Tuesday, September 13, 2005


Well, not exactly. But I'm waking up to the new, full-colour, all-singing, all-dancing 'Berliner' format Guardian, anyway -- since the much-hyped relaunch 24 hours ago. This is a subject close to my heart (as I've been reading the Graun for 30 years, and crave good print design too), so I couldn't resist waxing about it in an Ekklesia news/commentary piece yesterday on religion and the newspaper doyen of the liberal intellegentsia. Even those who don't know much about twentieth century theological giant Karl Barth may be aware of his famous comment that Christians should face the world with both scripture and sentinel. As Ronald Goetz commented in The Christian Century during the centenary of his birth, in 1986: "The only aspect of Barth’s thinking that changed little during his lifetime was his politics. Despite the often-repeated charge that his theology led to political quietism, Barth himself was not quiet. He always insisted that theology had to be done with the Bible in one hand and the newspaper in the other. He was a lifelong socialist and political maverick whose political views elicited much hostility -- first in Nazi Germany, later in anticommunist America, and chronically in his own neutral Switzerland. As he once observed, in politics the radical is probably wrong but has a chance of being right; the conservative is [invariably] wrong [emphasis added]." Which is why, I reckon, the Guardian is usually more usefully wrong than the Telegraph, as well as more frequently right.

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