Looking for Barth

Page 1 of 1 (10 items)
This post has 9 Replies | 0 Followers

Posts 3513
Milkman | Forum Activity | Posted: Thu, Jul 23 2020 2:39 PM

Does anyone know if Barth's 'The Word of God & the Word of Man' is a FL resource? Or, even if this title is tucked away within another resource...



Posts 680
Steve Maling | Forum Activity | Replied: Thu, Jul 23 2020 4:52 PM

Milkman, you are correct that this is an updated edition. Parenthetically, the earlier English edition changed my life 60+ years ago when I was an undergraduate.

If you haven't found this in Logos yet, here's the link: https://www.logos.com/product/53031/the-word-of-god-and-theology

Posts 3513
Milkman | Forum Activity | Replied: Thu, Jul 23 2020 5:04 PM

Thanks Steve. Just downloaded it. Finally taking Barth seriously after many years of mistakenly shunning his theology. thanks again.


Posts 3513
Milkman | Forum Activity | Replied: Thu, Jul 23 2020 5:24 PM

Hey Steve let me ask you a question.

I'm currently reading some introductions to Barth and maybe you could give me some guidance on a couple of questions.

  1. I have a layout called "Intro to Barth" and within it I have four books going.
  2. Of these four books would you recommend one to start with? or flip between them?
  3. The book by Marga seems to be a precusor to CD. Would this be the starting place?
  4. I imagine reading Barth's CD right off the hop to be an unwise choice. Yes, no?

No worries if you don't reply, just trying to figure out the best course to scale this cathedral of a man and his life's work.


Posts 680
Steve Maling | Forum Activity | Replied: Thu, Jul 23 2020 7:32 PM

Greetings, Milkman,

By no means am I a Barth scholar! I did find Busch's "life and letters of Barth" both useful and interesting: https://www.logos.com/product/125369/karl-barth-his-life-from-letters-and-autobiographical-texts I'm not familiar with the books by Morgan and Nimmo. I tried Gollwitzer but decided to spend my time with the Church Dogmatics themselves. For me, that has been the way to move forward. No, I haven't completed the CD, not by a long shot! And at 84, with my concentration on Hebrew and Greek, I don't expect toBig Smile Long story short, I've depended on some of Barth's shorter writings to introduce himself.

Barth's Evangelical Theology: An Introduction is a late piece written at an introductory level, which I haven't bothered to finish: https://www.logos.com/search?query=Barth%20Evangelical%20Theology%20an%20Introduction&sortBy=Relevance&limit=30&page=1&ownership=all&geographicAvailability=availableToMe (Don't forget that in German evangelish is roughly equivalent to "Protestant")

Years go I read Barth's brief commentary on the Apostles' Creed, Dogmatics in Outline, with great benefit and real enjoyment. https://www.amazon.com/dp/B00653OXZY/ref=dp-kindle-redirect?_encoding=UTF8&btkr=1  Sometime after that I found the following of real interest and well worthwhile: https://www.logos.com/product/125376/the-faith-of-the-church-a-commentary-on-the-apostles-creed-according-to-calvins-catechism

How to Serve God in a Marxist Land is a fine series of epistolary conversation between Barth and a pastor in the East. I'm sorry that I couldn't locate it via the Internet.

Happy study!

Posts 1204
Sean | Forum Activity | Replied: Thu, Jul 23 2020 8:32 PM

I can also say that reading Barth changed my life.

My experience has been that I have not gotten too much out of secondary works that try to explain his theology. There's usually just something missing in the friendly ones, and be aware that the more hostile ones tend to mischaracterize him. I also didn't particularly enjoy The Word of God and Theology. IMO it's not a good place to start. Dogmatics in Outline and Credo are better among his shorter works.

Frankly, there's just no substitute for reading the Church Dogmatics. While huge, it is doable. He's more readable than quite a few other German theologians in translation, and after a while you get into the rhythm of his thought and writing. The first volume (in two parts), his "Doctrine of the Word of God," really lays out the distinctives of his perspective and approach, so it is a really good place to start.

Posts 3513
Milkman | Forum Activity | Replied: Fri, Jul 24 2020 7:29 AM

Well thanks to the both of you! It seems that you are both saying essentially the same. Secondary material is beneficial to a 'point.' However, as the both of you have said in your reply, 'go to the well and drink from the source' (my words of course).

So maybe I'll take the plunge and dive in and who knows, maybe it won't be as scary as some say and it might be a time of refreshing with some or even a lot of treading water just to stay afloat. 

Well time to wade in and get the adventure started.

Once again thank-you Steve & Sean!!


Posts 680
Steve Maling | Forum Activity | Replied: Fri, Jul 24 2020 8:26 AM

Greetings, Milkman, Sean has reminded me of another thought. I've found three things practices useful in  reading in Barth's Church Dogmatics: 1) The final, index volume gathers together introductory material from each part volume - I preview and review that as a road map; 2) watch carefully for identifying paragraphs in which he tells you what he will be discussing; 3) be ready  to highlight passages in which he introduces or summarizes where he is in his presentations.  By the way, my sense is that Sean is a more knowledgeable source of help than IBig Smile And happy study!

Posts 3513
Milkman | Forum Activity | Replied: Fri, Jul 24 2020 10:10 AM

Thanks again Steve. I didn't know about Vol 5 "Index, with Aids for the Preacher." Very handy to know. These are very helpful suggestions you have given this Barthian neophyte as he begins the holy/wholly quest of not only deep theology, but more importantly a deeper relationship with the Father. You may not be a "more knowledgeable source of help" than Sean, but you have certainly been a very knowledgeable source of help for me.

Oh and by the way. Your ending, "happy study"? All studying is happy studying!!

thanks again.


Page 1 of 1 (10 items) | RSS