Who is God? He is the heavenly Father! Indeed. But he is the heavenly Father on earth and on earth really the heavenly Father! The One who does not want to split life into ’this side’ and ’that side.’ The One who does not want to leave it up to death to set us free from sin and suffering. The One who wants to bless us with the powers of life not with the powers of the Church. The One who has let his Word become flesh in Christ. The One who let eternity break into time here and now and who truly let it break in to time [cf. Jn 1.14]—for what kind of eternity would it be if it first came ’afterwards?’ He is the One who does not have just any old idea in his head but who constructs a new world.
Who is God? He is the Son, the One who has become ’Mediator of my soul.’ Indeed. But more that that: He is the Mediator of the entire world, the redeeming Word which was in the beginning of all things and which everything anxiously awaits [cf. Jn 1.1; cf. Rom 8.19]. Therefore he is even the Redeemer of my brothers and sisters. He is even the Redeemer of confused humanity which is governed by evil spirits and powers. Thus he is even the Redeemer of that sighing creature within us [cf. Rom 8.22]. The entire Bible powerfully proclaims to us that God must become all in all [cf. 1 Cor. 15.28]. What happens in the Bible is already the glorious inception of the beginning of the new world!
Who is God? He is the Spirit in those who believe in him, the ’Spirit that is opened up to us from the Son and who flows, crystal clear, from the throne of God and the Lamb into silent hearts.’ Indeed, indeed! But God is also the One who as Spirit—and that means as love and good will—wants to and must break out of silent hearts into the external world so that God becomes evident, visible, and manifest. Look, there is God´s tent among humans! [Rev. 21.3] It is the Holy Spirit, the One who creates a new heaven and a new earth [Rev. 21.1], and along with them new people, new families, new relationships, new politics. The Holy Spirit is the One who has no respect for old habits simply because they are traditional. He is the One who has no respect for celebrations simply because they are celebratory; no respect for the old powers simply because they are powerful. The Holy Spirit is the One who respects nothing but the truth, nothing but itself! He is the One who sets up the righteousness of heaven in the midst of unrighteousness upon earth. He will not rest or repose until all those who are dead have become alive and a new world has entered into existence.
- Barth, Karl, 2011: The New World in the Bible. I: The Word of God and Theology. New York: T&T Clark. S. 28-19. (Lecture held in Leutwil on 6/2 1917, published in German in Suchet Gott, so werdet ihr leben!, 1917 and in Die Wort Gottes und die Theologie, 1924. English translation by Amy Marga.)