Tuesday, November 02, 2010

Was Barth Reformed?

The short answer is no — NEIN! For the longer answer, Dr. R. Scott Clark has recommended Ryan Glomsrud's essay "Karl Barth and Modern Protestantism: The Radical Impulse" in the recently released book Always Reformed: Essays in Commemoration of W. Robert Godfrey. I haven't have the time to read it though I bought my copy within the week after this festschrift was presented during chapel, so unfortunately I can't comment much more, but it should be good. Hope to have the time to read it after semester is over.

5 comments:

evangelicalcalvinist.com said...

I responded to Glomsrud's paper here:

http://evangelicalcalvinist.com/2010/11/01/karl-barth-the-pietist-he-wasnt-reformed-silly/

Barth was Reformed, in the best sense of the "Reforming" principle; that of sola scriptura! So the answer is, YES!

evangelicalcalvinist.com said...

You need to read Barth's: Theology of the Reformed Confessions. Glomsrud really misrepresents, Barth. And he skews a fundamental principle of what it means to be Reformed. Barth is in total agreement, along with Richard Muller, no less; that the fundamental principium of Reformed theology is in fact *Scripture*. I'm just really un-impressed with Glomsrud's thinking; and I'm even more un-impressed with the continual bashing of Barth and Torrance by the WTS crowd. They really miss the mark in understanding what being Reformed and "always reforming" is about. I hope you'll be able to see past this, Daniel!

PuritanReformed said...

@evangelicalcalvinist:

I will read your response after reading Glomsrud's chapter. Nevertheless, you have to refute [Cornelius] Van Till's, [Robert] Reymond's, and Gordon Clark's critique of Barth both according to Scripture and according to the Reformed traditon in order to convince me that Barth can be even considered a Christian.

Next, you have to show us how the modern day Barthians have either 1) misrepresent Barth, or 2) that their opponents have misrepresented them.

If you have done so, I would certainly be interested in looking at them when I have time.

evangelicalcalvinist.com said...

PR,

Wow!

I don't feel that burden of proof, at all!!!

All I have to do is compare Barth to Scripture, to see if he comports to what it means to be a Christian. To go beyond that, as far as judging his personal salvation --- as you have --- is to go beyond the peradventure or prerogative given us by Scripture (cf. I Cor. 4:1ff).

Your point on the 'Barthians' misrepresenting Barth, seems unintelligible to me. My post on Glomsrud and Barth suggests how I think he has misrepresented him (again, I don't need to "prove" anything).

And if you have never read Barth, which you obviously haven't; then your remarks and reliance upon people who have (who you find amenable to your kind of Christianity) is just plain ole' presumptuous and not "Christian" at all. In fact I would suggest that your response and MO as I've seen it; imply that you are quite the fearful chap, unwilling to critically engage folks who are outside of your perceived realm.

I realize time is limiting, so you have to pick your battles and books; but you need to calm down about judging someone's eternal destiny and condemning them to hell. Based upon a self-referencing circle of authors who have critiqued Barth, as if they represent a bulwark of scholarship that is indubitable in their outlook towards the infamous theologue, Barth.

Your response back to me, Daniel, seems rather immature!

PuritanReformed said...

@evangelicalcalvinist:

>Your response back to me, Daniel, seems rather immature

I am just telling you what it takes to change my mind on Barth. I honestly don't have the time now to do a detailed rebuttal of Barth's theology.



>go beyond that, as far as judging his personal salvation --- as you have --- is to go beyond the peradventure or prerogative given us by Scripture (cf. I Cor. 4:1ff).

That is a eisegesis of 1 Cor. 4:1 which tells us nothing of the sort. We are told to judge the orthodoxy of teachers, and since the Scriptures tell us that a good tree bears good fruit and a bad tree bad fruit (cf Mt. 7), we can get a glimpse of a person's spiritual state through their confession. Heretics and schismatics are to be marked and separated from (Titus 3:10-11). Most importantly, Paul did not just say that their teachings are wrong, but that "such a person is warped and sinful" and "self-condemned". The Apostle John called Diotrephes publicly as a schismatic and told the entire church throughout all ages about it in 3 Jn. 9.

Many passages of Scripture not only tell us to but call us to judge the salvation of others, and mark them out as wolves. The historic Reformed tradition has also always been vocal about calling heretics heretics, and judging that these heretics are not saved. The Pope was called the Antichrist, the RCC the whore of Babylon etc etc. One does not have to read too far into the writings of the Reformers to see that they judged the salvation of heretics.

In this aspect, you have departed from the Reformed tradition.


>Your point on the 'Barthians' misrepresenting Barth, seems unintelligible to me. My post on Glomsrud and Barth suggests how I think he has misrepresented him (again, I don't need to "prove" anything)

OK, point taken.


>And if you have never read Barth, which you obviously haven't; then your remarks and reliance upon people who have (who you find amenable to your kind of Christianity) is just plain ole' presumptuous and not "Christian" at all.

That's presumptious of you.

>In fact I would suggest that your response and MO as I've seen it; imply that you are quite the fearful chap, unwilling to critically engage folks who are outside of your perceived realm.

As I have said, I don't have the time nor energy to do any detailed rebuttal of Barth now. You are quite the psychologist here.


>but you need to calm down about judging someone's eternal destiny and condemning them to hell

Either Barth is orthodox on cardinal doctrines or he is not. If he is, he is saved. If he is not, he is not. That is the plain teaching of Scripture.

Either Barth believed in [full] inerrancy or he does not. Either Barth taught that apart from explicit confession of faith in Christ, all men are destined to hellfire or he did not so teach that. Either Barth taught that the Bible is the Word of God fiat (not just contain the Word of God] or he did not.

Either Barth believed in particular individual election as confessed by the Synod of Dordt or he did not. Either Barth believed in particular reprobation by God the Father of individuals who would go to hell whom Christ did not die for (the Dordtian position), or he did not so believe. Either Barth believed the historic Reformed position of the Law/Gospel dichotomy or he did not. Either Barth believed in the historic Reformed position of the bicovenantal position of Scripture (a non-gracious unmerited Covenant or Works/a gracious demeritaed Covenant of Grace) or he did not.