Cabe has written a post on the Barth blog that shows exactly why we would commit to reading 5000 pages over a great period of time. The highlights are some of the Barth quotes but head over there to read the whole thing with Cabe’s excellent thoughts:
In their human identification these special events are obviously subjected to an interplay of light and darkness which can only damage and forbid both the absolute affirmation of the optimist and the absolute negation of the pessimist. The really outstanding events of our life, upon which our faith lives and in which our whole life is revealed to us in faith as life in God, are not those which we can affirm with this human certitude and then have to doubt again. They are not subject to this fluctuation; they can and must be discussed apart from this false dialectic. These really outstanding events of our life are simply identical with our share in the great acts of God in His revelation…However high may rise or however deep may fall the waves of life’s events, as they are perceptible to us from within and below, the real movement of my life, the real events in which it is clear to me that in the whole dimension of my existence I belong to God, both at the flood and ebb, are secured from the other side, by the Word of God Himself.