Karl Barth: God Is The One Who Loves In Freedom

Things have been over-the-top hectic these past few months. Academically speaking, my content has been a little lighter than I would like it to be.

I’d even have to say that my reading schedule is probably on par with my lack of being able to get to a keyboard, sit, stop, think and write.

So as it goes,  I’m posting this short summary taken from my notes on pages 328-350 of Barth’s CD.II:1.

Barth is on target. It’s not hard to pick up on his own joy, in light of knowledge about God, that has confronted him so brilliantly.

What makes this so significant is Barth’s attention to detail. Of special interest are his statements, which say in a nutshell, that who God is not defined by what God does. What God does comes straight from who He is.

Our quest to prove God obscures Him (again, the leitmotiv that is Barth’s ire against natural theology is evident). It robs God of His freedom and inevitably places humanity over Lord. Essentially creating a multitude of bewildered lost lords, all floundering in the dark, because of a quest for the Lord of the lost.

As is repeatedly found in the biblical texts: God is God and we are not.

In this case His proving is connected to our responding, not our religious reach. God proves His own existence. Creates fellowship where there is none; building a bridge across the abyss. Starting with His self-communication. His choosing to move and communicate freely with us,  for us and towards us.

God does not leave us to the mercy of our assumptions about what He wants. Instead, He clearly maps out His expectations, not as moral method, happiness formula or steps to success, but in ten relational commands that can be framed by two: love God and love others as you love yourself.

His Word creates. His expectations lead to full humanity; lived, meaningful and complete.

‘God is who He is.
He is known by whom He has freely chosen to reveal Himself to be {seen and experienced – where God proves His own existence – through covenant; in Jesus Christ}.
God does not borrow what He is from outside Himself. At once both noun, verb and predicate; known and unknown; revealing and revealed, concealing and concealed – the One who is, and therefore does, love in freedom.’
(Karl Barth, CD.II:1:328-350)

Barth's Church Dogmatics

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