Saturday, August 28, 2010

The Church as the this-sidedness of Christ

In Barth's Doctrine of Reconciliation there are plenty of fascinating passages describing what the Church is and does with an idealist realism. I strongly recommend that if you ever want to get your ecclesiology straight you read the 100+ page section in Church Dogmatics IV entitled "The Being of the Community."

The following is by no means the best of possible excerpts, but it is a cool description of how it is understood that the risen and ascended Jesus Christ--true God and the true human!--has his presence on earth in the meantime before the new creation and the Kingdom come. It is also another place where my blog title crops up in the theology I'm studying and so I like the echoes it sounds into what I tend to yammer on about here.
[I]n its [the Community's] very this-sidedness, in its human doing and non-doing, in its common action and the life of all its members it is continually confronted with His presence as the Holy One, it is continually exposed to His activity, it is continually jolted by Him, it is continually asked whether and to what extent it corresponds in its visible existence to the fact that it is His body, His earthly-historical form of existence. (CD IV/1, 700-701).


forrest said...

I think I need confimation:

Is this quote saying that Jesus's presence on earth IS the community?

Jon Coutts said...

yup. well, it is the earthly-historical form of his existence. which means a host of things, some of which the quote hints at.

one of the qualifiers Barth will be quick to say is that Jesus is the community (in this sense) but the community is not Jesus.

forrest said...

I thought so. I really like it when a=b, but b does not =a. It's beautiful in a way.

I'm looking forward to keeping up with this blog again - sorry about the long absence.

Jon Coutts said...

right on. nice to have your poetry popping up now and again too. hope you and dave are well. think of you both often.