Monday, January 01, 2007

On Faith

“Faith is not only God’s gift but also God’s assignment.”
Conversations with Barth on Preaching (Abingdon Press, 2006)

So much of the time we think of faith as our own personal achievement. In looking to theologian Karl Barth, we are reminded that faith is always a gift from God. In addition to faith as divine gift, it is also a holy assignment for each of us. Christianity is less a club and more of a shared vocation – especially in how well we put to task the commands of God as a community of faith.

To what assignment are you called through the gift of the faith?

For more on faith from Karl Barth:

“Faith is not, therefore, a standing, but a being suspended and hanging without ground under our feet. Or conversely, in faith we abandon whatever we might otherwise regard as our standing, namely, our standing upon ourselves (including all moral and religious, even Christian standing), because in faith we see that it is a false and unreal standing, a hanging without support, a wavering and falling.
We abandon it for the real standing in which we no longer stand on ourselves (on our moral and religious, or even our Christian state), and in which we obviously do not stand on our faith as such but -- now at least firmly and securely -- on the ground of the truth of God and therefore on the ground of the reconciliation which has taken place in Jesus Christ and is confirmed by Him to all eternity."

Church Dogmatics, II, 1, pg. 159

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