Karl Barth: Jesus Loves Me

Ron Geschwendt

READ : 1 John 5:1-12

He who has the Son has life; he who does not have the Son of God does not have life. (v. 12 NIV)

Karl Barth (1886-1968) rescued the church from a shallow, liberal gospel of the fatherhood of God and the brotherhood of man. Christianity, he said, was more than one in a line of the world’s religions, for its reality is witnessed to by the prophets and the apostles.

In 1912 he was ordained a Reformed minister in Switzerland. He rejected the obsession with society and self so typical of liberal theologians. Barth reintroduced to the world the uncompromising God of the Bible. God, he said, cannot be found by reason or in looking at our own experience. Rather, God finds us. Preachers, Barth also suggested, should preach with a Bible in one hand and a newspaper in the other.

Christ is the center of all Christian teaching, he declared. While writing more than six million words, his focus remained simple. He insisted that all knowledge comes through Christ, for he is God come down to humanity. Once while lecturing in America, Barth was asked to summarize the main theme of his theology. The great theologian thought for a moment, and replied: “Jesus loves me, this I know, for the Bible tells me so.”

PRAYER

Thank you, God, for revealing in the Bible that Jesus loves me.