The Unknowability of God by Karl Barth

6th July 2020

The Unknowability of God by Karl Barth

So, Barth begins by asking two questions;

1.     How far is God known?

2.     How far is God knowable?

He sets out to talk about the ‘limits’ of the knowledge of God; The point where it starts and the point where it ends (page 179)

So, what is the point of departure for the knowledge of God? (page 180)

In the small print Calvin and J. Gerhard with Barth’s agreement; ‘In creation and by His Word, God has stepped forth’ (page 180 small print).  In other words, this is the beginning of the knowledge of God for the Church.  Then Barth writes;

‘The fact that it has God for its object but also as its origin, and that its primary  and proper subject is the Father who knows the Son and the Son who knows the Father in the Holy Spirit, and that it is a sure and perfect and genuine cognition because God is known by God… ’(page 181) He then says that it is not an abrogation of human cognition.

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