I enjoy a good rant. whether it's mine opr someone else's. Strong feelings, passionate convictions, intellectual energy, just the right degree of unreasonableness, unshakeable confidence in the rightness of the cause and in the analysis of the problem, all of this harnessed to verbal facility with a strong rhetorical accent, these are the active ingredients of the effective rant.
Karl Barth's writings are full of them - they are amongst his most enjoyable paragraphs. They can feel like a loud shout from someone who crept up behind you while you were minding your own business journeying purposefully through some well meaning theological reflection
"Theology is...a function in the Liturgy of the church. One had better take ca\ution what he does, when he neglects theology, or takes it less seriously and thereby practically eliminates it, because it has only this one function. Of all the functions of the Church's liturgy none is to be dispensed with if the Church is to be kept totally intect.
And it is quite in order to say very emphatically today, that it is precisely this function, that of theology, this critical self-examination of the Church regarding its reason for existence and its origin, is not to be eliminated.
Try to carry on your practice without a theory!
Go on, praise "life" at the expense of intellectual work, knowledge or creed.
Worship "reality" and despise truth!
It will quickly become evident that the practical things are not all there is to it; it is only human endeavour, and yet, in its own autonomous nature it is not a worthy human endeavour. Where such a path leads can be illustrated today before our very eyes, and concerning which the Churches of all countries have every reason to fundamentally rethink themselves.
A Church without an orderly theology must sooner or later become a pagan church.!"
That's what Flannery O'Connor meant when she said Barth throws the furniture around. When Barth takes on the role of exasperated Headmaster he can be fun, but if we laugh we tend to do it discreetly, and nervously, because underneath the impatience is the passion of someone who wants the best and sees it thrreatened by complacency, carelessness or self indulgent minds seeking amusement rather than wisdom. The quote is from God in Action, Edinburgh, 1936, page 49-50