Almost every time I say to a colleague or friend who is knowledgeable about Karl Barth’s theology that he was a universalist they answer negatively (“Nein!”
So, about a year ago, I decided to dig into Church Dogmatics again and see what I could come up with. I studied Barth’s doctrine of election some years ago and concluded that it logically leads to universalism even if Barth himself denied that he was a universalist. I knew that four great theological interpreters of Barth all pointed to the same conclusion (Berkouwer, Balthasar, Bloesch and Brunner).
As a result of this most recent investigation into the matter, I have written an article that I will post here soon. I think it resolves the issue once and for all–with clear quotations from fine print in CD.
I do not claim that this article contains anything previously undiscovered or unheard of. However, I do not know of anything in print that covers precisely the same ground (e.g., including Barth’s views regarding free will).
My hope is that you, my dear readers, will disseminate this article (attributing it to me, of course) far and wide so that students of Barth have access to it.
Why, you ask, do I not have it published in a theological journal? Well, to be frank, this is a better way to assure readership. My blog reaches many more people than most theological journals. And people who “google” “Barth” and “univeralism” will see it. Many people will never look into a theological journal.
So was Barth a universalist? The answer is not as simple as it seems. I will give it here soon. Watch for it, please. And tell your friends and relatives and students and pets.