"Let books be your dining table, / And you shall be full of delights. / Let them be your
And you shall sleep restful nights" (St. Ephraim the Syrian).

Monday, March 12, 2018

Come, Let Us Eat Together

The German Catholic bishops recently gave that reliably tiresome hysteric Rod Dreher another chance to collapse on his fainting couch in response to matters he's too lazy to understand with anything like detail, context, or intelligence. The bishops floated some proposals for the vexed question of eucharistic hospitality in mixed Catholic-Lutheran marriages. I have read reports of the German proposals and they would very strongly seem to vary in such slight ways from the Ecumenical Directory published by Rome (in 1967 and updated in 1993) as to be insignificant and unworthy of any comment, least of all by people who see the sky falling every time they wake up.

If the question of eucharistic hospitality is to be treated seriously, then a book forthcoming next month will aid in that important task. Edited by George Kalantzis and Marc Cortez, Come, Let Us Eat Together: Sacraments and Christian Unity (IVP Academic, 2018), 250pp. is a collection with some very prominent contributors.

On the Catholic side, we have chapters by Thomas Weinandy and Matthew Levering, inter alia; the Protestant Matthew Milliner, a dynamic young scholar of Byzantine Christian art, also has a chapter; and then on the Orthodox side we have chapters from Bradley Nassif and Paul Gavrilyuk.

About this book the publisher tells us:
As Christians, we are called to seek the unity of the one body of Christ. But when it comes to the sacraments, the church has often been―and remains―divided. What are we to do? Can we still gather together at the same table? Based on the lectures from the 2017 Wheaton Theology Conference, this volume brings together the reflections of Protestant, Roman Catholic, and Eastern Orthodox theologians, who jointly consider what it means to proclaim the unity of the body of Christ in light of the sacraments. Without avoiding or downplaying the genuine theological and sacramental differences that exist between Christian traditions, what emerges is a thoughtful consideration of what it means to live with the difficult, elusive command to be one as the Father and the Son are one.

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