Most Popular Volumes of Karl Barth’s Church Dogmatics


The results from my "What's your favorite volume of Karl Barth's Church Dogmatics?" are in!

The winner is a tie between The Church Dogmatics: The Doctrine of God, Vol. II/2 (CD II/2) and The Church Dogmatics: The Doctrine of Reconciliation, Vol. IV/1 (CD IV/1). I'm not surprised that these two volumes would be neck and neck and that each would receive double the votes of the nearest runners up. CD II/2 contains Karl Barth's Doctrine of Election that reconfigures the Horrible Decree of John Calvin's Double Predestination. Many may argue that CD II/2 is the high point of the Church Dogmatics, especially since that Karl Barth described the Doctrine of Election as the Gospel. And CD IV/1 is the fountain head of the fourth volume of the Church Dogmatics, and almost a Dogmatics within the Dogmatics. CD IV/1 contain Barth's introduction to the Doctrine of Reconciliation, including Justification.

Third and fourth place were also a tie between The Church Dogmatics: The Doctrine of the Word of God, Vol. I/2 (CD I/2) and The Church Dogmatics: The Doctrine of the Word of God, Vol. 1/1 (CD I/1). Many people expressed surprised that CD I/2 would occupy the third place, and eclipse both CD III/2 and CD II/1. My guess is that it was chosen because it answers questions faced by American Evangelicals today such as Religion vs Jesus, and Inerrancy of Scripture. CD I/2 contains Barth's famous paragraph 17, titled: "The Revelation of God as the Abolition of Religion" and paragraphs 19-21 contains Barth's Doctrine of Scripture.

I also was surprised to see sneak Karl Barth's The Church Dogmatics: The Christian Life, Vol. IV/4 (CD IV/4L) sneak into sixth place! These posthumously published lecture fragments by Karl Barth, were not included in CD IV/4 because Karl Barth has abandoned The Church Dogmatics before publishing them.  There was a single vote for the officially published Church Dogmatics Vol. IV/4 fragment, but I'm guessing this was a mistaken vote for CD IV/4L.

Thank you everyone who participated in the poll! Voting ended with a total of eighty votes, but I will leave the poll open, if anyone still desires to add their vote. If you would like to purchase Karl Barth's Church Dogmatics, the best price for the complete set is usually at


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  1. I missed the poll! I would not break the tie, because I would have had a vote for III.2. It is difficult, though. So many volumes have their important discussions.

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