Leading Barth interpreter Kimlyn Bender provides an introduction to the essence of Barth’s theology, emphasizing themes that speak to the concerns of the church, the pastorate, and Christian ministry.
Reading Karl Barth for the Church serves as a companion to the first volume of Barth’s Church Dogmatics, offering straightforward help for reading and understanding that work in its entirety. Bender provides a close reading of the first volume, with extended commentary on and discussion of significant themes and arguments of particular relevance to the contemporary church and its life. Written with seminarians in mind and geared to the needs of the church, this guide helps readers develop the skills necessary to read more of Barth’s writings. It includes reading schedules (for both the first volume and the complete Church Dogmatics) and discussion questions for individuals and groups. It can be read from cover to cover as an accompanying textbook to Church Dogmatics or serve as a reference work for understanding specific passages.
In his close reading of and illuminating commentary on Barth’s Church Dogmatics I/1 and I/2, Kimlyn Bender provides masterful exposition of the distinctive themes and patterns of Barth’s theology evident in the first volume of his magnum opus and persisting in all later volumes. In addition to skillfully unpacking Barth’s understanding of the purpose, method, and content of dogmatics, Bender also underscores the indispensability of sustained theological inquiry in the life and ministry of the church. Reading Karl Barth for the Church will be a valuable resource not only for serious students of Barth’s thought but also for many pastors and church teachers, who may wonder whether and why theology really matters.
—Daniel L. Migliore, professor emeritus of systematic theology, Princeton Theological Seminary
We all need guides, especially to great theological literature. Kimlyn Bender provides an excellent resource for reading the first volume of Karl Barth’s Church Dogmatics. His focus is on Barth’s enduring relevance for serving the faith and life of the church today. Barth’s main themes emerge, and we are equipped to identify these as expressed in later volumes of Barth’s work. Bender helps us recognize the importance and impact of these themes for the church’s ongoing witness to Jesus Christ. Bender is a sure guide for reading Barth. With deep understanding and insight, he shows Barth to be a significant resource for Christian life and ministry.
—Donald K. McKim, author of Breakfast with Barth: Daily Devotions and editor of How Karl Barth Changed My Mind
Karl Barth is well worth reading, but he can be intimidating to nonscholars, especially students, laity, and even pastors. Yet he wrote Church Dogmatics because he thought theology was meant to serve rather than distract from the church. That is why Barth thought his whole theology was a ‘theology for pastors.’ What Kimlyn J. Bender provides is a learned yet friendly companion that allows one to engage Barth’s crucial first volume of the CD with confidence and care. Moving between Bender and Barth will surely increase understanding for readers, not just in terms of background, but in terms of relevance for today
Kelly M. Kapic, professor of theological studies, Covenant College
In the Logos edition, this volume is enhanced by amazing functionality. Important terms link to dictionaries, encyclopedias, and a wealth of other resources in your digital library. Perform powerful searches to find exactly what you’re looking for. Take the discussion with you using tablet and mobile apps. With Logos Bible Software, the most efficient and comprehensive research tools are in one place, so you get the most out of your study.