Tuesday, March 29, 2011
Monday, March 21, 2011
The individual and the community.
The topic was inspired by some reading, some conversation, and a student’s integration paper.
The reading came from my favorite theologian, Karl Barth, who, after making a strong case for the priority of the community in the Christian life, turned around — in his typically dialectical fashion — to make a very strong case for the significance of the individual standing before God (cf. CD II/2, §35.1). An emphasis on the Christian community must not result in an overcompensation that forgets the freedom and responsibility of the individual before God. There’s a sort of modern collectivism (which Barth witnessed firsthand in Naziism) that is a sort of demonic inversion of modern individualism. In our zeal for the church as community we mustn’t overreact, constructing a communitarian ideology that crushes the individual.
The conversation was with some colleagues discussing the costs and benefits of infant baptism...
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