Today is Karl Barth’s birthday and in honor of Uncle Karl I’ve decided to read the whole thing…every last page of the Church Dogmatics. I’ve read sections, large chunks, but have never sat down to devour all 13 tomes (there are 14 books, but the last one is an index–I’m skipping that one).
When I was a doctoral student at Duquesne University it was a rite of passage to ignore the “do not touch” sign on Barth’s desk (housed in the library at Pittsburgh Theological Seminary) and touch it anyway…hoping to absorb some residual energy. For years I’ve flirted with the idea of reading this theological monstrosity–it’s time.
I have no idea how long this will take. However, I’m taking as my motto some words Barth wrote TWICE in his preface (I/1, xv, xvi). Pondering the task ahead (as I am too), he stated: “I hold myself forbidden to be discouraged.”