Ever since all fourteen volumes of Karl Barth’s Church Dogmatics went on sale for the ridiculous price of $99.99 it seems Karl Barth madness is everywhere. Well, I for one plan on skipping the fun fest surrounding this German Swiss saint of Protestantism. Why? Let me tell you why.
(1) I don’t have much room left on my book shelves, and my wife is not going to let me by another book shelf, so I wouldn’t be able to store fourteen volumes of anything in my home.
(2) I’ve made it through half of N.T. Wright’s three volumes on Christian origins, a half of a book in Dunn’s series, and that is the most of any one author who has written multiple volumes on one subject.
(3) I’ve heard the Germans don’t understand him. How can I, an English speaker reliant on translators, do any better?
(4) Almost everyone I have ever met that has read any significant portion of Barthian literature loses some of their ability to communicate with the average person.
(5) Everyone I have ever met that tries to speak in Barthian terminology may as well be speaking in tongues with no interpretation.
(6) There seem to be more people reading Barth than Scripture these days so I think I’ll buck the trend. It is very theologically hipster to read Barth. We’ll see where that is in ten years.
(7) I don’t plan on studying at Princeton or Aberdeen.
(8) Anyone who uses very philosophical language to promote their theological agenda while denouncing philosophy seems suspect to me.
(9) I think Kierkegaard was a tad more interesting anyways.
(10) Why read Barth when I can read who Barth read–namely the Apostle Paul?! Don’t Barthians says that Barth’s theology disallows for Barthianism? Well then!