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Karl Barth in Plain English Paperback – June 10, 2017
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Morrison manages to hit quite a few home runs.
Most importantly, in my opinion, in trying to translate Karl Barth into plain English, he has been able to maintain a simple writing style of his own. "Karl Barth in Plain English" is aimed at the beginner, and Morrison has targeted his own language for this audience. Quotes from Barth and from secondary sources are made prominent in each chapter, as Morrison allows Barth space to speak for himself on each topic, but they then don't overload the later discussion.
Secondly, the choice to begin with Natural Theology in chapter 1 is inspired. This means that Morrison doesn't have to fuss about looking for some "central theme" to connect all Barth's different thoughts and teachings, but he can instead use this one topic that Barth was passionate about to enlighten the other topics.
Thirdly, the chapter on Election and the section on Universalism taught this old dog some new tricks. I know Postbarthian has tried to show me in the past the link between the extent of the atonement and prayer, but Morrison drove the point home so well that I now believe it.
Fourthly, using samples from Barth's preaching enhanced the book's message overall. It turned what could have been a dry, though simple, theological discussion into an encouragement for prayer and devotion.
Lastly, Morrison made me want to read volume 4 of the Church Dogmatics again. And he made me wish he'd written more than 8 chapters himself.
In summary - Stephen Morrison's first volume in his project "Theologians in Plain English" made me want to read Barth again and made me love God more. David Guretzki's "An Explorer's Guide to Karl Barth" shouldn't be ashamed to sit on the same shelf as "Karl Barth in Plain English", and "Barth for Armchair Theologians" will need a better illustrator to get mentioned in the same sentence.