Neglects doctrine of justification by faith alone. Has a sub-Biblical view of marriage and children. But he has a prophetic voice and overall the book is very helpful. The spiritual deadness of the state "church" goes far to explain how a "Christian Nation" could have participated in the abuses of colonialism.
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Hegel sought an objective theory of knowledge upon which everyone could agree; Kierkegaard believed in the subjectivity of truth—meaning that truth is understood and experienced individually. Existence, he believed, is actual, painful, and more important than "essence" or "idea. As Kierkegaard once wrote, "My life has been brought to an impasse, I loathe existence…. Where am I? What is this thing called the world? What does this word mean?
Who is it that has lured me into the thing and now leaves me there? Who am I? How did I come into the world? Why was I not consulted, why not made acquainted with its manners and customs? Is it not a voluntary concern? And if I am to be compelled to take part in it, where is the director? Whither shall I turn with my complaint? But to Kierkegaard, faith is not a mental conviction about doctrine, nor positive religious feelings, but a passionate commitment to God in the face of uncertainty.
Faith is a risk the "leap of faith" , an adventure that requires the denial of oneself. To choose faith is what brings authentic human existence. This is the "existentialism" that Kierkegaard is considered the founder of—though later existentialists had significantly different agendas than his.
Attack on Christendom In his later writings—Works of Love , Christian Discourses , and Training in Christianity —he tried to clarify the true nature of Christianity. The greatest enemy of Christianity, he argued, was "Christendom"—the cultured and respectable Christianity of his day.
The tragedy of easy Christianity is that existence has ceased to be an adventure and a constant risk in the presence of God but has become a form of morality and a doctrinal system. Its purpose is to simplify the matter of becoming a Christian. This is just paganism, "cheap" Christianity, with neither cost nor pain, Kierkegaard argued.
It is like war games, in which armies move and there is a great deal of noise, but there is no real risk or pain—and no real victory. Kierkegaard believed the church of his day was merely "playing at Christianity. When by the aid of affliction all irrelevant voices are brought to silence, it can be heard, this voice within.
He was a man of deep, almost mystical faith, and his acerbic pen could also compose lyrical prayers like these: "Teach me, O God, not to torture myself, not to make a martyr out of myself through stifling reflection, but rather teach me to breathe deeply in faith.
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Attack upon Christendom Quotes
His father, Michael Pederson Kierkegaard, was a Lutheran Pietist , but he questioned how God could let him suffer so much. One day, he climbed a mountain and cursed God. For this sin , Michael believed that a family curse was placed upon him, that none of his children would live a full life. He decided not to become a pastor or a professor either because if he had he would have had to write under the authority of the State or the Church. He craved freedom, and for that reason he wrote "without authority".
Theology of Søren Kierkegaard
He lived all his life on his inheritance, using it to finance his literary career. At about this time, he became engaged to a woman he loved, but he broke the engagement when he decided that God had destined him not to marry. The years to were a period of intense literary activity for Kierkegaard, in which he produced his "authorship," a series of writings of varying forms published under a series of fantastic pseudonyms. Parallel to these, he wrote a series of shorter Edifying Discourses, quasi-sermons published under his own name. As he later interpreted it in the posthumously published Point of View for My Work as an Author, the authorship was a systematic attempt to raise the question of what it means to be a Christian. Kierkegaard was persuaded that in his time people took the meaning of the Christian life for granted, allowing all kinds of worldly and pagan ways of thinking and living to pass for Christian. He applied this analysis especially to the speculative philosophy of German idealism.
Attack upon Christendom
Hegel sought an objective theory of knowledge upon which everyone could agree; Kierkegaard believed in the subjectivity of truth—meaning that truth is understood and experienced individually. Existence, he believed, is actual, painful, and more important than "essence" or "idea. As Kierkegaard once wrote, "My life has been brought to an impasse, I loathe existence…. Where am I? What is this thing called the world? What does this word mean? Who is it that has lured me into the thing and now leaves me there?