Friday, March 03, 2006

Who Do You Say That I Am?

Here's a preacher's story that I absolutely loved.
Some of you will be rolling over in your chair when you hear this.Others (maybe most of you) will probably sympathize with the punch line:

When Jesus heard that Karl Barth, Rudolf Bultmann, and Paul Tillich (the 3 most influential German theologians of the 20th century) had died, He decided to hold an audience with them. Jesus asked them, "Who do you say that I am?"

Karl Barth replied, "You are the unreachable, unknowable, impenetrable Holy Other!"

Rudolf Bultmann said, "You're the unaculturated, demythologized essence of kerygmatic truth!"

And Paul Tillich said, "You're the unverbalized, the unfathomable, the untraceable ground of our being!"

And Jesus replied:"Huh?"

Good day to you all. And my hope and prayer is that you can say with Peter in Matthew 16:16 that Jesus is "the Christ, the Son of the living God." Oh, the goodness of God our Father who illuminates our dark, dull minds to behold the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ and to be transformed into His image from glory to glory. Amen!


  1. Here's the source for the story and the sermon it was attached to.

    Dr. David Hankins
    Executive Director, Louisiana Baptist Convention
    Alexandria, LA
    Matthew 16:13-19
    "The Invincible Church"
    Delivered in SBTS chapel, Tuesday, Feb. 28, 2006

    Dr. Hankins said he heard it from some of his contemporaries during his years of formative theological education. And I suppose it further proves the point that preacher stories can hardly ever be traced back to a specific source.

  2. Adam, I enjoyed your post. I ran across it while searching the "who do you say..." verse. Check out my recent post on