Calvin is a cataract, a primeval forest, a demonic power, something directly down from the Himalaya, absolutely Chinese, strange, mythological; I lack completely the means, the suction cups, even to assimilate this phenomenon, not to speak of presenting it adequately. What I receive is only a thin little stream and what I can then give out again is only a yet thinner extract of this little stream. I could gladly and profitably set myself down and spend all the rest of my life just with Calvin.
Karl Barth, in a letter to Thurneysen, dated 8 June 1922 (Revolutionary Theology in the Making: The Barth-Thurneysen Correspondence, 1914-1925 [London: Epworth, 1964], p. 101). Quoted in Julie Canlis Calvin’s Ladder (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 2010), p. 1.