A book review (Johannes Greber – his life and his work)
Theologian Dr. Erich Luban, 71332 Waiblingen Germany, writes in a book review about “Johannes Greber – sein Leben und sein Werk” amongst other things:
“All religions have their origin in revelations, prophetic utterances and visions. Powers from the invisible world disclose some things that questioning and seeking people in our world are interested in. These powers try to communicate answers to us in regards to the central question of the human existence on our planet; this deals with the question of the where from and where to of each individual. There is a basic philosophical axiom that states: Those that have no answers to the questions of where from and where to, can also have not communicate a solution to the (often painful) question of why and what for (Sartre and Heidegger).
Pastor Johannes Greber (1874-1944), former Catholic priest, communicates impressive answers, answers he received through “subservient spirits” in regards to insights into the Bible, to the three questions: Where from, where to and why a life for each human being? The Bible became “God’s living word” through the “act of grace of prophetic speech”, respectively “auguries” (1. Corinthians 12-14). This means that he did not try to shed light on the Bible through the dogmas of his confession, but as God’s word in the midst of present day people’s lives. He therefore didn’t remain fixed on the “dead letters” and the dogmatic understanding of his Church, but discovered the secrets of the Bible as God’s word through personal concernment (2. Corinthians 3, 6; see also Romans 7, 6; John 6, 63).
The things Johannes Greber was privileged to re-discover through personal visions and through communications from “subservient spirits” he centrally delineates in his book “Der Verkehr mit der Geiusterwelt Gottes, seine Geseize und sein Zweck” (Communication with the Spirit World of God). It states with clarity why Greber had to cut his ties with the Church and why he presented the Christian faith in a new light. The fact that this was mainly triggered through ”spiritistic proclamations” makes a lot of readers sceptical. Spiritism is categorically rejected within Christian circles.
This is due to one of our preconceptions imprinted in us by our religious culture: “Evil spirits” and ”dead spirits” speak through spiritism. Johannes Greber warned us about these spirits in all his publications.
What the prophets in the Bible testify is a “positive spiritism”. “Spiritism” always means communications with the invisible world; there are those from the invisible world of darkness and the invisible world of light. The Bible reports about these in many coherences. What Johannes Greber was privileged to learn in his life “in Christ” was the “realisation” of this “positive spiritism”. Greber totally detached himself from his traditional Catholicism through this and thereby provided today’s questioning and seeking people with an impetus to “re-think”. Re-thinking exploits the literal understanding of the word “penance” abused by the Church. The new understanding of the Bible provided by Greber has become “more evangelical”.
I see in Greber a critical theologian. His statements deal in a particular way with the confessional abuse of absolution (The approbation of forgiving sins) and the doctrine of the trinity. A lot of what he basically expressed is confirmed through the hermeneutics (The process of interpretation and explanation of texts) of numerous theologians. Every critical theologian is aware that the evangelical “Augsburg Confession” (1530) adopted a number of Catholic understandings, like for instance questions in regards to the Trinity, transubstantiation, absolution and succession. – No Christian should adopt dogmatic doctrinal statements uncriticised. The following biblical axiom applies to everyone: “Put all things to the test, keep what is good…! (1. Thessalonians 5, 21).
Greber’s work provides critically minded people with new and valuable food for thought.”
(From: “Die other reality” 1/2000)