"The message is not only a word; it is at the same time an action. This eternal word needs to be heard by men and women as you speak to their actual problems. It is very interesting that during this time while [Barth] was preaching and taking it very seriously, he worked with the poor in his village and fought for their rights ... Old persons in my parish told me when Barth was in Safenwil, it was the first time in hundred years that there was a Christian pastor who liked the 'little people.' That was their impression. They understood that his action was the commentary to his message. Even if they were not socialists, they understood his socialism was to stand on the side of the little people who had no public voice."
- Eberhard Busch
"Reading a page of Barth is something like shock therapy."
-- Michael Wyschogrod, The Body of Faith: Judaism as Corporeal Election
(Minneapolis, MN: Winston Press, 1983), 79.
"C[hurch] D[ogmatics] IV surely constitutes the most powerful work on the doctrine of atoning reconciliation ever written."
-- Thomas F. Torrance, Karl Barth, Biblical and Evangelical Theologian
(Edinburgh: T & T Clark, 1990), 133.
"Not only in Barth's sermons, where one would expect it, but in the Dogmatics as well, there are countless passages that breathe the most positive kind of affirmation of the goodness and wonder and power of God's overwhelming love."
-- Robert McAfee Brown, "Introduction" in Portrait of Karl Barth
(Georges Casalis; Translated by Robert McAfee Brown; Garden City, NY: Doubleday & Company, INC., 1963), 18.
"Barth's greatness is that he corrects himself again and again in the light of the situation, and that he strenuously tries not to become his own follower."
-- Paul Tillich, Systematic Theology, vol. 1 (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1951), 5.
"Karl Barth's insistence upon the otherness of God seemed to free him to be exceptionally (for a theologian) appreciative and indulgent of this world, the world at hand. His humor and love of combat, his capacity for friendship even with his ideological opponents, his fondness for his tobacco and other physical comforts, his tastes in art and entertainment were heartily worldly, worldly not in the fashion of those who accept this life as a way-station and testing-ground but of those who embrace it as a piece of God's Creation."
-- John Updike, from his "Forward" to Barth's Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
(Translated by Clarence K. Pott; Grand Rapids: MI: Eerdmans, 1986), 7.
"Barth, Karl (1886-1968), Swiss Reformed theologian, described by Pope Pius XII as the greatest theologian since Thomas Aquinas, and certainly the most influential of the twentieth century."
-- James B. Torrance, "Karl Barth" in The Encyclopedia of Religion, vol. 2 (Mircea Eliade, Editor in Chief; New York, NY: MacMillan Publishing Company, 1987), 68.