Welcome back to Wednesdays With Barth! I hope you enjoyed some thought provoking reading this week! We are cruising through book 1.2!images

This is not the case even in the person of Christ where the identity between God and man, in all the originality and indissolubility in which it confronts us, is an assumed identity, one specially willed, created and effected by God, and to that extent indirect, i.e., resting neither in the essence of God nor in that of man, but in a decision and act of God to man. When we necessarily allow for inherent differences, it is exactly the same with the unity of the divine and human word in Holy Scripture.
What Calvin said of the presence of God in the flesh of Christ can, mutatis mutandis*, be applied to the presence of God in the word of the prophets and apostles: Sacramenta … iustitiae et salutis materiam in eius canne residere docent, non quod a se ipso iustificet aut vivificet merus homo, sed quia Deo placuit, quod in se absconditum et incomprehensibile erat, in mediatore palam facere*. (Instit. III, 11. 9).

*in different circumstances
*The sacraments… teach that the substance of righteousness and salvation are present in his flesh, not that a man on his own could justify or make alive by himself. Rather, it is because God decides to make plain in the mediator what was hidden and incomprehensible in Himself

Even here the human element does not cease to be human, and as such and in itself it is certainly not divine. And it is quite certain that God does not cease to be God. In contrast to the humanity of Jesus Christ, there is no unity of person between God and the humanity of the prophets and apostles. Again, in contrast to the humanity of Jesus Christ, the humanity of the prophets and apostles is not taken up into the glory of God. It cannot independently reveal, but only attest, the revelation which did and does take place in the humanity of Jesus Christ. But at this remove and with this difference, as this word of testimony, as the sign of the revelation which has taken place and does take place, and indeed, as we saw, as the sign posited in and with revelation itself, as the witness of witnesses directly called in and with revelation itself, Scripture, too, stands in that indirect identity of human existence with God Himself, which is conditioned neither by the nature of God nor that of man, but brought about by the decision and act of God. It too can and must—not as though it were Jesus Christ, but in the same serious sense as Jesus Christ—be called the Word of God: the Word of God in the sign of the word of man, if we are going to put it accurately.

Wow! I noticed two things this week. 1) The person that said Karl Barth repeats himself a lot was right. 2) Peter Enns’ book Inspiration and Incarnation was heavily inspired from Barth’s thoughts.

I wonder if sola Scriptura has been taken way too far?   The concept of evangelical Bibliology is actually very complicated. When a persons understanding of the Bible is simply that it is divine I think it is borderline blasphemous and misleading and indicative of some poor teaching on the subject (I’ve lived it and taught it).  I side with the repositioning of Holy Scripture by the reformers to the forefront of God’s witness and revelation of Jesus Christ to man and His church. But I am convinced that the reformers would not take it to the extreme that much of North American evangelicalism has. I am all for the mystery that joins the divinity and humanity of Scripture. With his mysterious incarnational Bibliology Barth is not “Neo-Orthodox” as some have called him but orthodox. Barth is revisiting orthodoxy before the Enlightenment and Modernity. He is bringing 2000 years of Christian conversation into Evangelicalism and not just starting with Luther or Calvin. I think this is why he is so misunderstood. This is why you will find so much of the church fathers, reformers and Scripture references in his Dogmatics because he wants us to see what the enlightenment has done to much of Christianity’s “talk” for good and bad.

Question: What do you think of Barth’s citation of Calvin above? Is it fair and reasonable in your opinion? If not why?

Question: In your opinion does John M. Frame right the wrongs of biblicism and do justice to sola Scriptura in his article In Defense of Something Close to Biblicism: Reflections on Sola Scriptura and History in Theological Method”


Reading schedual for Church Dogmatics Book I.2 in 7 weeks.
Dates in bold represent posting/discussion days.

  1. December 30, 2013 pp v–xiii, pp 1–25
  2. January 01, 2014 pp 26–69
  3. January 03, 2014 pp 70–106
  4. January 06, 2014 pp 107–146
  5. January 08, 2014 pp 147–198
  6. January 10, 2014 pp 199–232
  7. January 13, 2014 pp 233–279
  8. January 15, 2014 pp 280–318
  9. January 17, 2014 pp 319–361
  10. January 20, 2014 pp 362–416
  11. January 22, 2014 pp 417–449
  12. January 24, 2014 pp 450–495
  13. January 27, 2014 pp 496–533
  14. January 29, 2014 pp 534–574
  15. January 31, 2014 pp 575–628
  16. February 03, 2014 pp 629–664
  17. February 05, 2014 pp 665–703
  18. February 07, 2014 pp 704–756
  19. February 10, 2014 pp 757–796
  20. February 12, 2014 pp 797–840
  21. February 14, 2014 pp 841–885, pp 895–905

Wednesdays with BarthLearn more about Karl Barth here.
Buy his Church Dogmatics in LOGOS here.

*Reading list generated by Logos Bible Software.