Monday, November 16, 2009

Conclusion to Wittgenstein Paper

Some in the Christian Churches and Churches of Christ, as noted above, view the Lord’s Supper as an ordinance, something to practice because of Christ’s command, and a memorial, a time to acknowledge Christ’s death for humanity. The Christian Churches need to give greater attention to the Eucharist as a “visible word.” This emphasis would help the Christian Churches move beyond an Enlightenment and particularly Protestant emphasis upon rational or verbal communication and come to appreciate the importance of “showing” or symbolic communication in worship.[1]

Also, the Christian Churches must come to a greater understanding that worship practices, like the Eucharist, inform our language and belief and have ethical implications. Worship forms Christians for ministry and calls people. For the story the church recites in worship “shapes the church, forms spirituality, and motivates the mission of the church.”[2] This formation shapes the church for authentic witness. While some fear exists about the “threat” of postmodernism, philosophers like Wittgenstein and some theologians indebted to him can help all Christians retrieve these emphases and embody an authentic witness.

[1] Webber, 99–114.

[2] Ibid., 93.

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