The Melanchthonian Blight in the American Lutheran Church

Dr. John R. Stephenson wrote an article for the FritzSchrift entitled "A Voice Retrieved from the Past with a Powerful Message for the Future." That voice is Wilhelm Löhe, and Dr. Stephenson discusses a number of elements of the Lord's Supper from Löhe's writings, including the dangers of receptionism. Receptionism "reduces the Lord's temporally extended bodily presence with His Church to His fleeting encounter with discrete individuals" - a consequence of what is referred to as Melanchthonian Blight. Against this we have the preaching of Paul in 1 Corinthians 10:16ff, "Löhe finds it significant that Paul labels bread and cup a κοινωνία of the Lord's Body and Blood at their breaking and blessing, not merely at their eating and drinking." In an extended footnote, Löhe makes several firm statements against receptionism: "Luther speaks of the Body held in the celebrant's hands" ... "He (Jesus) doesn't say 'it will become', He says 'it is'" and Löhe's personal practice reflect this "It comes as no surprise that Löhe consumed consecrated elements remaining after distribution."

Löhe also viewed John 6 as Eucharistic: "The more we learn to understand the Supper, the clearer do the words in John 6 become."

Read the entire essay: Dr. John R. Stephenson - "A Voice Retrieved from the Past with a Powerful Message for the Future." An essay published in Leitourgiae Propria Adiaphoria Non Est, an essay in Honor of the Rev. Dr. Burnell F. Eckardt on the Occasion of His Sixty-Fifth Birthday (aka the FritzSchrift)