No, an illusion can never be destroyed directly, and only by indirect means can it be radically removed. If it is an illusion that all are Christians — and if there is anything to be done about it, it must be done indirectly, not by one who vociferously proclaims himself an extraordinary Christian, but by one who, better instructed, is ready to declare that he is not a Christian at all.The Point Of View For My Work As An Author (1844)
SK continues to be an inspiration to me.
From the very beginning, I have stressed and repeated unchanged that I was ‘without authority.’ I regard myself rather as a reader of the books, not as the author. ‘Before God,’ religiously, I call my whole work as an author (when I speak with myself) my own upbringing and development, but not in the sense as if I were now complete or completely finished with respect to needing upbringing and development.On My Work as an Author (1851)
The problem with authority is that you always are speaking on someone else’e behalf. I think SK understood that in the religious sense. I have come to appreciate that I am completely without authority.
Once in a while a pastor causes a little hubbub from the pulpit, about their being something wrong somewhere with all these numerous Christians – but all those to whom he is speaking are Christians, and those he speaks about are not present.The Point Of View For My Work As An Author (1848)
Sermons are sometimes more about validating the audience than challenging their unbelief.
Without risk, no faith. Faith is just this, the contradiction between the infinite passion of inwardness and objective uncertainty. If I can grasp God objectively, then I do not have faith, but just because I cannot do this, I must have faith. If I wish to stay in my faith, I must take constant care to keep hold of the objective uncertainty, to be ‘on the 70,000 fathoms deep’ but still have faith.Kierkegaard: Concluding Unscientific Postscript (Cambridge Texts in the History of Philosophy), pp. 171-172.
“Without rish, no faith”, and “If I can grasp God objectively, then I do not have faith”. This is a great quote from CUP!
The true knight of faith is a witness, never a teacher, and therein lies the deep humanity that is worth more than this frivolous concern for the welfare of other people that is extolled under the name of sympathy but is really nothing more than vanity.Kierkegaard: Fear and Trembling (Cambridge Texts in the History of Philosophy), 70
Faith cannot be taught but only “caught”.
A hero who has become an offense or stumbling block to his age in the awareness that he is a paradox that cannot make itself intelligible cries out confidently to his contemporaries: “The outcome will indeed show that I was justified.”Kierkegaard: Fear and Trembling (Cambridge Texts in the History of Philosophy), 55
Another quote! I like that being a hero for SK is connected to the paradox. Rather than explaining everything, having all the answers, the hero stands and says, “I don’t know”.
The basic depravity of our times is that personality has been abolished. No one in our time dares to be a personality, everyone shrinks in cowardly anthrophobia from being I over against, perhaps in opposition, to others. Then the politicians avail themselves of the public. The politician is no I – good gracious no, he speaks in the public’s name. Religiously, ‘the Church’ is used in just the same way. What people want is an appropriate abstraction which helps them avoid being I, which is surely the greatest danger of all.The Journals (1855)
I have to find the source of the quote! Maybe I should start a new category “Find Quote”?! Anyway, well said SK!
Here is such a definition of truth: the objective uncertainty maintained through appropriation in the most passionate inwardness is truth, the highest truth there is for someone existing.Kierkegaard: Concluding Unscientific Postscript (Cambridge Texts in the History of Philosophy), 171.
I am pretty sure I have shared this before. I think this hits the heart of what SK is speaking about. And I think it is an important step in discipleship – passionate inwardness.
The difference between an admirer and a follower still remains, no matter where you are. The admirer never makes any true sacrifices. [They] always plays it safe. Though in words, phrases, songs, [they are] inexhaustible about how highly [they] prizes Christ, [they] renounce nothing, give up nothing, will not reconstruct [their] life, will not be what [they] admire, and will not let [their] life express what it is [they] supposedly admire.Kierkegaard (modified)
I cannot believe I have not shared this quote. I think it is an excellent place to start when looking at the question of the nature of discipleship. I am going to try to collect some quotes from SK on the topic. So here is the first!
What the age needs is not a genius — it has had geniuses enough, but a martyr, who in order to teach men to obey would [themselves] be obedient unto death. What the age needs is awakening. And therefore someday, not only my writings but my whole life, all the intriguing mystery of the machine will be studied and studied. I never forget how God helps me and it is therefore my last wish that everything may be to his honour.Journal, Nov 20, 1847 (modified)
I really like that quote. I like the idea of the world needing martyrs. And I like the idea that I have to be willing to die for what I believe in. Yes, martyrs who follow Jesus to the cross.