Category Archives: Critiques of Karl Barth

The Limitless Many of the Elect: Karl Barth on Grasping the Multi-Dimensional Nature of Election

The following section taken from Karl Barth’s Church Dogmatics II/2 sets forth a layered, multi-dimensional understanding of the contentious doctrine of election. Many, if not most, of the critiques levelled against Barth’s view tend to flatten it out into two-dimensional straw man, … Continue reading

Posted in Biblical interpretation, Christology, Critiques of Karl Barth, Election, Karl Barth, Mission & evangelism, Predestination, Reformed theology, Soteriology, Universalism

The Exegetical Barth

For many people, especially for those who have never actually read him for themselves, the Swiss theologian Karl Barth can seem to be something of a pariah due to many places in his dogmatics where he appears to depart from traditional Protestant, … Continue reading

Posted in American evangelicalism, Biblical interpretation, Critiques of Karl Barth, Election, Evangelical theology, Karl Barth, Predestination, Reformed theology, Revelation, Scripture, Sola Scriptura, Theological methodology, Word of God

The Christological Limits of Our Knowledge of God: Karl Barth on the Primacy of Christ in Theology

Many people are critical of Karl Barth’s insistence on not simply a Christocentric approach to biblical interpretation and theology (something that, as Richard Muller has shown, is pervasive in the Reformed tradition) but a Christo-constricted approach. That is, instead of … Continue reading

Posted in Biblical interpretation, Christology, Critiques of Karl Barth, Karl Barth, Scripture, Theological methodology, Theological science, Word of God | 1 Comment

How Not to Read Karl Barth: T.F. Torrance on Cornelius Van Til

There is no doubt that reading and understanding the theology of Karl Barth can be, for many people, a daunting or seemingly overwhelming challenge. Just the sheer size of Barth’s Church Dogmatics (not to mention his numerous other writings) is enough to … Continue reading

Posted in Cornelius Van Til, Critiques of Karl Barth, Doctrine of God, Karl Barth, Reformed theology, T.F. Torrance | 2 Comments

Karl Barth, Romans 1, and the Validity of Natural Theology

In a recent post, I responded to Richard Muller’s criticism that Karl Barth’s rejection of natural theology as a valid way of obtaining knowledge of God constituted an erroneous and damaging revision of the concept of revelation. I argued, not simply … Continue reading

Posted in Apostle Paul, Biblical interpretation, Critiques of Karl Barth, Doctrine of God, Gospel, Karl Barth, Natural theology, Revelation, Richard Muller

Karl Barth’s “Radical Revision of Revelation”

In the preface to the first volume of his Church Dogmatics, Karl Barth famously quipped: I can see no third alternative between that exploitation of the analogia entis which is legitimate only on the basis of Roman Catholicism…and a Protestant theology which … Continue reading

Posted in Classical theism, Critiques of Karl Barth, Doctrine of God, Karl Barth, Natural theology, Nature and grace, Philosophy, Protestant theology, Revelation, Richard Muller, Roman Catholicism, Soteriology, Thomism | 1 Comment

Nein! to the Metaphysical God: Torrance on Van Til on Barth

In the last couple of posts (here and here), I have been considering the metaphysical and broader philosophical underpinnings of much Protestant and Reformed theology. As illustrative of this, I have engaged somewhat with the most vehement critic and opponent of Karl … Continue reading

Posted in Classic Calvinism, Classical theism, Cornelius Van Til, Critiques of Karl Barth, Doctrine of God, Federal theology, John Calvin, Karl Barth, Martin Luther, Natural theology, Orthodoxy, Philosophy, Protestant theology, Reformation, Reformed theology, Revelation, T.F. Torrance, Word of God | 3 Comments

All That Glimmers Isn’t Gold: Faith and Reason in Reformed Orthodoxy vs. Karl Barth

Inspired by R. Scott Clark’s recent post over at the Heidelblog in which he offered a quote from Cornelius Van Til on the importance of Aristotle for Reformed theology, I wrote a post of my own in which I corroborated his point with reference … Continue reading

Posted in Bruce McCormack, Christology, Classic Calvinism, Cornelius Van Til, Critiques of Karl Barth, Doctrine of God, Doctrine of sin, Evangelical Calvinism, Federal theology, Five Solas, Grace of God, John Calvin, Justification, Karl Barth, Martin Luther, Natural theology, Nature and grace, Philosophy, Protestant theology, R. Scott Clark, Reformation, Reformed theology, Revelation, Roman Catholicism, Ron Frost, Scholasticism, Theological methodology, Thomas Aquinas, Thomism | 1 Comment

Richard Muller and the Demise of “Calvin vs. the Calvinists”

In the world of Reformation and post-Reformation Protestant studies, the name of Richard Muller looms large. Among the many scholars working in the field, Muller distinguishes himself for his seemingly endless and virtually encyclopedic knowledge in his area of expertise. … Continue reading

Posted in Classic Calvinism, Confessions, Critiques of Karl Barth, Evangelical Calvinism, Federal theology, John Calvin, Karl Barth, Protestant theology, Reformation, Reformed theology, Richard Muller, Scholasticism, T.F. Torrance, Theological methodology

Christ the Center (If Only That Were True)

Anyone with a basic knowledge of T.F. Torrance will find the themes in the following excerpt from the preface to his book Theology in Reconstruction to be familiar territory. In my opinion however, Torrance waxes particularly eloquent here as he distills the importance of … Continue reading

Posted in American evangelicalism, Bruce McCormack, Christology, Cornelius Van Til, Critiques of Karl Barth, Doctrine of God, Evangelical theology, Heresy/Heterodoxy, Holy Spirit, James Cassidy, Karl Barth, Natural theology, Protestant theology, Reformed theology, Revelation, T.F. Torrance, Theological methodology, Theological science