Monday, December 12, 2011

Theologian of Freedom

God sends him – from the realm of the eternal, unfallen, unknown world of the Beginning and the End….God sends him – into this temporal, fallen world with which we are only too familiar; into this order which we can finally interpret only in biological categories, and which we call ‘Nature’….God sends him – not to change this world of ours, not for the inauguration of a moral reformation of the flesh, not to transform it by art, or to rationalize it by science, or to transcend it by the Fata Morgana of religion, but to announce the resurrection of the flesh; to proclaim the new man who recognizes himself in God, for he is made in His image, and in whom God recognizes Himself, for He is his pattern; to proclaim the new world where God requires no victory, for there He is already Victor, and where He is not a thing in the midst of other things, for there He is All in All; and to proclaim the new Creation, where Creator and creature are not two, but one. 
- Karl Barth, Der Römerbrief

While David Hart's criticism that Barth is insufficiently Acts 17:28ist may stand (I have no idea if it does or not), passages like this demonstrate the work of theology as a joyful work, as Barth thought it ought to be. 

Barth was -- in more ways than one -- unapologetically Christian in his theology. If that sounds like an obvious thing to say about a Christian theologian, it is largely because Barth endeavoured to make it so.

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