Saturday, April 3, 2021

A Sympathetic Shouldering of Cares

In September 1919, less than a year after the German defeat in World War 1, Swiss theologian Karl Barth (1886-1968) gave an address, “The Christian’s Place in Society,” at a conference on Religion and Social Relations in the central German town of Tambach. Through it, he reminds us today that, as Jesus moves in our lives, his truth constantly frees us from all other authorities to test whether they are strengthening in us his gifts of love and life and to challenge them if they are not.

Friday, April 2, 2021

Barth and Schleiemacher: Two Roads Diverge

In September 1922, Swiss-born Karl Barth (1886-1968) gave an address, “The Problem of Ethics Today,” to a group of pastors in the western German city of Wiesbaden. In it, he mentioned Friedrich Schleiermacher (1768-1834) who, like Barth, was a Reformed theologian but who, unlike Barth, was a significant contributor to modern liberal theology. Barth summarized Schleiemacher’s contribution in this way:

Thursday, April 1, 2021

Barth on Calvin on Hope

In July 1922, Karl Barth gave an address, “The Need and Promise of Christian Preaching,” to a group of Reformed pastors. He chose to close his remarks with “a confession of hope”: