Tuesday, June 09, 2015


“To barth”, verb, to write beautiful theology, such that anybody in their right mind would at least hope it is correct.

  • You might dislike Barth. But that means that you are mad.
  • You might disagree with Barth, fine, but I bet you hope he is right. And if you don’t hope that, you’re mad.

From his exposition of Gottes Gnadenwahl, God’s gracious election:

“When God says Yes to the creature, He does say Yes; without any if or but, without any afterthought or reservation, not temporarily but definitively, with a fidelity which is not partial and temporal, but total and eternal. Once the election has taken place, there is no further question as to the validity or non-validity of this Yes. There is no further anxiety as to how such a Yes can be fashioned or maintained. There is no further despair in face of the ever-present and total impossibility of living by one’s own strength in the light of this Yes. All this lies behind the creature—as the old past. As truly as God has said Yes, as truly as God is God, the creature is affirmed, and it has no other life than life in the light of this Yes. The obedience demanded of it by the divine election of grace, what else is it but the self-evident authorisation of the creature elected and therefore affirmed by God? And so the decision which in this election is made concerning the creature cannot mean that it is placed under the alien law of an all-powerful destiny, which it must restlessly fulfil, tormented by the consciousness of its own insufficiency in the face of its greatness and demand. What indeed is there to fulfil when by the divine Yes the law of its life has not merely been established but fulfilled? All that is left for it to do is simply to live the life ordained for it, and to live therefore at peace. All that is left to it is wonder, reverent astonishment, at the fact of the mystery that it can live this life affirmed by God” (CD II.2 pp 32-33 [German pagination])


At 6/09/2015 8:19 PM, Anonymous John C. Poirier said...

I think you put your finger on what's so fundamentally flawed about Barth's theology, without really meaning to: people *hope* its correct.

It's not people's critical senses that lead people to agree with Barth, but rather the fragrant smell that his theology exudes.


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