Man’s Arrival at Authentic Humanity in Karl Barth’s “Church Dogmatics IV/2”

 

Florence Leung梁彩霞

(指導老師郭鴻標 博士)

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I.                   Introduction

 

When the psalmist admires the beauty of the heavens, moon and stars, he exclaims from the bottom of his heart: “what is man that you are mindful of him, the son of man that you care for him?” Today, many of us are also asking a similar question in all kinds of circumstances: “what is authentic humanity?” In “Karl Barth: A Future for Postmodern Theology?”,  it is suggested that Barth’s work is a precious ingredient for theological anthropology, because the Christian gospel is humane in the sense that Christian theology does not allow the “death of the subject”, because God has taken up into His history the establishment of new humanity in Christ. [1] It is to be noted that this humanism of the Christian gospel is quite different from the humanism of the modern traditions of subjectivity: where modernity speaks of interiority, Christianity speaks of faith; where modernity speaks of conscience, Christianity speaks of command and obedience; where modernity speaks of self-fulfilment, Christianity speaks of fellowship with Christ and of heaven. [2]

 

In Barth’s “Church Dogmatics IV/2”, we can find clues as to what authentic humanity is. This volume serves as the second half of the doctrine of reconciliation and focuses on sanctification. In this paper, I will explore how man arrives at authentic humanity by pointing out how Jesus achieves authentic humanity as the objective aspect of sanctification and then how man receives this authentic humanity as the subjective aspect of sanctification. It is necessary to delineate the subjective and objective aspects, for many people have not yet perceived and accepted what God has done for them in Jesus Christ for their salvation and thus have not borne fruits as His powerful witnesses. [3]At this point, the being and work of Jesus Christ becomes the being and work of the Holy Spirit of the risen Lord Jesus Christ as the Spirit achieves the subjective reality of reconciliation in the life of the Christian community and in the lives of individual Christians. [4] Yet the meaning of this subjective aspect of reconciliation is not that man has to contribute to Jesus Christ’s work of reconciliation which is already objectively accomplished, but that man can only grasp and accept Jesus’ work to bear fruit in his own life and through him in that of others. [5] After discussing the elements and results of the exaltation of human nature, I will evaluate the contextual application of the Korean Church.

 

II.                How Jesus achieves authentic humanity 

 

The authentic humanity that Jesus achieves is the exalted Son of Man. In this section, we will explore this “new humanity” in three main parts, namely the basis of the authentic humanity in God’s gracious election, its historical fulfilment of election in the event of the incarnation, and the source of its revelation and ascension of the man Jesus. As a result of these is the “birth” of “the Royal Man” whose characteristics will be explicated.

 

To begin with, through the election of Jesus Christ in grace, God made an eternal decision for sinful man. Thus, the humanity of Jesus has an eternal basis and man’s exaltation in him belongs integrally to the election of grace and its execution in reconciliation. [6] More details about this point could be found in the doctrine of election. The elect man Jesus is moved in his human history by the eternal being of God and is from the beginning with God in all the works and ways of God. There is a realm of grace within God himself created for the man Jesus from all eternity in the being of God, so the essence of humanity finds God before it finds itself. [7] Unlike the humanity of man which exists after God’s creation, the humanity of God has existed from eternity by the grace of God and, it is intrinsically of a much higher position than the humanity of man with its much greater proximity to the divinity of God.

 

The second part that contributes to the exalted Son of Man is the historical fulfilment of election in the Incarnation. God has humbled himself and journeyed into the far country. This movement from above to below simultaneously causes a vigorous movement from below to above. Hence, the exaltation and homecoming of humanity result. We recognize in Jesus the true man, chosen and affirmed by God. [8] What happens in the Incarnation can be described in the following four aspects according to Bromiley.

 

Firstly, God the Son became and is also man; the Son is the existing subject of this act and man the object, so that humanity is exalted into unity with God. Hence, Jesus is authentic man only as the Son of God. Secondly, the existence of the Son of God became and is also that of a man, the fellowman of all men. [9] Thirdly, divine and human essence or nature—what Jesus has in common with Father and Spirit and what he has in common with us – were and are united in the one Jesus Christ. Fourth, as the Son of God became also man, he raised up human essence into himself in the exaltation. What happens here is the determination of the divine nature to the human and the human to the divine. The human nature is assumed into the divine so that the man Jesus is indeed the Son of God but the human nature is not the divine. [10]

 

This assumption is by mutual but differentiated participation which takes three forms as follows. The first form is the communication of attributes, which in an extreme form raises the problem of a deifying of humanity or a partial de-deifying of deity. [11] The second form is the communication of graces, so that the human essence is totally determined by grace – the grace of origin, sinlessness, the Spirit, authority and mediatorship, and glory and dignity. Apart from these graces, no authentic portrait of Jesus can be achieved, for all we have left is a predicate without a subject. [12] The third form is the communication of operations, the union as act but not state; the actualisation of the union of divine and human essence takes place with a view to the reconciliation of the world with God. [13]

 

The third part of the exaltation of human nature in Jesus is the basis of revelation in the resurrection and ascension, which gives us knowledge of the homecoming of the Son of Man as achieved by first going into the far country of the Son of God. [14] He is present as the one who rose again in an unequivocal self-demonstration intimated already in his life, for example, at the transfiguration. Yet this self-demonstration is fully given only when what is revealed had been effectively completed at the cross.[15] Thus, the resurrection of Jesus along with his ascension, is not the fulfilment of Jesus’ being, but the revelation of Jesus’ fulfilled being. [16]The truth of the royal man was present from the start, beginning with his birth. Yet it was present as this man’s secret, which was completed as the truth in his resurrection; by virtue of his resurrection from the dead, his true humanity becomes analogously predicable of all men and women. [17]  As the man Jesus perfectly “corresponds” to his action as the Son of God, so his brothers and sisters “correspond” to the embodied freedom realized in him. [18]  In other words, just as Jesus achieves a new humanity after his resurrection, man could now put off our old humanity—old man, for putting on this new, exalted, authentic humanity – new man.

 

The above three parts of the exaltation of the Son of man results in the “birth” of “The Royal Man”, the authentic man. In the man Jesus, we can see the qualities of authentic humanity. [19] First of all, the royal man is a reflection of God in correspondence with his purpose and work or life-act. That is, the cross is neither an alien element in this royal life nor a tragic entanglement or mishap, but is central to his whole life-story; therefore, his disciples are to bear a cross which is light and freedom, too, as his passion extends to them. [20]  

Since the man Jesus owes his historical reality to the being and becoming of God alone, i.e. all human existence is enlightened by the truth that the true man is at home with God, so any person who is at home with himself or herself can be only a false human being who falls short of true humanity. [21] Just as the man Jesus is with God from all eternity, no-one could be truly human if he does not relate to God properly, or if he does not come to fellowship with God.

 

Besides, authentic humanity is revealed in the suffering and humiliation of Jesus. He suffered and acted as a human being, that is, he is God who becomes a servant. As a result of his humiliation, he is exalted to the dignity of Lord. The humiliation and exaltation work together as two simultaneous movements in one history. [22] His humiliation also actualises the exaltation of humanity to God implied in Jesus’ being. That is to say, God chooses to be God by being with us in this man, and humanity will be human by being raised to God in this man. [23]

 

Van Til has more to say on this point. God’s subjecting of himself in Christ to the limitations of humanity and man’s participation in the being of God takes place in Christ as Geschichte. In which, one also has the genuine difference between God and man and priority of God over man. [24] Geschichte as presence happens at every time, because in this Christ-Event, God’s eternity is present in and even subject to time, that is, Christ’ humiliation. Man’s time is taken up into God’s eternity, and in the existence of Jesus Christ we deal with the common realization of divine and human being. [25] Thus, authentic humanity has this power not only to fulfil itself but also divinity.

         

However, it is to be noted that the exaltation of human being is not the deification of humanity, that man does not become God. Barth notices this danger in the Lutheran doctrine of genus majestaticum , that is, the communication of the particular characteristics of the divine essence to the human essence of Jesus Christ. He contends that the true humanity of Jesus Christ actually consists in the exaltation of human being to the honor, dignity, and majesty of the divine being. [26]In the man Jesus, God chooses to take the human essence into himself, but the human essence of Jesus is not itself to be honored and adored, as the royal man  is precisely what God does with him and what he, with God, does with himself. [27]Therefore, we have to note that the authentic or exalted humanity remains human; however exalted it is, it is different from divinity. No matter how close its relation with God is, it is still far from divinity.

 

Moreover, authentic humanity lies also in the activity of “the Royal Man” in terms of what he says and does. By his words, Jesus proclaims the kingdom of God; by his powerful acts of healing the sick and feeding the hungry, he makes the kingdom a present event. [28]Besides, his words are also performative utterances, enacting what they say, while his actions are simply his proclamation made visible. [29] He also plays very specific role -- as giver of Weisung, “direction”, what Barth calls “the direction of the Son” , which is His active, admonitory and life-shaping activity toward his people. [30]

 

Further, authentic humanity is shown in one’s use of God-given freedom to commit to one’s responsibility. Barth notes that ever since Augustine, Western theology has tended to treat pride as the chief of sins, but he points out that sin has another dimension – the evasion of responsibility not the misuse of freedom. That is, sin is to be viewed as sloth -- our dull resistance to God’s gift of freedom, and this implies the failure to realize God’s call for human beings actively to respond to his love. [31] However, rather than acting out of the power of his exaltation in Christ, a slothful Christian contents himself with a restricted and risk-free humanity: “The limited sphere with which he is content seems to him to be his necessary sphere, so that its transcendence in the freedom of the man Jesus is an imaginary work in which he himself can have no part.” [32] Therefore, Christians are to be always reminded and renewed by the Spirit to go beyond their comfort zones or status quo in order to arrive at authentic humanity.

 

Yet this insight must be carefully distinguished from the idea that sin is basically a failure in “self-realization’, for the correct context for thinking about these matters is God’s grace, not the human striving for autonomy. In other words, an authentic man is a responsible being who lives out God’s calling for him. This projects a sense of mission or vocation for man. In CD Volume IV/3, Barth talks more about this in the section on the Vocation of Man. The whole concept of which is oriented to the call to faith and discipleship rather than to one’s occupation or mode of life. [33]

 

III. How man receives Jesus’authentic humanity

 

Cochrane has put the work of Spirit aptly in the words below: “To recognize our new being in Christ, we are to let something be said to us, to be challenged and claimed by it. It is the freedom and power, not to repeat the being of Christ or to become second Christ, but to draw the consequences of our being included in Christ’s exaltation. Such freedom and power is the presence and work of the Holy Spirit, who awakens true knowledge because he proceeds from the man Jesus who was raised on high and also because he is not only the gift of the Father and the Son but God himself—the source of all truth.” [34]As Jesus the Son of Man has achieved for us the authentic humanity, we are to receive this invaluable present with the help of the Spirit who is sent by Jesus. Now, let us look into how the Spirit enables man to arrive at authentic humanity through three ways—direction, building up the Christian community and empowering us for Christian love.  The direction of the Spirit is threefold. First, the Spirit grants us indication as to the place of freedom where we start. [35]We are directed into a new situation of freedom in Christ.[36] We are also pointed to true wisdom, the reality of our true being and freedom in Jesus Christ, and enabled to be what we are. [37]

 

Secondly, the Spirit gives us correction as to the possibilities of freedom and those of unfreedom. [38]We are directed the right way by defining the one possibility given to us, and by distinguishing our freedom from all else that would constitute bondage. Such is the critical, reprimanding function of the Spirit. [39] We are pointed out possibilities of true freedom and warning against the ways of disobedience, unfreedom. We are also warned as to which are no true but false ways. The Spirit also groans and prays for us, so that those who know the reconciliation of God in Christ may not enter into any pact with the world. [40]

 

Thirdly, the Spirit offers us instruction about obeying God’s will. The directive is positive instruction, which imperiously shows a man the one possibility he is to realize, and summoning him to act in keeping with his real freedom. [41] We are instructed us as to the ways and will of God with concreteness and authority – the ways that correspond to our being and freedom in Jesus Christ. [42]

 

As a result of the Spirit’s directive, men as “disturbed sinners” can no longer be satisfied with themselves and know that a limit has been set to their existence as sinners; their life in the flesh is radically called in question. They are challenged to look unto Jesus in whom they are sanctified; their sinful lives are nevertheless conformed to Christ’s, that is obedience in the midst of disobedience and to utilize the freedom to live for God and his brethren. [43]

 

Apart from working in the individual Christian, the Spirit also builds up he Christian community in three main ways. First, the Spirit builds up the Church to be a temple of God. Men, work like he works because he works in and through us. [44]  Second, the Spirit enables the Church to grow up into Christ, as it were into the reality it has and is in him. Its growth is both extensive moving out and expanding, but more particularly, it is intensive growth in holiness and fellowship – the communion of saints. [45] Thirdly, the Spirit guides and guards the Church. She is guided and guarded by the Spirit when tempted by the twin dangers of secularism/ secularisation and self-glorification, in order not to compromise with the world or to glorify one’s own self. [46]

 

We can see that Barth emphasizes the “Christian community” rather than on the “Church” with its implication of an institution and of offices; the Church is not an institution but a particular people set apart by God for a special purpose. She is called by God in Jesus Christ to a common life in the Holy Spirit, in obedience to God’s Word in Jesus Christ and in faith, love and hope and, above all, to service, serving God and one another as well as those outside the Church. [47]

 

Barth equates upbuilding with communion as an action in which many people, on the basis of union, engage in common movement toward this union. [48] Growth is not just a matter of human planning, effort, and direction; by its power is that of the community living as the Holy Communion. [49]Exalted at God’s right hand, Jesus acts by remote power, while he acts also by immanent power through the Spirit. Hence, even in its growth as a human operation, the church sees itself only in relation to him as the being of the church and also of the kingdom, which, even if the church is not the kingdom, is itself the church. [50] The head of the church, Lord Jesus Christ has always watched over and nurtured his body on earth, so that she could extend his rule and declare his sovereignty in ever more territories of the world.

 

However, it is important to note that the precedence of the community in Barth’s pneumatology is distinguished from an abstract collectivism. The community “does not lead to any independent life in relation to its members. It lives in them.”  Also, the community gathered by the Spirit is a true fellowship, not “a collective in whose existence … the individual is not required as such. ” [51] That is to say, the Christian community is not just an organization which operates under rules and in terms of structure. Or that the members are just various parts of a machine, with each performing different functions. One member could replace the other readily for the smooth running of the whole. Rather, the church is an organic body in which all members are closely related to each other. Each and every member is indispensable for the community to be whole. The authentic humanity is a very substantial or concrete one composed of all its members with full commitment to its existence and sustenance.

 

 One may question then, “In such a close-knitted community, to what extent does individual identity retain itself?” To this, Barth would reply that the union of believers is firm, “but it is a union in freedom, in which the individual does not cease to be this particular individual, so that each member is united to the other in all his or her particularity. ”[52]  We can say that the community is one of diversity in unity. It is through contributing his unique qualities to the community that each member is closely connected and tightly united to all the others. Therefore, while being deeply involved in the community, every believer not only retains his individual identity, but also affirming or even asserting it by developing and living out his unique self.  As a result, the community as a whole  reaches its consummation” as the Holy Spirit works in the lives of its individual members. [53]In this sense, the work of the Spirit in the individual to a great extent overlaps with her work in the community—the two are closely related.  Under her guidance, the individual joins in the building up of the community with readiness, willingness and gladness: “The particular veri of ‘individualism’ ” is not lost; that is, the Spirit actually exercises authority and operates “in their hearts and in their free personal responses”. [54] Individuality does not lose itself in conformity, but actually enriches itself through its interactions with the community.

 

This community is distinguished by the love among its members.  They uphold one another in fellowship instead of causing one another to fall. It is a community that lives by the forgiveness of sins, where one sinner may love another, because the sins of each and all have been taken away. Apart from this internal cohesion among its members, its love reaches out to the world in the external dimension. Thus, authentic humanity is also outgoing. It is also a community whose members bear faithful and joyful witness to Christ for the sake of each other and the world: “Only by the Holy Spirit do they become free for this action. But by the Holy Spirit the individual becomes free for existence in an active relationship with the other in which he is loved and finds that he may love in return”. [55] In the process of learning to love each other, the members prepare themselves to reach out to and impact the world:  “the koinonia established by the Spirit also equips the community in freedom for solidarity (though not conformity) with the world.” [56]

 

In the power of the Holy Spirit, faith can be called the living and active reception of God’s work in Christ. But a Christian consists not only this act of faith, but also the act of self-giving – Christian love in the power of the Spirit. [57] Love is self-giving to and for others-- agape, thus differing from forms of love that have a possessive character involving self-love—eros. [58] The basis of love corresponds to the object of faith—God. We love out of our gratitude to God who is love.[59] It is an active love—what the Christian does, for God in terms of obedience and trust, and for man out of love for God. This love bears witness to God’s love by expressing and reflecting it, though it is not identical to God’s love. [60]

 

Christian love could be qualified with three major distinctives Firstly, love alone counts. No matter how great and varied and important spiritual gifts may be, these are not in themselves the relation of the community and its members to the living Lord.[61] Secondly, love alone conquers. As the action of love, human action overcomes all the powerful forces that resist the fulfilment of love as self-giving. [62]

Thirdly, love alone endures. Only in the form of love does Christian action have indestructible content and certain continuance, that is, the participation in the life of God. [63]

         

          By proposing this kind of love, Barth is counteracting a common belief

of modern Protestantism. Under the influence of Kant, we have tended to be suspicious of talk about loving God or loving Jesus, that moral action must be kept “clean” of the self’s desire. But such an attitude fails to reflect the outlook of the New Testatment in which by the Great Commandment given by Christ. [64] We are to love God with all our heart, mind and soul, and that we to love each other because He first loves us. Christian love is the appropriate response to God’s love, a free act, an act of self-giving, in which the believer is drawn into an “eccentric” life – that is, a life with its centre in the beloved. [65] Being motivated by Christ’s sacrificial love, we are no longer to live for ourselves but to live for Him who has died and risen for us. Love is a determination of the whole human being; nor is it without its affective component. Authentic humanity is characterized by such sublime love. Further, Barth notes that a certain “cheerfulness’ inevitably characterizes the person who loves. [66] Just as the in the fruit of the Spirit, joy follows love for the Christian who lives by the Spirit. The love of neighbour which imitates the love of God is not a love of “humanity” in the abstract, but a concrete love, directed first of all to the particular sisters and brothers before reaching out to others. [67] In a sense, love gives humanity its concreteness with action that brings good to the both the giver and recipient of love.

 

IV. Contemporary significance of this authentic humanity

 

Barth has portrayed a wonderful picture of authentic humanity, but how well can it be applied to the real world? Let us now look into the example of the Korean church where secularisation is the main problem.  We would see how well such authentic humanity deals with the particular situation in the five aspects below and note its contributions and constraints.

     First of all, the Korean Church has to overcome the private Christianity, which under the influence of traditional religions, believes that sanctification is a matter of disciplining one's mind and character. [68] In the section on “The Awakening to Conversion”, Barth stresses that conversion—the renewal of a man’s life-- is not just a private affair between an individual and God. The converted man assumes a responsibility for economic, political and cultural action. A conversion of a purely inward or external, religious or social, character would not be a genuine one. The whole man is involved, and man does not exist without his fellow-man. [69]Authentic humanity is holistic but not compartmentalised; it is to infiltrate into or cover every dimension of the believer’s existence. It is in no way a private thing, but a totally public one as it bears witness to the exalted Son of Man who grants a believers his new humanity after all.

     In fact, against the subjectivism of Pietism and Schleiermacher, Barth taught the Reformed idea of “the sanctification of the whole,  that God redeemed all parts of ourselves and therefore claims the sanctification of all parts of our being and all areas of our lives: body and soul, individual and social, economic and political, intellectual and cultural lives. [70] This motif is in line with the Neo-Calvinist view that the sovereignty of God is to prevail in all areas of life for the coming of His Kingdom. [71]

     Secondly, the Korean Church is polarized and confused with respect to the doctrine of sanctification.  On the one hand, Presbyterian churches teach disciplinary, subjective, and continual sanctification, though in practice fatalism and defeatism prevail. Methodist churches teach the same view but add the perfectionist idea of entire sanctification as far as the volitional aspect is concerned.  On the other hand, Holiness and Pentecostal churches teach mystical sanctification, i.e., that the second grace of the baptism of the Holy Spirit mystically sanctifies the sinful soul.  [72]

          In response to this conflict or division, Barth’s idea of the Royal Man may help in that it emphasizes both proper activity and passivity. [73] In the light and footsteps of “the Royal Man”—Jesus, man is sanctified in his word and deed as he proclaims the kingdom of God and performs good works. In the process, man utilizes his God-given freedom to commit to his responsibility. This is opposed to sin as sloth -- our dull resistance to God’s gift of freedom or failure to realize God’s call for human beings should actively respond to his love through acts of love to others. [74] This is the active or subjective side of sanctification. As for the passive or objective side, the man Jesus plays the role as giver of Weisung, “direction”, what Barth calls “the direction of the Son”; he performs his active, admonitory and life-shaping activity toward his people. [75] He makes and moulds men, as he desires in the power of the Spirit. This way, while men are encouraged to keep doing good works, we are well aware that men do not love on their own, but with the power of the Spirit. Thus, we avoid the possibility of perfectionism or defeatism. Moreover, we realize that the Spirit does not work mystically but practically in us and with us as we strive to do good. As a result, the polarization of the Korean on the doctrine of sanctification could be well alleviated.

 

Thirdly, the Korean Church is suffering from moral secularization but lacks an ethical theology partly under the influence of traditional religions and also partly by the pursuit of an amoral theology in the Fundamentalist tradition.  For example, the biggest seminary in Korea, where almost 2,000 students study, has no professor of Christian ethics. [76]  Moreover, the orthodox tradition of dogmatics tried to preserve the old dogmatics which treats only biblical passages and theological concepts, because they think that any contextual discussion might corrupt tradition.  [77]

 

Barth overcomes this separation of dogmatics from ethics by incorporating dogmatics and ethics in the doctrine of sanctification.  For him, to hear the Word of God is to obey it and without obedience it is no longer true theology.  If Barth's ethical perspective is applied to the Korean Church, it could turn its theoretical theology into practical and ethical theology. In fact, the Spirit guides and guards the Church against the temptations of the twin dangers of secularism/ secularisation and self-glorification, in order not to compromise with the world or to glorify one’s own self. [78] The seminary and the church are to rely on the guidance of the Spirit in formulating a theology to respond to ethical issues inside and outside the church. They are to trust that God is in control of the situation and he cares about the well-being of his people. More importantly, he is ready and able to help. In fact, the koinonia established by the Spirit also equips the community in freedom for solidarity (though not conformity) with the world. [79] The Christians are empowered to living out their faith in the world and making a difference.

     Fourth, the Korean Church understands sanctification individualistically and even egoistically under the influence of traditional religions which have taught that religious discipline is for one's own happiness--his own soul, life, family and nation.  This individual and collective egoism has hindered the understanding of the true motif of Christian sanctification for which Jesus Christ died on the Cross. [80] On this problem, Barth’s points about the upbuilding of the community and Christian love could help. Christians should come to realize that they are not to be self-focused in their faith-life, but to be communal, to have a sense of the body of Christ and to have the mindset of the Lord’s kingdom. Right at the start of Ch. 67 of “CD IV/2”, he says that Jesus, through the His Spirit, “builds up Christianity in the world as His body, i.e. as the earthly-historical form of His own existence, causing it to grow, sustaining and ordering it as the communion of His saints, and thus fitting it to give a provisional representation of the sanctification of all humanity and human life as it has taken place in Him.” [81]

     Authentic humanity is to be expressed in the collective well being of the Christian community. Just as mentioned earlier, the Spirit builds up the Church as a temple of God to work like he works because he works in and through us.[82] The Spirit also enables the Church to grow up into Christ, as it were into the reality it has and is in him. Its growth is both extensive moving out and expanding, but more particularly, it is intensive growth in holiness and fellowship – the communion of saints. [83] Further, the Christians are to uphold one another in fellowship instead of causing one another to fall. They live by the forgiveness of sins, where one sinner may love another, because the sins of each and all have been taken away.  Apart from their fellowship with each other, they have their partnership with one another. They bear faithful and joyful witness to Christ for the sake of each other and the world.

     In fact, throughout the doctrine of reconciliation, Barth affirms that the Spirit manifests himself first of all to his community, the church and afterward to individuals only as they are members of the Body of Christ; this precludes speaking of man’s justification, sanctification or calling apart from his inclusion in the Christian community.   [84] Thus, Barth has avoided the illegitimate individualism and subjectivism that has frequently characterized Protestantism. [85]

     Lastly, the Korean Church is gradually losing the theologia crucis, the theological basis of the present growth of Korean Church.  The adherence to the basis was relatively strong when it accepted suffering as a way of following Jesus during the periods of Japanese rule and the Korean War. [86]  As Korea emerged from the economic suffering in the 1960's, the Korean churches began to preach the Shamanistic gospel of blessing.  The theologia gloriae offered a cheap grace and the Pentecostal churches spread its theology of prosperity throughout all denominations. [87]

     In the section on “The Dignity of the Cross”, Barth presents the advantages of cross-bearing, which are as below. First, it is necessary and good for the Christian to be kept in humility which is not natural to any of us. [88] Second, it is also helpful for the Christian to accept the punishment in some real if hidden sense comes in and with the cross.[89] Third, the cross which is really taken and carried by the Christian is a powerful force to discipline and strengthen his faith and obedience and love. [90] Fourth, in the bearing of the cross there may be particular good works of faith and love, which are particularly well-pleasing to God and redound particularly to the His praise. [91] However, he warns against seeking to suffer for Christ’s sake and mentions that martyrdom is not the crown of life but eternal life opened up for us through the crucifixion of Jesus. [92]

Jesus himself suffered and acted as a human being, that is, he is God who becomes a servant; thus, as a result of his humiliation, he is exalted to the dignity of Lord. [93] We are to model on this distinctive of his humanity. His humiliation also actualises the exaltation of humanity to God implied in Jesus’ being. [94] But for his crucifixion, we could never have had our authentic humanity. The cross is neither an alien element in this royal life nor a tragic entanglement or mishap, but is central to his whole life-story. His disciples are to bear a cross which is light and freedom, too, as his passion extends to them. Barth’s constantly reiterated descriptions of the cross are intended to help us understand that the space between ourselves and God is occupied by the crucified Jesus. And since it is occupied by him, it is not an empty space, but a place of shared life, a comm.-union characterized by being with and for the other.[95] Therefore, the crux of the Christian life obtains in its other-centredness, self-giving for the good of the other, and its togetherness – self being with the other. This way, in its crucial nature to man’s surviving and thriving, the theology of the cross overshadows the theology of glory.

 

V. Conclusion

 

          The Lord God has provided the answer to man’s question about man himself: “what is humanity for real?”  We are in no way to learn who and what the human is by observing human beings and their history, but to do so in the concrete human person to whom God bound himself and entered into human history. Barth's anthropology is tightly intertwined with Christology. With which, the eternal, faithful and compassionate God is friendly to man and will let nothing detract from the fact that he is on man’s side and against anything and everything that may threaten or spoil his human existence.[96] Barth speaks of the humanity of God in which he has turned himself toward man in Jesus Christ, to be man’s God and to assume man into communion with himself as the human partner of his divine glory. [97] Through the humiliation and exaltation of the man Jesus, we are also exalted and restored to the original position of the covenant partner of God, to enjoy fellowship with him and to live the way we should in Christ.

 

Not only in regaining our position, but also in living out our calling, we rely on the power of the Spirit. The Christian Life is the life which God lives in us in Jesus Christ, through the Holy Spirit. In its primary as well as its deepest meaning, we are asking not after something which we do, but something which God has done, does, and will do, in us. [98] Barth argues against all idealistic, romantic, mystical notions of becoming “one with God” or “in tune with the infinite”, all suggestions that God and man can merge, or co-operate, each bringing something to the other, all ideas that men can become “organs” of God through whom He works.  Barth considers all these “unevangelical”. Rather, he reckons that Christianity is a “meeting” of God and man in grace, not a merging of God and man. [99] Man is a partner of the covenant with God, but not a partner in sanctification in general or vocation in particular. Man has encounters with God, but not merges with God. After all, authentic humanity knows its place and is content with it.

 

 

 

 

VI. Bibliography

 

 Badcock, Gary D. The Way of Life. Badcock Michigan, Eerdmans Publishing Co, 1998.

 

Barth, Karl. Church Dogmatics v. 4: The Doctrine of Reconciliation. Edited by Geoffrey William Bromiley and Thomas Forsyth Torrance. Edinburg: T. & T. Clark, 1958-1962.

 

Bromiley, Geoffrey W. Introduction to the Theology of Karl Barth. Edinburgh: T&T Clark, 1979.

 

Cochrane, Arthur C. “The Doctrine of Sanctification: Review of Barth’s Kirchliche Dogmatik’s IV/2.” Theology Today 13, no. 3(1956): 376-88. ATLA, EBSCOhost (accessed 28 November 2008).

 

Gunton, Collin. The Cambridge Companion to Karl Barth. Edited by John Webster. New York: Cambridge University Press, 2000.

 

Hartwell, Herbert. The Theology of Karl Barth: An Introduction. London: G. Duckworth, 1964.

 

Hunsinger, George. Coversing with Barth. Edited by John C. McDowell and Mike Highton. Burlington: Ashgate, 2004.

 

Hunsinger, George. Disruptive Grace: Studies in the Theology of Karl Barth. Grand Rapids, Mich.: Eerdmans Pub., c2000.

 

Jungel, Eberhard. Karl Barth, A Theological Legacy. Philadelphia: Westminster Press, c1986.

 

Magina, Joseph L. Karl Barth on the Christian Life. New York: Peter Lang Publishing, 2001.

 

Magina, Joseph L. Karl Barth: Theologian of Christian Witness. Burlington: Ashgate, 2004.

 

McConnachie, John. The Significance of Karl Barth. London: Hodder and Stoughton, 1931.

 

Mueller, David, L. Karl Barth. Makers of the Modern Theological Mind. Edited by Bob E. Patterson. Peabody, MA: Hendrickson, c1972.

 

Rhee, Jung S. Secularization and Sanctification.”  Available from http://www.jsrhee.com/QA/diss5.htm. (accessed 28 November 2008).

 

Thompson, John. The Holy Spirit in the Theology of Karl Barth. Allison Park, Pennsylvania: Pickwick Publications, 1991.

 

Torrance, Thomas Forsyth. Karl Barth, Biblical and Evangelical Theologian. Edinburgh: T & T Clark, c1990.

 

Van Til, Cornelius Christianity and Barthianism. Philadelphia, Pa,: Presbyterian and Reformed Pub. Co., 1965, c1962.

 

Webster John. Karl Barth: A Future for Postmodern Theology. Edited by Geoff Thompson and Christian Mostert. Adelaide, S. Aust. : Australian Theological Forum, 2000.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 



[1] John Webster, Karl Barth: A Future for Postmodern Theology ed. Geoff Thompson and Christian Mostert(Adelaide, S. Aust. : Australian Theological Forum, 2000), 66.

[2] Webster, Karl Barth, 66.

[3] Herbert Hartwell, The Theology of Karl Barth: An Introduction (London: G. Duckworth, 1964), 138.

[4] Hartwell, The Theology of Karl Barth, 138.

[5] Hartwell, The Theology of Karl Barth, 138.

[6] Geoffrey W. Bromiley, Introduction to the Theology of Karl Barth (Edinburgh: T&T Clark, 1979), 198.

[7] Eberhard Jungel, Karl Barth, A Theological Legacy (Philadelphia: Westminister Press, c1986), 130.

[8] Jungel, Karl Barth, A Theological Legacy, 133.

[9] Bromiley, Introduction to the Theology of Karl Barth, 199.

[10] Bromiley, Introduction to the Theology of Karl Barth, 199.

[11] Bromiley, Introduction to the Theology of Karl Barth, 199.

[12] Bromiley, Introduction to the Theology of Karl Barth, 199.

[13] Bromiley, Introduction to the Theology of Karl Barth, 199-200.

[14] Bromiley, Introduction to the Theology of Karl Barth, 200.

[15] Bromiley, Introduction to the Theology of Karl Barth, 200.

[16] Jungel, Karl Barth, A Theological Legacy, 135.

[17] Joseph L Magina, Karl Barth on the Christian Life (New York: Peter Lang Publishing, 2001), 66.

[18] Magina, Karl Barth on the Christian Life, 67.

[19] Bromiley, Introduction to the Theology of Karl Barth, 201.

[20] Jungel, Karl Barth, A Theological Legacy, 130.

[21] Jungel, Karl Barth, A Theological Legacy, 130.

[22] Jungel, Karl Barth, A Theological Legacy, 135.

[23] Jungel, Karl Barth, A Theological Legacy, 133.

[24] Cornelius Van Til, Christianity and Barthianism (Philadelphia, Pa,: Presbyterian and Reformed Pub. Co., 1965, c1962), 23.

[25] Cornelius Van Til, Christianity and Barthianism, 24.

[26] Jungel, Karl Barth, A Theological Legacy, 134.

[27] Jungel, Karl Barth, A Theological Legacy, 135.

[28] Joseph L. Magina, Karl Barth: Theologian of Christian Witness(Burlington: Ashgate, 2004), 129.

[29] Joseph L. Magina, Karl Barth, 129-130.

[30] Joseph L. Magina, Karl Barth, 130.

[31] Joseph L. Magina, Karl Barth, 130.

[32] Magina, Karl Barth on the Christian Life, 112.

[33] Gary D. Badcock, The Way of Life (Michigan, Eerdmans Publishing Co, 1998), 54.

[34] Arthur C. Cochrane,  The Doctrine of Sanctification: Review of Barth’s Kirchliche Dogmatik’s IV/2.” Theology Today 13, no. 3(1956): 376-88. ATLA, EBSCOhost (accessed 28 November 2008), 383.

[35] Bromiley. Introduction to the Theology of Karl Barth, 204.

[36] Cochrane,  The Doctrine of Sanctification”, 383.

[37] John Thompson, The Holy Spirit in the Theology of Karl Barth (Allison Park, Pennsylvania: Pickwick Publications, 1991), 79.

[38] Bromiley, Introduction to the Theology of Karl Barth, 204.

[39] Cochrane,  The Doctrine of Sanctification”, 383.

[40] Thompson, The Holy Spirit in the Theology of Karl Barth, 79.

[41] Bromiley, Introduction to the Theology of Karl Barth, 204.

[42] Cochrane,  The Doctrine of Sanctification”, 383-384.

[43] Cochrane,  The Doctrine of Sanctification”, 386.

[44] Thompson, The Holy Spirit in the Theology of Karl Barth, 97.

[45] Thompson, The Holy Spirit in the Theology of Karl Barth, 97.

[46] Thompson, The Holy Spirit in the Theology of Karl Barth, 97.

[47] Hartwell, The Theology of Karl Barth, 145.

[48] George Hunsinger, Coversing with Barth. ed. John C. McDowell and Mike Highton (Burlington: Ashgate, 2004), 84.

[49] Hunsinger, Coversing with Barth, 85.

[50] Hunsinger, Coversing with Barth, 85.

[51] George Husinger, Disruptive Grace: Studies in the Theology of Karl Barth(Grand Rapids, Mich.: Eerdmans Pub., c2000), 171.

[52] Husinger, Disruptive Grace, 171.

[53] Husinger, Disruptive Grace, 171.

[54] Husinger, Disruptive Grace, 171.

[55] Husinger, Disruptive Grace, 171.

[56] Husinger, Disruptive Grace, 171.

[57] Bromiley,  Introduction to the Theology of Karl Barth, 214.

[58] Bromiley, Introduction to the Theology of Karl Barth, 214-215.

[59] Bromiley, Introduction to the Theology of Karl Barth, 215.

[60] Bromiley, Introduction to the Theology of Karl Barth, 216.

[61] Bromiley, Introduction to the Theology of Karl Barth, 217.

[62] Bromiley, Introduction to the Theology of Karl Barth, 217.

[63] Bromiley, Introduction to the Theology of Karl Barth, 217.

[64] Joseph L. Magina, Karl Barth, 131.

[65] Joseph L. Magina, Karl Barth, 131.

[66] Joseph L. Magina, Karl Barth, 131.

[67] Joseph L. Magina, Karl Barth, 131.

[68] Jung S. Rhee, Secularization and Sanctification.”  Available from http://www.jsrhee.com/QA/diss5.htm. (accessed 28 November 2008), 5.

[69] Cochrane,  The Doctrine of Sanctification”, 387.

[70] Jung S. Rhee, Secularization and Sanctification”, 5.

[71] Jung S. Rhee, Secularization and Sanctification”, 5.

[72] Jung S. Rhee, Secularization and Sanctification”, 5.

[73] Joseph L. Magina, Karl Barth, 129.

[74] Joseph L. Magina, Karl Barth, 130.

[75] Joseph L. Magina, Karl Barth, 130.

[76] Jung S. Rhee, “Secularization and Sanctification”, 5.

[77] Jung S. Rhee, “Secularization and Sanctification”, 5.

[78] Thompson, The Holy Spirit in the Theology of Karl Barth, 97.

[79] Husinger, Disruptive Grace, 171.

[80] Jung S. Rhee, “Secularization and Sanctification”, 5.

[81] Karl Barth, Church Dogmatics v. 4: The Doctrine of Reconciliation. ed. Geoffrey William Bromiley and Thomas Forsyth Torrance (Edinburg: T. & T. Clark, 1958-1962), 614.

[82] Thompson, The Holy Spirit in the Theology of Karl Barth, 97.

[83] Husinger, Disruptive Grace, 171.

[84] David, L. Mueller, Karl Barth. Makers of the Modern Theological Mind. ed.Bob E. Patterson (Peabody, MA: Hendrickson, c1972), 136.

[85] David, L. Mueller, Karl Barth, 136.

[86] Jung S. Rhee, “Secularization and Sanctification”, 5.

[87] Jung S. Rhee, “Secularization and Sanctification”, 5.

[88] Karl Barth, Church Dogmatics v. 4, 607.

[89] Karl Barth, Church Dogmatics v. 4, 608.

[90] Karl Barth,Church Dogmatics v. 4, 608.

[91] Karl Barth,Church Dogmatics v. 4, 608.

[92] Cochrane,  The Doctrine of Sanctification”, 388.

[93] Jungel, Karl Barth, A Theological Legacy, 130.

[94] Jungel, Karl Barth, A Theological Legacy, 133.

[95] Magina, Karl Barth on the Christian Life, 69.

[96] Collin Gunton, The Cambridge Companion to Karl Barth. ed. John Webster (New York: Cambridge University Press, 2000), 159.

[97] Thomas Forsyth Torrance, Karl Barth, Biblical and Evangelical Theologian (Edinburgh: T & T Clark, c1990), 20.

[98] John McConnachie, The Significance of Karl Barth( London: Hodder and Stoughton, 1931), 190.

[99] John McConnachie, The Significance of Karl Barth, 191.