Monthly Archives: February 2007

Barth and Altizer

Couple quotes (empasis added):

“The individual in the Church certainly cannot and ought not to accept it (Holy Scripture) as Holy Scripture just because the Church does. He can and should himself be obedient only to Holy Scripture as it reveals itself to him and in that way forces itself upon him, as it compels him to accept it. But he still has to remember that Scripture is the Word of God for and to the Church, and that there it is only in the Church that he can meaningfully and legitimately take up an attitude to Scripture. Whatever his private judgment may be, even his private judgment of faith, however much it may diverge, he must always listen to the Church. . . . As such, so long as the Church does not revise it, i.e., restrict or widen it, we have to respect it. As such, it has the character of a direction which no one can simply ignore (Karl Barth, Church Dogmatics).”

“A truly contemporary theology can only begin its task today by first seeking a ground outside of the given and established form of the Church. . . . Yet theology need not necessarily be bound to the life of the Church, not even to the vanguard of the Church, for theology must seek the presence of Christ in the world. The first duty of the Christian theologian is loyalty to Christ, and he must strive to open his thinking to the universal presence of Christ, to the presence of Christ in the totality of human experience. Above all, a contemporary form of theology is in quest of a contemporary form of Christ. In our situation this must mean that theology is now called to listen fully to the world, even if such a listening demands a turning away fro the church’s witness to Christ. At a time when Christian theology is called upon to pass through the most radical revolution in its history, the theologian must not be thwarted from his goal by a false loyalty to the authority of the Church (T.J.J. Altizer, The Gospel of Christian Atheism, pp.9-10).”