Sunday, April 12, 2009

Barth on Easter Sunday

Just after World War II, Karl Barth gave a series of lectures in the semi-ruins of a castle in Bonn, in which the University was being re-established. Each lecture gives a detailed exposition of a phrase from the Apostles Creed. This was later published as Dogmatics in Outline.
Today I re-read chapter 19, ``The third day he rose again from the dead,''. An extract:

the Easter message ... is a proclamation of a victory already won. The war is at an end - even though here and there are troops still shooting, because they have not heard anything yet of the capitulation.... The Easter message tells us that our enemies, sin, the curse and death, are beaten. Ultimately they can no longer start mischief. They still behave as though .... the battle were not fought, we must still reckon with them, but fundamentally we must cease to fear them anymore. If you have heard the Easter message you can no longer run around with a tragic face and lead the humourless existence of a man who has no hope... only this one thing is really serious, that Jesus is the victor.

K. Barth, Dogmatics in Outline, (SCM, 2001 Edition), p.114

No comments:

Post a Comment