Open to the Front

It seems a miracle too good to be true that I am finished with Church History. God bless Dr. Smith, and with all due respect to Ignatius, Irenaeus, Origin, Athanasius, Cyril, Basil, the Gregorys, Anselm and Abelard, the Cappadocians, the homoiousians, the Appolinarians, Aquinas and Augustine. God bless them all, and heaven knows if I didn’t have to memorize them all at once I would have loved them more. I do love them, those defenders of the faith, the preservers of the great Mystery, of Jesus. Thank goodness for Chalcedon & for Nestorius’ defeat.  It is lovely reading Athanasius or Cyril or Augustine and seeing that Bonhoeffer isn’t really saying anything new after all. The same old story.

Second cup of coffee of the day, kitchen table, and reading Barth (Dogmatics III.1). Every once in a while I will run into a line of his that makes me want to weep with joy. How is it possible, how, how, how is it possible for someone to be so brilliant?

“Yet [Christianity] does not understand the history of Israel as a reality which is self-enclosed but as one which from the very outset is open to the front, pointing to a goal beyond itself” (275).

“Open to the front….” Her identity lies ever ahead, she is always ec-static. Open to the front, open to the Lord….


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