Thursday, March 10, 2016

Excuse me while I Barth

Our underground correspondent from an Atlantic seaboard city that knows how to keep its secrets, Guy Noir - Private Eye, stepped out of the mist and fog to tell me this a few week ago:
Barth is a huge inspiration for von Balthasar.

Over at this blog there is a piece on Barth ["What Should Evangelicals Make of Karl Barth?" (The Gospel Coalition, February 22, 2016)].

And then this comment [from a Dutch theology student, edited for grammar] ... It sounds a note Mark Bromley, Joseph Fessio, and others would do well to ponder as they spend their sweat pressing HvB on the world and simultaneously wringing their hands over Francis...
In general I’m baffled that so many evangelicals accept Barth and his theology more and more and so uncritically ... I’m from the Netherlands, so I can’t really speak for the U.S., but in the Netherlands it is certainly the case. But I’ve seen what Barthianism does to your church. His theology was in the sixties and seventies very influential in Dutch churches. More than it ever has been ... in the US. Those (local) churches that embraced Barthianism have almost totally disasppeared.

Was Barth a brilliant and intelligent thinker/theologian? Sure. Has he said good things? Of course. We have to interact with his theology.

But please beware, I’ve seen many theology students fly to Barth in reaction to modern theology. Ironically, they became mostly liberal, especially when it comes to ethics. Just because of Barth's vision on revelation and Scripture. At first sight Barth is orthodox, but the consequences of his theology are really big. I can know this, because I’m a theology student myself at a largely liberal theological demoninational university (but there are also orthodox students like me, because in my denomination there is a rather large number of orthodox-reformed churches). Particular in my denomination, which is the largest in the Netherlands, Barth's influence was enormous.

It’s a shame that the works of the Dutch theologian W. Aalders never have been translated into English. He was one of the most influential critics of Barth in the Netherlands. He has a depth in his critique and thinking that is often missed in orthodox responses/critics of Barth. He would show you the real problem with Barth's theology. Surely [Aalders is] one of the most brilliant theologians I know.


Heinrich von Panky said...

Balthasar and Barth had a mad love affair from the throes of which there issued a big fat bouncing book of theological packing peanuts. The neo-eunuchs at Ignatius have fallen all over themselves to get that hot number back on the market, so to speak. B & B & the crazy theosophist hot mama Von Speyr make for a wild panting threesome of lustratiferous Enthusiasts, I must say.

Amateur Brain Surgeon said...

Ralph. Good to see you alive ad kicking