Recommendations for reading Barth's Church Dogmatics

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Bruce Dunning | Forum Activity | Posted: Sun, Nov 9 2014 6:29 PM

For years I have considered purchasing Karl Barth's Church Dogmatics but it was always outside of my budget. Now with my upgrade to L6 I now have this in my library. Since this seminal work is so large I'm looking for recommendations on how to go about reading it. According to your experience is it best to read it systematically or by topic? Any recommendations for approaching reading it would be appreciated.

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Ronald Quick | Forum Activity | Replied: Sun, Nov 9 2014 7:27 PM

I would be interested in this as well.  This was my reason for purchasing Reformed Gold.

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George Somsel | Forum Activity | Replied: Sun, Nov 9 2014 7:51 PM

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1RW3nDRmu6k

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gfsomsel

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Sean | Forum Activity | Replied: Sun, Nov 9 2014 7:52 PM

I have read the entirety of CD, completely on Logos. I consider it a great blessing well worth the time. The Logos version is vastly superior to a print edition for many reasons, the biggest probably being how there are pop-up translations for other language quotes not already translated into English.

Though not strictly necessary, I'd recommend reading it sequentially from start to finish. A lot of the most valuable material is in CD I, the Doctrine of the Word of God, and (if I recall correctly) I.1 was one of the few, if not the only, volumes to be majorly revised.

I set up reading plans for each volume, covering about 10-20 pages per day. I didn't always keep up with it (it took me many years, most of the time while I was doing my D.Th.), but it was good to have it out there in front me as a reminder. For me, much of CD has an almost devotional quality, so it was edifying as part of my daily readings.

Take notes in whatever manner works best for you. I don't use Logos' note taking features but a different program I have for that purpose.

Barth may look intimidating because of size alone, and he definitely should have had an editor to lop off a couple thousand pages. Still, there's a rhythm to it once you get going, which is why I recommend trying to keep to a daily reading schedule if possible. By way of comparison with other German-language theologians, I'd rate Barth as more difficult than Brunner, easier than Moltmann or Pannenberg, and much MUCH easier than Schleiermacher.

Hope that helps some!

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Bruce Dunning | Forum Activity | Replied: Mon, Nov 10 2014 10:16 AM

Thanks for your responses everyone. Like George has advised, I'm leaning toward starting at Volume 1 and seeing how it goes. Sean, I've appreciated you speaking about Barth in past posts as well. I admire your persistence to read this in its entirety. I like the idea of creating some sort of reading plan and will give that some consideration.

Any further insights from anyone would be appreciated.

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Ken McGuire | Forum Activity | Replied: Tue, Nov 11 2014 7:50 AM

https://faithlife.com/reformed-theology/ has a reading plan for this year, which I am not in - I did Pannenberg instead...  But I may be up for Barth next.

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Lonnie Spencer | Forum Activity | Replied: Tue, Nov 11 2014 9:01 AM

Hey Bruce,

I have the dead tree version of "Church Dogmatics" and wondered where to start as well. This article helped me and it may give you some ideas on reading Barth.

https://app.box.com/shared/e21fpes1x7/1/18439834/194151674/1

God Bless

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Bruce Dunning | Forum Activity | Replied: Tue, Nov 11 2014 9:44 AM

Lonnie Spencer:

Hey Bruce,

I have the dead tree version of "Church Dogmatics" and wondered where to start as well. This article helped me and it may give you some ideas on reading Barth.

https://app.box.com/shared/e21fpes1x7/1/18439834/194151674/1

God Bless

Thanks Lonnie. I found that helpful.

Using adventure and community to challenge young people to continually say "yes" to God

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