January 3, 2013

Have You Heard Karl Barth's Evangelegend?

Roger Olson, Patheos

Most Christians have heard it as a sermon illustration. I’ve heard and read many variations of the story. According to the story, Karl Barth was fielding questions from the audience after a lecture in Rockefeller Chapel on the campus of the University Chicago in 1962. A student stood and asked him if he could summarize his life’s work in theology in one sentence. According to the story a gasp went up from the audience–responding to the student’s perceived audaciousness. Also, according to the story, Barth didn’t skip a beat. He said (paraphrasing) “Yes. In the words of a song I learned at my mother’s knee: ‘Jesus loves me, this I know, for the Bible tells me so’.”

But did it really happen?

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TAGGED: Evangelicals, Karl Barth

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