The Church and the Churches

Front Cover
Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing, 2005 - Religion - 59 pages
Foreword by William G. Rusch

How can Christians claim to hold in common one Lord, one faith, and one baptism while their churches remain splintered? Theological giant Karl Barth's mature, historic discussion of the problem of church unity still deserves careful attention.

Originally written for the 1937 Edinburgh World Conference on Faith and Order, Barth's profound reflections continue to speak to today's multiplicity of churches. While some of his subject matter -- the predicament of churches in Germany before World War II, for instance -- may now be of mostly historical interest, his call for Christians to honestly listen to Christ through their various traditions is as fresh and demanding as ever.

Through this thoughtful inquiry Barth brings clarity to the relationship between the Church and the churches, calling believers everywhere to a more serious confession of Christ. Those actively engaged or interested in contemporary ecumenical ventures cannot afford to ignore the foundation for unity laid out in this little Barth volume.


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TITLE: "A gem on the topic of Christian Unity, a gem that has passed the test of time" January 19, 2006
This 54 page little booklet, "The Church and the churches" is the speech that famous 20th
century theologian, Karl Barth, gave at an international and ecumenical Christian conference in Edinburg Scotland in 1937. This monumnetal meeting was another brick layed at building the Unity that Christ prayed for his Disciples and the Believers in the Gospel according to John chapter 17.
I read the booklet, slowly, once. My impression while reading Karl, is that after finishing one paragraph I thought I knew what he was going to talk about in the next paragraph. To my surprise, he talked about something opposite and something challenging and thought-provoking. I feel that I need to read this little ecumenical gem some 4 times more, in order to get more out of it.
Amazingly, Karl Barth's speech back in 1937 is as relevant to us Christians (Protestants, Orthodox, and Catholic believers) today as it was back then for the ecumenical audience (which is pictured on the front cover).
A great addition to anyone's library or read on the topic of Christian Unity or Ecumenism.

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - wordsampersand - LibraryThing

Not a bad introduction to Barth, I guess. Read full review

Selected pages


The Unity of the Church
The Multiplicity of the Churches
The Union of the Churches A Task
The Church in the Churches

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About the author (2005)

(1886-1968) Karl Barth was professor of dogmatic theology at the University of Basel, Switzerland. He is considered by some to be the greatest Protestant theologian of the twentieth century and possibly the greatest since the Reformation. Among his most famous works are Church Dogmatics and The Epistle to the Romans.

Bibliographic information