Evangelical Theology | Karl Barth

Here’s my first encounter with Karl Barth: I was asked to present a three minute profile of the man to my class in Bible College. I went to the library’s theological dictionary, thinking to find a one or two column profile I could regurgitate in class. It was then that I knew I was out of my league.

Since then I’ve always wanted to read him. He’s touted (for good reason) as one of if not the most influential theologian of the twentieth century. Still, every time I think about buying his Church Dogmatics, I get a nervous flutter in my stomach. 9,000 pages is a serious commitment. Enter: Evangelical Theology.

Near the end of his career, Karl Barth toured the United States and offered a series of seventeen lectures on what constitutes true Evangelical Theology. This book is the text of those lectures. It provided me with a good grasp of the way he thinks without having to wade through the details of theological battles fought in the mid-1900s.

Barth is everything I hoped he would be. His passion shines through on every page. His writing is full of pithy quotable sentences worth spending time thinking about. Most of all, he views theology as a high calling—an important science.

For years I’ve encouraged anyone entering theological study to read Hulmut Thielike’s A Little Exercise for Young Theologians. I now have two books to recommend.

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