The Scotist–At It Again

The Scotist is attempting to bring forth yet another argument in favor of Communion Without Baptism. Frankly I’m not clear how this is different from his earlier attempt.

The fundamental flaw remains the same.

The Scotist has found himself a practice that he thinks has some merit. So he goes and tries to find a theology that will support it. Is this really the way we proceed?

How about this, Scotist: start with the fundamentals and work out. In most of your definitions so far you mention salvation—but you provide absolutely no sense of what you think this is or how it’s accomplished. I know what I think it is, but you’re clearly using another definition.

Start with that—then we’ll talk.

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8 Responses to The Scotist–At It Again

  1. Paul Goings says:

    Derek,

    I’m waiting for the movement to introduce ordination without baptism. I’m overqualified, so that should be a cinch, and will brighten up my holidays considerably!

    My main point, however, has more to do with this statement:

    “The Scotist has found himself a practice that he thinks has some merit. So he goes and tries to find a theology that will support it. Is this really the way we proceed?”

    I’m sure you must realize that this must read quite ironically to some of us. Can you perhaps think of some other practices which might have been introduced without much theological reflection?

  2. ambly says:

    “Can you perhaps think of some other practices which might have been introduced without much theological reflection?”

    Paul, you took the words right out of my mouth…

  3. Indeed, that is the way we proceed… And as Christopher reminds in the case of Augustine, that isn’t *always* a bad thing…

    But whether it *should* be our usual MO is up for debate…

  4. Patrick says:

    As Christopher says, you can’t generalize. After all, the doctrine of the equality of Christ with the father emerged from the spiritual experience and practice of the early church (as Larry Hurtado has argued) and that’s not an argument against it. There’s no substitute for discernment.

    In this case, I’m against a blanket *policy* of CWOB, but a fairly generous pastoral accommodation, designed to encourage people on the road to baptism.

  5. Toni says:

    “In this case, I’m against a blanket *policy* of CWOB, but a fairly generous pastoral accommodation, designed to encourage people on the road to baptism.”

    I thought this generally was our policy. I do not see the urgency of the argument. I have never seen priests checking baptismal certificates at the altar rail. I think our current practice has sufficient pastoral flexibility to allow an unbaptized person who truly feels called to the altar to come.

  6. Toni,

    In many places it’s becoming the policy to specifically invite all who are present at worship, regardless of their baptismal status, to receive. That’a what Patrick is responding to, I assume.

    Vicki+

  7. Derek,
    Thanks for the link to your salvation article. If I read it back in Eastertide it slipped my mind, so I’m glad to have read it now.

    I encounter this question all the time when I do baptism prep with parents and godparents. I ususally start by asking what they think happens when a person is baptised; what does it mean? what it is supposed to do? I start this way as a means to get at the assumptions, understandings, etc. that they may come with (not as a quiz!). Inevtiably (if one of the people is or was RC – and that’s almost a forgone conclusion in northern NJ!) someone will talk about a baby needing to be baptized so that he or she will be assured of going to heaven, having been cleansed of original sin.

    To be able to talk about grace and having God’s life in us and entering into an intrtntional relationship with God through Christ often makes much more sense to them. Then the whole concept of “what happens after I die” becomes a very different kind of discussion. The life that we have now in Christ continues, just in a different reality – IMHO.

    And CWOB, while it may have a certain appeal, seems to undercut the transformative and foundational role of baptism. Hmmm-I’m thinking about the Thirty-Nine Articles, specifically No. 29 “Of the Wicked, which eat not the Body of Christ in the use of the Lord’s Supper.” Now I’m not sure that I am really in this place theologically, because I believe that the reality of the Body of Christ does not depend upon us or our understanding (and I certainly don’t mean to suggest hat the unbaptised are wicked, neccesarily). But I think I want to ask a question about what effect Communion has for an unbaptized person. Is it like a person whose body can’t absorb certain nutrients in food, even though they are fresent in what is being eaten? Is there some way that an unbaptized person doesn’t receive the fullspiritual benefit from Communion?

    This is a real question, even if it may seem trivial. Any thoughts, anyone?

    Vicki+

    Vicki+

  8. churchmouse says:

    Hello, everyone — A couple of points:

    – How can someone believe they are receiving the Presence of Christ Jesus without understanding who He is, what His teachings are and what salvific benefits the Sacrament affords us as believers?

    – There is a reason young people and converts are baptised and generally catechised (although, this, too, is probably slipping by the wayside) — if you don’t understand what Christianity is about, why receive the Sacrament? What could it possibly mean to you?

    – Holy Communion is not an all-inclusive meal. We are there not for ourselves but to receive the Sacrament of Our Lord. Holy Communion is not a party piece. Just as an FYI, the Roman Catholic Church is finding more and more discarded consecrated hosts in their prayer books, hymnals, on church floors, etc., because people *do not understand* what they are receiving. It’s fine inviting *all baptised Christians* to the Lord’s table, as I thought was still the case, but to say that anyone can come forward to the altar rail is a mistake and a slippery slope down which we really shouldn’t wish to travel.

    – Why are so many of us so willing to overturn hundreds of years of Church teaching to accommodate a few people who come as guests or enquirers? Universal Communion is a big mistake.

    Thanks for reading. Apologies if parts were repetitive.

    All the best
    Churchmouse

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