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Posts tagged "Karl Barth"


Karl Barth on The Humanity of God

The great Swiss theologian  addresses the task of preaching, from a late-career book of the same name:

barth“A fourth consequence [of God’s humanity]: the sense and sound of our voice must be fundamentally positive. Proclamation of the covenant of God with man, announcement of the place which is once for all opened and assigned to man in this covenant, the message of Immanuel, the message of Christ – this is the task. The dialogue and encounter which are our theological theme involve God’s grace and man’s gratitude. To open up again the abyss closed in Jesus Christ cannot be our task. Man is not good: that is indeed true and must once more be asserted. God does not turn toward him without uttering an inexorable ‘No’ to his transgression. Thus theology has no choice but to put this ‘No’ into words within the framework of its theme. However, it must be the ‘No’ which Jesus Christ has taken upon Himself for us men, in order that it may no longer affect us and that we may no longer place ourselves under it. What takes place in God’s humanity is, since it includes that ‘No’ in itself, the affirmation of man.

The direction of our word is given therewith. The man with whom we have to do in ourselves and in others, though a rebel, a sluggard, a hypocrite, is likewise the creature to whom his Creator is faithful and not unfaithful. But there is still more: he is the being whom God has loved, loves, and will love, because He has substituted Himself in Jesus Christ and made Himself the guarantee… And with this explanation the statement that the human spirit is naturally Christian may also be valid as an obstinately joyful proclamation. That is what we have to testify to men in view of the humanism of God, irrespective of the more or less dense godlessness of their humanism – everything else must be valid only in the framework of this statement and promise.”

The Top Theology Books of 2012

The following is a list of my top Mockingbird theology books of 2012 (in no particular order). – Glorious Ruin by Tullian Tchividjian Tchividjian does it again. Thoughtful, provocative, and deeply encouraging, “Glorious Ruin” places suffering at the heart of the Christian life and what we understand about God, but probably the biggest virtue of […]

The Timeless God, an excerpt from T.S. Eliot

An excerpt taken from T.S. Eliot’s “Four Quartets“, “Dry Salvages”: To communicate with Mars, converse with spirits, To report the behaviour of the sea monster,Describe the horoscope, haruspicate or scry,Observe disease in signatures, evokeBiography from the wrinkles of the palmAnd tragedy from fingers; release omensBy sortilege, or tea leaves, riddle the inevitableWith playing cards, fiddle […]

“Wake me up inside…” (part 6): Karl Barth’s Doctrine of Reconciliation (iv.1.58) **final**

(iv.1.58.4 cont.) In a final turn, Barth deals with the dependence of the individual on community and the community on individuals; of the Christian on the Church and the Church on the Christian. For, “there cannot be one without the other”. The Holy Spirit assembles and sustains the Church, Christianity, not as a heap of […]

“Wake me up inside…” (part 5c): Karl Barth’s Doctrine of Reconciliation (iv.1.58)

(iv.1.58.4 cont.) *There are three forms to Sin. 1. Sin negates the first form of grace of God: that “God gives Himself to us, He makes Himself responsible for our cause, He takes it into His own hand”. Sin transgresses the great first commandment: Love the Lord your God with all your soul, mind, body, […]

“Wake me up inside…” (part 5b): Karl Barth’s Doctrine of Reconciliation (iv.1.58)

(iv.1.58.4 cont.) In the doctrine of reconciliation humanity is not only confronted with the positive side of the truths in Jesus Christ, but also the negative side of the truth of sin in the world initiated by humanity and its victim. By Jesus’ atoning work, God reconciles covenant breaking humanity to Himself by Himself. Consequently, […]

“Wake me up inside…” (part 5a): Karl Barth’s Doctrine of Reconciliation (iv.1.58)

iv.1.58.4 Barth works out the threefold form of the Christological aspect of the doctrine of the reconciliation*. In and by Jesus, humanity is confronted with God. In Jesus, God—by becoming man—actively intervenes and takes up His cause—the covenant—“with and against and for man”. Jesus “is the authentic revealer of God as Himself God”. By Jesus […]

What is (theological) Liberalism?

The word “liberalism” comes with much contemporary baggage – especially in particularly religious circles. Often even on this blog, we throw the term around in a fairly negative fashion. Sometimes it is popularly spoken of as a threat to the eternal truths of God and traditional creeds. Other times liberalism is seen as replacing the […]

“Wake me up inside…” (part 4): Karl Barth’s Doctrine of Reconciliation (iv.1.58)

iv.1.58.3 In the short (!!) third section of section 58, Barth continues by discussing the “middle” point—“which both differentiates and comprehends [reconciliation]”—between looking up toward the reconciling grace (part 1) and down to the being of man in reconciliation (part 2): the atonement made in and by Jesus Christ. The atonement is “…the middle point […]

“Wake me up inside…” (part 3c): Karl Barth’s Doctrine of Reconciliation (iv.1.58)

(iv.1.58.2 cont.) * Thirdly, Hope: The tertiary form of the being of humanity in Jesus Christ is “the positing and equipping of man as the bearer of the divine promise”, which constitutes Christian hope. And it is Christian hope which is the teleological** determination for humanity and the Christian in Christ. Christian hope is more […]

“Wake me up inside…” (part 3b): Karl Barth’s Doctrine of Reconciliation (iv.1.58)

(iv.1.58.2 cont.) Secondly, Love: In love, by the power of the Holy Spirit, the Christian is placed under and accepts the divine direction. The divine direction is the directing of humanity into freedom: by eliminating the old humanity and bringing to life the new humanity, humanity has peace with God, and, thus, is directed toward […]

“Wake me up inside…” (part 3): Karl Barth’s Doctrine of Reconciliation (iv.1.58)

(iv.1.58.2) Barth continues by discussing ‘The Being of [Humanity] in Jesus Christ”. If being is found only in reconciliation through the atoning work of Jesus Christ, then Christians represent being in humanity. Therefore, to speak of Christians we can only speak of them in Jesus Christ because they only exist in Him. In this their […]