Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Barth Remix

Seriously, this stuff is awesome:

  • There is a whole world which for various reasons is not yet or no longer attached to any religion, and certainly not to the Word of God, but obstinately boasts of its own sovereignty.  Yet we must not conclude too hastily that this constitutes a limit to the sovereignty of Jesus Christ and the power of His prophecy, so that true words are not to be expected on human lips in this sphere.  We are not even to say that they are hardly to be expected, or expected only with a lesser degree of probability.  For we must not forget that, while man may deny God, according to the Word of reconciliation God does not deny man.  Man may be hostile to the Gospel of God, but this Gospel is not hostile to him.  The fact that he is closed to it does not alter the further fact that it is open for him.
  • In neither case should we have any illusions as to the antithesis between the kingdom of heaven and those of this earth.  But in neither case should we have too little confidence in the One who extends His dominion also over the kingdoms of this earth, nor expect too little in the way of signs of this lordship.  How many signs He may well have set up in both the outer and inner darkness which Christianity has overlooked in an unjustifiable excess of sceptiscism, to the detriment of itself and its cause! We are summoned to believe in Him, and in His victorious power, not in the invincibility of any non-Christian, anti-Christian, or pseudo-Christian worldliness which confronts Him.  The more seriously and joyfully we believe in Him, the more we shall see such signs in the worldly sphere, and the more we shall be able to receive true words from it.
  • For we might at any time be brought to see that these traditional norms of the Church need to be revised, and the Church might perhaps be confronted by the task of a new formulation of these norms.  If they are true words, they will show themselves to be such by the fact that, as more or less powerful elements in the progress of the Church, they will guide it, not to break continuity with the insights of preceding fathers and brethren, but in obedience to the one Lord of the Church and in the discipleship of the prophets and apostles to take it up and continue it with new responsibility on the basis of better instruction.
  • When Christianity is called to repentance, it is a criterion that, no matter where the summons may come from or in what language, angry and offensive perhaps, it may be couched, it has to do with a true word addressed to it on the commission of its Lord.  But we must be cautious.  For even as a call to repentance it will be a true and genuine word only if it is also one which affirms and strengthens and upbuilds the community.

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