Don Carson edited one of 2016’s essential books: The Enduring Authority of the Christian Scriptures (Eerdmans). It releases this week.
The enormous 1,200-page book is the product of a pangraphic team of 37 scholars who address various pressing questions on biblical authority. And the book ends with an absorbing quick-hit FAQ where Carson himself briefly tackles a catalog of common questions on Scripture’s authority. There he briefly addresses Swiss theologian Karl Barth (1886–1968) in a format resembling this:
Q: How come Karl Barth’s views of Scripture have come back to be the focus of so much attention today?
There are at least three reasons. First, Barth was certainly the most prolific and perhaps creative theologian of the twentieth century, so it is no wonder that people study his writings. Second, Barth’s thought is profoundly God-centered, profoundly Christ-centered, profoundly grace-centered. And third, his view of Scripture, though not quite in line with traditional confessionalism, is reverent, subtle, and complex, so scholars keep debating exactly what he was saying. (1,162)
The mention of Barth made me wonder, more broadly, what should discerning Evangelicals do with the writings of Barth? I recently asked Carson, and this is what he said (5-minute outtake):