Monday, September 17, 2012


Yesterday I finished reading a book that I’ve been working on for two months, The Epistle to the Romans, by Karl Barth.  I wrote a review, which can be read here.  One thought that I took from the book and I am going to continue to mull over has to do with the way God shapes our conscience as we grasp the grace He gives us in Christ.  Here is what I wrote:

“ In a section on the theme of grace he[Barth] writes, “Grace means also the possibility, not of a ‘good’(!) conscience, but of a consoled conscience.” (428, italics mine)  We who know God through our faith in the finished work of Christ know that we will continue to sin against God, a God who continues to hold us and forgives us nonetheless.  God forgives our sins.  He removes them from our presence.  But the sure grasp of this knowledge in our minds, the removal of our sin from God, does not remove the memories that we have of our sin.  In Christ we are not changed existentially from ‘bad’ to ‘good.’  In the knowledge of who we are before God we are not so much ‘bad’ as ‘broken.’  And Barth reminds us that in our brokenness, through the work of Christ, we are consoled and comforted as we receive God’s mercy.  This is a bit of the Good News that we need to be reminded of each day, sometimes many times each day.”

1 comment:

  1. And, THAT is another layer of meaning in the answer to Heidelberg Catechism Q/A 1 -- What is my only comfort... Sometimes we assume a smaller definition of comfort, I think. A lesser, more comfortable one to our way of thinking. You've described our life cycle well, Brad. Surely, brokenness is what God asks of us because it's our truth, our reality when we finally face it and in that bottoming-out we are found and, even there, profoundly loved.