Eberhard Jüngel: a more natural theology

The only thing that is ruled out [by the Barmen Declaration] is that there are also other sources of the church’s proclamation outside of the one Word of God, which is Jesus Christ himself. It is not ruled out that God is able to speak in many and various ways. The christocentrism of the first thesis of Barmen is not to be confused with christomonism. Indeed, this very problem, which is at least raised by so-called natural theology, is not simply denounced as an illusory problem and its possible truth denounced simply as untruth. It is important to make that clear in view of a sterile Barmen-orthodoxy! It is in no way impossible, coming from the first thesis of Barmen, and without of course practising any “natural theology”, to acknowledge full well the truth of the problem of natural theology — although dealing with it in a manner quite different from the way in which natural theology itself would be able to deal with it. It is not at all impossible, coming from the one Word of God (to which alone the church has to listen, and which alone the church has to recognise as the source of its proclamation), to outline a more natural theology than so-called natural theology: a natural theology which knows Jesus Christ as the one who has reconciled both human beings and the world (2 Cor. 5:19). He is the one who, together with the prayers of Christians, also hears the groaning of the creation and who leads the children of God with the waiting creation to the redeeming apokalypsis (Rom. 8:19-23). It is a more natural theology therefore, which, along with the recognition of Jesus Christ as the saviour of human beings, is learning to think anew the old notions of the salvation of phenomena. Here new ways open up: ways which give to each man and woman their own responsible “political theology” as well as ways which destine for each creature their own “ecological theology”!
—Eberhard Jüngel, Christ, Justice and Peace: Toward a Theology of the State, trans. D. Bruce Hamill and Alan J. Torrance (Edinburgh: T & T Clark, 1992), 26-27