On Communion

“The decisive passages in the New Testament do not say: One theology, one right, one opinion on all matters public and private, and one kind of conduct. Instead they say: one body and one Spirit, one Lord, one faith, one baptism, one God and father of us all (Ephesians 4:4ff; 1 Corinthians 12:13; Romans 12:5); various gifts – one Spirit, various offices – one Lord, various powers – one God (1 Corinthians 12:4ff). The point is not ‘unanimity in Spirit’ [‘einigkeit in Geist’], but the ‘unity of the Spirit’ [‘einheit des Geistes’], as Luther puts it in his exposition of Ephesians 4:3; this means the objective principle sovereignly establishes unity, unites the plurality of persons into a single collective person [Gesamtperson] without obliterating either their singularity or the community of persons. Rather, unity of spirit, community of spirit, and plurality of spirit are intrinsically linked to each other through their subject matter.”
– Dietrich Bonhoeffer, Communio Sanctorum, trans. Reinhard Krauss and Nancy Lukens.

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2 Responses to On Communion

  1. Patrick says:

    A great quote. But what about welcoming the unbaptized to communion? I’ve gone back and forth on that one. I incline to the inclusive view, but those on the other side have some good arguments.

  2. Tripp says:

    Dietrich probably would not “allow” it. But he would most likely not have some litmus test either.

    I struggle with it, but the current community I serve (www.christreconciler.blogspot.com) invites all baptized to come forward as well as having an “altar call” at the same time. We prefer an order to membership. I am not so convinced the Spirit demands it.

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