Barth’s Theology of the Cross isn’t PostMetaphysical, it is Biblical

Knowledge of God is not an escape into the safe heights of pure ideas, but an entry into the need of the present world, sharing in its suffering, its activity and its hope. — Karl Barth quoted in Eberhard Busch, Karl Barth: His Life from Letters and Autobiographical Texts, 100.1

Barth’s theologia crucis, his theology of the cross. It isn’t that this is postmetaphysical, it’s that it’s biblical. The biblical theological theology presents God as God presents Himself in the skin and bone of the Son of Man. There isn’t another version of God waiting in the ‘heights,’ one accessed by the philosopher. The only version of God that a genuinely Christian theological theology has access to is the one that it is confronted with in the face of Jesus Christ.

It’s funny to me how many contemporary theologians, often times youngish, want to frame things as if their retrieval of classical theology just is the theological way. They want to merge this type of classical theology with the teachings of canonical Scripture; as if the ‘heights’ they have pierced, through the philosophers, is commensurate with the disclosure of Holy Scripture. Barth knows how vain this approach is all too well; we would do well to follow him in his rejection of speculative theologizing, of the sort that is said to be the Great Tradition or of the consensus fidelium. If we are not to go beyond what’s written, we must stick slavishly to what is revealed, and fixate on that as it is born witness to in [Holy] Scripture.

 

1 Cited by, Center for Barth Studies, accessed 10-20-2021.