Since Bruce McCormack's work on Barth, one should read Barth less as a representative of neo-orthodoxy and more of a modern/orthodox thinker. Kenneth Oakes recently even sees no problem in calling him orthodox/liberal because of Barth's continual use of the theoretical format he learned from the Neo-Kantians and Wilhelm Herrmann specifically.
McCormack has insisted that Barth was a dialectically critical-realistic (Realdialektik) theologian. God's existence is the transcendent real that humans come in contact in a dialectically veiled/unveiled revelation with God as both the Object (Sache) and Subject of the matter. Barth interpreter Paul La Montagne lists 7 points to illustrate what exactly this means:
1. Barth takes God's existence and God's self-revelation for granted.
2. His theology is nonfoundationalist (not anti).
3. His theology is critical and self-critical (This is a KEY point often ignored by Barth's readers).
4. We cannot speak of God, but we refer to God in our theology.
5. Our knowledge of God is mediated and indirect.
6. Our language of God is fallible; it is actualistic witness at its best.
7. Theology as a science is of a hypothetical character.