More Information
ISBN: 9781783689781
Imprint: Langham Monographs
Format: Paperback
Dimensions (mm): 229 x 152 x 13
Publication Date: 14/02/2014
Pages: 244
Language: English

Concrete Time and Concrete Eternity

Karl Barth’s Doctrine of Time and Eternity and Its Trinitarian Background


This publication investigates how Karl Barth’s doctrine of time and eternity can contribute to the continued understanding of the relationship of divine eternity to time or temporality. Examining from a theological, philosophical and physical perspective, with deep emphasis on the Trinity, as well as Barth’s Christology and pneumatology, the author helps us to understand his theory on time and eternity. Barth’s contribution to the subject is significant, with his doctrine of time and eternity being relational in ontology, Trinitarian in background and concrete in character.

Author Bios

Li Qu

LI QU holds a BA in Law from China University of Political Science and Law, an MPhil in Christian Ethics from Hong Kong Baptist University and a PhD in Systematic Theology from London School of Theology. Li is a Langham Scholar and currently lectures at Hong Kong Baptist University.


In this new book, Li Qu presents a comprehensive and sensitive interpretation of Barth's understanding on the nature of created time and its relation to divine eternity. As a preparation, Li Qu explores representative theological as well as natural, scientific and philosophical accounts of the nature of time and its relation to divine eternity. In the central thesis he argues cogently that it is only from a specifically Trinitarian perspective that God’s eternity and our time can be joined concretely and actually. The study is well documented with an extensive bibliography. There is no question that his exposition and analysis of Barth’s text are faithful and readable.  This is an up-to-date contribution to Barthian scholarship on a very contemporary topic.

Dr. Graham McFarlane
Vice Principal Academic,
London School of Theology. 

Table of Contents

  1. Acknowledgements
  2. Abbreviations
  3. Introduction
    1. Section 1:
      1. Temporal and Atemporal God Debate
    2. Section 2:
      1. The Development of the Conception of Eternity in Barth
    3. Section 3:
      1. Structure and Literature Review
  4. Chapter 1
    1. Preliminary Studies
      1. Section 1:
        1. Time and Eternity: Historical Theological Views
      2. Section 2:
        1. Time and Eternity: Modern Physical Views
      3. Section 3:
        1. Time and Eternity: Modern Philosophical Views
  5. Chapter 2
    1. The Eternal Concrete Father
      1. Section 1:
        1. Eternal Trinity and Three One-sidedness
      2. Section 2:
        1. The Eternal Creator Revealed
      3. Section 3:
        1. The Father’s Eternal Preservation
      4. Section 4:
        1. The Eschatological Creator
  6. Chapter 3
    1. The Eternal Concrete Son
      1. Section 1:
        1. Eternity before Time – The Preexistence of the Son
      2. Section 2:
        1. Eternity in Time – The Incarnation of the Son
      3. Section 3:
        1. Eternity after Time – The Resurrection of the Son
  7. Chapter 4
    1. The Eternal Concrete Spirit
      1. Section 1:
        1. The Eclipse of the Spirit
      2. Section 2:
        1. Holy Spirit the Eternal Creator
      3. Section 3:
        1. Holy Spirit the Reconciler in “Times Between”
      4. Section 4:
        1. Holy Spirit and the Eschatological Redeemer
  8. Chapter 5
    1. Conclusion
      1. Section 1:
        1. A Concrete Trinitarian Understanding of Time and Eternity
      2. Section 2:
        1. The Significance of Barth’s Contribution
  9. Bibliography
    1. Primary Sources
    2. Secondary Sources

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