Wednesday, May 13, 2009

The Unwelcomed Gospel!

A William Stringfellow quote:William Stringfellow

A most obstinate misconception associated with the gospel of Jesus Christ is that the gospel is welcome in this world. The conviction endemic among church folk persists that, if problems of misapprehension and misrepresentation are overcome and the gospel can be heard in its own integrity, the gospel will be found attractive by people, become popular and even be a success of some sort.

This idea is curious and ironical because it is bluntly contradicted in Scripture and in the experience of the continuing biblical witness in history from the event of Pentecost unto the present moment. During Jesus’ earthly ministry, no one in His family and not a single one of his disciples accepted Him, believed His vocation or loved the gospel He bespoke and embodies.
Since the rubrics of success, power, or gain are impertinent to the gospel, the witness of the saints looks foolish where it is most exemplary.

(”Living with Defeat,” The Witness [May 1977], pp. 13-14.)


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Sunday, May 03, 2009


Forgive me but on this the fourth Sunday after Easter, I’m posting a Barthian observatbarth ion concerning the third Sunday after Easter (Jubilate)…

The whole purpose and meaning of the mission of Jesus is to bring joy (John 15:11; 17:13). According to John 16:20f. this was also the purpose of the sorrow which would come with His death … As we are told in John 8:56, Abraham had already rejoiced to see the day of Jesus and he saw it and was glad … In the first instance, however, both in the Johannine passages and in Luke. 10:21, this joy is the joy of Jesus Himself, His rejoicing in the Holy Ghost. Men neither appropriated it to themselves nor produced it of themselves, but it came to them in and with the man Jesus. It was given them in Him and by Him. In the first instance it was present for them objectively - and obviously identical with the kingdom of God, which is joy as well as righteousness and peace (Rom. 14:17). It was this objective joy which could and should be reproduced in the joy which they too were permitted and commanded. In the presence of the man Jesus it was already actual for them and could not be resisted or destroyed by anything or anyone, John 16.22.

Barth, K., Bromiley, G. W., & Torrance, T. F. (2004). Church dogmatics, Volume V: Index, with Aids for the Preacher. Translation of Die kirchliche Dogmatik.; Each pt. also has special t.p.; Includes indexes. (401). Edinburgh: T. & T. Clark.


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