This month WestminsterJohnKnox has published a new book by Bishop Willimon. The Early Preaching of Karl Barth contains fourteen sermons by the young Karl Barth with commentary by Bishop Willimon.
“Barth was the greatest theologian of the Twentieth Century, perhaps of any time,” commented Bishop Willimon. “From the hundreds of sermons Barth preached during his time as a pastor in a little village in Switzerland, I selected these fourteen. They have never appeared in English and represent a fascinating look at young preacher and theologian in development.”
Willimon’s Conversations with Barth on Preaching appeared a couple of years ago, establishing Bishop Willimon as a foremost interpreter of Barth. Each sermon is accompanied with a commentary by the Bishop.
“Will Willimon’s comments on the sermons are superb, always helpfully setting this historical and theological contexts and often rising to the level of the sermons themselves,” says Thomas G. Long, Professor of Preaching at Candler School of Theology.
“It took me a couple of years to translate a couple of hundred sermons,” says Bishop Willimon. “Sometimes I worked in the context of listening to the sermons of our pastors.” (Bishop Willimon asks all full time pastors who are moving to send him recordings of their sermons.)
“It was fascinating to compare preaching today with the preaching of Barth nearly a hundred years ago.”