12 april 2016

#383. Karl har ordet…

Basel, 11 September 1963

Dear Pastor, 
Confound it, what an overheated atmosphere you live in in Germanyone man’s hand against another’s. How then can there be rational, let alone spiritually sound common thought and speech? The point is I have been asked by the moderator of the Brandenburg Reformed to write a theological evaluation of the ten articles. Naturally I already knew them and various noises from the tumult they caused had reached me. But I did not have to worry about that. And so I set to work without regard for the confounded politics or church politics and to the best of my knowledge and conscience tried to answer the question clearly put to me concerning the theological content of the articles. I have now done this and described sina ira et studio, with favor to none and hostility to none, what I regard as good and as less good in the document. And since I thought the matter might be of general interest, and to prevent anyone in East or West quoting whatever might suit his purpose, I have sent it to Ernst Wolf to be published in his autumn number. There the matter must rest. I have not written for or against the different groups nor tried to mediate between them but have simply spoken a calm word on the matter. Wether successfully or not is another question, but I could not in any circumstances refrain from doing it, even at the risk of being misunderstood and misused by one side or the other or both, in view of the fury of their mutual opposition. Tell this to those in whose name and on whose commission you have written me.
[Barth closed the letter with personal matters.]
With warm greetings to you and yours,



  • Barth, Karl: 1981: Letters 1961-1968. Eerdmans Publishing Co.: Grand Rapids. S. 124-125. (Utg på tyska 1975: Karl Barth: Briefe 1961-1968, V, Vol. 6 av Karl Barth Gesamtausgabe, Theologischer Verlag Zürich. Övers till eng av Geoffrey W. Bromiley.)

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