Discussion in 'Worship' started by Backwoods Presbyterian, May 29, 2008.

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  1. Backwoods Presbyterian

    Backwoods Presbyterian Puritan Board Doctor

    Anyone else think there is something wrong with Intinction? After supper I'll come back and tell y'all why I am not in favor of it theologically.
  2. raekwon

    raekwon Puritan Board Junior

    I'm gonna guess that this topic stems from my post in the "Wine or Grape Juice" thread where I stated that we commune by intinction. :lol:

    I have no issue theologically with intinction, but I've actually never heard any sort of contention against it as a mode. Seems akin to the sprinkling/pouring/immersion debate.

    Looking forward to the discussion.
  3. Presbyterian Deacon

    Presbyterian Deacon Puritan Board Graduate

    Intinction...isn't that Catholic?

    I admit when I first read the OP, that was my "gut-reaction" based upon what I've heard, or learned about the practice many many years ago.

    I have never been part of a congregation where it has been practised, so have no real "first-hand" experience with the practice.

    The links provided by Andrew were interesting to me, and so I will sit back and :popcorn: see how this conversation develops.
  4. J. David Kear

    J. David Kear Puritan Board Freshman

    When I was a member of Grace Community Church in Waco, TX (an independent reformed Church) we communed weekly by intinction. I have to say, any theological symbolism aside; it was the most meaningful method of celebrating the Lord's Supper that I have experienced.

    When we communed we would walk to the front of the church where the elements were being distributed. There we would break a piece off of the already broken bread and dip it in the cup of wine. From there you could go back to your seat or use a kneeling rail to wait to partake as a congregation. Inevitably the wine would drip in your hand while you waited, displaying a very vivid symbolism of Christ’s work on your behalf.

    I am making no argument for the theological virtue of the method. I am only reporting on the meaningfulness of my experience.

    In our current congregation we commune in the more common method which is nonetheless a fine method to use.
    Last edited: May 29, 2008
  5. Backwoods Presbyterian

    Backwoods Presbyterian Puritan Board Doctor

    Sorry for all those looking for a Thesis on intinction. I am not going to be able to do that in the next hour or so but if you wait I'll get it to you :)

    Suffice to say here is the gist:

    The Lord's Supper is clearly two separate acts with two elements. The Body and The Blood. Intinction necessarily is a singular act with two elements. However this is not an argument based on the "amount" of each element but the separation of the elements into two acts is necessary.

    In anecdotal side argument intinction is nothing more than in most cases a "pragmatic" solution to time issues not a theological one and pragmatism should never be a primary reason for anything done in Worship.
  6. raekwon

    raekwon Puritan Board Junior

    I appreciate your obvious desire to be as true to the origins of the Supper as is practicable, Benjamin. I guess I'm just having trouble seeing intinction (or rather, taking the Body and Blood together as opposed to separately) as a theological consideration.

    Here's what the WLC says about how the bread and wine are to be taken . . .
    It seems to me that taking the bread and wine by intinction falls within the bounds of the Westminster Standards, the necessary elements being the words of institution, thanksgiving/prayer, bread, and wine.

    As far as doing so for reasons of pragmatism or convenience, again, I don't know that we can say that those are the primary concern. The primary concern is faithfulness to Christ's command. He said to take Communion, with the words of institution, bread and wine, thanksgiving, and prayer. After that, I would think that the elders of the church are free to choose the mode in which the Supper is administered.
  7. Backwoods Presbyterian

    Backwoods Presbyterian Puritan Board Doctor

    I may be sounding like Luther at Marburg on this but I truly think there is something to the separation of the body and blood in the activity of the Lord's Supper. Note in 1 Corinthians 11:23-25, Mark 14:22-24, and Luke 22:17-20 (as well as 1 Cor 10:16), that the breaking of the bread and the drinking of the cup are separate actions, and they are separate for a reason.
  8. tcalbrecht

    tcalbrecht Puritan Board Junior

    The confessional position is eating bread and drinking wine. I would argue that intinction fails at both.
  9. raekwon

    raekwon Puritan Board Junior

    See, I just don't know that it fails at either. The only one I can actually see any legitimate contention with is whether or not you're "drinking" the wine, and whenever I see the word "drinking" defined, it's something like "to take liquid into the mouth and swallow". Even if that liquid's been absorbed by another substance, it still seems to fall under that definition. As far as "eating" goes, I think it's pretty obvious that the bread is being eaten.

    Still, I understand and appreciate your conviction.
  10. Backwoods Presbyterian

    Backwoods Presbyterian Puritan Board Doctor

    I think the problem with intiction in this regard raekwon is that it conflates the body and blood not only as one substance but as one act. The Scriptures are clear both in Jesus' instruction and in Paul's writing in 1 Cor 11 that not only is the bread and the wine separate substances but they are to be taken in separate acts.

    Look at 1 Cor 10:16:

  11. tcalbrecht

    tcalbrecht Puritan Board Junior

    I don't believe it is just my conviction.

    Do you honestly believe that if you took some soggy mass to the Westminster divines and argued that ingesting that soggy mass encompassed eating the bread and drinking the wine ala what they stated in the Confession? I think they would see it as a Romish fad.

    The bread is a solid and the wine is a liquid. The bread represents Christ body broken and the blood His blood shed (that is, released from the body). The soggy mass is neither solid not liquid and so cannot adequately convey the spiritual significance of the sacrament.
  12. Davidius

    Davidius Puritan Board Post-Graduate

    I also doubt that Jesus and the apostles communed with little plastic cups containing thimble-sized amounts of wine (make that grape juice), and a tiny piece of bread, at best, a fake plastic wafer, at worst.
  13. ColdSilverMoon

    ColdSilverMoon Puritan Board Senior

    Very true. And the early church even had an entire meal, with each family bringing their own food. There are many different minor variants in the way the Lord's Supper has been taken over the centuries. I tend to agree with raekwon, this is a sprinkling/submersion type of debate...
  14. Davidius

    Davidius Puritan Board Post-Graduate


    It just amazes me that some will argue vehemently against one position which has "no scriptural warrant" while advancing in theory, or at least practicing, another position which, as far as anyone can tell, has as little to do with scriptural practice as the first one.
  15. KMK

    KMK Moderator Staff Member

    It seems to me, looking at all of the posts on this thread, that more 'scriptural warrant' has been given in support of two distinct acts. In fact, no 'scriptural warrant' has been presented at all in favor of intinction. Or did I miss something?
  16. Gloria

    Gloria Puritan Board Sophomore

  17. raekwon

    raekwon Puritan Board Junior

    Maybe, maybe not. I have a feeling that some of the Divines would be alright with it, while others would recoil against it as "Romish". It's probably safe to say that the Divines likely had a much higher sensitivity (and possible over-sensitivity in some cases) toward anything that might even possibly look "Romish" because of the time and circumstance they lived in. It's important to remember whenever we ask the "What Would The Divines Think" question, that the Westminster Standards were penned by men of both Anglican and Presbyterian persuasions. As tightly as we hold to them, they're still documents of compromise.

    Either way, I don't even know how helpful that question is in this case. While the "Romish recoil" may have been warranted in the 1600s, while God was Reforming the Church through these men, the reasons some Protestant churches choose to commune by intinction now generally have nothing to do with the reasons the Roman church chose to do so.

    I don't think that the spiritual significance of the sacrament is lost, so long as the scriptural words of institution are spoken, there's an adequate explanation of its meaning, and the two elements are clearly shown as separate before the communicant partakes. (For instance, the elder holds the broken loaf in one hand, the goblet of wine in the other, and the communicant comes forward, tears off the bread and dips it in the wine.) Without those things, the spiritual significance can be lost, regardless of the mode.

    I'm not convinced that this is any different than the ongoing debate on the proper mode of baptism, but you guys at least have me thinking about it, and I thank you. :think:
  18. Backwoods Presbyterian

    Backwoods Presbyterian Puritan Board Doctor

    We also do not wear Toga's and sandals when we do it either. But that is hardly the point.
  19. Backwoods Presbyterian

    Backwoods Presbyterian Puritan Board Doctor

    I agree Joshua.
  20. BayouHuguenot

    BayouHuguenot Puritan Board Doctor

    Major ditto. 1 Corinthians 5 calls the supper a "feast." Crackers = feast? Something isn't right with this picture.

    And while the Corinthians were wrong to get drunk at the supper, actually taking more than 1/2 ounce of wine was assumed to be normative by both Paul and Corinth.
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