Tuesday, November 06, 2007

Engaging with Barth


Engaging with Barth: Contemporary Evangelical Critiques
David Gibson & Daniel Strange (eds.)
(Nottingham: Apollos, January 2008)
ISBN: 978-1-84474-245-5

Engaging with Barth Website

From the publisher:

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.

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.
John Webster
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

Looks like getting hold of this book will be my first New Year's resolution.

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