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Barth stands before us as the greatest theologian of the twentieth century, yet the massive corpus of work which he left behind, the multi volume Church Dogmatics, can seem daunting and formidable to readers today. Fortunately his Dogmatics in Outline first published in English in 1949, contains in brilliantly concentrated form even in shorthand, the essential tenets of hi Barth stands before us as the greatest theologian of the twentieth century, yet the massive corpus of work which he left behind, the multi volume Church Dogmatics, can seem daunting and formidable to readers today. Fortunately his Dogmatics in Outline first published in English in 1949, contains in brilliantly concentrated form even in shorthand, the essential tenets of his thinking. Built around the assertions made in the Apostles Creed the book consists of a series of reflections on the foundation stones of Christian doctrine. Because Dogmatics in Outline derives from very particular circumstances namely the lectures Barth gave in war-shattered Germany in 1946, it has an urgency and a compassion which lend the text a powerful simplicity. Despite its brevity the book makes a tremendous impact, which in this new edition will now be felt by a fresh generation of readers.


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Barth stands before us as the greatest theologian of the twentieth century, yet the massive corpus of work which he left behind, the multi volume Church Dogmatics, can seem daunting and formidable to readers today. Fortunately his Dogmatics in Outline first published in English in 1949, contains in brilliantly concentrated form even in shorthand, the essential tenets of hi Barth stands before us as the greatest theologian of the twentieth century, yet the massive corpus of work which he left behind, the multi volume Church Dogmatics, can seem daunting and formidable to readers today. Fortunately his Dogmatics in Outline first published in English in 1949, contains in brilliantly concentrated form even in shorthand, the essential tenets of his thinking. Built around the assertions made in the Apostles Creed the book consists of a series of reflections on the foundation stones of Christian doctrine. Because Dogmatics in Outline derives from very particular circumstances namely the lectures Barth gave in war-shattered Germany in 1946, it has an urgency and a compassion which lend the text a powerful simplicity. Despite its brevity the book makes a tremendous impact, which in this new edition will now be felt by a fresh generation of readers.

30 review for Dogmatics in Outline (scm classics)

  1. 4 out of 5

    David

    This is a classic work by one of the great theologians of the 20th century. Well, the "classic" work is the Dogmatics but honestly, who has time to read that monster? Professional theologians maybe? What Barth offers here is a densely packed journey through the Apostles creed. It is dense - I found myself wanting to underline so much it may have been easier to underline the stuff I didn't find as intriguing. As I read, I was reminded of the importance of allowing God to define who God is through This is a classic work by one of the great theologians of the 20th century. Well, the "classic" work is the Dogmatics but honestly, who has time to read that monster? Professional theologians maybe? What Barth offers here is a densely packed journey through the Apostles creed. It is dense - I found myself wanting to underline so much it may have been easier to underline the stuff I didn't find as intriguing. As I read, I was reminded of the importance of allowing God to define who God is through revelation, rather than our vain attempts at reaching God through our own minds. Further, as Barth emphasized the complete otherness of God, I was reminded how amazing the incarnation actually is. Most of all, it was jarring to read this book during the rise of Trump, with so many Christians in America seemingly exchanging the morals they've expected in leaders (at least, that's what I've been hearing for my entire life) for a guy they think can win. Why worry about being like Jesus, or even allowing Jesus to be front and center when we speak about God when we've got elections to win? Barth lived through the Nazi era and makes reference to Hitler and the sell-out "German Christians" at times. I do not think a Hitler is rising in America by any means. Yet the theme of a country that sees itself as Christian but seems to care little for the God revealed in Jesus, or to put it another way, the temptation to put nation above God, shows up often in history. We may be living through one such time. For that, and simply for the fact Barth is fantastic, any and all pastors and Christians could benefit from this book.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Chris

    It's been about a year since I first started and I have finally finished Barth's Dogmatics in Outline. That makes the book sound really long, but in fact it is quite short, especially when you compare it to Barth's 13-volume Church Dogmatics. Still I took a year to read it in three different installments for a series of theology classes. I'm going to go ahead and give this book the coveted 5 star rating, even while saying that most people probably won't want to read it. Barth's wording is dense, It's been about a year since I first started and I have finally finished Barth's Dogmatics in Outline. That makes the book sound really long, but in fact it is quite short, especially when you compare it to Barth's 13-volume Church Dogmatics. Still I took a year to read it in three different installments for a series of theology classes. I'm going to go ahead and give this book the coveted 5 star rating, even while saying that most people probably won't want to read it. Barth's wording is dense, and his thinking and terminology is so outside-the-box that it often took me re-reading the same paragraph 2-3 times just to begin to grasp what he was getting at. But when I did I was frequently blown away. He has such a fresh approach to Christian theology. It's quite Biblical, and even brings a lot of correction to where modern theologies have deviated from Biblical intent, yet it often feels like hearing the Biblical truth for the first time. And for someone who is obviously a very intellectual thinker, Barth occasionally uses imagery that is disarmingly simple and arresting in its impact. I can see now why there are so many Barth students and fans out there. As I read I found myself constantly wanting to stop and tell my wife about some new insight I was getting from my reading. I can't say that I agree with Barth's approach to everything Christian, but this particular book was a great help to me and very enlightening. Would I have made it through without it being assigned for homework? I'm not sure. I can be a bit of a wuss when it comes to reading material this rigorous. But I like to think the payoff would have encouraged me to keep reading, just like it did when I was doing it for homework. In the end, I have to acknowledge that this book does indeed deserve the 5-star "amazing" rating. Short, powerful, worldview-changing, and coming from perhaps one of the most important thinkers and certainly most important theologians, of the 20th century.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Ryan Hawkins

    I read his *Humanity of God* earlier this year, and surprisingly enjoyed it. So, I decided here to read his brief theology here. I’m glad I did. It was difficult to get through at times, but worth it. Unexpectedly biblical, God-honoring, Christ-centered, and even theologically conservative. I say “surprisingly” and “unexpectedly” above because Barth is usually known for his Neo-orthodox views, and I’ve heard many inside the Reformed camp (which I happily settle in) rightly critique this. So, I al I read his *Humanity of God* earlier this year, and surprisingly enjoyed it. So, I decided here to read his brief theology here. I’m glad I did. It was difficult to get through at times, but worth it. Unexpectedly biblical, God-honoring, Christ-centered, and even theologically conservative. I say “surprisingly” and “unexpectedly” above because Barth is usually known for his Neo-orthodox views, and I’ve heard many inside the Reformed camp (which I happily settle in) rightly critique this. So, I always thought Barth was quite liberal in his theology. But this is quiet from the case. Anyone who might think that is the case, I encourage you to read this book. This man cares about the gospel of Christ, and even is defending it throughout in a conservative way. Moreover, at least in his work, none of his subversive Neo-orthodox views arose. Barth’s density of thought is unique. He’s a creative thinker and theologian, while reading him he reminds me of C.S. Lewis with his ability to creatively think, apply, and wonder (although to be clear Lewis, in my opinion, is much cleverer). And I really appreciate it. It’s hard to read, even harder than Lewis, but maybe there just was something in the Christian water in the mid-20th century? You read modern guys, even modern theologians, and they just didn’t write nor think like Lewis and here like Barth. There was a depth, a creativity, that we’re missing. Nevertheless, it wasn’t perfect. I wish he emphasized somethings more than he did, and thought he went off tangents at times. But overall, a good concise theology. For those wondering, this book is an exposition of the Apostles’ Creed, so it isn’t a typically set up Systematic Theology. He takes the Creed phrase by phrase and explains it—again, in his Lewis-like creative way. Here’s some quotes. Anyone who hasn’t read much Barth (which still includes me!), I encourage you to read these. You’ll get a taste:
 - “It is noteworthy that, apart from this first expression ‘I believe,’ the Confession is silent upon the subjective fact of faith…Whoso means to rescue and preserve the subjective element shall lose it; but whoso gives it up for the sake of the objective, shall save it…By my believing I see myself completely filled and determined by this object of my faith. And what interests me is not myself with my faith, but He in whom I believe. And then I learn that by thinking of Him and looking to Him, my interests are also best provided for.” (15-16) (Isn’t that excellent!?) - “The greatest hindrance to faith is again and again just the pride and anxiety of out human hearts. We would rather to live by grace. Something within us energetically rebels against it. We do not wish to receive graces t best we prefer to give ourselves grace. This swing to and fo between pride and anxiety is main’s life.” (20) - “He who is called God in Holy Scripture is unsearchable—that is, He has not been discovered by any man. Bu then our talk is of Him and we speak of Him as a familiar entity, who is more familiar and real than any other reality and who is nearer to us than we are to ourselves, it is not because there may have been particularly pious people who were successful in investigating this Being, but because He who was hidden from us has disclosed Himself..the Bible is not a philosophical book, but a history book, the book of God’s mighty acts, in which God becomes knowable by us.” (38). - “By being the Father, the Son and the Holy Ghost in His work in Jesus Christ, God is in the highest. He whose nature and essence consit, whose existence is proved, in His descending into the depths, He the Merciful, who gives Himself up for His creature to the utter depths of the existence of His creature—He is God in the highest. Not inspire of this, not in remarkable paradoxical opposition, bu the highness of God consists in His thus descending. This is His exalted nature, this His free love. Anyone who wants to look up to some other height has not understood the utter otherness in God, he would still be in the tracks of the heathen, who look for God in an endlessness. He is utterly other than we think our gods.” (40) - “Do you understand what monotheism in Christian faith means? God knows, no the foolish delight in the number ‘one’. It has nothing to do with the number ‘one’, but with this subject in His sheer uniqueness and otherness over against all others, different from all the ridiculous deities whom man invents…Once the true God has been seen, the gods collapse into dust.” (40) - “The third day a new life of Jesus begins; but at the same time on the third day there begins a new *Aeon*, a new shape of the world, after the old world has been completely done way and settled in the death of Jesus Christ. Easter is the breaking in of a new time and the world in th existence of the man Jesus, who now begins a new life as the conqueror, as the victorious bearer, as the destroyer of the bydden of man’s sins, which has been laid upon HIm. In this altered existence of His the first community saw not only a supernatural continuation of His previous life, but an entirely new life, that of the exalted Jesus Christ, and simultaneously the beginning of a new *world*.” (122) - “What has occurred once for all, now stands rounded off before us in a whole series of perfects: begotten, conceived, born, suffered, crucified, dead, buried, descended, rose again; and now suddenly a present: ‘He *sitteth* on the right hand of God…’ It is as if we had made the ascent of a mountain and had now reached the summit.” (124) - “It is the time in which the Christ is united with Christ only in faith and by the Holy Spirit; it is the interim time between His earthly existence and His return in glory; it is the time of the great opportunity, of the task fo the Church towards the world; it is th epitome o mission. As we said, it is the time of GOd’s patience, in which He is waiting for the Church, and, with he Church, for the world.” (128) - “*Credo ecclesiam* [I believe in the church] means that I believe that the congregation to which I belong, in which I have been called to faith and am responsible for my faith, in which I have my service, the the one, holy, universal Church…IN faith I attest that the concrete congregation to which I belong and for the life of which I am responsible, is appointed to the task of making in this place, in this form, the one, holy, universal Church visible.” (145) - “The Christian hope, which is the most revolutionary thing we are capable of thinking and beside which all other revolutions are mere blank cartridges, is a disciplined. It points man to his limitations: there you may hold out. This Kingdom of God is *coming*, so you must not begin the flight to th ekingdomof God. Take your place and be in your place as a true *minister verb divini*. You can be a revolutionary, but you can also be a conservative. Where this contrast between revolutionary and conservative is united in one man, where may be at once quite restless and quite at rest, where he may be with other in that way in the congregation, in which the members recognize each other in longing and in humility in the light of the divine humor, he will do what he has to do. In this light all our Church action is allowed and in fact commended. So the Church, waiting and hurrying, goes to meet the coming of the Lord.” (148) - “God so loved the world that He gave His only-begotten Son. Christians are messengers in Christ’s stead. But here in the congregation it is recognize, it is seen and experienced, what Christ is for man, for all men, in order hat witness may be borne from here.” (149) Would I recommend the book? Not as the first theology book you’d read, but he’s a thinker! It’s also quite difficult to get through (short chapters, but it’s way easier to even read a 15 page Lewis chapter than a 5 page Barth chapter!), but worth it.

  4. 5 out of 5

    David Sarkies

    The church as it moves into the modern culture 24 April 2013 Well, first I should suggest that if you don't want to read me rambling on about nothing then you should skip this first paragraph, but then I am probably going to talk more about Barth and theological writing than this book because I read this book quite some time ago and not much of its content ended up sinking into my long term memory (or at least what I can withdrawal). However, it is ANZAC day today so I have the day off work (yay) The church as it moves into the modern culture 24 April 2013 Well, first I should suggest that if you don't want to read me rambling on about nothing then you should skip this first paragraph, but then I am probably going to talk more about Barth and theological writing than this book because I read this book quite some time ago and not much of its content ended up sinking into my long term memory (or at least what I can withdrawal). However, it is ANZAC day today so I have the day off work (yay), and as well as writing a rather steamy chapter of my post-modern piece of rubbish, I thought I would also write a few more commentaries on Goodreads (if only to try a boost the number of reviews I have written since I am currently number 4 in Australia, and have dropped down somewhat from number 2). Karl Barth was a Swiss theologian, a contemporary of Dietrich Bonhoeffer, which meant that he was around during World War II when the German Church faced pressure from the Nazi Regime to conform to their doctrine. This lead to a break within the church and the creation of the Confessing Church which stood against the regime and its atrocities. Remember that many of the hierarchs of the regime were not Christian and were more interested in bringing back ancient German paganism. Barth's major work is a 13 volume book called Church Dogmatics (which I am unlikely to read) however this work is more of a cut down version that uses the Apostles Creed as a springboard for his discussions. When I did read this book I found that Barth was a very inspiring writer and explore numerous areas of Christianity quite deeply, which is not surprising since he lived during one of the most violent periods of the 20th Century, having seen two world wars and two economic crises. What this period symbolised was a breakdown in the modernist and enlightened ideas of the 18th and 19th century which saw the idea that humanity no longer needed God and that they could create paradise on Earth develop. This changed with World War I, and I still hold the position that World War I should not be viewed outside of World War II or the events that occurred inbetween, namely because, as I have once again suggested, we see the breakdown of humanistic philosophy. What we see with theologians like Barth, and later with philosophers like Lewis, is Christianity being brought into the modern world. Some suggest that Francis Schaffer is returning to the fundamentalist roots that we see struggling with our own post-modern world, but having read a number of his works, I see that he is also attempting to reconcile Christianity with modernism. Unfortunately, humanity tends to always move faster than Christianity which, while not being a backward looking religion, tends to be less progressive. These days, within the churches that I attend (and I must admit that they also tend to move slowly, but this is not necessarily a bad thing because what slow movement means is that the congregation considers how they should progress, and simply rushing too fast into the progressive movement can undermine the authenticity of the church) are desires to try to meet the post-modern society where they are at, however they have still not understood the relative nature of post-modernism, in that they are still caught up in objective doctrine, and fail to see the nature of subjectivity and opinion. However, consider this, music in the church is still mostly pop-rock, and while the music may be moving into the style of the 90s, the electronica of the new century is still a long way off. As for me, in some ways I have probably moved forward a little more than the others, but have no desire to drag or push them up to where I am because as I have suggested before blind progress can be quite destructive. For instance the issue of sex before marriage is something, that if not handled correctly, can be very destructive within the congregation, and as is clear within the Bible, the people are God are not meant to be descending into orgies or prostituting themselves to the world. To me, one should be able to move beyond this obsession that society has with pleasure to a more disciplined and enlightened understanding of the human-God relationship.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Scott

    Read very slowly over many months. A wonderful little intro to Barth's theology by way of an exposition of the Apostles Creed. Some parts profound and beautiful; others a little esoteric and hard to follow. Regardless, a great little book.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Cindy

    An articulate, hopeful reminder of how good God is. Elicited the same reaction as being in nature, which is quite an achievement using only words. We are under no illusion that anything man can do can ever be an undertaking of supreme wisdom and final art.. Christian dogmatics will always be a thinking, an investigation and an exposition which are relative and liable to error.. Holy Scripture is the document of the basis. (1. The Task) [God] who is in no way established in us, in no way correspond An articulate, hopeful reminder of how good God is. Elicited the same reaction as being in nature, which is quite an achievement using only words. We are under no illusion that anything man can do can ever be an undertaking of supreme wisdom and final art.. Christian dogmatics will always be a thinking, an investigation and an exposition which are relative and liable to error.. Holy Scripture is the document of the basis. (1. The Task) [God] who is in no way established in us, in no way corresponds to a human disposition and possibility, but who is in every sense established simply in Himself and is real in that way; and who is manifest and made manifest to us men, not because of our seeking and finding, feeling and thinking, but again and again only through Himself. It is this God in the highest who has turned as such to man, given Himself to man, made Himself knowable to him. (5. God in the Highest) In [Jesus] He has from eternity bound Himself to each, to all. Along the entire line it holds, from the creatureliness of man, through the misery of man, to the glory promised to man. (13. Our Lord) To have inner ears for the Word of Christ, to become thankful for His work and at the same time responsible for the message about Him and, lastly, to take confidence in men for Christ’s sake—that is the freedom which we obtain, when Christ breathes on us, when He sends us His Holy Spirit. If He no longer lives in a historical or heavenly, a theological or ecclesiastical remoteness from me, if He approaches me and takes possession of me, the result will be that I hear, that I am thankful and responsible and that finally I may hope for myself and for all others; in other words, that I may live in a Christian way. It is a tremendously big thing and by no means a matter of course, to obtain this freedom. We must therefore every day and every hour pray Veni Creator Spiritus in listening to the word of Christ and in thankfulness. That is a closed circle. We do not ‘have’ this freedom; it is again and again given to us by God. (21. I Believe in the Holy Ghost) The Kingdom of God is coming, so you must not begin the flight to the kingdom of God. Take your place and be in your place as a true minister verbi divini.. So the Church, waiting and hurrying, goes to meet the coming of the Lord. (22. Church: Unity, Holiness, Universality)

  7. 4 out of 5

    Kyle Barton

    This is the first book by Karl Barth that I've actually read, so I'm reviewing Dogmatics in Outline avowedly as a novice in Barth's theological world. This probably comes as good news to many review readers, since most people are in my shoes and haven't had a chance or a desire to navigate much of Barth's oceanic work. My review in certain ways then may turn out to be more helpful than a seasoned Barthian, at least in terms of understanding, bewilderment, and delight. Density This short book is de This is the first book by Karl Barth that I've actually read, so I'm reviewing Dogmatics in Outline avowedly as a novice in Barth's theological world. This probably comes as good news to many review readers, since most people are in my shoes and haven't had a chance or a desire to navigate much of Barth's oceanic work. My review in certain ways then may turn out to be more helpful than a seasoned Barthian, at least in terms of understanding, bewilderment, and delight. Density This short book is deceptively dense. Although Barth rarely employs large, unfamiliar words here (aside from a few Latin phrases), much of his writing is dense and complex, both in reference and syntax. He references, oftentimes implicitly, a whole constellation of theologians, world events, and his own major theological motifs. Examples are Schleiermacher, National Socialism, the simultaneous divine Yes and No. I found myself having to reread sections to start to pick up on what he was getting at. Sometimes I felt as if Barth wasn't looking me in the eyes as he spoke. That he was looking past me and passionately commenting on what he saw, and that I, being unable to turn around and see it, could only grasp at what was there. Sitz im Leben This book is also shaped by the pressures and exigencies of its time. Barth says as much in the foreword, that "it smacks of a document of our time" (p. 8). It was given amidst the ruins of the University of Bonn soon after World War 2 and you can almost feel this setting as you read. This setting is appropriate—Barth lecturing among the ruins of the past. From what I've read in other places, Barth's whole theological enterprise was a reaction to, and at times a repudiation of, events surrounding him—the failure of liberal Protestant theology, German idealism, natural theology, the World Wars. John Webster says that Barth "was always occasional and often polemical—directed to particular turns in the life and thinking of the church, concerned with clarifying the gospel now." So here again there is the possibility of getting lost without a guide—because his "now" is not our now. If you haven't read anything on Barth, you probably want to before jumping into the deep end. Roger Olson's chapter on Neo-orthodoxy in The Story of Christian Theology and Hans Küng's chapter on Barth in Great Christian Thinkers helped me find my bearings. I also plan to read John Webster's book Barth soon for a more comprehensive overview of this theological titan. Poignancy Despite the first two potential hindrances, this is a beautiful and moving book. Barth speaks with passion and poetry and at the same time with a disarming familiarity. He alternates between rigorous professor and reassuring grandfather. Some examples: Once we have realized this, this one God, this subject in His sheer uniqueness and otherness over against all others, different from all the ridiculous deities whom man invents, we can only laugh, and there is a laugh running through the Bible at these figures. (p. 40) We do not exist in any kind of gloomy uncertainty; we exist through the God who was gracious to us before we existed at all. (p. 71) Where a mighty matter is involved, we must not come along, crying 'Quiet, quiet, dear little one'. But the strife must be inexorably carried on to a finish. (p. 86) The Church is not 'of the opinion', it does not have 'views', convictions, enthusiasm. It believes and confesses, that is, it speaks and acts on the basis of the message based on God Himself in Christ. And that is why all Christian teaching, comfort, and exhortation is a fundamental and conclusive comfort. (p. 87) God has come into our life in its utter unloveliness and frightfulness. (p. 109) We must not sit among non-Christians like melancholy owls, but in a certainty about our goal, which surpasses all other certainty. (p. 132) The Church is not a snail that carries its little house on its back and is so well off in it, that only now and then it sticks out its feelers, and then thinks that the 'claim of publicity' has been satisfied. The Church lives by its commission as herald. (p. 147) Certainly these quotes aren't the substance of the book, but reading these may give you a sense of what kind of feeling permeates the whole. Importance The last point I want to bring up about this book is its importance to anyone wanting to get some firsthand exposure to Barth. Many people have said that Barth was the greatest theologian of the 20th century, so it seems smart to me to at least get acquainted with him. However, most of his works are too long, too abstract, or too specific to get a handle on. Dogmatics in Outline is a welcomed change. It's a loose commentary on the Apostles' Creed which actually functions as a springboard into his larger body of work. On the one hand, Barth warns against substituting Dogmatics in Outline for the massive thirteen volumes of Church Dogmatics: Everything in this Outline is treated very concisely. Many important problems of dogmatics are mentioned only briefly or not at all. Therefore, reading this book cannot take the place of studying the Dogmatik. At best it can inspire and initiate that study. (p. 6) And yet on the other hand he realizes the entrance it provides into his other works: When I finally yielded to the pressure put upon me by the representatives of the Verlag Zollikon, I did so thinking that what I had produced might in this looser form serve to explain things which I had elsewhere expressed more strictly and compactly but, for that very reason perhaps, less noticeably and less accessibly for all. (p. 8) It's interesting to note that these two comments on his work, although appearing two pages apart in the book, were actually given by Barth twelve years apart. The first one I quoted (which appears first in the book) is from March 1959. The second one I quoted is from February 1947, only half a year after the lectures were given. Take that how you will. Maybe Barth changed his mind. Still, I'm glad this remains an option today.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Jordan J. Andlovec

    I read this along with many other brothers and sisters as a part of a communal reading put together by Drs. Will Willimon and Stanley Hauerwas, who led is through it on multiple Tuesday mornings in May 2020. Hauerwas called this book "the most influential theology book of the 20th Century" and I believe it precisely because at first read it seems quite unremarkable. I scroll over it and think "well yes of course!" simply because Barth's thought has been in the water supply for decades. But at a I read this along with many other brothers and sisters as a part of a communal reading put together by Drs. Will Willimon and Stanley Hauerwas, who led is through it on multiple Tuesday mornings in May 2020. Hauerwas called this book "the most influential theology book of the 20th Century" and I believe it precisely because at first read it seems quite unremarkable. I scroll over it and think "well yes of course!" simply because Barth's thought has been in the water supply for decades. But at a closer look there is some stunning thought in here, encapsulated some of the most pointed, erudite, and memorable phrases I've read in any book of theology. Now that doesn't mean I agree with everything started here, but even then I can see that even when I think Barth is wrong, he's kind of right. And that's a dialectic that I think he'd be proud to affirm.

  9. 4 out of 5

    David

    I do not wish to be uncharitable towards former generations' attempts to name the divine. However, this book is representative of an approach to faith that is rooted in insecure and un-self-aware power dynamics. Religious people would do well to altogether abandon Barth's approach to faith and theology and to happily admit that 1) we have no idea what is True and 2) that our faith is important to us because we are vulnerable humans and need to believe in something larger than ourselves so that w I do not wish to be uncharitable towards former generations' attempts to name the divine. However, this book is representative of an approach to faith that is rooted in insecure and un-self-aware power dynamics. Religious people would do well to altogether abandon Barth's approach to faith and theology and to happily admit that 1) we have no idea what is True and 2) that our faith is important to us because we are vulnerable humans and need to believe in something larger than ourselves so that we feel okay. And now I'm going to have some tea and lemon cake.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Jeff Lochhead

    Not the best read for a morning devotional. Though short in stature, quite dense in content. Encompasses an in-depth look at the Apostle’s Creed. I imagine a second read over the passages I underlined would generate a more formidable experience.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Paul Gleason

    A few thoughts while reading Barth's text: 1. Leonardo wants you to be present at The Last Supper. 2. Roman Catholicism led me astray. 3. Socrates was right when he said something like, "Life is a preparation for death." 4. The life of Jesus is historical fact and not myth. 5. If one doesn't enjoy life, one can't experience the joy of the resurrection. 6. T.S. Eliot and John Updike make a lot of sense. 7. Kierkegaard isn't the be-all-end-all. There are others. 8. Bergman, Bresson, Malick, Tarkovsky are A few thoughts while reading Barth's text: 1. Leonardo wants you to be present at The Last Supper. 2. Roman Catholicism led me astray. 3. Socrates was right when he said something like, "Life is a preparation for death." 4. The life of Jesus is historical fact and not myth. 5. If one doesn't enjoy life, one can't experience the joy of the resurrection. 6. T.S. Eliot and John Updike make a lot of sense. 7. Kierkegaard isn't the be-all-end-all. There are others. 8. Bergman, Bresson, Malick, Tarkovsky are the Big Four. 9. I need images of Dostoevsky and Kierkegaard as reminders. 10. We live in redeemed time - the kingdom of God is within us. 11. We all share humiliation. 12. Sages - artists, philosophers, and saints - are signposts. I love Wilson, Coltrane, Dostoevsky, Kafka, Genet, M. Robinson, Vollmann, and Beckett for their guidance.

  12. 5 out of 5

    David

    Two stars. I'm sure this book was better than was my reading of it, since Barth is a renowned and respected theologian. But I found this to be a tedious slog through a collection of assertions. Since God is wondrous, I expect books about him to be wondrous as well. That said, a person I read this book with loved it -- I mean, theo-swooning got-goose-bumps loved it. To each their own.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Sam McCabe

    The language and density (of thoughts and concepts, not length) made it a slightly more difficult read, however there are many gems in this that stir the heart and awaken the soul to the mystery of our faith. I also loved that it's centered around the Apostles Creed.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Nicholas Quient

    If you want his Dogmatics condensed into 150 pages, this is the best place. Its really good.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Judy

    A powerful summation of the Christian faith. My only regret is that I read it for class, which meant I had to read it in 3 weeks. This book begs to be chewed on, digested, and set down for lots of thought. Barth challenges me to take seriously the necessity of the always-and-forever-ness of Jesus Christ, His suffering, and the practical implications that makes on my life. The Christian faith gives a necessary impetus of sorrow of sin, thankfulness of God, and a new life. Favorite moments: Ch 10: Je A powerful summation of the Christian faith. My only regret is that I read it for class, which meant I had to read it in 3 weeks. This book begs to be chewed on, digested, and set down for lots of thought. Barth challenges me to take seriously the necessity of the always-and-forever-ness of Jesus Christ, His suffering, and the practical implications that makes on my life. The Christian faith gives a necessary impetus of sorrow of sin, thankfulness of God, and a new life. Favorite moments: Ch 10: Jesus Christ Ch 15: Suffered Ch 18: The Third Day He Rose Again From the Dead Ch 22: The Church, Its Unity, Holiness and Universality Ch 23: The Forgiveness of Sins I look forward to reading this again at a much slower pace, and hopefully in a group context for lots of discussion (and questions).

  16. 4 out of 5

    Josh Trice

    This book is SUPER dense. I found myself struggling to follow Barth's thoughts on a regular basis throughout the book. The first 14 or so chapters are the toughest, but the latter 10 or so are easier to digest. Barth makes solid theological statements (from what I was able to comprehend) and challenges many theological statements of faith. I'm sure if I re-read this in the future, after my time in Seminary, I will be better able to comprehend, follow and appreciate more fully what Barth is getti This book is SUPER dense. I found myself struggling to follow Barth's thoughts on a regular basis throughout the book. The first 14 or so chapters are the toughest, but the latter 10 or so are easier to digest. Barth makes solid theological statements (from what I was able to comprehend) and challenges many theological statements of faith. I'm sure if I re-read this in the future, after my time in Seminary, I will be better able to comprehend, follow and appreciate more fully what Barth is getting at in this book. I will note that I read this along side Will Willimon, who held a Zoom lecture over the books content (you can look up Reading Barth Together on YouTube) and it helped tremendously. The videos along side the book earns a four-star rating, but the book itself, because of its difficulty earned the rating above.

  17. 4 out of 5

    James

    Essential reading for our time. Based on a series of lectures given literally in the ruins of war-torn Europe in 1946, Barth outlines an authentic, thoughtful, substantive, and politically responsible Christianity through the text of the Apostles' Creed. While probably too deep and too real for prosperous post-war societies, it speaks to a world like today (and really every day) where we as humanity face collective challenges and existential threats like climate change. Barth is the real deal. I Essential reading for our time. Based on a series of lectures given literally in the ruins of war-torn Europe in 1946, Barth outlines an authentic, thoughtful, substantive, and politically responsible Christianity through the text of the Apostles' Creed. While probably too deep and too real for prosperous post-war societies, it speaks to a world like today (and really every day) where we as humanity face collective challenges and existential threats like climate change. Barth is the real deal. It is probably worth first reading a secondary source on Barth to understand where he is coming from and where he is going in "Dogmatics in Outline". He can be hard to read and follow at times even in "outline." There was a lot going on in that man's mind!

  18. 4 out of 5

    Polly Rosenstein

    This book is Barth's exposition of the Apostle's Creed. I asked Will Willimon if he believed 100% of Bart's theology or if he is just one of many theologians who try to explain God. He praised Barth and said that many had accused Barth of being a universalist. I know of no other way to read Barth. He makes clear that salvation is through God's grace and that there is nothing that we can do to save ourselves. He also makes clear that Christ came for all men and that we are to proclaim the gospel This book is Barth's exposition of the Apostle's Creed. I asked Will Willimon if he believed 100% of Bart's theology or if he is just one of many theologians who try to explain God. He praised Barth and said that many had accused Barth of being a universalist. I know of no other way to read Barth. He makes clear that salvation is through God's grace and that there is nothing that we can do to save ourselves. He also makes clear that Christ came for all men and that we are to proclaim the gospel not to save men but to make them aware of their salvation. There are many other wonderful revelations in this short book.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Joseph Sverker

    Very interesting and quite a few of Barth's main ideas on God, revelation and Christology can be found here. Revelation as the foundation for theology and the christocentric emphasis for that revelation. Also Christ is the site where theology and politics connect. Christ is also the evidence that God has identified with those suffering. A some point Barth is also pointing towards the ida that Christ is the reason for why God can relate to the creation as Other due to the doctrine of the Trinity.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Daniel Rempel

    Introductory as it may be, this book reads a bit truncated. Just when Barth is starting to ramp up a thought, it’s on to the next chapter. Indeed, as an “introduction” to Barth’s thought (as many seem to want to play it off as that), it is missing significant themes present in CD. With that being said, if it is read as a commentary on the creed, I think it does well to show how one can constructively comment on an ancient article of faith in a way that shows its relevance for life as a Christian Introductory as it may be, this book reads a bit truncated. Just when Barth is starting to ramp up a thought, it’s on to the next chapter. Indeed, as an “introduction” to Barth’s thought (as many seem to want to play it off as that), it is missing significant themes present in CD. With that being said, if it is read as a commentary on the creed, I think it does well to show how one can constructively comment on an ancient article of faith in a way that shows its relevance for life as a Christian today. Not my favourite of Barth’s works, but a worthwhile read nonetheless.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Annelise

    I read this for my Christian Doctrine class, and it brought to light several concepts of Christianity. It's fairly dense, since it is a shortened version of a more massive work by Barth, but he bases the order of his points off the Apostles' Creed, so it is fairly easy to follow, and neatly structured. "Dogmatics in Outline" is a tough read, but it's worth it if you're looking for something to help you think more deeply about the Christian faith.

  22. 5 out of 5

    David

    This is a wonderful introduction to the thought of Karl Barth which I found immensely satisfying. Here is a faith-full theologian who makes no false show of objectivity. He is able to penetrate the depths of the Christian faith precisely because he stands within it. There are things to be criticized in Barth, to be sure, but the depth of his thought stands as a challenge to the shallowness which is prevalent in so much of the church's proclamation.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Connor Longaphie

    This is a very nice commentary on the apostles creed with cross references from the Heidelberg catechism regarding the creed. Barth writes in a way that brings out the incarnational nature of the Gospel of the revealed God and presents what I suppose Barthians might call a "missional God". Can be read in a single, relatively long sitting, but parts are worth re-reading

  24. 4 out of 5

    Ronald E. Jaeger

    Contemporary yet traditional This overview of the Christian creed is wonderfully contemporary yet solidly linked to the apostolic tradition. I highly recommend it for anyone concerned about the validity of traditional beliefs.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Christopher Chandler

    A dense read, but so worth the effort! This was my introduction to Barth and I found it encouraging and challenging. His Christology is the highlight of the book for me. I think I'll be returning to this book again and again to have my imagination of different key Christian beliefs challenged.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Jacob Gane

    “If you have heard the Easter message, you can no longer run around with a tragic face and lead the humourless existence of a man who has no hope. One thing still holds, and only this one thing is really serious, that Jesus is the Victor” (p. 123).

  27. 5 out of 5

    Evan

    Although I will never agree with Barth on everything, this book was an enjoyable read. At times it's quite complicated or abstract, but overall Barth puts his words in an eloquent, but readable style that makes the book a great piece of theological literature if nothing else.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Jim Besaw

    I’m giving this two stars for now. I may return to this in time. It could be that I didn’t understand it well... it could be the stage of life I’m in right now... but after reading this I felt as though Barth could have turned this 147 page book into a 14 page essay.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Mark

    If there's one thing I like outlined, it's dogmatics. Would make a great Advent book - 24 short chapters - and a very good intro to Barth's thought.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Daniel Crouch

    This is an excellent, concise introduction to the Barthian way of thinking

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