Re: sacraments

Gene Dunbar Godbold (
Mon, 10 Feb 1997 11:58:39 -0500 (EST)

> Paul Arveson wrote:

> > As a Presbyterian, I too agree with our confessions that acknowledge the
> > sacraments of Baptism and the Lord's Supper. But I think we agree that
> > the Word is the key 'channel' -- that is the Bible, especially the
> > Gospels.

According to Murphy:
> The _Word_ is, of course, preeminently Christ, who is
> "presented" (& here the Spirit is involved) when he is proclaimed. I
> would follow Luther (again - I don't in everything!) in giving priority
> to the "living voice of the gospel" as the means of grace. The
> proclamation of Christ is to be in accord with the prophetic & apostolic
> witness - i.e., the _written_ Word - but the NT gives more emphasis to
> the efficacy of the spoken Word in bringing about faith than to that of
> the written. (E.g., Gal.3:1-2, Rom.10:13-17)
> This isn't to deny that people can come to faith through
> reading. Its a question of emphasis.
> Augustine speaks of the sacraments as "visible words". This
> seems very much in accord with both the Incarnation & our belief both as
> scientists & Christians in the value of the material world.

Just a desire for clarification here: Aren't you both saying that the
Word of God is a sacrament: something that effects what it
signifies--speaking of salvation and effecting that salvation in a