A few of my friends turned me on to reading Karl Barth’s ecclesiology and writing on the mission of the church. I have finally received my copy of Volume 4.3.2 of the Church Dogmatics. After taking a class from John Franke a while back who is a Barth scholar, I feel at least a little prepared to undertake this reading project (I had to read Vol 1.1 and 1.2 for this class). If you have never read Barth before, you have to realize that this guy writes like no other person I have ever read. (Also, its pronounced “Bart” not “BarTH”)
Here is the intro to his section titled “The Holy Spirit and the Sending of the Christian Community.”
The Holy Spirit is the enlightening power of the living Lord Jesus Christ in which He confesses the community called by Him as His body, i.e., as His own earthly-historical form of existence, by entrusting to it the ministry of His prophetic Word and therefore the provisional representation of the calling of all humanity and indeed of all creatures as it has taken place in Him. He does this by sending it among the peoples as His own people, ordained for its part to confess Him before all men, to call them to Him and thus to make known to the whole world that the covenant between God and man ‘concluded in Him is the first and final meaning of its history, and that His future manifestation is already here and now its great, effective and living hope.
Wow. Chew on that for a while. And its just the introduction. This will be fun.