Friday, October 29, 2010

Barth IV.1: The Scenic Tour

I've been in a reading group for the past few months. We're reading the thoroughly beautiful Church Dogmatics IV.1 by uber theologian Karl Barth. Despite the patchiness of my attendance and the density of ideas that Barth manages to fit onto one page, it's been quite enjoyable. Here are some highlights:
“The subject-matter, origin and content of the message received and proclaimed by the Christian community is at its heart the free act of the faithfulness of God in which He takes the lost cause of man, who has denied Him as Creator and in so doing ruined himself as creature, and makes it His own in Jesus Christ, carrying it through to its goal and in that way maintaining and manifesting His own glory in the world”. - Barth, Church Dogmatics IV.1, p. 3.

"In His Godhead, as the eternal Son of the Father, as the eternal Word, Jesus Christ never ceased to be transcendent, free, and sovereign. He did not stand in need of exaltation, nor was He capable of it. But He did as man – it is here again that we come up against that which is not self-evident in Jesus Christ. The special thing, the new thing about the exaltation of Jesus Christ is that One who is bound as we are is free, who is tempted as we are is without sin, who is a sufferer as we are is able to minister to Himself and others, who is a victim to death is alive even though He was dead, who is a servant (the servant of all servants) is the Lord. This is the secret of His humanity which is revealed in His resurrection and ascension and therefore shown retrospectively by the Evangelists to be the secret of His whole life and death. It is not simply that He is the Son of God at the right hand of the Father, the Kyrios, the Lord of His community and the Lord of the cosmos, the bearer and executor of divine authority in the Church and the world, but that He is all this as a man – as a man like we are, but a man exalted in the power of His deity. This is what makes Him the Mediator between God and man, and the One who fulfils the covenant. - Barth, Church Dogmatics IV.1, p. 135.

1 comment:

Mike W said...

can I just say that these quotes are just a taste. I have read bits and pieces of Barth over the last few years, but nothing beats big slabs of Church Dogmatics. Engaging the mind, encouraging the soul, you really have to read and read and read.
Well done for getting through 4.1. Did you succumb to the $99 hendrickson preorder?