28 September 2009

New Lutheran Quote of the Day

The realization of the Kingdom of God is something that is only given us and yet at the same time it is a task that is assigned us; it is completely the fruit of the Spirit and yet cannot be realized without the spirit of fear. Neither, as we have seen, excludes the other, but each demands the opposite. -- Köberle, *Quest for Holiness* p. 179


Anonymous said...

Could something be lost in translation here? Martin Luther makes the distinction between “Furcht” and “Ehrfurcht,” the latter being the “awe” and “respect” which he meant when he wrote “we should fear and love God.” Is this what Köberle means by “the spirit of fear”? The last sentence would imply that he means real fear, because one of the fruits of the Spirit is love; its opposite is not awe and respect, but real fear. If “perfect love casteth out fear,” should we not strive for “perfect love,” rather than “fear”?

Aside from that, St. Paul writes in Col. 1: 13 “He has delivered us from the domain of darkness and transferred us to the kingdom of his beloved Son, 14 in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins.” What then does Köberle mean by “only given us.” Should it be “not only given us”?

Peace, Joy, and Ehrfurcht. George A. Marquart

William Weedon said...

I think the fear he speaks of here is what St. Paul meant in 2 Corinthians 5:11...

Anonymous said...

τὸν φόβον, which St. Paul uses in 2 Cor 5:11 is real fear or even terror. I don’t think that in this passage St. Paul intends to say anything more than that he knows how to use “the terror of the Lord” to “persuade others.” In other words, preaching the Law to the unconverted. But everything I know about the Kingdom into which we have been placed, tells me that fear in the sense of τὸν φόβον has no place in it. As St. Paul writes in Romans 8:15 “For you did not receive the spirit of slavery to fall back into fear, but you have received the Spirit of adoption as sons, by whom we cry, ‘Abba! Father!’”

I am sorry to trouble you with all this, knowing you had a difficult day yesterday, and probably one even more so today.

George A. Marquart