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The Humanity of God [Paperback]

By Barth (Author)
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Item description for The Humanity of God by Barth...

Karl Barth is generally regared as the greatest Protestant thinker of modern times. The three essays in this book, "The Humanity of God," "Evangelical Theology in the 19th Century," and "The Gift of Freedom," show how Barth's later work moved beyond his revolt against the theology dominant in the first decades of the twentieth century.

Publishers Description

Karl Barth is generally regared as the greatest Protestant thinker of modern times. The three essays in this book, "The Humanity of God," "Evangelical Theology in the 19th Century," and "The Gift of Freedom," show how Barth's later work moved beyond his revolt against the theology dominant in the first decades of the twentieth century.

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Item Specifications...

Studio: Westminster John Knox Press
Pages   96
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 8.04" Width: 5.3" Height: 0.24"
Weight:   0.25 lbs.
Binding  Softcover
Release Date   Nov 1, 1998
Publisher   Westminster John Knox Press
ISBN  0804206120  
ISBN13  9780804206129  

Availability  114 units.
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Product Categories

1Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Authors, A-Z > ( B ) > Barth, Karl
2Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Christianity > Theology > General
3Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Christianity > Theology

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Books > General Interest > Literature & The Arts > Essays & Memoirs

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Reviews - What do customers think about The Humanity of God?

Jesus in the Flesh  Jan 3, 2008
This book is translated nicely. I found it easily readable and digestible. Karl Barth's insights into the humanity of Christ are needed in today's culture. Everything hinges on the incarnation of God and Barth illustrates this in his book. Against the backdrop of regurgitated gnosticism--that God could not become a man--this book speaks to the importance of Jesus in the flesh.

Karl Barth needs to be engaged by my generation. We are craving the things of God written in earthy, pedestrian language. This book is a fine read.

Shameless plug--check out my new book Sex, Sushi, and Salvation: Thoughts on Intimacy, Community, and Eternity
God is with us...  Jan 12, 2004
Karl Barth insists on an infinite qualitative difference between God and humanity. God is `wholly other', and there is nothing that humankind can do to bridge the gulf; however, God can reach `down' to humanity, and bridge the gulf. This is not something that happens by merit or effort on the part of individuals, but is entirely the grace and gift of God. This is important to understand as part of Barth's `Humanity of God' - God being wholly other is nonetheless wholly other with us. The primary expression of this being with us is through Jesus Christ; however, Barth stops short of saying that this is the only expression.  

It is important to realise what Barth is saying - humanity cannot reach God by philosophy, or theology, or science, or nature. God cannot be reached by religious feelings or actions. It all comes down to God's action toward us, on behalf of us. This was rather radical for Barth to propose, given the longer trend in theology over against which he was operating led to increasing ideas of natural theology and the ability of humanity to attain `divine' heights through learning and increase in knowledge, or indeed through increase in faith and spirituality. 

Barth's `Humanity of God' is written more for the general reader than for academic theologians (my students in theology might feel differently about this!). The book consists of three sections - the first is an essay on Barth's overview of nineteenth century theology. Despite being a twentieth-century theologian (arguably one of the greatest of these), his education and formative study is firmly rooted in the Germanic nineteenth century academic enterprise. The second essay is the one from which the book's title is taken - the Humanity of God. This is an essay on Barth's Christology, in which he looks at God's divinity and humanity in Jesus Christ. The last section deals with the issue of human freedom, and how this freedom is in fact a gift from God.  

There is an interesting tension in Barth's work, in that while Barth on the one hand wants to say that there is nothing, no piece at all, in humanity that can earn, be worthy of, or even try to seek after the infinitely distant God, yet there must be some sort of `turning to' or acknowledgement of God, which stretches uncomfortably for Barth toward an act, or a work that needs doing, hence, works righteousness. This tension is never fully resolved, either in this text, or in Barth's voluminous work elsewhere. 

One feature of Barth's overall theology is the recapturing, primarily for Protestants but also for Christianity as a whole, of the orthodox tradition from the beginning of the history of Christendom; however, this is in may ways subverted by Barth's insistence on the Humanity of God that includes God's capacity for suffering, and that this is key to his true authority. Barth's sense of free will is also at odds with the longer tradition, seeing freedom as coming not before but after God's salvific act. The sinner is a slave, not free at all; freedom comes after the grace of God gives it. 

Barth's work here in this text is important and accessible to Christians Catholic, Orthodox or Protestant. Barth's work at reviving the sense of the importance of the body of the Church and the absolute power of God is an important focus for all Christians to deal with in their theological musings and actions. In some ways, `Humanity of God' was a response to Bonhoeffer's `Cost of Discipleship', which advocated strongly for the need for right action (orthopraxy) in response to the gospel; Barth and Bonhoeffer both experienced the terrors of Germany prior to and during the second World War, albeit in different ways; a comparison of these two texts is worthwhile. 

Barth continues to be of great influence in the theological development of academic theologians and clergypersons world-wide; this text, `The Humanity of God', is perhaps the easiest of his writings, focusing upon some of the most important features of his theological work.

Three Easy in One Book  Apr 15, 2001
Karl Barth is arguably one of the greatest Protestant theologians of the last 200 years. This book is one of his most easier to understand material. Here he writes for the average Christian and not the academic scholar.

The writing is engaging as Barth's essays deal with three different subjects, yet, compliment each other. The first essay is "Evangelical Theology in the 19th Century." Barth concisely examines the dangers of liberal theology and the effects it had on the 20th Century.

The second essay is "The Humanity of God" of which the book is titled. This essay is a Christological work and is well worth the read.

The last section, "The Gift of Freedom", deals with the Christian life i regards to God's gift of Freedom. Frredom is a gift from God that He alone can bestow on us.

This is a great work which is very easy to read and quick to get through (only 96 pages). This book will inspire to read more works by this great Christian thinker. Whether one agrees with him or not, Barth is always engaging.

The Church Father of the 20th Century!  Oct 16, 1999
This is a short, readable introduction to the man who has influenced 20th century religiosu thought more than any other. The book is actually a collection of three separate essays. The first is a critical analysis of 19th century theology with its tendency to focus on human beings rather than on God. The second essay addresses the nature of God and God's relationship to humanity. The final essay addresses the issue of Christian freedom and Christian responsibility. The collection is theologically deep enough to entice academics, while readable enough to be approachable by any serious layperson.

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