In Armchair Apologetics on October 31, 2012 at 2:32 am
Consider that Paul, the inspired author of most of the epistles, having seen the glorified Body of Christ, knowing what end Christ’s body finally meets, and presumably knowing about what language Christ uses about his body throughout the Gospels, uses this specific metaphor: the Church is the Body of Christ.
When Paul was made blind, what truth did he see? What truth did he say, unknowing but inspired?
What could such a metaphor really mean? If it is true, and if it is scriptural, and if it is inspired — full of the Spirit — surely it has at least a divine meaning and purpose. It must speak to some deeper principle. Catholics may point out that Christ will not die, now that the Resurrection shows He triumphs over death. Similarly, the Body of Christ will, in some visible way on this earth, live right up until the end times.
Catholics also may explain this as affirming the four marks of the Church. Like Christ’s body, Catholicism is one, a matter disputed principally by log-eyed men. She is holy, for the Church Triumphant is in heaven and the Church Suffering is headed there, however the visible Church Militant fails us. She is Catholic, which is a word that means simply universal. That the Church is apostolic is simply a way of saying her authority goes back to the apostles, which is important not because of the apostles but because of Christ. There is a real historical claim backing each of these up, putting aside doctrine and scripture, claims which have no analogue among apostasists.
I am curious what apostasists make of this passage on their own, not just what other verses they go to to defend against this interpretation. All I can think of is what apostasists cannot say.
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In Lay Meditations on July 16, 2011 at 5:38 am
Pauline language which indicates believers are the Body of Christ only reaches its full meaning not when we represent it in abstractions and platitudes, but when we consider what the body of Christ looks like. Not on the boat or on the Mount or even before Pilate — but on the cross. Remember also: Even after the resurrection, Christ retains his wounds. And who put the wounds there? We did, by each of our sins.
Contrast this with a Google Image search for "Body of Christ."
If God allows our sins so that a greater good may come, it is only because that by the wounds of Christ doubting Thomas believes. And so we see even here the final evangelical mission of Christianity. We see even here the essential core of the truth that we are to proclaim truth not only among the pagans but especially those even worse off: the faithless, the disenfranchised, and all else who have repudiated their birthright in their brief, dark Sabbath.
We cannot merely kick the dust from our feet, or pass by on the other side, when the faith of our brother is stripped from him, when he falls among the adversary and so is beaten. We must first realize that just as the disciples felt between the apparent triumph of the adversary on Golgotha and moment they saw the real triumph of Christ, just so are unbelievers stuck in a brief, dark Sabbath in which they nonetheless see no end in sight. We must minister to him.
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