This book explores Karl Barth’s doctrine of sanctification as set out in “The Sanctification of Man,” §66 of the Church Dogmatics. In his analysis, Michael Bartholomaeus reflects on the role Barth’s various engagements with Scripture play in the flow of his theological argument as well as the significance of his interaction with other voices from the tradition. He then examines select aspects of Barth’s theology of sanctification in greater depth, including how Barth’s use of Scripture in §66 can be understood as the exegetical background to his dogmatic exposition, the similarities and differences between Barth and Calvin on the question of sanctification, and how seriously and biblically Barth speaks of visibility and growth in the Christian life.
Michael Bartholomaeus (PhD, Otago University) works at Tabor College in Adelaide, Australia, and teaches in the area of systematic theology.
Chapter 1: Barth’s Doctrine of Sanctification §66.1-2
Chapter 2: Barth’s Doctrine of Sanctification §66.3-4
Chapter 3: Barth’s Doctrine of Sanctification §66.5-6
Chapter 4: The Role of Scripture in Barth’s Doctrine of Sanctification
Chapter 5: Barth and Calvin
Chapter 6: Visibility and Growth in the Christian Life
Michael Bartholomaeus has written a fine work that is tightly organized and argued, offering us a needed careful reading of Barth on sanctification. He helpfully highlights Barth’s stress on the objective reality of Christ our sanctification as well as the Swiss theologian’s positive contributions to historic discussions on mortification and vivification. Along the way Bartholomaeus also provides a creative engagement with questions of Barth’s use of scripture, too often neglected in this type of study. This volume helps us to fill out a more accurate picture of modern conceptions of sanctification.
Exploring Barth’s rich and underappreciated account of the human side of the divine-human covenant, this superlative study warrants careful consideration on the part of all those interested in reviving the church’s engagement with the doctrine of sanctification. Not only will students of Barth be blessed by this nuanced treatment, but also ministers and church leaders who seek to encourage active participation in the sanctification of Christ.
Countering the widespread assumption that Barth’s account of sanctification leaves little room for human beings to play any substantial role, save to utter their grateful acceptance of what Christ has done on their behalf, Mike Bartholomaeus explores Barth’s account of sanctification with refreshing depth and insight, and demonstrates that there is a good deal more to Barth’s account than has commonly been recognised. Bartholomaeus offers us not only a superb exploration of Barth’s work, but compelling insight into the nature of the Christian life.