Sunday, September 16, 2012

Highest Communion

While preparing notes for a discussion about the incarnation, I ran across some outstanding observations by Karl Barth in his book, The Humanity of God. He writes:
God's high freedom in Jesus Christ is His freedom for love. The divine capacity which operates and exhibits itself in that superiority and subordination is manifestly also God's capacity to bend downwards, to attach Himself to another and this other to Himself, to be together with him. This takes place in that irreversible sequence, but in it is completely real. In that sequence there arises and continues in Jesus Christ the highest communion of God with man. God's deity is thus no prison in which he can exist only in and for Himself but also with and for us, to assert but also to sacrifice Himself, to be wholly exalted but also completely humble, not only almighty but also almighty mercy, not only Lord but also servant, not only judge but also Himself the judged, not only man's eternal king but also his brother in time. And all that without in the slightest forfeiting His deity! All that, rather, in the highest proof and proclamation of His deity! He who does and manifestly can do all that, He and no other is the living God. So constituted in His deity, the deity of the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. In Jesus Christ it is in this way operative and recognizable. If He is the Word of Truth, then the truth of God is exactly this and nothing else.1 

1.  Karl Barth, The Humanity of God [Westminster John Knox Press: Richmond, VA; 1960] pp. 48-49

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