Usually about twice a year I decide to read huge sections of Karl Barth. Yes, I know. He is the bad guy of Reformed theology. It’s not so much I don’t like Barth, but even where he is wrong I have no clue what he is saying. I think he is important to read for several reasons. He shaped modern Protestant theology, for better or worse. The older Reformed fathers felt obligated to read and respond to Bellarmine even centuries after the latter’s death, and the implications of Bellarmine’s theology are far more terrifying than Barth’s: If Bellarmine were correct, then Protestants are obligated to let themselves be purified by fire and sword. The least we today can do is give Barth a fair reading.