Barth on Prayer

Karl Barth (the guy who famously answered a questioner's plea to summarize his theology by reciting, "Jesus loves me, this I know, for the Bible tells me so") is considered by many to have been the greatest Protestant theologian of the twentieth century.

So when I picked up Barth's Prayer, a series of lectures he gave on the Lord's Prayer from 1947-1949, in which he drew from the wisdom of Luther, Calvin, and the Heidelberg Catechism on the subject, I was pretty sure it would all be way over my head.

I am not often so happy to be wrong.

This short book is long on insight and filled with a pastor's sensitivity (Barth served as a pastor from 1911-1921 in Switzerland). Having read numerous books on the Lord's Prayer, and of course written and preached on it and from it, I nonetheless found new insights, perspectives, and inspiration from Barth's words. And I loved that he moved effortlessly in and out of prayer as he wrote on prayer.

Barth's short chapters are followed by a selection of his pastoral prayers. Barth's content is also introduced and followed by the writings of four other scholars who add much to the reader's understanding and appreciation.

As he did in his famous "Jesus Loves Me" comment, Barth packs an amazing amount of memorable depth and beauty in a short space in the book, Prayer.

No comments:

Post a Comment