Monday, 20 December 2010

Another reference to baptism

"If a man, the Church, Church proclamation and dogmatics think they can handle the Word and faith like capital at their disposal, they simply prove thereby that they have neither the Word nor faith. When we have them, we do not regard them as a possession but strain after them, hungering and thirsting, and for that reason blessed. The same is true of the possibility of knowledge of God's Word. When we know it, we expect to know it. The assurance of its affirmation is thus the assurance of its expectation - the expectation which rests on its previous presence, on the apprehended promise, or, as we can already say here, on received and believed baptism - but still the expectation." CD I.1, p225

Monday, 13 December 2010

First comment on baptism?

According to the index at least...

"Baptism was instituted for this reason, as a sign of this true and supreme power of God's Word. As a real act on man, as an act of sovereign disposition, it proclaims for its part that man belongs to the sphere of Christ's lordship prior to all his experiences and decisions. Even before he can take up an attitude to God, God has taken up an attitude to him. Whatever attitude he may adopt, it will be done within and on the ground of the attitude that God has adopted to him. If he believes, this will be just a confirmation of the fact that he has God's promise and is claimed, judged and blessed by God. If he does not believe, this again will not be a possibility he can freely choose. He will sin against God's Word. He will not show himself to be free, but unfree. He will not choose, but will be rejected. He will grasp, not a possibility, but an impossibility. In a Word, in his very unbelief he will be measured by the Word of God and smitten by its power. This preceding attitude of God to him will make his unbelief unbelief, his sin sin. Only in the sphere of grace is there faith and unbelief, righteousness and sin. Only through the power of God's Word are there the two categories, those who are saved and those who are lost." CD I.1, p154

Saturday, 11 December 2010

Barth the Failure?

You guys will have to forgive me. I recently moved and my first volume of Church Dogmatics is still packed away somewhere, so as you can imagine, I'm going to be a bit behind. But I thought I'd offer this, a quote from Vol. 1 of Barth's The Gottingen Dogmatics, that I recently purchased. It's actually quoted from a letter that he wrote to his friend Eduard Thurneysen as Barth was about to quit his pastoral duties and recorded in Migliore's introduction:
"When Barth left his pastorate in Safenwil, Switzerland, in 1921 to take up his new academic post in Gottingen, Germany, he was not optimistic about his chances of success. He wrote to his friend Eduard Thurneysen: 'I dare not even think about having to lecture three or six or eight hours each week.' 'I just can't imagine myself in the situation and cannot think that I will be anything but a great failure.'"
I find that to be an utterly amazing confession.

Monday, 6 December 2010

Rudolf Otto's holy

"Whatever 'the holy' of Rudolf Otto may be, it certainly cannot be understood as the Word of God, for it is the numinous, and the numinous is the irrational, and the irrational can no longer be differentiated from an absolutised natural force. But everything depends on this differentiation if we are to understand the concept of the Word of God." CD I.1, p135

Thursday, 2 December 2010

"...the disaster of the 18th century."

"The catastrophic crash of orthodoxy in the 18th century, the consequences of which we still have to carry to this day, is no more puzzling than the collapse of a house whose foundations are giving way. Responsibility for the disaster must be borne, not by the philosophy of the world which had become critical, but by the theology of the Church which had become too uncritical, which no longer understood itself at the centre. For all our great respect for the work done by orthodoxy, and for all our understanding of the ultimate intentions of this work, our task to-day must be the different one of re-adopting Luther's concepts and taking proclamation seriously again as the work of the Church in and through which God is to be served and not man, and God is to speak. On that basis we must then try to understand once again in what sense first the Bible, and even before that revelation, is really the Word of God. It was here that forgetfulness set in before the disaster of the 18th century." CD I.1, p124