Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Just for fun

Barth on congregationalism:

Against the papal form, and also against the episcopal and presbyterian synodal forms of constitution, there is this basic objection, that they not only do not serve the readiness, openness and freedom of the congregation for the Word of God and therefore for the reformation of the church; they actually hinder it. They all rest on the remarkable contradiction that they entrust too little to men - namely to the men gathered as Christians to be the living congregation of the Lord Jesus Christ - yet, on the other hand, they entrust too much to men - namely, to those particular office bearers and representatives chosen and ordained by men, entrusted to be representatives within and without the congregation. In one place these forms cannot be too careful to guard against human arbitrariness, in order in the other place to carelessly give it a free hand. Where the former care and the latter carelessness are in effect, there can be no room for the renewal of the church... Why may not the constitution of the church be at last based on the knowledge that the church is wholly from God and must await everything from him? These other polities are all open to the charge that they smell a bit of unbelief.

God Here and Now, page 102

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