Friday, April 29, 2016

Barth on the modern κένωσις κτήσεως (kenosis of possession)

The intention of the "'modern kenotics'" "was good. They wanted to clear away the difficulties of the traditional teaching and make possible a "historical" consideration of the life of Jesus. But they succeeded only in calling in question the 'God was in Christ' and in that way damaging the nerve of a Christology orientated by the Old and the New Testaments. There are many things we can try to say in understanding the christological mystery. But we cannot possibly understand or estimate it if we try to explain it by a self-limitation or de-divinisation of God in the uniting of the Son of God with the man Jesus. If in Christeven in the humiliated Christ born in a manger at Bethlehem and crucified on the cross of GolgothaGod is not unchanged and wholly God, then everything that we may say about the reconciliation of the world made by God in this humiliated One is left hanging in the air."

     Karl Barth, CD IV/1, trans. Bromiley, 183 =KD IV/1, 199 (§59).

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