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Showing posts from November, 2015

The Red Herring of ‘the Aroma of Rome’

At Council last week a friend was accusing me (in jest, he assures me) of ‘the aroma of Rome’ in my presentation of the doctrine of the Lord’s Supper. And when it comes to the Lord’s Supper, there’s nothing British evangelicals fear more than the aroma of Rome. The Protestant Reformation roundly rejected Rome’s doctrine of the sacrament, with its concept of the mass as a propitiatory sacrifice for the living and the dead, its withholding of the cup from the laity, and its hiding of Christ’s Words of Institution. To the 21st Century evangelical mind, however, the ‘Roman’ doctrine tends to be simplistically reduced to one word: ‘transubstantiation’! Despite the fact that the Reformers themselves were much more concerned with the sacrifice of the mass and the withholding of the cup and Christ’s Words than they were with transubstantiation, transubstantiation has become the Protestant bogeyman. Yet, as transubstantiation is rather a complicated philosophical theory, it isn’t generally