The Blog of Jack Holloway

Wednesday, March 2, 2016

Karl Barth's Indictment of Theology

I recently wrote on Karl Barth's theology for the Hill City Church blog. Below is a section from the blog:
Barth’s desire was to cultivate a theology in which God’s revelation was understood as transcending culture and calling humankind into question. In this, the revelation brought to us in Christ does not give us all the answers about God. It is not the moment when we understand who God is perfectly and clearly. On the contrary, revelation introduces us to God’s mystery. 
Uncertainty follows faith. The hidden God is the revealed God (ER, 422). 
 “In [Jesus Christ] God reveals Himself inexorably as the hidden God who can be apprehended only indirectly.” (ER, 369)
What we get, then, in Barth’s theology is an indictment of theology itself.
“What men on this side of resurrection name ‘God’ is most characteristically not God. Their ‘God’ . . . is the complete affirmation of the course of the world and of men as it is.” (ER, 40)
“God Himself is not acknowledged as God and what is called ‘God’ is in fact Man.” (ER, 44)
In our efforts to adapt God to our present culture, we end up compromising God’s essential divinity and settling for a “human contraption in place of the divine handiwork” (OR, 57). In other words, theology becomes idolatry. Theologians, he said, forgot that their concern was God (WGWM, 245-246).
Read more at Hill City Church

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