Barth’s Hidden Vision for Human Transformation
Imprint: Pickwick Publications
“In an original contribution, McSwain succeeds in demonstrating how Barth’s version of the Lutheran ‘simul iustus et peccator’ is radicalized by its extension to the incarnate Son and thereby to the race as a whole, transferring the pattern of Chalcedonian Christology (the so-called ‘two natures’ doctrine) into the field of anthropology. The result is a significant recasting of our ways of thinking about numerous core doctrines, including creation, atonement and incarnation as well as redemption and fall."
—Trevor Hart, author of Regarding Karl Barth
“I have literally been waiting for years for this book—a book that explores in depth what the sanctification of Jesus Christ means for the sanctification of humanity. In this excellent, accessible, and innovative work, Jeff McSwain carefully examines how Karl Barth reappropriates the classic doctrine simul iustus et peccator while also creatively imagining ways Barth’s understanding could enliven the life and ministry of the church today. This is a beautiful contribution to the growing theological literature on sanctification and discipleship.”
—Kristen Deede Johnson, award winning author of The Justice Calling
“McSwain argues persuasively that the simul . . . is a powerful key to Barth’s theology as a whole. Breaking new ground, yet firmly committed to all the key truths championed by Barth, McSwain’s theological insightfulness is evident on every page. An impressively comprehensive knowledge of Barth’s Dogmatics is also on display, along with a truly Barthian passion for the truth and the importance of the gospel . . . McSwain’s thesis is both fascinating and challenging. It will richly reward careful engagement.”
—Douglas Campbell, Duke University
“There’s a remarkable single-mindedness about Jeff McSwain, a theological determination that yields insights impossible to ignore. Here he presses us to read Barth’s doctrine of sanctification through Luther’s simul iustus et peccator, and in the process uncovers a wealth of connections and resonances with immense practical consequences for the life of the church. Provocative and game-changing, Barth—and the gospel!—will never sound quite the same again.”
—Jeremy Begbie, Duke University
"Birthed in the fires of real world missional controversy, this book crackles with the urgency of the gospel. Drawing from the deep well of Barth’s Church Dogmatics, Jeff McSwain offers a refreshing vision of Christian life freed to live wholly in this world by seeking the true life hidden in Christ."
—Brian Brock, University of Aberdeen
“McSwain casts his net wide, but discerningly, fastidiously mirroring Barth’s understanding of tradition and the Bible. Simul Sanctification: Jesus Christ incarnate is at once the Righteous One of God, and the One who assumes sinful human flesh. With echoes of Gregory, what McSwain calls ‘Chalcedonian anthropology’ adds to the corpus of Barthian studies and provides enhanced perspective on Barth’s theological actualism: the sanctified life of a singular Jewish human of humble origins who re-presents in every human being.”
—P. H. Brazier, author of Barth and Dostoevsky (Pickwick, 2016)