He returned to his native Basel and was a professor of theology at the university there until his retirement in 1962.Barth's numerous writings after 1931, besides the successive volumes of include (1935), which comments on the Apostles' Creed; (1938), which is a good example of Barth's important recovery of the vital theological insights of the Protestant Reformation; (1947), which summarizes his theology; (1954), which includes some controversial essays on the cold war, describing communism in theological terms as far different from Nazism; and (1963), which contains the lectures he gave in the United States during his only visit, in 1962.A lecture Barth delivered in 1956 entitled "The Humanity of God" (published in ) best describes the development which took place in his theology.
Kohlbrugge and Karl Barth on the Word of God and ''Man'' The Implications of Kohlbrugge''s and Barth''s Understanding of Revelation for Their Theological Anthropology (2009-06-05) - ISBN-13: 978-3-8383-0240-9
The following essay is the Foreword to Karl Barth’s Theological Method by Gordon H. Clark. Clark’s book - which is the best available on Barth - may be obtained from the Foundation for $18.95.
Swiss theologian Karl Barth (1886-1968) must be ranked as one of the most influential theologians of the twentieth century. That, of course, is a dubious distinction, since Adolf Hitler, V. I. Lenin, Joseph Stalin, and Mao Tse-Tung must be ranked among the most influential politicians of the twentieth century; John Cage and Elvis Presley among the most influential musicians; and Pablo Picasso and Andy Warhol among the most influential painters. For several decades in the middle of the century, Barth was a main attraction in the theological vanity fair, and his influence, now diminished, has not disappeared. Indeed, the Karl Barth Society of North America, founded in 1974, is flourishing, from all accounts, and many neo-evangelicals, some of whom are in the (neo) Evangelical Theological Society, are trying to revive the Barthian corpse and corpus.
“One of the central affirmations of the Christian faith is the claim that human beings are created in the image of God.” Because the creation story, as cited above, claims that humanity was made in the image or likeness of God, and we affirm that the Bible is the witness to Christ, who being in human form was also made in the image of God, then it is logical to conclude that the theology of human nature rests on this imago dei and therefore the discussion of Karl Barth’s relational view of imago is critical to dissect in order for a reasonable theology to be constructed.
Barth not only did not stand in the Reformation tradition, he opposed it. He rejected and all the while smiling with the words on his lips. It is impossible to believe that Karl Barth did not know what he was doing, as many of his defenders have suggested. They have praised Barth for his grasp of the history of theology. Surely, then, Barth was aware of the source of his doctrine of justification. Barth’s defenders impute to Barth a degree of stupidity that has never before been reached in the annals of theology. But Barth was not stupid, as his defenders imply. The result of Barth’s systemic equivocation is a sort of evangelical mysticism. Although he uses many Christian words and phrases, Barth’s theology is not Christianity. It is, just as modernism itself is, another religion. Barth is a wolf bleating.
Implications for the Church--We currently see a revival of interest in Karl Barth, as well as some shifts in scholarly views of Barth (from what may be called "neo-orthodoxy" to "neo-Barthianism"). Those old enough to remember will recall that the influence of Barth waned dramatically after (and even before) his death in 1968, as many of his former devotees moved headlong in the direction of theological liberalism. Reasons for this are not difficult to discern. His dialectical views on history and Scripture were largely exercises in equivocation that left no firm place for Christians to stand.
Karl Barth was born in Basel, Switzerland in 1886. He was educated at Bern (where his father held a theological chair), Berlin, Tuebingen, and Marburg. During the first world war he was engaged in Pastoral work in Geneva and Safenwil, Switzerland. In 1921 he was appointed professor of Reformed theology at the University of Goettingen. Afterwards he taught at Muenter, and Bonn. In 1934 he was expelled from Germany. Since 1935 he held a professorship in the University of Basel. While a student at Berlin and Marburg he came under the influence of the two great Ritschlian scholars, Harnack and W. Hermann. For a short while he was associate editor of the Ritschlian journal Die Christliche Welt. But this liberal influence was not long to remain a positive factor in Barth's life. As Sasse put it, "in Karl Barth liberal theology brought forth its own conquerer. He could overcome the liberal theology because he was bone of its bone and flesh of its flesh."[ Stasse, HWS, 155]
The purpose of this paper is to present and criticize Karl Barth's doctrine of God. We may conveniently discuss his doctrine of God under three main headings: 1. The transcendent God 2. The unknown God, and 3. the revelation of God in Jesus Christ. Our chief sources for the present study are: The Epistle to the Romans, The Word of God and the Word of Man, The Knowledge of God and the Service of God according to the Teaching of the Reformation, and Dogmatics in Outline. Before undertaking the above stated task we may mention something of the life and career of Karl Barth.
(Johnson, "Barth and Beyond," 16)
When all is said and done, it is not at all clear to me that the "neo-Barthian" Barth provides a better foundation for the church's witness than did the old "neo-orthodox" Barth. Moreover, the historic influence of Barth--with his problematic view of Scripture, implicit universalism, and low ecclesiology--on churches in Europe, Scotland, and America suggests that the current renaissance of interest in Barth is unlikely to empower the mission of Reformed churches today.
Leading up to this main work were writings such as the sermons and lectures included in (1924) and (1928); and (1931), a study of the great 11th-century theologian whose method of "faith seeking understanding" had a decisive influence on the direction of Barth's developed theology.In these early years the theological movement which Barth had begun, variously called "theology of the Word," "theology of crisis," "dialectical theology," "Neo-Reformation theology," and "neo-orthodoxy," attracted in varying degrees men who, with him, became the leading Protestant theologians of this century.
Morrison, "Barth, Barthians, and Evangelicals: Reassessing the Question of the Relation of Holy Scripture and the Word of God," Trinity Journal 25NS : 187-213). While it may well be that this "neo-orthodox" version of Barth is not sufficiently nuanced as to certain details, I would argue that in broad outlines it has grasped rather well the practical implications of Barth's view. Because of Barth's insistence on the fallibility of Scripture and his focus on Scripture as "act" rather than text, we only apprehend Scripture as it "becomes" God's Word to us. Thus the problem of subjectivity looms, and appeals to Scripture as text are rendered problematic and even suspect.