Last month, as the Eerdmans Internet marketing department was debating which of our “notable theologians” to feature on Eerdmans.com in September, Internet marketing assistant Jacob Thielman made the choice surprisingly easy.
As it turns out, the newest member of our merry band is more than just a new father and a recent Princeton Seminary grad.
He’s also an unabashed Karl Barth enthusiast.
“I love Karl Barth,” Jacob says, “because he developed the most powerful and enduring response to the great problem of modern theology that has ever been put forward, and because that response was centered exclusively on Jesus Christ and the words of Scripture. . . . The more one reads Barth’s work, the more one finds oneself, to borrow a phrase from C. S. Lewis, going ‘further up and further in’ to the omnipotent love of God.”
(Those of you who are, like Jacob, theologically minded, will not be surprised to know that the above quote was originally three paragraphs long.)
So, for Jacob and the rest of you Barth lovers out there — and, too, for anyone who simply wants to become better acquainted with one of the twentieth century’s major theological powerhouses — we’re pleased to be featuring books by and about Karl Barth on our website throughout the month of September.
Read on to discover four great titles, or click through to browse our entire featured collection.
What does a theologian say to young preachers at the dawn of the Third Reich?
What Karl Barth did say, how he said it, and why he said it at that time and place are the subject of Angela Dienhart Hancock’s book. This is the story of how a preaching classroom became a place of resistance in Germany in 1932–33 — a story that has never before been told in its fullness. In that emergency situation, Barth took his students back to the fundamental questions about what preaching is and what it is for, returning again and again to the affirmation of the Godness of God, the only ground of resistance to ideological captivity.
No other text has so interpreted Barth’s “Exercises in Sermon Preparation” in relation to their theological, political, ecclesiastical, academic, and rhetorical context.
Read a blog post by Hancock on EerdWord.
Thomas Aquinas and Karl Barth: An Unofficial Catholic-Protestant Dialogue
Bruce L. McCormack and Thomas Joseph White, editors
Thomas Aquinas and Karl Barth are often taken to be two of the greatest theologians in the Christian tradition. This book undertakes a systematic comparison of them through the lens of five key topics: (1) the being of God, (2) Trinity, (3) Christology, (4) grace and justification, and (5) covenant and law. Under each of these headings, a Catholic portrait of Aquinas is presented in comparison with a Protestant portrait of Barth, with the theological places of convergence and contrast highlighted.
This volume combines a deep commitment to systematic theology with an equally profound commitment to mutual engagement. Understood rightly and well, Aquinas and Barth contribute powerfully to the future of theology and to an ecumenism that takes doctrinal confession seriously while at the same time seeking unity among Christians.
Contributors: John R. Bowlin; Holly Taylor Coolman; Robert W. Jenson; Keith L. Johnson; Guy Mansini, O.S.B.; Amy Marga; Bruce L. McCormack; Richard Schenk, O.P.; Joseph P. Wawrykow; Thomas Joseph White, O.P.
Thy Word Is Truth: Barth on Scripture
George Hunsinger, editor
Over the past two decades studies on Karl Barth have become increasingly technical. The ironic result is that although Barth wrote chiefly for preachers, scholars have become the primary gatekeepers to his rich theological thought.
This collection of essays introduces Karl Barth with both clarity and depth, providing pastors and other serious readers with a valuable overview of Barth’s views on Scripture. George Hunsinger — himself a recognized expert on Barth — and eight other scholars cover such topics as Barth’s belief that Scripture is both reliable and inspired, his typological exegesis, his ideas about time and eternity, and more. Reading this book will whet the reader’s appetite to engage further with Barth himself.
Read an excerpt on EerdWord.
The Great Passion: An Introduction to Karl Barth’s Theology
Widely regarded as the twentieth century’s most notable theologian, Karl Barth refocused the task of Christian theology and demonstrated its relevance to every domain of human life, from the spiritual to the social to the political. It is precisely the broad sweep of Barth’s theology that makes a book like The Great Passion of such great value — a succinct yet comprehensive introduction to Barth’s entire theological program.
Of the many people who write on the life and thought of Karl Barth, Eberhard Busch is uniquely placed. A world-renowned expert on Barth’s theology, he also served as Barth’s personal assistant from 1965 to 1968.
As Busch explains, one cannot fully understand Barth the theologian apart from understanding Barth the man. In this book he weaves doctrine and biography into a superb presentation of Barth’s complete work, clearing explaining Barth’s views on all of the major subject areas of systematic theology: the nature of revelation, Israel and Christology, the Trinity and the doctrine of predestination, the “problem” of religion, gospel and law, creation, salvation, the Holy Spirit, ecclesiology, and eschatology.
Click to browse the rest of the books in our featured collection of titles by and about Karl Barth.