Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Karl Barth on the "Faithfulness of Christ"

For the Barthophiles out there:

"The fact that I live in the faith of the Son of God, in my faith in him, has its basis in the fact that He Himself, the Son of God, first believed for me ... the great work of faith has already been done by the One whom I follow in my faith, even before I believe, even if I no longer believe, in such a way that He is always, as Heb 12:2 puts it, the originator and completer of our faith ... His faith is the victory which has overcome the world"

CD II/2, 559.

5 comments:

Michael Pahl said...

I don't know if I'm a Barthophile, but to this I say "Amen!" We participate in the faith of Christ through our own Christ-like faith by the Spirit of Christ.

Tyler said...

This same idea carried its way over into T.F. Torrance's theology as well. It's compelling, great quote.

Rod said...

Awesome quote!

Gordon Kennedy said...

A great quote. I found myself wondering what Barth means by 'even if I no longer believe'?
Is he saying something like Christ holds onto me during the dark days of doubt and/or despair? Or is he going so far as to say that someone who has once lived in the faith of the Son of God is so taken hold of by Christ, in his believing for me, that I can never fall out of his believing for me?
To what extent does the perseverance of the saints extend?

Chris TerryNelson said...

I also recently came across this gem while trying to understand the pistis christou debate in my Galatians class with Shane Berg at PTS. I think it's a helpful way to combine the subjective/objective genitive readings into a participationist model (also see Gal. 2:20). Perhaps Doug Campbell will flesh this out in his new book...