Confession and prayer and their ethical relevance

Subtitle
Remarks on Karl Barth’s Dogmatics
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This short text discloses Karl Barth’s idea on confession and prayer as it is presented in his Church Dogmatics III/4. Confession of faith and prayer are central to Christian thought, but most often they appear in theological literature only as a topic of Christian confessional piety. This short paper seeks to answer the question of whether prayer and confession of faith carry both an outward and an inward ethical charge in Christian thought. Barth treats the question of confession and prayer in his Dogmatics as belonging to the domain of special ethics. The confession of faith, whether implicit or explicit, always points to Christ and as such cannot avoid affirming and critically evaluating the reality of the world. By doing this, it becomes essentially an expression of ethical awareness. Likewise, prayer, rooted in the revelation of God, by its actualising the relationship between God and man it becomes in every situation an occasion for a decision in favour of God and neighbour. By these means Christians can show that they take Christianity seriously.

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