So, been reading Karl Barth's "The Epistle to the Romans" and lovin' it. Something about this book has me excited and, as of yet, I can't tell you what or why for.
There was a time, when I was a freshman in undergrad, that I'd go to class then to Starbucks and just sit and read Scripture. That was it; the pure excitement of reading the Bible was enough to keep me busy – and happy - for at least two cappuccinos (back then I packed ‘em with sugar, now it’s straight black unadulterated beautiful coffee). The book of Romans in that Bible is unreadable; there are too many notes, too many different colored highlights, too many tearstains and underlinings.
Then I jumped into reading and rereading dead guys Spurgeon, Edwards, Calvin, Luther, and Scougal these men were my closest friends in those days. Friday nights would be spent at a table outside Starbucks with some old book and tea or coffee rather than a party or the movies. If it was written I read it, if it was preached I listened to it, if it was blog-able I tried to write about it (this blog has been around since those days).
But sometime after those days the excitement of reading was lost – it’s not that I stopped reading, it’s that I just grunted through it. But I didn’t know I’d lost it until a couple weeks ago… That was a difficult Thursday evening realization.
Feeling the lack of enthusiasm to want to know God. Not really feeling ‘big enough’ to handle deep theology. Condemning myself for the legalism of my faith and seeing the practice of my faith as false. But God answers those ‘feeling small’ prayers.
He answered in two ways. One was a dear friend’s recommendation and the other was a ‘chance’ meeting on a plane. Two men, two identical recommendations, one a Bible-study leader and the other and Elder at a PCA church, “You should check out Karl Barth.”
So I ordered a book and watched the tracking number like a freakin’ hawk. And I’m terribly glad I did.
“Let their peace be their disquiet and their disquiet be their peace.”
“He who knows the world to be bounded by a truth (the gospel) that contradicts it; he who knows himself to be bounded by a will that contradicts him; he who, knowing too well that he must be satisfied to live with this contradiction and not attempt to escape from it, finds it hard to kick against the pricks; he who finally makes open confession of the contradiction and determines to base his life upon it – he it is that believes.”
“Jesus Christ our Lord. This is the gospel and the meaning of history.”