Monday, June 13, 2011

Barth for Armchair Theologians

This little book tells the story of Barth's theological journey from liberalism to a new form of theology. He sought to resist the assumptions and conclusions of liberal theology while at the same time avoiding the temptation to simply return to some supposedly pristine, premodern form of Christian orthodoxy. Instead Barth took the intellectual traditions of the Enlightenment and Protestant orthodoxy with upmost seriousness while at the same time subjecting both to critical scrutiny. The result is an approach to theology that is deeply immersed in the Bible and the faith of the church while also being significantly engaged with the questions and challenges of contemporary life and thought.

Excellent introduction to the man and his theology. I love the way Barth thinks. He writes theology not for the academics but for the church and its members. Theology is for the people and not for some hair-splitting exercises. Unfortunately he is way ahead of his time and very few people understood what he wrote. I believe only now are we beginning to recognize the genius of the man.

As ministers we ought to speak of God. We are human however, and so cannot speak of God, We ought therefore to recognise both our obligation and inability and by that recognition give God the glory...
the impossible possibility...

From the standpoint of human beings, theology is an impossiblity. Theology becomes possible only where God speaks when God is spoken of. Since human beings have no control over this self-revelatory speech, they are always dependent on God in the task of theology.



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