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The Epistle to the Romans Paperback – December 31, 1968


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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Karl Barth (1886-1968) was an influential Swiss Reformed Christian theologian. He was also a pastor and one of the leading thinkers in the neo-orthodox movement.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 576 pages
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press; 6 edition (December 31, 1968)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0195002946
  • ISBN-13: 978-0195002942
  • Product Dimensions: 7.9 x 0.9 x 5.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (28 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #88,033 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

110 of 115 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on February 27, 1999
Format: Paperback
This is the book that brought an end to 19th century liberal theology's attempt to produce a neat synthesis of Christianity and culture, a psychological Christianity or an anthropologized Christianity. The project was a failure, and Barth tells us why and what should replace it -- a religionless Christianity? Not really a Biblical commentary. If you're looking for an exposition of the text, this isn't what you want. It's more like a manifesto, using Paul's epistle to the Romans as a place to begin the attack on cultural, non-prophetic Christianity. Written in a dialectical, highly expressive style. If you like Kierkegaard and Nietzsche, this is your kind of theologizing -- with a hammer. It can be exhausting, and you will either love it or hate it. Barth later changed his style and tone, but not his message.
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45 of 46 people found the following review helpful By ecclesial hypostasis on December 26, 2008
Format: Paperback
This is Barth's bombardment against syncretism of all kinds in Christianity. He wrestles with Paul's epistle until it is 'transparent' to the mid-20th century context, and exposes the compromises of modern religion. Barth's struggle (and that of his disciple Dietrich Bonhoeffer) against the Nazi regime flowed inevitably from his relentless questioning of Christian liberalism.
At first it may appear that he is only dealing superficially with the text of Romans as a pretext for his own thoughts, but soon you see a depth of understanding of Paul's message that makes other commentaries appear lightweight. The question for Christian churches is what to build on the rubble that this book leaves behind of our most cherished ecclesiastical and religious dreams. Highly recommended.
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55 of 62 people found the following review helpful By Buenoslibros.es on April 19, 2007
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
The way to tackle this book is first not to expect an easy read in the way of a 'companion read to Paul's Epistle to the Romans'. This is stuff for theologians. I have to admit that it was way above me. All I could rescue from its doomed oblivion were some quotations here and there. I think the first and second above reviewers give a good account of it: this is a break-up with liberal evangelicalism; it's no "make-you-feel-good" religion. I suppose it meant a lot by the time it was published; today we might take it for granted.

He points out, as Luther did, the "kernel" of the whole Epistle: "For there is no distinction: for all have sinned, and fall short of the glory of God" (3:23)

On sin: "Precisely when we recognize that we are sinners do we perceive that we are brothers."

Works vs Faith: "So long as we are swayed by any other motive except faith, we do not stand before God."
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76 of 92 people found the following review helpful By David Albertson on March 13, 2005
Format: Paperback
Disenchanted with the gluttony of Evangelicalism and angry at its souless theology which I had studied for four years, I happened upon Barth's manifesto and was reborn. The reason I didn't read it in seminary was because the gaping holes in Evangelical theology today roughly equivocate to the same holes prevalent in 19th Century Liberalism: subjectivistic interpretation of Scripture, self-centered worship, and cultural syncretism.

If you want strong theology written in prose that can only be compared to listening to Master of Puppets, I heartily suggest this book. If you prefer Celine Dion, you might want to try someone else...maybe Max Lucado.

"The Gospel is not a religious message to inform mankind of their divinity or to tell them how they may become divine. The Gospel proclaims a God utterly distinct from men." KB, Epistle to the Romans, p. 28.
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29 of 33 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on February 27, 1999
Format: Paperback
This is the book that brought an end to 19th century liberal theology's attempt to produce a neat synthesis of Christianity and culture, a psychological Christianity or an anthropologized Christianity. The project was a failure, and Barth tells us why and what should replace it -- a religionless Christianity? Not really a Biblical commentary. If you're looking for an exposition of the text, this isn't what you want. It's more like a manifesto, using Paul's epistle to the Romans as a place to begin the attack on cultural, non-prophetic Christianity. Written in a dialectical, highly expressive style. If you like Kierkegaard and Nietzsche, this is your kind of theologizing -- with a hammer. It can be exhausting, and you will either love it or hate it. Barth later changed his style and tone, but not his message.
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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful By T. Wright on May 7, 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is my first Barthian book and the theology is deep and sound. I purchased it because I had heard that Barth challenged liberalism in the Modern Church with the timeless theology of Paul in Romans. I was not disappointed. This book, though tedious in places where Barth is taking on specific liberal ideologies, shines through with great loyalty and passion for Christ and a heart to see the Church abandon the foolishness of liberal theology and return to the power of the Gospel.
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21 of 24 people found the following review helpful By Joseph Hazan Advanced Gyn on December 27, 2009
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Karl Barth's essential book on Romans sheds light to this very important part of the New Testament. By having a greater insight into this book, the reader may gain a much deeper understanding of what Barth calls the 'secret of secrets' which helps one truly appreciate God's deepest and least understood secrets. The most important knowledge in life is the least known and this book gives the reader the key to understanding who God truly is and what He is doing? If you want to know your future and the future of humanity this book is a must read. If you want to know where you and the people you know fit into God's plan you need to read this book.
If you have been puzzled by the Good God and the problems of pain, suffering, crime, war and desperate search for meaning you owe to yourself the pleasure of
reading this book.
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