14 October 2009

The Indictment of Goodness

But whatever gain I had, I counted as loss for the sake of Christ. --Philippians 3:7

Notice now that he does not only say, But what was gain to me I later saw as indifferent, as unimportant--no: as loss. To repent . . . does not mean to be liberalized, to become indifferent to what we formerly were, to the former objects of our devotion and the former conduct of our lives, but to be horrified by it all. . . . Recognition not of some imperfection but precisely of the guiltiness, perversity, and reprobateness of his glorious Pharisaism, irreproachable and upright as it was en sarki (in the flesh), recognition of the indictment not on his wickedness but on his goodness--that is what came upon him dia ton Christon (for the sake of Christ), that was the meaning that Christ's work had for his attitude to these things.

--Karl Barth, Epistle to the Philippians (Westminster John Knox 2002), 97

5 comments:

Eric said...

Is the rest of the commentary that good?

Dane Ortlund said...

no.

Eric said...

Oh! In your opinion, is it worth the time it takes to read?

Dane Ortlund said...

I haven't read the whole thing. From what I've read, and I find this in his Romerbrief too, Barth does too much straying from the text for the sake of theological points and getting across his own agenda in light of the current theological scene. Occasional brilliant insights, and a huge sense of God and human sin, but not, in my opinion, exegesis. Same goes for Fowl's recent Phil 'commentary' exemplifying 'theological interpretation.' If I were preaching or teaching Phil, I'd make P. O'Brien and Calvin my top resources.

Eric said...

That's interesting. My impression (only an impression) of the Romerbrief is that it's less of a commentary than using the text as a launching pad for his own sort of manifesto.