Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Barth on Discipleship

         “The call to discipleship is the particular form of summons by which Jesus discloses and reveals himself to individuals in order to claim and sanctify them as his own.  As it encounters them in this summons, grace has the form of command.  The grace that comes to them requires that they do something, i,e., follow Jesus.  He commands them as those who already belong to him.  This is why there can be no legitimate opposition to it.  This is why those who are called cannot think of laying down conditions on which they are prepared to obey his command.  Disobedience to the command of Jesus to “Follow me,” as in the case of the rich young ruler in Mark 10: 17-18 and parallels, is a phenomenon that is absolutely terrifying.  A limited readiness is no readiness at all.”

Karl Barth, A Call to Discipleship

(For the sake of clarity and  continuity, in the selection above I have conflated sentences from across 4 pages into one quotation.)

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