Saturday, 15 December 2007
Eleven Funky Barth Quotes
I'm currently reading through Karl Barth's Einführung in die evangelische Theologie, and I have to say, I quite like the chap.
Here are some funky Barth-quotes from Wikepidia (numbered, in case people want to comment on them):
1) “Jesus does not give recipes that show the way to God as other teachers of religion do. He is Himself the way."
2) "The best theology would need no advocates: it would prove itself."
3) "Belief cannot argue with unbelief, it can only preach to it."
4) “There is a notion that complete impartiality is the most fitting and indeed the normal disposition for true exegesis, because it guarantees complete absence of prejudice. For a short time, around 1910, this idea threatened to achieve almost a canonical status in Protestant theology. But now, we can quite calmly describe it as merely comical. ” (Church Dogmatics 1:2, 469)
5) "The center is not something which is under our control, but something that controls us.” (Church Dogmatics)
6) "Barth’s dedication to the sole authority and power of the Word of God was illustrated for us… while we were in Basel. Barth was engaged in a dispute over the stained glass windows in the Basel Münster. The windows had been removed during World War II for fear they would be destroyed by bombs, and Barth was resisting the attempt to restore them to the church. His contention was that the church did not need portrayals of the gospel story given by stained glass windows. The gospel came to the church only through the Word proclaimed. …the incident was typical of Barth’s sole dedication to the Word. "
7) "To clasp the hands in prayer is the beginning of an uprising against the disorder of the world."
8) "In the Resurrection the new world of the Holy Spirit touches the old world of the flesh, but touches it as a tangent touches a circle, that is, without touching it." (Barth 1933, p. 30)
9) "What expressions we used — in part taken over and in part newly invented! — above all, the famous ‘wholly other’ breaking in upon us ‘perpendicularly from above,’ the not less famous ‘infinite qualitative distinction’ between God and man, the vacuum, the mathematical point, and the tangent in which alone they must meet." (Barth 1960, p. 42)
10) "It may be that when the angels go about their task of praising God, they play only Bach. I am sure, however, that when they are together en famille they play Mozart and that then too our dear Lord listens with special pleasure."
11) Once a young student asked Barth if he could sum up what was most important about his life's work and theology in just a few words. The question was posed even with gasps from the audience. Barth just thought for a moment and then smiled, "Yes, in the words of a song my mother used to sing me, 'Jesus loves me, this I know, for the Bible tells me so.'"