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By Robert W. Jenson

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Additional info for Alpha and Omega. A Study in the Theology of Karl Barth

Sample text

Freedom for foolishness? So be it! 10). And so theology, in so far as it is theology of the word of God, will repeatedly see itself cast in the role of a fool, of a lectern fool in the house of science. Yet if theology serves truth, it need never be ashamed of playing this role. Naturally faith can only hear God himself by listening to human words. God comes to speech in a human way. He elects for himself human witnesses in whom the Spirit of God often speaks in all too human words. Faith acknowledges all those human words which originally witness to the coming of God to the world as originary words of faith, and collects them as texts of Holy Scripture in order to listen to the truth that they have to say.

15. 10 According to L. Richter in the description of his German translation of the Fragments (Philosophische Bracken [Frankfurt/Main, 1984]). 24 Theological Essays II expressly promises, perhaps in a subsequent writing, 'to call the matter by its proper name and clothe the issue in its historical dress' - as, of course, each attentive reader should have noted for him- or herself, namely that 'Christianity is the only historical phenomenon' which has wanted to 'base' the 'happiness' of the single individual 'on his relationship to something historical'.

In fact the believer will often be able only to be silent. Yet if faith's silence is not the last possibility, if there is no final silence for faith, it is because faith has come to know God as the truth himself. One may not therefore withhold from him even the sorrowful and painful truth. Afflicted silence necessarily directs the complaint which speaks truth toward God, even if it is only expressed in the form of a cry deprofundis. 'My Theology' - A Short Summary 19 Theology need not be ashamed of this cry to God, which must also be able to accompany even the most certain talk of God, if it is to be responsible talk of God.

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