Posts tagged "Karl Barth"
Another Week Ends: Lenten Anthropology Meets Carl Rogers, New Community, Charlie Kaufman, Oscars Morality, Auden (Again), and Katims on Crying

Another Week Ends: Lenten Anthropology Meets Carl Rogers, New Community, Charlie Kaufman, Oscars Morality, Auden (Again), and Katims on Crying

1) A particularly Lenten roundup this week, starting with this very beautiful, concise reflection from Will Willimon over at OnFaith, called “Good News! You’re a Sinner and Lent Is Here,” which deals primarily with the deep relief that comes in knowing yourself as a sinner. (Reminds us a little of someone we get to meet in NYC this spring, who has spoken quite frankly about the “cruel optimism” of our contemporary world.) The truth is, more often than not, the scandal of the Christian faith is not merely the nature or existence of God, but the sin of humankind—and the…

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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 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 this book is its personal and accessible tone. Suffering is never spoken of in cold abstraction from its down-to-earth reality. It’s no wonder this book has gotten so much attention on this site.

- Justification Is for Preaching edited by Virgil Thompson

A much needed book for preachers and…

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

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 with pentagramsOr barbituric acids, or dissectThe recurrent image into pre-conscious terrors—To explore the womb, or tomb, or dreams; all these are usualPastimes and drugs, and features of the press:And always will be, some of them especiallyWhen there is distress of nations and perplexityWhether on the…

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

“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 individuals functioning autonomously, but as a collective of confessing persons proclaiming the same truths each cognizant of their individual calls; this is the delicate tension between the “objective ascription” and the “subjective appropriation” of salvation. “Salvation is ascribed to the individual in…

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

“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, and strength. Sin negates that Jesus, very God, humbled Himself to become human in order to take humanity to Himself; thus, it negates Jesus’ High-priestly office; this is the sin of pride. 2. Sin negates the second form of the…

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

“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, the doctrine of sin is dealt with simultaneously and in conjunction to the doctrine of reconciliation. It is not of its own ontological identity as something that “exist[s] in and for itself” as a part of God’s creation; rather it…

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

“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 one understands the Godhead because Jesus defines it and it does not define Jesus. “[Jesus] is God as he takes part in the event which constitutes the divine being” and He does this by becoming man. In this becoming…

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What is (theological) Liberalism?

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 time-honored values and customs with fashionable cultural trends. Setting aside the unhelpful dichotomies, such accounts of liberalism rarely define the word itself. I would like to argue that theological liberalism properly defined is not an enemy, but integral to faith (it should be said, though,…

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

“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 the one thing from which neither the God who turns to man nor man converted to God can be abstracted, in which and by which both are what they are, in which and to which they stand in that mutual relationship”….

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

“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 than Christian vocation (the traditional protestant/Lutheran understanding of the result of justification and sanctification), it is the moment that the person is given the promise of God in Jesus Christ. The person is called along side their justification and sanctification, and…

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

“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 the kingdom of God. In the atoning work of Jesus in the act of reconciliation, humanity is told first, who they are and are not, and, second, “where we belong, where we have to be and live”. This being under…

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

“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 “peculiar being”—being beings in Jesus Christ—Christians reflect the reconciliation between God and humanity and stand as the representatives of this reconciliation and being therein. Others, though they may be inheritors of the work of Christ, are not representatives in their existence…

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“Wake me up inside…” (part 2c): Karl Barth’s Doctrine of Reconciliation (iv.1.58)

“Wake me up inside…” (part 2c): Karl Barth’s Doctrine of Reconciliation (iv.1.58)

(iv.1.58.1 cont.) In this movement and declaration of reconciliation through the atonement through Jesus Christ, God does not merely “proffer” a possibility, but actually seizes us and turns us back to Him. In this movement and declaration of reconciliation through the atonement through Jesus Christ, we deal with the fulfilled covenant. In Him, the breach is healed, humanity’s being against God is altered, and the offense and misery of humanity is removed. In Him, humanity is the faithful covenant partner and the one brought to glory by God to demonstrate His glory. In reconciliation,…

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“Wake me up inside…” (part 2b): Karl Barth’s Doctrine of Reconciliation (iv.1.58)

“Wake me up inside…” (part 2b): Karl Barth’s Doctrine of Reconciliation (iv.1.58)

(iv.1.58.1 cont.) Reconciliation is truly God’s activity alone. There is no cooperation between humanity and God; God is the one who crosses the “abyss” distancing them. God “gives himself to him* as his God, as the One who did not and will not cease to be his God, the God of sinful and carnal man”. Reconciliation is the fact that the distance has been crossed once and for all; and in this initiation by God humanity “finds himself accused… humbled … judged by his God, but also and primarily received by Him and reclaimed as His possession and hidden…

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