Wednesday, May 10, 2006

Happy birthday Barth!

The moment has already been noted by Jim West, but I thought I’d at least add a short comment myself:

On the 10th May 1886, exactly 120 years ago today, Karl Barth was born in Basel, Switzerland. For some of us, Barth's works - at least those we have read! - are a delightful blend of brilliance and profound devotion. To pick up one of his books is to be challenged, provoked to deep thought, and drawn to the knees in adoration of the glorious Triune God he could write about with such passion. Happy Birthday, Teacher!

Wir haben ‘seine Offenbarung nicht nur hinter uns; sondern weil wir Gottes Offenbarung hinter uns haben, haben wir sie auch vor uns. Indem wir hören, was in Christus für uns geschehen ist, kann das, was weiterhin, in der Zukunft mit uns geschehen wird, nicht unbestimmt, es kann auf keinen Fall etwa unserem Ermessen und Können anheimgestellt sein; sondern wir haben dann auch gehört, was durch Christus an uns geschehen wird, dass also das, was mit uns geschehen wird, nicht dem Zufall und nicht uns selbst, sondern eben Christus als unserem Herrn anheimgestellt ist’ (KD 1,2 128-29)

Many know that I am a NT man, so here is some good, yet serious advice he gave his Bonn students 49 years later, just prior to his expulsion from Germany:

‘We have been studying cheerfully and seriously ... And now the end has come. So listen to my advice: exegesis, exegesis, and yet more exegesis! Keep to the Word, to the scripture that has been given to us’


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