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Barth for Armchair Theologians

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This volume introduces readers to the life and thought of Karl Barth (1886–1968), one of the most important theologians since the Reformation. Featuring the Armchair series' characteristic whimsical illustrations, Barth for Armchair Theologians surveys Barth's theology as it emerges and culminates in his monumental Church Dogmatics as well as how his theology continues to be interpreted in the present day.

In the Logos edition, this valuable volume is enhanced by amazing functionality. Scripture citations link directly to English translations, and 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.

Resource Experts
  • Highlights the ideas and significance of Karl Barth
  • Offers knowledge from field experts in a simple and playful presentation
  • Features witty illustrations by Ron Hill

Top Highlights

“As Karl Barth came to characterize the Enlightenment, it was a system of thought founded on the presupposition of faith in the omnipotence of human reason and ability.” (Page 8)

“Barth increasingly believed that to speak of God was to speak of something different, strange, and startling. God does not come to us in ways that simply affirm what we already believe and practice as a matter of course, but God comes to us and speaks to us on God’s own terms, invading and disrupting what we have known and take for granted by calling into being a new reality that we could not have foreseen or imagined.” (Page 31)

“What is of supreme significance in the reading of Scripture is apprehending the voice and will of God.” (Page 42)

“For Barth, the fatal flaw in the liberal approach to theology was its limited ability to speak about God in ways that challenged the assumptions and presuppositions of a particular culture. While liberals could speak with conviction concerning matters such as religion, history, culture, and ethics, their approach to theology did not provide them with the necessary resources to speak about God in ways that called into question and challenged the status quo. Hence, the God of liberal theology appeared to Barth to function as one who simply sanctioned the values and norms that society had established and certified them with a divine seal of approval.” (Pages 30–31)

“Put another way, liberal talk about God was merely talk about humanity with a louder voice.” (Page 31)

John R. Franke is a Christiantheologian and is professor of theology at Biblical Seminary in Hatfield, PA. Franke received a BA from Nyack College, an MA from Biblical Theological Seminary, studied at Drew University, and received his D.Phil. from the University of Oxford.

(From Theopedia.com. Freely redistributable under the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 license.)


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  1. Sean



    This is an absolutely outstanding introduction to Barth, his times, and his theology. It's so good that I wouldn't hesitate to recommend it to anyone as one of the best ways to get a taste of his thought. Of course, there's a lot that it doesn't cover--how could it be otherwise?--but it does an excellent job at the vital task of explaining the developments in protestant theology post-Enlightenment and situating Barth as a leading voice in the turmoil that was Europe the first half of the 20th century. If you want to learn about Barth, this is a good starting point, better than most in fact--there's an awful lot of unfortunate and unfair misinformation about him circulating in many theology circles. As a Logos purchasing strategy, it's best to get this as part of a bundle with the rest of the "Armchair" series, but be aware that they are very mixed quality. In this one I found the "humorous" cartoons, some quite irreverent, rather jarring in their contrast to the excellence of the writing, which is both scholarly and eminently readable.


Digital list price: $13.99
Save $3.00 (21%)