Monday, January 23, 2006

by Karl Barth
Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Company (2000), 206 pages

January 2006 reading:
I may just read this book once a year. In one week I will be starting a Master of Theology at Talbot School of Theology, Biola University. while I have MUCH to learn about systematic theology, reading this book has provided a most necessary perspective. Barth emphasizes over and over that theology is a modest, free, critical, and happy science. He also majorly camps onthe notion that if God is not the clear and absolute center of theology, then we are not doing theology. God himself--in his person, not mere ideas about him--is the source, basis, sustainer, and judge of theology. Theology itself is merely an ever-changing human expression of what we understand about God--it is necessarily imperfect and will always be so.

Someday I'll write a proper review of this book.

July 2005 reading:
I'm just about done reading this. First, I wish Talbot required this for an introductory theology class. Second, if you do theology of any kind, you must read it. Third, don't believe everything you hear about Barth. Read Barth and make up your own mind.

In this short book--a series of lectures given in America in 1962--Barth leads us through the place of theology, theological existence, the threat to theology, and theological work. The honesty, passion, strength, and wisdom of this book is beyond words. As I read it, I realize that despite all else I may do, I am a theologian, and I had better come to grips with that, because it is both a hard and an amazing life to live.


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