Paul among the Evangelicals, §4: Barth on Rom. 5

4. Karl Barth on Rom. 5:12-21

Does Barth have a contribution to make to this ongoing debate within evangelicalism? I propose that the answer is yes, but he enters the debate by first rejecting both sides. I will clarify Barth’s relation to the topic of universalism in the following ways: (1) first, I will discuss the ways in which Barth rejects both sides in the evangelical debate; (2) second, I will briefly note how Barth affirms both sides; and (3) third, I will suggest ways in which Barth’s interpretation of Rom. 5:12-21 furthers the conversation about universalism. In what follows, I focus my attention on the early Barth of Romans II (first published in 1922)[37] as the basis for my conversation between Barth and evangelicals.[38]


37. ET: Karl Barth, The Epistle to the Romans, trans. Edwyn C. Hoskyns (London: Oxford University Press, 1933); hereafter Romans.

38. Certainly, Barth’s more mature theology in the Church Dogmatics presents a much more christocentric account of salvation, which is equally universal in scope. See CD IV/1, 512-13 for a brief discussion of Rom. 5:12-21. For a reading of Rom. 5:12-21 which takes these later christological insights into full consideration, see Karl Barth, Christ and Adam: Man and Humanity in Romans 5, trans. T. A. Smail (New York: Harper & Brothers, 1956).


What a tiny, little post you have here, David. I'm sure it feels very inadequate alongside your usual missives. Perhaps you should give more attention to your posts' feelings in the future...

Darren said…
Sounds fascinating! Where is the rest of this delicious post? Ahh, you must be getting ready to hit us with an 18-page Section 1.1a. ;) Can't wait.
If I could keep the posts shorter, I would. :)

Sadly, Darren, I don't have a lengthy tome to offer. The rest of the series is not very long, but hopefully still interesting and useful.