Tuesday, October 3, 2017


Nice to have quotes from great theologians at church.

Barth featured this week, with this quote thrown up on the screen:

‘The goal of creation, and at the same time the beginning of all that follows, is the event of God’s Sabbath rest and Sabbath joy, in which man, too, has been summoned to participate.  It is the event of divine rest in the face of the cosmos completed with the creation of man – a rest which takes precedence over all of man’s eagerness and zeal to enter upon his task.  Man is created to participate in this rest.’ Karl Barth, Dogmatics III/I, 98.

It reads so well; but I know that Barth meant by this some world other than the one we are in. For him the creation account is a 'story' not a description of events in our objective and causally contiguous space-time.

The worry with his view is that he must go elsewhere to ground (as we say these days) his theology. That makes it someone else's ground, and not the one revealed by the Holy Spirit and where God's fellowship with us is shown and defined.

The 'ground' in the Bible is the action of a purposeful God who brings about results by his will ('speaking').

This set aside, where to we go for truth about our relationship with God and his creating us for fellowship if the only information we have from God (and repeated, tellingly in Barth's context) in Exodus 31:17. God speaking! is set aside? Trouble?

The trouble: we reject an account reflective of, demonstrating and defining purposeful will, and default to the only modern alternative: impersonal and purposeless chance.

Reality is either one or the other. Barth has to choose. He choose wrong.

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