During his only visit to the United States, in 1962, Karl Barth delivered a series of lectures at the University of Chicago (and later at Princeton Seminary). These lectures, complemented by twelve additional chapters, comprise the text of this introductory presentation of evangelical theology.
Intended neither as a "Credo" nor a new outline of dogmatics, this book is what Barth calls a "short account of what, up to now, I have basically sought, learned, and represented from among all the paths and detours in the field of evangelical theology." Barth's theology is evangelical because it is God-centered-- it stresses God's encounter with man instead of man's discovery of God. Its object, source, and norm is the God of the gospel.
It is a theology which, says Barth, "nourished by the hidden sources of the documents of Israel's history, first achieved unambiguous expression in the writings of the New Testament evangelists, apostles, and prophets; it is also, moreover, the theology newly discovered and accepted by the Reformation of the sixteenth the century."
Barth does not intend evangelical theology to be understood in a denominational or exclusive sense, because "evangelical" refers primarily to the Bible. For Barth, theology ought never to enter a competition for which is the best among the many and various human ways of talking about God; thus he does not seek to anoint evangelical theology to a place of honor by putting down other theologies.
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