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The Humanity of God Paperback – March 1, 1996
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About the Author
Karl Barth (1886-1968) was Professor of Theology at the University of Basel, Switzerland. One of the greatest theologians and preachers of the twentieth century, he is best known for his monumental systematic theology, Church Dogmatics.
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Top Customer Reviews
_The Humanity of God_ is a fantastic introduction to Barth's theology. It contains three lectures delivered in the 1950s, later in his life (he died in 1968). These lectures/essays "reflect a certain development in Barth's thinking. The mere fact of this development needs to be underscored. In American and in Britain, Barth's theology is often understood and judged primarily not he basis of some of his earlier writings available in English. It is no longer possible, however, to think and speak responsibility about him if one's knowledge is limited to the earlier writings." (from the "Translator's Preface", p. 5)
Each essay is complete in itself, yet they all fit together well. "Evangelical Theology in the 19th Century" offers a fascinating glimpse at Barth's self-awareness of his context in history. It offers a penetrating but charitable critique of the liberal theologians of the previous generation, and begins to spell out his own positive account of Christian theology. His metaphor of a house with open windows (p. 19ff) is illuminating and his call for "a certain carefree and joyful confidence in the self-validation of the basic concerns of theology" (p. 20) offers a sturdy position with which to face philosophical and historical skeptics.
"The Humanity of God" is the middle essay, offering an account of how it is that God can be, and is, "for us." This is a rich essay, one that I've read and re-read, and which exceeds my conceptual limits as I try to think about God. This is Barth at his best - painting such a magnificent and deep picture of God in Christ that humbles me, fills me with awe and wonder, and love and praise for such a God. Barth is not just obscure, technical, academic theology. He is very edifying, and warms and stirs the heart.
"The Gift of Freedom" offers an ethical account of human freedom that is rooted in the lordly freedom of God. Another rich, "distinctly Christian" account of God and man, as opposed to more general philosophical construals.
This is rich stuff. Together with Evangelical Theology, these are a great introduction to the contours of Barth's theology. When one takes the plunge into the _Dogmatics_, you find these same themes explored much more expansively, but you can recognize the shape from his more accessible work. Highly recommended.
The writing is engaging as Barth's essays deal with three different subjects, yet, compliment each other. The first essay is "Evangelical Theology in the 19th Century." Barth concisely examines the dangers of liberal theology and the effects it had on the 20th Century.
The second essay is "The Humanity of God" of which the book is titled. This essay is a Christological work and is well worth the read.
The last section, "The Gift of Freedom", deals with the Christian life i regards to God's gift of Freedom. Frredom is a gift from God that He alone can bestow on us.
This is a great work which is very easy to read and quick to get through (only 96 pages). This book will inspire to read more works by this great Christian thinker. Whether one agrees with him or not, Barth is always engaging.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
This short collection of three articles presents Karl Barth's mature thoughts of his latter years.Read more