Imagine a man who has attained the ultimate goal of atheism. He is free from God and free from his law. He is free from all religious works and all religious working. And he is happy in that formless vacuum, alone in himself, happy in the real world without interference from any beyond. Or he is, at least, able to imagine that he is happy to live like this. So, if he is happy, he has been able to discover the great positive that lies beyond his negative denial of religion. And what is this positive? It is not as completely opposed to religion as he imagines. He has turned away from the river, only to find its spring. He has turned away from the tree, only to find its root. For he has found the power to live in the world as his own man. He has found his own true power, the power to be his own god or to invent his own gods, the power to justify himself and all his deeds. This power is nothing other than the power of religion.
– Karl Barth Church Dogmatics I/2