I think old Hans is on to something here with his take on Barth’s Romans.

The end result of this relentlessness is to stretch out all the mysteries of God on the rack of this method, to tear them apart in the harsh glare of dialectics that gives to them an immediacy that paradoxically destroys them as mysteries. Clearly, Hegel is still at work.

This is most obvious when we see how the heart of Christianity, its most crucial doctrine, the Incarnation, becomes impossible. Where the divine only touches the world “like a tangent to a circle” (6), where the infinite qualitative difference is the only way of defining the relationship of God and world, then there can be no such thing as a life of Christ, but only a death of Christ: only that can give ultimate meaning to the Incarnation: “Christ’s life becomes visible to us only and alone and exclusively in his death on the Cross” (136). “That is why dying must be the meaning of Jesus’ life, because on this side of death the only human possibility is the possibility of sin.” “The ultimate meaning in this death, the death in this death, is God (186)”

~ The Theology of Karl Barth, 72.

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