Thursday, June 16, 2011

Bonhoeffer Part 0

OK, I said I wasn't going to write on Bonhoeffer until I had finished, but I couldn't resist this one tidbit. To the Presbyterian Church (USA) The Barmen Declaration (Theological Declaration of Barmen) by the German Confessing Church against the Nazi-dominated "German Christian" heresy is one of the most important statements in our tradition. It has been elevated to the status of an official "Confession" in our Book of Confessions. The author of the Barmen Declaration was theologian Karl Barth, who was also an opponent of the rationalist theological liberalism that had dominated Protestantism at the turn of the 19th/20th centuries.

On a seemingly separate topic, the PCUSA continues with its Social Gospel, Prohibitionist strains by "requesting" that the independent Presbyterian Foundation refrain from investing in certain types of stocks. You may have heard the fracas that erupted a few years ago when we came close to disinvesting in some companies that did certain types of business in Israel (that would have been a truly shameful blot on our denomination, in my humble opinion---never mind the irony that a denomination that honors the Barmen Declaration wanted to punish Israel, but that's another story). One of the categories of stocks that has successfully been placed on the boycott list is that of tobacco companies.

Well I guess that I shouldn't be surprised that Barth, that "neo-orthodox" opponent of empty liberalism had this to say about how the Barmen Declaration came to be written:

According to Metaxas: "The principal author of the Barmen Declaration was Karl Barth, who claimed to have produced the final version 'fortified by strong coffee and one or two Brazilian cigars'." Bonhoeffer also shared Barth's appreciation for a good cigar.

Barth and Bonhoeffer: Neo-orthodox, anti-Nazi, pro-cigar. What's more do you need to call them modern prophets of the Church?

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