If you don’t know who Barth is, and if you’re an ‘Evangelical’ you probably don’t (and if you do, you’ve heard ‘demonic’ things about him 😉 ), then I thought I would introduce you to him. He is the guy pictured in the Time Magazine embedded in this post, below.
Do I agree with Barth? On some things yes, on other things no! The primary thing I appreciate about Barth, is his desire to be “Christ-centered” in his approach to doing theology. Here is a quick blurb from the Center for Barth Studies (an ‘ministry’ of Princeton Theological Seminary):
Karl Barth (1886-1968), the Swiss-German professor and pastor, is regarded by many as a modern day “Church Father.” Barth’s great contribution to theology, church, politics, and culture will take generations to appropriate and assess. As the principal author of “The Barmen Declaration,” he was the intellectual leader of the German Confessing Church, the Protestant group that resisted the Third Reich. Among Barth’s many books, sermons and essays, the multivolume Church Dogmatics — a closely reasoned, eloquently stated argument in nearly ten thousand pages — stands out as the crown of his achievement.
And if that’s not enough of an introduction, then here is the link to Wikipedia’s introduction to: Karl Barth.
You know the biggest reason why I appreciate Karl Barth? Because he gave us his student: Thomas Forsyth Torrance. Torrance studied (while doing his doctoral work) under the eye of Barth; and I think Torrance’s own unique brand of theology, also distills Barth’s emphases in a much more palatable way —- at least for me. Nevertheless, I must say, I still think Barth’s emphases can serve as an helpful corrective for the church —- even ‘Evangelicals’ —- even if you only shake away the ‘husk’ to get to the ‘kernel’, so to speak.