Karl Barth

Discussion in 'Baptist Theology & Bible Study' started by evangelist6589, Mar 4, 2016.

  1. evangelist6589

    evangelist6589
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    From all that I have read of him he was neo-orthodox. Yet some posters here like him as I am sure he had good things to say. My conclusion of Barth does not necessarily come from Macs view but from what I have read about him and he would not be a trusted source. What do you say of him?
     
  2. Rob_BW

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    I enjoy his writings, and there are many topics where I would consider him a trusted source. An article I had to critique for a class was on angelology, and the conservative/evangelical who authored the article basically used Barth's work as a foundation. It was solidly bibical, and very useful.

    I understand having a favorite author, but I don't believe using a single person such as Mac as a litmus test to judge other scholars is exactly healthy either.
     
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  3. TCassidy

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    Especially when you understand that MacArthur is no theologian (and he says he isn't) while Karl Barth was one of the deepest thinkers since the time of Augustine.

    The reason so many "fundamentalists" dislike Barth, and love to call him names, is firstly he rejected their far right wing separatism and, secondly, his writings require a greater depth of intellect and education which most "fundamentalists" lack and therefore don't understand his writings.

    His Church Dogmatics is, in my opinion, one of the greatest works on systematic theology ever written, and, at 13 volumes, certainly one of the largest!

    As with all writers, eat the meat and spit out the bones. :)
     
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  4. Greektim

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    Even R. C. Sprouls uses and quotes him!

    Baby and the bathwater, bro.
     
  5. Greektim

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    If we use the illustration of meat and bones, Barth would be a mastodon. Not many other theologians have the meat that he has. Not many here have the chops to chew on him either. I don't claim to be.
     
  6. JonC

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    When you say "all that I have read of him" do you mean all that you've read about him or all of his works that you have read?


    Sent from my TARDIS
     
  7. evangelist6589

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    I may have read him in college but I can't remember. My conclusion has been based on what trusted sources have said about him.

    I am on break listening to WOTM Radio podcast so post some links and I will read more when I get home.
     
  8. JonC

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    Dogmatics is, IMHO, a must. I've read it twice :cool: (just kidding....not that it's a must as I think it is an important work, but that I read it twice :D). But if you want a good glimpse in a shorter form, I liked his commentary on Romans. I'm sure there are links to his material online.

    Keep in mind that he did not grow up in 21st Century America. Theology is not Scripture, and it is subjective, although it tries not to be. Barth wrestled with the issues of his environment and they influenced, naturally, his theology.

    I think that you'll find him more challenging than plumbing the depths of some of the books we've discussed here. There are many areas where I wrestled with his interpretations. Some I rejected, some I accepted, and some I still don't quite understand. But give it a shot.
     
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  9. Rob_BW

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  10. preachinjesus

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    As I've said elsewhere, he's the most significant theologian of last century. Having read him extensively, there are many aspects of theology which absolutely blow me away and have served as formative structures for my personal and intellectual development. There are parts of Barth's theological program that will not sit well with some, but usually I find the most significant objectors to his theology have never actually read him.

    All that said, I deeply appreciate his theology and encourage others to read him.
     
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  11. evangelist6589

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    #11 evangelist6589, Mar 5, 2016
    Last edited: Mar 5, 2016
  12. evangelist6589

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    This is what John MacArthur says about Barth. Is this accurate?

    http://www.gty.org/resources/sermons/70-29/bible-questions-and-answers-part-57

    Now the view of Karl Barth, and Karl Barth is a German and they keep resurrecting Him. If he would just stay dead, we wouldn’t have to deal with this stuff. But liberal theologians love to raise these dead Germans and make them issues. Karl Barth basically denied Scripture truth. He denied the historicity of Scripture, not just Genesis 1 to 11 but the whole thing. He said, “Redemptive history happened but it didn’t happen in history...the German...it happened in Heiliachik-da-lickta, it happened in elevated super-duper history. He had a kind of category, a mystical category in which redemptive history occurred. So if you say to Karl, “Do you believe in Genesis?” Yes. “Did it happen in history?” No. “Do you believe in the resurrection?” Yes. “Did it happen in history?” No. “Do you believe in the miracles of Jesus? Did they happen in history?” Well they happened in holy history. And it’s a...it’s a...it’s a split world in which he lives. But he...he did the same thing to Genesis that he does with everything. And this is...it has a name, it’s called neo-orthodoxy. And the reason they called Karl Barth a neo-orthodox was the whole world of German theology was liberal.
     
  13. Baptist Believer

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    The resurrection of Jesus was like a boulder crashing into the pool of history.” - Karl Barth, The Word of God and the Word of Man (Harper, 1957), p. 63.

    "What happened on that day (of Easter) became, was and remained the center around which everything else moves. For everything lasts its time, but the love of God - which was at work and was expressed in the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead - lasts forever. Because this event took place, there is no reason to despair, and even when we read the newspaper with all its confusing and frightening news, there is every reason to hope.” - Karl Barth, Insights:Karl Barth’s Reflections on the Life of Faith (Westminster John Knox Press, 2009), p.30

    Everything I have ever read about Barth indicates he believed in an actual resurrection within actual history. At the same time, in the context of his time, he was confronting a prevailing mindset that the only way to find the true ("historical") Jesus was to set aside the scriptures and all those silly stories of miracles, and study archeology and contemporary history to find out who Jesus really was and what he taught. Barth did not believe that historical Jesus studies led to faith.

    In a similar way, Jesus criticized his religious critics in their belief that eternal life came through knowledge of the scriptures, but not humbly receiving God:

    You study the scriptures thoroughly because you think in them you possess eternal life, and it is these same scriptures that testify about me, but you are not willing to come to me so that you may have life.
    John 5:39-40
     
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  14. JonC

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    Here are a few where Sproul quotes Barth:

    “Karl Barth once remarked that the three most basic and primal sins of fallen humanity are pride, dishonesty, and slothfulness. I’m not sure if Barth was correct in his ranking of them, but they are certainly severe sins about which the Bible has much to say.” (R.C. Sproul, Essential Truths of the Christian Faith, xxii)

    “When Karl Barth, the famed German theologian, visited the United States, a student at a seminary supposedly asked, “Dr. Barth, what is the single most important truth you have learned as a theologian?” Barth replied, “Them most important thing I have learned is this: ‘Jesus loves me this I know, for the Bible tells me so.’” ‘Jesus loves me’ is the central affirmation of the Christian faith” (R.C. Sproul, Discovering the God Who Is, 192)

    “These difficulties are why Karl Barth has called the fall of man an ‘impossible possibility.’ Why does he make such an utterly absurd statement? We must say sin is possible because it is actual. If Adam did sin, that is the clearest evidence that he could sin! But we cannot figure out how he did it. Barth’s clever statement of the impossible possibility is not the remark of a stupid man. The statement is made not to explain the fall but to dramatize the rational problems connected with it. Barth uses startling language to underline the rational difficulty in explaining the fall.” (Sproul, Reason to Believe, 125)
     
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  15. JonC

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    Think of it this way, Evan. (these are illustrations and not intended to change the subject):

    John MacArthur teaches that wine in biblical times had the alcohol boiled out or it was mixed with 3 parts water so as to consist of about 1.8% alcohol (60% less than most of today’s beers and hard beverages). It is, therefore, drinking in excess (as it was in biblical times when people drank undiluted wine) to drink alcoholic beverages today. Christians who drink do so out of an abuse of “Christian liberty” and to the displeasure of God (Christians and Alcohol, Interrogating Alcohol).

    MacArthur teaches this as a theological issue, one of setting aside one’s own desires in order to please God. You disagree with his teaching here. Do you think that because of MacArthur’s interpretation and theology on this issue he has nothing of value to offer the Church?

    John Calvin adamantly rejected baptism as an ordinance for those who have professed faith in Christ. He justified the practice of baptizing infants into the church through both covenantal theology and his ecclesiological views. As Baptists, we reject this part of Calvin’s theology. Does this mean that Calvin has nothing to offer the Church?

    What about John Wesley? You disagree with his soteriology, yet God used Wesley greatly. Whitefield even commented in admiration of Wesley’s faith. Should we, if we disagree with his soteriology, also dismiss anything that he might have contributed?

    MacArthur holds to Dispensationalism, Sproul to Covenant theology, and Piper to neither. Which two should we outright reject and ignore?

    Take the doctrines of these men and examine them in light of Scripture, not in light of what another person thinks of their work. Learn not only what you find as true, but also learn through the reasons these men arrived at some of the things you find as error (sometimes it is in reaction to the world in which they found themselves).

    Those who have not read Karl Barth, N.T. Wright, and all those John’s - John MacArthur, John Calvin, John Wesley, John Knox, John Gill, John Owen, John Edward, John Murray, John Piper, John Webster, ….JonC.... :D……offer only hearsay and gossip.
     
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  16. TCassidy

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    Karl Barth's entire life was dedicated to rejecting his training in the liberal theology typical of 19th-century European Protestantism. He was no liberal. In fact he was one of the most prolific anti-liberals of modern times.
     
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  17. evangelist6589

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    Thanks for posting these citations.
     
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  18. evangelist6589

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    Oh no Mac has much to offer the church despite some of my disagreements with him in some areas. I agree with about 95% of what Mac teaches and so this Alcohol issue would be in the minority 5% of disagreements.

    I likewise disagree with John Calvin on this issue, but he still has much to offer the church and was/is a great theologian. He is not to be worshipped as some do however.

    I agree

    None since they are all Calvinist.

    But the question is did Barth embrace liberal Neo-orthododoxy because if he did this is a far bigger issue than alcoholic beverages or eschatology? I may disagree with a man on his position on alcoholic beverages, or the gifts of the spirit, but if he holds and affirms the essentials of the faith then I would not part company with him, even though he still thinks that people can speak in tongues and do miracles. I asked the local Calvinist pastor down the road about Barth and he said he is bad news as he was neo-orthodox and questioned the miracles of Christ. Is this true?
     
  19. JonC

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    Is this what you mean?

    Neo- orthodoxy - a movement in Protestant theology, beginning after World War I, stressing the absolute sovereignty of God and chiefly characterized by a reaction against liberal theology and a reaffirmation of certain doctrines of the Reformation.



    Sent from my TARDIS
     
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  20. Greektim

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    So was Barth!
     
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