About Me

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Robin Parry is the husband of but one wife (Carol) and the father of the two most beautiful girls in the universe (Hannah and Jessica). He also has a lovely cat called Monty (who has only three legs). Living in the city of Worcester, UK, he works as an Editor for Wipf and Stock — a US-based theological publisher. Robin was a Sixth Form College teacher for 11 years and has worked in publishing since 2001 (2001–2010 for Paternoster and 2010– for W&S).

Tuesday, 11 May 2010

Wisdom from Karl Barth

Speaking of what he referred to as the chthonic powers - powers which arise from human creativity but which, in turn, seek to enslave their creators, Barth says that it is the creative person that
is the one who discovers them and sees how useful they can be in his service. It is his spirit that triumphs in their exploitation. It is he who is at the helm, who pulls the levers, who presses the knobs. Nevertheless they automatically and autonomously rumble and work and roll and roar and clatter outside him, without him, past him and over him. He finds that he himself is subject to their laws, which he has foreseen, to their power, which he as released. . . . In simplifying and easing his life, they also complicate it and make it more difficult. They take away his little anxieties but create new and bigger ones. They seem to promise courage and a greater zest for life, but increased worry about life is the fulfillment of their promise. (CL, 228)

So many things spring to mind here. Take communication technology for a start. The liberating power of the telephone, mobile phones, emails, wireless internet. How many of us have found ourselves slaves to the very things that we created to help make our lives easier?

4 comments:

Anonymous said...

How very true, I must stop reading blogs when I should be writing sermons!

Anonymous said...

I just happen to be reading Walter Wink's "The Powers that Be" just now.

Barth's words really connect!

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Anonymous said...

Becoming involved in a church can do these things, too! [speaking from my own sad experience; it's tough to stay the course!]