I (Arr “Hark the Herald Angels Sing)


Hark, the herald angels sing:

"Bultmann is the latest thing!"

 (Or they would if he had not

Demythologized the lot.)

Joyfull, all ye nations, rise,

Glad to existentialize!

Peace on earth and mercy mild,

God and Science reconciled.


Lo, the ancient myths disperse,

Hence, three-storied universe!

Let three-decker pulpits stay:

Bultmann has a lot to say,

Since Kerygma still survives

When the myths have lost their lives,

Hark, the herald angels sing:

"Bultmann shot us on the wing!"..


Let us with a gladsome mind

Leave the ancient world behind.

Modern man, rejoice with us!

We have read Copernicus.

While the herald angels sing:

"Bultman ist ein gutes Ding!"

We respond in simple trust:

"Demythologize or bust!"


(_Kerygma and Myth: A Theological Debate_. By Rudolf Bultmann, Ernst Lohmeyer, Julius Schniewind, Friedrich Schumann and Helmut Thielicke, with an appreciation by Austin Farrar. SPCK, 1953. See also Bultmann's _Jesus Christ and Mythology_.)











II. (Air: 'Good King Wenceslas')


Dr. Bultmann ventured forth

Boldly from his study,

When the wind was in the north

And the roads were muddy.

All his thoughts were in a maze;

This was not surprising.

He had spent some weary days



"Hither, pupil, strain they sight

If thou canst, descrying

Yonder folk who shove and fight—

What can they be buying?"

"Sir, 'tis card with scraps of verse,

Pictured with a fable:

Shepherds and astrologers

Kneeling in a stable." "


Bring my writings, if you please,

In the last editions.

Du und ich we'll stifle these

Outworn superstitions."

Sage and pupil forth they go,

Braving every stigma,

Shedding myths like billy-o*,

Clinging to kerygma.


"Sir, my thoughts begin to stray

And my faith grows bleaker.

Since I threw my myths away

My kerygma's weaker."

"Think on Heidegger, my lad,

That pellucid Teuton;

Than you won't feel half so bad

When they talk of Newton."


Existentially he thought,

As his master hinted.

All the learned works he bought

Which the sage had printed.

Therefore, folk, when science sends

Doubts and fears depressing,

Demythologize your friends—

Then you'll win their blessing.