Friday, June 30, 2006

Kierkegaard Quote

Praise God! Our group made it home safely this morning.

My son Josh sent me a Soren Kierkegaard quote yesterday that I have not been able to get off my mind. My prayer is that you won't either. Here it is:

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 NT and forget everything except pledging yourself to act accordingly. You will say, if I do that my whole life will be ruined. How would I ever get on in the world? 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. Oh, priceless scholarship, what would we do without you? Dreadful it is to fall into the hands of the living God. Yes, it is even dreadful to be alone with the NT.

Sounds pretty extreme, doesn't it? But it haunts me. It haunts me because I am a part of that scholarship. And it haunts me because I am thinking about how often I have heard someone say -- or have myself said -- "This is what Jesus really meant." "Paul said this; but he meant . . ." "Jesus said, 'You can't serve God and money.' What He meant was ..."

I agree with Kierkegaard. It is dreadful to be alone with the NT. In the same way that it is dreadful to undergo a major surgery that can improve the quality of one's life -- if not save it.

7 comments:

Mike said...

Kierkegaard was brilliant. He was a saint.

Take the passage Luke 18:

"When Jesus heard this he said to him, "There is still one thing left for you: sell all that you have and distribute it to the poor, and you will have a treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me."
23
But when he heard this he became quite sad, for he was very rich.
24
Jesus looked at him (now sad) and said, "How hard it is for those who have wealth to enter the kingdom of God!

Damn straight. I prefer to keep my money. Kierkegaard was brilliant in the sense that he tries to persuade us to be true Christians, otherwise show us we're flawed. And I'm not a good Christian.. :/

Beverly Ross said...

Praise the Lord that the team is home safely!
What a challenge to begin our day with!

Jody Para Sempre said...

Awww yeah I'm the first of the group home to post! The trip was exciting, amazing, tiring, the whole range of emotions. I'm glad to finally get home after some delays thanks for your prayers and I'll see ya on Sunday to talk all about it.

Josh Ross said...

This challenges the American dream of success and materialism. Formed in His image???...that is scary, because our worlds are going to be turned upside down.

Rick Ross said...

Jody,

Glad you all are home! I look forward to hearing about it.

By the way, Beverly and I want to talk. We are thinking about making a trip to Boston for our 30th anniversary.

Jeff said...

It is good to be home and in the arms of family.

I love (and hate) the quote. It is a challenge that I must overcome.

randy said...

Why do I talk and act as if my salvation depended upon knowledge when nowhere is that concept found in the NT? Theology can be a four letter word.