”If the question what God can do forces theology to be humble, the question what is commanded of us forces it to concrete obedience. God may speak to us through Russian Communism, a flute concerto, a blossoming shrub, or a dead dog. We do well to listen to Him if He really does. But, unless we regard ourselves as the prophets and founders of a new Church, we cannot say that we are commissioned to pass on what we have heard as independent proclamation. God may speak to us through a pagan or an atheist, and thus give us to understand that the boundary between the Church and the secular world can still take at any time a different course from that which we think we discern. Yet this does not mean, unless we are prophets, that we ourselves have to proclaim the pagan or atheistic thing which we have heard. Finally, we may truly and rightly think that we have heard the Word of God in the worship and active love and youth education and the theology of the Church known to us. This does not mean, however, that we have received a commission to pursue these things as proclamation.
However it may stand with the undoubted possibilities of God outside the Church or in a new Church; however it may stand with the greater sphere, perhaps unknown to us, of the visible Church, or even with the real, if involuntary, proclamation by other elements of Church life within the Church perceived by us, there can be no doubt that, together with the commission which it may seek to obey by listening and responding in these other functions, the Church known to us has a special commission of proclamation, and therefore not merely of listening and response but decisively of talk about God both to men and for them, and that it neglects this commission if it seeks to proclaim what it has has no commission to do or where it has no commission to do so.”
- Barth, Karl, 2009: Church Dogmatics; I.1 The Doctrine of the Word of God. New York: T&T Clark. (Utg på tyska av Theologischer Verlag Zürich, 1932-1938.) KD S 56-57.