this week in Barth

Here are a few gems from the Church Dogmatics II/1. The first quote won’t make much sense without the broader context, but it’s a great example of Barth’s paradoxical style, and since it’s in the small print, few people ever read it.

“…the similarity meant here is pleased to reflect itself in what we know as similarity and call by this name, so that in our thinking and speaking similarity becomes similar to the similarity posited in the true revelation of God (to which it is, in itself, not similar), and we do not think and speak falsely but rightly when we describe the relationship as one of similarity” (226).

“Knowing the true God in His revelation, we apprehend Him in His hiddenness. And just because we do this, we know the true God in His revelation. If He is not always the One whom we of ourselves are unable to view and to conceive, the One whom we know is not the true God in His revelation. Again, He is not this true God if His knowledge does not involve a real human viewing and conceiving, founded and ordered of course by Him alone, and not therefore cancelling His hiddenness. If we deny either the one or the other, we deny His revelation and therefore Himself….we cannot deny either the power of God, our impotence, or our power as the gracious gift of God” (194).

“But in the revelation of God, without and against our capacity, in the form of a taking into service of our incapable capacity, we are permitted and commanded to do something which if it came from our own free choice would be madness, but which in the freedom and obedience of revelation is the good sense of God Himself” (199).

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  1. Similarity…a couple of months ago I attended the funeral of a relative who had been a “pastor” in the United Pentecostal Church for 50+ years. I had previously been told that they were Pentecostal, but became aware that the word “United” before “Pentecostal Church” makes a huge difference, and that the United Pentecostal Church has earned the designation of a cult because it holds to a “oneness” theology that denies the trinity. I have also became aware that a well known singing group that can me heard on WCSG are ministers in the UPC. The christian media, community and the Church has embraced them and their music, and given them and UPC followers a false sense of security and platform to spread their “message” that may sound similar…

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