Thoughts on Realdialektik, epistemology, and church identity

It would seem that most of Barth’s more brilliant insights are actually what he considers tangential to his program.   Barth’s epistemology is one of realdialektik, the indirect identity of God with the creaturely means of his self-revelation. (It is important to realize that Barth is not immediately talking about “the bahble.”  He is talking about the flesh of Christ, to which the Bible witnesses.  Denying this proposition, coupled with an exalting of one’s churchly status with God’s revelation, leads to antichrist.  If God becomes identical with the means of his self-revelation, and one then places the self-revelation within the “Church’s keeping,” then it is hard to see how the church has not already become god.  To borrow Mike Horton’s phrase, “In this case it’s hard to see how the church isn’t simply talking to itself” (and if you listen to some convertskii rhetoric, presumably about how wonderful it is–see Bradley Nassif’s excellent warning).

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