Kierkegaard: We pretend to be unable to understand...

I was again reminded of this quotation in conversation today, and am convicted every time I read it:

Soren Kierkegaard:

“The matter is quite simple. The Bible is very easy to understand. But we Christians are a bunch of scheming swindlers. We pretend to be unable to understand it because we know very well that the minute we understand we are obliged to act accordingly. Take any words in the New Testament and forget everything except pledging yourself to act accordingly. My God, you will say, if I do that my whole life will be ruined. Herein lies the real place of Christian scholarship. Christian scholarship is the Church’s prodigious invention to defend itself against the Bible, to ensure that we can continue to be good Christians without the Bible coming too close. Dreadful it is to fall into the hands of the living God. Yes, it is even dreadful to be alone with the New Testament.”




It's so true. We spend so much time trying to avoid the obvious...

6 comments:

Rhiannon Y Orizaga said...

I can't agree with the assertion that Christian scholarship is about distancing us from the Bible. The best Christian scholarship is a way of mediating between the Bible's commands and the world we find ourselves in. It is designed to help us understand more clearly what the Bible is teaching us.

Joan Ball said...

Hey Peter: Thanks for this. Featured this quote and a link back here on Bnet a few moments ago. You can see it here http://ow.ly/tB58.

Hope all is well with you.

Joan

Peter said...

Awesome, thanks Joan - good to see you!

Peter said...

Sorry Rhiannon, I don't argue with Kierkegaard ;)

...but you're right. I suppose good theology illuminates.

Anonymous said...

There is a difference between being a Christian and Christendom ... scholarship belongs to the latter. If you know Kierkegaard you know what that means.

TimberWolf said...

Just mentioning Kierkegaard is a sure-fire way to get you into hot water with some of our brothers and sisters (many of whom haven't even read anything he said, understand anything he said, much less are aware of his Christian roots).

I ran across this post and had to chuckle because I recently posted a blog entry that just mentioned him and the daggers flew!

I think it is fitting he was called "the godly deceiver" because he sure shakes things up!

Peace :)
Jeff

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