Tuesday, December 06, 2005


A question has arisen over my use of this term. To my knowledge, this is a traditional Lutheran term to distinguish the Lutheran position from the Catholic.

A more complete statement of the Lutheran position would be explicate the real presence in terms of a sacramental union (unio sacramentalis) between the communion elements and the true body and blood of Christ, which has its conceptual parallel and metaphysical embedment in the finer points of Lutheran Christology (the unio personalis or hypostatic union).

My immediate point is that you cannot derive this interpretation from a "plain" reading of the words of institution. This is, rather, a theological construct with quite a lot feeding into it. That doesn't make it wrong, but it does invalidate simplistic prooftexting.


  1. It's not a traditional Lutheran term. It's a Franciscan term originating in the 15th century as an attempt to make more metaphysical sense out of the existing definitions of Lateran IV. Because Lutherans denied the annihilation of the bread, Dominicans identified their position as being closest to the Franciscans, when in truth the Lutheran doctrine simply doesn't abide by the careful metaphysical constructions of the Franciscan theory. The word is rarely if ever used by Lutherans of ourselves, and has been instead assigned to our doctrine by various polemicists.

  2. Which is it? Rarely or never?

    In any case, your point is beside the point. Roman Catholics and Byzantines have different names for the same holidays.