Karl Barth’s Table Talk: Transcripts of Barth’s Conversations with His Students at the Bruderholz Restaurant in Basel During the Years 1958-1964

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Collected between the covers of this book are highlights from some thirty evening discussions with one of the most provocative contemporary thinkers of the scriptural tradition reflecting on the possibility of truly knowing the Unknown. Karl Barth’s take on life amazes with its perennial freshness while he offers a powerful antidote for the oppressive forces that shatter security and split our world today.


“I commend this invaluable book to all those who have any interest in Karl Barth, not just specialists. For here we have a wonderful window into the heart of the great Basel theologian.”
-John Hesselink,
President Emeritus of Western Theological Seminary,
Holland, Michigan

Table of Contents

Foreword / Preface / Introduction / Abbreviations
1. God for Man – Freedom to Be Himself, Gracious And Liberating
2. Theological Knowledge – Faith’s Free Response
3. God, Graciously Veiled in Nature, Presents Self in Human Terms
4. Addressed by the Bible
5. The Issue of General Revelation – Biblical Faith and Nature
6. Natural Theology – A Natural Folly
7. The Ill-Fated Mirror – Speculations Always Push Towards Monopoly
8. If God is for Real. Why Does God Hide?
9. How Can Anyone Truly Know God
10. Responding to God’s Eternity and Glory (Précis)
11. If Liberation Is God’s Own Glory, How Free We Are to Be!
12. God-Talk from the Inside Out
13. How Broadly May We Hope?
14. Humanity as a Whole: Can It Really Be Accepted?
15. Human Life Means Community – The Jewish Witness
16. The Promise – Old Testament and New
17. Jesus, God for Man: Wide-Open Atonement vs. Divine Parsimony?
18. Ethics – A Task Within Our Doctrine of God
19. Approaches to Law and Gospel
20. Agents of Liberation
21. The Word as Sole Criterion: Jesus Christ, Scripture’s Focus and the Only Sacrament
22. Creation’s Ultimate Purpose Envisioned: Freedom for Covenant
23. Creation’s Purpose Fulfilled: Freedom in Covenant
24. Creation Old and New: God’s Coherent Gift
25. Mankind in the Cosmos and Creation’s Science
26. Jesus, Man for God
27. True Humanity In and Out of Grace
28. The Majesty of God’s Self-Representation (A Sozietät Discussion)
29. To Relate Only in Grace, God Keeps to the Wings of our World (Another Sozietät Discussion)
30. On God Before Man: Permission in Command (The Preparatory Précis for a Colloquium)
Appendix: Barth Meets Calvin: An Imaginary Encounter (Barth and the Reformed Message of Election in Grace)

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