As the title Indicates, the objective of this essay Is to
study the doctrines of the Holy Spirit and the Knowledge of God
in juxtaposition to one another. It is also a study in the theology of Karl Earth, That is, it is hoped that through an intensive study of his handling of these two doctrines one might catch
a glimpse of his theology as a whole. The doctrine of the Holy
Spirit lends Itself admirably to this objective in that it relates so essentially to almost every other Christian doctrine.
It is through the Holy Spirit that Jesus Christ relates to men.
Therefore, it is impossible to speak of the Holy Spirit with any
thoroughness without becoming involved in the doctrine of the Incarnation and the doctrine of man, and several of their corollaries? Holy Scripture, proclamation, analogy, the Church, as well
as election, creation, sin, reconciliation, eschatology, and so
on. Similarly, the question of the knowledge of God touches on
all of these major areas of theological inquiry. These two doctrines, therefore, lend themselves especially well to a view of
the systematlc, coherent wholeness of Berth's thought.
Two main themes run throughout this essay. One is the inseparability of revelation and reconciliation, or of epistemology
and soterlology. This is a result of Earth's Chrlstocentrism,
and his insistence that Chrlstology must be applied to theological
epistemology as well as to every other doctrine, i.e., his rejection of natural theology. Earth*s doctrine of the work of the
Holy Spirit as Reconciler as well as Revealer is therefore a central and all pervading theme. The other is the inseparability of
the Word and Spirit. One might say that this essay is essentially
about nothing else than the Spirit as the power of the Word, whereby
man's knowledge of God is achieved.
It is impossible to appreciate the significance of Karl Barth
without taking account of his polemic against various other theological points of view. I have therefore made some effort to understand his opponents, especially in the field of eplstemology. Similarly, it is important to know something of the positive
influence of other men upon him. Both his friends and his
"enemies", if they may he so called, are often dealt with as
well in the footnotes.
CHAPTER ONE deals with the Word made flesh as the basis
of the knowledge of God:
(a) Earth's epistemology as a posteriori, form and method
being determined by content: tneology as science.
(b) The theological "object of knowledge as the Incarnation,
i.e., the life, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ; the
divinity of Christ as His revelation of the Father.
(c) Other starting-points are discussed and Barth's comments
upon them are noted: Augustine and some of his contemporary
followers; the roots of modernist theology in modern philosophy, beginning with Descartes and Kant and traced through
Schleiermacher and Feuerbach to Bultmann; Thomas Aquinas and
the Thomist tradition.
(d) Barth's concept of "religion" as it relates to the knowledge of God.
CHAPTER TWO deals with the relation of Jesus Christ and the
Holy Spirit, noting Barth's exegetical comments on the relevant Biblical passages:
(a) The relation of the Spirit to eschatology in the Old Testament seen as the basis of the Synoptic conception of the relation of Christ and Spirit.
(b) The relation of the Spirit to Christ as seen in the Gospel
stories of the virgin birth, baptism of Christ, temptation,
miracles, death and resurrection of Christ; the Spirit as witness to Christ in John and Paul; the Holy Spirit as parousia
(c) The Holy Spirit in the Trinity: Sx Patre Filioque.
CHAPTER THREE deals with the relation of the Holy Spirit to
man as the knower of God:
(a) Anthropology based on Christology; the image of God in man
as it relates to the knowledge of God; the Creator Spirit and
man's spirit; election, creation and redemption in Christ.
(b) Man's sin as pride and sloth; his refusal to know God; sin
and the image of God; sin as falsehood; the sin against the Holy Spirit.
(c) The Spirit the Reconciler as Revealer of Christ; Earth's
attack on Augustine's synergism; slmul peecator et .justus;
justification and sanctification: union with Christ by the
Spirit; the relation of revelation and reconciliation and
the prophetic work of Christ through the Spirit; the question of universal!am.
CHAPTER FOUR deals with the character of theological knowledge as faith considered in relation to
(a) Theological language and the doctrine of analogy; Earth
compared with Thomas Aquinas, A. Quenstedt; analogla fldel,
and the opposition to analog!a entls; Barth's concept of
(b) Proclamation and Holy Scripture; Scripture as Word of
God, as witness to revelation, as inspired by the Holy Spirit; the authority of Scripture for proclamation; the problem of the canon.
(c) Faith and Life in the Church as initiated by the call
of Christ; the Spirit of the Word as the power of illumination and awakening; faith and experience; faith as acknowledgement, recognition, trust, confession; the life of faith
as life in the Spirit; faith, love and hope; the Church as
gathered, upbuilt, and sent by the Spirit; the Church as the
community of the knowledge of God.
(d) The Hope of Perfect Knowledge; perfect union with Christ
In the Spirit, and the participation in God's knowledge of