Barth on the constancy and omnipotence of God II


In the last post, I was reflecting on how Barth portrays God’s ‘unchangeableness’. He is the One who exists totally without deviation, and this is in no way being in conflict with his ‘movement’, with his life and freedom. This shows that while God can be unchanging he cannot be immobile. Look at the way Barth puts it:

If it is true, as Polanus says, that God is not moved either by anything else or by Himself, but that, confined as it were by His simplicity, infinity and absolute perfection, He is the pure immobile, it is quite impossible that there should be any relationship between Himself and a reality distinct from Himself.

But Barth goes on to say that there is one pure immobile;

For we must not make any mistake: the pure immobile is—death. If, then, the pure immobile is God, death is God. That is, death is posited as absolute and explained as the first and last and only real. And if death is God, then God is dead.
CD II.1 493-494

If God is immobile  there can be no life, all new things come from him and exist in dependence of him. Can you see Barth’s logic? If God is not mobile, creating and sustaining out of his eternal self-constancy, his life, then the only possible solution is death. And God would be dead.


One Response to “Barth on the constancy and omnipotence of God II”

  1. andrewerrington Says:

    Thanks for this Steve. It’s a great section!

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