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Dogmatics in Outline

4.03  ·  Rating Details ·  936 Ratings  ·  43 Reviews
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 ...more
Paperback, 155 pages
Published October 2nd 1959 by Harper Torchbooks (first published 1947)
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Feb 29, 2016 David rated it it was amazing
Shelves: theology
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 ...more
May 30, 2009 Chris rated it it was amazing
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,
Apr 14, 2011 Hadrian rated it really liked it
Brief summary of Barth's theology, using the Apostolic Creed as a basis. If only all religious thought were this rational.
Kyle Barton
Nov 09, 2014 Kyle Barton rated it really liked it
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.


This short book is de
David Sarkies
Nov 03, 2014 David Sarkies rated it liked it
Recommends it for: Modern Christians
Recommended to David by: Tim Earl
Shelves: christian
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)
Paul Gleason
Dec 01, 2014 Paul Gleason rated it it was amazing
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
Oct 01, 2013 David rated it it was ok
Shelves: theology
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.
Sam McCabe
Dec 21, 2015 Sam McCabe rated it it was amazing
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.
Nicholas Quient
If you want his Dogmatics condensed into 150 pages, this is the best place. Its really good.
Frankie Della Torre
May 10, 2015 Frankie Della Torre rated it really liked it
I love Karl.
Apr 14, 2009 Matt rated it really liked it
Shelves: theology
This was my first time reading anything by Barth. I found it extremely deep, enjoyable and worthwhile. Barth is soaked in Reformation theology in the areas of God's sovereignty and man's sinfulness. This little volume has short chapters, each taking a phrase of the Apostle's Creed. I usually took one chapter a day. I particularly enjoyed the chapter on the Resurrection where he proclaims that we are living in this in-between time of the significance of the Resurrection already taking place and ...more
Karsten Hultgren
Sep 27, 2014 Karsten Hultgren rated it it was amazing
My first question after completion was "why was I warned with such intensity about Karl Barth?". Barth's Christiology was a breath of needed fresh air and needs a resurgence in American Evangelicalism.

"Dogmatics in Outline" is a must for any budding theologian or pastor; and is written in an understandable way for the lay Christian. Though no chapter is devoted to it, central to Barth's soteriology is God's union with man. Through the incarnation, life, death, and resurrection of Jesus ALL man
Harry Allagree
Sep 11, 2014 Harry Allagree rated it it was amazing
My only wish is that I'd found this book & read it when it was revised in 1959, just about the time that I began my theological studies. Unfortuntely, I was distracted at that time by our required absorption of the Summa Theologia of Thomas Aquinas…certainly more important in my professors' minds that that heretical Lutheran, Karl Barth! Not that I didn't also actually appreciate Thomas Aquinas, but this would've helped clarify so much.

Barth wrote this some 10 years earlier and though it's n
Nov 15, 2016 Kiel rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Barth is theological force to be reckoned with. This book of his though, is very accessible. He definitely deals with deeper theological issues, but this short 150 page book was derived from lectures he gave to lay leaders in German churches. If this were the only thing he’d written I don’t think there would be much controversy regarding him. But he went on to write much, including his massive “Church Domatics,” which perhaps I’ll read one day. As an introduction into his thought, I really ...more
Mar 29, 2016 Kenneth rated it it was amazing
Karl Barth, perhaps the foremost Protestant theologian of the Twentieth Century, set forth his understanding of basic Christian doctrine in this little book which was based on a series of lectures he gave to theological students in Bonn, Germany in 1946, the year after World War II ended. The book is organized by the shape of the Apostles Creed and discusses the meaning of each statement of that creed. An excellent introduction to Barth's theology and to Christianity as understood by the ...more
David Eversole
Aug 12, 2014 David Eversole rated it liked it
Finally! I finished. This was the most challenging book I have read in quite a while. The ideas and thoughts are deep and it was just difficult to wade through. It was not a case that it was poorly written, it was not, it was just serious and deep. My son-in-law recommended it as he had read it in seminary and I am glad I forced myself to get through it, but it was work.
Oct 05, 2015 Joe rated it it was amazing
I read Dogmatics in Outline again after many years, and it seems even better than it did before. Most likely I understand it better. There is no better brief introduction to Barth's theology, and it is one of the best brief overviews of Christian theology ever. The book must be read slowly - every line counts. But it repays close attention. I'm sure I'll return to it again.
Jan 05, 2010 Toby rated it really liked it
Shelves: theology
This is a great introduction to Barth's work. I think of this as Barth's version of a "Mere Christianity" by Lewis or "Orthodoxy" by Chesterton. It summarizes many of his main concerns and loves, while working through the basic tenants of the Christian faith as found in the Apostles' Creed. And unlike many of Barth's works, this is a short read.
Mar 02, 2011 Patrick added it
Shelves: books-i-own
A nice overview of Barth's theology, written by Barth himself. The name is a little misleading, because it's not an overview of his multi-volume Church Dogmatics. Instead it's a commentary on the Apostle's Creed, from Barth's theological perspective. Very fascinating book, whether you agree with Barth or not.
Kevin Finelli
Jun 03, 2015 Kevin Finelli rated it really liked it
An outline of Barth's definitive 13-volume work, Church Dogmatics. After a short introduction where Barth tries to make you feel bad for not reading the whole thing, this short book follows the creeds line by line to discuss the fundamentals of Christian faith. As someone without a theology background, I found this to be dense and difficult but comprehensible and ultimately rewarding.
David Campton
Apr 02, 2015 David Campton rated it liked it
Barth is one of those authors whose books, counter-intuitively are harder to read the briefer they are, as he tends to excise the more human/everyday dimensions of his thinking... leaving this to be more dogmatic and less immediately practical than it need be.
Chet Duke
Feb 16, 2016 Chet Duke rated it it was amazing
Shelves: theology
I cannot say enough good things about this book, probably one of my top 10 all-time. Although the monstrous Dogmatics will take me a lifetime to read, I plan to eventually tackle it. I could waste time rambling about what I liked but I won't. Just read it. This is a game changer.
Dec 15, 2012 Keith rated it it was amazing
Shelves: religious
These lectures on The Apostles Creed fundamentally outline his much later and weightier 8,000 page Church Dogmatics. Clear, descriptive, and concise it is easily more readable than much of his work. I generally find Barth's lectures quite informative to my faith and understanding of God's Word.
S.D. Morrison
Jun 29, 2014 S.D. Morrison rated it it was amazing
Brilliant book, and an excellent introduction into the thought of Barth. Here he simply outlines the Apostles Creed, and wonderfully expresses the heart of his theology. Simple book, great content, and I highly recommend it!
Dec 21, 2007 Lauren rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Seminarians, thinking people of faith
This is an intense, VERY dense book, but it's a great book in Systematic Theology. This was the main text for my Systematics class this semester, and it really worked well as a basis for dialogue with contemporary theologians and their ideas.
Sam Strickland
Jan 17, 2015 Sam Strickland rated it really liked it
An excellent and succinct exploration and exposition of the Apostles' Creed. Barth is brief while not sacrificing theological depth. I enjoyed the book even though I had little knowledge of Barth's theology before reading it.
May 07, 2011 Chris rated it really liked it
Shelves: theology
Barth plumbs the depths of the Apostles Creed, line by line, and conveys, in dense and evocative theological language, the drama, mystery, and joy of the Christian witness.
Apr 23, 2007 Jim rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This overview that uses the apostles creed is a classic. It is a great introduction to Barth and a birds eye view of Christian theology. A must read.
Apr 28, 2012 Thomas rated it it was amazing
If you want to read some Barth (who is, for better or for worse, the most influential theologian of the 20th century), this is the best place to start.
Feb 10, 2012 Tim rated it liked it
Shelves: theology
I am not a great fan of Barth's theology, but if you're looking for a summary, this is a good place to start.
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Karl Barth (pronounced "bart") was a Swiss Reformed theologian whom critics hold to be among the most important Christian thinkers of the 20th century; Pope Pius XII described him as the most important theologian since Thomas Aquinas. Beginning with his experience as a pastor, he rejected his training in the predominant liberal theology typical of 19th-century Protestantism, especially German.

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“The nativity mystery “conceived from the Holy Spirit and born from the Virgin Mary”, means, that God became human, truly human out of his own grace. The miracle of the existence of Jesus , his “climbing down of God” is: Holy Spirit and Virgin Mary! Here is a human being, the Virgin Mary, and as he comes from God, Jesus comes also from this human being. Born of the Virgin Mary means a human origin for God. Jesus Christ is not only truly God, he is human like every one of us. He is human without limitation. He is not only similar to us, he is like us.” 13 likes
“Everyone who has to contend with unbelief should be advised that he ought not to take his own unbelief too seriously.” 2 likes
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