Friday, September 11, 2009

Reconciliation: past, present, and future

A story [maybe apocryphal?] is that Karl Barth told Billy Graham that he should not be telling people to "Be reconciled to God" but rather than "You are reconciled to God."

To illustrate these issues, it is interesting to just focus on one verse, Romans 5:10, and see how it includes past, present, and future tenses:
10For if while we were enemies we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, now that we are reconciled, shall we be saved by his life.
I take this as a caution to not be too rigid in my thinking about these profound issues, and particularly not importing "logic" from other areas of life and thought.

John Webster has said that a significant achievement of Karl Barth's Doctrine of Creation is that he liberated the doctrine from a pre-occupation with questions of causality. This preoccupation was arguably due to the influence of scientific concepts, from both Newton and Darwin. In science, (well at least in Newtonian mechanics) notions of causality (i.e., cause and effect) are well defined, meaningful, and helpful. But are they here?

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