Fortress Press

Triune Eternality: God's Relationship to Time in the Theology of Karl Barth

Triune Eternality: God's Relationship to Time in the Theology of Karl Barth

Triune Eternality: God's Relationship to Time in the Theology of Karl Barth

The theology of Karl Barth is an important resource for theological reflection on the complicated problem of God’s relationship to time; yet much of what Barth says is difficult to unravel. His statements on God and time, and on God and eternity, are spread throughout his writings, finding their place in theological discussions of a variety of doctrinal topics. These difficulties have led some to despair of adequately articulating Barth’s position, while leading others to propose overly broad or simplistic renderings.

Triune Eternality argues that a proper comprehension of Barth’s theological conception of time and eternity is best achieved by understanding three important contexts: the doctrinal, the conceptual, and the developmental. By understanding those contexts, it may be seen that Barth’s understanding of time and eternity is how he expresses theological convictions that are more basic to Christian theology. In short, for Barth “time and eternity” are not so much philosophical or scientific concepts but theological terms that point to fundamental realities. This work proceeds from the conviction that in Barth we have a twofold opportunity: to allow earlier answers to speak to our own recent questions and to use our contemporary perspective to gain insight on historic contributions.

ISBN: 9781451479300
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ISBN: 9781451496567
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“With refreshing clarity, patience, and deep insight, Daniel Griswold has explored Karl Barth’s theological uses of the concepts of time and eternity in ways that open up new possibilities for our understanding. Applying a variety of newer conceptual resources to the analysis of Barth’s work in its historical and doctrinal contexts, he has produced an interpretation and proposal that will be of value not only to Barth studies but also to contemporary theological engagement with the issues.”
Charles M. Wood
Emeritus, Perkins School of Theology, Southern Methodist University
“In this careful and comprehensive work, pastor and scholar Daniel Griswold explores the complicated question of God’s relationship to time. Karl Barth, he argues, offers a rich perspective on time and eternity that has often been oversimplified, by critics and admirers alike. To address this problem, Griswold situates Barth in the context of the particular historical tradition that shaped his understanding of time and eternity, his own development over time, and the philosophical debates on time and eternity since Barth. Throughout, Griswold shows how Barth engages the wider tradition even as he makes his own distinctive contribution: understanding God’s eternality in thoroughly Trinitarian terms. A remarkable and fresh contribution to Barth studies today!”
Martha Moore-Keish
Columbia Theological Seminary
“This is the clearest, most comprehensive theological treatment of time and eternity—one of the most complex sets of themes in Karl Barth’s theology but also in all Christian theology—to be written in years. Carefully working through the sources and the history of interpretation, both ancient and modern, Daniel Griswold has done us all a great favor by clarifying many vexing questions, answering many clever critics, and explicating a doctrine that impinges upon most every other doctrine in the theological encyclopedia.”
Richard Burnett
Erskine Theological Seminary