Welcome back to Wednesdays With Barth! (On Thursday) I hope you enjoyed some thought provoking reading this week! I know these are more devotional. The truth is I am not really smart enough to read Barth any other way! haha
God’s being consists in the fact that He is the One who loves in freedom. In this He is the perfect being: the being which is itself perfection and so the standard of all perfection; the being, that is, which is self-sufficient and thus adequate to meet every real need; the being which suffers no lack in itself and by its very essence fills every real lack. Such a being is God. He is this being because He lives as such. It is as we return to life as the fundamental element in the divine being that we also move forward to God’s perfections. The one perfection of God, His loving in freedom, is lived out by Him, and therefore identical with a multitude of various and distinct types of perfection. There is no possibility of knowing the perfect God without knowing His perfections. The converse is also true: knowledge of the divine perfections is possible only in knowledge of the perfect God, of His loving in freedom. But because God lives His perfect being the knowledge of His perfections is also a way—the way which in the presence of the living God we must tread. In other words, even in the knowledge of the one perfect God we are confronted by His richness. The real God is the one God who loves in freedom, and as such is eternally rich. To know Him means to know Him again and again, in ever new ways—to know only Him, but to know Him as the perfect God, in the abundance, distinctness and variety of His perfections.
Logos Bible Software Version of Church Dogmatics:Barth, K., Bromiley, G. W., & Torrance, T. F. (2004). Church dogmatics: The doctrine of God, Part 1 (Vol. 2, p. 322). London; New York: T&T Clark.
I can see that Barth is echoing here the beauty of 1 John4:7-21.
1 John 4:7–21 Dear friends, let us continue to love one another, for love comes from God. Anyone who loves is a child of God and knows God. 8 But anyone who does not love does not know God, for God is love. 9 God showed how much he loved us by sending his one and only Son into the world so that we might have eternal life through him. 10 This is real love—not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as a sacrifice to take away our sins. 11 Dear friends, since God loved us that much, we surely ought to love each other. 12 No one has ever seen God. But if we love each other, God lives in us, and his love is brought to full expression in us. 13 And God has given us his Spirit as proof that we live in him and he in us. 14 Furthermore, we have seen with our own eyes and now testify that the Father sent his Son to be the Savior of the world. 15 All who confess that Jesus is the Son of God have God living in them, and they live in God. 16 We know how much God loves us, and we have put our trust in his love. God is love, and all who live in love live in God, and God lives in them. 17 And as we live in God, our love grows more perfect. So we will not be afraid on the day of judgment, but we can face him with confidence because we live like Jesus here in this world. 18 Such love has no fear, because perfect love expels all fear. If we are afraid, it is for fear of punishment, and this shows that we have not fully experienced his perfect love. 19 We love each other because he loved us first. 20 If someone says, “I love God,” but hates a Christian brother or sister, that person is a liar; for if we don’t love people we can see, how can we love God, whom we cannot see? 21 And he has given us this command: Those who love God must also love their Christian brothers and sisters.
I don’t think about the love of God enough. I am usually too caught up in wondering how he could love me. Though his declaration of love is so clearly seen in Jesus’ incarnation and atonement I still wrestle with accepting His love for me. Probably because I understand (my conscience bears witness) that I am not really free to love myself in and of myself. I am not, in and of myself, complete or perfect wanting nothing but rather a black whole of selfishness. The only freeing thought that I have or rather the only way in which I can truly love myself while remaining intellectually honest is to believe the crazy truth that the only one truly free to love… freely loves me. That sets me free. The fact that God loves me is the only way that I have found that I can love myself. The only being in my mind that is capable of truly being free to love is the one who created it in the first place. I think Elizabeth C. Clephane said it best “And from my stricken heart with tears two wonders I confess; The wonders of redeeming love and my unworthiness.” The wonders of redeeming love! Not only is God free to love but he chose to love us when He didn’t need to.
Read CD II.1 in 7 weeks
February 21, 2014 Pg iii, pp vi–ix, pp 3–20
February 24, 2014 pp 21–54
February 26, 2014 pp 55–82
February 28, 2014 pp 83–112
March 03, 2014 pp 113–153
March 05, 2014 pp 154–178
March 07, 2014 pp 179–214
March 10, 2014 pp 215–244
March 12, 2014 pp 245–278
March 14, 2014 pp 279–321
March 17, 2014 pp 322–345
March 19, 2014 pp 346–380
March 21, 2014 pp 381–409
March 24, 2014 pp 410–440
March 26, 2014 pp 441–482
March 28, 2014 pp 483–509
March 31, 2014 pp 510–539
April 02, 2014 pp 540–580
April 04, 2014 pp 581–611
April 07, 2014 pp 612–644
April 09, 2014 pp 645–679, pp 690–699
Learn more about Karl Barth here.
Buy his Church Dogmatics in LOGOS here.
*Reading list generated by Logos Bible Software.
I have the old T&T Clark edition. The page numbers don’t match yours. How can I sync with what you’re reading?