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“As a father discovers himself in his child” – Karl Barth

imageAs you might have gathered from my recent posts on Barth’s Romans, I’m reading Barth’s commentary with our 4th year Bible/Theology majors in the capstone seminar for our major. It is my first sequential and complete reading of Barth’s Romans. It is a magesterial work in every sense. I’m finding it to be a difficult, frustrating and deeply profound work, and that usually is my feeling all within one paragraph. Today, I read a beautiful passage on grace:

Grace is the existence begotten by God, the new man, created and redeemed by God, the man who is righteous before Him and in whom He is well pleased, the man in whom God again discovers Himself, as a father discovers himself in his child (comment on 6:12-14, pg. 207, emphasis added)

I love that image of a father discovering himself in his child which Barth employs. This is something that I have come to understand especially in the last year. While I’m not going to say God discovers something about himself in us he had forgotten, at least not in the same way, there is perhaps something of that in his adoration of his children, and, particuarly, the redeemed. And this makes sense in light of experience.

As I pay close attention to my son Zion, I discover again myself. I come to understand and value myself. I prise the me God made. I stand in awe of him, but also of myself if I have eyes to see. How much I resemble him. How much I had forgotten of myself as I grew to adulthood. How revelatory. How redeeming. In Zion, I see the way I “was”; the way I was before sin took me out, cut me down and bent me.

There is a purity of insight into oneself through one’s child, if we only pay attention.

This is grace.

Scot McKnight’s Kingdom Conspiracy

I was fortunate enough to receive a pre-pub copy of Scot McKnight's new book Kingdom Conspiracy: Returning to the Radical Mission of the Local Church (Grand Rapids, MI: Brazos, 2014).In a nutshell, McKnight argues that there are two predominant views of "kingdom" operating in and around evangelicalism. First, the skinny jeans view, which equates kingdom with social justice. Second, the pleated pants view, where kingdom equates to God's redemptive work. McKnight wants to affirm the good of so … [Read More...]

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Aussies Spearhead Global Poverty Initiative in NY

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On-line Course on “Knowing God”

Here at Ridley College we have an awesome on-line theology program for lay people called The Ridley Certificate. This multi-media program is a great way for you, your family, or your home group to do a six week course on topics like 1 Corinthians, Gospel and Life, Understanding Your Bible, Ministry S … [Read More...]

Tomas Halik on Europe after Secularization

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And There is A Time to Avoid Simplicity in God-Talk

In responding to a critic of his first edition of The Epistle to the Romans, Karl Barth offers a reflection on the relative importance of simplicity in his preface to the second edition (1921). One critic dismissed Barth's first edition of the commentary with the line "Simplicity is the mark of … [Read More...]


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