The relationship between eternity and time is a common subject for theologians and philosophers. What difference does it make for this discussion that God became man and inhabited time in Jesus Christ?
In God's Time for Us, James J. Cassidy examines the theology of Karl Barth to show that God is our Father who does not neglect us for lack of time; he is the God who has time to be with us. God also quite literally has time in his own being by virtue of the incarnation. Cassidy shows that Barth seeks a rapprochement between eternity and time, which is overcome by Jesus Christ.
There is today a resurgence in interest in the theology of Barth, especially among evangelicals. Yet Barth is often read without discernment and discussed in churches without full understanding. Cassidy illuminates his thought so evangelicals can make a better, more well-informed appraisal of the man and his theology.
James J. Cassidy is the pastor of South Austin Presbyterian Church, the vice president of Reformed Forum (reformedforum.org), and an articles editor for The Confessional Presbyterian (cpjournal.com). He earned his PhD from Westminster Theological Seminary (2014), where he wrote his dissertation on the theme of Karl Barth's doctrine of eternity and time.
"Dr. Cassidy provides the reader with a highly consistent, indeed fully systematic, reading of Karl Barth's conception of eternity and time, drawing extensively upon the continuing flow of secondary literature. It thus reinforces the defining, indeed dominant role in twenty-first century Reformed theology of the master theologian of the past century."
--Richard H. Roberts, PhD, Professor emeritus of religious studies, Lancaster University
"Time and eternity are central concepts in Christian theology, yet they are routinely misunderstood. This is not surprising, since time and eternity are profoundly difficult aspects of reality to grasp. Karl Barth did more than most theologians to explore and explicate time and eternity, and in Jim Cassidy's work we have a useful and reliable guide to his thought. This work will prove stimulating and constructive for theologians working both with and beyond Barth."
--Myk Habets, PhD, Head of Carey Graduate School, director of the R.J. Thompson Centre for Theological Studies
"James Cassidy's study on time fills an important gap in contemporary Barth scholarship. Cassidy's work brings together important and varied motifs from Karl Barth's discussion of God's time for us in Jesus Christ. It also sheds light on some of the most significant debates in contemporary Barth studies. This book will certainly deepen our understanding of the issues it discusses."
--Shao Kai Tseng, DPhil, Assistant professor of systematic theology, China Evangelical Seminary, Taipei, Taiwan
"James Cassidy boldly states that, in Barth's theology, the concept of being is replaced with that of time. Actualistic ontology is only a penultimate word for Barth; the ultimate word is time. Cassidy firmly stands in Jüngel/McCormack's tradition of interpreting Barth: The election of Jesus Christ constitutes the triune being of God. But he, in a sense, goes beyond it and rereads the entire Church Dogmatics, taking time as the most basic ontological category of Barth's theology. It is also a relief to know that another scholar thinks that one of Barth's literary methods is equivocation."
--Yaroslav Viazovski, Ph.D. (University of Aberdeen, UK), author of Image and Hope: John Calvin and Karl Barth on Body, Soul, and Life Everlasting.
"Cassidy's sympathetic but critical discussion of Barth's treatment of eternity and time is a valuable contribution to Barth studies. His careful and incisive probing of the complexities of Barth's thought, interacting with current debate, should provide a stimulus for further development."
--Robert Letham, Professor of systematic and historical theology, Union School of Theology, Bridgend, Wales
"In this creative and provocative work, James J. Cassidy offers an engagement with Karl Barth on the themes of time and eternity which will send diligent readers both back into the Church Dogmatics and forward into constructive theology. This volume demonstrates not only the way in which Barth's understanding of matters temporal and eternal is rooted in the person of Jesus Christ, but also the way in which this understanding is relevant across the entire array of doctrines which Barth explores. This generative interpretation of Barth's legacy is sure to provoke welcome interest and fierce debate."
--Paul T. Nimmo, King's Chair of Systematic Theology, University of Aberdeen, Scotland