Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Scheming Swindlers R Us

Here's one of my favorite quotes from the late "Great Dane", Soren Kierkegaard:

"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 New Testament and forget everything except pledging yourself to act accordingly. My God, 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 New Testament."

Kierkegaard wrote these words in the nineteenth century, and we are fortunate to have Christian scholars today who are calling the church back to a proper reading of the Scriptures and to her missional roots. Interesting, though, how Kierkegaard's critique of the Church from 150 years ago is still applicable today. Do you agree?


Brad and Tab said...

I wonder if it's possible that Kierkegaard is more relevant today than at the height of his living influence.

Allen Lewis said...

I was directed her from a post on Chris Johnson's MCJ Blog.

Can you tell me where the Kierkegaard quote comes from? My email is

am_lewis (at sign dot) bellsouth (dot) net.