A Jagged Contention: Word and Sacrament


“The proclaimed Word and the sacramental Word belong inextricably together. Where they are driven apart both lose their true character and the tie to faith is lost. The sacraments divorced form the proclaimed Word tend to become “magic” in the worst sense, quasi-physical acts which supposedly work automatically. On the other hand, a proclaimed Word without embedded sacrament becomes a merely internal word, a word addressed to one in one’s internality which gets lost in the black hole of the self.”

– Gerhard O. Forde, “Theology is for Proclamation” (164)


The above quote is part of a larger argument that Forde makes regarding what happens when we drive a wedge between the proclaimed Word and the Sacraments. What happens to a preached Word without the external promise of the sacraments? Likewise, what happens to the sacraments without a proclaimed Word that creates faith?

Share your thoughts in the comments below