For those theologians who do not understand the mystery of the sacraments – baptism and communion – seem to me to be those who would rather accept human reason than the faith once for all delivered to the Apostles and the traditions which they handed down. The sacraments weren’t discarded by Christianity until the time of Christianity’s archfoe, Zwingli, decided that human reasoning was enough to read the biblical texts. Followed by other heretics, Zwingli’s view on the sacraments has permeated Western low-church, Protestantism attempting to rewrite history to fit what is little more than the 16th century’s Todd Bentley (Zwingli) and his human reasoning.

Trevon Wax, an author of a wonderful little book, has a series of posts on the subject of Luther who fought to correct abuses and Zwingli who fought desperately to destroy Christianity:

In one excellent post, Wax writes,

Zwingli believed, based on logic and human reason, that a human body could not be present in more than one place; Luther challenged him to take Christ at his word. If Jesus said he was physically present, then logic and human reason should be forced to correspond to the everlasting words of Christ – not the other way around. In Luther’s eyes, Zwingli was seeking to modify the natural reading of Christ’s words in order to make it compatible with human reason.

“I do not ask how Christ can be God and man and how His natures could be united. For God is able to act far beyond our imagination. To the Word of God one must yield. It is up to you to prove that the body of Christ is not there when Christ Himself says, ‘This is my body.’ I do not want to hear what reason says. I completely reject carnal or geometrical arguments…”

Luther did not understand Zwingli’s reticence to accept a physical presence of Christ in the Eucharist. He believed that just as the body of Christ was necessary for salvation, so a physical presence of Christ was important for the Lord’s Supper. Luther saw Zwingli’s attempt to “spiritualize” the presence of Christ as a backhanded way of denying Christ’s true humanity.

I note that in one of those quotes about this infamous meeting, Zwingli goes on to contribute salvation to the Greek sages based on their consciences. His salvation was one of human reasoning and could very well have done without the Cross of Christ, it seems.

You can find more posts from Trevon, here:

1. Luther versus Zwingli at Marburg: Why the Fuss?

2. Luther on the Lord’s Supper

3. Zwingli on the Lord’s Supper

4. Humanity and Physicality

5. Humanity and Omnipresence

6. Flesh and Spirit

7. Marburg’s Conclusion

Related Articles:

Book Review: Understanding 4 Views on the Lord’s Supper
The Case for Open Communion
Spurgeon on the Lord’s Supper