Pure: Inside the Evangelical Movement
That Shamed a Generation of Young Women and How I Broke Free
Linda Kay Klein
An essay by Christiane Tietz, published this summer, sheds new light on Karl Barth’s relationship with his secretary, Charlotte Von Kirschbaum. Recently released letters between Barth and Von Kirschbaum reveal “that Kirschbaum and Barth loved each other; more than that, they were lovers; more than that, Barth brought her to live in his own home with his wife and five kids. Barth was not willing to give Kirschbaum up, and it almost … came to divorce between Barth and his wife Nelly; but for some reason…, Nelly stayed with Barth in this intolerable situation.” (quoted from Bobby Grow’s summary of the Tietz essay).
In light of these new details, I had the opportunity to ask Mark Galli, author of a new biography of Karl Barth, Karl Barth: An Introductory Biography for Evangelicals (Eerdmans 2017), what they might mean for Christians, and especially those who identify as Evangelicals.
ERB: I appreciate that your new book encourages evangelicals to familiarize themselves with Karl Barth and his theological work. In light of the details above, and that evangelicals generally have strong convictions about traditional, monogamous marriage, does the case you are making become a tougher sell?
A Review of
This review originally appeared in our print magazine (Fall 2014 issue). Are you a subscriber?
Questions about sexuality and marriage are, without a doubt, the most divisive issues facing churches in the early years of the twenty-first century. Some denominations have already split in disagreement over them; others teeter on the brink of splitting, with little hope of resolution in sight. Given this polarized atmosphere, what would it look like for churches of diverse perspectives to prefer our unity in Christ to our stances on sexuality? Is there a third way that does more than steer a middle road, tiptoeing around the deeply held convictions of both traditionalist and affirming Christians? Is there a conversational way forward that is guided by love and respect for all of our brothers and sisters in Christ and that seeks to listen and appreciate rather than to anger and condemn? These questions lie at the heart of Tim Otto’s helpful new book, Oriented to Faith: Transforming the Conflict over Gay Relationships. As a gay but celibate pastor for whom these questions have been deeply personal, Otto is well-suited as a guide for this sort of exploration.
A Feature Review of
Reviewed by Joshua Brockway
Not many theologians, save those dedicated to the work of Karl Barth or John Calvin, choose to identify as systematic theologians. Few publishing houses have the ability or patience to publish extensive, multi-volume theologies in the tradition of the Institutes or Church Dogmatics. Seminaries and Universities rarely call the field systematics, but prefer the generic appellation of “Theology” so as to make space for the unique methodological approaches of their faculty.
It is no wonder, then, that some have said that systematics is passé. Philosophically, the early prognosis was sounded by the likes of Lyotard and Derrida. The Post-Modern assumption these two writers helped to articulate, namely that any attempt at constructing a comprehensive system, or meta-narrative is futile, has soaked into the consciousness of academics. Instead, professional theologians have turned to consider particular modes of theology. Instead, Feminist and Liberation theologians now write of contextual perspectives shaped by the cultural experiences of particular peoples. Still others seek out other arenas for their work, dividing up theological disciplines among historians, preachers, counselors, and teachers. The problem is, of course, that other theologians appear to have not received the memo.
A Feature Review of
Reviewed by Paul Chaplin.
“The church needs this book,” begins the foreword by former general secretary of the RCA, Wesley Granberg-Michaelson. It’s hard to disagree. Debate around same-sex relationships, both within and across denominations, is commonly characterised by marked hostility and frequent attacks on participants’ respect for received scripture. For far too many this question marks a “line in the sand” for authentic or inauthentic Christian faith. In this very challenging climate, James Brownson (who, in addition to being Professor of NT at WTS holds the interesting title – unique to the RCA – of “General Synod Professor of Theology”) makes a timely and valuable contribution.
Brownson’s goal in the book is to press the rewind and then slow-motion buttons on debate regarding same-sex relationships, asking us to take a long, hard, honest look at the assumptions we carry in to our arguments. So much evangelical discourse on this issue takes certain basic premises as given and essentially irrefutable. Brownson asks us to take a step back, re-examine these assumptions, and see if we find ourselves in the same place afterwards.
“Sex is (Not) a Big Deal”
A review of
The End of Sexual Identity:
Why Sex Is Too Important to Define Who We Are
By Jenell Williams Paris
Reviewed by Shaun C. Brown
Anthropologist Jenell Williams Paris begins The End of Sexual Identity with a story many Christians can relate to—a gay friend asking, “Does Christianity really condemn homosexuality?” (7). In her response, Paris made some references to biblical passages in Leviticus and Romans and concluded, “I don’t have the right to just reverse what most Christians in most times and places have believed” (8). This confrontation led to a broken friendship. After years of studying sexuality and social constructions, Paris says she would answer the question differently, and this book would be her response.
In our continuing effort to fund the publication and free distribution of The Englewood Review, we are going to be collaborating more intentionally with Christian Book Distributors. Primarily, we will be offering you the opportunity to buy bargain books from CBD that we think of are interest. Buying books this way is a win / win / win proposition. You get great books for a great price, CBD gets the sale and we get an excellent referral fee from CBD. These books make great gifts!
This week’s bargain books (Click to learn more/purchase):