Karl Barth on the Struggle we all have in Believing the Good News of the Revealed Word of God in Jesus!

In his multi-volume work on theology, Church Dogmatics, Karl Barth describes our human reaction to the Word of God which says to us “You are Mine!”

We might imagine the conversation to which it gives rise and some of the forms which it necessarily takes.

The man to whom it is said thinks and says that he is not this new, peaceful, joyful man living in fellowship. He asks leave honestly to admit that he does not know this man, or at least himself as this man.

The Word of grace replies: “All honour to your honesty, but my truth transcends it. Allow yourself, therefore, to be told in all truth and on the most solid grounds what you do not know, namely, that you are this man in spite of what you think.”

Man: “You think that I can and should become this man in the course of time? But I do not have sufficient confidence in myself to believe this. Knowing myself, I shall never become this man.”

The Word of grace: “You do well not to have confidence in yourself. But the point is not that you can and should become this man. What I am telling you is that, as I know you, you already are.”

Man: “I understand that you mean this eschatologically. You are referring to the man I perhaps will be one day in some not very clearly known transfiguration in a distant eternity. If only I had attained to this! And if only I could be certain that even then I should be this new man!”

The Word of grace: “You need to understand both yourself and me better than you do. I am not inviting you to speculate about your being in eternity, but to receive and ponder the news that here and now you begin to be the new man, and are already that which you will be eternally.”

Man: “How can I accept this news? On what guarantee can I make bold to take it seriously?”

The Word of grace: “I, Jesus Christ, am the One who speaks to you. You are what you are in Me, as I will to be in you. Hold fast to Me. I am your guarantee. My boldness is yours. With this boldness dare to be what you know you are.”

Man: “I certainly hear the message, but . . .” In this perplexed and startled “but” we see the attack, and who it is that is attacked.

Barth, Karl. Church Dogmatics, Volume IV, The Doctrine of Reconciliation, Part Three, First Half. Eds. G.W. Bromiley and T.F. Torrance. T. and T. Clark: Edinburgh, 1961. p. 250.


1 Timothy 4:10
4:10 For to this end we toil and struggle, because we have our hope set on the living God, who is the Savior of all people, especially of those who believe.

Comments

  1. I love this dialog. It really does reflect the human struggle we all have in believing the Truth (Jesus) of the Word (Jesus) about who we are. For those who might be interested in a brief exposition of what I think Barth means by what he writes here you can check out page 8 of the August special issue of "The Adopted Life" at theadoptedlife.org

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  2. Dr. Ronald Goetz was, until his death last year, professor emeritus of theology and religion at Elmhurst College in Illinois.

    He wrote of himself, “I must confess an ongoing allegiance to his [Barth’s] thought.”


    In a 1986 article titled “The Karl Barth Centennial: An Appreciative Critique” Goetz spoke to this “struggle” that we all have in understanding human freedom in the context of God’s desire that all be saved, his sovereignty, his love. Goetz posits that even Barth, struggled.


    “Barth, whose God is the one who "loves in freedom," realized that the grace of the free God must be consistent with significant human freedom contra the Augustinian-tradition. On the other hand, salvation is by grace alone, contra Pelagius. Universalism seems to answer many of these dilemmas. It is God’s predestined will that all persons on earth -- or in hell, for that matter (for Christ descended into hell to preach his kerygma) -- freely accept their divinely preordained salvation. The atonement is unlimited. Christ died for everyone. The only difference between Christians and non-Christians is that Christians have accepted and are called to testify to what God has done for all humanity, and non-Christians have not yet accepted.


    “Barth realized that he was walking a tightrope, for a totally consistent universalism inevitably precludes freedom. If we are all to be dragged -- in some cases kicking and screaming -- into the kingdom, nothing we are or do matters. We are in the thrall of the divine will to save us. Even God’s freedom is curtailed, for not even God is free from his own deterministic schema. Barth never quite closes the door on the possibility of rejection, and he even had dreams that he might himself be rejected. Universalism -- which might have seemed to be the logical outcome of the decree of God and the atonement of Christ -- is finally only a devoutly-to-be-wished possibility; it is not inevitable.” Nor does the WCG see it as inevitable, only a hope.


    So, in our “struggle” to understand, we are – as Goetz sees it - in good company with Karl Barth.


    Goetz, Christian Century, May 7, 1986, p. 458, http://www.religion-online.org/showarticle.asp?title=1037

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  3. "With this boldness dare to be what you know you are.”

    With this statement I find the call to do something completely beyond us. And again, the call fails to understand where law fits in the work of grace.

    Instead, the reality of Christ in us the hope of glory allows us to join with Christ in a grand walk into eternity with Him. Thus we are but sojourners and pilgrims looking with our Companion onto an evil world. Our value is not in doing better. It is with Who is in us.

    The transformation this results in is a wondrous non-essential of our realization of our complete acceptance by God right now and forever because of His righteousness, even in our continuing flawness.

    Aloha!

    J. Richard Parker

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  4. Barth's theological vision is summarized in a post on The Faith and Theology blog (see http://fly2.ws/yZ8JXx-):

    "God speaks a free and loving 'Yes' to Jesus Christ; the event of this 'Yes' is God’s trinitarian life, and its corresponding echo is a creative and redemptive 'Yes' to humanity, so that God’s relationship to humanity is an echo and an analogy of God’s relationship to Jesus Christ."

    The crux of this vision is of Jesus himself, and the condition of humanity now included in Jesus' relationship with his Father.

    This vision is not new with Barth (or with other modern theologians such as Torrance or Kruger), rather it's the affirmation and recapitulation of the ancient Scriptural testimony concerning the nature of God, of Jesus and of the condition of humanity united to God in Jesus through our Lord's incarnation, life, death, burial, resurrection and ascension.

    The early church fathers wrestled with the Biblical witness to Jesus and in doing so formulated the doctrine of the trinity, out of which came a renewed emphasis on Jesus' incarnation (see, for example, the writings of Athanasius).

    Certainly it's helpful to study Barth, Torrance, Kruger and others who embrace this vision. But it is only helpful as they take us back to Jesus and the life we have in him as revealed in Scripture and as unpacked by the church in the ancient creeds.

    As we consider who Jesus is, and what he has done, our thinking will no doubt be challenged. Maybe some dearly held beliefs will be overthrown. But we have nothing to fear from the truth that is in Jesus. Indeed, this is the Truth that sets us free.

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  5. I first wanted to note that I appreciate the tone of the discussion and the respect with which I have been treated as one of the few (apparently) in WCG who disagrees with inclusion theology. I only hope my own positions have come across in a likewise respectful way. Sometimes the best we Christians can do is agree to disagree. We are probably approaching that point. But before I ‘sign off’, I will offer a couple of other considerations.

    I agree the issue is truth. But where do we find objective truth? Barth? Parts of the Bible? Or do we subscribe to the mantra that “it takes a whole Bible to make a whole Christian.” Richard expressed my concerns in the previous blog very succinctly. I believe the issue ultimately comes down to Biblical authority. For me personally, the doctrine of inclusion holds a strong emotional appeal (not as much as universalism but still appealing). I would like to think that my unbelieving friends and relatives are children of God. To preach it is another matter. The issue is this. Is it Biblical? At least I hope that’s the issue.

    With respect to Barth, I submit the following: The theology of inclusion is, as far as I can tell, in accord with Barth’s teaching. If anything, it may go further from traditional Protestant teaching than some of Barth’s assertions with respect to adoption. Perhaps he stated similar beliefs that I have yet to come across. But in any event, Barth succinctly made his view of Scripture known. Barth had a high view of Scripture and quoted it frequently. But as far as the Bible being the wholly divinely inspired word of God, Barth had other ideas. When talking about the Bible, Barth said “It witnesses to a revelation from God, but that does not mean that God’s revelation is now before us in any kind of inherent quality of being divinely revealed. The Bible is not a book of oracles; it is not an instrument of direct impartation. It is really witness.” (Church Dogmatics Vol 1, pt 2 1956 edition pg 507). Continuing on, Barth writes, “the prophets and apostles as such, even in their office, even in their function as witnesses, even in the act of writing down their witness were real, historical men, and therefore sinful in their action, and capable and actually guilty of error in their spoken and written word.“ (same edition reference pgs 528-529). These quotes clearly indicate Barth’s view of Scripture precludes any notion of infallibility. Supporters as well as detractors have agreed on this point. Why would Barth say such? He no doubt believed it, but there would be no apparent reason to make such statements if he believed his theology fell in line with all of Scripture. That said, and I believe commonly accepted by many who have considered these matters, how does the WCG then come to claim a fully Biblically authoritative view for Barth’s theology when Barth doesn’t even do so himself?

    So here’s the crux of the matter. There are certain Scriptures which offer alternative views from Barth’s theology of what is actually true and real. If you adopt Barth’s view of Scripture, explaining away the ‘misguided word’ will be fairly simple. But if you adopt the tenant that the Bible is the infallible Word of God, upholding Barth’s theology then becomes considerably more problematic. Again, it’s not that the theology of inclusion would not be “good news.“ The issue is, is it accurate news? Is it all the news? I may want to hear I don’t have cancer. But what is true. One doctor’s report (one Scripture) may state everything checked out fine. But if there are other reports, I will certainly want to know what all the reports (Scriptures) have to say on the diagnosis and not just the one that seems to say everything is fine. I would certainly want to know exactly what the good news report was analyzing and the extent of my condition the report was meant to cover. In effect, I would want to know how to apply the good news and if that report was the end of the story. And that would become all the more critical if any ‘bad news’ reports unequivocally stated I had a dire, terminal condition.

    Most of us would probably affirm that many Christians have decided the Bible simply can’t mean what it says. Ultimately with respect to believers and unbelievers, let’s simply review what it says. Some applicable verses are: John 3:7 - “You should not be surprised at my saying, ‘You must be born again.’; I John 5:1 - “Everyone who believes that Jesus is the Christ is born of God.”; I John 5:11-12 - “And this is the testimony. God has given us eternal life, and this life is in his Son. He who has the Son has life; he who does not have the Son of God does not have life.”; John 3:36 - “ Whoever believes in the Son has eternal life, but whoever rejects the Son will not see life, for God’s wrath remains on him.”; Romans 2:8 - “But for those who are self seeking and who reject the truth and follow evil, there will be wrath and anger.”; Romans 8:9 - “You are not controlled by the sinful nature but by the Spirit, if the Spirit of God lives in you. And if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he does not belong to Christ.”; Hebrews 10:26 - “If we deliberately keep on sinning after we have received the knowledge of the truth, no sacrifice for sins is left, but only a fearful expectation of judgment and of raging fire that will consume the enemies of God.”; I John 3:10 - “This is how we know who the children of God are and who the children of the devil are: Anyone who does not do what is right is not a child of God; nor is anyone who does not love his brother.”; I Thessalonians 1:9-10 - “They will be punished with everlasting destruction and shut out from the presence of the Lord and from the majesty of his power on the day he comes to be glorified in his holy people and to be marveled at among all those who have believed.”; II Thessalonians 2:10-12 - “They perish because they refused to love the truth and so be saved. For this reason God sends them a powerful delusion so that they will believe the lie and so that all will be condemned who have not believed the truth but have delighted in wickedness.”;

    I propose the straightforward reading of these texts, and numerous others, exclude the concept that all are adopted and included in Christ. Anyone can be in Him - if He is in them. But He comes to be in them only if they (by the faith He provides) are “again birth” (literal rendering of Titus 3:5), receive Christ (John 1:12), converted (I Timothy 3:6), trust in Christ (John 14:1), in short, if they believe (John 3:16).

    To be fair, I ask for Ted or someone to explain how the theology of inclusion deals exegetically with a couple of the aforementioned passages, perhaps specifically with the concept of being born again and with God‘s wrath on unbelievers. I realize this may have already been dealt with and if so, please simply refer me to previous writings. I have read many of the writings on this blog but certainly not all of them. My current understanding, as noted earlier, is that there are two lenses, if you will, of how we are to view Scripture. One recognizes some Scriptures being written from God’s perspective and the other views some Scriptures as written from man’s perspective. It’s the latter that is of concern. If this application is correct then some Scriptures from man’s perspective may have no basis in what is reality. Can this view really hold to the infallibility of Scripture? Another related attempt to explain these Scriptures suggest that our theology must be fixed that all people are adopted and therefore we can deal with these problem passages in anyway that forces them to our presupposed conclusion. This is also the universalism approach and again, indicative of why Barth was often labeled, albeit unfairly in the strict sense, a proponent of universalism. But again, if these approaches are indicative of the WCG approach, can we really say we uphold to Biblical infallibility? I don’t believe Barth himself would say that.

    There is one other concept I wish to submit for your consideration but I will do so separately. That is the issue of the pragmatic differences between the theology of Inclusion and Calvinist/Armenian theology. By that I mean, are there any really practical differences between a saved person who doesn’t know it (Inclusion Theology) and a person who is actually unsaved (Calvinist/Armenian theology)? I believe the WCG supporters of inclusion clearly feel there are anticipated practical advantages in presenting the gospel via Inclusion Theology. So I would like to explore the practical implications in our understanding of the gospel and the extended theological assertions that stem from Inclusion Theology as opposed to traditional Calvinist/Armenian theologies.

    Happy Thanksgiving to all!

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  6. Tony raises important issues - all his concerns deserve a longer answer than is possible to give in this blog. I urge all of us to continue reading and studying together. Over time, I'm sure answers will come; for indeed, we seek together the truth that is in Jesus. To this quest I'm sure we are all committed.

    And to perhaps assuage Tony's concern about our view of Scripture in this quest, be assured that our doctine on this matter has not changed (see our Statement of Beliefs concerning the Bible).

    Tony, let me also note that in my studies I've shared your questions and concerns about Trinitarian theology. I've found all of them answered (to my satisfaction anyway) in Scripture. I have not (and do not) rely on the writings of Barth, Torrance, Kruger or Athanasius - though I appreciate what they have said to us about Jesus and his role as vicarious man.

    And so my studies have focused on the Scriptures - but I do confess that I now look at the Scriptures through a new lens. My paradigm for understanding God's Word in writing has changed--not because I believe the Bible less. Rather I now believe it more because I find revealed there more than ever the "truth that is in Jesus."

    And so whatever Barth's view of Scripture may have been (and there is no unanimity on that point), the WCG does not believe in a Trinitarian theology because Barth did. We do share some of his views, but that can be said about all sorts of Trinitarian and non-Trinitarian theologians with varying perspectives on the Scriptures themselves. One does not have to twist or otherwise misuse Scripture to conclude that in Jesus (the divine Son of God and the vicarious human), all humanity has been reconciled to God.

    What this over-arching truth means and how it works out in detail is the subject of our ongoing study.

    And Tony, please do not discount in your thinking about this issue the possibility that there is a distinct and important difference between how this reconciliation looks on the "God side" and how it looks on the "human side." This two-fold view (what might be called a paradox) is not double-talk, nor is it playing fast and loose with Scripture. Rather it's seeking to uphold all the truth revealed in Scripture, giving primacy to the truth of who Jesus is. Indeed, he is the truth that gives meaning to all other truths.

    We do believe it makes a big difference as to how one gets to the "bottom line" of a theology. So, if Calvinism and Aminanism share essentially the same bottom line as a Trinitarian theolgy, there are differences that are important. We look for a cohesive framwork that upholds what Scripture tells us is the most important facts, namely who Jesus is, the grace of God in all aspects of salvation history, etc.
    Some theological framworks more adequately uphold, present and explain these truths.

    And this brings me to my final point. Any theology that upholds basic orthodox Christian doctrine should be viewed with respect as principally orthodox. But some theologies are more *adequate* than others in accounting for these doctrinal truths.

    So, for example, all orthodox Christians believe in the representative/subsitutionary role of Jesus as the vicarious human. But how is this true? How does it work out? When? And why? These are questions a theology seeks to answer. Trinitarain or Christ- centered theology finds its answers principally in the person of Jesus, the full and final revelation of God. And thus we give primacy to how it all looks from the God side. This truth then interprets the view from the human side. Trinitarian theolgy is thus grounded in the Trinity (God's nature), Christology (who Jesus is), including the doctrine of the incarnation (by which humanity is included in the life of God).

    Then from this base in God, we go to the human side in the doctrines of the fall of man, the atonement, etc. Where one starts and what one gives priority to greatly affects one's theological framework and many conclusions that fall out from that framework.

    Many individual passages of Scripture (many of the ones Tony cites) are the view from the human side. This does not mean that Scripture is teaching untruths - for human perception is indeed part of human reality. But then there is a larger truth - one often unseen (behind the landscape of human experience). And that truth is found in Jesus himself as fully God and fully representative man.

    We have many details to work out in this theology. We are not in a rush to do so. But we rest in and rely upon the Truth that defines all other truths: Jesus. In this way our theology is faith in Jesus seeking understanding.

    I enourage us all to seek this understanding together and in a spirit of humility and brotherhood. If some disagree, we respect such disagreement. This is not an issue over which to choose up sides. After all, we all worship the same Lord and we all believe that he is the Way, the Truth and the Life. We all believe fully that we are saved by grace alone through faith in Christ alone. We simply seek meaningful ways to explain and account for how this grace has been worked out in the mind and through the gracious action of God on our behalf. The picture we are finding is stunning in its beauty and has powerful ramifications for many things. But we will see these over time.

    Advent blessings,
    Ted

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  7. Tony raises concerns about Barth's view of Scripture. For those who'd like to study this issue further, Dave Gilbert recommends an article at http://fly2.ws/CpZOKNR. Because it has been scanned it often mis-spells "Barth" as "Earth"--but aside from that, and the fact that it is quite challenging to read, you may find it helpful. The bottom line of the article is this - Barth's view of Scripture is often mis-represented. He had a much higher view of Scripture than some of his critics (and even some of his supporters) suppose.

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  8. I hope that we don’t leave Tony’s recent remarks unexplored. To me, Tony is touching on a key challenge for WCG. You see, when we made our changes a decade or more ago, did we really change our basic thinking, which lent itself to legalistic notions, practices, and views, or did we just change our distinctives, while leaving in place that old way of thinking?

    An example of what I am saying is found in our view of the Bible. Surely, it must be the inspired, infallible word of God. But how are we to use this word? Should it be used in a pick and choose manner, or how about using it like a telephone book, or a concordance, or an encyclopedia? All these ways, in my opinion, just lend themselves to more off the mark teachings, practices, and views.

    As for me, I have come to see that the Bible is like a great (true) novel, which flows to a grace conclusion based on belief in the name of Jesus Christ. And there are chapters in that novel, which tell us something about God and how He deals with people. For instance, there is the Sermon on the Mount chapter, which sadly most Christians believe tells them how they must live their lives. However, the truth is that in this chapter Jesus tells how we can’t possibly live the law life. And this is shown by Jesus' dealings with the centurion in Matthew 8. Failure to see this reality leads people into all sorts of destructive to faith activity.

    Now when it comes to the issue of inclusion, surely the great thinkers we cite have something to say on this. But what do the Bible’s chapters on the New Covenant (John through Revelation) have to say? What do these chapters say about the place of law in our walk, about God’s wrath and how it comes into place, and about the importance of belief in the name of Jesus in our theology?

    Listen! This is serious business, as we are clearly warned by the writers for the New Covenant chapters of the Bible. And I submit that we must be willing to change our thinking, and not just our distinctives, to match the thinking embraced by such people as John, Luke (as expressed in Acts), Paul, James, Peter, and Jude. Failure to do so makes us just another weak voice in the wind of floundering modern Christianity.

    Aloha!

    J. Richard Parker

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  9. What I hear Richard advocating in his last post in this thread is that we use Scripture in a way that is governed by an over-arching/organizing principle; rather then picking out verses in a hap-hazard, proof-texting sort of way. If that is his point, I agree wholeheartedly. And this is a primary place where I see great value in our emerging Trinitarian, Christ-centered theological vision.

    As Baxter Kruger is fond of saying, we (necessarily) read Scripture through a certain "set of glasses." And, of course, which set we wear will determine how we read (understand) the text.

    I think we are coming to see more clearly that a fully Trinitarian theology is indeed the "set of glasses" that God calls us to wear as we view all of Scripture.

    At its heart, this theology is the "truth that is in Jesus." It emphasizes who Jesus is in his eternal, triune relationship with the Father through the Spirit. And that truth points to how humanity is given to share in that relationship through the incarnation, life, death, resurrection and ascension of our Lord Jesus.

    In union with Jesus, we are included in his relationship with the Father, through the Spirit.

    This is the over-arching, organizing message of all Scripture. By the Spirit's design, the Bible is a unified message of a unified plan being played out on the stage of history ("his-story") one step at a time.

    This paradigm gives unifying coherence to the various stages in the plan described in the pages of the Bible. It helps us see, for example, the purpose for the life of Israel under the Old Covenant as not an isolated event but an event in contiunity with the whole story - its part being preparation of the "womb" within which the Son of God was incarnated in our humanity.

    We then see the "church age" under the new covenant as the work of the Spirit to illuminate (educate) all humanity to this truth of Jesus, which is at the same time the truth of the inclusion of humanity in the triune life of God in and through Jesus.

    And thus the whole story, from beginning in eternity past to ending in eternity future, is about Jesus and our life in him by grace. This strory is, from first to last, a story about a divine-human relationship.

    At the heart of it all is the Triune God, and the inclusion of humanity in his triune life in Jesus.

    I believe that this Trinitarian framework is not an arbitrary or foreign framework imposed on Scripture. Rather it's the framework revealed in the person of Jesus who is the focus of all Scripture. As one theologian said, Jesus is the "ground and grammar" of this theology.

    I thank God that through our on-going journey of reformation, he is opening our eyes more and more to see Jesus and through this theology to understand Jesus and his written word more accurately.

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  10. Yes, we must have an overriding guide for our use of the Bible. Otherwise, we can end up with an illogical song with lots of doubt for us as to God’s ability and desire to love us.

    For instance, the Sermon on the Mount says to forgive or God won’t forgive you. But later Paul says to forgive as God has forgiven you. These are not compatible ideas. Nonetheless, these conflicting teachings are commonly mixed together and thrown at Christians. The result is lots of doubt and frustration in Christians as to their standing with God.

    So how are we to handle these types of differences found in the Bible? Well, how about with the idea that the Bible is like that great novel, which flows to a grace conclusion through belief in the name of Jesus Christ? When we do so, the conflicts go away.

    And with this in mind, Jesus' statement as He died on the cross that, “It is finished!” takes on a vastly significant meaning to us. In other words, He is not saying, “I am finished!” or “It is finished, except for the good parts, like the Ten Commandments and the Great Commandments!” What He is saying is that the Old Covenant (all of it) is over, done, and of no relevance, aside from informative (a very important feature, by the way) of our desperate need for a Savior, to New Covenant believers.

    But alas, modern Christianity has a hard time seeing this reality. A major reason lies in the lens with which it views the Bible itself. The lens used today is the blender, pick and choose, telephone book lens, which is so destructive to faith.

    So yes, let us have the Bible speak to us with its unified, flowing to a conclusion message, which message is only truly understood in terms of belief in the name of Jesus Christ.

    Aloha!

    J. Richard Parker

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  11. Conderning Karl Barth's view of Scripture (and the larger issue of his view of the Word of God), you might want to read an article written by John McKenna posted on the WCG website at http://fly2.ws/8G6SUfe. It's titled "The Theology of the Word of God" wherein he notes that there are three forms of Barth’s concept of the Word of God:

    I. The Word of God is first of all and preeminently the Person of the Lord Jesus Christ.

    II. The Word of God appears in written form as the Holy Scriptures.

    III. The Word of God is also the proclamation of the Church of Jesus Christ, the Gospel that is the Revelation of His Father by the Spirit of God.

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  12. Anonymous6/26/2011

    I am thankful for this blog and the discussion we can have regarding our new theology and the high Christology that Barth had. He has been used by God to give us a new perspective in seeing what is the Truth, or rather who is the Truth, for the Truth is a person not a doctrine that men know or works that men can do. The Truth can not be known by man himself nor is a man able to teach you the truth. Though a man declare you the Truth another man will not believe it of themself. It is only as God wills Jn1:11-13 can we know the Truth, who Jesus Christ really is. He must be revealed to you thru the Holy Spirit, who is God. God has revealed Himself in Himself (Jesus Christ). It takes God to know God! John 17 says that this is etenal life that we know God and are one with Him, God joins us together, Eph 1, in Him thru the same Holy Spirit. This is not an intellectual experience but an experience of the presence of God Himself, here and now. Christians have been given to know who Jesus Christ is now Mt.16:13-17. This is an anointing from above whereby we are able to know Him, what no man can ever teach us, the Truth. 1Jn:2:27 Unless God is calling us this is all foolishness 1 Cor.2 and Jn6
    Karl Barth has focused us on knowing God by God and not of ourself. He keeps you looking at Jesus Christ who is the Truth, the Way, and the Life. When ever we get away from Him we get into our speculations and ideas of men. This is what we did in the old WCG. We had faith God was with us but as in Gal. 3 we added doctrines and ideas of men that were not truth but error. We always had faith present, even though we called the Holy Spirit a power from God and not God. However we always preached that was how God was present in all the universe by His Spirit. So if He was present everywhere by this power He Himself had to be, for we never detached His power from Him. We didn't believe we were born again now either, but we were. Our theology was wrong but that didn't change the presence of God in His people in the WCG. Faith was present. The anointing of the Holy Spirit was in us and the JOY and Peace we received in Him. Though our docrines have changed with our new theology there is no difference in our faith that in order to know God takes God and in Him, He is the same yesterday,today and forever. There is no difference in Christ Jesus, and we thru the Holy Spirit received Him and were in Him as One. No different than today, for its by His Spirit and His will not our will that we are all His. He has made us all a new Creation!!!!

    Thank God for His Eternal Plan in Himself, in Christ Jesus!!

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