Barth Bite for December 31, 2015

“If the biblical creation stories agree in content and character with the rest of the biblical witness, we ought not to be offended because they are sagas. We are no less truly summoned to listen to what the Bible has to say here in the form of saga than to what it has to say in other places in the form of history, and elsewhere in the form of address, doctrine, meditation, law, epigram, epic and lyric.” – Karl Barth, Church Dogmatics, Volume III.1 “The Doctrine of Creation,” page 83

Barth Bite for Sunday December 27, 2015

Four days ago , in my ongoing quest to read all fourteen volumes Karl Barth’s Church Dogmatics, I began Volume III.1, The Doctrine of Creation.  Here is a representative statement I read today on page 45:
“The Christian doctrine of creation, according to which the Creator and Deliverer are one and the same, teaches that I do not first exist and then deal with this history from my own particular standpoint, but that my own standpoint, my existence, has been given to me by the One who in his history has already dealt with me, so that even as I exist I find myself at the centre of this history. I always come from God the Creator when I am confronted by God the Deliverer.”

Barth Bite for Thursday December 24, 2015

Today’s quote comes not from Karl Barth, but from a theologian whom Barth often mentions, Augustine of Hippo.  Augustine was born in what is today Algeria in A.D. 354 and died there in A.D. 430.  Barth quotes these sentences from Augustine: “Non dubia, sed certa conscientia, Domina, amo te. Percussisti cor meum verbo tuo, et amavi te.” For those of you, like me, who don’t know Latin, the translation is, “I love You, Lord, not with a doubtful but with a certain consciousness. You battered my heart with your word, and I loved You.”    from Karl Barth’s Church Dogmatics, Volume III.1, page 10

Barth Bite for Wednesday December 23, 2015

“So majestic and penetrative is the call of Jesus Christ that when it is heard as such, when we know and discern that it is He who calls us, it is irresistible, i.e., it calls us to faith which cannot be unbelief, repentance which cannot possibly be renounced,  to faith which is indestructible and quite incapable of changing into its opposite.”  – Karl Barth, Church Dogmatics, Volume II.2, page 779

Barth Bite for Monday December 21, 2015

“Our forgiveness means that God does not allow us to fall under the past, present and future of accusation of His command; that even the accused and condemned people we were and are and always will be before Him, we do not cease to be His children, and to enjoy all our rights as His children.” – Karl Barth, Church Dogmatics, Volume II.2, page 756

Barth Bite for Thursday December 17, 2015

“Christian intransigeance, the Christian resistance to evil, consists in this, that the Christian never allows himself to be seduced from his offer of reconciliation, never lets himself be overcome by evil, is never enticed to requite evil with evil, is never led astray from the overcoming of evil with good, and therefore from the path of fellowship with the enemy. He does not refuse communion to the enemy, but to evil. And for this reason he seeks it even with the enemy.” – Karl Barth, Church Dogmatics, Volume II.2, page 721

Barth Bite for Saturday December 12, 2015

“It will always be the case that when the divine command makes its impact upon us in its most concrete and piercing form we are most disposed to evade it by the suggestion that the divine will is so obscure that we have first to investigate and establish in what it actually consists.” – Karl Barth, Church Dogmatics, Volume II.2, page 670