John 6 Debate


Dr. Jim Guinee v. Mr. Scott Windsor


Third Rebuttal of Dr. Guinee to Mr. Scott Windsor


I think in the second round both Scott and I have been guilty of

expanding our responses to the point where it is asking the reader to

spend a lot more time digesting everything there. Therefore, in this

third round I will try to be much more succinct in my responses, so

that I will deal with Scott's replies and challenges, but with brevity

being the soul of my wit J


I will jump right in here and ask you to follow me carefully and closely.


The first issue pertains to the testimony of the early church fathers.

This is something that I do not dismiss, but also find troubling when

Scott invokes their testimonies.


Let me explain. I stated, "I will show that the church fathers do not

speak with the clarity and unanimity that Scott would have us believe."


Scott responded, "I never stated there was absolute unanimity nor

clarity among Early Church Fathers." But therein lies the problem. If

the fathers did not speak with unanimity, which fathers do we give

more credence to? On what authority does Scott demand that we give

certain fathers more emphasis than others? His church?


Well, that's convenient. And circular.


Now, let's get back to the scriptures, something that does not

contradict itself or even outright disagree.


Back to the feeding of the 5000. Scott argues that "The feeding of

the 5000 is a prefiguring of the Eucharist, it is not THE Eucharist."

Of course it's not THE Eucharist. That isn't the point of debate.

The point is, does the feeding of the 5000 serve as a prefigurement of

Eucharist?


It clearly does not. There is no wine served at this miracle,

therefore no prefigurement of the blood that was shed for our sins.

In no way does Jesus explicitly connect His miracle to anything we see

in the Eucharistic ritual. We can certainly see this is indeed a

miracle, a miracle that shows Jesus' compassion and Jesus' care for

the people.


But to make it into a prefigurement of the Eucharist is simply an

unacceptable and untenable hypothesis.


Again, I reiterate a point that Scott fails to address and refute.

Instead, he says "For the true Christian who believes God is NOT the

author of confusion, then we see that they saw the literal miracle of

the feeding, and then when Jesus spoke to them about eating His Flesh

- they took that literally as well and with THAT TEACHING many of His

own disciples "turned and walked with Him no more."


Okay, let's examine this comparison.


Jesus feeds the 5,000. This is a miracle where there is literal food.

It results in the Jews coming to Jesus, although not in the manner He

wants them to come.


Jesus says, "Eat my flesh." He doesn't change any bread into His

flesh. But nevertheless we are to assume that Jesus really means He

will make literal food into His flesh. Does this result in the Jews

coming to Jesus? No, not at all.


How in the world does Scott expect us to tie these two events together

in line with his theology?


I also don't take kindly to Scott's subsequent remark: "Dr. Guinee,

with all due respect, appears to be missing the point of the Feeding

of the 5000, and though he disagrees with the Catholic position here -

he does not offer an alternative meaning for this feeding, other than

it was cause for confusion by those who were following Jesus. Now, is

my opponent really trying to say that God is the author of confusion

here? That seems to be the only valid tenant upon which Dr. Guinee can

build an argument."


Is Scott really trying to argue that since God isn't the author of

confusion, this somehow proves that all of His audience was in

agreement as to what Jesus meant by His miracle or His statements?


Maybe I am wrong in my understanding of what he is trying to do here.

It is common in the gospels that Jesus' audience did not often

understand what he was saying. Even His own apostles didn't

understand. Peter himself denied that Jesus would die on the cross!

Does Jesus get the credit for this confusion? Of course not. But

confusion nonetheless ensued!


What was the purpose of Jesus' feeding of the 5000? What is the

purpose of ANY of Jesus' miracles?


Simply this: to draw people to Him so that they can believe in Him.


John 20:30-31 says it better than I could: "Jesus did many other

miraculous signs in the presence of his disciples, which are not

recorded in this book. But these are written that you may believe that

Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that by believing you may

have life in his name."


The next issue is something that isn't very integral to this debate,

but I'm not letting Scott getting away with his remarks. As far as

the proper way to observe communion, we have historical writings from

early popes who admonished the faithful that the cup was an integral

part of communion. And that eventually these admonishments were

overturned. Scott can bristle all he want that the cup is not

withheld from the laity, but he knows full well it happens every day.

I even made good on my promise by calling two different Catholic

churches I used to attend. Both church representatives informed me

that there ARE certain Masses held during the week where communion

consists of administering the host and only the host.


In the twenty-plus years I was a practicing Catholic, the only time

the chalice was ever offered to me was during my first communion.


How does Scott explain the fact that the Catholic church deviates from

Jesus' simple commands, to eat and to DRINK? Jesus clearly

differentiates these two actions, and so does Paul.


I also take umbrage at something else. In my previous rebuttal, I

said: "Back to Christ…Scott then goes on to talk about the miracle of

Jesus walking on water. I fail to see the importance of this miracle

in relation to his argument." Scott then responded by saying, "The

importance of this miracle further demonstrates that He is God and He

has authority over the elements. He demonstrates that even though

water should not hold up a human, by His authority it does. Dr.

Guinee's failure to see the importance and relationship of this

miracle speaks volumes."


My statement still stands. I don't fail to see the significance of

the miracle itself, but I see absolutely no connection to the

so-called miracle of transubstantiation. Not to mention Jesus is not

the only one in scripture who defied the elements. Peter walked on

water, too. Did he also turn bread into his body?


I also asserted that the theme of John's gospel is to believe in the

Son of God, and by believing, we have life in His name. Scott

responds by calling me "myopic" and complaining this isn't the ONLY

theme. I never said it was the ONLY theme. One can find less

significant themes in the gospel, but there is no question that the

central theme of this gospel is exactly what I said.


Scott is nitpicking here and he knows it.


In fact, I have the support of scripture to say "the" without meaning

"the only." Look in the gospels and you will see that James is called

THE son of Zebedee and yet we know John was also a son of Zebedee

(Matthew 4:21). Let's move on…


Scott also claims he repeats an unanswered question. He says, "…how

does one truly demonstrate "belief" in someone if they are not willing

to "obey" that Person in a direct command?"


Ah, but that's the point of debate here. I maintain that by coming to

Jesus and believing in Him IS to obey Him and obey His words. Let's

look at it again. In John 6:28 the Jews ask Jesus "What must we do to

do the works God requires?" Jesus answers, "The work of God is this:

to believe in the one he has sent." (v.29)


That is the work of God, to believe in His Son.


And then Jesus lays out in metaphorical language, as He has and

continues to do in this gospel, that it is imperative to believe in Him.


He is the bread of life, the light of the world, the light that shines

in the darkness…


Therefore, one who believes Jesus' admonition to "eat His flesh" and

"drink His blood" means "Come and believe in me" IS being obedient to

His words!


Now, when I asked Scott why Jesus does not say…


a. "Believe that I can turn bread into my flesh"

or b. "He who believes this bread is my flesh and eats it will live

forever"


I pressed Scott to explain why there is no call to believe. Just to act.


Instead of replying to this direct question, Scott mentions in John

the importance of believing. Let's examine where this is found in

"eat my flesh" and "drink my blood." Why isn't it? Because the answer

is simple, and Jesus told us that already.


Eating is coming to Him, and drinking is believing in Him.


Scott also makes my point that Jesus did not come down to earth in the

form of bread. Therefore, it is clear He is speaking metaphorically

when He says He is the bread that came down from heaven. So how can

we be expected to accept that Jesus is speaking metaphorically when he

says he is the bread that comes from heaven, but literally when He

tells us to eat it?


There is no good answer from Scott on this question. Instead, he

disappointingly reverts to a negative attack: "Dr. Guinee seems to be

trying to use a simple, even uneducated sort of argument here and that

is truly disappointing to me, to say the least - and I imagine it is

just as disappointing to those reading along and hoping for a decent

level of debate to ensue."


I am sorry I disappointed him, but I daresay he should not presume to

speak for everyone here.


Nevertheless, the point is this -- Scott agrees with my first point:

"… no, I do not believe Jesus descended in the form of bread - but

that does not change the FACT that He IS the Bread which came down

from Heaven AND that we are commanded to eat of it."


I see. So He didn't come down as actual bread but we are supposed to

literally eat this bread. That is not a tenable position, and I

believe I am vindicated in my remarks based on Scott's frustrated

reply: "I will try to make this more clear. Jesus uses a figurative

allusion to bread - declaring His Flesh IS the Bread of Life. No one

is denying there is some use of figurative language here - but that is

not the point of this debate! The point of this debate is to answer

the question regarding Jesus' COMMAND to Eat His Flesh. Just because

His Flesh at this point in time is not bread; this does not detract

from the FACT that He has COMMANDED us to eat His Flesh. THAT COMMAND

is a LITERAL COMMAND, and THAT is what we are debating here."


No one said it isn't a literal command in the sense that Jesus really

means for us to "eat His flesh." The issue however is not SHOULD we

do this, but HOW DO WE DO THIS?


If Jesus speaks figuratively, then Jesus' words are a call to come and

believe.


If Jesus speaks literally, then Jesus' words are a call to eat and

drink. No believing is required, or certainly not explicitly given.


Which one is more tenable?


Scott then inexplicably states, "And back to one of my original

arguments against Dr. Guinee's position that we're supposed to believe

somehow that figurative means it is not true."


Where does he come up with this statement? When did I ever in any of

my remarks say that figurative language isn't speaking truthfully?


Nonsense! Of course Jesus speaks truthfully. I am hoping Scott

mis-stated something or I simply misunderstood his words.


But I don't think so. He amazingly constructs some statement I never

made, and tries to foist it into this debate. It won't work. Let's

repeat his words: "…we're supposed to believe somehow that figurative

means it is not true."


The point is that Jesus makes a very compelling statement, and repeats

it. Is He speaking literally, or figuratively?


That is the whole issue right there, the debate in a nutshell. There

should be no disagreement that Jesus DOES intend for us to respond

positively to His statement. There should be no disagreement that

Jesus is speaking with absolute truth.


But, is this an example of Jesus using words that mean something else,

or using words that mean exactly what they say – is the command to eat

flesh a command to do or believe whatever "eat my flesh" symbolizes,

or is the command to "eat my flesh" a command to eat His flesh?


Moving on again…when I point out to Scott how absurd it is for us to

change figurative to literal in Jesus' discourse Scott as usual begs

the question, and attempts to read the minds of the audience in the

scriptures. He says "And Dr. Guinee, that is EXACTLY the types of

grumblings the Jews made when Jesus commanded them to eat His Flesh!

Am I the only one seeing the irony of Dr. Guinee's argumentation here?"


Remember the Jews were confused BEFORE this particular grumble.


Jesus hasn't even begun to utter "eat my flesh" and "drink my blood"

when we read in vv.41-42 "At this the Jews began to grumble about him

because he said, "I am the bread that came down from heaven." They

said, "Is this not Jesus, the son of Joseph, whose father and mother

we know? How can he now say, 'I came down from heaven'?"


So can Scott explain what is the grumble about here? It certainly

isn't "How can this man give us His flesh to eat?" That comes later.


They already have a problem with Jesus' claim that he came down from

heaven. Does Scott expect us to believe that they DO BELIEVE He came

down from heaven, but THEN balk at "eat my flesh"? Hardly because

that would obviously be wrong!


Another inexplicable remark is when Scott says, probably in response

to my statement that a literal command to drink blood would have been

anti-scriptural, "let's take Dr. Guinee's argument to it's [sic]

logical conclusion - is Jesus telling them to figuratively or

symbolically drink His Blood? When I showed this argument to someone

else, they asked, "Is it okay to symbolically commit adultery as long

as you don't literally do it?"


This completely misses the mark. I have already demonstrated that

based on the levitical law, it was absolutely forbidden to consume blood.


ABSOLUTELY.


To take Jesus literally would have been a command to violate the

levitical law. Scott has yet to explain how Jesus can command

something that would have been a sin for any Torah-observant Jew.


Even in Exodus, where the Israelites eat the lamb, they never sip an

ounce of blood. Instead, they smear it on the doorposts.


If these Jews took Jesus literally, they should have charged Him with

going against scripture.


Why don't they?


They certainly don't have a problem doing it when they think He's

violating the Sabbath, or some other law?


Next I challenged Scott on his misuse of "Truly truly" and said, "…I

challenge Scott to prove his use of "truly truly" by showing us some

scripture examples where "truly truly" is supposed to mean "I am

speaking literally." Again, the point is that Jesus affirms that HE

SPEAKS TRUTH, whether it is figurative, literal, or both."


Scott states that, "First off, we must note the change in Dr. Guinee's

argument. NOW Dr. Guinee is affirming a figurative statement can be a

literal truth."


This is simply false. I challenge Scott to find the text in any of my

comments where I ever claimed that a figurative statement could not be

a literal truth.


Unfortunately Scott expends a lot of time posting many wonderful

verses but from an unfortunate mistake.


After this slew of verses, he says "…Jesus still commands us to eat

His Flesh, and whether or not Dr. Guinee wants to divert through

semantics, he's still stuck with a literal command here. We MUST eat

His Flesh or we have "no life" in us."


I have never stated we should ignore this command.


We should obey it.


And one obeys it by believing in Him, by coming to Him. By believing

in His name. By believing He is the Son of God.


Now, if Scott wants to complain that "But he SAID we must EAT HIS

FLESH" and that this doesn't sound metaphorical, well, let's look at

the woman at the well.


What did Jesus tell HER?


John 4:14 "but whoever drinks the water I give him will never thirst."


Did Jesus literally mean for the woman at the well to drink water?


How come the Catholic church doesn't have a ritual where Jesus turns

the water into Himself and people can drink it? After all, He said,

"whoever drinks the water I give him will never thirst."


Can Scott explain what Jesus means here?


If Jesus means to literally drink His water, where is this done in the

church?


If Jesus means to figuratively drink, then what does He mean?


The same things He means in John 6.


Please note the parallel:


a. John 4:13-14 "Everyone who drinks of this water will thirst again;

but whoever drinks of the water that I will give him shall never thirst."


Drinking actual water does not lead to eternal life, drinking living

water does.


b. John 6:49-50 "Your fathers ate the manna in the wilderness, and

they died. This is the bread which comes down out of heaven, so that

one may eat of it and not die. I am the living bread that came down

out of heaven; if anyone eats of this bread, he will live forever"


Eating actual bread does not lead to eternal life, eating the living

bread does.


If Scott wishes to insist that eating the living bread is Jesus'

command to eat His flesh, then we must ask Him to explain where in

scripture and in the Catholic church we also drinking this water for

eternal life.


If he cannot do this, the debate ends right here.


Moving on…we then examine verse 53 where Jesus says "I tell you the

truth, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood,

you have no life in you."


Let me not rehash everything from the last rebuttal, but a central

point here. If Jesus means to eat His flesh and drink His blood, and

a professing Christian does not comply, then Jesus' conclusion is we

have no life in us. No promise of eternal life.


If eternal life is available to us, then by what means?


If eternal life is available to us by circumventing the Eucharist,

then obviously Jesus' admonition suddenly loses its teeth for which to

chew the flesh.


Further, I maintained that the conclusion of "no life in you"

contradicts contemporary Catholic theology. Scott inexplicably

replies by saying, "…though he [i.e., me] mentions some sort of

alleged conflict with Vatican II, he doesn't document this conflict.

The FACT is there is no such "promise" to non-Catholic Christians in

Vatican II, and I would challenge Dr. Guinee to show otherwise.


Apparently Scott is suggesting that there is no promise of eternal

life to non-Catholic Christians in Vatican II?


Why don't we allow Vatican II to speak for "itself":


According to the current pope, when he was a mere cardinal, "Salvation

is accessible to those who are not members of the "Church" -- (i.e.

not Roman Catholics or Eastern Orthodox Christians). It comes through

grace which originates with Christ and enlightens them in a way which

is accommodated to their spiritual and material situation." [emphasis

mine] [Source: Joseph Cardinal Retzinger, "Dominus Iesus on the

unicity and salvific universality of Jesus Christ and the church,"

Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith.

See: http://www.vatican.va/roman_curia/congregations/cfaith/]


Is Scott disagreeing with this statement?


Moving to verse 54, again we have the problem of how to interpret this

literally: "Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal

life, and I will raise him up at the last day."


Scott can complain all he wants about taking passages out of context.

The statement from Jesus is quite clear: He does not qualify His

statement about who will be raised up on the last day. Can Scott

explain why Jesus' promise is applicable to all Eucharistic

participants and not just some?


Scott also complains by begging the question again. Read his defense

carefully…often he will get cornered with a statement of question from

me that isn't easily answered. Instead of providing a cogent

interpretation, he simply demands that we accept things he hasn't

proved. For example, he claims that the disciples who took Him

literally walked away no more; in other words, they knew what He

meant, they just couldn't accept His literal command. They weren't

willing to follow Him THAT far.


Yet at no point in John 6 had we seen anyone correctly understand and

believe in Jesus' claims of divine origin.


Can Scott really expect us to believe that these disciples believed

Jesus was the Son of God, that they really and truly believed it, and

yet when it came to "eat my flesh" they turned their noses and left?


If this is true, where is this affirmed?


Next, when I asked Scott what Jesus means by "I will remain in you,"

Scott replies by stating that Jesus "remains `in us' (why the quotes,

by the way?) so long as we remain in the `state of grace' ."


Interesting. Where does Jesus say this in John 6?


Further, why did Father George Searle ["How to become a Catholic"]

write that the state of Him being "in us" will persist for "only for a

few minutes at most"?


For that matter, let me ask Scott another question: does a Catholic in

the state of grace have to go to communion? For what purpose?


Next, I press Scott on the fact that Jesus not only says He will

remain in us, but we will remain in Him. So what kind of remaining is

this, physical or spiritual?


Rather than respond Scott first errantly states "God Himself is

spiritual, is He not literally true?" Uh, in John chapter 4 Jesus

tells the woman at the well that God is SPIRIT, not "spiritual."


Then he begs the question again. But the real question he cannot answer.


Are we supposed to believe that Jesus will remain in us physically,

but we remain in Him spiritually? Why the difference? Where in Jesus'

words can we see that He meant PHYSICALLY for Him and SPIRITUALLY for us?


Next we revisit Scott's flawed theory that those in attendance

received Jesus' words literally, and this causes their disassociation

with Jesus. Again, this is predicated on the notion that up until

"eat my flesh" Jesus' words have been understood and received.


Is this true? Of course not.


In John 6:41-42 we read that the Jews were "…grumbling about Him,

because He said, `I am the bread that came down out of heaven.' They

were saying, `Is not this Jesus, the son of Joseph, whose father and

other we know? How does He now say, "I have come down out of heaven"?' "


They obviously don't understand how Jesus can claim to be from heaven

when they believe His origin is natural, from earthly parents! So if

from the start they don't believe Jesus' claims of divine origin, we

can see that they don't understand and subsequently receive the truth

of Jesus' true nature – divine.


Therefore, any attempt from Scott to build a case that the audience

was okay with Jesus until He upped the ante with "eat my flesh" is

simply contradictory with scripture.


Next, Scott states, "What I have done is demonstrate (cogently) that

Jesus did indeed say those words - and His disciples could not handle

the teaching, so they turned and walked away from Him. If, as Dr.

Guinee asserts, this was only a figurative statement - AND - these

disciples understood it in a figurative way - then why would they have

felt so strong as to walk away from Him? Clearly THEY took Him

literally, and for THAT REASON they walked away from Him - thus my point."


I never said the disciples understood Him figuratively. I said they

focus on the literal words and become confused.


Now, is this a case where Jesus allows honest truth seekers to get

away simply because they're not theologically sophisticated enough to

follow Him?


No. They don't understand Jesus because THEY DON'T WANT TO.


Jesus already knows who will and will not receive His message. In

John 6:64 it ,"For Jesus knew from the beginning who they were who did

not believe, and who it was that would betray Him."


I don't appreciate Scott's remark that I "scoff" at anything, nor do I

find "…what he is doing is NO DIFFERENT than what those disciples did,

who `turned and walk with Him no more."


With all due respect, Mr. Windsor, I have walked with Jesus for many

years now. Further, in walking with Jesus, I believe He is the bread

of life that came down from heaven, I believe He is the Son of God.


Did any of these disciples believe that? The burden of proof is on

you to prove it. You cannot and will not.


But go ahead and try.


Next we re-examine the question of why Jesus ties "What if this

offends you?" to "What if you should see the Son of Man ascending to

where He was before?"


Why doesn't Jesus relate the stumbling to a literal view of communion?


Scott replies by saying, "Jesus acknowledges that what He just said,

the literal view of eating His Flesh, is what caused them to stumble…"


Oh really? Where is that explicitly proven from the text?


Scott then states, " - and THEN relates to the Son of Man ascending

into Heaven. If they would not believe what He said about eating His

Flesh, then would they believe if they saw Him ascending? THAT is the

question! The POINT of this passage is they, the grumbling ones, do

not believe Him and cannot accept this teaching – so they walk away,

understanding Him perfectly – but in disbelief of Him."


Again, go back to the beginning of the discourse…it is impossible to

prove that any of these dissenters really believe that Jesus is the

Son of Man who has descended from heaven. So how can Scott maintain

they understand Him perfectly but don't believe Him?


If they didn't believe Jesus descended from heaven, then why would

Jesus add to their disbelief with an even more astounding miracle –

changing bread into His flesh, wine into His blood?


This would be like me teaching statistics and after the first chapter,

my students grumble because they do not believe that I am teaching

them accurately, and instead of addressing this problem, I move to a

much harder chapter expecting them to believe me NOW.

Next is the issue of grumbling, and my associating this grumbling with

a similar event and reaction in Exodus. Scott states that "No, Jesus

is NOT a barley loaf - but He's a different type of Bread. THIS Bread,

if they fail to eat of it, they will have no life in them."


So Scott is saying that Jesus is not literally bread from heaven but

at the same time He is literal bread.


That's quite an interpretation – that when Jesus says He is the bread

that came down from heaven, He doesn't mean literally, but when He

commands us to eat this bread, suddenly He means it literally.


Scott then complains that I objected to his pulling in St. Matthew for

help in understanding John 6, but saw no problem with me "running" to

Exodus. The difference is in the wording.


In the synoptic gospels, Jesus doesn't say "This is my flesh." But in

John's gospel, we clearly have the same event being discussed (the

feeding of manna) but the reported disbelief of the Jews, disbelief in

the form of GRUMBLING (i.e., John the writer goes to the point of

choosing the same words that appear in Exodus to describe how Jesus

was received)


Speaking of the Last Supper (communion not recorded in John's gospel),

I pointed out that it takes place BEFORE Christ is crucified.

Therefore, there can be no atoning power in the bread and the wine,

given that Christ has not yet become sin on our behalf, and gone to

the cross with our sins.


Scott replies, "Jesus, being God, is eternal. He always is, was and

will be. He is not constrained to OUR perception of time." What is he

talking about? Is Jesus dying daily?


Next, in scripture Matthew (26:27-28) tells us that "And when He had

taken a cup and given thanks, He gave it to them, saying, `Drink from

it, all of you; for this is My blood of the covenant, which is poured

out for many for forgiveness of sins.' "


Scott replies, "Dr. Guinee quotes these words, but is he READING them?"


Yes, Mr. Windsor, I am reading them. Are you?


What does Jesus say about the blood of the covenant?


Is it consumed with respect to sin? No, it isn't. It is POURED OUT.


Did the priests in the old covenant drink blood during the sacrifices

for sin? No, they did not. They poured out the blood. the blood of

your sacrifices shall be poured out on the altar of the LORD your God

[Deut 12:7]


Further, Jesus tells the disciples when breaking the bread "Do this in

remembrance of me" (Luke 22:19). How can the Catholic communion

remember Christ when He is supposedly physically present on the altar?

You remember someone when they have departed, not when they are present.


Scott states, "Noting again, this is NOT the subject of THIS DEBATE!

Dr. Guinee is sure seems to be attempting to distract us from the REAL

TOPIC." Yet isn't Scott the one who stated that we shouldn't read

scripture outside of its context. Doesn't Jesus' words at the Last

Supper count as giving us the context to understand what He meant?


Scott then says, "We are remembering Him for what He DID for us,

nearly 2000 years ago." Jesus said to remember HIM, not "what I did."

Then Scott says "On my anniversary this year we're going to have a

big party to "remember" the event that my wife and I participated in

25 years ago - and both of us WILL BE present at this party." Mr.

Windsor, in your anniversary you are remembering an EVENT, not a

person. Different.


In the second half of the rebuttal, we take another look at Scott's

use of the church fathers with respect to how some of them may have

understood communion.


Unfortunately, this section features more of Scott's inaccurate and

sometimes pejorative remarks, something that was not characteristic of

his previous writings. I can only speculate what has begun to

frustrate him.


For example, Scott writes, "It's amazing that Dr. Guinee seems to be

affirming that one can believe in Jesus without adhering to what He

commands us to do!" With all due respect, this is an egregious remark

on his part. I have not affirmed any such thing. I have repeatedly

attempted to explain that I and other Christians who see Jesus' words

in John 6 as figurative ARE OBEYING HIM AS WE UNDERSTAND HIM.


Then Scott complains about my omission argument – the dearth of

references to communion in scripture, the absence of repeated commands

in scripture to "eat His flesh," and the absolute lack of anything

that explicitly demonstrates any piece of bread in scripture ever

turned into the flesh of our Lord.


Mr. Windsor, I may not be able to prove my thesis, but the weight of

scripture is clearly on my side and it's flattening the precious few

passages you have on your side, passages that lack any clear teaching

of transubstantiation, and passages that continually result in

contradictions with other scripture, Catholic theology, and Catholic

practice of communion.


Now, let's move quickly to the finish line, lest my reader lose

patience with me.


Scott objected that I cite two early writings which argue from silence

and therefore do not affirm his position.


I see his point, but does he see mine? As soon as he drags up writings

from a church father, can I not also produce writings that fail to

mention transubstantiation (whether or not the word is used is

irrelevant, I agree) or even contradict it?


Scott says about Clement and the Didache, "It's one thing to

challenge what I have presented, but it is irrelevant to point out

other writings which have not quoted/cited and do not explicitly

support my argument." Well, Mr. Windsor, the burden of proof is on

YOU to show a plethora of church fathers who teach the Catholic view

of communion. If most of them do not, your appeal to tradition is

even shakier than your exegesis of scripture.


How many church fathers have you perused and found them explicitly

teaching how Catholics view communion today? Further, simply because

you may find a father or two that sounds Catholic-like does not offer

much evidence, especially since none of them ever QUOTE FROM the very

gospel whose words we are debating!!


Next is the issue of Ignatius. As in other cases, Scott simply

extracts a small piece of this individual's writing largely devoid of

context. SO when I produce a different writing from the same church

father, showing how loosely he used metaphors to describe communion as

well as Christ, he objects!


Scott then references Ignatius' letter, which does nothing but

diminish his argument. Let's read it: "within me says: "Come to the

Father." I have no taste for corruptible food or for the delights of

this life. Bread of God is what I desire; that is, the Flesh of Jesus

Christ, who was of the seed of David; and for my drink I desire His

Blood, that is, incorruptible love."


This is the only time I am aware of that Ignatius sounds like he is

affirming the Catholic view of communion. But when you read the

entire letter, he never mentions communion at all. He begins talking

about his impending death and how he desires not the things of this

world.


Scott then that "the FACT is that the concept [i.e.,

Transubstantiation] that the bread and wine are no longer mere bread

and wine, but become the Body and Blood of Christ is clearly

referenced throughout the Early Church Fathers, including St. Ignatius."


Wrong. Ignatius never says anything about the bread and wine no

longer being mere bread and wine.


Ignatius argued against the Gnostic Docetists, who denied that Jesus

had a true physical existence, or that that he actually died and rose

again:


"They abstain from the Eucharist and from prayer, because they do not

confess that the Eucharist is the flesh of our Savior Jesus Christ,

Flesh which suffered for our sins and which the Father, in His

goodness, raised up again."


Ignatius states that the Eucharist is the body of Christ without given

any details about the nature of the change, if any, in the elements.

The problem with the Gnostics concerned the person of Christ and not

the nature of the Eucharist. The heretics did not participate in the

Eucharist because they do not believe in what the Eucharist

represents, namely the true, physical flesh of Jesus, who actually and

really suffered on the cross, and which was really resurrected from

the death.


On to Justin Martyr: Scott says "He asks if St. Justin is advocating

for the Catholic view of John 6? I must answer with an emphatic YES!

Let's just look at the last part Dr. Guinee quoted, "...and by the

CHANGE OF WHICH our blood and flesh is nurtured, IS BOTH THE FLESH AND

BLOOD OF THAT INCARNATED JESUS!" That is precisely the Catholic view!"


Is it? Justin Martyr calls the Eucharistic bread and wine "the flesh

and the blood" of Jesus. Justin believed in the physical presence of

Jesus in the Eucharist. However Justin also believed that the bread

and wine do not cease to be bread and wine. He speaks of their

partaking "of the bread and wine" over which thanksgiving was

pronounced. Elsewhere Justin calls the consecrated elements "bread"

and "the cup." They are the flesh and blood of Christ insofar that

they are given in remembrance of his incarnation and blood.


"Now it is evident, that in this prophecy [allusion is made] to the

bread which our Christ gave us to eat, in remembrance of His being

made flesh for the sake of His believers, for whom also He suffered;

and to the cup which He gave us to drink, in remembrance of His own

blood, with giving of thanks" (Justin Martyr, Dialogue with Trypho).


Clearly, while Justin believed in the physical presence of Jesus in

the Eucharist, he also believed that the elements remained bread and

wine given in remembrance of Christ. Therefore Justin Martyr's view on

the Eucharist is dissimilar from the Roman Catholic transubstantiation.


I also have no idea why Scott claims that I have erred in my

scholarship. He says "There aren't 70 chapters in St. Justin

Martyr's First Apology! In fact, the "Conclusion" is Chapter 68."


I challenge him to prove this (not that it's essential to the debate).


Read this url and you will see I have taken the aforementioned chapter

reference from it, chapter 70:


http://www.ccel.org/fathers2/ANF-01/anf01-48.htm


Perhaps these scholars have erred, Mr. Windsor?


Moving onto Theophilus, Scott raises a good point. If this church

father was asserting the early Christians were not cannibals, does

this not mean that the early Christians WERE eating the flesh of Jesus?


Well, Mr. Windsor, is it your assertion that every Roman Catholic

during every Mass is a cannibal?


Then Scott appealed to Iraeneus, who clearly does sound Catholic.


But again, has Mr. Windsor read these writings, and read them in the

context in which they were written? Who were a constant challenge to

the early Christians?


The Gnostics.


What did the Gnostics refuse to do? Partake of communion with

Christians. Why? Because they didn't believe Jesus was really God in

the flesh, that He ever took on human form.


But those Gnostics who did partake of the Table of the Lord, were

openly criticized by the church as being inconsistent.


"How can they (Gnostics) be consistent with, themselves when they say

the bread for which they give thanks is the body of their Lord and the

cup his blood, if they do not say he is the Son of the Creator of the

world? ... Let them either change their views or avoid offering the

bread and wine. But our view is in harmony with the Eucharist, and the

Eucharist confirms our view". (Irenaeus, Against Heresies IV.xviii.4, 5)


Scott then says, "I have no problem acknowledging that dissenting

opinions can be found, especially as we progress through history."


Thank you, that is the problem Martin Luther had as well – that

dissenting opinions WERE found in the early church, often very

contradictory to each other. Even among popes.


But scripture cannot contradict scripture.


Lastly, I believe Scott sidesteps or misunderstands the issue

surrounding Ratranmus amd Radbertus. This controversy between two

Catholic monks shows that both views were present in the Catholic

church at least up to the eleventh century. The debate continued until

the thirteenth century when the final decision was taken by the

Lateran Council in 1215.


How does Scott explain the fact that for centuries there was no

consensus in the church on the proper understanding of "eat my flesh"?


He cannot appeal to church persecution, as in the case of the Trinity,

because the church had centuries of unfettered growth and a relative

absence of persecution, therefore such a doctrine, if it were THE

doctrine, would have and SHOULD have been formulated long before the

cusp of the Middle Ages.


In closing...I have shown repeatedly that every time we take the

Catholic view of communion, we run into verses that contradict it, we

run into Catholic theology that contradicts it, we run into Catholic

practice that contradicts it.


Scott maintains he has "founded my argument in Scripture." No, Mr.

Windsor, you have found a few verses and asked us to interpret the

rest of scripture in light of these few verses. It doesn't work.


Isn't it odd, Mr. Windsor, that whenever a Protestant church dissents

with Rome, it usually agrees on so many wonderful truths – Jesus is

the Son of God, Jesus is God in the flesh, etc.


But not one of them have ever found "eat my flesh" to be literal, and

more than that, salvifically necessary.


Doesn't it seem strange that Jesus' words, that are such an

exhortation, are never found to be part and parcel of salvation?


In closing, let me quickly address Scott's closing statements and

commentaries:


1. Jesus declares that He is the Bread of Life - which comes from down

from Heaven.


We agree on this.


2. Jesus' own words state we MUST eat His Flesh - and drink His Blood

(and repeated several - times) in John 6.


We agree Jesus said it, we agree Jesus meant for us to obey it.


We disagree that Jesus meant it literally.


Had Jesus meant it literally, He would have called the Jews to violate

God's holy law, a law against consuming blood that was present back to

the DAYS OF NOAH.


I challenge Mr. Windsor to find ANYTHING in the Old Testament that

prefigures the consumption of blood, let alone the actual CONSUPTION

of blood!


3. At the celebration of the first Eucharist, - Jesus takes bread and

declares "This IS My

Body." With wine He takes it and declares - "This IS My Blood."


We agree He said it. We disagree on what He meant.


Jesus declared "This is my blood," and Mr. Windsor should be rebuked

for capitalizing a word that isn't found this way in scripture.

Further, as I have shown, this blood was POURED OUT, not consumed. And

Jesus said He would not drink from the fruit of the vine until He

drank it anew in the kingdom.


Scott cannot and will not be able to explain why Jesus will drink His

own blood in heaven.


4. We're primarily dealing with St. John the - Apostle, and when we

look to what one of his disciples taught we found a very literal -

representation of the Eucharist as being the

Body and Blood of Christ.


We find a very metaphorical gospel that is replete with "I am"

statements that teach who Jesus is.


In response to Scott's so-called answers from me (as he sees them):


1. Dr. Guinee pokes fun at Jesus' words, and challenges "Did He come

down as a loaf of- bread?"


I ask Mr. Windsor to retract these words. I do not and would not poke

fun at Jesus' words.


2. Dr. Guinee has no real answer here. He asserts that this is a

figurative statement, but all we have is his assertion.


Wrong, Mr. Windsor, you have the weight of scripture that demands you

interpret his words figuratively. When you do, you do not violate

scripture, you do not have Jesus commanding the Jews to sin, etc.


3. Dr. Guinee's answer here is "Nor can he (referring to me) claim

that since Jesus held up a piece of bread and said, "This is my body"

that this proves the bread was His body when he said it." In other

words, Dr. Guinee does not believe Jesus' own words here! Jesus

declared, "This IS My Body" and Dr. Guinee questions this. I don't

need to "prove" anything here, I just need to trust the words of my

Lord and Savior.


I take umbrage at Mr. Windsor's repeated odious comments that seek to

malign my understanding of God's word. I may be wrong, but it is my

recollection that at no point in this debate have I mocked Mr. Windsor

for believing what he believes.


I expect the same treatment from him.


I suppose if I held up a picture of my daughter and said "This is my

daughter" Mr. Windsor would actually believe that I am teaching him

the picture IS my daughter.


Wouldn't this extraordinary claim necessitate some proof from me?


4. With regard to quoting from St. Ignatius, a disciple of St. John

the Apostle, again Dr. Guinee doesn't really deal with St. Ignatius

and tries to divert us into reading other Church Fathers.


Diversion, nothing. I attempt to show that a wider context and

additional readings will reveal that the Catholic view was largely

absent, and those fathers that sounded Catholic actually write more

like something akin to Lutheranism or the like. They would be

heretics today.


Perhaps I am in good company. Perhaps I am also done for now.


I thank all of you for listening, no matter how poorly you may have

received my words.


I am, as I believe is true for Scott, the humble servant of Christ our

Lord


Dr. Jim Guinee


P.S. In my haste to end hastily, I believe I failed to summarize in

some way that would challenge Scott and the reader, much as he did

with me.


Therefore, let us examine "Eat my flesh" with respect to eternal life

one more time. Jesus clearly says that those who eat His flesh will

have life in them, will be raised on the last day.


SO again, does He mean this figuratively or literally?


If we are to eat and drink unto salvation, we are to conclude Jesus

means one of three things:


1) Eating and drinking are tantamount to coming to Christ and

believing in Him. That is precisely what Christ meant, nothing else

and nothing more.


Obviously Scott objects to this interpretation.


2) We are to eat and drink unto salvation. No mention of believing.

Just an obedient response.


None of us would agree with this. It contradicts scripture – we all

affirm that belief IS essential to salvation.


3) We are to a) believe in Jesus and b) eat/drink Jesus. This means

that salvation is a product of faith + obedient response. And yet in

scripture we are told that our righteous acts do not save us (Titus

3:5-6), and righteous acts only come from those who have faith in

Christ (Eph 2:8-10).


Therefore, if Scott is right, salvation = faith in Christ plus

ritualistic consumption of Christ


Faith + Good work


This contradicts scripture. It is by grace through faith and not

works we are saved (Eph 2:8-9). There isn't a single verse in

scripture that teaches salvation is a product of faith and good works.

Salvation is conceptualized as a free gift.


Is Scott really willing to affirm a salvation formula of faith + good

works = salvation?


Would YOU?