“A major theme of twentieth-century theology, ever since Barth’s dalectical ‘theology of the Word,’ has been the epistemological relevance of ‘justification by grace.’ That is, the moral tension between works- righteousness and the righteousness of Christ through faith has its equivalent significance for the intellect, and thus for the very method by which faith and theology seek to know the truth. Do we rely on ‘natural’ human understanding and knowledge, or on that which is gifted to us in God’s own self-revelation in Christ?… For Bultmann, we know the Risen Christ not according to the works of the flesh - that is, on the basis of objective historical data about the resurrection, or even his life - but according to the gift of the Spirit, as he encounters us existentially today in the form of proclamation (kerygma)… That is a contrast which Bultmann takes too far, with a dualistic polarization of history and faith, as if the historical reality of the incarnation were quite dispensible, in favor of an ever-contemporary, interiorized encounter with the Christ who is preached. Yet the rationalistic reaction to this, which once again seeks to equate faith with historical knowledge (e.g., Pannenberg), threatens the hiddenness of the gospel, which makes apprehension of the Risen Christ a gift of the Spirit rather than an accomplishment of enlightened reason. Bultmann’s protest, in the name of the sola gratia, against a false objectivizing of the gospel, which in both its Roman Catholic and conservative Prtotestant manifestations has often taken the form of ’salvation through orthodox belief,’ remains wholly valid and evangelical. ‘He [sic] who boasts of orthodoxy thus sins against Justification by Christ alone, for he justifies himself by appeal to his own beliefs, or his own formulation of belief, and thereby does despite to the truth and grace of Christ. Once a Church begins to boast of it ‘orthodoxy’ it begins to fall from grace’ (Torrance).”
Alan E. Lewis, Between Cross and Resurrection: A Theology of Holy Saturday (Grand Rapids, Michigan / Cambridge, U.K.: Wm. B. Eerdmans, 2001), p.73, n. 6.