Barth

“Karl Barth (1886-1968) reacted against the liberal theological trend that started with Schleiermacher, because in reducing religion to feeling it also tended to reduce Christianity back into the meanings and values of the secular culture. He tried to bring theology back to the principles of the Reformation and the prophetic message of the Bible. Heavily influenced by Kierkegaard, he interpreted the Christian message to mean that God is so supremely transcendent and superior to all human aspirations that human reason and ‘natural theology’ (philosophy of God which does not accept the teachings of revelations) are worthless; and religion grounded in mere human experience (as in Schleiermacher) is impossible. His Commentary on the Epistle to the Romans rejected all merely historical interpretation of Scripture as incapable of doing justice to the text as the inspired Word of God. His ability to distinguish so sharply Christianity from human culture enabled Barth to resist Hitler’s attempts to enlist the German Lutheran State Church in the Nazi cause, saying, “We have no Fuehrer (leader) but Jesus Christ!” In the Humanity of God he still affirmed that God’s sole revelation is in Jesus Christ, who in becoming human, uttered the only really significant Yes! of the transcendent God to poor sinful humanity in need of redemption through grace” (Frederick Lawrence, Philosophers and Theologians, Boston College).

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This entry was posted in Existentialism, Karl Barth, Kierkegaard, Philosophers and Theologians, Philosophy Class Archive. Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Barth

  1. wtm1 says:

    This is a very good introduction to the early Barth. Perhaps you should pay some attention to things like Church Dogmatics and Evangelical Theology, and then write another entry on the later Barth. It would at least be interesting to see what you make of the differences.

    derevth.blogspot.com

  2. lfn says:

    Hi, thanks for the comment. Yes, the whole “early” and “late” Barth, needs attention. I’ll keep an eye open for a good intro to later Barth and then archive it. If you have something in mind feel free to let me know.

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