Did Barth have a "low" view of Scripture?

Critics of Trinitarian (Christ-centered) Theology often charge that it comes with a "low" view of Scripture. This has frequently been leveled at Karl Barth (pictured on right) - a chief proponent of Trinitarian Theology in the 20th century. In response to this charge, I offer the following thoughts (my thanks to Joseph Tkach for sharing with me the content of point #2):

1. Trinitarian Theology does not rise or fall with Karl Barth. He was a prominent teacher of this theological vision, but certainly not the only one. The historic roots of Trinitarian Theology are found in Scripture itself, and in the teachings of the early church fathers (including Athanasius) who sought a theological vision true to the Jesus revealed in Scripture. Many teachers and theologians have articulated a Trinitarian Theology down the centuries, including in our 21st century (see the January 16, 2008 post listing contemporary theologians who advocate Trinitarian Theology).

2. I do not think it accurate to say that Karl Barth had a "low" view of Scripture. In his own statements concerning the Bible (statements which brought him into conflict with the liberalism of his day), he said things like the following:
I did not have anything new to say apart from what I had always endeavored to say: that we could have no other gods than God, that holy scripture was enough to guide the church into all truth, that the grace of Jesus Christ was enough to forgive our sins and to order our life.
As a lover of the Bible, Barth taught that it witnesses to God’s atoning love for us in Jesus Christ. While it is true that in some early writings Barth said that Scripture "becomes Word of God" (when a human subject encounters God), his later and more mature position was that Scripture becomes for us God's Word precisely because "it is Word of God." Thus Barth held that the Word of God (God's revelation) had is own objective reality - not as a human formulation of truth - but as the very being and truth of God. This truth, this self-revelation of God, then calls forth a human response.

It is helpful to note the following points when addressing unwarranted criticisms about Barth’s view of the Bible:

a) Barth is saying that the only true revelation of God is His own revelation of Himself. The revelation he gives us to perfectly reveal Himself is Jesus Christ.

b) Barth was against "bibliolatry" (biblio-idolatry). The Bible is the revelation of God to the degree that it reveals God to us in Christ - we don't worship the Bible; we worship God.

c) Barth was saying that who God is (with us and for us), and what he has done for us in Jesus Christ is the true reality and our refusals and denials of Him don't change that reality, but they do diminish our ability to understand, experience and participate in it.

d) Barth taught that we cannot define God on the basis of human reason and experience; we can only define God as He defines Himself through His own revelation of Himself (which is Jesus Christ). The Bible testifies to Jesus Christ as the highest and perfect revelation of God. In fact, that is the very purpose of the Bible according to Jesus' own words in John 5:39-40:
You diligently study the Scriptures because you think that by them you possess eternal life. These are the Scriptures that testify about me, yet you refuse to come to me to have life.