Doug Wilson on the Lord’s Supper (Part 2)

Doug Wilson writes:

==In our celebration of the Lord’s Supper, some may ask about our use of leavened bread. Remember we are no longer eating the bread of affliction (v. 3), but rather the bread of heaven, the bread of paradise.==

[C-Dunc]: Wilson is expounding here on Deuteronomy 16:1-17. He references verse 3:

“You shall eat with it no leaven. You shall eat unleavened bread with it seven days, even the bread of affliction. For you came out of the land of Egypt in haste, so that you may remember the day that you came out of the land of Egypt all the days of your life. And there shall be no leaven seen with you in your borders seven days; nor shall any of the flesh which you sacrificed the first day at evening remain all night until the morning” (Deuteronomy 16:3-4).

[C-Dunc]: Obviously, for Wilson to reference and comment on verse 3 does not deal with what Jesus said about the type of bread that He gave to His own disciples, saying about the bread: “This is My body.” And what kind of bread was it that Jesus said, “This is My body”? The unleavened bread of the Passover of course. Wilson needs to recall that Paul, in speaking of the Lord’s Supper, said that he was delivering that which Christ first instituted.

Doug Wilson:

==Remember the Passover was an annual festival which required a rigorous purging of leaven. The Lord’s Supper was not celebrated by the early Christians annually, but rather daily and weekly. This meant that for Jewish Christians, the celebration of the Lord’s Supper would have run them through other occasions when the use of leaven was required. The first recorded Christian Passover (after the institution of it) was on Pentecost, and leaven was present in the sacrifices of Pentecost.==

[C-Dunc]: I’ll grant that leaven was required on these other occasions. I’ll grant that on Pentecost, there was leaven in the bread in the sacrifices of Pentecost. But Doug Wilson makes an unwarranted assumption that just because there was leaven in SOME of the bread used on a given WHOLE DAY, then it follows that ALL of the bread — even the bread of the Lord’s Supper — had leaven and there could not possibly be any PART OF THE DAY where these Christians were actually continuing the Biblical tradition of the Lord’s Supper to use the same bread that Jesus used:

“For I received from the Lord what I also delivered to you, that the Lord Jesus in the night in which He was betrayed took bread; and giving thanks, He broke and said, Take, eat; this is My body which is broken on behalf of you; this do in remembrance of Me” (1 Corinthians 11:23-24).

Doug Wilson says:

==In short, to follow the example of unleavened bread of Passover in the Lord’s Supper is a pattern that proves or requires too much. Leaven was not just excluded from the bread, but was excluded from everything. Since we know this was not the case in the early celebrations of the Lord’s Supper, we have no reason to think that leaven should be missing from the bread.==

[C-Dunc]: In short, for Doug Wilson to assert that to follow the Biblical pattern in the Lord’s Supper proves or requires too much, is for him to engage in a non sequitur. Wilson needs to realize that Jesus and Paul tell us just which part of the Old Testament Passover carries over and is to be observed by New Testament Christians, and it does not include throwing out the regular, common leavened bread that we might use to make a peanut-butter sandwich. But what it DOES include is to use the exact same kind of bread that Paul DELIVERED TO US. And what kind of bread was that? The exact same kind of bread that he RECEIVED FROM THE LORD. And what kind of bread did the Apostle Paul receive from the Lord? The exact same kind of bread that Jesus used when He instituted the Lord’s Supper and said, “This is My body.” And what kind of bread did Jesus speak figuratively about His body? Unleavened bread, of course. And since Jesus was speaking figuratively about the bread being His body, what UNIVOCAL POINT connects Jesus’ body and the bread? The answer is that the univocal point of reference is the fact that just as there is no leaven in the bread, there is no “leaven” in the literal body of Jesus Christ. The context in the Passover/Lord’s Supper/bread/Jesus Christ’s literal body is ALWAYS leaven equals sin and UNleavened equals no sin. And thus, one implication from all of this is that by using leaven in the bread in the Lord’s Supper, is to say that Christ has leaven in His body, which is blasphemy.

Doug Wilson:

==At Pentecost three thousand heard the Word and were baptized (Acts 2:41-42). From that point on they submitted to the apostolic doctrine, had fellowship, broke bread, and prayed. So the first observation of the Lord’s Supper in its new Christian context began on the day of Pentecost, a day when the use of leaven was mandatory. “. . . they shall be baken with leaven” (Lev. 23:17). We have moved from the seventh day to the first, and from the bread of affliction and remembered slavery to the bread of freedom, liberty, and fullness of joy.==

[C-Dunc]: Wilson references Leviticus 23:17. And just like his reference above (Deuteronomy 16:3), Leviticus 23:17 says nothing about the kind of bread that Jesus Christ said, “This is My body.” The leavened bread in Leviticus 23:17 is NOT the UNleavened bread referred to in the following passages of Scripture:

“And as they ate, taking the bread and blessing it, Jesus broke and gave to the disciples, and said, Take, eat; this is My body” (Matthew 26:26).

[C-Dunc]: Wilson obviously thinks that despite Christ’s institution here in the above passage, the Christians in the New Testament are now to begin the use of leavened bread. The use of leavened bread supposedly means that you are now joyful, rather than afflicted. But all of the passages that I’ve cited here, clearly contradict the eisegetical [1] methods of Doug Wilson.

[1] “Eisegesis (from the Greek εἰσηγεῖσθαι; ‘to lead in’) is the process of interpretation of an existing text in such a way as to introduce one’s own ideas. This is best understood when contrasted with exegesis While exegesis draws out the meaning from the text, eisegesis occurs when a reader reads his/her interpretation into the text” (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eisegesis).

[C-Dunc]: Wilson’s EISEGESIS is demonstrated to us by his supposed “proving” that the bread that is to be used in the Lord’s Supper is leavened bread, rather than what the EXEGETICAL method shows us by simply letting the Bible speak for itself. And as it speaks for itself, we draw out its meaning, which is that the bread is clearly to be unleavened.

“Your boast is not good. Do you not know that a little leaven leavens all the lump? Then purge out the old leaven so that you may be a new lump, even as you are unleavened. For also Christ our Passover was sacrificed for us. So let us keep the feast, not with old leaven, nor with leaven of malice and of evil, but with unleavened bread of sincerity and truth” (1 Corinthians 5:6-8).

[C-Dunc]: Paul is not talking about the literal feast of the Lord’s Supper here, but he makes an obvious and clear reference to it by way of metaphor. But what kind of sense does it make to speak figuratively of something which does not have a continual and perpetual reference? Those whom Paul is writing to know about the feast, and what it means to say that Christ is their Passover. But how much sense does it make to say what Paul says to a congregation like Doug Wilson’s, where the so-called “Christian feast” is being “kept” with leavened bread? Paul would have to change the metaphor to get his point across, since Christ is ALWAYS the Passover, and the bread that is used in the feast is ALWAYS unleavened, and this bread is ALWAYS Jesus Christ’s body.

“I speak as to prudent ones; you judge what I say. The cup of blessing that we bless, is it not a partaking of the blood of Christ? The bread which we break, is it not a partaking of the body of Christ? Because we, the many, are one bread, one body, for we all partake of the one bread” (1 Corinthians 10:15-17).

[C-Dunc]: Now, Doug Wilson, what kind of broken bread is a partaking of the body of Christ? The answer lies in answering the question of what bread Christ said was His body. It’s the bread of Passover, Wilson. Not the various kinds of leavened bread in Deuteronomy 16 and Leviticus 23; not the common bread that may have been used at Pentecost, but the unleavened bread of the Passover.

“For I received from the Lord what I also delivered to you, that the Lord Jesus in the night in which He was betrayed took bread; and giving thanks, He broke and said, Take, eat; this is My body which is broken on behalf of you; this do in remembrance of Me” (1 Corinthians 11:23-24).

[C-Dunc]: It is so clear. And it makes me wonder what kind of underlying agenda people like Doug Wilson have in disregarding the clear teaching on the kind of bread that is to be used in the proclaiming of the Lord’s death until He shall come.

An interesting implication is that all of the various versions of universal atonement — whether Mormon, Calvinist, or Arminian — would say that *consistency* requires that leavened bread be used in their “supper.” How is that? Because a universal atonement, in which Christ dies for all without exception, necessarily implies that Christ has “leaven” (i.e., sin) since in this blasphemy, Christ is not raised for the justification of all whose sins are imputed to Him. This blasphemy of a death for all without exception (including those who perish in hell), necessarily implies that sin remains in His body.