Biblical Catholic Eucharistic Theology by Dave Armstrong - Read Online
Biblical Catholic Eucharistic Theology
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Catholic apologist Dave Armstrong has compiled his writing on the Eucharist & the Sacrifice of the Mass into a Scripture-packed 23 chapters. Among the topics covered are: 1) the special presence of God in physical objects in the OT, 2) comparison of the indwelling & the Real Presence, 3) doubting disciples in the eucharistic discourse of John 6, 4) exclusion of non-Catholics from Catholic communion, 5) St. Augustine's & John Calvin's views, 6) the Church fathers on the Sacrifice of the Mass, 7) St. Paul's "priestly" references, 8) biblical, analogical arguments for the Sacrifice of the Mass, 9) the Protestant "idolatry" accusation, and 10) biblical evidence for wholehearted formal, liturgical worship. The facts of Church history are also examined in depth, with much corroboration from Protestant scholarly sources. Armstrong's explanations help to make Catholic teachings on the Holy Eucharist & the Mass understandable, plausible, & easily harmonized with the teaching of the Bible.
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http://socrates58.blogspot.com/2006/11/eucharist-sacrifice-of-mass-index-page.html

DEDICATION

To my beautiful daughter Angelina, who will soon be receiving our Lord Jesus in Holy Communion for the first time. May she always be devoted to the Holy One Who has blessed my wife Judy and I so richly by allowing us the joy and privilege of  being her parents.

INTRODUCTION

This volume consists of a collection of articles originally posted on my website and blog (both named Biblical Evidence for Catholicism): written between 1996 and 2010, oftentimes as a result of questions received, or debate challenges. These have been edited, revised, and combined in various ways, in order to crystallize the thought and to maximize the impact of the arguments.

Most of the queries came from our Protestant brethren in Christ. These occurrences afforded me the opportunity to defend and clarify what Catholics believe with regard to the Holy Eucharist, and to demonstrate that Catholic beliefs are – as we believe -- in line with both Holy Scripture and the eucharistic doctrine of the early Church. It is my sincere hope and prayer that my own ruminations along these lines may be of some benefit to others.

I have written extensively on the basics of Catholic eucharistic doctrine and its grounding in the Bible in several of my books: A Biblical Defense of Catholicism (pp. 77-100), The Catholic Verses (pp. 113-126), The One-Minute Apologist (pp. 58-65), and Bible Proofs for Catholic Truths (pp. 255-270).

I won’t be reiterating those aspects; this work can, therefore, be considered a slightly higher-level course, so to speak (Catholic Eucharist 0201, if you will).

Chapters 3 and 12 are reminiscent of the format of earlier books, since they were originally intended to be included, but were casualties of the editor’s red pen. Chapter One, written shortly after Bible Proofs for Catholic Truths, would have fit very well into its structure and goal of showing how Catholic doctrine is entirely harmonious with the Bible.

CONTENTS

Dedication

Introduction

1. Biblical Analogical Evidence for the Special Presence of God in Physical Objects Prior to the Incarnation

2. Is the Indwelling of the Holy Spirit Intrinsically Opposed to the Real, Physical Presence of Jesus in the Eucharist?

3. Sacraments: Moral Responsibility and Spiritual Benefits

4. John 6 and Lack of Faith in the Physical Presence of Jesus in the Eucharist as a Parallel to Doubting Disciples

5. Questions and Answers on the Holy Eucharist

6. The Philosophical Theology Behind the Eucharist

7. Biblical Evidence for One Species in Holy Communion

8. Exclusion of Non-Catholic Christians from Communion

9. Protestant Use of Grape Juice in Holy Communion

10. Catholic-Lutheran Dialogue on Corpus Christi: Eucharistic Processions and Adoration

11. Catholic-Protestant Disputes Regarding Transubstantiation and Church History

12. The Protestant Sacramentarian Controversies: Calvin vs. Luther vs. Zwingli

13. John Calvin’s Mystical Eucharist vs. Logic, the Church Fathers, and Holy Scripture

14. The Simultaneous Assertion of Realism and Symbolism in St. Augustine’s Eucharistic Doctrine

15. The Church Fathers and the Sacrifice of the Mass

16. St. Paul’s Reference to Himself as a Priest and Use of Sacerdotal Categories

17. The Timeless, Miraculous, Transcendent Nature of the Sacrifice of the Mass

18. Biblical Analogies Related to Eucharistic Adoration and the Sacrifice of the Mass

19. Arguments for the Permissibility and Plausibility of the Sacrifice of the Mass from Scripture Alone and Analogy

20. Biblical Evidence for Congregational Participation in Offering and Re-Presenting Jesus’ Sacrifice on the Cross

21. The Mass: Is It Idolatry Like That of Jeroboam?

22. Biblical Evidence for Wholehearted Formal Worship

23. Biblical Evidence for Holy Days

Bibliography

Chapter One: Biblical Analogical Evidence for the Special Presence of God in Physical Objects Prior to the Incarnation

Many Protestants (particularly Calvinists, following Calvin) make the argument that since Jesus bodily ascended to heaven, therefore He could not possibly be present bodily in the Holy Eucharist (since He is already located in heaven). One way to counter this false notion is to show that God being present in physical objects (i.e., in a special way, beyond omnipresence) is not some new, innovative thing.

It was a characteristic of God all along. The incarnation makes it even more plausible, since God took on human flesh. If God can do one thing, He can do the other. This shows that eucharistic presence, or the Real Presence, is not implausible or unbiblical at all, let alone forbidden by the Bible. Colossians 3:11 states that Christ is all, and in all. The Bible frequently refers to God being in physical things (including as a man, or the angel of the Lord in theophanies):

GOD SEEN (NON-SPECIFIC AND VARIOUS FORMS)

Genesis 16:13 So she called the name of the LORD who spoke to her, Thou art a God of seeing; for she said, Have I really seen God and remained alive after seeing him?

Genesis 17:1, 22 When Abram was ninety-nine years old the LORD appeared to Abram, and said to him, I am God Almighty; walk before me, and be blameless. . . . [22] When he had finished talking with him, God went up from Abraham.

Genesis 18:1 And the LORD appeared to him by the oaks of Mamre, as he sat at the door of his tent in the heat of the day.

Exodus 3:16 Go and gather the elders of Israel together, and say to them, The LORD, the God of your fathers, the God of Abraham, of Isaac, and of Jacob, has appeared to me . . .

Exodus 24:9-11 Then Moses and Aaron, Nadab, and Abi'hu, and seventy of the elders of Israel went up, [10] and they saw the God of Israel; and there was under his feet as it were a pavement of sapphire stone, like the very heaven for clearness. [11] And he did not lay his hand on the chief men of the people of Israel; they beheld God, and ate and drank.

Numbers 12:7-8 Not so with my servant Moses; he is entrusted with all my house. [8] With him I speak mouth to mouth, clearly, and not in dark speech; and he beholds the form of the LORD . . .

Deuteronomy 34:10 And there has not arisen a prophet since in Israel like Moses, whom the LORD knew face to face,

1 Kings 22:19 And Micai'ah said, "Therefore hear the word of the LORD: I saw the LORD sitting on his throne, and all the host of heaven standing beside him on his right hand and on his left; (cf. 2 Chron 18:18)

Isaiah 6:1 In the year that King Uzzi'ah died I saw the Lord sitting upon a throne, high and lifted up; and his train filled the temple. (cf. 6:5)

Ezekiel 1:25-28 And there came a voice from above the firmament over their heads; when they stood still, they let down their wings. [26] And above the firmament over their heads there was the likeness of a throne, in appearance like sapphire; and seated above the likeness of a throne was a likeness as it were of a human form. [27] And upward from what had the appearance of his loins I saw as it were gleaming bronze, like the appearance of fire enclosed round about; and downward from what had the appearance of his loins I saw as it were the appearance of fire, and there was brightness round about him. [28] Like the appearance of the bow that is in the cloud on the day of rain, so was the appearance of the brightness round about. Such was the appearance of the likeness of the glory of the LORD. And when I saw it, I fell upon my face, and I heard the voice of one speaking.

Ezekiel 3:22-23 And the hand of the LORD was there upon me; and he said to me, Arise, go forth into the plain, and there I will speak with you. [23] So I arose and went forth into the plain; and, lo, the glory of the LORD stood there, like the glory which I had seen by the river Chebar; and I fell on my face.

Daniel 7:9 As I looked, thrones were placed and one that was ancient of days took his seat; his raiment was white as snow, and the hair of his head like pure wool; his throne was fiery flames, its wheels were burning fire. (cf. 3:25; Rev 1:13-16)

Amos 9:1 I saw the LORD standing beside the altar . . .

GOD AS THE ANGEL OF THE LORD

Judges 13:9, 20-22 And God listened to the voice of Mano'ah, and the angel of God came again to the woman as she sat in the field; but Mano'ah her husband was not with her. . . . [20] And when the flame went up toward heaven from the altar, the angel of the LORD ascended in the flame of the altar while Mano'ah and his wife looked on; and they fell on their faces to the ground. [21] The angel of the LORD appeared no more to Mano'ah and to his wife. Then Mano'ah knew that he was the angel of the LORD. [22] And Mano'ah said to his wife, We shall surely die, for we have seen God. (cf. Joshua 5:13-15)

GOD APPEARING AS A MAN BEFORE THE INCARNATION (THEOPHANY)

Genesis 32:24, 30 And Jacob was left alone; and a man wrestled with him until the breaking of the day. . . . So Jacob called the name of the place Peni'el, saying, For I have seen God face to face, and yet my life is preserved.

GOD IN FIRE

Exodus 3:2-6 And the angel of the LORD appeared to him in a flame of fire out of the midst of a bush; and he looked, and lo, the bush was burning, yet it was not consumed. [3] And Moses said, I will turn aside and see this great sight, why the bush is not burnt. [4] When the LORD saw that he turned aside to see, God called to him out of the bush, Moses, Moses! And he said, Here am I. [5] Then he said, Do not come near; put off your shoes from your feet, for the place on which you are standing is holy ground. [6] And he said, I am the God of your father, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob. And Moses hid his face, for he was afraid to look at God. (cf. Acts 7:30-33)

Exodus 13:21 And the LORD went before them . . . by night in a pillar of fire to give them light, that they might travel by day and by night;

Exodus 14:24 And in the morning watch the LORD in the pillar of fire . . . looked down upon the host of the Egyptians, and discomfited the host of the Egyptians,

Exodus 19:18 And Mount Sinai was wrapped in smoke, because the LORD descended upon it in fire; and the smoke of it went up like the smoke of a kiln, and the whole mountain quaked greatly.

Exodus 24:17 Now the appearance of the glory of the LORD was like a devouring fire on the top of the mountain in the sight of the people of Israel.

Exodus 40:38 For throughout all their journeys the cloud of the LORD was upon the tabernacle by day, and fire was in it by night, in the sight of all the house of Israel.

Numbers 14:14 . . . O LORD, art seen face to face, and . . . thou goest before them, . . . . in a pillar of fire by night. (cf. Neh 9:12,19)

Deuteronomy 1:32-33 . . . the LORD your God, [33] who went before you in the way to seek you out a place to pitch your tents, in fire by night, to show you by what way you should go, . . .

Deuteronomy 4:12 Then the LORD spoke to you out of the midst of the fire; you heard the sound of words, but saw no form; there was only a voice. (cf. 4:15)

Deuteronomy 5:4-5 The LORD spoke with you face to face at the mountain, out of the midst of the fire, [5] while I stood between the LORD and you at that time, to declare to you the word of the LORD; for you were afraid because of the fire, and you did not go up into the mountain. He said:

Deuteronomy 5:22 These words the LORD spoke to all your assembly at the mountain out of the midst of the fire, . . .

Deuteronomy 9:10 the words which the LORD had spoken with you on the mountain out of the midst of the fire on the day of the assembly.

Deuteronomy 10:4 And he wrote on the tables, as at the first writing, the ten commandments which the LORD had spoken to you on the mountain out of the midst of the fire on the day of the assembly; and the LORD gave them to me.

Deuteronomy 18:16 just as you desired of the LORD your God at Horeb on the day of the assembly, when you said, `Let me not hear again the voice of the LORD my God, or see this great fire any more, lest I die.'

Deuteronomy 33:16 . . . him that dwelt in the bush. . . .

Judges 13:20 . . . the angel of the LORD ascended in the flame of the altar . . .

Mark 12:26 And as for the dead being raised, have you not read in the book of Moses, in the passage about the bush, how God said to him, `I am the God of Abraham, and the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob'? (cf. Lk 20:37)

GOD IN THE SHEKINAH CLOUD / GLORY OF THE LORD

Exodus 13:21 And the LORD went before them by day in a pillar of cloud to lead them along the way, . . .

Exodus 14:24 . . . the LORD in the pillar . . . of cloud looked down upon the host of the Egyptians, . . .

Exodus 16:10 And as Aaron spoke to the whole congregation of the people of Israel, they looked toward the wilderness, and behold, the glory of the LORD appeared in the cloud.

Exodus 24:15-16 Then Moses went up on the mountain, and the cloud covered the mountain. [16] The glory of the LORD settled on Mount Sinai, and the cloud covered it six days; and on the seventh day he called to Moses out of the midst of the cloud.

Exodus 33:9-11 When Moses entered the tent, the pillar of cloud would descend and stand at the door of the tent, and the LORD would speak with Moses. [10] And when all the people saw the pillar of cloud standing at the door of the tent, all the people would rise up and worship, every man at his tent door. [11] Thus the LORD used to speak to Moses face to face, as a man speaks to his friend. When Moses turned again into the camp, his servant Joshua the son of Nun, a young man, did not depart from the tent. . . . [14] And he said, My presence will go with you, and I will give you rest.

Exodus 34:5 And the LORD descended in the cloud and stood with him there, and proclaimed the name of the LORD.

Exodus 40:34-38 Then the cloud covered the tent of meeting, and the glory of the LORD filled the tabernacle. [35] And Moses was not able to enter the tent of meeting, because the cloud abode upon it, and the glory of the LORD filled the tabernacle. [36] Throughout all their journeys, whenever the cloud was taken up from over the tabernacle, the people of Israel would go onward; [37] but if the cloud was not taken up, then they did not go onward till the day that it was taken up. [38] For throughout all their journeys the cloud of the LORD was upon the tabernacle by day, . . .

Leviticus 9:4-6 . . . for today the LORD will appear to you. [5] And they brought what Moses commanded before the tent of meeting; and all the congregation drew near and stood before the LORD. [6] And Moses said, This is the thing which the LORD commanded you to do; and the glory of the LORD will appear to you.

Leviticus 9:23 And Moses and Aaron went into the tent of meeting; and when they came out they blessed the people, and the glory of the LORD appeared to all the people.

Leviticus 16:2 and the LORD said to Moses, . . . I will appear in the cloud upon the mercy seat.

Numbers 11:25 Then the LORD came down in the cloud and spoke to him . . .

Numbers 14:10, 14 . . . Then the glory of the LORD appeared at the tent of meeting to all the people of Israel. . . . [14] and they will tell the inhabitants of this land. They have heard that thou, O LORD, art in the midst of this people; for thou, O LORD, art seen face to face, and thy cloud stands over them and thou goest before them, in a pillar of cloud by day and in a pillar of fire by night.

Numbers 16:19 Then Korah assembled all the congregation against them at the entrance of the tent of meeting. And the glory of the LORD appeared to all the congregation.

Numbers 16:42 And when the congregation had assembled against Moses and against Aaron, they turned toward the tent of meeting; and behold, the cloud covered it, and the glory of the LORD appeared.

Numbers 20:6-7 Then Moses and Aaron went from the presence of the assembly to the door of the tent of meeting, and fell on their faces. And the glory of the LORD appeared to them, [7] and the LORD said to Moses,

Deuteronomy 1:32-33 Yet in spite of this word you did not believe the LORD your God, [33] who went before you in the way to seek you out a place to pitch your tents, . . . to show you by what way you should go, and in the cloud by day.

Deuteronomy 5:22 These words the LORD spoke to all your assembly at the mountain out of the midst of . . . the cloud, and the thick