This was not required in Old Testament times, God did not require Job to give up anything, and of Abraham he required expressly, as a test, only that he give up Isaac. But in fact Christianity is also the religion of freedom, it is precisely the voluntary which is the Christian. Voluntarily to give up all is to be convinced of the glory of the good which Christianity promises.
There is one thing God cannot take away from a man, namely, the voluntary — and it is precisely this which Christianity requires of man.
Kierkegaard tried to explain his prolific use of pseudonyms again in The Point of View of My Work as an Author , his autobiographical explanation for his writing style. The book was finished in , but not published until after his death by his brother Christian Peter Kierkegaard. Walter Lowrie mentioned Kierkegaard's "profound religious experience of Holy Week " as a turning point from "indirect communication" to "direct communication" regarding Christianity.
But then again when there is so much in the house of God to lull us! Even that which in itself is arousing, such as thoughts, reflections, ideas, can by custom and monotony lose all their significance, just as a spring can lose the resilience which makes it what it is.
So, then to approach nearer to the subject of this discourse , it is right, reasonable, and a plain duty, to invite men, over and over again, to come to the house of the Lord, to summon them to it. But one may become so accustomed to hearing this invitation that one may lose all sense of its significance, so that at last one steps away and it ends with the invitation preaching the church empty. Or one may become so accustomed to hearing this invitation that it develops false ideas in those that come, makes us self-important in our own thoughts, that we are not as they who remain away, makes us self-satisfied, secure, because it envelops us in a delusion, as though, since we are so urgently invited, God were in need of us, as though it were not we who in fear and trembling should reflect what He may require of us, as though it were not we who should sincerely thank God that He will have dealings with us, that He will suffer and permit us to approach Him, suffer that we presume to believe that He cares for us, that without being ashamed He will be known as one who is called our God and our Farther.
So concerning this matter let us for once talk differently, in talking of these words of the preacher: Keep thy foot when thou goest to the house of the Lord. He wrote three discourses under his own name and one pseudonymous book in The first thing any child finds in life is the external world of nature.
This is where God placed his natural teachers. He's been writing about confession and now openly writes about Holy Communion which is generally preceded by confession. His goal has always been to help people become religious but specifically Christian religious. He summed his position up earlier in his book, The Point of View of My Work as an Author , but this book was not published until In the month of December the manuscript of the Concluding Postscript was completely finished, and, as my custom was, I had delivered the whole of it at once to Lune [the printer]-which the suspicious do not have to believe on my word, since Luno's account-book is there to prove it.
This work constitutes the turning-point in my whole activity as an author, inasmuch as it presents the 'problem', how to become a Christian. No, the very contrary. This, in 'Christendom' is the Christian movement: one does not reflect oneself into Christianity; but one reflects oneself out of something else and becomes, more and more simply, a Christian. I have never fought in such a way as to say: I am the true Christian, others are not Christians. No, my contention has been this: I know what Christianity is, my imperfection as a Christian I myself fully recognize—but I know what Christianity is.
And to get this properly recognized must be, I should think, to every man's interest, whether he be a Christian or not, whether his intention is to accept Christianity or to reject it. But I have attacked no one as not being a Christian, I have condemned no one. And I myself have from the first clearly asserted, again and again repeated, that I am 'without authority'. He's against Johannes Climacus who kept writing books about trying to understand Christianity.
Here he says, "Let others admire and praise the person who pretends to comprehend Christianity. I regard it as a plain ethical task — perhaps requiring not a little self-denial in these speculative times, when all 'the others' are busy with comprehending-to admit that one is neither able nor supposed to comprehend it. Despair is the impossibility of possibility. When a person who has been addicted to some sin or other but over a considerable period has now successfully resisted the temptation-when this person has a relapse and succumbs again to the temptation, then the depression that ensues is by no means always sorrow over the sin.
It can be something quite different; it might also, for that matter, be resentment of divine governance, as if it were the latter that had let him fall into temptation and should not have been so hard on him, seeing that until now he had for so long successfully resisted the temptation.
Such a person protests, perhaps in even stronger terms, how this relapse tortures and torments him, how it brings him to despair: he swears, 'I will never forgive myself. In Practice in Christianity , 25 September , his last pseudonymous work, he stated, "In this book, originating in the year , the requirement for being a Christian is forced up by the pseudonymous authors to a supreme ideality.
Christ is the truth in the sense that to be the truth is the only true explanation of what truth is. Therefore one can ask an apostle, one can ask a Christian, "What is truth? This means that truth in the sense in which Christ is the truth is not a sum of statements, not a definition etc. The being of truth is not the direct redoubling of being in relation to thinking, which gives only thought-being, safeguards thinking only against being a brain-figment that is not, guarantees validity to thinking, that what is thought is-that is, has validity.
No, the being of truth is the redoubling of truth within yourself, within me, within him, that your life, my life, his life is approximately the being of the truth in the striving for it, just as the truth was in Christ a life, for he was the truth. And therefore, Christianly understood, truth is obviously not to know the truth but to be the truth. He now pointedly referred to the acting single individual in his next three publications; For Self-Examination , Two Discourses at the Communion on Fridays , and in Judge for Yourselves!
Here is an interesting quote from For Self Examination. If in observing the present state of the world and life in general, from a Christian point of view one had to say and from a Christian point of view with complete justification : It is a disease. Ah, everything is noisy; and just as strong drink is said to stir the blood, so everything in our day, even the most insignificant project, even the most empty communication, is designed merely to jolt the senses and to stir up the masses, the crowd, the public, noise!
And man, this clever fellow, seems to have become sleepless in order to invent ever new instruments to increase noise, to spread noise and insignificance with the greatest possible haste and on the greatest possible scale. Yes, everything is soon turned upside-down: communication is indeed soon brought to its lowest point in regard to meaning, and simultaneously the means of communication are indeed brought to their highest with regard to speedy and overall circulation; for what is publicized with such hot haste and, on the other hand, what has greater circulation thanrubbish!
Oh, create silence! In Kierkegaard wrote his Two Discourses at the Communion on Fridays where he once more discussed sin, forgiveness, and authority using that same verse from 1 Peter that he used twice in with his Three Upbuilding Discourses, Would that there were a hiding place where I am so hidden that not even the consciousness of my sin can find me! Would that there were a border, however narrow, if it still makes a separation between me and my sin!
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Would that on the other side of a chasmic abyss there were a spot, however little, where I could stand, while the consciousness of my sin must remain on the other side. Would that there were a forgiveness, a forgiveness that does not increase my sense of guilt but truly takes the guilt from me, also the consciousness of it. Would that there were oblivion! But now this is indeed that way it is, because love Christ's love hides a multitude of sins.
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Behold, everything has become new. A human being has no authority, cannot command that you shall believe and just by commanding you with authority help you to believe. But if it requires authority even to teach, what authority is required, even greater, if possible, then the authority that commands the heaving sea to be still, to command the despairing person, the one who in the agony of repentance is unable and does not dare to forget, the prostrate penitent who is unable and does not dare to stop staring at his guilt, what authority is required to command him to shut his eyes, and what authority is then required to command him to open the eyes of faith so that he sees purity where he saw guilt and sin!
That divine authority he alone has, Jesus Christ, whose love hides a multitude of sins. He hides it very literally. Just as when one person places himself in front of another person and covers him so completely with his body that no one, no one, can see the person hidden behind him, so Jesus Christ covers your sin with his holy body.
Reason alone baptized? Faith, hope, love, peace, patience, joy, self-control, vanity, kindness, humility, courage, cowardliness, pride, deceit, and selfishness. These are the inner passions that Thought knows little about. Hegel begins the process of education with Thought but Kierkegaard thinks we could begin with passion, or a balance between the two, a balance between Goethe and Hegel.
But at the same time he did not want to draw more attention to the external display of passion but the internal hidden passion of the single individual. Kierkegaard clarified this intention in his Journals. Schelling put Nature first and Hegel put Reason first but Kierkegaard put the human being first and the choice first in his writings. He makes an argument against Nature here and points out that most single individuals begin life as spectators of the visible world and work toward knowledge of the invisible world.
Is it a perfection on the part of the bird that in hard times it sits and dies of hunger and knows of nothing at all to do, that, dazed, it lets itself fall to the ground and dies? Usually we do not talk this way. When a sailor lies down in the boat and lets matters take their course in the storm and knows nothing to do, we do not speak of his perfection. But when a doughty sailor knows how to steer, when he works against the storm with ingenuity, with strength, and with perseverance, when he works himself out of the danger, we admire him.
Suppose that it were not one man who traveled from Jericho to Jerusalem , but there were two, and both of them were assaulted by robbers and maimed, and no traveler passed by. Suppose, then, that one of them did nothing but moan, while the other forgot and surmounted his own suffering in order to speak comfortingly, friendly words or, what involved great pain, dragged himself to some water in order to fetch the other a refreshing drink.
Or suppose that they were both bereft of speech, but one of them in his silent prayer sighed to God also for the other-was he then not merciful? If someone has cut off my hands, then I cannot play the zither, and if someone has cut off my feet, then I cannot dance, and if I lie crippled on the shore, then I cannot throw myself into the sea in order to rescue another person's life, and if I myself am lying with a broken arm or leg, then I cannot plunge into the flames to save another's life-but I can still be merciful.
I have often pondered how a painter might portray mercifulness, but I have decided that it cannot be done. As soon as a painter is to do it, it becomes dubious whether it is mercifulness or it is something else. But what does this mean, what have I to do, or what sort of effort is it that can be said to seek or pursue the kingdom of God? Shall I try to get a job suitable to my talents and powers in order thereby to exert an influence?
No, thou shalt first seek God's kingdom. Shall I then give all my fortune to the poor? Shall I then go out to proclaim this teaching to the world? But then in a certain sense it is nothing I shall do. Yes, certainly, in a certain it is nothing, thou shalt in the deepest sense make thyself nothing, become nothing before God, learn to keep silent; in this silence is the beginning, which is, first to seek God's kingdom.
http://jakubzidek.cz/images/libra-december/dobu-capricorn-5.php In this wise, a godly wise, one gets to the beginning by going, in a sense, backwards. The beginning is not that with which one begins, but at which one arrives at the beginning backwards. The beginning is this art of becoming silent; for to be silent, as nature is, is not an art. It is man's superiority over the beasts to be able to speak; but in relation to God it can easily become the ruin of man who is able to speak that he is too willing to speak.
God is love, man is as one says to a child a silly little thing, even so far as his own wellbeing is concerned. Only in much fear and trembling can a man walk with God; in much fear and trembling. But to talk in much fear and trembling is difficult for as a sense of dread causes the bodily voice to fail; so also does much fear and trembling render the voice mute in silence.
This the true man of prayer knows well, and he who was not the true man of prayer learned precisely this by praying. Nikolai Berdyaev makes a related argument against reason in his book The Divine and the Human.
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