May God’s Omnipotence Be With You

Barth Final Filter 1I was reading through the final sections of Barth’s CD.II:I this afternoon and landed on this. With all the Star Wars hype throughout the past week, I found it kinda relevant:

‘In the Bible mysticism of an exousia (force; power) as such, the mystery of a natural force or an historical sequence, is from the very first attacked at the root. It is not worth considering. It can only be rejected. Israel can be impressed by this kind of divine power only when it falls back and away to the idols of Canaan, Egypt or Babylon. When it is obedient, it counts on God’s power and God’s power alone.’ (p.600)

Like his dislike for natural theology, Barth was not keen on mysticism. While he’d have taken to task anyone who tried to synchronize Jedi spirituality with Christian teaching, I don’t think he’d have rejected Star Wars as a whole. From what we know of him, if he ever was met with a, “may the force be with you,” it’s very likely he’d have smiled and jovially quipped, “Nein. The Omnipotence of God lovingly confronts us in God’s acts, accompanied by His divine knowing and His divine will. We are not given an ambiguous, “may the force be with you.” Instead, God has given us permission to speak and proclaim with more certainty and grounding, “May HIS force be with you!”

Barth, K. 1940 Church Dogmatics II:I The Doctrine of God Hendrickson Publishing

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