Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Bohoeffer quote of the day

I've been thesis-ing today. Somewhat productive. Truly.

We must never speak one-dimensionally of God, but rather in terms of statement and rejoinder, or point-counterpoint.  For we must remember that God can absolutely never be captured even in the grasp of a dialectical mode of expression.  Real dialectic is humble. It contrasts statement with rejoinder and knows that the truth lies beyond this mode of expression in the imperceptible center. God remains free in relation to the dialectic.[1] 

[1] Quoted in Huntemann, Georg. The Other Bonhoeffer: An Evangelical Reassessment of Dietrich Bonhoeffer (Grand Rapids: Baker, 1989) 35. This is Huntemann’s translation of the Gesammelte Schriften.


Anonymous said...

Can you give me an example of dialectical language

Joshua Banner said...

dialetic could be understood as similar to binaries, two opposing ideas that do not necessarily cancel each other. the enlightenment has taught us to think in terms of 'either/or.' Bonhoeffer is an example of a theologian articulating ways for us to conceive of 'both/and.' for example, God is not either immanent or transcendent. God is both immanent and transcendent. He is both merciful and just, all powerful yet a servant...and so on.