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Showing posts from August, 2009

2009 Karl Barth Blog Conference: Conclusion and ToC

It is time once again for the most unsavory blogging business that I ever have to execute as the proprietor here at DET, namely, declaring this year’s Karl Barth Blog Conference to be officially over. You are welcome, of course, to continue commenting and conversing with one another. In fact, you are encouraged to do so! But, regretfully, there are no further posts forthcoming.

As unsavory as closing the blog conference may be, it gives me nothing but pleasure to thank all those who have participated. You have made this year’s blog conference an even greater success than last year! Special thanks to all our plenary authors and their respondents – you folks are the lifeblood of this enterprise. Still, these authors would not want to put in the time writing plenary posts and responses for an event like this were it not for the host of you readers willing to surf by and check things out, and especially for those of you who stop to comment and converse. Those who stop by to comme…

2009 Barth Blog Conference: Day 5

Reading Romans 1:3-4 Axiomatically: Karl Barth’s Resurrection Exegesis

By Nathan Hitchcock
Time has shown that there are many ways of approaching Karl Barth’s Epistle to the Romans – and precious few that take him seriously as a biblical exegete. There is the possibility, however, of understanding him as a genuine commentator even while recognizing his crucial theological foci. In this vein I want to contend that he interprets Romans 1:3-4 axiomatically, as the interpretive center of the epistle, and that the resurrection of the dead (which is axiomatic in speaking of God) governs the dialectical activity in all of 2Ro. God’s gloriously disruptive gospel is that which concerns “His Son, born out of David’s line according to the flesh, and powerfully appointed the Son of God according to the Holy Spirit through His resurrection of the dead, Jesus Christ our Lord.” For Barth these verses ground and guide the content of the epistle.

The present essay starts with a historical-biographica…

2009 Barth Blog Conference: Day 4

Defending Barth’s Commitment to “Let Paul Speak for Himself” [1]: Romans 1 and Paul’s Rejection of the Possibility of Natural Knowledge of God

By Shannon Nicole Smythe
By the time Karl Barth’s course of extra-mural lectures on Romans, given in Basel during the winter of 1940-41, was published in 1959 under the English title A Shorter Commentary on Romans, the shock waves of the 1918 and 1921 editions of his Romans commentary, Der Römerbrief, had already come and gone with such great force, almost entirely negative, that few scholars took notice of this later and, of course, shorter piece of theological exegesis. The few who did[2] held, to varying degrees, a common opinion that Barth’s own system of thought (at times more softly expressed as a “Barthian emphasis”) was the basis of his reading of Paul. Most specifically in this regard, the reviews found a “rejection of natural revelation”[3] or “arguments against any ‘natural’ knowledge of God”[4] to be one of the most obvious Barthian…

2009 Barth Blog Conference: Day 3

The No-God and God’s No: Barth’s Exegesis of Romans 1 in Romans II

By David W. Congdon
Barth’s Der Römerbrief needs no introduction. It fundamentally changed the landscape of modern theology. The first edition, published in 1918, set forth the basic contours of Barth’s break with 19th century liberalism. But it was the explosive second edition (hereafter referred to as Romans II, and from which I will exclusively cite), published in 1921 and translated in 1933, which established Barth’s lasting reputation.1 However, as important as it has been and continues to be, one easily forgets that Barth’s Romans is a biblical commentary.2 People tend to view it as a theological treatise, but Barth always intended it to be an exegesis—certainly, a theological exegesis—of Paul’s letter to the Christians in Rome.

With this in mind, I want to focus on Barth’s interpretation of the first chapter of Romans, specifically the latter half of this chapter (vv. 16-32). Specifically, I want to address two is…

2009 Barth Blog Conference: Day 2

St. Paul and the Possibility of Natural Knowledge of God in Romans 1

By ShaneWilkins
Let's begin our investigation with a few quick definitions and distinctions. Revelation means either an act whereby God gives someone knowledge of himself or the knowledge so given. On the view I defend, revelation comes in two varieties, special and general. Special revelation involves God taking a special direct act different from his normal activity as the creator and sustainer of the cosmos. In general revelation God acts simply in his normal way as the creator and sustainer of the cosmos. Corresponding to the two kinds of revelation are the two kinds of knowledge which they produce. When God specially reveals himself we call the result special knowledge. Knowledge of God produced by general revelation is called natural knowledge of God because God reveals it indirectly by means of the created world. In both cases God brings revelation about: either directly by his own activity or indirectly by …