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The theological revolution that Karl Barth inspired was by no means a dismissive reaction to modern culture but, rather, was a dynamic and carefully nuanced encounter with the concerns of his day. This excellent new work by Paul Lewis Metzger provides an exposition and extension of Barth's engagement of culture in view of his doctrine of the Word.Metzger demonstrates that Barth endeavored to relate Christ to culture in inseparable terms while maintaining a distinction between them. Working from an intimate knowledge of all of Barth's writings, Metzger shows how Barth's doctrine of the Word provides a sound basis on which to build a theological model of culture that guards against the two extremes of either the divinization or the secularization of culture, while at the same time nurturing a healthy appreciation for the secular domain.The first part of the book analyzes Barth's formative theological period, which is characterized by his engagement with culture and what is termed Culture Protestantism. The second part of the book focuses on how Barth's answer -- a dialectical model of the Word -- enabled him to offer a constructive synthesis of Christ and culture. The final section of the book traces the way Barth was able to frame culture within his theological model and yet continue to champion the secular domain.The Word of Christ and the World of Culture" is a superb volume that will benefit anyone studying Barth, modern theology, or the relation of Christianity and culture.
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Foreword by Colin Gunton
This beautifully constructed work by Paul Louis Metzger explores whatKarl Barth, the theological giant of the twentieth century, had to sayabout the relation of Christianity to modern culture.
Working from an intimate knowledge of all of Barth's writings, Metzger shows how Barth's theology offers a constructive synthesis ofChrist and culture. Metzger first analyzes Barth's formative theological period and what it contributed to his thinking about the world. Hethen focuses on how Barth's unique doctrine of the Word enabled himto relate Christ to culture in inseparable terms while yet maintaining adistinction between them. The final section of the book traces the wayBarth framed culture within his theological model even as he continuedto champion the secular domain.About the Author:
Paul Louis Metzger (PhD, King's College London) is professor of Christian theology and theology of culture at Multnomah Biblical Seminary and director of its Institute for the Theology of Culture: New Wine, New Wineskins. He is the editor of the journal "Cultural Encounters" and the author of "Consuming Jesus: Beyond Race and Class Divisions in a Consumer Church".
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