A Jagged Word


“It is not we who grasp the gospel, but the gospel of Jesus Christ, crucified and risen, that grasps us. More accurately: we are put to death and raised in faith. It is a deed done to us in which we are simply rendered – as Luther repeatedly said – completely passive. The mode of reception peculiar tot he gospel is the most passive mode of all, hearing. Faith comes by hearing. The gospel is the Word of God spoken to us here and now in the present: ‘I declare unto you the forgiveness of all your sins in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit.’ ‘I baptize you…’ ‘This is my body and blood given for you.’ From the point of view of the hearing of the gospel we can say that the problem of this, and every age, is basically that we do not hear well.”

– Gerhard O. Forde, “The Preached God” (167)