Karl Barth

2007

This article seeks to demonstrate that Barth radically misunderstands the Lutheran doctrine of the communication of attributes, with its centerpiece the genus maiestaticum. However, misdirected as Barth's criticism is, the doctrine is not without its own problems and, instead of giving expression to the integrity of Christ's person and the co-presence of his natures, is in danger of subverting itself. After showing that Barth's Christology actually employs what for all practical purposes is the majestic genus of the Lutherans, I propose that the Swiss theologian's thought may offer ways of resolving the tensions inherent in the Lutheran tenet, and that by means of resources that the Lutherans already possess.