Barth Reflection Essay

1177 words - 5 pages

When looking at the common theme that Barth develops in God Here and Now, it becomes apparent for the need of congregation to justify, ratify, and promote the Bible as the living word of God. When and where the Bible constitutes its own authority and significance, it mediates the very presence of God through the congregation. Encountering this presence in the Church, among those whose lives presume living through the Bible’s power and meaning. Barth states that the Bible must become God's Word and this occurs only when God wills to address us in and through it. The Christ-event is God's definitive self-disclosure, while Scripture and preaching are made to correspond to him as a faithful witness becomes the perfect statement according to Barth (Barth, 2003, p. 61).
Barth’s opening thesis is a view that everything that can be known with confidence about God or divine things is known only or primarily by faith, as opposed to a coherent or cognitive. In addition, existential, in the sense that Barth affirms that scripture has an objective significance, even before considering it through faith and reason. According to Barth, “This circumstance is the simple fact that in the congregation of Jesus Christ, the Bible has specific authority and significance” (p. 56) and without the congregation it becomes only historical. It becomes important to uphold and defend the Bible’s authority and the power does not come from any simple measure employed by us individually. It is up to the congregation to openly confess the analytical propositions without fear and become actively engaged in the faith and obedience of which it asks (p. 56).
Barth has an approach to the question of the bible’s authority from a biblical and gospel-centered perspective and not a philosophically epistemological approach. Scripture becomes the Word of God by virtue of God's gracious bestowing; therefore, one becomes capable of exegeting Scripture only through the Holy Spirit's enlightening power. The Word of God is intrinsic to neither text nor reader; however, is rather an exterior witness that speaks repeatedly from without. Scripture is not alive merely of reading the text, nor is it because of the text simply read off the page. The connecting of the Holy Spirit with both Scripture and reader is what brings the scripture to life. Therefore, the clarity of Holy Scripture is the clarity of God (p. 63).
Barth, who rightly situates the reader within the Christian community gathered and sent by the Spirit to participate in the mission of God through its active witness. It is by divine authorship fully and non-competitively coincides with human authorship in the past, while divine illumination non-competitively coincides with human interpretation in the present (p. 65). The importance of the congregation of the church has much to gain in understanding by allowing them to speak as witnesses to the true Word of God which we have to hear, and which we have to trust and obey in life...

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