I’m going to share some of my favorite lines from Barth as my class works through volumes II/1 and IV/1 of his Church Dogmatics.
Barth once said that John Calvin’s writings were “a waterfall, a primitive forest, a demonic power, something straight down from the Himalayas, absolutely Chinese, strange, mythological; I just don’t have the organs, the suction cups, even to assimilate this phenomenon, let alone to describe it properly.”
Something similar could be said about Barth’s words. How about this?
“Precisely in the knowledge of faith God is and remains a mystery to us by giving Himself to be known by us” (CD II/1, 41).
“He unveils Himself as the One He is by veiling Himself in a form which He Himself is not” (CD II/1, 52).
And my favorite, “We must fear Him above all things because we may love Him above all things” (CD II/1, 33).
If you meditate on these lines, you’ll find that they really do make sense and they are even entirely orthodox (you can’t always say that about Barth). And that last one will really preach.