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Evangelical Theology: An Introduction

, 1979
ISBN: 9780802818195

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In this concise presentation of evangelical theology--the theology that first received expression in the New Testament writings and was later rediscovered by the Reformation--Barth discusses the place of theology, theological existence, the threat to theology, and theological work.

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Key Features

  • Includes an additional preface by Barth for the American Edition
  • Presents, simplified and distilled, the depth of Barth's thought
  • Provides a more practical and pastoral focus than Church Dogmatics


  • Commentary
  • The Place of Theology
    • The Word
    • The Witnesses
    • The Community
    • The Spirit
  • Theological Existence
    • Wonder
    • Concern
    • Commitment
    • Faith
  • The Threat to Theology
    • Solitude
    • Doubt
    • Temptation
    • Hope
  • Theological Work
    • Prayer
    • Study
    • Service
    • Love

Top Highlights

“Theology is science seeking the knowledge of the Word of God spoken in God’s work—science learning in the school of Holy Scripture, which witnesses to the Word of God; science laboring in the quest for truth, which is inescapably required of the community that is called by the Word of God.” (Page 49)

“In theology the question about truth is stated on another level: does the community properly understand the Word in its purity as the truth? Does it understand with appropriate sincerity the Word that was spoken in and with all those events? Does the community reflect on the Word painstakingly and speak of it in clear concepts? And is the community in a position to render its secondary testimony responsibly and with a good conscience?” (Page 39)

“God authenticates himself. Thirdly, there is the general and the particular presupposition of reason, the capacity for perception, judgment, and language common to believers as well as to all men.” (Page 7)

“The classic rule is Novum Testamentum in Vetere latet, Vetus in Novo patet: the New Testament is concealed within the Old, and the Old Testament is revealed by the New.” (Page 28)

“The word ‘theology’ seems to signify a special science, a very special science, whose task is to apprehend, understand, and speak of ‘God.’” (Page 3)

Praise for the Print Edition

Karl Barth for me is the theologian of the twentieth century. He gathered up, rethought, repreached, and reprayed the entire Christian tradition. I would not want to be without even a page of his multivolume Church Dogmatics, but this slim, spare book holds a special place in my reading. Its ‘energetic brevity’ keeps the nature and necessity of theology forcefully focused in my life.

—Eugene H. Peterson

In this magnificent volume, written with unparalleled learning and gripping power by the preeminent theologian of the twentieth century, readers will glimpse something of the overriding joy, happiness, and freedom of theological science that come from God the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. This eternally rich and living God can be neither 'hired' nor 'possessed' and cannot be carried about in some 'intellectual or spiritual briefcase.' Karl Barth's Evangelical Theology is a must-read for anyone who desires to study theology today.

— Paul D. Molnar, author of Karl Barth and the Theology of the Lord's Supper

This book is a wonderful surprise. At the end of his life, after writing so many theological masterworks, Karl Barth published an 'introduction' to evangelical theology. In keeping with his own rule to begin with the beginnings, Barth here reads and reflects anew on the heart of the gospel. His Evangelical Theology above all demonstrates the serious joy of being a Christian theologian. It will please all who read it.

—Eberhard Busch

Product Details

  • Title: Evangelical Theology: An Introduction
  • Author: Karl Barth
  • Edition: American Edition
  • Publisher: Eerdmans
  • Publication Date: 1979
  • Pages: 222
  • Resource Type: Monograph
  • Topic: Theology
Karl Barth

Karl Barth (May 10, 1886–December 10, 1968) was a twentieth-century Swiss theologian in the Reformed tradition. A vigorous opponent of theological liberalism and modernism, he is sometimes called “the Father of Neo-Orthodoxy.”

Sample Pages from the Print Edition


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  1. Sean



    This is a nice little book, horribly mis-titled. Anyone purchasing it as an introductory theological text is going to be disappointed. It is not a survey of evangelical theology or a distillation of Barth's enormous Church Dogmatics--though the first few chapters do get across the main points of his doctrine of the Word of God. It would be better titled, "A Little Exercise for Old Theologians." It is a collection of lectures he gave in the United States in towards the end of his career. They touch on a variety of issues affecting theologians, their attitude, and how they go about their work, but again, it is more reflections than concrete instructions. A quote I liked that gives a taste: "There may be great lawyers, doctors, natural scientists, historians, and philosophers. But there are none other than little theologians... Even he who is little in the field of theology is overwhelmed by this object... While not possessing it at all, no man is confronted by this object who is not possessed by it." All in all, it's an easy and delightful read, suitable for fans of Barth, pastors, and anyone involved in theological work.


Digital list price: $18.99
Save $4.00 (21%)