"Ignorance of Scripture is ignorance of Christ." - Jerome

Monday, August 25, 2008

Barth on Calvin

I don't know why, but I just love this quote by Karl Barth on John Calvin:

“Calvin is a cataract, a primeval forest, a demonic power, something directly down from the Himalayas, absolutely Chinese, strange, mythological; I lack completely the means, the suction cups, even to assimilate this phenomenon, not to speak of presenting it adequately…. I could gladly and profitably set myself down and spend all the rest of my life just with Calvin.”

—Karl Barth to Eduard Thurneysen, 8 June 1922; in Revolutionary Theology in the Making: Barth-Thurneysen Correspondence, 1914-1925 (Richmond: John Knox Press, 1964), p. 101.


Andrew said...

I think I just lost alot of respect for Barth... hah. I guess I need to read more Calvin, he's definately a great theologian, but I wouldn't elevate him to THAT level. But who knows, perhaps the Lord will make me eat my words yet again.

Ian said...

What did Barth mean by 'absolutely Chinese'?

Thanks in advance.