Karl Barth Quotes

The known plane is God's creation, fallen out of its union with Him, and therefore the world of the flesh needing redemption, the world of men, and of time, and of things our world. This known plane is intersected by another plane that is unknown the world of the Father, of the Primal Creation, and of the final Redemption. The relation between us and God, between this world and His world presses for recognition, but the line of intersection is not self-evident.

Karl Barth

The Gospel is not a religious message to inform mankind of their divinity or to tell them how they may become divine. The Gospel proclaims a God utterly distinct from men.

Karl Barth

The best theology would need no advocates; it would prove itself.

Karl Barth

Joy is the simplest form of gratitude.

Karl Barth

Faith in God's revelation has nothing to do with an ideology which glorifies the status quo.

Karl Barth

Faith is never identical with "piety" even if it were the purest and finest.

Karl Barth

For the millions that suffer unjustly, the Confessing Church does not yet have a heart.

Karl Barth

I had to show that the Bible dealt with an encounter between God and Man. I thought only of the apartness of God. What I had to learn after that was the togetherness of Man and God a union of two totally different kinds of beings.

Karl Barth

The enterprise of Adolf Hitler, with all its clatter and fireworks, and all its cunning and dynamic energy, is the enterprise of an evil spirit, which is apparently allowed its freedom for a time in order to test our faith in the Resurrection of Jesus Christ.

Karl Barth

Since Jesus Christ is a servant, looking to Him cannot mean looking away from the world, from men, from life, or, as is often said, from oneself. It cannot mean looking away into some distance or height. To look to Him is to see Him at the very centre, to see Him and the history which, accomplished in Him, heals everything and all things, as the mystery, reality, origin and goal of the whole world, all men, all life. To look to Him is to cleave to Him as the One who bears away the sin of the world. It is to be bound and liberated, claimed, consoled, cheered and ruled by Him.

Karl Barth

The saving of anyone is something which is not in the power of man, but only of God. No one can be saved in virtue of what he can do. Everyone can be saved in virtue of what God can do. The divine claim takes the form that it puts both the obedient and the disobedient together and compels them to realise this, to recognise their common status in face of the commanding God.

Karl Barth

We are now assuming that we have here the centre and goal of all God's works, and therefore the hidden beginning of them all. We are also assuming that the prominent place occupied by this divine work has something corresponding to it in the essence of God, that the Son forms the centre of the Trinity, and that the essence of the divine being has, so to speak, its locus ... in His work, in the name and person of Jesus Christ.

Karl Barth

He is the One who stands above us and also above our highest and deepest feelings, strivings, intuitions, above the products, even the most sublime, of the human spirit. God in the highest means first of all He who is in no way established in us, in no way corresponds to a human disposition and possibility, but who is in every sense established simply in Himself and is real in that way; and who is manifest and made manifest to us men, not because of our seeking and finding, feeling and thinking, but again and again, only through Himself. It is this God in the highest who has turned as such to man, given Himself to man, made Himself knowable to him God in the highest, in the sense of the Christian Confession, means He who from on high has condescended to us, has come to us, has become ours.

Karl Barth

Eternity is here (in the stable at Bethlehem and on the cross of Calvary) in time.

Karl Barth

While it is beyond our comprehension that eternity should meet us in time, yet it is true because in Jesus Christ eternity has become time.

Karl Barth

Our Yes towards life from the very beginning carries within it the Divine No which breaks forth from the antithesis and points away from what now was the thesis to the original and final synthesis. The No is not the last and highest truth, but the call from home which comes in answer to our asking for God in the world.

Karl Barth
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