Reading Karl Barth

Discussion in 'General discussions' started by Johnathan Lee Allen, Feb 13, 2019.

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  1. Johnathan Lee Allen

    Johnathan Lee Allen Puritan Board Freshman

    I’ll be reading Dogmatics in Outline by Karl Barth for a class.

    What am I in for? What should I watch out for? What are people’s thoughts on he and the book?
     
  2. ZackF

    ZackF Puritan Board Graduate

    Better you than me! :)
     
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  3. Johnathan Lee Allen

    Johnathan Lee Allen Puritan Board Freshman

    If I don’t make it, I’ll will you the book. ;)
     
  4. BayouHuguenot

    BayouHuguenot Puritan Board Doctor

    I actually have a bunch of outlines somewhere. Here is my general perspective (and fear not, I am anti-Barthian).

    God is revealed in the human flesh of Jesus but in a sense he is also veiled in the flesh of Jesus. God makes present himself in Jesus but he hides his essence in Jesus.

    4God is indirectly identical with the creaturely medium of his revelation, the creaturely medium being Jesus’s flesh (110). If revelation is Self-revelation, then it involves the “whole” God, albeit his whole being is hidden in a creaturely veil. McCormack is clear there is no impartation of divine attributes to Jesus’s flesh.

    5. The hiddenness of God in revelation is the hiddenness of the whole God in revelation. There is no “behind the back” of God when God reveals himself. He doesn’t hold back.

    6. The dialectic of veiling/unveiling is not static. Veiling is ordered towards unveiling. The stand together in an “ordered history” (179).

    Works Cited

    McCormack, Bruce. Orthodox and Modern.
     
  5. jwithnell

    jwithnell Moderator Staff Member

    Have you considered Barth's context within German theology? I'm assuming the dogmatics is part of a larger stream you're reading?
     
  6. Dachaser

    Dachaser Puritan Board Professor

    Barth held to the scriptures becoming the word of God once you were made aware of the by the Holy Spirit, so father of Neo orthodoxy, and he also came right up to Christian Universalism, as he saw Jesus as being elected By God as Savior for all sinners...
     
  7. BayouHuguenot

    BayouHuguenot Puritan Board Doctor

    Are you asking a question or telling me something?
     
  8. Dachaser

    Dachaser Puritan Board Professor

    Sorry, I forgot to ask if that was true about what Barth held with, as remember discussing him with my pastor in the past, and those were the 2 things that came to his mind.
     
  9. Guido's Brother

    Guido's Brother Puritan Board Junior

    The title of VanTil's book on Barth says it all, "Christianity and Barthianism."
     
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  10. Stephen L Smith

    Stephen L Smith Moderator Staff Member

    There is an interesting nuance here in Van Til's book that is relevant for this thread. Van Til bases his title on Machen's classic work "Christianity and Liberalism". You can see the connection. Machen argued that Liberal Theology was not Christianity but is another religion. Van Til is making the same connection with Barth. True, Barth distanced himself from liberal theologians like Schleiermacher. But Van Til is saying that ultimately Barthianism is not true Christianity.
     
  11. BayouHuguenot

    BayouHuguenot Puritan Board Doctor

    It's fairly accurate.
     
  12. BayouHuguenot

    BayouHuguenot Puritan Board Doctor

    It is a shame that Klaas Schilder's dissertation against Barth was never translated. He was the first to oppose Barth and even Barth's disciple, GC Berkouwer, said Schilder was the only one with the intellect to go toe-to-toe with Barth. This is from Always Obedient.

    How do we know God? We know him because of his condescension to us in the covenant (118). There is a “boundary” between God and man, but it is not a “death line”–Barth’s great chasm between life and death.
     
  13. BayouHuguenot

    BayouHuguenot Puritan Board Doctor

    Barth's primary intellectual influence was Marburg Neo-Kantianism. When he later discovered the anhypostatic distinction, he broke with some of this influence.

    This is from McCormack's intellectual bio on Barth.


    Neo-Kantianism

    “Thoughts without content are empty; intuitions without concepts are blind” (Kant, qtd in McCormack 43).

    • The content of our knowledge is provided by the senses (intuition).

    • The form of our knowledge is provided by thought itself.
    Categories without content are formal and empty.

    Kant never doubted the existence of the noumenal. However, critics like Cohen pointed out that there is nothing given to thought which is not itself the creation of thought (44).

    The most pressing problem created by the Marburg theologians was where to place religion in the three branches of thought.

    *By the time Barth studied with Hermann, the latter’s relation to Ritschlianism had become attenuated” (54).

    Hermann and historical: what Hermann meant by “historical” was that the spiritual cause of historical events was hidden from view (57).

    Barth would break with Hermann by insisting that the divine being was real, whole, and complete in itself apart from human knowing (67).
     
  14. Dachaser

    Dachaser Puritan Board Professor

    Interesting that despite his known limitations, he is still widely regarded as being perhaps the most influential theologian of the 20th Century, and his 1918 Commentary on Romans seemed to spark the push back against German liberal theology of that time.
     
  15. Johnathan Lee Allen

    Johnathan Lee Allen Puritan Board Freshman

    Is there a way to get that project in motion?
    I think I follow you on this. Kant tried to marry the rationalist and empiricist schools, right? Or at least, to an extent. Would Barth's conclusions on the Word of God not being so until the Holy Spirit illumined it to be be something of a convergence of a person's phenomena of Scripture and the noumena as the reality of Scripture's spirituality or otherness? Not that the latter changes, but that the former properly sees, if not in a limited way, what the latter actually is. Is there a part of these views saying that thought is in itself a creator?
     
  16. BayouHuguenot

    BayouHuguenot Puritan Board Doctor

    Lexham Press is publishing some of his work later this year.
     
  17. Johnathan Lee Allen

    Johnathan Lee Allen Puritan Board Freshman

    That’s good news!
     
  18. ArminianOnceWas

    ArminianOnceWas Puritan Board Freshman

    Interestingly I remember hearing Dr. John Gerstner lecture and he seemed so intrigued with Barth that he affirmed his belief that Barth was one of the elect and was looking forward to seeing him in Heaven.
     
  19. Guido's Brother

    Guido's Brother Puritan Board Junior

    Gerstner must have been unaware of the scandalous nature of Barth's personal life.
     
  20. ArminianOnceWas

    ArminianOnceWas Puritan Board Freshman

    I suppose his hopes of meeting King David are also dashed then in that case.
     
  21. Guido's Brother

    Guido's Brother Puritan Board Junior

    We have concrete evidence of David's repentance.
     
  22. Dachaser

    Dachaser Puritan Board Professor

    Was the theology of Karl Barth within orthodoxy though?
     
  23. Guido's Brother

    Guido's Brother Puritan Board Junior

    No. If KB had been an office bearer in a confessional Reformed church, he would have been suspended, deposed, and excommunicated.
     
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