Karl Barth understands salvation as the wholeness of life. However various scholars have contested this notion. For most of the mainstream theologians and maybe a more for the evangelical theologians, embracing the idea of salvation as a wholeness is not an obvious one. As a matter of facts, it is a concept that has been overlooked and if not, it is usually contested due to specific theological ideas.
This book considers the implications for soteriology of Barth’s notion of salvation. Following a comprehensive introduction to the concept, the Barth primarily reflects on the idea of salvation and provides an analytical approach to the concept within a bigger framework of universality in Christ. Primarily Birth argues that the doctrine of salvation is the core foundation of an eternal engraving of humanity to Christ. It is often advocated that the salvation tends to incline in the Universalist direction. However, the core principles are to demonstrate the Universalist leanings. This can also be explained by having a special focus on Barth’s doctrine of eternity. Barth’s is demonstrated through the author’s focus on the doctrine of sin. Barth offers parts of the reflective theological framework for the formative aspect of interpreting universal salvation.
In the spirit, if protestant reformation, Barth believes that salvation is not just a matter of faith alone. So much is incorporated. However, salvation is something people receive and faith is the means people receive it. There is no set pre-condition that every individual must meet in order to receive salvation and faith is not some we do to merit our salvation. Barth provides this idea in the church Dogmatic. This is a great example that encourages Christians to seek salvation.
Two major points seem fundamental to Barth regarding salvation. First, the presence of Jesus Christ is a way that avails salvation for all. Second, there is no single person who participates in him and that in his righteous develops salvation for all. The first point involves the objective aspect, while the second one emphasizes on the existential aspect, which as responsive in nature. The variation in status should not be contradicted. The act of faith by any individual does not create or determine salvation. Moreover, the divine act of grace is not responsive to some conditions external to itself. They are externally imposed by the human creature. Xxx points out that “the divine act of grace is solely conditioned, in its response to human creatures, only through the inner movements.” Therefore grace is a confrontation to human creature over the sheer gift. The act of faith by any human is not a condition or a constitution to the event of salvation. Therefore Faith confronts the saviour in sheer receptivity which in itself in inexplicable except when it comes as a miracle of grace (P.106)
Karl Barth is a systematic theologian. This implies that nothing written in one place is discussed without explicit reference to other theological concepts. Therefore, it might be hard not to understand him when discussing the idea of salvation if we don’t consider something he said concerning the revelation and Trinity. While there might not be a single dogmatic centre in the sense of a single organising ideology, to Barth’s standpoint. There is an overall interrelation of God’s actions. It is this action that provides both possibilities for as well as the most challenging limits of any systematic theological construction. The realities regarding the knowledge about the actions of God offers the parameter for all human theological standpoints.
This is the case that compelled Barth to fight a lifelong battle against abstraction: Treating any topic out of any relationship with the fact that the divine actions which offer the foundation and the possibility of salvation in association to the world. Through Jesus Christ, God is able to move into a free and loving world, the human world in particular. In this way, any theology that does not bear on faith and ethics that is not born on a life before God is not Christian theology. The idea of salvation has a wide-ranging bearing on this topic. First, since Karl Barth is an evangelical theologian (focusing on the gospel of Jesus Christ), every idea that he wrote is central to salvation: with which every human’s life is directed.
As a result, Barth is able to explore the dynamics of the son and the Spirit in the realm of salvation. It provides an explicit explanation of salvation. This provides a formative dialogue for a constructive theology regarding universal salvation. Xxx indicates that “ Barth’s doctrine of salvation offers a proper understanding regarding the eternal salvific plan by God through Jesus Christ through faith.” However, salvation cannot be accomplished through general principles or rules but through particularity of faith.
Since, as xxx once pointed out “Everything lead to everything else, the idea of speaking about salvation in the Christian perspective brings forth numerous possibilities.” Salvation comes from God through Jesus Christ in the Holy Spirit. This initiates change in a thematised manner in terms of sin and grace, and that change is only definitive in the eschaton. Among the many possibilities, Barth often focuses on what appears to be conventional which come to be designated as the doctrine of work of Christ .soteriology. Since the medieval times, soteriology has been differentiated from Christology, which is the doctrine of Christ.
Through Jesus Christ, human creatures were able to feel the nearness to the Kingdom of God, acting as the central symbol and an image that is able to evoke people’s hopes and desires for solutions to their problems and the ultimate fulfilment as human creatures in the community. Within their soteriology’s, scholars of the patristic era primarily took and expanded the imagery of the New Testament. In some cases, they appear mindful of the congregation for whom hearing sermons was a pastime. One would think of their theme of deception of the devil in which the humanity of Jesus Christ become worm on the hook of the divinity.
As people respond to the self-revelation of God by faith in Jesus Christ, Christianity as a religion shifts from being just a religion to being a revelation of religion (Barth 1956a:284). Through Jesus Christ, Human creatures find both salvation and self-disclosure of God, as well as human response regarding God. Therefore, Jesus Christ is the perfect representation of the path towards salvation. If Christianity and the church, in particular, exists purely for itself, by instilling its own identity in the midst of other religions, then the religion can denounce as a false one. The core objective of a church is not to install its identity, not to strive for its growth but to point to the lord. By providing testimonies about Jesus, and being the followers of Christ, the church must bear testimony to a true religion. This is not the perfect example of a social concept in Christianity. However, the church has the mission of pointing to Christian events. If that’s the case, the church doesn’t have to compete with any other religion.
Church ceases to be a competition, not a compelling belief that is not the right religion. Since the truth of religion is in church but only in the Lord’s church. Therefore, Church as a social centre has the obligation of existing in a world with different expressions of faith. It has the obligation of existing in the context of various religions. Antagonistic ideologies towards other religions is a quantitative aspect that has never had many followers. Xxx points out “The church acts as a path to salvation through faiths as well as a path of God’s self-salvation. The best that can be done towards other religions is to focus on self-revelation of God through Jesus Christ and provide the testimony of the Christ event. Therefore, the church is a celebration of salvation and faith. The faith of the church is assured of the victory and eternal salvation revealed through Jesus Christ. Therefore, it does not require to be in any competition. In that way it is not arrogant, thinking just of itself and the best than other religions, but is established for the service of the lord. Its key objective is to transform humanity to feel and witness the love of Christ. Its main concern is reconciling.
In the modern society, rapid social change and intense spiritual restlessness have evoked fierce yearning in many people around the world. Researchers, see the desires as a search for the true meaning of life. Others see it as a desire for spiritual experience. Fundamental as these quests might be, Barth believes that they arise from deeper desires, a desire for a life that means something in the sense of good for one’s presents and for the future. Xxx provides that As a Christian, Barth affirms that such ways of life gesture the search for salvation and integrity as they embody grateful human response to the presence of God and his promises.
The efforts to provide theological descriptions of an abundant life is often complicated by the issue of too big and too small. The issue of too big implies that task faith is all encompassing reflecting at this stage would be a lot to be of much direct use by itself both strategically and conceptually. The idea of too small is a complete opposite.
Barth advocates a concept of practice that would allow Christians to draw ideas of different kinds. This provides the concept of manageable size as the only reason for doing so. Moreover, Since Barth’s concept enables us to recognise salvation and the practice of theological kinship in certain beliefs and skills since all contribute to developing a recognisable framework, Christians can find the best path towards happiness and salvation. Drawing from the social sciences, a significant number of contemporary scholars often focus too much on small bits of actions of faith. In Barth. Faith can be any socially meaningful activity of collective worship of sharing knowledge.