I’ve finally gotten around to interacting with Karl Barth. I was immediately struck by some things he pointed out on the opening page of Evangelical Theology. I’ll let Barth speak for himself, so consider him a sort of “Guest Blogger” for today.
But many things can be meant by the word “God.” For this reason, there are many kinds of theologies. There is no man who does not have his own god or gods as the object of his highest desire and trust, or as the basis of his deepest loyalty and commitment.
There is no one who is not to this extent also a theologian.
There is moreover, no religion, no philosophy, no world view that is not dedicate to some such divinity. Every world view, even that disclosed in the Swiss and American national anthems, presupposes a divinity interpreted in one way or another and worshiped to some degree, whether wholeheartedly or superficially.
There is no philosophy that is not to some extent also theology. Not only does this fact apply to philosophers who desire to affirm – or who, at least, are ready to admit – that divinity, in a positive sense, is the essence of truth and power of some kind of highest principle; but the same truth is valid even for thinkers denying such a divinity, for such a denial would in practice merely consist in transferring an identical dignity and function to another object.
Such an alternative object might be “nature,” creativity, or an unconscious and amorphous will to life. It might also be “reason,” progress, or even a redeeming nothingness into which man would be destined to disappear. Even such apparently “godless” ideologies are theologies.
Everyone is a theologian (even liberal college girl) and every philosophy/worldview is a theology. Needless to say, the book is off to promising start as Barth seems to be channeling some good ole Romans 1 on the opening pages.