Church Dogmatics

Westminster John Knox Press
3
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Karl Barth's monumental work, Church Dogmatics, is recognized as a landmark in Protestant theology--perhaps the most important work of this century. However, the size range of its fourteen volumes has meant that its content and significance may not be so widely known or appreciated as it deserves. In this concise introduction, Helmut Gollwitzer provides a selection of some of the most important passages from Church Dogmatics to help the busy student explore the heart of the great work; or perhaps to direct a student to parts of the Dogmatics of greatest interest.
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About the author

Karl Barth was born in Basel, Switzerland, in 1886. A theologian, Barth is considered to be one of the most prolific writers Christendom has ever produced. His Church Dogmatics runs well over 12,000 pages in English translation. There also is a great body of occasional writing. Barth would be worthy of note if only for his first published work, a commentary on The Epistle to the Romans. In 1918, when he published this study, Barth was a young pastor in his native Switzerland. The guns of World War I could still be heard, their angry shells destroying, perhaps forever, the liberal optimism of Continental theology. Where was the progress young Barth had learned about from Harnack in Berlin? Where was human rationality, dispelling the noisome holes of ignorance and superstition, when the great leaders of Christendom descended to the barbarity of trench warfare? For answers Barth turned St. Paul's greatest epistle, as St. Augustine of Hippo and Martin Luther had before him. Barth obtained a post at the University of Bonn, but Hitler objected to his work with the Confessing Church (see Dietrich Bonhoeffer), and he was forced to return to his own country, there to produce all his great tomes. Turning theologians from their rational optimism, Barth has driven them to consider again the power of the Word of God-the acted, spoken, inscripturated, incarnated Word was always his chief theme. Against it, all human pride and pretension, all schemes for utopian societies, all theologies based on anything other than the Bible and Christ have proved transient. Barth's objectors reply that Barth's God is too far away like Soren Kierkegaard; that Barth spoke of the "infinite qualitative distinction" between God and man; that Barth ignores scientific advances; and that he cares little for dialogue with other religions. Yet Barth's oppposers never complain of a lack of erudition or ecumenical concern. To some Barth is the greatest theologian the church has produced. Barth died in 1968 as he had hoped-with his Dogmatics still unfinished.

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Additional Information

Publisher
Westminster John Knox Press
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Published on
Jan 1, 1994
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Pages
262
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ISBN
9780664255503
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Language
English
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Genres
Religion / Christian Theology / General
Religion / Christian Theology / Systematic
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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Eligible for Family Library

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This is the third and final volume in the comprehensive three-volume set of commentaries on all of the lectionary texts for Sunday reading (including the Psalms) and for special days in all communions, treating the readings for each year in a single volume.

The three volumes are based on The Common Lectionary (1992) together with other readings kept in the Episcopal, Lutheran, and Roman Catholic churches. A complete index of texts is included in each volume, making it useful for those who do not follow the lectionary or who are looking for commentaries on specific texts.

Continuing acclaim for the series -

"There is no better one-volume resource for the weekly task of preparing sermons grounded in biblical faith. Over the course of the past year, the four authors have become my good and trusted friends as they helped me find something to say that is both lively and true to the text." -The Rev. Barbara Brown Taylor, Grace-Calvary Episcopal Church, Clarkesville, Georgia

"Simply put, the best commentary series on the best lectionary. An unusual blend of biblical and homiletical skills." -James F. White, Professor of Liturgy, University of Notre Dame

"Its exegeses are well written and extremely helpful in preparing sermons. I and my congregation are appreciative of this source. I look forward to reading the next volume in the series, and in the meantime I find myself continuing to browse through, study, reflect upon, write in the margins of, and otherwise use the previous volume." -The Rev. Rebecca L. Spencer, Central Congregational Church, Providence, Rhode Island

"Professors Craddock, Hayes, Holladay, and Tucker have already established themselves as insightful and helpful interpreters of the scriptures. These volumes significantly broaden their previous contributions by embracing all the alternatives offered by the recent revision of The Common Lectionary. The publishing values - the convenience of a single volume, a binding that lays flat, and clear, readable type - make this an indispensable addition or replacement for the preacher's library." -The Rev. Patrick J. Willson, St. Stephen's Presbyterian Church, Fort Worth, Texas

The authors of the outstanding series teach at Candler School of Theology, Emory University. All have published extensively in their respective fields of endeavors: Fred B. Craddock, Professor of Preaching and New Testament; John H Hayes, Professor of Old Testament; Carl R. Holladay, Professor of New Testament; Gene M. Tucker, Professor of Old Testament.
In a time when spiritual hype is rampant and modern Pharisees sometimes seem to drown out all other voices, the quiet, reflective messages of William Kincaid offer a refreshing journey for the soul. His relaxed, conversational style will engage readers, and the insights of this master preacher into both scripture and modern life will leave them thirsting for more. "Virtual Incarnation?" is a superlative collection of sermons -- it is don't-miss reading not only for ministers and teachers, but also for personal worship and devotions.
"This is intelligent preaching. With refreshing theological, biblical, and psychological content, Kincaid's sermons are a mixture of keen human observation and faithful reflection."
Albert M. Pennybacker
Former Associate General Secretary
National Council of Churches
"What makes a good preacher, like a good poet, is the unforeseen image or phrase that catches us by surprise and causes us to look at our life from a different angle. In sermons we hope for everyday things rendered extraordinary by a word that speaks beyond itself. In this collection, you will find such words that can bring us closer to the presence of God. Kincaid speaks in plain prose that is grounded in the poetry of the soul."
Malcolm L. Warford
Professor of Ministry
Lexington Theological Seminary
"Elegant in their simplicity, poignant and pointed in their relevancy to human experience, Kincaid's sermons demonstrate homiletical excellence worthy of emulation. They are well reasoned, biblically grounded, pertinent to faith development, and always connected to the Christian's concern for justice. I gladly recommend them for spiritual nourishment and as models of the best in contemporary preaching."
Nancy Jo Kemper
Executive Director
Kentucky Council of Churches
William B. Kincaid III has been the pastor of Woodland Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) in Lexington, Kentucky, since 1997. A graduate of the University of Kentucky and Lexington Theological Seminary, Kincaid has previously served four other Kentucky congregations. He is the author of "And Then Came The Angel" (CSS) and regularly contributes sermons to "Biblical Preaching Journal" and "Lectionary Homiletics." Kincaid is also a contributing editor for the journal "Great Preaching Texts."
Widely regard to be the twentieth century's greatest theologian, Karth Barth's work refocused the task of Christian theology and demonstrated its relevance to every domain of human life, from the spiritual to social to the political. It is precisely the broad sweep of Barth's theology that makes a book like "The Great Passion" necessary -- a succinct yet comprehensive introduction to Barth's entire theological program.

Of the many people who write on the life and thought of Karl Barth, Eberhard Busch is uniquely placed. A world-renowned expert on Barth's theology, he also served as Barth's personal assistant from 1965 to 1968. As Busch explains, one cannot fully understand Barth the theologian without also understanding Barth the man. In this book he weaves doctrine and biography into a superb presentation of Barth's complete work.

Busch purpose in this introduction is to guide readers through the main themes of Barth's monumental "Church Dogmatics" against the horizon of our modern times and problems. In ten sections Busch clearly explains Barth's views on all of the major subject areas of systematic theology: the nature of revelation, Israel and christology, the Trinity and the doctrine of predestination, the problem of religion, gospel and law, creation, salvation, the Holy Spirit, eccclesiology, and eschatology.

A distinctive feature of the book is the way Busch lets Barth speak for himself, often through surprising quotations. Busch also shows how Barth's writing should be read as a dialogue, constantly and consciously engaging other voices past and present, both in and outside of the church. Most important of all, however, is the way the book demonstrates that Barth'sthought is not only still accessible today but also remarkably helpful.

How good it is that the author of the rich Karl Barth biography has drawn anew on his intimate acquaintance with the person and work of Barth to introduce the theology of the "Church Dogmatics." In this study we are engaged by a theology that, as if stubbornly, asked and still asks different questions, addressed and still addresses things other than what in Barth's own time and also now in ours claims to be at the center of the science of theology. Eberhard Busch has written a passionate, wonderfully readable book that portrays how "thinking" about the friendliness of God for humanity' can itself becomes a great passion.

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