Some parts of Karl Barth’s Dogmatics frustrate me, upset me, and make me want to quit reading them once and for all. Other parts make me want to finish them ASAP. Here’s a helpful quote – one of the reasons I read this stuff. It has to do with the first line of the Apostle’s Creed (I believe in God the Father Almighty) and Anselm’s famous line, Credo ut intelligam (I believe so that I may understand).
“In the present instance this means: I believe in Jesus Christ, God’s Son our Lord, in order to perceive and to understand that God the Almighty, the Father, is the Creator of heaven and earth. If I did not believe the former, I could not perceive and understand the latter. If I perceive and understand the latter, my perception and understanding are completely established, sustained, and impelled by my believing the former. Thus the confession of God the Creator belongs integrally to the rest of the confession. It does not constitute a foreign body in the confession – a mere prolegomenon. It is not for nothing that the word ‘credo’ stands before this first statement of faith. Nor is it merely because it has to stand at the head of the whole confession. But it is used here with its full Christian content.”
This quote is found in III.1.4 of Barth’s Church Dogmatics.