Dogmatics is the self-examination of the Christian Church in respect of the content of its distinctive talk about God. [1]

Or, put another way, dogmatics investigates Christian utterance. In respect to theology, what we talk about we can know. Not only  in a cognitive sense but also relationally. The knowing is personal because God has, in Jesus Christ, given himself to His people. In the same way he revealed himself to Israel he has revealed himself to us, yet more so. It is not enough for God to only reveal himself, in his revealing he has given himself to be known. What implications does this have for theology? God is not only to be discussed in the theoretical, he is not only to be argued but known!

I wonder how many of our arguments and talk about God actually depersonalise that which by its very nature personal? How much of what we say about God depersonalises Him and us? Much of the Christianity I have encountered over the years has not only depersonalised God it has also devalued the human. Not all of it and some it has enhanced the knowing of God in the personal however, the culture in which I dwelt for many years simply worked to push God further and further away.

There is nothing wrong with knowledge about God, about Scripture or the Christian life. But knowledge which stops at the cognitive has failed to be faithful theology. All knowledge of God should lead to knowing Him. Everything about God is personal. Not individualistic, personal. He has addressed us personally in Jesus Christ and is personally present to us in Christ by the Holy Spirit. God with us is the good news. If this is the case why do we so distance God from our speech?

[1] Karl Barth et al., Church Dogmatics, Volume I The Doctrine of the Word of God, Part 1 (2d ed.; Edinburgh: T. & T. Clark, 2004), 11.