Tuesday, August 08, 2017

Gnostic resurrection

A brief exchange I had on Facebook with a sacramentalist:

It's amusing to see someone who calls a wafer a man's body claim he's taking "body" at "face-value". Is a man's body the size and shape of a wafer? Is that what is meant by a human body? A quarter-sized wheat wafer?

To downgrade God's simple Word…All he has is human philosophy, according to the principles of this world.

Let's look at God's "simple" word, shall we? According to the Resurrection accounts, the Risen Jesus had a recognizably human body. The body of an adult male. He had a tangible body composed of flesh and bones (Lk 24:36). Have you ever met a communion wafer (or communion wine) that has that property? He consumed food (Lk 24:41-43). Have you ever met a communion wafer that's able to eat fried fish? He had visible, tangible scars on his hands and torso (Jn 20:20,27). Have you ever met a communion wafer with visible, tangible scars? Have you ever met a communion wafer (or communion wine) with human hands and torso? He cooked food (Jn 21:9). Have you ever met a communion wafer that's able to cook food? 

How does Josh's sacramentalism square with descriptions of the Risen Jesus? It contradicts descriptions of the Risen Jesus. Josh's sacramentalism is a direct attack on the integrity of the Resurrection. He redefines the body of Jesus into something with no empirical properties. Something invisible and intangible. A ghostly resurrection. A Gnostic resurrection.

To take a comparison, consider a sacramentalist reinterpretation of Jesus raising the daughter of Jairus. When he comes to their house, she's lying in her bedroom, dead. Suppose he sends everyone out of her bedroom. For a few moments he's alone with her corpse. Then he opens the door. Her parents go inside. Her body is gone. On her bed lies a wafer in a miniature glass case. Jesus hands them the glass case with the wafer inside and exclaims: "Behold your daughter!"

He restored their daughter to life! She came back to life…as a wafer. But make no mistake, that's their daughter! She's all there–contained in the wafer. So they put their daughter on the mantlepiece. Everyday they talk to the wafer. Of course, it (she?) can't talk back.

1 comment:

  1. This post highlights the ridiculousness of transubstantiation, something I've never understood how reasonable people can believe. Funnily enough, your interlocutor's comments regarding philosophy is quite ironic. After all, is it not Aristotilean logic that is employed to explain how transubstantiation works?