A few years ago, in my ‘introduction to theology’ course at the University of Otago, I met Karl Barth. Not him personally, of course. He’s been dead for forty years, but I encountered his writing. And immediately I was enthralled.
I read John Webster’s excellent brief book on Karl Barth in one day while recovering after a hospital visit. I found it to be invigorating. I also, at that point, became an admirer and reader of Webster himself, whom I had the pleasure of meeting when we both attended a conference on salvation at the University of Otago a couple of years’ back.
So it was with great excitement and enthusiasm and joy that I came across this: a resource that gives access to books by and about Karl Barth. I haven’t yet figured out how I can print from it – though I’m sure I will in time. I like to write over things that I read (with some exceptions) and I hope to be able to do it with this literature.
Barth is not all that easy to read. He’s hard work. His arguments are not necessarily in a sequential or logical order and for that reason he’s often more accessible through the secondary sources, like Webster. But there is something worthwhile about pursuing the primary sources, even if they are hard work.
On one of those silly Facebook quizzes that asked me to say which theologian I was most like, unsurprisingly my answer came out as Karl Barth. The questions were loaded so you could predict how the answers would fall, but never mind. My wife, incidentally, came out as Charles Wesley (or was it the other Wesley?). But, questions loaded or not, I expect I would have come out with a similar result even if the die had been more finely balanced.
So I’m going to enjoy digging deep into Barth’s writing and writing about Barth. Now I’m grateful to have both met him, as it were, and fallen upon this website as well.