Tuesday, 25 January 2011

"...the basic presupposition..."

"In a dogmatics of the Christian Church we cannot speak correctly of God's nature and attributes unless it is presupposed that our reference is to God the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. But the fact that the doctrine of the Trinity is the basic presupposition of God too is no obstacle to regarding it already as also and precisely the interpretation of revelation as such. Not as an exhaustive interpretation; to give that we should have to speak not only of the God who reveals Himself but also of the way He does it and the man to whom He does it, and we should thus stand in need of further anticipations from the area of specific doctrines; there are certain parts of christology and pneumatology that we should have to consider. What we do in fact gather from the doctrine of the Trinity is who the God is who reveals Himself, and this is why we present the doctrine here as an interpretation of revelation. ... When we say, then, that the doctrine of the Trinity is the interpretation of revelation or that revelation is the basis of the doctrine of the Trinity, we find revelation itself attested in Holy Scripture in such a way that in relation to this witness our understanding of revelation, or of the God who reveals Himself, must be the doctrine of the Trinity." CD I.1, p312

Monday, 17 January 2011


"The time has now come to lodge a protest in the name of purity and propriety against the corruption of theology which has now been in full swing so long and which has been brought about by trying to understand and treat it simply as a branch of the humanities in general. To give this protest inner justification more will be neeeded, of course, than phenomenological interest in the respecting of existing orders and categories or the jeolousy of an intellectual trade unionism insisting on its special rights. The formal need for the autonomy of theology can and should be pointed out, but one should not forget that the seriousness of the reference stands or falls with the attention that is actually paid to the witness of Holy Scripture and not just with speaking about it." CD I.1, p285

Thursday, 13 January 2011

Union with Christ

"Neither in Augustine nor in Luther is there anything about a deification in faith in the sense of a changing of man's nature into the divine nature. What makes the expressions possible is the apprehensio Christi or habitatio Christi in nobis or unio hominis cum Christo that takes place in real faith according to the teaching of Gal.2:20. In emphasising this more than mystical and more than speculative principle that faith means union with what is believed, i.e., with Jesus Christ, Calvin did not lag in the least behind Luther nor either of them behind Augustine, Anselm, or Bernard of Clairvaux. Without this principle it is impossible to understand the Reformation doctrine of justification and faith. How it was distinguished from the idea of an essential deification of man in the Reformation period may be seen especially from Calvin's controversy with A.Osiander (Instit.,III,11,5f.); there can be no question of a mixtura Christi cum fidelibus." CD I.1,p240