Wednesday, September 24, 2008

God and Man

[Dietrich Bonhoeffer; Ethics]

"Man at his origin knows only one thing: God. It is only in the unity of his knowledge of God that he knows of other men, of things, and of himself. He knows all things only in God, and God in all things. The knowledge of good and evil shows that he is no longer at one with this origin. In the knowledge of good and evil man does not understand himself in the reality of the destiny appointed in his origin, but rather in his own possibilities, his possibility of being good or evil. He knows himself now as something apart from God, outside God, and this means that he now knows only himself and no longer knows God at all; for he can know God only if he knows only God. The knowledge of good and evil is therefore separation from God. Only against God can man know good and evil…

...It is only with extreme reserve that even the Bible indicates to us that God is the One who knows of good and evil. It is the first indication of the mystery of predestination, the mystery of an eternal dichotomy which has its origin in the eternally One, the mystery of an eternal choice and election by him in whom there is no darkness but only light. To know good and evil is to know oneself as the origin of good and evil, as the origin of an eternal choice and election…

...Instead of knowing himself solely in the reality of being chosen and loved by God, he must now know himself in the possibility of choosing and of being the origin of good and evil. He has become like God, but against God. Herein lies the serpent’s deceit. Man knows good and evil, but because he is not the origin, because he acquires this knowledge only at the price of estrangement from the origin, the good and evil that he knows are not the good and evil of God but good and evil against God. They are good and evil of man’s own choosing, in opposition to the eternal election of God. In becoming like God man has become a god against God…

...Man knows good and evil, against God, against his origin, god-lessly and of his own choice, understanding himself according to his own contrary possibilities; and he is cut off from the unifying, reconciling life in God, and is delivered over to death. The secret which man has stolen from God is bringing about man’s downfall. Man’s life is now disunion with God, with men, with things, and with himself."

enter JESUS: savior of the world.

5 comments:

Taylor said...

i'm so thankful for the very last line of this post! so, thankful.

katemcdonald said...

WOW. I just copied that down so I can meditate on it. Thanks for sharing.

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