In an attempt to take my brain off life support I’ve been slowly diving into reading theology again. It’s almost like re-learning a language you haven’t used since high school, but it comes back pretty quick. One of the theologians that I wanted to come back to is Karl Barth and specifically his book Evangelical Theology: an Introduction composed from a series of lectures he gave when visiting the United States in 1962.
One of my favorite parts about reading a theologian are the times in which you come across a person’s translation of the gospel in their writings. It’s interesting once you’ve read their other works to compare how their theology shapes their understanding of the gospel and in turn how that informs how they live out their lives. In his chapter on “wonder” he says this:
The new event is the world’s reconciliation with God, which was announced in the Old Testament and fulfilled in the New Testament by Jesus Christ. The new event is the fulfilling and perfecting of the covenant between God and man. The new event is love, free grace, the unfathomable mercy with which God took up the cause of Israel, the criminal contender against God, and the cause of the whole rebellious and corrupted human race. He took up their cause by letting his Word become flesh, miserable and sinful flesh of sin like our own. The execution of his eternal counsel took place in a concrete act within time and space, not on the lofty pinnacle of some idea that might be easily comprehensible and persuasive for man. The Word became flesh in our place and for us, to overcome, take away, and eradicate the sin that separates us from God, the sin that is also the sting of death, the old element of our old nature and world. The new event is the name of God which is hallowed in this one person, in his obedience, service, life, and death. It is the kingdom come in him, established and active in him, God’s event is the pathway of children to their father, the way opened through him to all men and traversable for them all through the power of life of the Holy Spirit. (pg. 70)
It took me a couple times to read it, but I hope that it is as much of a blessing to you as it was to me.