Why is “Catholic” a Gloss for “Creation”? (or why “sacramental” needs a moratorium)

This is from a comment response to a post here (with slight editing so as to make my writing look better than it is).

The divide is not between some generic “catholic” Church (which oddly includes magisterial Protestants) versus the more modern “Baptist”, but rather the older one of nature and grace. Modern evangelicalism looks a lot more like medieval Romanism in this regard than many would care to admit. The classic Protestant position admits that nature is already a reflection of the divine and possesses its own integrity. This is also why it is no surprise to find great works of techne among even the non-believers and pagans (see for instance, the sons of Cain in Gen. 4:20-22). Continue reading


Calvin’s Sacramental Rule

Calvin gives us one hermeneutical key to understanding his view of the sacraments when he says:

The rule which the pious ought always to observe is, whenever they see the symbols instituted by the Lord, to think and feel surely persuaded that the truth of the thing signified is also present.

~ Institutes 4.17.10

Hungarian Reformed on the Sacraments

In the latest edition of Kerux, there is a fine presentation on the Hungarian Reformed Churches. James T. Dennison even translated their confessions.

Of those confessions one is the Erdod Confession. I thought that it had a good and condense statement on the sacraments that presented the basic Reformed position. This is the Erdod Confession from 1544:

Article VI

Baptism, the Lord’s Supper takes away Sins (Two Sacred Rites: Baptism and the Lord’s Supper and their Administration and Effect).

In the administration of the sacraments of baptism and the Lord’s Supper, we follow the institution of Christ and the early church and we confess all our sins to be taken away through baptism and the grace of God to be offered and in the Lord’s Supper the body and blood of Christ to be truly exhibited beneath the bread and wine. Moreover, we desire that the institution of Christ in both sacraments be celebrated and administered in the native language, in a manner which befits reverence, and in the same rite and form in all the churches. We condemn those who diminish original sin, and those who assert that infants are not to be baptized. Likewise we condemn the violators of the institution of Christ and the profaners of the Lord’s Supper, and those who withdraw the other element from the laity and the lawful use of the Lord’s Supper, and turn it into the dreadful buyings and sellings and abomination of the Mass. Likewise we condemn all blasphemers, who call this institution of Christ, which exists in our churches, a diabolical mass. Peter therefore commands that this blasphemy be addressed and that such blasphemers are to be punished (2 Pet. 2:12)

The Sacraments Seriously Offered Unto All

And although all men come not to the receiving of the sacraments with faith and true understanding, yet as the signes are given to all that professe Christ, so also we believe that the things signified by the sacraments are seriously offred unto all by Christ; and therefore that nothing is diminished of the substance or soundness of the sacrament by the unbeleefe of them that receive the signes only, for it dependeth wholly upon the institution of Christ and the trueth of his wordes.


~ Girolamo Zanchi De religione Christiana fide pg. 275