During his only visit to the United States, in 1962, Karl Barth delivered a series of lectures at the University of Chicago (and later at Princeton Seminary). These lectures, complemented by twelve additional chapters, comprise the text of this introductory presentation of evangelical theology.
Intended neither as a "Credo" nor a new outline of dogmatics, this book is what Barth calls a "short account of what, up to now, I have basically sought, learned, and represented from among all the paths and detours in the field of evangelical theology." Barth's theology is evangelical because it is God-centered-- it stresses God's encounter with man instead of man's discovery of God. Its object, source, and norm is the God of the gospel.
It is a theology which, says Barth, "nourished by the hidden sources of the documents of Israel's history, first achieved unambiguous expression in the writings of the New Testament evangelists, apostles, and prophets; it is also, moreover, the theology newly discovered and accepted by the Reformation of the sixteenth the century."
Barth does not intend evangelical theology to be understood in a denominational or exclusive sense, because "evangelical" refers primarily to the Bible. For Barth, theology ought never to enter a competition for which is the best among the many and various human ways of talking about God; thus he does not seek to anoint evangelical theology to a place of honor by putting down other theologies.
In this concise presentation of evangelical theology -- the theology that first received expression in the New Testament writings and was later rediscovered by the Reformation--Barth discusses the place of theology, theological existence, the threat to theology, and theological work.
(18861968) Karl Barth was professor of dogmatictheology at the University of Basel, Switzerland. He isconsidered by some to be the greatest Protestant theologianof the twentieth century and possibly the greatest sincethe Reformation. Among his most famous works are ChurchDogmatics and The Epistle to the Romans.
-- author of The Great Passion
"This book is a wonderful surprise. At the end of his life, after writing so many theological masterworks, Karl Barth published an 'introduction' to evangelical theology. In keeping with his own rule to begin with the beginnings, Barth here reads and reflects anew on the heart of the gospel. His Evangelical Theology above all demonstrates the serious joy of being a Christian theologian. It will please all who read it."
Eugene H. Peterson
-- author of Take and Read and The Message
"Karl Barth for me is the theologian of the twentieth century. He gathered up, rethought, repreached, and reprayed the entire Christian tradition. I would not want to be without even a page of his multivolume Church Dogmatics, but this slim, spare book holds a special place in my reading. Its 'energetic brevity' keeps the nature and necessity of theology forcefully focused in my life."
Paul D. Molnar
-- author of Karl Barth and the Theology of the Lord's Supper
"In this magnificent volume, written with unparalleled learning and gripping power by the preeminent theologian of the twentieth century, readers will glimpse something of the overriding joy, happiness, and freedom of theological science that come from God the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. This eternally rich and living God can be neither 'hired' nor 'possessed' and cannot be carried about in some 'intellectual or spiritual briefcase.' Karl Barth's Evangelical Theology is a must-read for anyone who desires to study theology today."