Karl Barth’s final words on the eve of December 10th 1968 – nearly 50 years ago

Aged Barth

Below are Barth’s final written words:

In the church that is in the process of turning round the saying is true that ‘God is not the God of the dead but of the living.’ ‘All live to him,’ from the apostles to the earlier and later fathers. They have not only the right [but also the relevance] to be heard today, not uncritically, not in automatic subjection, but still attentively. The church would not be the church in conversion if, proud and content with its sense of the present hour, it would not listen to them, or would do so only occasionally, loosely, and carelessly, or if it were to rob what it has to learn from them of all its effect by [accepting] what they want to say to it . . . (the sentence broke off here)

-Karl Barth, Final Testimonies, ed. Eberhard Busch, trans. Geoffrey Bromiley, Eerdmans, 1977, p. 60.

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