Barth’s ruminations on theological method are interesting on multiple levels, not the least of which is the way his thought bears on how we understand the relationship(s) between Christian theology and ideology (critique).
The Church can neither question its proclamation absolutely nor correct it absolutely. It can only exert itself to see how far it is questioned and how far it ought to be corrected. On its human work it can only do again a human work of criticising and correcting. And because this is so, it will be far from thinking that it either wants or is able to rid itself of the attack on its proclamation, the uneasiness which God Himself has prepared for it. (CD I/1, 75-76)
Here Barth makes a supremely important point about the nature of theological thinking: its irreducible contingency. Theology is not and never can be absolute, rather it is a contingent human work. As such it cannot expect to arrive at absolute, necessary, indubitably certitude. Rather the church should not want to escape from its situation of contingency, because it is in this state of constant uneasiness before God that we learn obedience, and that we learn to live in the sort of patience that attunes us to receive God’s own liberating address.
Thus, the church’s theological task, vis a vis ideology is never done. We can never hope to extricate ourselves from ideology, from the need to have our conceptual formulations critiqued and reconstituted. We can inhabit this place of uneasiness, however, precisely, and only because of God’s active faithfulness in Christ who meets us in our contingency and speaks his liberating word of reconciliation and redemption. Only by virtue of God’s own invasive, redeeming, and transfiguring action do we have the hope of passing, in Nate Kerr’s term, from ideology to doxology.