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D. Stephen Long: Saving Karl Barth

Balthasar and Barth never came to agreement on the enigmatic cleft that separated the Catholic and Protestant Church. Barth continually saw the Christ as over and against the Church while Balthasar viewed the Church as the “chaste prostitute.” However, Long convincingly argues whereas Barth is often used today to drive a wedge between these two ecclesiologies, Balthasar’s oft-dismissed reading of Barth actually provides one of the strongest points of contact between them. Balthasar’s theology remained throughout his lifetime a nuanced appropriation of Barth. Perhaps most importantly, Long provides a “defense of the conversation between them and a way of doing theology that involves friendship rather than conquest”(2).

Reviewed by Derek Geerlof


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Category: In Depth, Summer 2014

About the Author: Derek Geerlof, M.C.S. (Regent College), M.A. (Ambrose Seminary), is a sessional lecturer in theology at Ambrose University (Calgary, AB) and is currently enrolled in Ph.D. studies at Regent University (Virginia Beach, Virginia).

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