You can’t get too much Karl Barth. Here are some thoughts on the brokenness and human frailty of the church, recently come across in a collection of Barth’s sermons, The Word in the World.
The church of Jesus Christ in the world—oh, what is it, this church? Must we not continually acknowledge that it is no different than any of those many other more or less good and hopeful human ventures? But especially full of sin and especially threatened because people are attempting something especially bold here: to proclaim the truth about the true God, to serve and worship this God! How could humankind in all its dubiousness and all its defenselessness emerge any more clearly than it does here? And how could this venture not continually be met by difficulties from the inside and from without? And how could this venture not secretly be afflicted, and in a particularly intense and severe way at certain moments in time such as the one in which we are now living? What remains of the church then? Where should it turn? What is to become of Jesus’ disciples when they find themselves in exactly the same boat as the rest of humanity? They are no better off or stronger than the rest, no less lost and helpless than the world as a whole; indeed, more lost and helpless, perhaps, than all the rest.