Eberhard Jüngel: I believe, therefore I am

I believe, therefore I am—namely, a new creature and as such, one called to represent the being of Jesus Christ in the communion of saints, as a person existing as a member of the church of Jesus Christ. The believer knows that he or she is called to represent the foundation of his or her faith before the world by a life which corresponds to God, in order to witness to the world the foundation which sustains it as well, and to announce to the world its origin and destiny. The foundation of faith is the foundation of all being: the triune God who reveals himself in Jesus Christ as the community of reciprocal otherness. But such being can only be represented communally. Faith is therefore an eminently societal event. The believer exists in the communion of believers, which is most deeply expressed in communion with Christ at his table. There the trinitarian community of reciprocal otherness finds its most impressive earthly correspondence. . . . Theology therefore inquires about the person who, in the communion of one holy, catholic, and apostolic church, finds his or her fulfilment in correspondence to God. Theology is essentially church theology.
—Eberhard Jüngel, Theological Essays II, ed. J. B. Webster (Edinburgh: T & T Clark, 1995), 17.

Comments

Halden said…
Superb quote! Thanks.
kim fabricius said…
Hi David,

Great stuff. But then shouldn't it be "Credimus, ergo sum"? Or how about "Amor, ergo sum"?
Shane said…
Since I'm the rabid pro-pre-modernist reactionary, I'll say it:

Sum, ergo posse credere et amare et . . .
kim fabricius said…
Sane, Shane!
D.W. Congdon said…
Shane,

If by "sum" you mean simply, that a biological entity capable of believing and loving must exist prior to any acts of believing and loving -- then yes, of course I agree with you.

But "sum" does not mean "I am a biological creature." What Jüngel (and basically any true dogmatic theologian) means by "sum" is that "I am a new creature, a person who has been given a new identity." Jüngel's point is that God constitutes this new identity, and we receive this new identity in the act of faith.
Halden said…
And this whole issue is primarily epistemological, not ontological, I think
SB said…
So, belief is both formative and transformative?

Does belief originate in the believer or in the Creator?