1 Stars Out Of 5
Kooky Sermons by a Kooky Theologian
March 28, 2013
As a conservative Christian and Bible-believer, I was quite disappointed by this book. Karl Barth gets surprisingly high praise from some, but this book does not deserve high praise.
These sermons seem to be very self-indulgent and kooky. For example, in the first sermon, on Mark 10:46-52, which says "a blind beggar was sitting by the roadside." Karl Barth spends most of his sermon stuck on comparing this phrase to the condition of all humanity, without much Biblical support. Barth just freestyles about his own thoughts for most of the sermon. We get treated to the words of Barth, instead of learning about the Word of God.
In Barth's sermon on Acts 2:1-4, he says, "We have prayed and found God, and yet really not found God, for what we have found was at best a new knowledge of God." There are a lot similarly confusing, unhelpful statements in these sermons. Barth is not helping anyone understand what the Bible says, in my opinion.
Karl Barth's sermon on Romans 12:1-2, seemed like his most normal, useful sermon in this book. Then the editor, William H. Willimon, begins his Comments saying, "This sermon just doesn't work as a sermon."
Some say Karl Barth is awful for helping to understand the Word of God, others think he is a genius who has discovered that we cannot understand God. If you want to understand the Word of God, I would suggest other commentators, like John MacArthur or H. A. Ironside, who are very good for folks who want to know and understand God. Karl Barth is only good for folks who say we cannot know God. Jesus says, "My sheep hear my voice and know me."