summer and the weather will of course be glorious sunshine all week, we’re having Christmas and New Year.

The preaching and Bible Studies will be sequential edited highlights from John’s Gospel. I'm giving the first talk on John 20:31 entitled "Reading The Last Page First".

As a leadership team we'll be studying selected Psalms and I'll speak on a couple of Psalms from the Book of Common Prayer that I preached on recently.

I’ll be acting a adjutant (the main up front leadership for the kids) for the first time. Mrs Lloyd will be looking after Master Lloyd for the first time at camp. A kind church member will be looking after Caleb, oh, and Esther, for the first time at the curatage.

We’ll have 26 leaders (including cooks and a junior leader, quite a few of whom are new to our camp) and 44 eleven to fourteen year olds. Oh, and one baby, of course.

Proc Trust Autumn Ministers' Conference

I have just looked myself onto the Proc Trust Autumn joint ministers' conference, but don't let that put you off going.

I understand the food is lovely and plentiful and there is a good bar. Mrs Lloyd has cased the joint.

I look forward to seeing you there.