Re: sacraments

Paul Arveson (
Mon, 10 Feb 97 16:39:42 EST

In message <> Murphy writes:
> 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.
> 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.
> George

Thanks for your usual thoughtful reply to comments I dashed off. You are
indeed a pastor to us on this network, George. Hope you don't mind my
copying to the list.

Your discussion reminds me of a statement by Heisenberg, something to the
effect that quantum physics generates a comprehensive view of the world
in which there is no matter, only mathematical forms and symmetry relations.
Then he quotes Goethe's Faust, "In the beginning was the concept".

Maybe there is a kind of convergence between the Word and the world in
physics, as well as from the spiritual perspective.

Paul Arveson, Research Physicist
Code 724, Signatures Directorate, NSWC
9500 MacArthur Blvd., Bethesda, MD 20817-5700
(301) 227-3831 (W) (301) 227-4511 (FAX) (301) 816-9459 (H)