The Early Preaching of Karl Barth: Fourteen Sermons with CommentaryKarl Barth, William H. WillimonWestminster John Knox Press / 2009 / Trade Paperback$12.99 Retail:2.5 Stars Out Of 5 2 Reviews
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Bob4 Stars Out Of 5Worthwhile read.July 26, 2014BobMeets Expectations: 4Perhaps no minister would like a book of sermons from his early years published. However one can clearly see the development in his preaching which shows his attempt to move from the idealism in theology of his time to a more biblically based position. He did arrive as one of the most important theologians of the last century. In a period that shattered European idealistic theology Barth offers a theological alternative to hold onto. No theology is perfect for it is man's attempt to make sense of the current world from a biblical perspective. These sermons offer hope to new ministers that each sermon helps you grow into a more developed minister and theologian. Someone this century will become the theologian that the next must study and by God's grace he too will test his wings maybe uneasily but grow in stature. A read well worth the time.
Bryan Leed1 Stars Out Of 5Kooky Sermons by a Kooky TheologianMarch 28, 2013Bryan LeedQuality: 1Value: 3Meets Expectations: 1As 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."
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