Sunday, December 2, 2012

An Alienating Antithesis.

Two of my friends have referenced this excerpt from Barth in the past couple of weeks. I finally looked it up for myself and deeply appreciated these words that are found in the "later" Barth:

"For Jesus, and as seen in the light of Jesus, there can be no doubt that all human orders are this old garment or old bottles, which are in the last resort quite incompatible with the new cloth and the new wine of the kingdom of God. The new cloth can only destroy the old garment, and the old bottles can only burst when the new wine of the kingdom of God is poured into them. All true and serious conservatism, and all true and serious belief in progress, presupposes that there is a certain compatibility between the new and the old, and that they can stand in a certain neutrality the one to the other. But the new thing of Jesus is the invading kingdom of God revealed in its alienating antithesis to the world and all its orders. And in this respect, too, the dictum is true: neutralitas non valet in regno Dei [There can be no neutrality in the Kingdom of God]. There is thus concealed and revealed, both in what we called the passive conservatism of Jesus and the individual signs and penetrations which question the world of human orders as such, the radical and indissoluble antithesis of the kingdom of God to all human kingdoms, the unanswerable question, the irremediable unsettlement introduced by the kingdom of God into all human kingdoms."

- Barth, Church Dogmatics, IV.2, 177.


David Matcham said...

Good old Barth! What is that painting called, and who made it? I love it.

Kait Dugan said...

Hi David - I'm not sure, but I wish I could remember. I collect photos and paintings from all over the internet so I can't always keep track.

Paul+ said...

The painting is "Aurora" by Jennifer Coates.

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