Tuesday 13 June 2006

A geography lesson with Karl Barth

“How can we make clear the victory of Christ? In this way: when speaking of sin, demons, darkness, by not speaking of them in too tragic a manner—like the German theologians, all so serious! The further north you go in Germany, the more they are concerned with the realm of darkness. And if you move to the Scandinavian countries, all is darkness: God against Satan, and vice versa! ... It is not wise to be too serious.”

Karl Barth’s Table Talk, ed. John D. Godsey (Edinburgh: Oliver & Boyd, 1963), pp. 16-17.


Patrik said...

Yeah, well..

Anonymous said...

While Barth couldn't get enough of the subject of angels, he found the subject of demons distasteful. (Certainly Luther would agree that the demonic tastes like shit.) Because, Barth said, demons thrive on attention, best to cast them only "a momentary glance".

byron smith said...

Laugh at the devil and he will flee from you?

Anonymous said...

Hi Bryon,

Yes, I remember being told as a young minister, "Laugh at the devil and he will flee from you - but laugh at the Elders and it'll be you last!"

Anonymous said...

Sorry for the typo Byron!

Chris TerryNelson said...

And yet, as Lewis reminds us, "The greatest trick the devil ever performed was to make us believe he didn't exist" (cf. The Screwtape Letters, and/or watch The Usual Suspects, which I finally saw last week).

Ben Myers said...

And here's a related quote:

"I love angels but have no taste for demons, not out of any desire for demythologising, but because they are not worth it."

—Karl Barth, CD III/3, p. xii.

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