Tuesday, December 22, 2015

quotes from Kierkegaard (Provocations)

From #3: Longer comments and quotes in a blog post about "good intentions"...

From #4: “The greatest danger to Christianity is, I contend, not heresies, [not] heterodoxies, not atheists, not profane secularism – no, but the kind of orthodoxy which is cordial drivel, mediocrity served up sweet. There is nothing that so insidiously displaces the majestic as cordiality...the very essence of Christianity is utterly opposed to this mediocrity, in which it does not so much die as dwindle away."

I apologize for the many times I have been mediocre in this way.

From #5: "Wanting to hide in the crowd, to be a little fraction of the group instead of being an individual, is the most corrupt of all escapes. Granted, it will make life easier, but it will do so by making it more thoughtless. Yet the question is that of the responsibility of each single individual – that each of us is an authentic, answerable self...We ought, before God, to make up our own minds about our convictions, and then live them out regardless of the others."

Easier, thoughtless and corrupt-- or authentic, under conviction and courageous?

From #8: In John 5:30, Jesus says that, by himself, he can do nothing. He repeats the same for us in John 15:5. Both of these, esp. the former, are surprising, difficult, and thus generally over-looked.

But this is a vital concept within Christian doctrine: dependence on God through the Holy Spirit, the Spirit-filled life, the importance of submission (properly defined), etc. 

Kierkegaard runs with this: "If a capability is actually to be a capability, it must have some kind of opposition. Without opposition, one is either all-powerful or one's capability is something entirely imaginary. In the internal world of spirit, opposition can come only from within. In this way, we struggle with ourselves...is one not able, then, to overcome oneself by oneself? How can I be stronger than myself? When we speak of overcoming oneself by oneself, we really mean something external, so that the struggle is unequal..."

*All* people tend to focus on external opposition. The real/important battle is internal-- and yet, victory only comes by dependence on the external.


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