Thursday, 4 October 2012

Protestant transubstantiation

Busy week, so not much posting. Just time for a bonkers theological idea of the week. Apparently the Lutheran theologian Flacius Illyricus, at a debate in 1560, argued that the Fall was a kind of transubstantiation, in which the Aristotelian substance of humanity was totally altered from God’s image into Satan’s at the fall, despite preserving the outward image of God only damaged in the visible person. So while it might appear outwardly that humanity is capable of good as well as evil, this is an illusion: behind and beyond all verifiable evidence is a brute fact, namely that we are totally depraved.
            Or to put it another way: a certain kind of Protestant needs to believe in human corruption so badly that they will reconstruct the whole of reality, if necessary, to assert it.

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