Sunday 4 December 2005

Church Dogmatics IV/2

Summary: As true man, Jesus Christ is the reconciliation between God and humanity: he is the servant exalted as Lord, the royal man who shares in God’s own lordship, sanctifying us and exalting us through his death and resurrection.

Quote: “In the union of God with our human existence which then took place uniquely in the existence of this man [Jesus], prior to our attitude to it, before we were in a position to accept or reject it, with no need for repetition either in our soul or elsewhere, we today, bearing the same human essence and living at a particular point in time and space, were taken up ... into the fellowship with God for which we were ordained but which we ourselves had broken; and ... we are therefore taken up into this fellowship in him, this One. The Christmas message speaks of what is objectively real for all men, and therefore for each of us, in this One. Primarily and finally we ourselves are what we are in him” (p. 270).

Notable section: §64,3—this is one of the best sections in the whole Church Dogmatics: it is Barth’s account of the historical Jesus as “the royal man,” focusing on Jesus’s human distinctiveness, his correspondence to the will of God, his life-act expressed in his words and works, and his death on the cross. The discussion of Jesus’s miracles (pp. 209ff.) is especially remarkable.

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