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Evangelical Theology: An Introduction [Paperback]

Karl Barth
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
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Book Description

1 Jan 1979
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Product details

  • Paperback: 219 pages
  • Publisher: Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Company (1 Jan 1979)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0802818196
  • ISBN-13: 978-0802818195
  • Product Dimensions: 22.9 x 15.2 x 1.4 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 509,297 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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0 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent Book 8 Nov 2012
By Ian.
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This books helps to make you think about what Evangelical Theology is. As usual Barth helps you thing outside of the box.
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Amazon.com: 4.7 out of 5 stars  11 reviews
48 of 51 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars definitive, on all accounts! 10 July 2002
By Rick Cassada - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
The book, which was originally a lecture-series, begins with a definition of what "evangelical" theology is. From this point on, Barth elaborates (further) "biblical" definitions -- which is the starting and ending point of all of Barth's theology; the theology of the Prophets and Apostles, of God Himself, as He has made Himself known to His specially-selected "witnesses" throughout history.
One will find hints of Barth's (so-called) "crisis theology" here; the Bible, attesting to and confronting, humanity with His Word, Jeusus Christ -- who speaks, and has spoken -- and will continue to speak to all....
Karl Barth disdained the term "neo-orthodoxy" which was designated to his 'type' of theological-beliefs, or as "his" system. For him the Gospel was "ever anew" and always "fresh" to each generation, as well as every individual in it.
He has maintained a patent and resolute singularity with the Reformers, being regarded as one of the greatest Christian thinkers in the Reformed tradition. At the same time, he continually challenges both the orthodox and heterodox to "re-think" our theology and to make sure we are in conformity and within the blessed assurance of the theology of Prophets and the Apostles: God's Word (New Testament Greek: theou logos = "theology").
This isn't "past time reading". (Not for the theologically uninformed). Yet the style, method, and "logic" is easily followed -- if one doesn't "skip" a thought here or there. I (personally) use the book as both a "devotional" and as a technical-reference.
Chapters on: Prayer, Solitude, The Word, The Witnesses, Community....more!
Buy it (you'll like it)!
34 of 36 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Matchless Introduction to a Matchless Theologian 7 Feb 2004
By John D. White - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
Among 20th century theologians, Barth is arguably without peer. Here we have a beautiful introduction written in his later years to Barth's entire theological output. If one were serious about beginning to read Barth, there is no better book through which one could enter into his thought. A very helpful book for those interested in what Barth has to say about the nature and purpose of theology. A treasure.
23 of 24 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Doing Theology Barth's Way 16 Sep 2005
By Tedd Steele - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
In this series of lectures, Barth outlines what it means to do theology. He begins by outlining four components of the context of theology. He then treats four characteristics of a theologian. After that, four threats to theology are listed. Finally, four essential components of theological work are listed. Central to the work are Spirit, faith, hope, and love, the final components of each section.

As one would expect, central elements of Barthian theology are present. The Word of God and the community of faith are central to the theological endeavor. God is the ultimate object of theology, rather than humanity.

This is an excellent introduction to Barth. It is also a good way to begin theological exploration.
8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars My introduction to Barth, interested to read more 6 Aug 2011
By Adam Shields - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
Originally published on my blog [...]

Let me start by saying this is my first real introduction to Barth. I know he was talked about briefly in my college Systematic Theology class. I do not remember discussing him at all in grad school. And most of what I know about him prior to this is from biographies of Dietrich Bonhoeffer. I am attempting to rectify that hole in my theological background and this was recommended as an introduction.

This book is based on a series of lectures (originally in German). Barth then delivered these lectures later (or parts of them) in the US, based on an edited English translation of the book. The introduction to the book is to the English edition and was written by Barth primarily about coming to the US to give the lectures. Because I have associated Barth with Bonhoeffer it is hard to remember that Barth lived past World War II. But these lectures were given in the US in 1962 and Barth lived another six years after that.

These lectures were written at the end of a career and are intended to summarize what it means to be a Christian and Theologian. He has a different meaning of Evangelical than the common modern US word. For Barth, Evangelical is a theological position that is not bound to politics or even Protestantism. The lectures are divided into four main sections. Basically they are: where we do theology (the church, the community, scripture and the Spirit), theological existence (the hardest to define, but it is about wonder, faith and commitment), threats to theology (solitude, doubt, temptation, hope) and the work of theology (prayer, study, service, and love). This is not a systematic theology, but directions about how to be a theologian.

Honestly, I think I missed far more than I got. This is a book I need to read again, not necessarily because it is so good (although I think it might be) but because it is so dense I need a second run. So here are some things I did get out of it.

First, for Barth Evangelical Theology starts as being modest. I am all about modest theology and I appreciate that he started there.

Second, one of the things that makes this book hard to read is that it was originally spoken in German, translated into English, but quotes a ton of phrases in Latin and Greek (not all of them translated). Honestly, one of the biggest things I got out of this is how weak our ability to talk about God is when we only have one language. A short section of this book was discussing the problems of using one language or another because there was not a good word in English or German or Latin or Greek, etc to talk about that aspect of theology.

Third, because of my inadequate preparation for reading Barth, I have him pegged as a Liberal Theologian of the early 20th century in my mind. I knew he wasn't going in. But that is still how I have him pegged. Most people reading this book without preconception would believe him to be an orthodox giant of the faith. I know there are some that complain about his view of scripture. But in context of the rest of this theology he really does value scripture. He just does not think we should value scripture above Jesus Christ.

Fourth, I do think this is a book that I need to read again and struggle through because he is concerned with what it means to really follow Christ. I know I am not going to agree on everything. But in the end, Barth is far more concerned about the struggle to follow Christ than he is about a particular doctrine. I think it is interesting that he particularly talks about how the tendency among theologians is to reject those that came before us, especially the immediate generation. But he challenged the reader to really struggle through the wisdom of their elders because that is how we get the gospel.

Finally, I think it interesting how he cordons off theology from the rest of the sciences. It is not a new view to me, but presented in different way. He suggests that while we can use other sciences to serve theology (history, textual criticism, linguistics, etc.), theology is about God. God cannot be studied through human sciences so we always have to be aware of the limitations of using human sciences to talk about God. His sections on the Holy Spirit and Prayer make it clear to me his devotion. I still have a lot to learn about Barth but I found this relatively short book very helpful.

I listened to this book, which limits the ability to go back and read, but keeps me moving forward. I will find it in print later to read again.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Thankful for this read! 18 Mar 2013
By Eric - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
As a conservative Evangelical Protestant I have been fearful of the name Karl Barth as I've heard the name associated with liberal theology, I was so very wrong.
This book is essential to understanding how to do true evangelical theology. Barth might challenge many conservative evangelicals as to who is really evangelical.
I was blessed, challenged and encouraged as a christian through this book!
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