Friday, July 17, 2009

Paulinism on the brink of heresy

Here is some more good stuff from the introduction to Barth's commentary on Romans. Barth is talking about reading carefully, but I think he is also illustrating what it means to stand under the authority of Scripture--not deciding what we moderns can take or leave, but wrestling especially with the parts that moderns (and post-moderns) find disturbing.
"Paulinism has stood always on the brink of heresy. This being so, it is strange how utterly harmless and unexceptionable most commentaries on the Epistle to the Romans and most books about Paul are. Why should this be so? Perhaps because the uncomfortable points are treated according to Wernle's recipe." (13)
Wernle's recipe:
"Wernle wrote of me with some bitterness: 'NO single aspect of Paul's teaching seems to cause Barth discomfort. . . . There remain for him no survivals of the age in which Paul lived--not even trivial survivals.'" (11)

"In contrast with this comfortable dismissal of uncomfortable points it has been my 'Biblicism' which has compelled me to wrestle with these 'scandals to modern thought' until I have found myself able to undertake the interpretation of them, because I have discovered precisely in these points the characteristic and veritable discernment of Paul....When I am named 'Biblicist', all that can rightly be proved against me is that I am prejudiced in supposing the Bible to be a good book, and that I hold it to be profitable for men to take its conceptions at least as seriously as they take their own." (12)

1 comment:

beowulf2k8 said...

Considering that Isaiah 7 promises a child born of a vigin who will be born in Ahaz's time and whose time of coming to know good and evil will be preceded by Ahaz's two enemy kings being defeated by the Assyrian king, and yet "Matthew" is not ashamed to apply this prophecy to a man born 1000 years too late to fulfill the prophecy, we must acknowlegde that scripture is not inerrant, that it has been added to by the Catholics. The real Matthew certainly didn't write this virgin birth blunder. And if the Catholcis added (which they did) the story of the virgin birth, then why not the whole epistle to the Romans, which disagrees with all Paul's other epistles? The Paul of Romans is not the same Paul we find everywhere else, certainly not in Acts! Tares have been sown among the wheat while we were asleep. Yetn we cannot simple remove them from the canon, but mustsuffer them to grow in it, while obviously not believing them along with the what itself.