"The message of the free grace of God is also of such a nature that it does not let the church which has fallen asleep sleep too long. It is an incomparable trumpet, which continues to have at least a potentially awakening effect, even in the hands of an incompetent trumpeter. It can break out of its concealment at any time and make the Church free again, procuring for it anew its rightful place in the sun.
Above all, it is of such a nature that even when proclaimed in a stupid manner it has a way of producing, suddenly and anew, now here, now there, men who are in fact free, that is nimble, humble, questioning, seeking, asking, knocking men, and in this sense free Christians, Christians who dare to begin in a truly fresh way at some place or other, as 'the law of the spirit of life' (Rom 8:2) commands them to, despite all wordly and churchly meshes and clamps. They do this as though it were something which had never yet happened in the doctrine, life, and order of the Church and its relationship to the world, plowing ahead with something new—despite clergyman, Pharisees, scribes, despite tyrants, despite the temper of the times in politics, society, and science, despite Mr. Everything!
As long as this kind of free Christians arises, the Church will be freed again and again, and it will prove time after time its right to exist. And this kind of free Christian will arise again and again, as surely as the message of free grace is the commission of the Church, which it cannot throw off, and which no one can take away from it."
- Barth, Karl, 2009: God Here and Now. New York: Routledge. S. 53. (Utg. på tyska 1964 av Theologischer Verlag Zürisch. Utg. på engelska 1964 av Routledge & Kegan Paul.)
PS. När Karl Barth talar om "Guds fria nåd" – "the free grace of God" – så menar han Guds nåds frihet. Barth använder här uttrycket med en teocentrisk utgångspunkt. Det vill säga, det handlar om Guds absoluta frihet att agera med, i och genom nåden och så uppenbara sig för och befria människan och människor. Inte ens när människan och människor befrias av nåden handlar det om något annat än Guds fria nåds frihet. I den meningen är "Guds fria nåd" grunden för kyrkan och kyrkans förkunnelse.