Wednesday, March 30, 2005

Quote about Barth's theology

I read this and it jumped out of the page at me:
Certainly they would never have heard a commentary on the meeting between Nicodemus and Jesus in the Gosple of John like that given by Barth. Nicodemus arrives, Barth explains, with the intention of leading a cautious, judicious, tolerant, religious conversation as from one bank of a stream to the other. 'Rabbi, we know that you are a teacher come from God.' But he had scarcely opened his mouth when he is stopped. 'Truly I say to you, unless a man is born again he cannot see the kingdom of God.' All Nicodemus' cards are struck from his hand and he finds himself face to face with something incomprehensible, something he cannot fathom. 'How can a man be born again when he is old?' This is no talk shore to shore; Nicodemus is suddenly in the middle of the stream with the ground taken from under his feet. He cannot take a position of his own nor engage in a genuine exchange of opinions. The time for tolerance is past; a choice has to be made: 'Either-or'. 'Unless a man is born of water and the spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God.' Nicodemus stammers, 'How can these things be?' Jesus answers, 'Are you a teacher of Isreal and do not understand these things?' Nicodemus is checkmated in three moves. (Karl Barth, John Bowden, 1971)
This attitude of Barth's is very enticing to me at the moment. I think I will look more into Barth when I have time over the next few weeks+.


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