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Barth for Armchair Theologians (Armchair Theologians)

really liked it 4.0  ·  Rating Details ·  72 Ratings  ·  14 Reviews
This volume introduces readers to the life and thought of Karl Barth (1886-1968), one of the most important theologians since the Reformation era. Featuring the Armchair series' characteristic whimsical illustrations, Barth for Armchair Theologians surveys Barth's theology as it emerges and culminates in his monumental Church Dogmatics as well as how his theology continues ...more
Paperback, 183 pages
Published August 3rd 2006 by Westminster John Knox Press (first published August 1st 2006)
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Aaron Choi
Aug 17, 2010 Aaron Choi rated it really liked it
Shelves: biography
Concise, informative, without being superficial (and pictures to boot!). Barth has always lurked as a large but distant shadow whenever I dipped into theological study, first in seminary and now in personal reading. I became further acquainted with the Swiss scholar when going through the Bonhoeffer biography and decided to purchase this book to learn more about the man and his writings. Both the biographical sketch and the survey of his thought, particularly the overview on his magnum opus, "Ch ...more
Nov 24, 2007 Tracy rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: folks looking to gain entry into Barth's thought
Reformed theologian Karl Barth is admittedly a difficult man to follow. His thoughts build upon each other in such a way that to isolate one part of his thought is to remove its context and up the chances of misquoting and/or misunderstanding him. He wrote about theology as a dialectical process, which demanded that he adopt a dialectical approach. This hasn't stopped many scholars from writing about him and using his thought to support their own ideas, however. This book provides a nice summary ...more
Alex Szatmary
Jul 17, 2008 Alex Szatmary rated it liked it
Recommends it for: Christians with critical thinking skills
Recommended to Alex by: John Franke
This book was helpful for me in introducing me to Barth's thought. I find myself faced with the same theological problems that he was, treading between the impotence of liberalism and the audacity of conservatism. Franke's concluding chapter, warning against misreading Barth was apropos.
May 24, 2012 Michael rated it it was amazing
If you are anything like me, you, too, are interested in Swiss theologians. (That's a joke). Karl Barth is a giant of Protestant theology; I've heard about him, and have seen him referenced so frequently that I finally had to see what in the hell everyone is so hot and bothered over. Barth's most famous work--the five volume, 8,000+ pages magnum opus titled Church Dogmatics--is well beyond my mortal ability to read. Barth is high-level theology, which is why, rather than reading his original wor ...more
Jan 13, 2015 Travis rated it really liked it
This is a great little book from a great series. If you have just heard of Karl Barth, you owe it to yourself to find out more about him. This book gives a good summary of his life and the background of the times he lived in. There is a very good summary of most of his important works with an entire chapter of 40+ pages dedicated to his magnum opus, Church Dogmatics. I found myself wanting to read the Dogmatics after reading this book as Franke does such a good job of whetting one's appetite for ...more
Patricia Pryor
Mar 22, 2015 Patricia Pryor rated it it was amazing
Shelves: religion
The only way I can figure out Karl Barth was to read this book first. It is very helpful.
Jun 09, 2015 Jamall rated it it was amazing
An invaluable asset to learning about Barth and his central ideas.
Damon Brandt
Jan 24, 2016 Damon Brandt rated it really liked it
This book helped me to start to understand one of the greatest Christian theologians of the 20th century
Lars Jensen
Jan 18, 2014 Lars Jensen rated it really liked it
A magisterial presentation of Barth, to the point and insightful. It contains the best overview of Barth's Church Dogmatics I have ever encountered.
Feb 12, 2011 Dan rated it it was amazing
Shelves: theology
The author did a great job showing the development of Barth's life and thought, and I feel he gave a fair shake to his teachings and views. Most people completely botch Barth's teachings and compartmentalize him into boxes he doesn't fit in. The author does a great job demonstrating this and placing Barth where he belongs. Excellent job, five stars.
Feb 22, 2016 Dmcconkey rated it really liked it
A good over view of Barth's life and thinking. A good introduction.
Andrew Goddard
An excellent short introduction (166pp of text) with masses of fun cartoons that provides a helpful overview of Barth's life and work, emphasising in final chapter the importance of reading him as a dialectical theologian.
May 06, 2013 Reed rated it really liked it
I haven't read Barth so I can't say how accurate the author is in depicting his thought, but it was very readable and helpful. It definitely makes me want to read Barth.
Pastor Jamie Strickler
May 10, 2012 Pastor Jamie Strickler rated it it was amazing
Great book for explaining the goals and starting places of modern liberal theology to which Barth rebelled.
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