Saturday, April 21, 2012

The humility of God.

I have probably read this excerpt from Karl over ten times by now, but it never ceases to amaze me:
"Even in the form of a servant, which is the form of His presence and action in Jesus Christ, we have to do with God Himself in His true deity. The humility in which He dwells and acts in Jesus Christ is not alien to Him, but proper to Him. His humility is a new mystery for us in whose favour He executes it when He makes use of His freedom for it, when He shows His love even to His enemies and His life even in death, thus revealing them in a way which is quite contrary to all our false ideas about God. But for Him this humility is no new mystery. It is His sovereign grace that He wills to be and is amongst us in humility, our God, God for us. But He shows us this grace, He is amongst us in humility, our God, God for us, as that which He is in Himself, in the most inward depth of His Godhead. He does not become another God. In the condescension in which He gives Himself to us in Jesus Christ He exists and speaks and acts as the One He was from all eternity and will be to all eternity. The truth and actuality of our atonement depends on this being the case. The One who reconciles the world with God is necessarily the one God Himself in His true Godhead. Otherwise the world would not be reconciled with God. Otherwise it is still the world which is not reconciled with God."
- Karl Barth, CD IV.1, 192-193 (emphasis added).

1 comment:

Matthew Frost said...

The man has good instincts backed up by good research. :) One of my NT profs, in a Matthew course, explained the virtue of humility as being precisely who and what one is. It is as much hubris to pretend to be less, as to pretend to be more. I like this notion, in the face of "subordinationism". Both pretensions are denials of providence, for us. And if God becomes human, God in Christ is no less God -- and in Christ is exactly who and what God is, without pretending to be less. But in Christ God is God as a human being, and is this same God in ways appropriate to who and what he is as Jesus -- without pretending to be more, but certainly without pretending to be less. I think this is a better answer to the Christ hymn in Philippians than any suggestion that God voided some presumed essential aspects of divinity, working with the omnis tied behind his back artificially.

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