Great Theologians

A.W. Tozer

REVIEW: Barth’s Evangelical Theology

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Norine Rae Cheney

Lifelong Learning for Ministry

Assignment # 5: Karl Barth & A. W. Tozer

April 5, 2010

 

 

 

 

 

Introduction

            In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God (Jhn1:1). Is this not the basis of our Theology? Jesus is (Immanuel) – God, with us, the hope of glory (Matt 1:23). We rest our faith in the confidence that He is the resurrection and the life. “The word “theology” seems to signify a special science, a very special science, whose task is to apprehend, understand, and speak of “God.””[1]  We will be exploring Barth, Bonhoeffer, and A.W. Tozer in our pursuit of Evangelical Theology.

Summary: Occasion and Content

            Karl Barth, a Swiss theologian, was born on May 10th, 1886 and died December 10th 1968. He taught on theological perspectives and church dogmatics. Barth has been attributed to being one of the most important Christian thinkers of the 20th century.[2] His book Evangelical Theology is a compilation of historical lectures. At the ripe age of seventy six he delivered the first five at the “Divinity School, the University of Chicago, and The Annie Kinkead Warfield Lectures of 1962 at the Princeton Theological Seminary.”[3] The book begins with a Commentary and then develops through a series of lectures under four categories: The Place of Theology, Theological Existence, The Threat to Theology, and Theological Work.

            In the commentary Barth states that there is “moreover, no religion, no philosophy, no world view that is not dedicated to some such divinity,” but we will be focusing on the divinity of the “God of the Gospel.”[4] This Gospel is justified by God and through God as man receives revelation. God is the object of our affection and the desired result is that we are compelled to know Him more and discover the mysteries of His kingdom. The perception, meditation, and discussion of theology must have its character in the living procession. God is “good” and as a gracious God His desire is that mankind would prosper through the knowing (knowledge) of Him. We can only receive this through divine encounters that reveal His presence and through the study of His Word which all begins through an inherent faith.  

The Place of Theology

            In The Place of Theology, Barth lectures on The Word, The Witness, The Community, and The Sprit. In The Word we see that “theology responds to the Word which God has spoken, still speaks, and will speak again in the history of Jesus Christ …and the Gospel goes forth.”[5] It is this Word that is historical and yet at the same time fresh as saints seeks truth so that they can hear, understand and speak with confidence. Christ as the Word longs for relationship and communion with mankind. He has called man to imitate Him as He has imitated His Father – our Father. This eternal covenant with The Word, Jesus, our Messiah, is calling us to holiness and faithfulness. It is not limited by our character, but that of the sacrifice and resurrection of Christ, Jesus.

            When reviewing The Witnesses of the Word we see the prophetic men of the Old Testament and the apostolic men of the New Testament declaring the truth of God’s goodness through the life of Jesus. The Old Testament pointing towards the New Testament to fulfill the promises to Israel (Jews, God’s chosen people) and the importance of sharing the “good news” to the world. The witnesses not only spoke the Word, but they took the time to write it down so that future generations would know the truth.[6] “In him they saw the hallowing of God’s name, the coming of his kingdom, the fulfilling of his will on earth.”[7] Theology cannot exalt itself above that of the biblical witnesses for it was these witnesses who walked and talked with Jesus. These scriptures have been examined and separated – they demand respect as holy writings.[8] Barth states that “Theology becomes evangelical theology only when the God of the Gospel encounters it in the mirror and echo of the prophetic and apostolic world.”[9] It is through the unwrapping of this great Word through blood and tears that brings revelation, interpretation, and discovery for righteous enlightenment.

            The Community is the “Church.” We are called to commune with God and with one another. It is not good for man to be alone. This communion of the saints is what the Gospel of peace is all about. God’s desire to sup with us and for us to live in peace with others is of primary importance to our Savior. How we live our lives demonstrates the character and nature of God to others. As saints, it is through this demonstration that we speak through our actions of obedience to show the world who He is.  We are His hands and feet who’s assignment is to commune with this world. This desire of communion comes from above.[10] We are responsible for our quest in truth in love and thus each Christian is “also called to be a theologian.”[11] Faith in community therefore seeks understanding. It is important that we do not neglect past theologians as to lose incite which would be a disadvantage to coming generations. As community we can glean from one another past, present, and future.

            The Spirit is therefore “of the real power that is hidden in theological assertions-hidden, unattainable, unavailable not only to the environment but also to the very theology which serves the community. This is the theology declare, in the history of salvation and revelation, in the hearing and speech of the biblical witnesses, in the being an act of the community summoned by them, and also in the work of theology when it testifies to these things. But this power is also totally superior to theology itself. I sustain and activate that whole event from the history of Immanuel down to the little tale in who’s telling theology also, finally and at the last, has its existence and activity. In the telling of this tale, that hidden power prevents and forbids the slightest attempt to construct treacherous presuppositions. … It is not endowed with a potentiality which the theologians knows and can exploit, as though he could overlook its origin, significance, and limits.”[12]

 

            Therefore in light of the Spirit it is crucial to know the sources of revelation for there are only two sources that of God and Satan. We are taught to test the spirit and to ensure what we are teaching lines up with the Gospel.[13] It was through the power of the Holy Spirit that the disciples were able to speak and the scripture was written through divine inspiration (1 Tim 3:16). Barth states that “theology may find that the Spirit draws near and comes over it, and that theology may then, without resisting, but also without assuming dominion over the Spirit, simply rejoice and obey its power.”[14] We are not to forget that it is through the Holy Spirit that theologians are given mercy. This Spirit gives life that is rich and a promise that is hopeful knowing that the “Spirit searches all things, even the deep things of God” (1 Cor 2:10).

Theological Existence

            It is impossible to know God and without being enamored at His wonder. His very creation is captivating and His loving-kindness catalyzing. One can only marvel at the magnitude of His love as He sent His son (Jesus) as a sacrifice for us. The wonders of God are new every morning. “Many, O LORD my God, are the wonders which You have done, And Your thoughts towards us; there is none to compare with You. If I would declare and speak of them, they would be too numerous” (Psa 40:5). It is because of this wonder that man is compelled to search for truth and study theology.[15] From beginning to end mans pursuit for truth and understanding flow from a surge of emotion based the amazing wonder of creation and creator. Mans desire to know their place, relevance and role in the scope of creation leads to the study of theology.[16] This study includes the miraculous deeds notated in the Gospel as well as present day miracles that cannot be quickly disregarded as coincidental. It is a mistake to think of wonder in terms of merely admiration for it is much deeper as it is better defined as sense of awe.

            The Concern of man is that when the theologian finds himself confronted by this object. Is not this object that which is our affection? To where and to what do we place our affection? Is it not His affection towards us and our affection towards Him and others that gives us purpose and fulfillment? The Word of God is for all and in it are the answers to heart matters (Acts 2:37). The Word shows us that God cares for this present generation and the generations to come. It provides evidence for those in search of truth as it shows that He too pursues us. “He does this simply because the one Word of the one sovereign Lord of all Christianity has so pursued him that he cannot evade the vision of the one thing by which alone the people of God can and may live.”[17] For in this we see that all of creation has a responsibility and concern for us as we were placed here to tend to the garden.  This concern is for all creation, God Himself, and the most private intimate recesses of the theologian.

            Commitment is the glue in communion. We are an object of His affection and in that He makes covenant with us desiring that we too are people of covenant. We are never forced for God has given us free will, but our blessings come with covenant. “Commitment begins with the theologian’s wonder and is directly related to his concern. It comprehends, indeed, his whole existence.”[18] The theologian is given freedom in this world to act, speak, think, as he chooses. But, it is the hope of God that we walk in unity and choose commitment and covenant with our loving God. This richness of life include: the visible and invisible, the past, present and future, and there in nothing that is insignificant or unimportant. In this commitment we look to “Jesus Christ who, by the potency of the Holy Spirit, is risen, powerful, and speaking. It is the continuously novel binding and liberating goodness of the living God who comes down to man and draw man up to himself in a history that is always freshly in motion.”[19] It is accordingly this fresh encounter with a living God that puts community into motion as we commune with Him and thus reach out in love to mankind.

            What is Evangelical Theology or theology without faith? Man with his suspicious nature finds it difficult at best to step out in faith believing something that he does not see, yet that is exactly what makes for a theologian or Christian. The whole basis for which the Gospels stand is on faith in the truth of a sovereign God, credible witnesses, and mysteries unfolding. We formulate our opinions based on experiences and by trusting those in authority. Once we step out, God shows up, with revelation to His being. “Christian faith occurs in the encounter of the believer with him in whom he believes. It consists in communion, not in identification, with him.”[20]  “Faith has the fundamental character of knowledge.”[21] We know that God’s word has been spoken and written. We also know that the Holy Spirit is operating through man in this world. Is it therefore faith to embrace this living God by faith and commit our lives to seek and serve Him?

The Threat to Theology

            One would not call this section tantalizing as its focus is towards the difficult issues regarding theology, yet without them a diamond is not produced. Briefly we will explore each topic beginning with Solitude. “Even in community and, worst of all, among all too many of his fellow theologians, the theologians, seems to stand and persevere alone.”[22] There are times when Jesus left the disciples to spend time alone with God. These can be times of reflection, self discovery, intimacy with the Father, and refreshment. It is in times of solitude that we most often hear God. What is vital is that the theologian does not find himself in a place of loneliness. In the midst of crowds loneliness still prevails, and there is a time that one must bear loneliness.[23]

            Doubt is another threat to theology that like solitude one point is that it should be “to endure and to bear” it.[24] Yet, another is to eliminate it for it is dangerous. “You will know the truth and the truth will set you free” (Jhn 8:32). It is imperative that people of faith seek truth and do not doubt God’s word. Doubt can bring destruction on the theologians’ life.[25] In the book of Revelations the Lord tells us that He would rather have us hot or cold than warm. In the face of doubt we should look to the rock and trust that our redeemer is real and that He desires good things for us and His whole creation. It is my heart to say, choose to believe, choose to trust, choose the “good news.”

            Temptation is just a part of life. It was in the life of Jesus and it is in the life of every believer. “Its work takes place under conditions of temptation, in a testing by the fire of the righteous and divine wrath which consumes everything of it that is made of wood, hay, and straw (1 Cor. 3:12).”[26] As difficult as it may be testing and temptation develop our proven character. It is in this testing that we choose to submit to God and decline the temptations of lust and power or anything that exalts itself above God. By crying out to the Holy Spirit and abiding in His presence we hold a more sure ability to overcome temptation. We can depend on the free grace of God so that we may walk in righteous conduct before man through the power of the Holy Spirit. “Temptation must serve for the salvation of theology and its radical purification.”[27]

            ‘“Endure and bear!” was our advice (or, more precisely, our watchword) with respect to the endangering of theology by solitude, doubt, and temptation.”[28] Though these areas can cause great danger to the theologian it and may supplant or destroy the very nature of their stance Barth leads us next to HOPE. For how can one endure times of doubting, temptation, and solitude without the possibility of HOPE? Is it not this hope in the things to come that gives us that push to stand against all odds? To fight the “good fight”, to believe against the odds… it is the ultimate and great gift once attained knowing that you where not defeated. And though you felt alone – you were not alone – for God is with you (Psm 23).

“When theology confesses its own solidarity with all flesh and with the whole world under God’s judgment, it receives hope in the grace of God which is the mystery of this judgment. This hope is a present reality I which theology may also participate and do its own work.”[29]

 

Theological Work

            In the subsequent study we will concisely look at Prayer, Study, Service and Love as it pertains to Barth’s theological lectures.  Each is a necessary part of the Christian walk and that of the theologian. Prayer is paramount in that it is communication with the living God. Nothing can be accomplished without it as it is the first basic act of the believer.[30] It is communion with God in relationship and movement. It thus requires action on the part of the theologian. For the live of the theologian to bear fruit it must cultivate this relationship. This task consists not only in speaking, but in listening to the voice of God than taking action again in what has been revealed.[31]By trust what God has revealed through prayer we can begin again each day knowing that God has our “best” interests at heart?

 

“Yesterday’s memories can be comforting and encouraging for such work only if they are identical with the recollection that this work, even yesterday, had to begin at the beginning and, it is to be hoped, actually began there. In theological science, continuation always means “beginning once again at the beginning.” “If God’s goodness is new every morning, it is also every morning a fully undeserved goodness which must give rise to new gratitude and renewed desire for it.”[32]

 

            As seekers of truth our prayers must be genuine as we approach the throne of grace. Just as with conversation with a friend – they would not be repetitive – but fresh for the moment and relevant for today. Declaring Gods goodness, faithfulness, and gratitude for the provision to come in grateful expectation with adoration for all that He has provided and will continue to provide in the days to come.

            Zealously and earnestly pursuing knowledge and understanding of the Word of God is the quest of the competent theologian. A lazy theologian is no student at all! Barth says that “no one should study merely in order to pass an examination, to become a pastor, or in order to gain an academic degree. Only by his qualification as a learner can he show himself qualified to become a teacher.”[33] A person who is serious about study will permit themselves to be stimulated by views and insights. They will allow themselves to hear perspective, thought, and speech with that is responsible to God and man. A studious theologian is one who has not only willingness but a longing to be nourished by teachers, preachers, and prophets who have aspired before them. “Theological science will weep with those who weep and rejoice with those who rejoice. It will simply let all those who lived, thought, spoke and labored before us speak for themselves.”[34]     When studying the Gospel dogmatics and ethics need the function properly by standing firm on regards to order, formation, architectonics, and theology prescribed at the given times by the Word itself.[35] The study of the Word must go further in that it becomes life for the community and world in which we live. Since it is a living Word, it is relevant for today and should thus be shared for the benefit of others.

            Theology is a work of service as Jesus himself was a servant to all (Acts 4:27). We are called to a life of service and ministry. “What is demanded of theological work is the service of this word and attendance upon it.  This may not always be its primary goal, and often it is the most remote one, but it remains its ultimate and real goal.”[36] The service of theology can be described as preaching, teaching and counseling, but it must also take into account the practical of each day just as Christ did. It is an important service of the community that the theologian clearly accurately and truthfully teaches the Word. It is to this service that the Word is delivered to the world by both word and deed.

            No good work or act of service can be separated by the love of God. For without love there is no compassion. “There remains faith, hope, and love these three, but the greatest of these is love” (1 Cor 13:13). Paul states that without love all sounds like a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal. “Without love, theological work would be miserable polemics and a waste of words.”[37] In fact, most people are tired of words of theologians and are longing to see action and love. For love is the greatest gift of all. “Let us not delude ourselves about the fact that this love will constantly be present wherever theological work is done! As surely as those who do this work are creatures of flesh and blood, so surely will they be affected by this love that, for its own purposes, needs and desires both divinity and humanity?”[38]   For this love comes from above and is given freely to mankind as a gift from a living God. The word in the New Testament is Agape which is a total seeking and sovereign seeking of another. This is one of the marvels of evangelical theology in that He freely gave His son and He freely (agape) loves us and redeems us from our sinful nature. God fully embraces us as sons and daughters desiring that we would choose to walk in His fullness (Eph 3). Love is a vital and necessary component in theological work. “If the object of theological knowledge is Jesus Christ and, in him, perfect love, then Agape alone can be the dominant and formative prototype and principle of the theology.”[39] For this we give praise in that God is a God of covenant - He is a living personal God – A God of Agape love.      

Evangelical Theology – The Happy Science

“Evangelical theology is always a history; it takes place in flesh and blood, in the existence and action of a human being, within the theologian in the narrower and broader sense of the term”[40] It is the wonder of God that man may never dismiss for it is rooted in theology as the mysteries of God are unfolded through daily visitation and revelation. In this cycle of reflection, revelation, and personal encounters that captivate the heart and mind of the believer in their quest for truth. “Theology is a free science. It is a gift from God. It preserves its freedom by making use of every human capacity for perception, judgment, and speech, without being bound to any presupposed epistemology.”[41] It is a Happy Science because in its nature of freedom it provides man with the opportunity to seek the divine order of things both in the visible and invisible.

“A theologian may and should be a pleased or satisfied man, if not always on the sure grace then all the same deep within. To be “satisfied” in the good old sense of this word means to have found sufficiency in something.”[42]  A “happy theologian” is one who has found peace and sufficiency in their relationship with God and others. They have an internal peace that only comes from a personal relationship with the living God. As the “happy theologian” has an encounter with this truly loving God they desire to give to others for that is how God has made us. We are to go forth and touch lives within our Church and throughout the world.“Theology can only be a really free and happy science in a continually new performance of this voluntary offering. If it does not want to succumb to hardening of the arteries, barrenness, and stubborn fatigue, its work should at no step of the way become a routine or be done as if it were the action of automation.  Ever renewed, ever original, ever ready to be judged by God himself and by God alone, theology must be an act of prayer.[43]

Theologians Great and Small

            Barth proclaims“But there are none other than little theologians, a fact that, incidentally, is fundamental to the “existential” of theology. Even he who is little in the field of theology is overwhelmed by this object.” “The Word concerns mankind in all times and places, the theologian in his own time and place, and the world in its occupation with the routine problems of the everyday.”[44] As mysterious as the Word is in its entire intrinsic element one can understand why Barth feels that there are only little theologians. But, clearly there are those who have been studious and that we can learn from. Yes, the Word is fresh and remains a subject of wonderment as to it richness and depth to be explored both literal as well as fugitive dimensions. Personally, I would say that there are great theologians, yet there are many more little theologians. It is up to us to determine for ourselves whom we are willing to glean from. With the vast array of knowledge to attain it is little wonder why Barth would conclude that all are little for it is easy and truthful to say that there is still much to learn for all theologians. God breathes fresh revelation daily to those who seek Him.

Understanding of Theology

“To become and be a theologian is not a natural process but an incomparably concrete fact of grace. It is from astonishment in which alone a man can become and be a theologian. We become active through a spirit of gratitude to our creator.”[45] It is in this gratitude that we begin our pursuit for truth. There is a deed need within mankind to understand and have purpose in their life. There is also a knowing of right and wrong and desire to find peace and freedom within the circumstances of their life. The desire for a hope which is not seen is the person’s sincere search for the brighter things of life. It is the possibilities of what is around the corner that keeps the person focused with or without wavering as they going through the midst of the storm.  Those who have faith believe in this hope that God is a God of love and that He desires “good” for His children.

 “What is implied by the relationship between God’s covenant of grace and the human race is the theologian’s election, justification, sanctification and calling. His prayer and work are included, his joy and his sorrow.”[46] The theologian is one who embraces the joy and the sorrows know that as they walk through the valley of the shadow of death, they will fear no evil (Psm 23). They are eager to be disciples of God as good stewards in relationships, money, family, and environment. They also have a desire for wholeness within themselves knowing that if they are not well they cannot assist others. Therefore they search to love and understand themselves in regard to their relationship with their creator. Barth states that “There is no avoiding the fact that the living object of theology concerns the whole man.”[47]

 “Faith is the event by which the wonderment, concern, and commitment that make the theologian a theologian are distinguished from all other occurrences which, in their own way, might be noteworthy and memorable or might be given the same designation. “He believes, receives, and follows God and his Word as a man, by the enlistment and use of his normal human understanding. It allows the theologian to enabling and requiring him to affirm trust and obey.”[48]

 

This includes the times that the theologian is tested by fire so that he can be useful to God. For some it may be difficult to understand why a God of love would allow this process to happen, yet He knows the outcome and this is a precious beautiful jewel that can withstand much pressure and has the character and ability to reach the world with a loving humble hand. For is it not God’s desire that the whole world is saved and that no one will parish? Does He not know who can stand the fiery trials? If this wonderment, concern, and commitment to a God are the basis of our theology can we not trust His hand in our lives knowing that He will make all things good on our behalf?[49]  We are thus called to heal the wounded, to feed the hungry, to give drink to the thirsty, and prepare a home for the orphaned (Ish 61 & Matt 25). God is this hope where man fails. He is our promise, our hope, and stimulus according to our theology.

 “Jesus Christ is God’s work and word. He is the fire of God’s love, by which all theological existence is consumed even more radically than all human existence. If it is true that Jesus Christ is the object of theology, how could theological work is done other than in the shadow of the judgment passed upon man on the cross at Golgotha? All things are transparent through Christ.”[50]  “If we have died with Christ we believe (we trust) that we shall also live with him” (Rom 6:8). Therefore it is through this communion that we are satisfied as theologians- Communion with God and communion with the world.

Bonhoeffer, A.W. Tozer & Professor

            “It has been said that “a ‘Barthian theology’ is just as impossible as an ‘Einsteinian science’, but just as there is a pre-Einsteinian science and a post-Einsteinian science, so there is a pre-Barthian and post Barthian theology, for the contribution of Karl Barth to theology is like that of Albert Einstein to nature science, so deep-going and fundamental that it marks one of the great eras of advance in the whole history of the subject.”[51]

           

            As a professor of theology it makes perfect sense that Dr. Heath would have a picture of Karl Barth and Bonhoeffer in his home. Barth was a prominent writer, student, and teacher in Germany. His work touched the Christian resulted in a fresh view of theological exegesis, ethics, dogmatics, and preaching.[52] I enjoyed Barth’s book Evangelical Theology and though he may see everyone as little theologians – now I see him as a great theologian.

 Bonhoeffer was also a writer and famous theologian of his day and at the age of 25, he became the interpreter to American theologians of the “New Theology.”[53] In Bonhoeffer writings he stated that “We do injustice to Karl Barthif we take him as a philosopher; he is not and does not claim to be one; he is just a Christian theologian.”[54] Bonhoeffer went on to explain that a philosopher does not recognize the most important element and that is the revelation of God in Christ. He said that god has revealed Himself not in thought or ideals but in acts- reality, history, and deeds. Bonhoeffer also stated that Barth believed that “the world does not define God, but God defines the world.”[55]           A statement that I find disheartening and I believe that A.W. Tozer would agree is the “Karl Barth finds the Bible full of the testimony of awkwardness and foolishness of God’s revelation.”[56] Is this not why the Lord said that it that the foolish things to confound the wise (1 Cor 1:27).  It is truth that as Christians we are not to try and justify God to the world, but it is God who justifies the world. This has been done in Christ and it is our job to present Christ in hope that through faith the world may believe. “Away from Christ we live in our own overpowered and egocentric world, which is not the world of God.”[57] That is why we are told to be in the world but not of the world (Jhn 15:19).

            In Tozer’s writings from The Set of the Sail, he felt that Fundamentalism has never produced a great thinker, and that it gives way to real “independent thought.” He clearly stated that he was an evangelical. He said, “I accept the Bible as the very Word of God and believe with complete and restful confidence that it contains all things necessary to life and godliness.”[58] He felt that the problem with most theologians was that in there writings there were no original thought, but that of rehashing what had already been said. He saw C.S. Lewis as an apologist rather than as a creative religious writer, and that his weakness lie in almost a “total absence of moral urgency.” He felt the C.S. Lewis would never be a reformer. Tozer strongly felt that peoples thought where discouraged and stifled from the ability to think vigorously.

 “Modern gospel Christians are parrots, not eagles, and rather than sail out and up to explore the illimitable ranges of the kingdom of God they are content to sit safe on their familiar perches and repeat in a bright falsetto religious words and phrases the meaning of which they scarcely understand at all.”[59]

 

 I shudder to think what Tozer would think of me as he is so critical of a great writer such as C. S. Lewis. Tozer felt that a sanctified thinker of our times would not be a poet gazing at a sunset, but again I would beg to differ with him as while that man or woman is gazing at the sunset the Lord could speak to them and give them an original thought. Perhaps there is nothing wrong with what has already been taught and do we have the answers to so many questions that only God can answer. We continue to ask the Lord for insight, but can we learn to be content and satisfied even if we do not have all of the answers. Tozer said that with “Scriptures, a good historic sense and some intimate contact with the Christian religion as it is practiced currently and you have the raw material for creative thought.”[60]

Perhaps A.W. Tozer would have enjoyed conversation with Bonhoeffer and Barth or maybe not, but why not? If we listen - we can learn from all man of good sense. Surely, a man or woman who loves and seeks God longs for the mysteries of the kingdom. Many just fail to write their thoughts down so that others can read or perhaps they may not be know so that others may find their work important enough to spend the time to pick up and read. Is it not the true faith of Christ to love those even with the most simplest of minds. For they too were created by God!

Conclusion

“The theologian will then act not only with “a bit of bravery” concerning the solitude, doubt, and temptation that he must still endure so long as his hope in the Lord remains hidden by the exposure of his work to great danger; he will also know how to endure and bear all this in alacristas, hilaritas, and even laetitia spiritualis (to speak with Calvin), in alacrity, hilarity, and spiritual joy, in the joyousness of the Holy Spirit. He will endure all this as the No which is nevertheless only the husk of the Yes, a Yes which is valid even for him at this very time and place and which, at the last, will break through with irresistible power.[61]

 

A.W. Tozer said that “the most important and profitable study any of us can engage in is without question the study of theology.”[62] It is important for people have a deep desire to understand themselves, humanity, all of creation and the God head. Yes, Tozer is correct is saying that we “learn with difficulty, forget easily and suffer many distractions.”[63] There is much in life that is difficult to understand, but I believe that with faith and determination to seek for truth our God will reveal to us what is necessary for our journey at the perfect moment. God makes all kinds of people with many interests, talents and abilities. It is important that we appreciate each person’s uniqueness and what they have to give to our community. We must always remember that the greatest gift that we can give is love and to most people this is what they are starving for - they just want to be loved. Can we love in all our thinking and wisdom? For is this not the greatest test of the Evangelical Theologian to express love - for God is love.

 

 

Bibliography

Barth, Karl. "Evangelical Theology: An Introduction." Grand Rapids Michigan:

William Eerdmans Publishing Company, 1963.

Bonhoeffer's Lecture on Karl Barth's "Crisis Theology. Performed by Bohoeffer. Union

Theological Seminary, New York. 1931.

"Karl Barth Correspondence." A.W. Tozer Theological Siminary, 2009.

Theopedia. http://www.theopedia.com/Karl_Barth (accessed April 5, 2010).

Tozer, A.W. "The Set of the Sail: Direction for Your Spiritual Journey."

Compiled by: Chicago friend Harry Verploegh.

Tozer, A. W.. There is No Substitute for Theology, "in:: That Incredible Christian.

 

 

                 



[1] (Barth 1963, v)

[2] (n.d.1)

[3] Barth 1963

[4] Barth 1963, 5.

[5] Barth 1963, 20.

[6] Barth 1963,27.

[7] Barth 1963,28.

[8] Barth 1963, 32.

[9] Barth 1963, 33.

[10] Barth 1963, 39.

[11] Barth 1963,40.

[12] Barth 1963, 52.

[13] Barth 1963, 54.

[14] Barth 1963, 56

[15] Barth 1963, 65

[16] Barth 1963, 67.

[17] Barth 1963 82.

[18] Barth 1963, 85

[19] Barth 1963, 89.

[20] Barth 1963, 99.

[21] Barth 1963, 101.

[22] Barth 1963, 115.

[23] Barth 1963, 118.

[24] Barth 1963, 119.

[25] Barth 1963, 131.

[26] Barth 1963, 133.

[27] Barth 1963, 144.

[28] Barth 1963, 145.

[29] Barth 1963, 149.

[30] Barth 1963, 160.

[31]Barth 1963, 163.

[32] Barth 1963, 166.

[33] Barth 193, 173.

[34] Barth 1963, 180.

[35] Barth 1963, 181.

[36] Barth 1963, 187.

[37] Barth 1963, 197.

[38] Barth 1963, 199.

[39] Barth 1963, 203.

[40] Barth 1963, 63.

[41] Barth 1963, 91.

[42] Barth 1963, 94-95.

[43] Barth 1963, 167.

[44] Barth 1963, 77-78

[45] Barth 1963, 73.

[46] Barth 1963, 83

[47] Barth 1963, 83.

[48] Barth 1963, 100.

[49] Barth 1963, 97.

[50] Barth 1963, 153

[51] Theopedia, 2.

[52] Theopedia, 2.

[53] Bonhoeffer 1931, 1.

[54] Bonhoeffer 1931, 1.

[55] Bonhoeffer 1931, 1.

[56] Bonhoeffer 1931.2.

[57] Bonhoeffer 1931, 2.

[58] Tozer, The Set of the Sail, 1.

[59] Tozer,The Set of the Sail, 2.

[60] Tozer, The Set of the Sail, 2.

[61] Barth 1963, 155-156

[62] Tozer, There is No Substitute for Theology, 1.

[63] Tozer, There is No Substitute for Theology, 2.