Tuesday, September 30, 2008

The Wonderful Exchange

I live in a house with five other med students, all of whom are Christians, and lately the topic of the Eucharist has come up in our conversations. My housemates strongly take the typically Protestant "Symbolic" view while I've tried to argue for what would probably be described as a more Lutheran view, the Presence of Christ being spiritually, "with the bread, in the bread, and under the bread." So last night to take a break from studying I cracked open John Calvin's Institutes to look at his view on the Eucharist once again. It's not that I haven't looked at it before. When I was at Asbury Seminary I wrote a paper on it but Calvin's view was confusing enough for me that I felt the need to refresh my memory. This post really isn't about the Eucharist though because I simply wanted to post a wonderful sentence from Calvin that I came across while I was reviewing his theology of the Sacrament. So here it is:

This is the wonderful exchange which, out of his measureless benevolence, he has made with us; that, becoming Son of man with us, he has made us sons of God with him; that, by his descent to earth, he has prepared an ascent to heaven for us; that, by taking on our mortality, he has conferred his immortality upon us; that, accepting our weakness, he has strengthened us by his power; that, receiving our poverty unto himself, he has transferred his wealth to us; that, taking the weight of our iniquity upon himself (which oppressed us), he has clothed us with his righteousness.
- John Calvin, Institutes 4.17.2

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