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“Euangelion” is the English rendering of the Greek term for Gospel.  The “eu-” prefix means “good,” and the latter part of the word means “message.”  The opposite of “eu-” is the prefix “dys-.”  I really enjoy how words work, but I supply the grammatical tidbits for the sake of appreciating these great words from Karl Barth on God and His relationship to human beings.  He writes that although God is unequaled and matchless in might and beauty, still, “he is not imprisoned by his own majesty, as though he were bound to be no more than the personal (or impersonal) ‘wholly other'” [1].  He continues later in the paragraph,

A God who confronted man simply as exalted, distant, and strange, that is, a divinity without humanity, could only be the God of a dysangelion, of a “bad news” instead of the “good news.”  He would be the God of a scornful, judging, deadly, No.  Even if he were still able to command the attention of man [sic], he would be a God whom man would have to avoid, from whom he would have to flee if he were able to flee, whom he would rather not know, since he would not in the least be able to satisfy his demands. [2]

These are words that lead to worship.  Amen.


[1] Karl Barth, Evangelical Theology: An Introduction (Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans, 1963), 10.

[2] Ibid., 11.

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