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Our Knowledge of God

Baillie, John | Scribner, 1939


pp. 25 - 26

Baillie disputes Barth–whom Baillie takes to think that regeneration miraculously recreates an image of God in people who had wholly lacked it. But here Barth confuses “the creative and the gracious activity of God.” Baillie: when God regenerates someone it is a miracle all right. But it’s a miracle of grace working on existent creation—existent human creation. If God had made an apostle out of a tree instead of out of Saul of Tarsus it would have been a different sort of miracle than it was. However radical a conversion is, there is always some continuity between what is there before and what is there afterward. “Nobody who has ever heard a Christian preacher plead with his audience could fail to suppose that he was appealing to something already present in their souls.”