Yesterday, Jim West retaliated against my Biblical Studies in 2011 (a.k.a. Bultmann versus Barth) post, saying that without an apology he would boycott Near Emmaus (he snuck this by me somehow without generating a pingback—very clever!). His defense for Bultmann consisted of a few random shots of Bultmann that could be interpreted as Bultmann’s “smiling face.” That was unconvincing, to say the least. West went on to say:

Bultmann was a naturally happy person who, unlike Barth, didn’t diddle his secretary and thus grin like a wild buffoon.  That photo of Barth, that was taken after he got back from a weekend at the Bergli doing some ‘writing’ with Charlotte v. K.

I say that it is precisely because Bultmann diddled with the distinction between the Jesus of history and the Jesus of faith that he became unable to really “smile” for the rest of his New Testament career. I might go on to say further that Bultmann could have learned a thing or two from Barth and secretaries (whatever Jim meant by “diddle”).

As for an apology, I will hand that over the Near Emmaus’s foremost Barthian. His name is Mark Stevens. 😛