Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Chris Green's Predecessor

Have just finished reading a short book by the man who had Chris Green's job a long time ago.

Alan Stibbs was Vice Principal of Oak HIll Theological College back in the 50s and 60s. In 1961 he published 'Sacrament, Sarifice and Eucharist: The meaning and function of the Lord's Supper' (London: Tyndale Press, 1961). He says the book is written in the context of 'impending prayer book revision' (page v) and in many ways is shaped by the need to persuade evangelicals in the CofE in his day to value and reform their understanding and practice of the Lord's Supper.

Anyway, here's a couple of really great quotes in it from the chapter on Christ being present in the Supper.

'Such truth is in essence adequately stated by saying that, as first instituteed, the lord's Supper was an administration manwards by the Lord Himself. This means that the sole and whole movement with the elements is manwards not Godwards; and the Lord is to be acknowledged as present by the Spirit, not in the elements, but in the ation done with them, as its originating Author; and in the words spoken about them, as Himself the explicit announcer of their sacramental significance.'

And if that was a little bit dry for you, then tuck into this paragraph where Mr Stibbs gets all excited (emphasis in bold is mine);

'...when I attend an administration of the Lord's Supper, and see and hear the sacramental movement begun, and realize that it is personally and imperatively addressed to me, and to all there present with me, and that it demands corresponding reception and response; then, it is right to believe that in this movement Christ Himself is present and active and offering afresh to give to me, His indwelling presence by the Spirit, and the outworked experience of all the benefits of his passion. In such a moment of privilege and opportunity, if I am to enjoy Him and experience his blessing, I must answer His approach, first by reception, and then by responsive self-oblation. To speak of answering a telephone call is indeed an illustration utterly inadequate and unworthy. For this movement is like the approach of the bridegroom to his bride. Its proper consummation is like the giving and the receiving of the ring in marriage. Indeed, it is like the crowning intercourse of love itself. So first, I give Him answer by receiving Him; and then, I give Him myself, because I have first received Him. So do I go on my way, knowing afresh that He is mine, and conscious that He abides in me, and I in Him.'


Ros said...

Pete - do you have the full bibliographic info handy? I think I might want to quote this in the essay I'm writing at the moment?

Pete said...

The book's at home unfortunately. I'll try and get it before the day is out (as in UK time). When is your essay due? Is it just the page no.s you need?

Ros said...

Page numbers would be perfect. Essay due tomorrow sometime. Thanks!

Pete said...

Ros, the fist quote is from p73, the second one is from p79. H authored the book using the name Alan Stibbs M.A. and the proper title is 'Sacrament, Sacrifice and Eucharist. The Meaning, Function and use of the Lord's Supper' (i.e. title in original post not quite right).

Pete said...

Hope you get the essay done etc.

Ros said...

Magic, thank you!