Response to Critics (of My Essay on Barth’s Universalism)

Response to Critics (of My Essay on Barth’s Universalism) March 11, 2013

So, as I predicted, some have criticized my essay (immediately preceding post on Barth’s universalism) for being “unoriginal.” I thought I said that I wasn’t trying to be original. I was trying to make Barth’s view accessible to the masses of people interested in Barth who will never read a journal article by Hunsinger, et al., or Church Dogmatics.

Also, I did not want to do a literature search and review of recent arguments and conclusions about the subject. I wanted to go directly to the source, Church Dogmatics, and find out what Barth himself said. I’m afraid many people are getting their opinions about Barth’s theology from Barth scholars of the past one or two decades–especially out of Princeton. (Nothing against them, but people ought to read Barth if possible and consider other interpretations of Barth than those.)

One of my favorite books about Barth’s theology is by non-Barthian scholar Gary Dorrien (Theology without Weapons). But, unfortunately, his insights are being ignored by those who rush to read only the Princeton Barth scholars.

If my conclusions are the same as Hunsinger’s or others’, fine. My intention was not to say something new and different; it was to provide key quotes from CD that many seem to ignore or never have read and suggest what they might have to say about the question of Barth’s universalism. If my conclusions are the same as someone else’s, well, then, that’s supportive of my thesis.

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