A first snippet from pages 32-33 op. cit.
A rescue from bibliolatry? In any case, recovering a somewhat diminished emphasis in Christian life.
Now for my last point: where the knowledge of Jesus Christ given through the Holy Spirit is concerned, in the very nature of the case there is no difference between the Apostles and the members of the Christian Church, thus also there is none between the Apostles and the Christians of later generations. If it is really true that every Christian is to have the Holy Spirit,indeed that he who “hath not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of His”, there can be no difference. To be united with Christ through the Holy Spirit means: to be directly united with Him. Here there is no difference between an ordinary Christian of our own day and an Apostle. And yet this difference does exist,and it has great significance. Only it is not significant for the content of the revelation, but only for the way in which it is given: namely, for the way in which we, in contrast to the Apostles, receive the Holy Spirit and therefore the knowledge of Christ. The second generation, and all the succeeding generations,receive faith, illumination through the Spirit, by means of the witness of the first generation, of the Apostles, the eye-witnesses.’
Jesus Christ is not directly “here” for us, as He was for the disciples. We possess Him only in their narrative which tells us about Him. Their narrative and their doctrine are the means,which God uses, in order to unite us with Him. This is inherent in the very nature of the historical revelation. As an historical revelation, it can only reach us along the historical path,through the testimony of eye-witnesses. But this testimony,in accordance with that to which it points, is not simply an"historic fact"; the Apostles are not for us simply the bio-graphers or chroniclers of Jesus. The historical revelation is something more than an “historic fact”. What they have to tell and to teach is indeed the fact that the Word became flesh,that the Son of God has come to us in human form. The Christian message tells us not only of the Crucified Lord who"suffered under Pontius Pilate", but of the Risen Lord, who rose again on the third day; but the Resurrection is not a"fact of world history", it is a fact of the history of the Kingdom of God, which can only be reported by “eye-witnesses” who have “beheld His glory” as the glory “of the only begotten Son, full of grace and truth”.^ The fact of our redemption—the history of salvation—is transmitted by the proclamation of facts, that is, by the testimony of the Apostles, under the guidance and inspiration of the Holy Spirit.
It is this testimony, then, that stands between us and Christ;not, however, that it may be a barrier, but a bridge.
Through this message we may receive the same Holy Spirit, and may therefore receive from the Spirit Himself the witness that He is the Christ, just as they received it. That means, however,that their witness can never be the basis and the object of faith,but only the means of faith. We do not believe in Jesus Christ because we first of all believe in the story and the teaching of the Apostles, but by means of the testimony of their narrative and their teaching we believe, as they do, and in a similar freedom. Faith in Jesus Christ is not based upon a previous faith in the Bible, but it is based solely upon the witness of the Holy Spirit; this witness, however, does not come to us save through the witness of the Apostles—that apostolic testimony to which our relation is one of freedom, and, although it is true, it is fundamental for us, it is in no way dogmatically binding, in the sense of the theory of Verbal Inspiration. The Scripture—first of all the testimony of the Apostles to Christ—is the “Crib wherein Christ lieth” (Luther).^ It is a "word"inspired by the Spirit.