Wednesday, November 20, 2013

God is not a Supernatural Thing

11/20/2013—Believe it or not, the title above is a quote from The Church Dogmatics, by Karl Barth. The quote was read to me, but I will at some point retrieve the citation.

When a statement like that is made by a liberal theologian, I react with some scorn. From a source like that, this statement would amount to a rejection of all miracles and all mystery in the Bible.

But Barth is considered neo-Orthodox. He certainly is a critic of certain aspects of liberal theology and he did not reject miracles.

So, what could this statement mean? For one thing, Barth was convinced that the easy atheism of his day and ours did not know God and so could not possibly reject Him. Second, Barth was clear that God does not exist like some kind of being. How God is, is not at all easy to say. All statements about God are inadequate. Third, and most important, Barth asserts that we meet God in the world, not in some supernatural status. Specifically, now, we meet God in Jesus Christ. Jesus is not some supernatural thing. So, neither is God.

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