Karl Barth’s Theological Method, by Gordon H. Clark, Philadelphia: Presbyterian and Reformed, 1963, 2nd edition 1997, 277 pp.
Having written extensively on this book in the article “Gordon Clark Among Reformed Critics of Karl Barth” (See here) no further review shall here be attempted. My article on Clark and Barth is also available in two parts in the Trinity Review: 1 and 2.
Clark gave some lectures on Barth at Bethel College in 1964:
And a review of the book came from R. W. Nickerson in Blue Banner Faith and Life, January-March 29, 1967, Vol 22, no.1, p. 104.
For the previous review in this series see here.
For the next review in this series see here.
5 thoughts on “GHC Review 12: Karl Barth’s Theological Method”
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In God’s Hammer (pg. 88 in my paperback copy from The Trinity Foundation) GHC seems to quote Barth with approval in the chapter entitled Revealed Religion where he says Barth is well known for his stringent opposition to natural theology. He quotes a passage from Barth’s Church Dogmatics (I, 345) whereby Barth says that (my paraphrase) any argument for the existence of God that doesn’t end with the Trinity, i.e., one substance in three Persons, is a blank empty name (g-o-d) with no resemblance to the true God.
I have often thought this is the most important criticism of all the versions of the cosmological argument for the existence of God, Van Til’s TAG included. None of the various forms of the cosmological argument, even if they avoided all the other problems in the argument chain, ever end with the one true living God of the Bible that is known solely *distincte in tribus personis* or distinct in three Persons. At best all versions of the CAG, or cosmological argument for God, yield “a god” and not “the God” of the Bible who cannot be known other than as Triune. GHC goes on to further quote Barth approvingly on the next page where Barth quotes C.J. Nitzsch saying that, again, the Trinity is the solution that avoids solutions that entail atheism, polytheism, pantheism, or dualism.
My question is Am I understanding this correctly and using GHC’s apparent approval of Barth’s criticism of Natural Theology? Is this the final devastating blow to all TAG’s and CAG’s that I think it is? In other words, all arguments for the existence of God never end in God since God is and can only be the Triune God. If not, I would appreciate correction from some of those who comment on this blog and tell me why I’m possibly on the wrong track.
I think you’re right. Maybe this is why Van Til so emphasized the triune God in his arguments, especially noting the problem of the one and the many. I still don’t think Van Til’s TAG is successful. I’ve been working on that problem for a while, and have some written on it, but I have a lot more to do before I present it.
keep up the good work👍🙏!!!
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