Karl Barth on the Reformation

By Tim Butler | Posted at 12:24 AM

Today's helping of Karl Barth, courtesy of Lewis Spitz's anthology, Interpretations of the Reformation (p. 156):

[T]he Evangelical church in the Reformation sense is there and only there where the concern is for the pure teaching of the Christian truths, where the whole life of the church Is determined and measured by this one task. But one must pay close attention. The Reformers were concerned about the pure teaching of those truths.

Barth challenges the reader as he explores this concept of “pure teaching” and relates it to the proper role of faith in the life of the Christian. The “is there” in the first sentence in the quote is not a careless wording: Barth is astutely aware that the orthodox, Evangelical teaching of the Reformation is always at risk for falling into a cold, dead orthodoxy vacant of living faith.

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