What if I told you the pastor of your church was retiring, and your church decided upon appointing a man name Carl Bart. Mr. Bart is presently having an extra-marital affair, and on top of this, in his published writings explicitly denounced the inerrancy of Scripture?
Ed: This article was made when I was a Protestant and upon greater learning and reflection my thoughts may have evolved.
You may say, “I am going to have to look for a new church. Heck, we should not even accept him as a member!”
If he was having a homosexual extramarital affair you would likely say, “Man, I’m leaving the PCUSA!”*
So, when I came across an article that said “In Defense of Karl Barth” I made two simple observations:
- Barth likely was not even saved as he was a philanderer.
- This minimizes any contributions he has made in theology, as he did not exhibit the love of Christ.
Simple stuff, right? I mean, wouldn’t we have identical concerns if our church was going to appoint Mr. Bart?
Common sense, not being so common, resulted in personal attacks such as me committing the sin of “reviling,” that I was “unChristian,” and ” I would be more concerned about your spiritual well-being then Barth’s.” The last personal attack was the most concerning one, being that as far as I know I am not committing any conscious, unrepentant sins and I uphold the inerrancy of Scripture.
On the internet, the true “us” comes out. For one, we see people’s hero worship on display. While no one in person would call a man like Carl Bart a hero, Barth was literally given the title. I suppose more due to his celebrity than his theological “contributions.” His defenders actually could not name any of his theological contributions, other than the fact Barth was not as bad as mainstream liberals of his day. When asked to give any specific examples of what he taught, they purposely avoided doing so (perhaps because no one, even Barth himself, probably understands what he taught.)
People have their heroes and sacred cows. You have the James White people that think he could say nothing wrong. There are the John Piper fanboys. Here, there are the Barth-bots. As far as I know, there are no Craig Truglia fans but that’s a good thing. I do not want people uncritically defending every wrong thing I say.
Online, we also have a tendency quickly attack people when we cannot contradict the content of their arguments. Soon, some people start with the death threats. This happened to me once, nine years ago. I turned the other cheek and commended myself to God.
What is wrong about Barth? “Okay,” you might say. “But can’t you understand you went too far when calling Barth’s salvation into question?”
Now, why do I think Barth is in Hell just as much as I think Mr. Bart would go to Hell if he does not repent?
- Now that Barth is dead, and his personal correspondence is readily available, we can say with a degree of certainty that he never repented of an adulterous relationship which by his own admission tore his family apart.
- He rejected the inerrancy of Scripture, which is a heretical doctrine. He waxed on poetically and made doozies such as, “But the vulnerability of the Bible, i.e., its capacity for error, also extends to its religious and theological content.”
The above are not my opinions. They are facts. Now, being the facts do not and cannot bring us into the mind of Barth at any time after his last writings, we cannot be completely sure he did not repent. Even Hitler the microsecond after he pulled the trigger might have had a genuine repentance. However, I am not going to feel bad to make the statement, “Hitler’s in Hell,” because by all appearances he should very well be.
Why spill all this e-ink complaining about Barth-bots?** Here is my main concern: In the defense of their hero, they dangerously reject the necessity of repentance and righteousness in the lives of Christians. One writes, “[Y]our tone are [sic] much more in line with sixteenth-century groups such as Anabaptists and the Catholic humanists than the Reformers themselves.”
Claims such as my detractors and Verduin‘s aside, the Reformers were explicit in teaching that saving faith must have works. Calvin writes:
He says that faith is dead, being by itself, that is, when destitute of good works. We hence conclude that it is indeed no faith, for when dead, it does not properly retain the name. The Sophists plead this expression and say, that some sort of faith is found by itself; but this frivolous caviling is easily refuted; for it is sufficiently evident that the Apostle reasons from what is impossible, as Paul calls an angel anathema, if he attempted to subvert the gospel (Comments on James 2:17).
Luther writes similarly:
We say that justification is effective without works, not that faith is without works. For that faith which lacks fruit is not an efficacious but a feigned faith (see source).
So, when I quote Heb 10:26, 1 Cor 6:9-10, and similar Scriptures to state that Christian must not and cannot live lives of unrepentant sin it should be to our great, mutual concern that “Christians” accuse the idea of being “Catholic” or “You’re teaching faith + works for salvation.” Such believers are perilously close to affirming the condemned statements of Paul’s enemies who would say things such as, “Let us sin so grace may abound.”
Yet, the Scripture says, “This is His commandment, that we believe in the name of His Son Jesus Christ, and love one another, just as He commanded us” (1 John 3:23).
Barth said he believed in Christ, but he did not believe in the authenticity of the Scripture that reveals Christ to us. He loved the brethren in a general sense (for example, he opposed Hitler), but he was a grossly negligent husband, doing wrong against his sister in Christ. How does the love of God exist in such a man who unrepentantly acts with such hatred against his own wife and family?
Ultimately, Karl Barth is a cautionary tale of how social status, hubris, miseducation (snobby intellectualism and the like), and sinful desire can lead a very intelligent man to justify a bohemian, hedonistic lifestyle. The result? He ruined his own life and those around him.
Christians must affirm the necessity of dying onto ourselves and carrying our cross. Barth did not do this. Let us no justify a man whose actions and teachings are so heinous.***
*It is important for Christians to realize that heterosexual extra-marital affairs are just as heinous to God as homosexual ones. Both merit the death penalty in Leviticus and both are not behaviors of men and women that will inherit the Kingdom of God according to Paul in 1 Cor 6.
**Pardon the term “bots,” because I am writing a blog I sometimes go for click-baity, fun sounding titles. A title such as, “My responses to Barth fans about the bankruptcy of his theology and personal life” does not fit on Google.
***I am not an expert on Barth and will happily be corrected on this. However, his writing style is so confusing and long winded, it is likely none of us normal people can understand him. In fact, it is arguable whether or not Barth himself really could have collected his own thoughts and unequivocally stated what he believed on most subjects. Intellectually, it leads me to question whether he even intended to be understood, or if he preferred to write in a style that appeared impressive but lacked substantive content. And yes, it is possible to be a prolific writer and say little of substance.
Seriously! Apparently you don’t take unfounded slander based on ignorance as sinful as other things. Why even post an article like this when it is so uninformed and traffics in caricature in every other sentence you write.
I must respectfully disagree. It is well known that Barth was a philanderer and did not uphold the inerrancy of Scripture. Do not take issue with me for merely restating the truth.
For your sake, I hope you don’t vacation alone with your secretary and have her by your side in your private life all the time and write her love letters.
Craig, if I were you I would exercise more caution in pronouncing judgment. Remember, you will answer to God for this.
Also, your comments to Bobby are completely uncalled for. Bobby is a personal friend whose integrity I highly respect, and turning this personally against him is way out of line.
Ok, I don’t know Bobby or you, or anyone. DO you actually have something to say about Barth or you just want to keep writing about your indignation? If you are simply unhappy and want to vent, blog about it on your own site. You are not adding content here. I’ll give you another chance but after that I’ll mark your replies as spam because arguing whether or not me, you, Bobby, Louie, Obama or anyone else is a poopy-head is not a good use of our time.
Craig, I highly doubt that you are willing to “be happily corrected on this”. I have extensive documentation from my interactions with you on Facebook that demonstrates that you are neither willing nor happy to be corrected.
If you have facts that show that Barth was faithful to his wife and make sense of all the things he wrote against the inerrancy of Scripture, then by all means bring them up.
Anyone can see your unwillingness to be corrected for themselves here: https://www.facebook.com/groups/332972230217718/permalink/577185562463049/
I think the only thing people will see there is you personally attacking me and saying nothing to Barth’s defense. I am not sure what you are trying to prove here.
Only your unwillingness to listen and learn. That is not an attack. It is statement of fact.
Okay, so do you actually want to say something in Barth’s defense or will you live up to the anonymous caricature I made of you in the article (to save you embarrassment)?
I’m glad we can at least agree on one thing: your article has presented a caricature of me rather than the truth.
And based on others I know who have read and responded to this post elsewhere, it is you who should be embarrassed.
I hope you are happy venting and not adding anything. Anything beyond this, not of content, will be deleted. Thanks and may God bless you.
Upon continued thought on this matter I just wanted to say this to you and a few others: I just want you to be aware that I disagree in the strongest terms, but it is my wishes for you to known that I have no ill will against you and it is my hope and prayer you be convinced of my perspective.
Thank you Craig. I appreciate this.
You should read about Barth’s reformulation of election. A good place to start with Barth is The Cambridge Companion to Karl Barth edited by John Webster.
Inerrancy is not an article of the faith, it is an adiaphora where there is room to disagree; even among Reformed/evangelical Christians. That said, Barth is thoroughly bible centric (see his book The Theology of the Reformed Confessions and his CD); the reason that he rejects innerancy is not because of he is not committed to sola Scriptura (he is!), or the authority of Scripture (he is!); it is because he works from a disparate theory of revelation (i.e. his actualism being in becoming etc and conception of objectivism primary/secondary) from the one that funds inerrancy.
That’s why I originally said what you wrote is uninformed, because it is.
You yourself admit that you used the language of “bot” as click-bait. When you post an article from a motivation like that you might as well not post it. Because those who agree with you will just say ‘amen,’ and those who know Barth’s theology will just think that what you wrote is silly. But I felt compelled to at least say something.
Sure, but again I am not too concerned with the term bot as I am with the content of the article. If it gets the bots to click on it and realize that their faith alone Gospel is not the same faith alone of the reformers, or the Scriptures, then so much the better.
Rejecting inerrancy is heresy. The fathers of the church universally taught the Scripture is without error, direct revelation from God. The Scripture itself says as much concerning itself 2 Tim 3:16. Barth cannot be sola scriptura/Biblecentric and reject inerrancy. Barth was a 20th century intellectual whose ideas were pretentious, and have no applicability to actually understanding the Scripture correctly (because you can’t understand it correctly if you think it can err).
Read John Webster’s Holy Scripture a Dogmatic Sketch for a good take on the nature and function of Scripture in the Triune economy.
May I also make a reading recommendation? Start with Hebrews and 1 John. Then, read 2 Peter. I think a lot of your objections would be settled without going into systematic theology.
Facts are tricky things. Where does it say that Barth did commit adultery, of a physical stripe? Perhaps spiritually he did, but haven’t all, pre, post, and during a marriage? I think that is the force behind Jesus’ expansion on the commandment. Perhaps his attempt at divorce could be interpreted as him commuting adultery, but you’re only interested in facts. And in that little blurb you cite there is nothing to say that he did commit adultery. So there is reasonable doubt. Also, what if his assistant would have been a man? Could a friendship like that of David and Jonathan be at play? Could Barth and her be friends of the upmost? Would you have accused him of homosexuality just because he expressed love to a friend? Also, do you use this critical lense on your own life, lest the two by four finds a speck in another’s eye.
And why the need for a letter, or other physical documentation of his repentance? Do you keep tally of yours? Did Peter, from our physical evidence, repent when Paul confronted him in Galatians? If we’re playing only with “facts,” then I guess not. Or a truncated reading of the Peter epistles to justify your insistence on facts.
Whether or not Barth did commit adultery, is beyond my faculties to judge, as of right now. If he did, God forgives. If he didnt, God forgave his other sins. I hope you read others this critically. It would only be fair.
Lastly, make sure you don’t sin before your next blog post, for it seems that would render your theological musings inept!
“Where does it say that Barth did commit adultery, of a physical stripe?”
They avoided ever being that explicit as far as I know in their letters (which are in German, so the saucier details might have not been translated.) However, whatever the nature of the relationship it was interpreted by his wife and family as an affair and treated as such. So, the damage was done and Barth, failing as spiritual head as the household, never repented.
” Perhaps spiritually he did, but haven’t all, pre, post, and during a marriage?”
Not habitually so. Paul writes, “9 Or do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived; neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor [f]effeminate, nor homosexuals, 10 nor thieves, nor thecovetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers, will inherit the kingdom of God. 11 Such were some of you…”
Such WERE some of you. So, CHristians do not continue in adultery over a lifetime, just as they do not continue in drunkeness, homosexuality, theft, and etcetera.
“And in that little blurb you cite there is nothing to say that he did commit adultery. So there is reasonable doubt.”
I have no doubt that he sinned egregiously, as he hurt his family and he did not relent. Further, just because I do not have a picture of Barth and Catherine in a bed room together, that does not mean that none of us can state the obvious with the slight proviso that perhaps, there is a slight chance of all of this being a massive misunderstanding. However, we make positive determinations of guilt based upon much less evidence every day. If your wife was texting another man every day and it was the same thing in Barth’s and Catherine’s love letters, you would likely jump to the same conclusion. So, let’s be real about this.
” Also, what if his assistant would have been a man? Could a friendship like that of David and Jonathan be at play?”
Not appropriate for men and women, when it hurts the woman you are already married to especially. The Scripture says to avoid even the appearance of evil. But then again, Barth doubted the inerrancy of Scripture so no wonder he did not regulate any of his life by it.
“And why the need for a letter, or other physical documentation of his repentance? Do you keep tally of yours?”
No, though if you had all of my personal correspondence you would be able to see it. We have his because he is a dead public figure. It leaves little doubt, unless your standard of doubt is so low that then we can assume Hitler, Himmler, and many others might have repented too.
“Did Peter, from our physical evidence, repent when Paul confronted him in Galatians?”
Of course. In 2 Peter he calls Paul’s letters Scripture. This obviously endorses Paul’s conclusion, which is the whole pretext of Galatians.
“If he did, God forgives. If he didnt, God forgave his other sins.”
You fundamentally misunderstand the Scripture: ‘For if we go on sinning willfully after receiving the knowledge of the truth, there no longer remains a sacrifice for sins” (Heb 10:26).
Barth is a cautionary tale. To treat it as anything else is a grave injustice.
You’ve confirmed my hypotheses. Thanks for the response.
I just want you to be aware that I disagree in the strongest terms, but it is my wishes for you to known that I have no ill will against you and it is my hope and prayer you be convinced of my perspective.
Inerrancy as a term was not around during the patristic period (like I said Barth fully affirmed the authority and centrality of Holy Scripture–I told you why he rejected inerrancy, but you just ignored that). You aren’t willing to engage with integrity, it seems. I should’ve known.
Of course the word was not around, but it was affirmed and again 2 Tim 3:16 says that it is so. But if you read the article you would see that Barth even said the Scripture was wrong about doctrine. Barth’s romance would pre-empt him from becoming a member in most conservative churches. I honestly cannot begin understanding your position. It really seems to me that Barth is a famous public figure and you defend him, giving him a pass on many things you would not on less famous people who would want to join your church or perhaps be your next pastor.
2 Timothy 3:16 says all scripture is “God-breathed” or “God-inspired”. The human writers of the ancient text of Scripture, which includes various literary genres, wouldn’t have known what to do with a modernist category like “inerrancy”. Inerrancy as a category deals with facts and the Scriptures as a whole are not nearly as concerned with transmission of facts as narration of truth. Barth would have no problem affirming 2 Timothy 3:16, although I expect he would take issue with your narrow reading of it. He tended to raise the hackles of fundamentalists who thought they had it all figured out.
Unless God breaths out error, it is inerrant.
Good grief, sure glad I don’t live in your world … but know this, long after you’re dust and ashes, folks will still be reading the Dogmatics, with gratitude.
I just want you to be aware that I disagree in the strongest terms, but it is my wishes for you to known that I have no ill will against you and it is my hope and prayer you be convinced of my perspective.
No, the concept of inerrancy was not present. You’re equivocating, using a verse that discusses inspiration (which is also a tricky thing to develop) and equating it with a modern concept of inerrancy. The patristics, nor did the post reformed orthodox affirm the concept of inerrancy that we think of today when we think inerrancy (which was developed in reaction to the higher criticism of the late 19th and early 20th centuries — itself being a rationalist not genuinely Christian or confessional concept).
My position in regard to Barth is that he was a sinner who blew it (if he did!) just like you and I blow it on a regular basis (I know we do because the Bible tells me so). But you are surely wrong to conflate Barth and Barth’s ideas as if in spite of his sin (which we all have) he is unable to communicate anything Christ magnifying. And this is where you are failing, Craig. You speak of Barth’s theology and claim that it is unintelligible and incoherent, but then you haven’t even engaged with Barth’s theology. I noted some theological contributions that Barth has made in regard to election/reprobation; theory of revelation; offering an alternative “metaphysic” to the substance metaphysic that funds classical theism; offering a Christ concentrated hermeneutic that sees Jesus at the center of everything in intensive principial ways; and so on and so forth. If you want to critique Barth, like so many classically Reformed do (like those at Westminster Theological Seminary through Cornelius Van Til’s legacy), then why don’t you, like them, focus on critiquing Barth’s actual theology instead of attacking the man (ad hominen)? Why must you poison the well before you ever get to his theology? I would contend it’s because you have never gotten to his theology, and you haven’t spent the time and energy to actually critically evaluate Barth’s offering as a theologian for the church. As I’ve been noting, there are critics of Barth, particularly those from Westminster Theological Seminary, critics who hold to inerrancy, etc. and yet their tact in critique is to engage with Barth’s actual theology. Like they will critique his concept of time and eternity; or they will go after his bibliology (but they will do so theologically and critically); or they will attempt to argue that Barth’s theology and hermeneutic is christomonistic. They will argue other things too. But they don’t engage in the types of non-starting arguments you are.
You haven’t offered a critique of Barth’s theology, you have simply taken the easy way out and engaged in a fallacious smear campaign. Barth’s theology is revolutionary/reformulating and not all that difficult to understand. Sometimes tho, to understand Barth’s theology, the person attempting to understand it must first grasp their own; do you understand your own position? Are you simply a 5 point Calvinist (i.e. Reformed Baptist); are you into Federal/Covenantal theology? Your blog title is Reformed Christian Theology, what brand of Reformed Christian theology are you? Understanding that will give you a critical space to understand where Barth is coming from as a Reformed theologian; and it will make his ideas much more understandable and coherent to you. So the fact that you assert that Barth’s theology is unintelligible indicates to me that you might not actually have a strong grasp on your own position theologically; I don’t know.
I must respectfully disagree, you had authors like Origen saying that every turn of phrase and even the grammar were inspired. Augustine wrote that the translators of the LXX were inerrant in their translation so high did the fathers view the doctrine of inerrancy (though they did not have that name for the doctrine.) So, I think you must withdraw this point, as the facts of history would compell you to.
I give you the last word,
Origen, the heretic? Plus to conflate inerrant with inspired is a category mistake; one does not necessarily lead to the other (not even BB Warfield thought so). Why should I withdraw my point? You haven’t defeated my original point about inerrancy (why are you so triumphalist in everything you assert?). It is just anachronistic (which the facts of history clarify) for you to conflate inerrancy with what Augustine believed about the Bible. Like I noted, there is more than one understanding of even inerrancy (see Millard Erickson). The conception of inerrancy moderns in North America have that developed out the fundamentalist controversies and the “Battle for the Bible” is not even close to what you’ll find in the patristics or even the post reformed orthodox–they all worked from within a confessional mode, the developers of the type of inerrancy you are not being careful about worked from a mode of apologetics against higher critics of the bible and the history of religions. So inerrancy in this frame becomes a logical rationalization about Scripture constructed by men which Scripture now requires to be God’s Word. That’s not the conception of inerrancy that Augustine or any other patristic who wrote on such things would maintain. You can find equivocal links between then and now, but it’s just equivocal.
The following from JND Kelly may be useful for understanding how the ancient Church understood the inerrnacy of Scripture:
“Origen,’ indeed, and Gregory of Nazianzus 10 after him,
thought they could perceive the activity of the divine wisdom
in the most trifling verbal minutiae, even in the solecisms,” of
the sacred books. This attitude was fairly widespread, and
although some of the fathers elaborated it more than others,
their general view was that Scripture was not only exempt
from error but contained nothing that was superfluous. ‘There is not one jot or tittle’, declared 1 Origen, ‘written in the Bible
which does not accomplish its special work for those capable of
using it.’ In similar vein Jerome stated 2 that ‘in the divine
Scriptures every word, syllable, accent and point is packed with
meaning’; those who slighted the commonplace contents of
Philemon were simply failing, through ignorance, to appreciate
the power and wisdom they concealed. 3 According to Chryso-
stom, 4 even the chronological figures and the catalogues of
names included in Scripture have their profound value; and he
devoted two homilies to the salutations in Romans 16 in the
hope 5 of convincing his auditors that treasures of wisdom lie
hid in every word spoken by the Spirit.” (Early Christian Doctrines, p. 62).
Further Augustine writes concerning the LXX:
“…the Hebrew and Greek and their translation is now by custom called the Septuagint. It is reported, indeed, that there was an agreement in their words so wonderful, stupendous, and plainly divine, that when they had sat at this work, each one apart (for so it pleased Ptolemy to test their fidelity), they differed from each other in no word which had the same meaning and force, or, in the order of the words; but, as if the translators had been one, so what all had translated was one, because in very deed the one Spirit had been in them all. And they received so wonderful a gift of God, in order that the authority of these Scriptures might be commended not as human but divine, as indeed it was, for the benefit of the nations who should at some time believe, as we now see them doing” (Book 18, Chap 42).
I’ve spent lots of time with Kelly in graduate studies. But you apparently are just going to ignore my point about your continued equivocation with inerrancy so there’s no point in going further. You’re only interested in being right, and you’re not even at that level.
I am not quite sure why you wouldn’t take what Origen, Jerome, or Augustine said there and interpret it as statements on inerrancy, as Kely himself used the word “inerrant” in describing them.
Because, Craig, inerrancy as a doctrine for evangelicals and Reformed only developed in the early 20th century. When Kelly, as a European, uses the word to describe the patristics he would be using it in a denotative sense. But the way you and I have received the term in an evangelical Reformed context has a connotative sense which I’ve already explained earlier.
Biblical inerrancy, as formulated in the “Chicago Statement on Biblical Inerrancy”, is the doctrine that the Bible “is without error or fault in all its teaching”; or, at least, that “Scripture in the original manuscripts does not affirm anything that is contrary to fact.” Certainly this was in the purview of what the ECFs were speaking of quoted by Kelly. It appears you, and I would presume others, are conflating inerrancy with literalism.
No not at all, Craig. You seem to be unaware of inerrancy’s development in the Fundamentalist period; particularly as articulated by the old princetonians.
But why should we be arguing about that? The word simply means “without error.” This is how I am using it, Kelly is using it, and such a meaning is affirmed by mainstream reformed theologians like RC Sproul, Macarthur and others who signed The Chicago Statement on Biblical Inerrancy.
Barth, on the other hand, specifically made the statement that the Scriptures taught things that are both factually and theologically “wrong.” He clearly did not uphold an orthodox view of inerrancy. I am unsure why you continue to debate this point.
Just a note on Origen:
Although he certainly held for a thorough inspiration of the text of Sacred Scripture, he did not hold that there was a literal meaning for every part of Scripture. If I remember correctly, he even goes so far as to say Scripture says something false in order to teach us certain things. So although he is a witness to the inspiration of Scripture, I don’t think he held for inerrancy along the lines of most Protestants.
“he did not hold that there was a literal meaning for every part of Scripture. ”
This does not contradict inerrancy, however. When Solomon writes that’s his wife’s breasts are like leaping gazelles, no one takes that literally. While Origen would have a much looser allegorical criteria then most in the modern day, reading the Scripture allegorically does not deny inerrancy.
One more note, this on Augustine:
In the City of God, (from which I think you drew the quote on the LXX) Augustine will comment on a discrepancy between the Hebrew and the Greek of Jonah on a certain factual matter (concerning the number of days something took, whether 40 or 3). Augustine seems to be indifferent about the truth of the matter, but accepts that something could be learned from either number. This is just to say that inspiration and inerrancy (as commonly understood) are not quite the same in the Fathers.
Another little note:
In the Vatican II document on Revelation, Dei Verbum, there were early drafts that used the word “inerrancy” but it was taken out after further discussion. Here is how it ended up phrasing it:
“Therefore, since everything asserted by the inspired authors or sacred writers must be held to be asserted by the Holy Spirit, it follows that the books of Scripture must be acknowledged as teaching solidly, faithfully and without error that truth which God wanted put into sacred writings for the sake of salvation.” (DV 11)
This is certainly a broader account of inerrancy than what is typically meant by the term.
I am sure you are aware Max that most Catholic theologians are pretty close to the liberal protestant camp, so for this reason they would not say the Scripture is inerrant (sadly, I think this whole fight is about dinosaur bones and evolution, which sadly, really has nothing to do with theology and should not have anything to do with the authority of Scripture.)
Augustine argues with Jerome that the LXX preserves the correct rendering, though by the time he wrote City of God it is possible that Augustine started waivering on the accuracy of the LXX as a manuscript tradition in all respects.
As for inerrancy, other thank KJV cultists, the standard line is that the Bible, in its original autographs is inerrant. No one seriously holds that every jot and tittle in any manuscript or translation now is without error. This was the view of the Fathers, which is why Augustine argued about manuscript traditions with Jerome and Origen painstakingly collected different manuscript traditions for his polyglot.
One more thing. You’ve said you have had problems making heads or tails of Barth’s theology; in an effort to help you do that I thought it might be instructive to share 6 motifs with you, provided by Barth scholar, George Hunsinger, that help any of us engage with Barth in the type of critical way his theology deserves. Here they are:
These motifs will allow you to engage with Barth in a way that will make his theology intelligible to you, and should keep you from at least making the claims you have thus far in regard to Barth’s incoherence.
I will be responding to this. I just want you to be aware that I disagree in the strongest terms, but it is my wishes for you to known that I have no ill will against you and it is my hope and prayer you be convinced of my perspective.
In his later years Karl Barth reconciled with his wife, Nelly. His secretary, affectionately called “Lollo”, needed full-time care as an Alzheimer’s patient. Both Nelly and Karl Barth visited Lollo when she was in the care of the hospital. It does make you wonder that God can use men like King David, and way down in history Karl Barth, in spite of their weakness in giving in to fleshly desires. It is a testimony to God’s great forgiveness, freely given us in our Lord Jesus Christ.
One author I suggest is Dale Dawson and his monogram “The Resurrection in Karl Barth.” It describes the beginning and starting point of Karl Barth’s theology, which is the resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ from the dead and what it teaches us about our triune God and what it means for all of us.
I seriously appreciate the correction on this detail. Yes, the example of King David has been something I have reflected upon. The best I can understand is that David did not consider his polygamy willful sin, while Barth may have not had this excuse.
At what time did the wife and the mistress “reconcile”?
From what I read here, “Lollo” lived with the Barth family until the time she was hospitalized. After this point, Barth visited her every Sunday until he died. Mrs. Barth made infrequent visits afterwards. It appears that Mrs. Barth consigned herself to the realities of her marriage, which to me appears something similar to a Rachel and Leah situation, but in this situation Leah would be the only legitimate wife.
Further, to take Mrs. Barth’s visits as approval may be oversstating the evidence. Christians who have lost loved ones to crimes oftentimes visit the criminal in prison and forgive the person for the wrong that person has done. It does not mean that they somehow approve of what occurred (and even if they did, it does not make it less evil anyhow.)
Barth and his wife probably reconciled because the wife gave in and allowed the mistress to move in.
The same book also mentions that Barth might have had a dalliance with a nurse he had in 1965 named Rose-Marie, which broke off because of her marriage.
So the thief on the cross next to Jesus who asked for Jesus not to forget him when he went to paradise and Jesus responded to him with today you will be in Paradise with me, (paraphrased by me) is not in heaven because he didn’t repent? It seems like you are giving a lot of gravity to public repentance to prove salvation when there is no biblical evidence of this. You have thoroughly proven you believe in salvation is faith plus something (repentance in this case). You seem to argue every little point judging the man on his unrepentant sin but how about the unrepentant sin of bearing false witness against your neighbor that you are guilty of. You have said many things that have been presuppositions or possibilities and when those are brought up and when ever anyone would question them or the thinking you used to getting there you would cry of being personally attacked. You can say what you want to that but it is apparent from this thread and the original post of another that you did the same thing on you are interested in only vindicating yourself. This will sound like a personal attack to you but it is simply a rebuttal to the need to continue to ask the same question once something has been given to shed light upon an answer. Even if you don’t agree with the answer given you cannot dismiss it as that you have not been given an answer . You have given a misrepresentation of my statements in your last post (the one after this one on this exact same subject causing a false witness to be given about your neighbor. Which in this case I am the neighbor and fellow brother in Christ. I take offence to my words being taken out of context, changed and then being falsely attributed. While I know that one of the critics you refer to is myself (as there were only two of us in that thread corresponding with you and the attacks you keep mentioning they came directly from that thread. I can only answer to what I said, which was exactly what I meant. I am not sure what all the other gentleman said or if he even touched on, but I know I did reply to the effect of an answer and the reply from you was said back to me in the same manner as it is in your post stated it. That is this. “I am in trouble with God because I judge that Barth was an unrepentant sinner, but Barth is not in trouble for having an unrepentant, lifelong extramarital affair which was PROBABLY physically consummated. (emphasis on the one word is mine). As I stated in previously in a reply t post, one must be careful to judge another in terms of eternal damnation for an unrepentant sin unless one knows for a fact that one didn’t repent. And I listed this verse ““Do not judge, so that you won’t be judged. For with the judgment you use, you will be judged, and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.” Matt7:1-2 HCSB. To which I continued by saying when we judge someone salvation based on a judgment in which we do not know all the absolute facts we heap piles of judgement onto ourselves. Now I will admit I used much harsher language in the original reply but only because of the importance of this. Your words in the original statement you made was that Barth was in hell because of his unrepentant sin (extramarital affair). I gave no reply to the effect that Barth would not be in trouble due to unrepentant sin you tacked those words onto what I had said. I only shed light on the fact that unless you were there at his death bed and heard him say verbally he was unrepentant than there is no way to judge that he was unrepentant unto death. So yes I was saying that we are all held responsible for making judgments about another’s salvation when we do not know for a fact they died in sin. I was saying that if Barth died with this unrepentant sin he would not go unpunished. I will bring out this further proof that repentance is not salvation giving in and of itself. Salvation is by faith alone. Not by salvation plus repentance or anything else. Repentance is an act that comes after one is saved in response to the being saved. You my good sir are very divisive among the body of Christ and a bearer of false witness against your brothers. But you will have a comeback for this post as you always do. You are guilty of the same thing you accusing Barth for which is unrepentant sin. I even told you I was sorry and asked forgiveness if I had spoken in a way that seemed like an attack on your person in the thread that prompted all these Barth posts. The other gentlemen in the original post did as well. Which for both of us you didn’t even acknowledge that fact, but went on to twist my words into an attack and place them in a blog post( the post on Barth after this one). Whomever said it above is correct. You are only interested in being right. Even to the point of twisting words into your favor. Your vindication is definitely very important to you which you have proven by never asking for forgiveness for the twisting of my words even though I already forgave you about the time I finished this comment. And you will not have to worry about me responding to anything that you reply on this thread or anuy others how ever false it may be through your twisting of words. God bless you brother.
Matt, the thief on the cross was saved specifically because he repented, I would think there is a stark contrast between him and Barth.
All the best,