For a lot of evangelicals Karl Barth and his theology is something of an enigma – you hear his name quite a lot and know that he’s quite an important theologian but don’t know too much about him or even where to begin looking. Here’s a book that might be a great way in for the theology buffs out there. I thought I’d give it a bit of shout out because one of the editors (David Gibson) is the brother of a friend of mine. You can access the website for the book here.
Here are some of the details of the book:
Engaging with Barth: Contemporary Evangelical Critiques
David Gibson & Daniel Strange (eds.)
(Nottingham: Apollos, January 2008)
‘More than perhaps any other theologian in the twentieth century, Karl Barth has dominated the subject-matter of theology and posed the questions with which the theologians of the different churches have been, and are, occupied, although they may want to “go beyond” him, go back behind him, or even protest against his answers’ (Eberhard Busch).
Karl Barth’s theological legacy provides both opportunity and challenge for historic, confessional evangelicalism. While there are now numerous excellent studies highlighting the value of Barth’s theology, often receiving it with ringing endorsement, there are fewer more cautionary or critical responses.
This volume engages critically and courteously with Barth on a range of vital topics where, for the contributors, his interpretation of Scripture, reading of church history, and confession of Christian doctrine are unsatisfactory. This engagement is offered as a positive contribution to the wider programme of constructive theological reflection that seeks to articulate the gospel of Jesus Christ in and for the contemporary world, in the conviction that the ‘pattern of sound teaching’ (2 Timothy 1:13) really matters.
Carl R. Trueman
David Gibson & Daniel Strange
1. Karl Barth’s Christocentric Method
2. Does it matter if Christian Doctrine is Contradictory? Barth on Logic and Theology
3. Karl Barth as Historical Theologian: The Recovery of Reformed Theology in Barth’s Early Dogmatics
4. Karl Barth and Covenant Theology
A. T. B. McGowan
5. The Day of God’s Mercy: Romans 9-11 in Barth’s Doctrine of Election
6. Witness to the Word: On Barth’s Doctrine of Scripture
Mark D. Thompson
7. A Private Love? Karl Barth and the Triune God
Michael J. Ovey
8. Karl Barth and the Doctrine of the Atonement
Garry J. Williams
9. Karl Barth and the Visibility of God
10. Karl Barth and Jonathan Edwards on Reprobation (and Hell)
Oliver D. Crisp
11. ‘Church’ Dogmatics: Karl Barth as Ecclesial Theologian
12. A Stony Jar: The Legacy of Karl Barth for Evangelical Theology
Michael S. Horton
Select Bibliography of Karl Barth’s Works
Index of Names
Index of Topics
Index of Biblical References
Index of Ancient Writings
Evangelical reception of Barth’s theology takes a step forward in this well-informed collection. These are articulate, confident appraisals which take Barth seriously enough to press him hard on what the authors consider his divergences from the classical Reformed tradition. Whether correct in their judgements or not, these essays warrant careful thought from those concerned for theology’s orientation to the gospel.
University of Aberdeen
Karl Barth was the most dominant theologian of the twentieth century, at once brilliant and baffling, majestic and frustrating. His influence, though, has scarcely waned. That is why this book is important. What we have here are some of the best essays I have read on Barth. They combine sure-footed knowledge of his ideas with critical insight into what those ideas mean. They are appreciative but also tough-minded and this combination is rare today. I commend this book highly.
David F. Wells
Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary
The house that Karl Barth built continues to loom large in the neighbourhood of evangelical theology. The authors of Engaging with Barth are not content to admire it from the outside but survey it from within, carefully moving from room to room, noting both positive and negative features. They do a particularly good job examining the structural integrity (read “orthodoxy”) of Barth’s house, detecting here and there both worrying cracks and uneven surfaces. At the end of the day, they neither raze nor condemn the dwelling, but offer a fair and sober assessment that is invaluable for potential buyers – even for those thinking of staying only overnight.
Kevin J. Vanhoozer
Trinity Evangelical Divinity School