Has Karl Barth Become Orthodox? Further Response to Scott Clark and Richard Muller

Following up with my last post on Scott Clark in regard to his recent sharing of Richard Muller’s mini-essay What I Haven’t Learned from Karl Barth; I shared a comment there, a short one in favor of Karl Barth contra Muller’s characterization. I just went back and Clark has deleted my comment along with my friend’s, Jonathan Kleis’s comment. In that thread though, if there is any doubt about what Clark (and by culture and connection, Richard Muller) thinks about Karl Barth, note what Clark said, in comment, in response to the question from one of his interlocutors about whether or not Barth was “saved.” I’ll share the whole little thread:


This is the common attitude towards, Barth; at least from people like Clark, Muller, and most of those you will find at both Westminster Theological Seminary and Westminster Seminary (Escondido) California—where Clark teaches. They read Barth through Van Til, and as I just recently quoted Van Til in another recent post of mine, this is what Van Til thought of Barth:

It is, we believe, to do Barth injustice, and to do the church irreparable harm, when orthodox theologians fail to make plain that dialectical theology is basically subversive of the gospel of saving grace…No heresy that appeared at [Nicaea, Chalcedon, Dort or Westminster] was so deeply and ultimately destructive of the gospel as is the theology of Barth.[1]

I have just encountered someone, online, who seems to think that Muller is a charitable reader of Barth. Muller is in the same “camp” as Van Til and Clark, it is hard to imagine that he could be construed as a charitable reader of Barth (his other writings make it very clear that he is not).

[1] C. Van Til, Has Karl Barth Become Orthodox? (Philadelphia: The Presbyterian and Reformed Publishing Company, 1954).

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3 Responses to Has Karl Barth Become Orthodox? Further Response to Scott Clark and Richard Muller

  1. Kenneth Macari says:

    The Westminster Seminaries crowd are unrelenting in their 80 years plus slander of Karl Barth. They fight among themselves over what is prior in the “Ordo Salutis.” They have NO understanding of the social implications of the Gospel. (My classmate Tim Keller would NOT be welcome at either school) I have many questions about Barth’s view of election and ecclesiology—-I prefer the Torrance brothers on those issues. NEVERTHELESS, Barth is still the heavyweight champion and is laughing at all of this in eternity!!!!!


  2. Bobby Grow says:

    Torrance follows Barth on election. Tim Keller has been on faculty at Westminster Theological Seminary and has a degree from there. But yes, WTS believes Barth is an arch-heretic because of Van Til primarily.


  3. Pingback: Why Karl Barth is not Simply a “Gateway” Drug | The Evangelical Calvinist

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