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Barmen Declaration

1934. A declaration made by the free Synod of Barmen attended by representatives of the Protestant churches in Germany as a response to the German- Christians.* It was the theological rallying point of the Confessing Church.* Largely written by Karl Barth,* its Reformed exclusion of natural theology, though necessary in the circumstances, limited its long-term appeal to Lutherans. The declaration quotes the Nazi-approved church constitution of 1933 which stated that the German Evangelical Church rested on the Gospel of Jesus Christ revealed in Holy Scripture and brought to light again in the Reformation confessions; and that the church was a federal union of equal territorial churches. So it opposed both German-Christian theology and church government, by which, it believed, the church ceased to be the church. In each of six main paragraphs NT texts are given, then positively expounded; and contrasting errors are repudiated. Its thrust is that since Jesus Christ is the one Word of God, the Church is not to recognize other events, powers, or images alongside Him as divine revelation.

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