'The Great Promise' gives a powerful exegesis of the first chapter of the Gospel of Luke which tells the story of the "Advent" - the birth of John the Baptist, preparing for the birth of Christ. It consists of four stenographically recorded biblical lectures which Karl Barth gave to his theology students during Advent in 1934, after his lectures at the University of Bonn had been suspended by the Nazi regime.
Uncovering what he calls "the spiritual birth story of John the Baptist," Barth proclaims it to be the spiritual birth story of anyone who knows himself to be standing under God. His biblical account is thus interwoven with a continuous reference to the way in which God acts upon the world today no less than in the past and how humans may or may not submit to such acting.
Translated from the German by E. Hans Freund.
Karl Barth (1886-1968), the Swiss Reformed professor and pastor, was once described by Pope Pius XII as the most important theologian since Thomas Aquinas. As principal author of 'The Barmen Declaration', he was the intellectual leader of the German Confessing Church - the Protestant group that resisted the Third Reich. Barth's teaching career spanned nearly five decades. Removed from his post at Bonn by the Nazis in late 1934, Barth moved to Basel where he taught until 1962. Among Barth's many books, sermons, and essays are the 'Epistle to the Romans', 'Humanity of God', 'Evangelical Theology', and 'Church Dogmatics'.