Karl Barth

The message of Faith Without Illusions is that idealism is a farce and cynicism a dead end (“hopeful realism” is the recommended alternative).

As previous posts indicate, I have been reading Barth’s Evangelical Theology (Busby is ahead of me—he read it last year).  Here is a quote from this great theologian in which both idealists and cynics are challenged….

“All those on the right or on the left, whose spirits are all too cheerful or naive, may and should repeatedly discover anew in the study of theology that everything theological is somewhat more complicated than they would like it to be.  But those spirits who are all too melancholic and hypercritical should discover and rediscover that everything here is also much more simple than they, with deeply furrowed brow, thought necessary to suppose” [1].

[1] Karl Barth, Evangelical Theology: An Introduction (Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans, 1963), 183.

2 thoughts on “Barth: Collapsing Idealism & Cynicism

  1. I read Barth’s “Evangelical Theology” earlier this year. Rich stuff, a virtual manifesto on the proper tone and goal of theology. Great application for ecclesial theology.

    1. Yes, I noticed you were reading it at some point from comments you made in an article somewhere, so I think of you and SAET often when I have it in hand. Thanks for the comment, Gerald!

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