Monday, May 21, 2007

Trueman on Barth and Berkouwer

Carl Trueman on the theologies of Barth and Berkouwer:
In practice, the theologies of Barth and Berkouwer have really proved sterile as ecclesiastical programs. The best one can say is that they failed to stop the collapse of vital church life in Scotland, Germany, Switzerland, and the Netherlands. For all of their criticisms of the 'static' God of orthodoxy, Barthian preaching is, in my experience, sterile and dull, and fails miserably to confront listeners with the God of the Bible. I personally know of no church which has really grown through Barthian preaching. So I would summarise by saying that I am very grateful to Barth and Berkouwer for directing me to serious dogmatics, for fuelling my interest in theology and doctrinal history, and for raising big and important questions in my mind; and I still enjoy reading them on occasion for the tremendous intellectual stimulation and challenge they provide; but I have ultimately found little of any real use, theological or practical, in the actual content of their theologies.