Reading Barth Backwards: IV/4, Baptism with the Holy Spirit, #5

I had an exchange with a fellow seminarian a while back around the nature of humanity. I argued that Jesus Christ is the definition of true humanity and that only from Jesus Christ do we learn what it means to be human. My friend asked me whether then it was possible for people groups before the time of Jesus could have known what it was to be truly human. With apologies to the Greek philosophical tradition, I said no.

“To be a man means to be once in time the addressee and recipient of the pledge and promise which is given one too in the resurrection of Jesus Christ, and in this sense to be a participant in the history of Jesus Christ which took place once, then and there in time. To be a man is to belong to Jesus Christ as an addressee and recipient of the Word in which Jesus Christ presents Himself and His work to every man. It is to find and have one’s own salvation history in the salvation history accomplished in Him in virtue of the fact that it is also a Word of salvation spoken to man.” (26).


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