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Author QuotedRudolf Bultmann
Title QuotedForm Criticism: Two Essays on New Testament Research
Date (Year/Month/Day)1964/01/01
Imprint[S.l.] : [s.n.]. 1962
QuotationSense of God all day. Now Bultmann's idea of God (evening, before Night Watch). Our care meets Him at the end of its capacity. He limits our care and cuts it short. Our love of beauty, our need for love, our desire to work, etc. Bultmann's God is the power who limits, who "sets a terminus" to all this. "It is God who makes man finite, who makes a comedy of man's care, who allows his longing to miscarry, who casts him into solitude, who sets a terminus to his knowing"¦etc. Yet at the same time it is God who forces man into life and drives him into care, etc." Curious? But it is a Biblical notion of God, and very real! (Essays [Form Criticism: Two Essays on New Testament Research, 1962], p. 5). Not Christian yet! It could equally well be the devil! Yet belief is a "Nevertheless" embracing this power and the limits it imposes, with love and confidence. And it is not a weltanschauung [general idea]! "Real belief in God always grows out of the realization that being is an unknown quantity, which cannot be learned and retained in the form of a proposition but of which one is always becoming conscious in the ‘moment' of ‘loving'" (Essays, p. 7). "Real belief in God is not a general truth at my disposal which I perceive and apply; on the contrary it is what it is only as something continually perceived afresh and developing afresh"¦Not a general cosmic purpose, etc." (p. 7). This will lead him back to say that there is no valid knowledge of God outside of Christian revelation (all other knowledge of Him is weltanschauung). But is this true? Are they merely "general ideas"? (We can see in the longing for a weltanschauung, an escape from the enigma and from the decisive question of the moment"¦etc. But he has apparently not learned the religious and existentialist quality of Buddhism, Taoism, etc.)
JournalDancing in the Water of Life: Seeking Peace in the Hermitage. The Journals of Thomas Merton, Volume 5, 1963-1965.; Edited by Robert E. Daggy. / San Francisco : Harper Collins. 1997, p. 52-53
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