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Bit of Barth

“Love does not question; it gives an answer. Love does not think; it knows. Love does not hesitate; it acts. Love does not fall into raptures; it is ready to undertake responsibilities. Love puts behind it all the Ifs and Buts, all the conditions, reservations, obscurities and uncertainties that may arise between a man and a woman. Love is not only affinity and attraction; it is union. Love makes these two persons indispensable to each other. Love compels them to be with each other.”

~ Karl Barth, Church Dogmatics III.4, 221. (H/T: Jason)


  1. roger flyer wrote:

    Will we be hearing Barth’s love vows instead of 1 Cor 13 at weddings soon?

    “Love does not fall into raptures…” ? sounds like the Beck’s ad: “We’re German, we don’t do comedy, we do beer.”

    Thursday, April 30, 2009 at 10:28 am | Permalink
  2. S. A. Laffin wrote:

    Barth’s statement here is actually more fitting for a wedding, however either Barth or the Bible I think many people will never understand what love is, especially love in marriage.

    Thursday, April 30, 2009 at 10:43 am | Permalink
  3. Colin wrote:

    I am actually going to ask the pastor officiating our wedding in three weeks if he will read this for us and the congregation as something fresh. I really don’t want to use 1 Cor. 13 just because everyone knows it but know one knows what it means. (Hopefully he will do it!)

    Thursday, April 30, 2009 at 2:01 pm | Permalink
  4. kim fabricius wrote:

    My wife does not question, she gives an answer. My wife does not think, she knows. My wife does not hesitate, she acts. Of course the opposite is the case with her husband. As for falling into raptures, well, once upon a time … Yup, sounds great for a wedding, Colin. ;)

    I wonder who Karl was thinking of when he wrote this, Nelly or Lollo?

    Thursday, April 30, 2009 at 2:25 pm | Permalink
  5. Colin wrote:

    Ahhhhh Kim, thanks for spoiling the fun! With respect to Barth’s alleged infidelities: I hope to ignore such questions. ;)

    Seriously, you are a pastor – would you use this quote at a wedding?

    Thursday, April 30, 2009 at 2:34 pm | Permalink
  6. kim fabricius wrote:

    Sure I would use it Colin – though not in place of scripture, of course – and then I would make everyone exceedingly uncomfortable by unpacking it!

    Friday, May 1, 2009 at 12:14 am | Permalink

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