Here are some memorable lines from this week’s reading in Karl Barth, Church Dogmatics, II/1.
“And when man accepts again his destiny in Jesus Christ in the promise and faith of the future revelation of his participation in God’s glory as it is already given Him here and now, he is only like a late-comer slipping shamefacedly into creation’s choir in heaven and earth, which has never ceased its praise, but merely suffered and sighed, as it still does, that in inconceivable folly and ingratitude its living center man does not hear its voice, its response, its echoing of the divine glory, or rather hears it in a completely perverted way and refuses to cooperate in the jubilation which surrounds him” (p. 648).
Theology is “a peculiarly beautiful science. Indeed, we can confidently say that is is the most beautiful of all the sciences….It is an extreme form of Philistinism to find, or to be able to find, theology distasteful. The theologian who has no joy in his work is not a theologian at all. Sulky faces, morose thoughts and boring ways of speaking are intolerable in this science” (p. 656).
“The enterprise of natural theology is surely a questionable one for the further reason that it is so profoundly tedious and so utterly unmusical” (p. 666).
Do Muslims and Christians worship the same God? Barth responds that we do not, for monotheism that is not about the Father of Jesus Christ remains a pagan idea. He explains that monotheism in the abstract merely “proclaims the unique as God instead of God as the One who is unique. Monotheism, the religious glorification of the number ‘one’….” (p. 448).