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Category Archives: Theologians

Jesus brings himself: A sermon unto the kingdom

Matthew 5:21-37 & 1 Corinthians 3:1-9 Preached on 02/16/14 Jesus comes to us with an antithesis. His words, in this text specifically, and the whole of his message and life and calling speak of and call us to a break. This comes straight to the forefront in this section of the Sermon on the Mount. […]

Christ’s baptism, Christ’s confession

A fitting reflection I think, for this Sunday, the Baptism of the Lord: When He had Himself baptised with water by John, Jesus confessed both God and [humankind]. A better way of putting it is that because He confessed God, the God whose will was soon to be done on earth as it is in […]

The fantasy of God

The feast of eternal joy is prepared by the fullness of God and the rejoicing of all created being. If we could talk only about God’s nature and will, we should not do justice to his plenitude. Inappropriate though human analogy is bound to be, in thinking of the fulness of God we can best talk about […]

Advent and the end of religion

There’s a somewhat famous quote from Bonhoeffer’s Letters and Papers from Prison (November 21, 1943, pp. 188-89) on the nature of Advent: “By the way, a prison cell like this is a good analogy for Advent; one waits, hopes, does this or that — ultimately negligible things — the door is locked and can only be […]

To become and to be a Christian

To become and to be a Christian is not at all an escape from the world as it is, nor is it a wistful longing for a “better” world, nor a commitment to generous charity, nor fondness for “moral and spiritual values” (whatever that may mean), nor self- serving positive thoughts, nor persuasion to splendid […]

Christian distinctiveness

The epistle to Diognetus is perhaps one of the more well known works from among the Apostolic Fathers these days, at least in popular theological discussions. This is due, less to its remarks on the “common silliness and deception and foolishness and pride of the Jews” (4:6 — yikes), than for the chapter that immediately follows […]

Resurrection

The final summing up of all this which is told us at Easter is: Jesus is victor! Jesus — is it not he who was born in humblest lowliness, who died on the cross crying the cry of a derelict of God, he who forgave sins but who collapsed under the burden of sin, he, […]

Good Friday

Ethics and religion and church all go in this direction: from the human to God. Christ, however, speaks only and exclusively of the line from God to human beings, not of some human path to God, but only of God’s own path to humans. Hence it is also fundamentally wrong to seek a new morality […]

Barth and the primacy of the family

Thanks to Melissa for sending this gem from Karl Barth my way: If along the third main line of the texts in question we have to do with the overcoming, proclaimed with the incursion of the kingdom of God, of the false separation between man and man revealed in the friend-foe relationship and concretely expressing […]

Only the devil has an answer

Bonhoeffer’s discussion of Jesus’s encounter with the Rich Young Man seems to me to be a fitting post for Ash Wednesday indeed: The young man’s question [of which commandments he ought to obey] shows him up for his true colours. He is — man under sin. The answer of Jesus completes his exposure. Jesus simply […]

Sin and love

What makes us humans is, of course, being more loving. And sin is a defect in this love. To say that Jesus was without sin just means that he was wholly loving, that he did not put up barriers against people, that he was not afraid of being at the disposal of others, that he […]

The salvation of the gospel

At Golgotha, along with the idols and demons, our imaginings about ourselves are driven out. Where the heathen and pious are involved in the murder of Jesus, humanity as such is unmasked and given reality, and only forgiving grace can have the last word. At the same time it is there that the true God […]

Ego te appsolvo

As I’m sure many of you have heard, there’s now a brand new Confession App on the market for Roman Catholics — available for iPhone and iPod Touch for a very reasonable $1.99! Appararently it’s gotten the imprimatur from at least one Catholic Bishop, and I was surprised to learn that it was developed in […]

Church Dogmatics §2 Comments

§2.1 The Necessity of Dogmatic Prolegomena Summary: Prolegomena is the introductory part of theology that seeks to understand its particular way of knowledge. Prolegomena, thus, is our attempt to speak about how we go about knowing in theology. Why do we need prolegomena? Well, first of all it isn’t something simply forced on us by […]

Other Barth reading groups

I just wanted to make mention of several of the other groups reading through Barth’s Church Dogmatics around the blogosphere. In addition to ours, Cabe and Matt (and now Adam) have been reading through the CD for a while now. They are currently well into 2/I. In addition, Daniel Kirk is also doing a read […]

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