(CD IV/3/1, 103-104). It shows us the question which is answered by revealed religion as well as all other positive religions, and it is as the most satisfactory answer that the Christian religion has the advantage over others and is rightly described as revealed religion. Creator means one who alone exists, and everything else only as the work of His will and Word. that religion has not to be understood in the light of revelation, but revelation in the light of religion” (CD I/2, 290-291). When we meditate on the Word, we use the Bible to encounter God. Rodin, R. Scott. But the point is this: in fideism one does not believe in the reality of miracles because God has revealed that they have happened; rather, one believes because in those very miracles one realizes that God is revealing himself. Barth points out that the prophets of the Old Testament and the apostles of the New were just as aware of the plurality of religions in their cultures as we are of this plurality in ours. 5:1-2). At the very heart of the apostolic witness (which accepts the Christian as the true religion) Christianity could not be more comprehensively relativised in favour of revelation, which means a crisis even for the religion of revelation. With the qualification that the book of Scripture is valued because in it the Holy Spirit witnesses to Jesus Christ, Barth can even affirm that Christianity is a religion of the Book: “If in reply it is asked whether Christianity is really a book-religion, the answer is that strangely enough Christianity has always been and only been a living religion when it is not ashamed to be actually and seriously a book-religion” (CD I/2, 494-495). And God said, “Let there be light,” and there was light. Barth is content, then, simply to present Jesus Christ as He has revealed himself to us and to explain what Christians believe about Christ. This work gives a philosophical and theological account of the belief that Scripture enables people to encounter the life-giving reality of God. This is one of the recurrent themes in Concluding Unscientific Postscript: So rather let us mock God, out and out, as has been done before in the world—this is always preferable to the disparaging air of importance with which one would prove God’s existence. We cannot reason: the Bible tells us the truth; the Bible tells us of miracles; therefore we must accept the miracles. Barth clearly did not think miracles should be accepted simply because they are in the Bible. 2 Parenthetical references in the text are to paragraph numbers, not pages, in Blaise Pascal, Pensées, trans. or, Why should I trust God? We must always trust that God has a plan and He has a reason for allowing something to happen. And God saw that the light was good. For fideists, that is exactly what the “problem” is with the “problem of evil”: it has been treated as an intellectual puzzle, a kind of apologetical Rubik’s Cube. The difficulties are simply introduced by God in order to make sure that he can become only the object of faith (although it is necessarily implicit in his essence and in the disproportion between the two qualities: God and man). The answer is simple: You accept what God allows! A lot of people treat their time in the Word as an item on their to–do list that needs to be checked off. 3 Kierkegaard, Concluding Unscientific Postscript, 1:31. We start asking Him for something else. On the other hand, in another sense Christianity is the true religion, but only because God in his grace makes it so. First, and somewhat surprisingly, Christianity is superior because it alone tells the truth about man’s tragic standing as a sinner. “The double relationship in Christianity is the very thing that demonstrates its absolute truth, the fact that it goads just as intensely as it attracts” (JP 455, 1:179). Toward the end of the Church Dogmatics Barth explains why the church is not arrogant to claim that Jesus Christ is the only self-revelation of God. Among evangelicals, it is popular to affirm that Christianity is not a religion but a relationship with Jesus Christ. God Encounter is not about a one-time dramatic experience but an ongoing leading of the Holy Spirit for our lives. It looks away from non-Christian and Christian alike to the One who sovereignly confronts and precedes both as the Prophet. Summary: In Genesis 18 the patriarch Abraham has a dramatic personal encounter with God.His meeting with God provides us with a wealth of insights into who God is and how He relates to us humans.. The apologists are just as stupid as the free-thinkers and are always shifting the viewpoint of Christianity. The apologetic task, then, becomes to present God’s revelation in Scripture as his self-attesting Word, and belief in the biblical miracles will follow. Barth accepts “direct identification of revelation and the Bible” only in the dynamic sense, stressing that as the Bible becomes God’s Word it also becomes revelation. God placed our sins on His sinless Son on the cross, so that we might be forgiven and become a child of God. Let us suppose that someone does really presuppose and maintain that the existence of Jesus Christ is light, truth, revelation, Word and glory, and thinks that it is obviously reasonable and incumbent to confess this. God Allows Problems in Order to Test Our Hearts God may allow problems so that He may test your heart and your motives. The fact that Christianity offends many people in its assessment of the human condition is for Kierkegaard just as important as the fact that many are attracted to it. . No other word reveals the omnipotent grace of God and his love for all mankind in providing full justification and sanctification in a once-for-all event (CD IV/3/1, 107-108). . In the same way we grow stronger in our relationship with our spouse or friends after a meaningful conversation, so we can grow with God. (CD I/2, 289-290). The doctrine of Holy Scripture in the Evangelical Church is that this logical circle is the circle of self-asserting, self-attesting truth into which it is equally impossible to enter as it is to emerge from it: the circle of our freedom which as such is also the circle of our capacity. . (Genesis 1:26) Unlike animals, which act mainly on instinct, we resemble our Creator in our capacity to display such qualities as love and justice. It is this consciousness which paganism lacks” (JP 452, 1:179). If we don’t encounter God on a regular basis, it’s not because God is hiding from us. No denigration of Scripture is meant by this distinction; after all, Barth can speak of Jesus Christ as the true Witness and of the witness of the Holy Spirit to Jesus Christ. . You can not encounter God and remain the same. Our study of the Bible must develop into an active dialogue with the Person of God. I love it that God allows us to talk to him about our questions and struggles. Can it ever enter his head to think that he should justify himself in this matter, adducing proofs to convince himself and others, or to assure himself that he is really right, that what he does is necessary or at least possible? Imagine if we had that kind of relationship with our spouse. Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1984. Reason is a God-given gift that enables us to interpret Scripture, Tradition, and Experience in light of the world in which we find ourselves. In relation to the content of the Word spoken in Jesus Christ, we have tried to describe and explain this basis. 2 Chronicles 30:12 Also in Judah the hand of God was to give them one heart to do the commandment of the king and of the princes, by the word of the LORD. Absolutely not. . According to Barth, it makes no sense for someone who believes in Christ as the Truth to try and prove or defend that belief. God must be approached in the humility of subjection and submission, not in the arrogance of rational speculation. In some important ways, Blaise Pascal’s Pensées anticipated a fideistic approach to knowing God. (CD I/2, 326). Let’s take God for example. Of course, part of what God does in Christ is to speak, and fideists do not deny that revelation includes a verbal aspect. Second, and in some tension with the claim that no answer should be given to the problem, some fideists do offer a reply to the question of why we should trust God, to wit: in Christ’s suffering and death God has shown his trustworthiness beyond anything we have a right to have expected. Read the list below of scriptures mentioning the suffering we all must encounter. . Scripture, Understanding No Other Is God Veils Abundance, Spiritual. How do we come to assert that it can, if it has not already done so? (CD IV/3/1, 85-86). And the Spirit of God was hovering over the face of the waters. There is one great miracle that is reflected in all the miracles. Again, we cannot say of the evident religious capacity of man that it is, so to speak, the general form of human knowledge, which acquires its true and proper content in the shape of revelation. The authority of Scripture, because it is the Word of God, is self-attesting. The basic fideist distinction between Scripture as witness and Christ as the One to whom Scripture witnesses is found in Kierkegaard. 7 (Macon, Ga.: Mercer University Press, 1994), 69. if you are using this for a paper use [email protected] for the author, Happy New Year: Past, Present, and Future Perspectives, 4. Second, Kierkegaard points out that Jesus Christ, alone among all the founders of the major world religions, made himself the supreme issue. The second meditation is about following the divine path to God. Subscribe to get these posts in your email inbox, plus teaching videos and upcoming events. Because of God’s love for us! Barth finds this judgment on the Christian religion expressed in 1 Corinthians 13, which, he says, “we shall best understand if for the concept ‘love’ we simply insert the name Jesus Christ.”, The chapter summarizes the whole religious life of a Christian community at the time of Paul: speaking with tongues, prophecy, knowledge of mysteries, a faith that removes mountains, giving all one’s goods to the poor, martyrdom in the flames to close—and of all this it is said that it helps the Christian not at all, absolutely not at all, if he has not love. Just image what you … An Exercise in Solidarity. These encounters will enable us to have a clearer portrayal of the Self-revealed God, one who is different from the conceptualized deity envisioned through transcendental meditation, vision quest or mystical rapture. exercises help us apply the Great Commandments to love God and others in our everyday encounters, seeing others not as objects to be manipulated but as subjects to be cared for and loved. We do not believe in miracles, but in God.”8, Fideists believe Jesus Christ needs no defense. limits. They believe He is personally self-attesting: as people encounter Jesus Christ (through the witness of Scripture and the church), they are won to faith in him by the power of the love and grace of God that he embodies. Do fideists even attempt to provide meaningful answers to common objections to the Christian faith? a stronger faith in the realness of God, a more confident peace regardless of circumstances, and a greater ability to express our love not only to God, but also to those we share life with already. . Fortunately, we can rely on the wisdom and experience of Christians who came before us, who have much to teach us about praying with the Scriptures. The Bible as Scripture, on the other hand, as the authoritative canon of writings bearing witness to God’s reconciliation of mankind to himself through Jesus Christ, must be accepted by faith as beyond argument or debate. This argument appears to be a recommendation to unbelievers to take the Christian faith seriously enough to try it. . You have hoarded wealth in the last days. As it is God’s Word it bears witness to God’s past revelation, and it is God’s past revelation in the form of attestation” (CD I/1, 111). In Reformed apologetics miracles are believed because God reveals them; in fideism, because in them God reveals himself. This is the question to which we must make answer to ourselves and others. Precisely because God wants Holy Scripture to be the object of faith and an offense to any other point of view, for this reason there are carefully contrived discrepancies (which, after all, in eternity will readily be dissolved into harmonies); therefore it is written in bad Greek, etc. Instead, the only appropriate “proof” of God’s existence is an expression of submission: “one proves God’s existence by worship . Site by. The absolute is the absolute” (JP 486, 1:193). . “Religion is never true in itself and as such. Romans 15:4 - "...through patience and comfort of the scriptures we might have hope." Whenever I sit down in my quiet time with God I struggle with thinking, “Where did I leave off and how many chapters do I have to read to catch up?” It’s as if I think that God is more pleased with me cause I read 20 chapters today. But do we trust Him with our lives? . Therefore, if someone wishes to write a big book to justify or indict God—as far as I am concerned, I will believe. According to Pascal, God has given “visible signs” to make it possible for people to find him, but has “disguised” them so that only those really seeking him will succeed (Pensées, 194).2 These signs, therefore, are not rational proofs, nor can they be made the basis of such proofs. This does not mean that we are engaging in apologetics. The best proof that there is a just providence is to say: “I will believe it whatever happens.” All proof is foolishness, a kind of double-mindedness which by two paths (the objective and the subjective) wants to arrive simultaneously at the same point. But this is an axiom which no one can invent. Romans 8:28-29 “We know that in everything God works for the good of those who love him. Barth says “we distinguish the Bible as such from revelation” by describing it as a witness to revelation. 5. His presence creates the worship sanctuary, forming the bounds of its community and unifying its members. Thorough study of Barth’s treatment of the problem of evil. It is really not laid upon us to take everything in the Bible as true in globo, but it is laid upon us to listen to its testimony when we actually hear it. No one has ever seen God; if we love one another, God abides in us and his love is perfected in us. God dignifies us with free will, the power to make decisions of our own rather than having God or fate predetermine what we do. The Search OF the Savior: Why Jesus Came, Part 2 (Gal. For it is God which works in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure. If it’s God’s intention to communicate with us, then we can be confident he will. 3. No, the Bible tells us of the miracle of revelation. Not only that, He has proven time and time both in the Bible and even in our lives today that He is there. What is the “new earth”? Thus a higher value or esteem was placed on Paul’s epistles than on the rest of the New Testament, and a sharp contrast was drawn between law (which dominates the Old Testament) and grace (which dominates the New Testament). To ascribe to ourselves a competence to put such questions is ipso facto to deny that His life is light, His work truth, His history revelation, His act the Word of God. No. God. As a parent, you can have the privilege of inviting your family to encounter God through the Bible. Creator means: creator ex nihilo. We have simply ascribed to Him what the Bible calls glory and therefore His prophetic office. A man might even credit all miracles and for that reason not confess the miracle. 37:12,13). Romans 10:9 tells us that if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. (CD I/2, 535). In this shadow the Church suffers. But He does so much more: He also helps us to understand Scripture and enables us to fellowship with the Lord. We cannot, therefore, interpret the attempt as a harmonious co-operating of man with the revelation of God, as though religion were a kind of outstretched hand which is filled by God in His revelation. Fideists, seeking to center their faith, theology, and apologetics on Jesus Christ, tend to distinguish between Jesus Christ as the Word of God and Scripture as a “witness” to the Word of God, or of Scripture “becoming” God’s Word in its witness to Jesus Christ. If there is any Christian and theological axiom, it is that Jesus Christ is risen, that He is truly risen. Lectio Divina. God's grace is amazing indeed. The Bible must be known as the Word of God if it is to be known as the Word of God. The fact remains, however, that it can only speak for itself and show itself to be the basis of our statement. And patience develops strength of character in us and helps us trust God more each time we use it until finally our hope and faith are strong and steady. Is there any place from which we are really able to ask whether Jesus Christ is the light, the revelation, the Word, the Prophet? “It does not become God’s Word because we accord it faith but in the fact that it becomes revelation to us” (CD I/1, 110). 15 The Bible promises: “There are new heavens and a new earth that we are awaiting,” and “in these righteousness is to dwell.” (2 Peter 3:13; Isaiah 65:17) Sometimes when the Bible talks about “the earth,” it’s talking about the people who live on the earth. 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