Sunday, August 5, 2012

Intinction. Should We?

The Presbyterian Church in America (PCA) is set to decide whether to ban the practice used by some churches known as intinction. Intinction is where the communicant dips the bread into the wine and then eats (thus not truly drinking). The PCA presbyteries will be voting,
"...on whether to amend BCO 58-5 by adding this sentence: “As Christ has instituted the Lord’s Supper in two sacramental actions, the communicants are to eat the bread and drink the cup in separate actions.”
If approved by 2/3 of the presbyteries, intinction will be banned. D. Clair Davis, a PCA Teaching Elder, former professor of church history at Westminster Seminary in Philadelphia and now a Professor and Chaplain at Redeemer Seminary in Dallas, Texas, has written about this issue. Dr. Davis writes in part,
I appreciate this ‘decent and orderly’ process.  When all presbyteries consider changes to our Constitution, it is bound to bring more biblical wisdom to bear than when the GA alone with its limited time issues an opinion.  And as we consider to what extent GA ‘in thesi’ pronouncements are binding upon us, it can help to just avoid that issue and instead point to our Constitution, as amended.
Then, Dr. Davis concludes, 
A common identity is a wonderful thing, a true gift of the Holy Spirit.  It seems to me that supplementing PCA identity with a ban on intinction is disproportionate, divisive, and radically unwise.  I hope all our Presbyteries agree.
I don't have a strong opinion on intinction. I've been in churches where it is practiced. Seemed fine for me. We shall see what the PCA decides.


  1. Les,

    The PCA congregation in NC that we were a part of "intincted." I just remember little bread jiblets floating in the cup by the time I got there. Too me it seems to be splitting hairs since both elements, wine and bread are taken into the body when you dip the bread in the cup. Like you, I have no strong opinion either way. In SBC churches we have used all kinds of things for the bread and in the Army we have the same wafers that the Catholics use. BTW,have you ever been in an LDS service during communion? They use water as the cup.

  2. Matthew, I'm like you. No big deal one way or the other for me. I've shared a common cup, intincted, usual way...done it all. I do prefer wine, though I've not been in but a couple of churches that use wine. No, never been in a LDS service. Water? Really?

    1. Yes, water really. Bet you are wondering what I was doing in an LDS service? At Chaplain school we had to attend all these different services including LDS. I have even accidentally taken communion from a Catholic priest. Before I could say no, he had already placed the wafer in my mouth.:)

    2. Actually that's what I figured. And the priest? Hey, you lived to tell about it.