Friday, February 04, 2011

Some Helpful Definitions from Ol’ KB

I offer these definitions from the lion of Basel in commemoration of the commencement of George Hunsinger's first ever survey course on Karl Barth. It is my joy to serve as one of the preceptors, and I'm looking forward to an engaging semester.

Karl Barth, “Evangelical Theology in the 19th Century,” in The Humanity of God, 11.
“Theology,” in the literal sense, means the science and doctrine of God. A very precise definition of the Christian endeavor in this respect would really require the more complex term “The-anthropology.” For an abstract doctrine of God has no place in the Christian realm, only a “doctrine of God and of man,” a doctrine of the commerce and communion between God and man.

“Evangelical” means informed by the gospel of Jesus Christ, as heard afresh in the 16th-century Reformation by direct return to Holy Scripture.

“Evangelical theology” must thus be understood as the science and doctrine of the commerce and communion between God and man, informed by the gospel of Jesus Christ as heard in Holy Scripture.

5 comments:

Bobby Grow said...

I think this is really good:

“Evangelical” means informed by the gospel of Jesus Christ, as heard afresh in the 16th-century Reformation by direct return to Holy Scripture.

Who said Barth wasn't Reformed? ;-)

I'm going to pilfer this quote for my blog, thanks :-)!

What does preceptor mean in that context? Is it like a TA/Teaching Fellow, or more to it than that?

W. Travis McMaken said...

We lead weekly discussion sections, which are basically mini seminars attached to the course, and lecture occasionally.

Bobby Grow said...

Cool, sounds good. I did something like that in the past (but with Bible Study Methods, not Barth). Although, I suppose some would argue that studying Barth is akin to studying Bible Study Methods ;-).

Glenn said...

Travis, I hope you will post your insights on this course. I am reading Church Dogmatics now (just finished I.1) and am really interested in hearing how others understand Barth's work.

W. Travis McMaken said...

Hi Glenn,

I don't like to blog about classes - my view is that the classroom is privileged space. But, I can direct you to a website where folks are blogging their way through Church Dogmatics - surf on over.