Saturday, March 04, 2006

Begegnung mit Gnade

I recently, while waiting for Anja and Susi in the Staatsgalerie actually, spent over an hour on just a couple of paragraphs of Barth’s Dogmatik im Grundriss. Not because I could not understand it, but simply because my heart was caught up into delightful meditation and worship. I simply couldn’t move on.

Barth writes: “Faith speaks of God, the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit, as Him who meets us, as the object of faith, and says of this God that He is one in Himself, has become single in Himself for us and has become single once more in the eternal decree [the German is pretty clumsy too], explicated in time, of His free, unowed, unconditional love for man, for all men, in the counsel of His grace ...”. The passage goes on to elaborate on the Word of God being the Word of Grace that meets us in Jesus Christ, in the true God and true Man, Immanuel.

So, nothing particularly new. Nothing new at all actually, but the words somehow moved me powerfully. Perhaps you know what I mean. Anyway, as I always like to ground my meditations in a scripture, I chose Titus 2:11, ‘For the grace of God has appeared, bringing salvation to all’, and Titus 3:4-5 ‘But when the goodness and loving kindness of God our Savior appeared, he saved us, not because of any works of righteousness that we had done, but according to his mercy, through the water of rebirth and renewal by the Holy Spirit.’ - which seemed to fit nicely.

Anyway, enough of me and my extreme mystical holiness! I wish you all a good weekend.


At 3/04/2006 9:30 PM, Anonymous Exiled Preacher said...

Can we ever get enough of Bible-based mystical holiness?

At 3/04/2006 11:49 PM, Anonymous Chris Tilling said...

That's better. Now we've got a picy of you for your comments!

At 3/05/2006 2:13 PM, Anonymous Exiled Preacher said...

Are you sure that's better?

At 3/05/2006 4:22 PM, Anonymous C. Stirling Bartholomew said...


Perhaps Karl Barth is an acquired taste, like gin. Even Bombay Rose tastes strange the first time you drink it. I gave up Bombay Rose and Tanqueray for health reasons and never read enough of Barth to get addicted to him, but based on the number of brilliant people I know who think Barth is wonderful and like you fall into ecstasy [not the drug] while reading him I sometimes wonder what I have missed.

Well back to reading greek which is also an acquired taste.

Thanks for your post,


At 3/05/2006 10:29 PM, Anonymous Chris Tilling said...

What is your interest in Greek, by the way? - if you don't mind me asking!

At 3/05/2006 10:29 PM, Anonymous Chris Tilling said...

Enjoy your Greek, Clay.

My Koine Greek needs some rather desperate attention, actually, and I'll be attending to this fact in the coming months myself.

At 3/05/2006 11:09 PM, Anonymous C. Stirling Bartholomew said...

My interest in Greek? Well I read Sophocles in English in my early teens and just liked the strangeness of it. But it took me twenty some years to get around to doing anything with the language. I was working on some problems in transformational grammar and getting tired of English examples. I found that I had E.V.N. Goetcius "The Language of the NT" in my library for some odd reason I had purchased the book. Started looking it over and found that Goetchius was a linguist. That was 20 years ago, I have been doing Greek now for 20 years. Right now I am working in Acts and doing a close reading of Electra by Sophocles. There is a younger man from Pennsylvania who is reading it with me. I got started on this project by reading Ezra Pound's translation which he did covertly in collaboration with Rudd Flemming while he was incarcerated at St. Elizabeth's in Wash DC. Toward the end of that time I was living on the other side of the oak forest from St. Elizabeth's. Our beagle used to chase rabbits and foxes in that forest and come back covered with tics. I love hardwood forests and cannot stand evergreens. I have been living in evergreens for most of my life.

To sum up my interest in Greek is Homer & The Bible & Greek Tragedy.

Thanks Chris, I think I've got your name right now. What would you recommend by Karl Barth which is in English for people too dense to make sense out of Church Dogmatics?

greetings, Clay

BTW, Been posting photos to my blog today. A mixed bag of light stuff and serious stuff. I do both.

At 3/06/2006 12:02 AM, Anonymous Chris Tilling said...

Hi Clay,
Yes, I saw the new photos. Anja and I looked through them earlier on today and enjoyed them. A nice mix. I do hope you post more.

As for Barth, you know I’m really not the man to say. Ben is. I have enjoyed Dogmatics in Outline very much, however, and it is a good place to start, so I've been told.

At 3/06/2006 9:32 AM, Anonymous Ben Myers said...

As for reading Barth being an "ecstatic" experience:

Back in the 70s there was a Pentecostal fellow who went to the library to read Barth for the first time. Here's what he said (from an article here:

"With all my problems, my weaknesses, and my sinful tendencies, I limped into the library to read Barth for the first time. When I staggered out of the library a few hours later, I said to the first person I met that reading Barth was better for me than Aimee Semple McPherson laying hands on me and praying for my healing." [Aimee Semple McPherson was a very famous Pentecostal healing revivalist.]

So that sounds like quite an "ecstatic" experience!


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