— Karl Barth, book Church Dogmatics
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Paraphrased variant: Man can certainly flee from God... but he cannot escape him. He can certainly hate God and be hateful to God … but he cannot change into its opposite the eternal love of God which triumphs even in his hate.
Quoted in Simpson's Contemporary Quotations (1998) by James Beasley Simpson.
Church Dogmatics (1932–1968)
Context: Man can certainly keep on lying (and he does so); but he cannot make truth falsehood. He can certainly rebel (he does so); but he can accomplish nothing which abolishes the choice of God. He can certainly flee from God (he does so); but he cannot escape Him. He can certainly hate God and be hateful to God (he does and is so); but he cannot change into its opposite the eternal love of God which triumphs even in His hate. He can certainly give himself to isolation (he does so — he thinks, wills and behaves godlessly, and is godless); but even in his isolation he must demonstrate that which he wishes to controvert — the impossibility of playing the "individual" over against God. He may let go of God, but God does not let go of him.