This has been a hard volume to get through. The sailing has been much smoother since we started on the doctrine of the Trinity but the first three hundred pages nearly wiped me out. Here’s why
1. So many other languages and so little time to look up the translation.
2. So many philosophers and theologians referenced! It’s like entering a maze of a thousand minds.
3. I didn’t realize how grating it would be to read this much text where the nouns and pronouns are exclusively masculine. Is this a German translation issue?
In the past week a few things have helped. The major change is that I’m taking a class on Karl Barth. Part of that class is reading Eberhard Busch’s The Great Passion. I’ve found it extremely helpful for context and biography. I’m also trying to take to heart something Dr. Hunsinger said. He mentioned in lecture that Barth can be read devotionally. I haven’t been thinking about the reading in this way but Hunsinger’s comment made me shift my perspective in this direction.
I end with this quote from Busch (39) for those of us battle fatigued by children, partners, new classes, applications, systematic theologies in progress, roasting giant spits of meat, etc.:
This dogmatic is a gigantic work that can frighten off even the well-disposed and discourage them from reading it (I almost raised my hand as I read this line). Its very appearance often gives the impression of something unapproachably monolithic, a heavenly metaphysics remote from time… It must be said that an age when everything goes by so quickly, when what is desired is a fast-food theology, is not a time when access to a work of this kind is easy. Those who say that they have no time, those who are content with slogans, do best to ignore these volumes.