Barth Book Is Now Available

This book is now in at WTS bookstore. Along with Van Til, this book is essential reading for anyone interested in reading Barth fairly and critically, and seeing what he has to offer, and what is dangerous. I will be reviewing this book in the near future.



  1. ray said,

    February 18, 2009 at 9:58 am

    Barth and Van Til dangerous … well I would agree with that :)

  2. Kevin Davis said,

    February 18, 2009 at 12:47 pm

    Thanks for the notice.

    However, I don’t know any contemporary Barth scholars (Vanhoozer, Webster, Hunsinger, etc.) who would recommend Van Til’s book on Barth. “Missing the point” is what I usually here in connection with his study of Barth. See, for example, Vanhoozer’s essay in Karl Barth and Evangelical Theology.

  3. Rob said,

    February 19, 2009 at 12:01 pm

    What do you consider “dangerous” concerning Van Til?

  4. ray said,

    February 19, 2009 at 7:52 pm


    Vantil’s appeal to paradox, mystery, and apparent and irrational contradictions within the Gospel in the area of soteriology …

    …or how the FV clan have run with this antipathy for logic…

    …and his advocation of common grace theology and the well meant offer of the Gospel. I maintain Dr. Gordon Clark to have been in line with the Gospel here whereas Vantil was not … based on the accusations and the support behind those accusations that were levelled toward Dr. Clark.

    Barth does not take Romans 9:10-13 as the Gospel truth regarding God’s hate towards Esau and God’s love towards Jacob. He considers that God simply loved Esau less. These is the same definitions coming from FV clanidates regarding this passage and in doing so … show a despising of the simple and clear language of the Gospel regarding sovereign predestination.

  5. GLW Johnson said,

    February 20, 2009 at 7:21 am

    Van Til was not in line with the Gospel?!!! And he held to similar views on Romans 9:10-13 with Barth?!!! Huh, ray, you have been reading way too much stuff from the Trinity Foundation. By the way, Gordon Clark recommended Van Til’s books on Barth.

  6. February 20, 2009 at 11:50 am

    I agree with Gary here. Anyone who holds to the orthodox Trinity perforce believes in “paradox and mystery,” and anyone who holds that salvation (from MAN’S perspective) includes a confluence of God’s sovereignty and man’s volition believes that there are “apparent and irrational contradictions within the Gospel in the area of soteriology.”

    CVT merely brought out into the open with sharp terminology certain orthodox assumptions about the Faith that have been there all along.

    I do agree that CVT likely misread KB, however. Not that reading him rightly will lead one to a robust orthodoxy ….

  7. Rob said,

    February 20, 2009 at 1:32 pm

    On the issue of whether CVT understood KB correctly, it does seem to be either chic or insouciant to simply cavalierly dismiss CVT books on KB. Ever since the late TF Torrance performed a tirade in review of CVT on KB, it seems that it has been made to appear that those dogged confessionally conservative Reformed are just so rigid and spiteful, always full of malicious malevolence. To this take, one should say, …. really? CVT knew KB’s Church Dogmatics well in the German and it has been pointed out they they were well worn. And despite the protest that idealist and neo-Kantian philosophy has been read into KB as a straw man in order to critique him. Yet if one reads the precursors to KB and Bultmann, the devise of noumenal/ phenomenological is actually quite old and notorious in German liberal Protestant tradition. So, I would actually say that it is not only sad that people talk about KB’s Church Dogmatics without having read much of them, the same goes for CVT’s books on KB, and with this lack of study of KB and CVT, people are all too apt to agreeably consent to KB and dismiss CVT. Hmmm, kind of sad of you ask me.

  8. February 20, 2009 at 2:23 pm

    Rob, the issue is not whether VT or TR’s are “rigid and spiteful, always full of malicious malevolence” (I’m sure they are not) but whether they understood KB, who, by the way, I have read extensively, as I have VT. The issue is not so much whether KB capitulated to idealism (in fact, VT himself was somewhat of an idealist, and there’s nothing intrinsically wrong with that) as well as “neo-Kantian philosophy” but whether VT understood what KB was really saying. Barth said he did not. As McCormick notes (see his essay collection *Orthodox and Modern*), the real issue is the accessibility of revelation and KB’s positing an “indirect identity” between the latter and the modes of that revelation (Jesus, Bible and preaching). I believe that VT allowed his interpretation of of Kantian and idealist categories to influence his reading of KB, but I do NOT disagree with VT that KB’s views are at points sub-orthodox — and dangerous.

  9. G.C. Berkley said,

    February 20, 2009 at 3:46 pm


    Whatever happened to You still posting with Kevin Johnson?

  10. G.C. Berkley said,

    February 20, 2009 at 3:46 pm

    Sorry, that was off topic…

  11. GLW Johnson said,

    February 21, 2009 at 5:03 am

    Check appendix 3 in Greg Beale’s ‘The Erosion of Inerrancy in Evangelicalism’ on Barth and Scripture. CVT clearly understood what Barth was saying about this, as did Gordon Clark and Carl Henry.

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