To recap briefly, we’ve been discussing Communion Without Baptism quite a bit lately. One of the main engines of debate has been the Anglican Scotist’s attempts to connect CWOB with universal salvation and to argue that if we take our beliefs about the power of God to their logical conclusion the theological reasons for CWOB will become self-evident. It’s an intriguing argument but not one that wins me over–universal salvation being the first major stumbling block.
My main objection to the argument of the Scotist is that it comes in the form of syllogisms. While I do recognize the need for such things and acknowledge their proper place in theological reflection, logical syllogisms in their use of absolutes and extremes tend to wander away from the basic incarnate character of the life of faith. To my mind, they too easily enter the realm of speculation divorced from discipleship.And here, of course, I see one of the classic divisions between the Scholastic and the monastic.
Both Caelius and *Christopher have written great reflections that return the discussion from questions of universality and omnipotence to questions of daily Christian practice. *Christopher’s piece engages the Scotist’s invocation of the Eschaton and makes a distinction between the regular and extraordinary means of grace, paying special attention to their roles in communities of practice. Caelius’s piece touches on a range of issues, moving from an interesting discussion of the Eucharistic meal as a plunder-dividing party to a thoughtful reflection on exclusion and intimacy. If you haven’t already read them, I commend them to you highly.