Monday, December 14, 2009

What makes a sacrament a sacrament?

Calvin's Institutes (1559)
Book 4 of 4 - External Means by which God Invites Us into the Society of Christ and Holds Us Therein

Chapter 19 - Rome's five other "sacraments"
1-3 - not authorized in the Word nor used in the early church
1. They may call these other 5 practices sacraments all they want. But neither command nor promise are attached to them.

2. Only God's Word makes a sacrament a sacrament, as Augustine said. We have to distinguish between a sacrament and any religious practice, or everything we do can be called a sacrament.

3. Augustine lists only baptism and the Lord's Supper as sacraments - Rome can't claim the early church asserted 7 sacraments.

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