Sunday, 9 July 2006

Like so much poor preaching...

“How could the Word ... be a Word which contains both Yes and No and is therefore self-contradictory? How could it speak, like so much poor preaching, half of grace and half of judgment, half of life and half of death, half of the love of God and half of the power of the devil?”

—Karl Barth, Church Dogmatics IV/3, p. 230.

2 Comments:

Dan said...

Why is it that we need to harmonize the paradox between Law and Gospel? It isn't a contradictory Word, it is a complimentary Word. We need the Law to show us our sin, and we need the Gospel to show us our Savior.

D.W. Congdon said...

I think this quote obscures something fundamental to Barth's theology, that the gospel is not half-and-half but all this and still all that. The gospel is fully grace at the same time that it is fully judgment. That's what makes it such paradoxical, mysterious Good News.

Dan, Barth means that it appears contradictory from a human perspective, but in reality you are right, it is complimentary. Although complimentary gives the impression that we are speaking of two different realities or words. If all reality converges in the person of Jesus Christ, what we have is one Word that is fully grace and fully judgment.

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