That’s O.K. With Me

James McGrath doesn’t understand me (he says).  I’ll respond briefly to his confusion (and to the confusion of all those others out there who don’t understand me) –  that’s o.k. with me.  I can live with it.

Years ago (doubtless unknown to far too many who fancy themselves biblical scholars) Karl Barth wrote a booklet titled Rudolf Bultmann: ein Versuch, ihn zu verstehen. Barth didn’t ‘get’ Bultmann in the same way that Luther didn’t ‘get’ Zwingli. My point is not to compare McGrath to Barth or Luther (heaven forfend!) but simply to point out that Christianity has a great history of people who don’t understand others. And it’s o.k.

In the words of Donna Summer – I will survive…

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5 thoughts on “That’s O.K. With Me

  1. Jona Lendering 8 Aug 2012 at 6:56 am

    It’s Gloria Gaynor, dear Jim.


    • Jim 8 Aug 2012 at 7:25 am

      is it? oh well, all those pop music people sound the same to me.


  2. Milton Almeida 8 Aug 2012 at 10:42 am

    Gloria Gaynor sung “I will survive”, but Donna Summers sung “Gloria”…
    In Dr. John Hasselink’s commentary about the issue between Bruner and Barth (which Dr. John is old enough to have witnessed and participated) one of the two said of the other, (can’t remember which one, don’t care to check, I am in my office and the article is at home) “You were created to be a whale whereas I was created to be an elephant. We are two majestic creatures but we will never meet; each of us will have to survive in its own environment” (this is not a direct quote either, but it is the spirit of the quote). We have to “survive” and “be okay” with the fact that within Christianity we will have great creatures but created by God to be different whose “environment” will never be the same since they are two distinguished kinds. When we get to heaven we will know all things… When everybody knows all things, they will all agree with me, first, then they will know why God created so many different creatures. Let’s cherish differences because, apparently, God does!


  3. steph 8 Aug 2012 at 12:43 pm

    Brilliant response to a peculiar post. He’s not your mother and even if he was your mother, not all mothers understand their children. What could be duller than understanding each other. A bit like a fundumentalist expecting to know everyone as a fundamentalist. It’s a treasure to be misunderstood. Even more so, when it’s by the ‘right’ people


  4. […] West has responded not once but twice to my post expressing my lack of understanding of his outlook.In one of them, he says that he is OK with not being understood by me, since Bultmann wasn’t u…. That’s all well and good, but I wonder whether Barth’s theology might not have been […]


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