Review of Yocum, Ecclesial Mediation in Karl Barth

My friend, WTM, has written an excellent review of John Yocum’s 2004 publication, Ecclesial Mediation in Karl Barth, part of the Ashgate series on Barth studies. WTM’s own constructive interests are in sacramentology, particular the sacrament of baptism. Barth’s rejection of baptism as a sacrament is a major concern for people like T. F. Torrance and John Webster, the latter under whom Yocum completed his doctorate.

Comments

WTM said…
This comment has been removed by the author.
WTM said…
Thanks for the press. ;-)

Also, you left an important name out of your list of those who wish Barth hadn't rejection baptism as a sacrament: George Hunsinger.
something i have always wondered, and maybe you can tell me.

Barth's call for the abandonment of infant baptism was, as we know, not heeded by the Reformed Churches. was this true for the churches he himself attended? (it's hard to go long in any parish i've even been associated with without being present for many infant baptisms!)

what did he do at those services?

as an Anglican, this is a sort of crucial question. one often hears that the test of Anglican "in-the-pew" orthodoxy is whether one can join in the liturgy without crossing your fingers; this goes hand-in-hand with viewing liturgy as "primary theology" and dogmatics as secondary to it, and responsible to it.

we Anglicans tend to be very focused on the actual reality of liturgical practice and individual engagement with it, so i'm wondering here about Barth's. do you happen to know?
Alex said…
Someone please explain why the decision to call something a sacrament or not is important. Isn't kind of like I say to-may-to you say to-mah-to sort of discussion. For example, the Catholics have marriage as a sacrament, the Protestants don't. But we both take part in just the same. The same is true of baptism. What happens when we stop calling baptism a sacrament, but keep practicing it that is any different from what happens when we call baptism a sacrament and practice it?
WTM said…
The church, no matter what its form, has certain practices. The question is: What do these practices mean?

Depending on how you answer that question, it may or may not simply be enough that the practice is performed.