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The German Church Struggle

Lecture for CH504 Modern Church History Fuller Theological Seminary Spring 2011

Brant Himes

on 19 May 2011

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Transcript of The German Church Struggle

The German Church Struggle Dietrich Bonhoeffer and "This is the end, for me the beginning of life. I believe in
universal Christian brotherhood which rises above national
interests, and I believe that our victory is certain." First Reich Second Reich Third Reich Aryan Paragraph "The Church and the Jewish Question" The German Christians In status confessionis? The Barmen Declaration, 1934 Jesus Christ, as he is attested for us in Holy Scripture, is the one Word of God which we have to hear and which we have to trust and obey in life and in death.
We reject the false doctrine, as though the church could and would have to acknowledge as a source of its proclamation, apart from and besides this one Word of God, still other events and powers, figures and truths, as God's revelation. ... 1871 Otto von Bismarck Nationalistic pride German spirit of progress (as in
Hegel - thesis-antithesis-synthesis) Rapid growth, industrialization World War I 1914-1918 Rise of National Socialism Versailles Treaty Weimar Republic Devastated ecomony Emergence of Karl Barth and
the dialectical theologians Restore Germany to its prior greatness Adolf Hitler 1933 Emergency Decree April 1933 Banned non-Aryans from serving in state sponsered organizations (including churches and universities) 1. Question the state as to its legitimate actions 2. Aid the victims of the state's actions 3. Seize the wheel itself National Socialist "Christians" NOT German "Evangelical" Christians -
Lutheran, Reformed, Free Church - or Catholic Infiltrated the church in support of Nazi policies A Question of Christian Ethics What is the of God? will Reality of the world in Jesus Christ Responsible action Tyrannicide? Peace ethic? Acceptance of guilt With great pain we say: By us infinite wrong was brought over many peoples and countries. That which we often testified to in our communities, we express now in the name of the whole church: We did fight for long years in the name of Jesus Christ against the mentality that found its awful expression in the National Socialist regime of violence; but we accuse ourselves for not standing to our beliefs more courageously, for not praying more faithfully, for not believing more joyously, and for not not loving more ardently. The Stuttgart Declaration of Guilt, 1945 The Confessing Church Underground theological education Ultimately, a meager, difficult resistance...
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