Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Seeking Understanding

I recently finished an author whose grasp I cannot escape. German theologian Ernst Käsemann explores the Gospel of John in The Testament of Jesus and claims some surprising results - the boldest of which I disagree with strongly.  Yet, Käsemann has deepened my understanding of Jesus. 

Here are some quotes from Käsemann's book I found especially meaningful:

On Theology:
"Faith does not limit itself to theology and theology cannot guarantee faith, much less be a substitute for it.  Without theology, however, faith cannot be kept alive and proclamation cannot rightly be made."

On Unity:
"Christian unity exists concretely only so long as it remains a task to be fulfilled."
"Christian unity must not merely be demanded, but also be rightly understood, rightly substantiated and taught."

On Love:
"Love in John means something other than an emotion and it transcends even the sphere of ethical decisions.  Love does not merely respect the rights or the needs of the other person in personal conduct.  Love speaks to the other person and thus communicates itself, or else it preserves what is heard and so accepts the self-disclosure of the other person also through its own deeds of love."

On Faith:
"Faith means one thing only; to know who Jesus is.  This knowing is not merely theoretical, for it verifies itself only in remaining with Jesus."

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