Karl Barth on Man-made Religion

nativity painting of people inside a dome
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“Our relation to God is ungodly. We suppose that we know what we are saying when we say “God.” We assign to him the highest place in our world: and in so doing we place him fundamentally on one line with ourselves and with things. We assume that he needs something: and so we assume that we are able to arrange our relation to Him as we arrange our other relationships. We press ourselves into proximity with him: and so, all unthinking, we make him nigh unto ourselves. We allow ourselves an ordinary communication with him, we permit ourselves to reckon with him as though this were not extraordinary behavior on our part. We dare to deck ourselves out as his companions, patrons, advisers, and commissioners. We confound time with eternity. This is the ungodliness of our relation to God. And our relation to God is unrighteous. Secretly we are the masters in this relationship.”

The Epistle to the Romans, Karl Barth

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