Monday, 22 December 2008

Rowan Williams: Christmas with Karl Barth

Today’s Telegraph features a Christmas meditation by Rowan Williams, focusing on Karl Barth’s critique of “principle”:

“What [Barth] was warning against was the temptation of unconditional loyalty to a system, a programme, a ‘cause’ which was essentially about ‘me and people like me’…. Christmas is supremely the story of a God who is not interested in telling us about principles…. Christmas doesn’t offer an alternative set of economic theories or even a social programme. It’s a story – the record of an event that began to change the entire framework in which we think about human life, so that the unique value of every life came to be affirmed and assumed…. That’s one reason why we tell this story repeatedly, the story of the ‘unprincipled’ God who values what others don’t notice, who relates to people we’d all rather forget, whose appeal is to everyone because he has made everyone capable of loving response.”


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