Barth on the Incarnation

“But the object of divine action in the Incarnation is man.  God’s free decision is and remains a gracious decision; God becomes man, the Word becomes flesh.  The Incarnation means no apparent reserved, but a real and complete descent of God.  God actually became what we are, in order actually to exist with us, actually to exist for us, in thus becoming and being human, not to do what we do-sin; and to do what we fail to do–God’s, His own, will; and so actually, in our place, in our situation and position to be the new man.  It is not in His eternal majesty–in which He is and remains hidden from us–but as this new man and therefore the Word in the flesh, that God’s Son is God’s revelation to us and our reconciliation with God.  Just for that reason faith cannot look past His humanity, the cradle of Bethlelhem and the cross of Golgotha in order to see Him in His divinity,  Faith in the eternal Word of the Father is faith in Jesus of Nazereth or it is not the Christian faith.”

Karl Barth, Credo, pgs. 66-67.

This is from Barth’s discussion of the portion Apostolic Creed, “…who was conceived by the Holy Spirit, born of the virgin Mary.” While his defense of the virgin birth is certainly not rabid enough to please most fundamentalists, it is nevertheless clear. As with much (most?) of his theology, Barth makes Christ Himself the focus of this portion of His exposition of the Creed.  And how much stronger does one need to be than to state that a man cannot be a Christian if he does not believe in the Christ of the Scripture…or Creed?