Anyone who tries to evaluate the theology of Hans Urs von Balthasar faces not only the sheer size of his work and his vast erudition but his great subtlety. To add to these difficulties, what he says in one book or passage he will often balance and qualify later on, even in the same book, and he expressed hostility to”or at least wariness toward”any attempt to systematize Christian revelation, so much so that he is often accused of being too daring in his speculations, of flamboyance and taking a Gods-eye view of things. Despite his undoubted speculative flair and genuine elusiveness, one can still discern certain patterns in his thought (pattern was a key word in his work, borrowed from Goethe and Gestalt psychology). From those patterns one may detect something that in other theologians would be called a method.
He is most famous for his fifteen-volume theological trilogy, The Glory of the Lord (on theological aesthetics, in seven volumes), Theo-Drama (on the drama of salvation, in five), and Theo-Logic (theology proper, in three). Each part attempts to transpose the entirety of Christian theology into one of the three Platonic transcendentals, the beautiful, the good, and the true. (They are called transcendental because they transcend the particularities of each individual being: In other words, the quality of beauty or truth is something greater than a beautiful painting or a true statement.)