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Karl Bart - what should I read?

Discussion in 'General Baptist Discussions' started by MojoTurbo, May 21, 2011.

  1. MojoTurbo

    MojoTurbo New Member

    Feb 2, 2011
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    I have been reading Eugene Peterson's book "The Pastor" and he keeps mentioning how much he loves Karl Bart.

    My seminary professors always quoted him, but I was never required to read his work.

    As a pastor just starting out in the calling - what do you recommend I read from his work?
  2. Jim1999

    Jim1999 <img src =/Jim1999.jpg>

    Aug 10, 2002
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    Is that Karl Bart or actually Karl Barth?

    Many quote Barth because he is newevangelical; he sounds like an evangelical, but is one step removed from German rationalism.

    He lectured at Chicago Divinity, which is very liberal. I wrote my doctoral thesis on a Barthian Critique of Schleiermacher. Schleiermacher is deemed by liberals to be the father of modern Christianity. Barth begins his theology with the realization of man's wickedness and man's desire to be the centre of attantion rather than God. He turned that about and made God's grace the prime goal in man's life.

    The danger with Barth is his use of evangelical terminology with completely different meanings...For example, the Bible becomes the word of God when we experience that word.

    New Evangelicalism, when it first formed, quoted Barth quite often, and this is how Barth became popular in some evangelical circles.

    Beware in reading Barth. Read it, but be careful.


  3. glfredrick

    glfredrick New Member

    Aug 5, 2010
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    Jim's assessment is spot on. Most scholars now shy away from Barth, but his work was standard seminary fare up until about 15 years ago (and still is at many places!).
  4. Crabtownboy

    Crabtownboy Well-Known Member
    Site Supporter

    Feb 12, 2008
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    The Church Dogmatics in English translation

    Volume I Part 1: Doctrine of the Word of God: Prolegomena to Church Dogmatics, hardcover: ISBN 0-567-09013-2, softcover: ISBN 0-567-05059-9
    Volume I Part 2: Doctrine of the Word of God, hardcover: ISBN 0-567-09012-4, softcover: ISBN 0-567-05069-6
    Volume II Part 1: The Doctrine of God: The Knowledge of God; The Reality of God, hardcover: ISBN 0-567-09021-3, softcover: ISBN 0-567-05169-2
    Volume II Part 2: The Doctrine of God: The Election of God; The Command of God, hardcover: ISBN 0-567-09022-1, softcover: ISBN 0-567-05179-X
    Volume III Part 1: The Doctrine of Creation: The Work of Creation, hardcover: ISBN 0-567-09031-0, softcover: ISBN 0-567-05079-3
    Volume III Part 2: The Doctrine of Creation: The Creature, hardcover: ISBN 0-567-09032-9, softcover: ISBN 0-567-05089-0
    Volume III Part 3: The Doctrine of Creation: The Creator and His Creature, hardcover: ISBN 0-567-09033-7, softcover: ISBN 0-567-05099-8
    Volume III Part 4: The Doctrine of Creation: : The Command of God the Creator, hardcover: ISBN 0-567-09034-5, softcover: ISBN 0-567-05109-9
    Volume IV Part 1: The Doctrine of Reconciliation, hardcover: ISBN 0-567-09041-8, softcover: ISBN 0-567-05129-3
    Volume IV Part 2: Doctrine of Reconciliation: Jesus Christ the Servant As Lord, hardcover: ISBN 0-567-09042-6, softcover: ISBN 0-567-05139-0
    Volume IV Part 3, 1st half: Doctrine of Reconciliation: Jesus Christ the True Witness, hardcover: ISBN 0-567-09043-4, softcover: ISBN 0-567-05189-7
    Volume IV Part 3, 2nd half: Doctrine of Reconciliation: Jesus Christ the True Witness, hardcover: ISBN 0-567-09044-2, softcover: ISBN 0-567-05149-8
    Volume IV Part 4 (unfinished): Doctrine of Reconciliation: The Foundation of the Christian Life (Baptism), hardcover: ISBN 0-567-09045-0, softcover: ISBN 0-567-05159-5
    Volume V: Church Dogmatics: Contents and Indexes, hardcover: ISBN 0-567-09046-9, softcover: ISBN 0-567-05119-6
    Church Dogmatics, 14 volume set, softcover, ISBN 0-567-05809-3
    Dogmatics in Outline, (1947 lectures), Harper Perennial, 1959, ISBN 0-06-130056-X
    Church Dogmatics: A Selection, with intro. by H. Gollwitzer, 1961, Westminster John Knox Press 1994 edition, ISBN 0-664-25550-7
    Church Dogmatics, dual language German and English, books with CDROM, ISBN 0-567-08374-8
    Church Dogmatics, dual language German and English, CDROM only, ISBN 0-567-08364-0

    On Religion. Edited and translated by Garrett Green. London: T & T Clark, 2006.
  5. preachinjesus

    preachinjesus Well-Known Member
    Site Supporter

    Feb 9, 2004
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    While it is pronounced "Bart" it is spelled Barth...pesky Deutsch.

    I like Barth. I do, I admit it. He's fascinating and provoking.

    If you're looking to get started on Barth, and with some stuff that is pretty accessible here are three works that might be helpful:

    Dogmatics in Outline http://www.amazon.com/dp/006130056X/?tag=baptis04-20
    Note: This is developed from a series of lectures that Barth delivered. It's simple and straightforward. A good first step. BTW, the word "Dogmatics" for Barth is essentially "theology" for us.

    Evangelical Theology http://www.amazon.com/dp/0802818196/?tag=baptis04-20
    Note: Here you've got a natural second step into Barth's thought and literature. It is the boiled-boiled down version of his magnum opus Church Dogmatics.

    The Epistle to the Romans http://www.amazon.com/dp/0195002946/?tag=baptis04-20
    Note: This is a deeper step, though not unapproachable. This text introduced the budding theologian, Karl Barth, to the world. It blew people away. Really a good insight into Barth's work and development.

    Now, there needs to be something said about his immense Church Dogmatics. I have it (God bless Henrickson for the republish) and it takes up an entire shelf. It is fourteen volumes and still incomplete...which given that Dr. Barth has been with Jesus for a while likely to remain so. The writing style of his systematic is, at best, maddening. But that is German scholarship. I don't recommend reading it until you've first digested everything else that Barth has written. My goal is to finish up his primary works by the end of this year then read all of his Dogmatics in 2012...and maybe 2013.

    To appreciate Barth we need to remember his context. German Liberalism (which is a bit different from contemporary liberalism, though a precusor) was destroying Christian Europe. Honestly one of the primary reasons there are so many dead churches in Europe is because of the German Liberal tradition. Anyhoo, Barth came along and defeated Liberalism in the academic context. He just beat it up and left it in the long dark alley of intellectual defeat. What Barth did for evangelicalism has not been matched....well maybe Wright is getting close.

    Barth has a lot of people who have never read him that say he says things he doesn't. There's a lot of gold in them thar Barthian hills...ya just gotta be careful to mine it right. :)
  6. JesusFan

    JesusFan New Member

    Jan 4, 2011
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    was he the Theologian who postulated that in Christ God had somehow elected for salvation the Human race?
    that he set up the concept to bring in Universalism to the Gospel, but backed away from actually stating that formally?
  7. glfredrick

    glfredrick New Member

    Aug 5, 2010
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    He was... He sometimes employed a dialectic sense in his theology -- making two steps forward, then one step back. Depending on what or where you start reading, you may be at a forward or back-pedaling spot.