Friday, 23 October 2015

A tweet for every volume of Karl Barth's Church Dogmatics

Yesterday someone on twitter suggested the idea of tweet-summaries of Barth's Church Dogmatics. Reader, how could I resist? I could not. As well as providing much-needed edification for the twittersphere, it gave me something to do on a long road trip. I was driving all day from Sydney to Melbourne, so I composed the tweets while driving and then gleefully posted them whenever I could find a spot to pull over. As you can easily imagine, an exercise like this adds a dash of excitement to the drudgery of hurtling along a highway at 110 km/hr listening to audiobooks of Nietzsche and Dostoevsky while the thunderstorms come rolling over the plains. So here are the tweets:

Karl Barth's Church Dogmatics

I/1: Before I ever thought of God, before I opened my mouth to speak, God is, God speaks, and what God says is "God!"

I/2: God's mighty Word is humbly hidden in the human flesh of Jesus, the human words of scripture, and the boredom of the Sunday sermon.

II/1: God's friendly Word is unconditioned by anything in us. That's why God is better than anyone, because God is free to love everyone.

II/2: Why is God so good at freely loving us? Because God had so much practice before we ever existed.

III/1: We were summoned into being by God's freely loving Word. From that day on, God has spared no expense in trying to befriend us.

III/2: Our nature fits God like a glove: God wore it first then let us try it on, and Jesus shows us how to wear it right.

III/3: God's freely loving Word holds the world in being and keeps at bay the dreadful power of nonbeing. (P.S. There are angels.)

III/4: How good it is to be a creature! To be freely ourselves, never more or less, within the constraints that God has lovingly set for us.

IV/1: When I saw how Jesus used his deity to become small and humble for my sake, it took my breath away (and then my pride).

IV/2: When I saw Jesus triumphant in his humanity, it roused me from a deadly boredom: I became freely and fully human, almost a god.

IV/3: The human messenger is the divine Message: Jesus, the living truth that unmasks my self-deception and makes me a disciple of truth.

IV/4: So cheer up! God's faithfulness frees us for faith. God's loving address frees us to answer. God's gift frees us for gratitude.

V: And the rest, my friends, is Mozart.


Bruce Hamill said...

If only KB had lived in the days of Twitter

Douglas Campbell said...

Can't we do better for IV/3?

Jesus is the Light of the World and so of everyone. The victory of the light over all darkness is assured. (Or some such.)

Graham Rees said...

It's official Ben. I love you.

JNMB said...

Thanks for condensed summaries. They prompt much reflection.

Tim said...

Ben, you've outdone yourself. I love this... I will print and put it in vol one!

Anonymous said...

I saw this for the first time today. Ben, you are a genius!

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