By Matthew D. Hockenos
This publication heavily examines the turmoil within the German Protestant church buildings within the speedy postwar years as they tried to come back to phrases with the new previous. Reeling from the influence of warfare, the church buildings addressed the results of cooperation with the regime and the remedy of Jews. In Germany, the Protestant Church consisted of 28 self sufficient local church buildings. through the Nazi years, those church buildings shaped into numerous alliances. One team, the German Christian Church, overtly aligned itself with the Nazis. the remainder have been carefully against the regime or attempted to stay noncommittal. the interior debates, even if, concerned each crew and situated on problems with trust that have been very important to all. vital theologians similar to Karl Barth have been instrumental in urgent those matters ahead. whereas no longer an exhaustive examine of Protestantism throughout the Nazi years, A Church Divided breaks new flooring within the dialogue of accountability, guilt, and the Nazi previous.
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Extra info for A Church Divided: German Protestants Confront the Nazi Past
Although the Communist authorities in the Soviet occupation zone did not make life easy for churchmen after the war, there was little cause in the immediate postwar years for a continuation of radical opposition by Niemöller and his colleagues to the church policies of the new authorities in the eastern or western zones of occupation. Thus, while the designation “radical” is appropriate for describing their opposition to the church policy of the Third Reich, “reformist” or “reform-minded” is more suitable when deﬁning their goals in the immediate postwar years.
Since Christians and non-Christians failed to conduct themselves in accordance with the dictates of the gospel, it was necessary for God to rule the earth by means other than the consoling promise of the gospel. Accordingly, God created a second government, the worldly government or regiment (das weltliche Regiment), alongside the spiritual government or regiment (das geistliche Regiment), in order to preserve life and property in the not-yet-redeemed world. Whereas the Holy Spirit ruled the church or spiritual kingdom by means of the gospel, the state ruled civil society or the earthly kingdom by means of coercion and force.
Sasse believed that Barth’s attack on natural theology and the divine orders was a grave mistake because such a critique alienated not only the German Christians but the conservative Lutherans as well. Barth did not mind alienating both German Christians and conservative Lutherans. He wanted to stress that German Christian theology was merely the logical outcome of orthodox Lutheranism. Since Barth saw no adequate way to check or limit the prioritizing of a natural revelation over the revelation of God in Christ as attested in the Scriptures, he maintained that all natural theologies must be eliminated from church proclamation.
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