Karl Barth's Christology provides a key to out-narrating the Deus absconditus, which, as Rustin Brian contends, is in fact the god of modernity. Included in this is the rejection of the logical and philosophical systems that allow for the modern understanding of God as the Deus absconditus, namely, dialectics and nominalism. This rejection is illustrated, interestingly enough, in Barth's decision to literally cover up, with a rug, Martin Luther's works in his personal library. Surely this was more than a decorative touch. The reading of Barth's works that results from this starting point challenges much of contemporary Barth scholarship and urges readers to reconsider Barth. Through careful examination of a large body of Barth's writings, particularly in regard to the issues of the knowledge or knowability of God, as well as Christology, Brian argues that contemporary Barth scholarship should be done in careful conversation with the finest examples of both Protestant and, especially, Roman Catholic theology. Barth's paradoxical Christology thus becomes the foundation for a dogmatic ecumenicism. Barth's Christology, then, just might be able to open up possibilities for discussion and even convergence, within a church that is anything but one. ""This book is a significant contribution to the lively conversation between Christian theology and postmodernity. Perhaps Brian's most trenchant insight is that Karl Barth's quarrel with Martin Luther in regards to the Deus absconditus parallels postmodernity's critique of typically modern conceptions of God, entertained by believers and non-believers alike. Thus, the greatest Protestant theologian of the twentieth century shows the path toward dialogue with the dominant cultural form of the twenty-first century. Brian's text is lively, provocative, well-written, and compellingly argued."" --Robert Barron, author of The Priority of Christ ""Rather than accepting well-worn interpretations of Barth (and Luther), Brian breaks fresh ground with a provocative--and for that reason all the more interesting--interpretation. Barth was not a dialectical theologian indebted to a Lutheran Deus absconditus. Instead, he was a theologian of the glorious paradox of the fullness of God present in Christ. . . . Brian's book marks an important contribution for a new direction in Barth studies."" --D. Stephen Long, author of Keeping Faith ""In this ecumenically important book, Brian argues that Karl Barth is best regarded as a transitional figure who crucially helped open up the current, post-Protestant era in theology by breaking with the tropes of nominalism and voluntarism, which had imprisoned the mainline Reformation and distorted their grasp of orthodox Christology. He makes a convincing case that requires to be taken seriously."" --John Milbank, author of Being Reconciled Rustin E. Brian is an ordained Pastor in the Church of the Nazarene, currently pastoring Renton Church of the Nazarene in Renton, WA, and Adjunct Professor of Theology at Northwest Nazarene University and Seattle Pacific University. He is the author of Covering Up Luther: How Barth's Christology Challenged the Deus Absconditus that Haunts Modernity (2013).
Rustin E. Brian is Senior Lecturer of Theology at Africa Nazarene University in Nairobi, Kenya, and also teaches as an adjunct at Northwest Nazarene University. He is an ordained elder in the Church of the Nazarene, having pastored for over ten years, predominately on the West Coast. He is the author of Jacob Arminius: The Man From Oudewater (2015) and Covering Up Luther: How Barth's Christology Challenged the Deus Absconditus That Haunts Modernity (2013).