Karl Barth gave a series of lectures on the Apostles' Creed, which were published as a book, Credo.
This email is the second in a series of excerpts from that book.
It is not because we have already sought Him that we find Him in faith, but, it is because He has first of all found us that we seek Him--now really Him--in faith. Truly and only as Father, Son and Holy Spirit, as Who He has revealed and will reveal Himself to us, is God God . . .
He who believes in God in the sense of the symbol [the creed] has the ground of a general faith in God (all of us men always start out from that with its varied possibilities) taken away from under his feet in so far as he sees himself, in his confidence that man could of himself believe in God, confuted by God's revelation.
The very fact of God's revelation signifies: Man cannot of himself really believe in God. It is because man cannot do that that God reveals Himself.
What man of himself can believe in are gods who are not really God. When his confidence in his ability really to believe in God of himself goes to pieces, then the gods fall, in whom he really can believe. In the collapse of this confidence they are unmasked as gods who are not really God.
But God is God in that we can know Him only on the basis of His revelation, not of ourselves, but only in opposition to ourselves.
Karl Barth, Credo, (New York: Charles Scribner's Sons, 1936), pp. 13, 14.
For more readings about revelation, see Topic 24 on the Foundation bibliographies:
Topic 24: Revelation.
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Grace and Peace,
Dr. James C. Goodloe IV, Executive Director
Foundation for Reformed Theology
4103 Monument Avenue
Richmond, Virginia 23230
Better Preaching, Teaching, and Pastoral Care