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Collection of Karl Barth quotes and sayings on Church, Christ, grace, gratitude, heaven, giving, joy, praise, sin, theology etc.

23 Incredible Karl Barth Quotes

Quick Facts

Famous As: Theologian

Born On: May 10, 1886

Died On: December 10, 1968

Born In: Basel, Switzerland

Died At Age: 82

Karl Barth was a renowned Swiss theologian and author, who held the reputation of being the greatest Protestant theologian of the 20t century. Barth gained recognition due to his work in The Epistle to the Romans and Church Dogmatics. He was also renowned for his thesis on Dialectical theology and analogia fidei. Karl was tagged as the “Father of Neo-Orthodoxy”. His work heavily influenced political figures like Dietrich Bonhoeffer, Reinhold Niebuhr, Jürgen Moltmann and novelist - John Updike and Miklós Szentkuthy.  Barth was active in Reformation and Christian Socialism movements. He was instrumental in leading the Confessing Church movement in Germany which directly defied Hitler and the Nazi regime. Karl Barth preached sovereignty of God through "infinite qualitative distinction between God and mankind".  Novelists such as Roger Lambert and Whittaker Chambers have cited inspiration from Karl Barth’s ideas in their works. We have compiled some of Karl Barth’s notable quotes from his beliefs, thoughts, preaching etc. Here are some of the most intriguing quotes from this Swiss theologian.

Laughter is the closest thing to the grace of God.

Karl Barth

To clasp the hands in prayer is the beginning of an uprising against the disorder of the world.

Karl Barth

Prayer without study would be empty. Study without prayer would be blind.

Karl Barth

Jesus does not give recipes that show the way to God as other teachers of religion do. He is Himself the way

Karl Barth

The person who knows only his side of the argument knows little of that.

Karl Barth

The theologian who labors without joy is not a theologian at all. Sulky faces, morose thoughts and boring ways of speaking are intolerable in this field.

Karl Barth

In the Church of Jesus Christ there can and should be no non-theologians.

Karl Barth

Take your Bible and take your newspaper, and read both. But interpret newspapers from your Bible.

Karl Barth

...'joy' in Phillippians is a defiant 'Nevertheless!' that Paul sets like a full stop against the Philippians' anxiety...

Karl Barth

It may be that when the angels go about their task praising God, they play only Bach. I am sure, however, that when they are together en famille they play Mozart.

Karl Barth

I haven't even read everything I wrote.

Karl Barth

As ministers we ought to speak of God. We are human, however, and so cannot speak of God. We ought therefore to recognize both our obligation and our inability and by that very recognition give glory to God

Karl Barth

The mature and well-balanced man, standing firmly with both feet on the earth, who has never been lamed and broken an half-blinded by the scandal of life, is as such the existentially godless man.

Karl Barth

True theology is an actual determination and claiming of man by the acting God.

Karl Barth

...The cry of revolt against such a god [a god which just affirms the world as it is] is nearer the truth than is the sophistry with which men attempt to justify him....

Karl Barth

For if God Himself became man, this man, what else can this mean but that He declared himself guilty of the contradiction against Himself

Karl Barth

Joy is the simplest form of gratitude.

Karl Barth

The Church should be the place where a word reverberates right into the world.

Karl Barth

The church speaks finally in that it prays for the world.

Karl Barth

God has not the slightest need for our proofs.

Karl Barth

God transcends even the undertakings of evangelical theologians.

Karl Barth

Evangelical theology is modest theology, because it is determined to be so by its object, that is, by him who is its subject.

Karl Barth

Exactly halfway between exegesis and practical theology stands dogmatics,

Karl Barth