A Comment in Regard to My Last Post on Barth and Kirschbaum

Photo copyright of the Karl Barth-Archiv in Basel, Switzerland

I affirm ex opere operato when it comes to theological speech. Let’s not rush to conclusions just because of some things I intimated or said in my last post. Here’s what I said in a comment in my last post. I plan on writing one more on the topic of Barth and Kirschbaum. But I’ll let the comment I made hopefully clarify somethings. With the speed of social media people have said things about me, and where what I’m saying leads that is unfounded. Anyway, here’s that comment of clarification and where I currently stand relative to my last post. And then I’ll write a fuller one in the days to come (and then I’ll let this die, at least for me).

Thank you for the comments. I will be writing one more post on this in the days to come; not sure when exactly, I’m going to process a bit more and allow the shock and surprise of the details to sink in and wear off a bit first. I can say, here, that I have always advocated for the idea of ex opere operatowhen it comes to theological speech; and that includes Barth. So my post here was me thinking out-loud, albeit about an emotive and evocative topic. I’m sure that Barth’s insights will still end up playing a profound role in my theological development, personally, but there are some things I still must work through in my relationship to him. If any of you have followed my blog, then you will know that I have been a very vocal proponent of Barth online for years and years. So to me this is not some sort of abstract thing; I see Barth as family, as weird as that might sound, and so what I’ve found out about him is only magnified that much more precisely because I love Barth and don’t hate him.

So, roll with me a bit, and realize that what’s going on here, for me, is a process of thinking this through; and doing so in a way where blogging is integral to that process. Don’t take anything I’m saying in my first post here as ultimate and absolute, take it with the realization that when I wrote that I was in total shock and surprise.

For some reason some people (on Twitter and FB) have jumped to the conclusion that if they follow the logic of what I’ve said in my post then nobody could read any theologian; because every theologian is a complex person. But I am sure I addressed that in my original post. What I am trying to do is sit with this realization about Barth, personally. This is not an abstract thing for me, as I’ve noted; he’s not just some theologian “out there” for me. If people can’t accept that about me then they aren’t honestly engaging with me; and I will have to reject that.

Anyway, thanks again for the comments, and just know where I’m at with all of this. And realize this is a personal blog of someone who has been a serious proponent and even defender of Karl Barth over many years. In the end I’m sure I’ll still be able to learn from him, it’s just that my approach to Barth will be that much more realistic.

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